The Best Search Engine Alternatives in 2020

Google is the main search engine for millions of people around the world, though it’s banned in certain police states like North Korea and China. Still, it seems to be the go-to provider for almost everyone, and no doubt Google Chrome as a browser makes it even more popular. That being said, knowing whether the company is actually on your side isn’t all too clear, since using it means running the risk of having your searches turned over to governments and being punished.

Some of us prefer to avoid it entirely, opting for one of the lesser-known providers in favor of a greater experience. Though Google is a great tool, what comes with using it isn’t always worth it. Keep reading to find out why and the alternatives you can use instead. 

Why Do I Need Them?

Censorship:  One of the main reasons that people are straying away from Google as their main search engine resource is that it’s known for censoring its results. This can make things a bit of a nuisance when you’re trying to stream movies or your favorite TV shows. While in some cases it’s certainly understandable, such as with revenge or child pornography, this directly affects a lot of people’s freedom of speech in many ways and is enough for people to turn elsewhere for their search results.

Avoid Having Data Stored: Google is known for storing your search results in order to optimize the results. For some of us, this isn’t something we want nor have ever asked for. For example, Google knows when you’re looking at pregnancy tests, paternity kits, and other private information, which is then used to provide targeted advertising and optimized searches based on past results. A lot of people prefer to leave their past searches where they belong: in the past. 

The Best Search Engines For Privacy

DuckDuckGo: DuckDuckGo has become increasingly popular over the years as it puts user privacy and freedom of information above all else. Rather than censor results, the search engine offers a virtually unfiltered experience that makes accessing your favorite movies and torrent sites a lot easier, much like how Google used to be. It was founded in 2008 and has always provided the same results for all users, rather than a tailored experience. 

Startpage: Startpage has been in business for more than 20 years, placing user privacy at the top of its agenda. Rather than sell its users out for personalized advertising, Startpage customers have the benefit of totally private searches, so you needn’t worry about having information passed on to ISPs or government snoopers. 

Swisscows: The Switzerland-based search engine Swisscows is known for its lightning-fast results and privacy. It’s a solid alternative to Google since it offers a breadth of results with every search but places a focus on protecting its users and their data. It uses intuitive semantic data recognition to offer a seamless service and doesn’t retain any user data whatsoever. 

The Best VPNs to Use Alongside

ExpressVPN: ExpressVPN is known the world over as the best VPN provider out there. Though it’s slightly more expensive than its competitors, the user experience is one that’s entirely free from data retention since it’s based in the British Virgin Islands. It basically doesn’t matter where you’re based either since it has over 3000 servers in virtually all established countries worldwide. Along with 256-bit AES encryption, ExpressVPN customers are kept protected by IP masking, DNS leak protection, an automatic kill switch, and more. 

NordVPN: In a very close second is NordVPN, no doubt another of the world’s most popular VPN services available. What makes this one so special is its commitment to performance as well as privacy, since it has close to 6000 servers to choose from. Its ultra-fast connection and integrated tools that focus on streaming mean it runs smoothly for all general purposes, whether you want to watch a movie or stream live sports from another country. As for security, it comes with double VPN, malware and ad protection, IP masking, Onion over VPN, DNS protection, and a zero logging policy. What’s more, if you run into any issues, you can reach the NordVPN customer care team 24/7, via phone, email, and live chat.