About a month ago I found this open search engine called Searx and I really like it. In the simplest terms I can think of I’d call it a search proxy. You tell Searx what you want to search for and it will go out to a bunch of the major search engines and run the search for you. Then it comes back to you with the results.
This in effect prevents search engines like Google from building a profile on you and altering your search results.
But why do we need privacy search engines?
Its no secret that Google and other search engines record your search history and use that information to profile you. Based on what you search you are put into groups. Google calls these groups cohorts. Then based on what cohorts you are in your search results are personalized. They might inject some extra results or hide some results from you.
I have heard it doesn’t matter if you’re logged in because they attempt to fingerprint your browser.
Some people don’t mind these modified personal search results. But some people want the raw results without any tracking involved. If your the latter then Searx might be for you.
Searx is customizable. You can select what engines you want to use when searching. The screen looks like this and at the time of this writing, there are around 82 options.
You can also use the listed shortcuts to search. so like if I only wanted duck duck go results I could use the tag “!ddg” for something like this: “!ddg sysjolt”
There are lots of public instances of Searx out there. Just go to https://searx.space/ and check them out. If you like Searx then you can pick a public option from that list and use it.
Add Searx to Brave
You can add Searx to your default browser search as well. For Brave you go to:
Settings > Search engine > Manage search engines
The setup looks like this. Just replace the “searx.info” with the URL of the instance you are using.
Host your own Searx instance.
If your up for it you could host your own Searx instance. I had one running on my raspberry pi for a little while. I was following this page here but I ran into a few odd things. So maybe supplement with a video of someone showing the install process.
Just keep in mind if your running an instance from your home then when the server runs the search it will be coming from your IP.
Give Searx it a try