10 Best Private Search Engines to Use in 2024

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Edmund_McGowan
edited July 8 in PC Tech

Do you prioritize your online privacy? Don’t wish for your data to be harvested, bought and sold, then used for advertising and other purposes? If so, then join us in our discussion of the best private search engines in 2024. Before we go any further, let’s answer the burning question: What is a private search engine, and how is it different from a traditional search engine?

Regular search engines track, collect and store your data to varying degrees. Searches, personal info like your location, and browsing history are used to build a profile of your online behavior which is then sold to ad networks, who then deliver targeted advertisements on the websites you visit. As the name suggests, private search engines protect your privacy when you search online. A private search engine won’t track searches and offers encrypted, anonymous searching with minimal data collection. Sounds good? If you’re curious and would like to find the best private search engine for you, then read on to discover ten free private search engines that are only a click away!

1. DuckDuckGo

Since 2008, DuckDuckGo has provided a safe, private search engine that does not store user’s personal information or activities. Featuring a simple, easy-to-use interface, DuckDuckGo also stops trackers and ads in their tracks, bypasses hidden data collectors and speeds up websites. What’s more, DuckDuckGoGo now offers  a whole suite of tools to protect your data online, including app tracker blocking for androids, and email protection. With 3 billion monthly searches and 6 million monthly downloads, DuckDuckGo features over a dozen built-in privacy protectors to simplify your online privacy. 

2. SearX

Next on our rundown of private search engines is the free, open-source metasearch engine known as SearX. This search engine aggregates results from over 80 traditional search engines including Google, Yahoo, and Bing. When a user searches on SearX, the search engine does not share search history, IP address or other data with the search engines it harvests its results from. What’s more, sources, user languages, and other settings can be customized in the preferences interface. Advanced users seeking to create their own search engine can create private instances of SearX on their PCs, while Meta-SearX instances can be used to send search queries to random public instances.

3. Kagi

Designed as a tool for the searcher, not the advertiser, Kagi has been around since 2021. This is a premium search engine experience that promises to be 100% ad and tracking free. For users aiming to get decent search results without being monetized by traditional search engines, Kagi stops online attempts to influence your behavior. Delivering high quality outcomes via personalized search results, Kagi provides customization options including muted and preferred websites in user results. This search engine also features Lenses, a setting for power users to customize their unlimited searches.

4. Swisscows

In keeping with characteristics desired of a Swiss bank account, this Swiss-based search engine takes your security and privacy very seriously indeed. Unlike a bank account, Swisscows promises not to store your data, search history, or any other information. This anonymous search engine not only protects the privacy of each user, it also filters out inappropriate content, making it a family-friendly private search engine. Cooperating with Bing, Swisscows offers an index-based country search to ensure speedy, accurate results. The company has also developed TeleGuard, a secure messenger service, and GetDigest, an AI web and text summarizer.

5. Luxxle

100% American owned, operated and financed, Luxxle provides unbiased results, superior privacy, and minimal advertisements. Delivering AI enriched private searches since 2022, Luxxle is founded upon the two principles of “Better Search” and “More Privacy”. Search wise, Luxxle delivers more relevant results with less ads and bias. The Lenses feature allows users to filter and sort results for quicker evaluation of info, and when you need them, deeper results run for 100s of pages. In terms of privacy, all Luxxle searches are secure and encrypted.

6. Brave Search

Brave Search is the fastest growing independent search engine since Bing. A private search engine that prioritizes privacy, Brave Search is constantly refreshed with the latest data via its own Web discovery Project. The Brave ecosystem provides accurate, fast search results without the spam and trackers associated with traditional search engines. At the forefront of the AI-infused private search engine evolution, Brave Search delivers innovation through AI-powered answers, forum discussions and community-driven ranking options.

7. FairSearch

As we delve deeper into the world of private search engines, let’s take a look at the group bringing the fight to Google’s global market dominance. FairSearch is not simply a private search engine, it is actually a group of businesses (including Google competitor Oracle). Dedicated to promoting online innovation and choice, FairSearch believes in fostering and deeding competition in online searches. By putting customers first, and forcing companies to innovate, FairSearch advocates enforcement of laws to thwart anticompetitive behavior. Check out their simple, easy-to-use interface if data security and unbiased results are your priority.

8. Startpage

For those of us not quite ready to join the rebel alliance, Startpage offers access to the Google goods with enhanced privacy protections. Describing itself as the first and most private of the world’s search engines, Startpage has been around since 2006. Startpage private search enables users to search without tracking, profiling, or a search history. The company now offers a diverse suite of privacy products including privacy protection for Chrome and Firefox and anonymous viewing. Built upon the principle of always putting privacy first, this Netherlands based private search engine prides itself on adherence to strict European consumer privacy laws, specifically the GDPR.

9. Ecosia

If you’re keen on nurturing your green credentials during your private searching adventures, check out Ecosia. This planet-friendly search engine uses ad revenue to plant trees around the world. But fear not, they won’t sell your data to advertisers. Ecosia is also committed to total transparency, publishing both tree-planting and financial reports every month. With close to three hundred million trees planted at time of writing, Ecosia is also beyond carbon neutral: their solar panels produce enough energy to power your searches twice over!

10. Mojeek

Last but by no means least in our rundown of the 10 best private search engines, meet Mojeek. If you’re attempting to escape big tech, find different results and retain your privacy, then Mojeek is a fast growing indy search engine which does not track you. Hosted at the greenest data center in the UK, Mojeek features search tech (MojeekBot), created from the ground up. If any of the search engines we’ve discussed today has a conscience, or a heart, then it would have to be Mojeek. Existing to provide a true alternative in search, Mojeek strives to do what’s right, value and respect your privacy, and deliver unbiased results.

The takeaway 

We hope that you’ve enjoyed our journey today. With the possibility of 10, well, 9 new private search engines, we hope that you’ll take the time to explore some of what they have to offer. From the family-friendly Swisscows to Google with increased data protection at Startpage, there is a private search engine to meet every need and budget. Whether you’re simply sick of targeted advertisements, or maybe even on the lam and don’t want your google maps searches to be your downfall, each of the private search engines above has its benefits. Why not try one today?

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Edmund is an English copywriter based in New Taipei City, Taiwan. He is a widely published writer and translator with two decades of experience in the field of bridging linguistic and cultural gaps between Chinese and English.

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