4 Alternatives to Google Chrome
Recent statistics show that 70% of global web users have Google Chrome set as their default search engine. It’s not at all surprising with its intelligent algorithms and dominant advertising services, but recent awareness on private data security means more users are curious to try out alternatives to this giant search engine.
Admittedly, I’m one of these explorers. I’ve really had enough of intrusive pop-up ads and that uncomfortable feeling that Google is stalking my every move, like some creepy predator. So naturally, I had to discover what else was out there. There seems to be this idea that browsers other than Google won’t provide good search results or that you have to pay for the equivalent, but my recent experiences showed this to be far from true.
Here are four great alternative search engines I came across.
DuckDuckGo is by far one of the most popular alternatives to Google Chrome, with 50 million people reported to be using it so far. It doesn’t store your personal information, blocks trackers, provides secure connections and is available as a Chrome extension. It uses results from over 400 sources, including Yahoo, Bing, and Wikipedia. I’ve been using it for a few weeks now on both mobile and web and I haven’t had any issues with loading times or search results and the best part is there are no pesky pop ups! It was all good until I discovered that it is not in fact totally private as portrayed. I am no data expert but reviews online reveal that DuckDuckGo doesn’t hide or encrypt your search history. So if you’re looking for complete privacy you may want to keep reading.
This Swiss search engine promises to put data privacy as their utmost priority. It’s solely subject to Swiss law and doesn’t store or transmit any of your personal information! They do not collect any of your personal information, or even store IP addresses associated with your search. They use their own servers and do not work with a cloud or third party and concern themselves with family friendly Internet content.
Ekosia is unlike most search engines I’ve come across in that it uses its profits to plant trees! They also claim to be completely transparent by publishing their monthly financial reports. Pretty cool right! Searches are encrypted and not stored permanently and your personal data is kept far away from greedy capitalists. They do admit to collecting small amounts of your data to enable them to improve their services, but you can easily avoid this by activating the “Do Not Track” option.
Another search engine dedicated to fighting climate change and protecting the environment is Ekoru. They donate 60% of all search ad revenue to World Animal Protection. As with the above mentioned alternative search engines, Ekoru also doesn’t collect or sell your data and even have a quirky way to reassure you by saying, “We Don’t Care About You (In a nice way!)” They have an easy extension you can add to Chrome or you can install the app to search on your mobile.
From this experiment I learnt that there are definitely alternatives, and good ones too, to Google Chrome. I will continue to use these when browsing online and I recommend others try them out too. However, I don’t recommend going cold turkey. I will continue to use Google for emails and other business purposes. Just knowing that I’m able to search the web without being detected or pestered by annoying ads makes me a happier browser.