Use the Search Engine Called StartPage to Protect Your Privacy

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Are you concerned about all the tracking of what we do on the internet? Would you like to use Google search but don’t want Google recording where you are and what searches you make? Then give a try to the search engine “StartPage”.

StartPage is based in the Netherlands and says that they are not subject to government snooping. According to their privacy statement, no records of user data are kept. They do not know who you are. Your IP and geographical location are not recorded. No tracking cookies are used. So they have no information to give to anybody, even if they are asked.

StartPage actually uses Google for its searches but acts as an intermediary to protect your privacy. When you search with StartPage, all identifying information from your query is removed and it is submitted anonymously to Google. StartPage then gets the results back and relays them to you.

Because there are extra steps and information has to go back and forth through an intermediary, searching will be slower. I suspect StartPage is getting a lot more traffic because of recent revelations about NSA. Page loading may be slow but, if privacy is a concern for you, this is a search engine that is worth looking at.

The link for StartPage search is here. Their privacy statement is at this link.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.

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Comments

Anyone know how to add this "Start Page" link to the context menu in FF to replace the regular Google link?

Testing out Google, Yahoo and Bing search compared with Stat Page they rank SP, Google, Yahoo, Bing. A few things are missed out in Start Page but Google is become messy with advert stuff where SP seems to have less than Google. So strangely I do find SP to be more relevant in my searching.
The more I use Start Page, the better I like it. I use my Google mail for junk and as old friends contact me on Gmail, I have them move to my new, non-Google mail
- mail.com is what I use.
One hundred percent Google free I want to be.

Cynical Concerns:

Any free site will require some revenue stream to exist. Without collecting personal data to sell to advertisers, how do they fund themselves...including startpage itself?

Yes, startpage offers an anonymous search. But once you click on a result, don't you "go public" via that site to your ISP, as well as to Google, Mozilla or Microsoft, depending on your choice of browser? And if you have to register to use a site you find via startpage, aren't we "uncloaked" that way as well?

Or am I missing something?

Look, you can't go on the Internet without some sort of risk. Nor can you use your phone, your charge card, or drive a car totally risk-free. If you are really concerned, maybe you should try anonymizer services. (http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-anonymous-surfing-service.htm) But then you have to trust the service.

I started using StartPage a year or two ago because I had become exasperated with Google's constant tweaking of the interface and with features (autocomplete, Google Instant, Google Preview) that slowed the search results and weren't the least bit helpful. I use Startpage for about 90% of my searches. Even though it uses Google, the results aren't the same, so sometimes when I don't find what I'm looking for I resort to Google. StartPage is a good search engine. The fact that it's anonymous is a bonus.

StartPage is brilliant - it's been set as the start page on Chrome, Firefox and Opera for yonks for me !

+1 to DuckDuckGo - I'm used to search with it as my standard engine

Some of the search settings have drop down menus which are easy to change, however, many settings show two or three options but how you select them beats me! I have tried every way I can think of with no success. I finally gave up and emailed them asking how to do it but nothing heard; shame because if I could skin it the way I want I would have used it.

StartPage is excellent. If you want to use other search engines anonymously they also offer Ixquick https://ixquick.com/

It is well worth reading the Settings section as you can enable or disable various filters. These can be saved via a URL without using cookies if you are particularly paranoid.

The slight problem with DuckDuckGo is that they use Amazon servers, it's up to you to decide whether to trust them.

great stuff I'm going to start using start page for all my google searches from today :)

StartPage is great and I use its Advanced Search page as my home page. However, I also use DuckDuckGo for a lot of my searches. Despite its funny name, DDG likewise searches without tracking, so I have it as my default search engine in the Search field at the upper right of my Firefox screen.

Google may have the big name, but my privacy is not negotiable, so StartPage and DDG keep me blissfully Google-free.