How Startpage’s private search engine protects you
Can a private search engine give you privacy and great results?
For many people who have decided to switch from a non-privacy respecting search engine to one that respects your privacy such as Startpage, many questions still remain about just how private those searches can be, but also how can the quality of these alternatives compete? Great questions!
A true private search engine keeps your online activity private by not logging your personal information. To learn how to spot the differences between top private search engines and actually determine if it’s really private, check out my comparison of Startpage, DuckDuckGo, and Mojeek. But, the truth is many private search options often fall short on results.
However, you don’t have to give up great results. What sets Startpage apart from the rest is that they give you what is arguably the best search results: Google but completely anonymous. Neither Startpage, Google, or even your ISP know who you are or what you’re searching for. Startpage even goes further than other privacy-respecting search engines in keeping you anonymous while you search and browse.
Hiding your IP address
When you visit Startpage, your IP address is changed in their system to 0.0.0.0 while many other private search engines only mask part of your IP, usually the last three digits. While masking part of your IP address is helpful in protecting your privacy, it does leave a small trace behind that can be pieced together. Your IP address is uniquely identifiable so the less of it someone has, the better.
More private than your browser’s private mode
Most browsers today come with a feature called Incognito Mode, or Private Mode which allows you to open a browser that doesn’t remember your history or login information but also gives users a false sense of privacy. Everything you do online in this mode is still trackable by non-private search engines or any other site you visit. Only a search engine like Startpage offers complete privacy no matter what browser mode you are in.
Install always-on privacy
Install Startpage's private search browser extension.
Browse in privacy with Anonymous View
Privacy starts with you
Startpage makes searching the web and viewing results truly private. However, Startpage is just one piece of the privacy puzzle, and the most important piece of that puzzle is you. But you’re not alone, there are guides right on this blog that will help you better secure your iOS or Android device, choose the right browser, or make sure the settings on your Mac are properly set up for privacy.
When it comes to privacy, the more you know the better, so follow Startpage on social media, subscribe to our newsletter, and read the Privacy Please blog to continue learning more about how Startpage can help you achieve privacy online.
Dan Arel is a privacy and digital rights activist, founder and curator of ThinkPrivacy.ch, as well as an award-winning journalist, and best-selling author. His work has appeared in the Huff Post, OpenSource, Hacker Noon, Time Magazine, and more. You can follow him on Twitter @danarel.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Startpage.