Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Thursday, July 5, 2018 at 23:59

Many of us know about 2013 global surveillance case and since that day we look for Google Search alternative. Today we find many privacy respecting search engines like DuckDuckGo, StartPage, and Search Encrypt, with some even released their engine as free software like SearX and MetaGer. Then finally, for Ubuntu users if we want to change our search engine, here's short intro to 5 of them and how to switch on Firefox/Chromium browser.

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Why Not Google?

I will not explain but I recommend you to read Sven Taylor's excellent article about it. This website, Restore Privacy, Sven's project, is a very very good resource for novice regarding online privacy. In short, we really need Google alternative that respects our privacy.


"The search engine that doesn't track you."

The most popular Google alternative in the field of privacy. You may find both Abrowser and IceCat browsers in Trisquel use DuckDuckGo by default, and KDE Falkon browser also makes it default, and you also find that Firefox and Chromium on Ubuntu provides it as one option. It has wonderful feature called Bangs, just type ! and it instantly shows you the options, you can use the bang !yt ubuntu to search ubuntu videos on YouTube or !w panda to look up for Panda in Wikipedia.


"the world's most private search engine"

Google's result, without Google's tracking. In other words, StartPage bridges between you and Google with direct link in each result and without Google Analytics, filter bubble, IP logging, targeted ads, and their trackers. It has wonderful feature: web proxy for each result. Personally, this is my favorite, I use this on all of my OSes now, and I recommend it to you!

Search Encrypt

"The Privacy Based Search Engine."

This search engine encrypts everything, even the result page URL is encrypted. It deletes your search history automatically in your browser after 15 minutes of inactivity. It's hosted in Cyprus by Eightpoint Technologies Ltd.


"a privacy-respecting, hackable metasearch engine" is a meta search engine, it collects (aggregates) results from Google, Yahoo!, AOL, Yandex, etc. for you. You can determine what search engines to use. The internal software behind this service, searX, is a published free software (Google, DuckDuckGo, StartPage, Search Encrypt do not publish their respective engine software) thus you may find another public instances or even install it on your server!

MetaGer is a meta search engine hosted in Germany by SUMA-EV NGO. It aggregates results from (excluding Google) Yahoo, Yandex, Wikipedia, and many more. The internal software engine is also a published free software. The wonderful feature: it has web proxy for each result and it has Hidden Tor Service at b7cxf4dkdsko6ah2.onion, and map.

Changing Search Engine

In both Firefox and Chromium browsers, for DuckDuckGo, StartPage, and Search Encrypt, you just need to click the button Add To Firefox/Chromium and accept new search engine when asked.

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.