Startpage is one of the best and most popular secure search engines that you can use.
It becomes more popular by the day, with more and more people becoming aware of their online privacy, as well as Google's tendency to record everything you do while using their service it's clear to see why it's a popular alternative.
But, if you are still unsure whether or not you should switch from Google, or which secure search engine you should use – allow us to present you with ten reasons to why Startpage is one of the best alternatives.
1) It has been around as long as Google
Startpage started life back in 1998, under the name Ixquick.
While it was collecting personal data back then, it was a top search engine in its own right. It has never used massive ad campaigns, nor did it spam users with pop-ups and alike.
Knowledge of the site spread through word-of-mouth, and the service's userbase kept growing.
Considering what it takes to become known on the internet, this is proof enough of its quality, even though it happened two decades ago, with the internet being a very different place back then.
Still, users of the search engine consider it to have had quality throughout its entire existence and one of the best alternatives to Google.
2) It never collects personal data
Startpage has been around since 1998, and until 2005, it wasn't alone in aggregating user data.
However, that's when they had an audit that revealed it all. While the service never sold or misused any such data, they realised, after the inspection, that continuing to collect it might become a privacy liability.
They deleted it, and for the next three years, they only recorded data for 48 hours. Then, in 2009, they stopped doing that as well.
For the entirety of the last decade, Startpage never collected any personal data of its users, becoming one of the most secure and private search engines available.
3) It does not use tracking or identifying cookies
Many popular search engines, as well as websites, opt to use tracking or identifying cookies while claiming that they are necessary for providing better service.
Startpage does not use them at all, and it still manages to provide excellent search results, without recording any of your data. It does not record your IP, nor your browser, system, or even search queries.
4) Startpage's proxy
Startpage's proxy is one of the service's top features.
Most other search engines will offer privacy as long as you are on their website. However, once you click on a search link of another site and leave, you withdraw that privacy protection, and you end up exposing yourself to the website you entered.
Startpage prevents that by offering a proxy option which lets you visit websites that come up in the search results, while remaining on Startpage's site underneath. That protects you at all times.
5) Startpage lets you connect to different servers
As part of its privacy protection proxy, Startpage lets you connect to a few different servers.
With it, you can appear to be from Europe or the US, depending on what you choose while organising the settings.
This will not interfere with the websites you can find, nor with Startpage's services as a search engine. It will merely protect you while browsing websites and prevent them from recording your details.
It is not as good as a full VPN, of course, but it is a useful free feature as part of a search engine.
6) You get Google's search results
You might be wondering how do Startpage results compare to those of Google?
Most people tend to be concerned with the quality of their searches when they decide to abandon Google. Well, the positive thing is that the results are entirely the same.
Startpage retrieves its results from Google, but it does not reveal to Google who was it that has sent an information request.
You might say that Startpage acts as an intermediary showing results from Google, a form of security barrier.
7) It will not reveal or sell your contact data
Some online services are eager to record and sell any piece of personal information they can get their hands on. That even includes things that you reveal while consulting with their support centre.
8) It will not give your data to the government
Data has become a powerful currency on the internet. So powerful, that everyone wants it – companies, advertisers, hackers, and even governments.
5/9/14 Eyes surveillance alliance is proof enough of that. Sometimes, the governments might even request information from services they suspect people of interest might be using.
If the service they have contacted operates under the government's jurisdiction, they are obliged to comply. That won't work with Startpage, however, and even if the Dutch authorities themselves knock at the door – Startpage cannot provide them with what it does not have.
9) It won't make you a target of surveillance
Another thing that a lot of people worry about is how big of an influence the government might have on privacy services. While these services offer privacy by default, could they switch this protection off for specific users, should the government order it.
In many cases, they can, and they do.
However, not Startpage. The service guarantees that they will never comply with any voluntary surveillance program. If Big Brother wants some help, he can look elsewhere, as European laws prevent governments from forcing service providers to spy on their users.
10) Startpage complies with the GDPR
As mentioned, Startpage is located in the EU, and it is in full compliance with applicable privacy laws and regulations, including the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). These regulation are regarded as the world's most robust privacy protection.
In other words, using this service will guarantee protection in any situation, and at any time.
This is more in terms of protection and security than any other privacy search engine can offer, which is why Startpage is one of the best options you can find.
How is StartPage different from using Google?
While we have covered most of this in our ten reasons why you should use Startpage, let's get them all into one place for your convenience.
The main difference between using Startpage and using Google is the fact that Startpage will let you remain private. The company will not record anything of yours.
They do not keep your IP address, data regarding your browser, location, or even what you search for. They preserve nothing, and they also extend their protection, keeping you safe when you visit other websites.
No other service does this, and least of all, Google.
In fact, Google is infamous for recording every scrap of data, as much as it is famous for its excellent results. Startpage provides the same results by using Google itself and protecting you from doing it directly and having your data recorded.
In fact, in a reason study, StartPage beat Google hands down in the privacy stakes.
How does StartPage compare with DuckDuckGo?
Of course, Startpage is far from being the only secure search engine, and you might be wondering how it compares to the most popular of them all – DuckDuckGo?
In truth, they do share a lot of similarities, such as speed, search suggestions, a clean and simple homepage, useful search results (although those of Startpage come from Google itself), and more.
Neither of the two will log your data, but DuckDuckGo will not extend its privacy protection to the websites you visit. It will keep you safe and secure only while you are using their website.
Both will do a great job at protecting you, however, as they offer secure encryption.
In the end, Startpage is a better choice when it comes to privacy. However, it is argued DuckDuckGo is better for user experience, although the interface could be smoother.
If you have decided to protect your web search privacy and search terms, the obvious first step is to pick a secure search engine.
However, if you don't wish to sacrifice Google's efficiency, you don't have to.
With Startpage, you can have a search engine that provides you with Google's search results, while allowing you to retain your privacy at all times.
It will even protect you on any website you reach through its search function and make sure that you get what you wanted.
Now all you need to do is consider the privacy of your web browser too!
Interested in giving them a try? Head over to Startpage now.
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