What to expect from DuckDuckGo’s Mobile Browser

What information are the “big brother” search engines gathering?

The majority of people in the world use sophisticated data-gathering tools called search engines. Typically, they gather, keep, and actively use personally identifiable data like:

  • IP addresses
  • Accurate geolocation
  • Your web browser, device, operating system, etc. are all included in the user agent string.
  • Specific dates and times for each search query
  • Search History
  • Cookies (unique identifiers)

To top it all off, “opting out” of having your data collected and examined by major search engines is not an option. This means that every time you use a large, public search engine, they are aware of your identity, location, and search terms. Consequently, refraining from using these search engines’ search features is the only method to protect your data from these data-harvesting search engines.

How are you using your data?

Numerous of these search engines will assert that they merely use this information “to enhance future search results.” Their 30-page privacy policies will inform you that they use your data for far more than that. (However, they also realize that nobody will sit down and read those mountains of material.) Be mindful that, above all else, your data is sold, examined, scrutinized, and maintained solely for financial gain.

What is a private search engine?

Private search engines look up your given query without tying it to you or your browsing history. Your information isn’t gathered by private search engines to create shadow profiles of you. They don’t follow you around the internet or show you highly targeted ads based on your past search activities.

Comparison of search and metasearch

In reality, most private search engines are metasearch engines. Simply put, this indicates that they obtain information from other search engines like Google and Bing/Yahoo. They frequently use a variety of other search engines from all over the internet, easily exceeding 100 different sources. Even when they use data from Bing/Yahoo or Google, private search engines maintain the anonymity of your query.

DuckDuckGo (DDG) private search engine

DuckDuckGo is an all-purpose search engine created to safeguard user privacy while preventing the skewing of search results that might arise from personalized search (sometimes referred to as a filter bubble).

Users are not tracked by DuckDuckGo, and neither their IP addresses nor any other information is logged. The terms are not linked to specific users; instead, a log of all entered search terms is kept. Considering that DuckDuckGo does not keep track of user information, it has no information to share with outside companies.

Unlike Google, DuckDuckGo does not enable customized search by default, which limits search results based on user-related data like location, preferences, and history. Users can choose to prioritize local results, for example, but until they specifically request it, it won’t happen. Additionally, search engine results pages filter out results that seem to come from content mills (SERP).

DuckDuckGo is often referred to as a hybrid search engine since it gathers results from a variety of sources, including its own crawler, DuckDuckBot, crowd-sourced websites like Wikipedia, and collaborations with other search providers including Yahoo!, Yandex, Yelp, and Bing.


Tracker blocking and “Privacy Upgrades”

DuckDuckGo naturally offers security against analytics, social, and ad trackers. Additionally, it mandates HTTPS on nearly all of the websites you visit. This function doesn’t seem to be able to be turned off at all, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s oddly fascinating that you can turn off the tracker blocking. Simply put, none of the tracking-blocking techniques can be directly disabled.

Upgrades to Privacy

You cannot pick and choose which kinds of trackers you wish to prevent, as I previously stated. This is so because an option named “Site Privacy Protection” combines the majority of privacy tools, including the tracker blockers. Once more, the mandatory HTTPS encryption appears to be the sole privacy feature that is not affected by this general option. This Site Privacy Protection setting is not accessible through the screen for general settings either. Instead, it’s right next to the URL address bar.

Website ratings

Based on established privacy practices, the number of trackers discovered, and the sorts of trackers they have, DuckDuckGo assigns a rating (read: grade) to websites. A site’s rating both with and without Site Privacy Protection turned on is displayed. You can acquire even more details about a website from this Privacy Protection screen in addition to the rating information. You can read a summary of the site’s rating, which displays the number of trackers that were blocked.


DuckDuckGo has a whitelisting function for particular websites. The Site Privacy Protection feature won’t apply to websites that you whitelist. As a result, you will be able to be tracked by these sites’ trackers since they won’t be banned. However, based on my own tests, it still appears that sites with a whitelist are able to use forced HTTPS encryption.

Fire Button

There is a “fire button” on DuckDuckGo. When pressed, the fire button simultaneously dismisses all open tabs and clears all browser data, including cookies that have been saved. This is a clever and practical function that allows you to quickly and easily delete your entire browsing history.

“Fireproof” websites

You can prevent websites from having their data deleted by the fire button by using the “fireproof” option. Otherwise, pressing the fire button will erase everything. If you weren’t aware, cookies keep you signed in to websites; if you delete the cookies, you must sign in again. ‘Fireproofing’ a website prevents this by keeping its cookies.

App lock

DuckDuckGo can be locked using TouchID, FaceID, or a system passcode. This prevents someone who has access to your device from opening the browser and spying on your activities or searches. Use biometrics with caution, though. Facial recognition is not even close to being 100% accurate, and fingerprints are simple to fake. Additionally, if the device is shared, any biometric information that has been saved can be used to open the app.

Opening links in apps

With DuckDuckGo, you can control whether links can launch installed applications. This setting, when disabled, prevents links from opening in other installed apps on your device. This setting gives you naturally somewhat improved security for your device.

Theme customizability

With its theme and symbol, DuckDuckGo gives you some customization options. You can choose a light or dark theme. The default configuration uses the system theme. Therefore, DuckDuckGo immediately switches to its dark theme if you’re using iOS’s dark theme on your iPhone. The icon for the app can also be changed. There are 6 colors available for you to select from. It’s a pleasantly unexpected touch.

Data auto-clear

When activated, DuckDuckGo is compelled to always delete all browsing history and open tabs after a browsing session.


Only mobile platforms, such as iOS and Android, are supported by DuckDuckGo’s privacy browser. It’s uncertain whether the company wants to release a standalone browser for desktops given that it has a widely used addon for other browsers like Firefox and Google Chrome.


iOS device specifications: iOS 10.0 or later is required to run this browser.

Android device specifications: Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or later is required in order to run this browser.

App size

This privacy browser’s download is little more than 35MB. That is incredibly lightweight and easy on your device’s storage (s).

Pros and Cons


  • HTTPS everywhere
  • Fast, streamlined interface
  • Good site whitelisting capability
  • Detailed tracker information


  • Limited search options
  • Unable to block all scripts
  • Inconsistent tracker blocking
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