What is DuckDuckGo?
DuckDuckGo is an awesome search engine which promises to do a lot more than competition while promising to not track even a byte of information. In a lot of ways it is similar to search engines like Google and Bing, but it has quite a few tricks up its sleeves that set it apart from the competition. I am using it from 1 year now and initially I did have had some trouble and I kept bouncing back to Google but in no time when I get hang of this amazing search engine, I never went back.
Here are few reasons why you should abandon Google for good and move to DuckDuckGo:
#1 !Bang ‘it up’
!Bang is one of DDG’s best feature for me. It allows us users to directly search on other from DDG’s search box.
For example, I can write “!onedrive license” and it will take me directly to a search for “license” on my onedrive account. Or, I can type “!so java null pointer exception” and it’ll will directly take me here. Ain’t that magical and super cool?
Once you go !bang, you never go back
There are literally hundreds of websites for which !Bang shortcuts are available. Use of !bangs will forever change the way you search, leaving you with more free time and less frustration.”
#2 Most Privacy ever.
This is the biggest USP of DuckDuckGo. Unlike *other* popular search engines, DDG does not track you nor it does collect any personal information. So, in a nutshell, it doesn’t store any search history, ip addresses, and cookies. Also, for added security, DDG automatically points to the encrypted (HTTPS) versions of websites. If you wish, you can also use DDG with .
#3 Instant visual results in card view
This is one of my favorite features of DDG. It’s quite like Google cards but more enhanced. Basically, you can call category pages as instant answers within a specific category. It saves time by providing quick, short answers and by giving different, meaningful options related to the search term. For example, when I searched for “time”, this is what I got in DDG:
Similarly, when I searched for “Avengers age of ultron characters”, I got this:
Not only does DDG provides immediate answers, the presentation is top-notch as well.
#4 Regional Search makes it easy!
On DDG, users can get region-centric search results by changing the region in the settings. For example, if I search for “news” with default (US) as the region, and then if I change the region to United Kingdom, my search results change accordingly:
Notice how, DDG gave us link to BBC for news for UK. So, in one click the results can cater to an audience from a different region. Cool, isn’t it?
#5 Ad-free Search with one click
Since DDG is a free service and is NOT backed by billion of $ of funding, by default, ads are shown in DDG. But great part is that they can be easily turned off with a click in settings. To do that, just dig into Advanced Settings >> General >> Advertisements and turn them off. Yep, that simple.
Although, if you wish to, you can keep ads enable. That would be one simpler way of supporting the company. 🙂
#6 Customize, Theme, Personalize!
DDG allows users to customize the appearance as per their liking. To name a few, users can change the theme, fonts, and colors. This is how the DDG page looks like in the “Retro” theme, which is like a minimal solid color mode:
In addition, users can change the language, enable/disable keyboard shortcuts, see favicons for the websites in search results, etc. Best of all, you can anonymously save your settings in the cloud.
#7 In-site Search was never this easy:
Although Google and Bing both have in-site search, but DuckDuckGo implementation is simpler and more intuitive. Hovering over any search result reveals a “More results” option. On clicking it, DDG will show you search results from only that particular website.
For example, I searched for “The Friends”. On the search results page, I can hover over any result and the “More results” option pops up. In this example, I hovered over IMDb result and clicked on More results:
So easy, isn’t it?
#8 Other Features
Here are some smaller but noticeably cool features of DuckDuckGo:
Scrollable Results: Search results, by default, are not paginated, thereby making it easy to just scroll down and find more results. However, DDG gives users the control to disable this feature if they prefer paginated results.
Shorten and Expand URLs: With DDG, you can easily shorten and expand any link in a second. To shorten a long link, simply type the keyword “shorten” before the link and DDG will generate a shortened link. Ex:
Similarly, DDG can expand a short link, allowing you to see where exactly the link would lead to without actually opening it. To do that, you need to use the keyword “expand”.
Payment Calculator: DDG can help you to calculate your monthly payment on a loan quite easily. For this, you just need to use the keyword “loan” and you can type the rest of query in plain english For example:
Recipe Finder: You can easily find different recipes by using the keyword “recipe” in your search query. DDG would present different recipes in a beautiful format. For example for “Oreo shake recipe”
Color Finder: Using DDG, you can easily find a color based on its hexadecimal code. For example:
Downtime Checker: DuckDuckGo allows users to easily check whether a website is down or not from the search box itself:
Alternative Finder: You can find alternatives to apps, websites, software, etc. using DDG:
Twitch Live Streams: If you like watching live video game streams on Twitch, DDG makes the process a tad bit easier by showing some results right in the search page itself:
For many such cool features, go to DDG’spage. It includes a plethora of useful (or fun) features such as , , and .
In short, the best thing about DDG is that it gives a lot of control back into the hands of users. Plus, it has a pretty sexy interface.