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William
William

Posted on • Originally published at williamk.dev on

The Wonders of DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo has become more than just a search engine. For those who don't know, DuckDuckGo is a company dedicated to providing private searching for people on the web. It is well recommended by many people in the tech world, including myself. I used to have the debate on Twitter on the topic of which was better - DuckDuckGo or Qwant, due to the locations of these companies. To be honest, I've changed my opinion since then. DuckDuckGo is superior, and here's why:

  1. Bangs

    DuckDuckGo allows you to search with other search engines or services temporarily using a exclamation point, also known as a "bang". Typing !google before your query into DuckDuckGo enables you to search with Google one time. This is such an underrated feature, since you can search Wikipedia much quicker.

  2. Privacy Extension

    I think we all know about Brave at this point. Brave is a web browser that has ad blockers and privacy enhancers built into it. Brave has been the point of controversy regarding several of it's practices, however you can still get the functionality of Brave without using it. It also requires so little effort. Using Mozilla Firefox, you can enable the DuckDuckGo extension to get privacy enhancers. Plus, using uBlock Origin, you can get ad blockers as well. This will also enhance encryption on the websites you visit and default your search engine to DuckDuckGo. It is an all-around win-win.

  3. App Tracker Blockers for Android

    If you use Android, you can also take advantage of a firewall made by DuckDuckGo to block trackers from within your Android apps. I take advantage of this feature personally because it works so well and breaks almost nothing. It is better than custom firewalls made using apps like Noroot Firewall. Note that in order to use this feature you need to join the Beta and download the DuckDuckGo app, which is a web browser for Android.

  4. Email Protection

    Also with the Android DuckDuckGo app, you can create fake email addresses that connect to your real email address, and you can generate as many of these email addresses as you want and delete them at any time. This is really good for services you don't quite trust with your real email address. I also, personally, suggest using a randomized password, and if DuckDuckGo's extension would autogenerate a fake email and password, I'd have even more good things to say about email protection from DuckDuckGo.

That's all I have for now, but these 4 things are absolutely major for a private internet everywhere, some of which are fairly unique from DuckDuckGo. Combining Mozilla and DuckDuckGo is an amazing internet combo, combining private email with a secure browser and a good VPN with tracker protection - it's absolutely a stunning combination that I encourage everyone to try.

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