19 Best Private Search Engines in 2022 (Anonymous & Secure)

Last Updated: October 18, 2022
Let’s take a look at the best private search engines, that won’t try to harvest your data.
Best Private Search Engines
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Using a private search engine is highly recommended because your data can be used as a weapon.

That is why we cannot afford to let others gain access to our data. The information about oneself can be used in many ways.

However, if you are wondering how does anyone acquire such information about anyone? The answer lies on the internet.

If you value your privacy, it is recommended that you use tools like VPNs and private search engines to keep your data safe.

Otherwise, browsing on unsafe search engines will lead to your data being stolen.

Famous search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo have the most number of users browsing them constantly.

To this date, their popularity has grown so much that one might not even know that other search engines exist.

Over 95% of mobile search traffic and nearly 88% of laptop or desktop search traffic is found on Google alone.

However, by analyzing the data they gather from you, they can easily map your personality.

This helps them to feed you with advertisements that you might be interested in.

No one likes such bombarding of ads. You might be wondering what we can do about it?

Well, for starters, you can use private search engines, which are totally safe for browsing without worrying about your searches affecting your ads.

We have conducted thorough research and compiled this free private search engine list that you can use for safe browsing.

Best Private Search Engines List

Now, let’s jump into the list of the best private search engines in 2022.

1. Startpage

Startpage

By the time of Startpage’s launch, Google had already gained a reputation as a search engine.

That is why many people believed that Startpage was nothing but another copy of Google because of the similarity that both engines had.

However, Startpage overcame this rejection as time passed.

At present, Startpage is one of the best private search engines as it’s developed into a great search engine that does not engage in data selling activities.

Startpage values privacy more than anything and so it promises and keeps that promise of complete privacy to its users. 

It’s one of the free anonymous search engines that work on complete anonymity.

It accomplishes it by protecting the users from cookies and third-party trackers on the internet.

Along with complete privacy, Startpage provides other features such as a customizable interface.

The simple interface of the Startpage can be customized according to the user’s preference of color and style.

Features

  • Complete anonymity
  • Protection from trackers or cookies
  • Customizable interface
  • No filter bubble

Startpage is a reliable private search engine that provides various features that enhance user experience.

We recommend using Startpage for your private searches as no data is sold or shared with other parties.

Also, the engine is free to use, making it even more demanding and promising as a private search engine.

The customizable interface adds to its advantages in a user-friendly manner.

2. DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo is often known as the most secure search engine, and is widely known for its security and privacy.

There is hardly a list of the best private search engines that don’t have DuckDuckGo on it.

Its simple user interface hosts no ads. This ad-blocking feature gives DuckDuckGo an incredible edge over other engines.

The DuckDuckGo search engine also protects you from tracks, thus your data is kept safe from Data collectors.

The compelling security that this search engine provides is attracting more and more traffic to it.

However, the most popular feature of this search engine has to be “Bangs.”

The Bangs feature lets you search for a query from another website just by typing a prefix.

This feature is highly valued if you are trying to conduct the search quickly.

DuckDuckGo’s private search engine also has a browser that you can use on your device.

You can install this browser extension just like Google Chrome, Opera, etc.

However, DuckDuckGo is more secure and more user-friendly than many browser extensions.

Features

  • No ads
  • Clean and user-friendly interface
  • Protection from trackers
  • Bangs feature allowing to quick search from another website
  • Browser extension

It is okay to say that DuckDuckGo can be more reliable when it comes to features and privacy.

The unique features like Bangs and Ad-blockers give it an edge over other search engines.

It is widely known in the world with good reviews from its users.

A simple interface makes it more convenient. The privacy and anonymity that DuckDuckGo provides are commendable.

3. Swisscows

Swisscows

If you are looking for a safe search engine that not only protects your data but also your family, then Swisscows is the right choice for you.

It protects your data from trackers and also acts family-friendly by blocking pornographic content. You will find no pornographic content on Swisscows.

So if you are looking for a browser that will keep children away from such vulgar content, go for Swisscows.

Its base is in Switzerland and it does not operate using the cloud. Instead, it works on Swiss servers and has an underground Data Center in the Swiss Alps.

You can use it as the default search engine in your browser as it is compatible with most browsers.

Like other private search engines, Swisscows also prohibits any kind of data stealing and tracking.

Thus not letting your search history affect any ads on your device. It is an anonymous private search engine that is free.

Features

  • Protection from trackers
  • No selling of your data
  • Family-friendly search engine
  • Compatible with many browsers
  • Can search regionally
  • Can set a preferred language

One of the striking features of Swisscows is its Family-Friendly results.

With Pornography Blocked, the internet can be entrusted to children without worrying about them coming across such content.

Even though Swisscows lacks points in terms of interface, it certainly provides privacy on par with other private search engines.

Regional Search and Preferred Language features give Swisscows an edge over others in some regards.

4. Searx.me

Searx is a meta-search engine that can be customized according to your preferences.

Meta-search engines are search engines that combine results from other search engines. This gives you a wide selection of results from various databases.

The Searx search engine protects you from tracks using various methods.

It even converts HTTP to HTTPS, thus enhancing your security on this engine.

This service provides you with utmost safety and privacy, which is complementary to its simple interface.

Its interface majorly consists of a huge search bar and nothing else. However, you can personalize it according to your wish and even host it on your server.

This customized interface will appear on your server as your personal search engine.

The advantage of Searx being a meta-search engine is that you will get personalized results from sites like Google, even though your personal data hasn’t been mapped.

This enhances the user experience on Searx to a great extent.

Features

  • Great privacy
  • Personalized results without giving up personal data
  • No trackers
  • Customizable interface
  • Open source search engine

An anonymous searching experience while getting personalized results at the same time puts Searx in this list of best private search engines.

Additionally, a customizable interface and the ability to be hosted on personal servers make it a great choice.

With this degree of privacy and security, it’s no doubt that Searx.me is one of the best private search engines.

5. Disconnect Search

Disconnect Search

With the ease of operation, Disconnect Search enhances the user experience.

Disconnect Search is a private search engine that blocks trackers and malware.

Its ability to conduct searches privately and work as a VPN makes it a complete shield against data stealing.

It even has its own browser that can be added as an extension on your device.

This service only has necessary filters and simple settings, which make it easy to use.

It even prevents the sites that you visit from tracking and stealing your data.

With Disconnect Search, you can rest assured that your data is not falling into the hands of data collectors or advertisers.

One of the major features of Disconnect Search is its quick download speed. However, there are downsides to using this browser.

Firstly, it blocks all the local Wi-Fi signals and secondly, the list of search engines it supports is a short one, containing only Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, and Blekko.

Features

  • Faster downloads
  • Complete privacy
  • Also works as a VPN
  • Simplicity of interface
  • No complex or additional settings and filters
  • No tracking
  • Prevents sites from tracking data

As a private search engine, Disconnect search performs exceptionally well.

Considering the additional feature of working as a VPN gives an extra cloak of privacy to its users.

The faster downloads make it desirable to users and the simple interface renders the search engine user-friendly.

6. MetaGer

MetaGer

MetaGer is a private search engine that is completely based in Germany, thus not abiding by the US rules and government.

This fact by itself makes this a great search engine for American users.

MetaGer is not bound to share any details with other governments, thus your data stays safe.

It is also completely against censorship and provides the users with uncensored content. 

Being a meta-search engine puts it in the category similar to SearX.

However, the measures that MetaGer goes to prevent your data from leaking or being stolen are really impressive.

No traces of your browsing history are left back on MetaGer.

Also, it uses the Tor Network to acquire the results of your search, thus we can be assured that utmost privacy is provided.

Since MetaGer is free to use, they have to display ads in order to earn money.

But these ads come with no trackers and we can safely browse without worrying about these ads stealing your data.

If you don’t want these ads to show up on metaGer, then you’ll have to get the membership of a non-profit organization SUMA-EV.

This organization sponsors MetaGer in order to provide its members with an ad-free experience on MetaGer.

Features

  • Tracker free ads
  • No censorship
  • Utmost privacy
  • No data sharing or selling
  • Open-source meta-search engine
  • SUMA-EV membership to remove ads
  • Browser extension

MetaGer is a great private search engine if you are looking for complete safety.

Unlike many search engines, ads on MetaGer are not integrated with tracks.

Being based in Germany means MetaGer has no affiliation with the US Government in regards to Internet rules.

A complete anonymous and private searching experience is provided by MetaGer using Tor. It also despises censorship.

It can be a great choice if you want a default browser that you can use effortlessly.

7. Qwant

Qwant

Qwant as a private search engine, considers privacy to be a great virtue for anyone who wants to browse the internet.

It provides an excellent amount of privacy to its users by banning tracks of any kind.

Your browsing history, data, and private files are completely protected if you are using Qwant.

Even though, to use Qwant efficiently, you need to give some basic information for personalized results.

This information is highly protected and you don’t have to worry about it being sold or shared with data collectors.

Like MetaGer, Qwant also hosts ads. These ads are from the Microsoft Bing ad network, which might get you to worry.

However, if you use a VPN, these ads can be filtered out. Qwant also has a feature that keeps the children away from vulgar or adult content.

This mode is called Qwant Junior, which is useful to kids from age 6 to 12.

Along with filtering adult content, it also provides children with ideal content for their search results.

Features

  • No trackers
  • Complete privacy
  • Personalized results without leaking information
  • Children mode known as Qwant Junior

Qwant is a great private search engine for users who want utmost security as well as personalized results.

Qwant Junior mode allows the kids of age 6-12 to browse the internet without worrying to come across inappropriate content. It has some unsafe ads which can be filtered using a VPN.

Overall speaking, Qwant has many advantages and some avoidable disadvantages.

8. Yase

Yase

The Privacy Policy of Yase is very strict about users’ data. It strictly prohibits sharing or selling private information with third parties.

However, if it is required by the law, Yase has to share some identifying information.

Yase Collects data from sites like Bing, Wikipedia, etc., in a very quick fashion to avoid tracing or IP address.

In the same notion, it prevents identifying information with its no-log policy.

Yase is a private search engine that considers your privacy as a priority and thus does not expose information.

Yase is quick with its results to avoid any storing of IP addresses, thus you can surf the internet at a fast speed without worrying much.

Along with privacy, Yase provides ease of operation with its simple interface.

If you are new to the private search engine world, the simple interface of Yase will help you get the hang of it. You’ll have a great experience with Yase.

Features

  • User-friendly interface
  • Protection from trackers
  • Faster results
  • IP address cannot be stored
  • Beginner-friendly
  • No-log policy

Yase is an excellent option for newbies in the private search engine world. An easy user interface allows users to understand this search engine better.

Protection of your IP address is provided with faster search results.

Eventually, Yase proves to be a recommended private search engine for total beginners.

9. Search Encrypt

Search Encrypt

Search Encrypt is great because they use local encryption, which means that if the private key gets compromised, you session is still going to stay safe, as well as the data that you are collecting in the process.

The search engine is going to get its results from a number of search partners, and is going to delete your search keywords once you have finished browsing.

You can make the most of this private search engine to look for maps, news, or videos that are privacy friendly. It can be used as a Chrome extension as well, which is always nice.

10. Ecosia

Ecosia

Ecosia is great if you are trying to protect your privacy as a user, but what’s really interesting about this private search engine is that it donates 80% of its profits to reforestation, which is pretty impressive.

It considers itself a social business, and as far as functionality is concerned, it offers you the ability to search keywords with encryption, without selling or storing your data.

It isn’t going to profile you as a user, and the way that it makes money is by showing ads that aren’t intrusive right next to your search results.

It has more than 15 million people using it, so it’s proven to be pretty popular.

11. Mojeek

Mojeek

Mojeek is a web crawler, which means that it comes up with its own index of websites, and uses this to help you find the website that you are looking for.

This means that you are going to get results that are unbiased and independent, and not reliant on an external algorithm.

Of course, it’s a much smaller search engine than Google, but it’s private which means everything to a lot of people. It’s also eco-conscious.

12. Gibiru

Gibiru

If you want to be able to find what you are looking for through a search engine that is reliable and fast, then Gibiru is going to be your next favorite private search engine.

They are encrypted, but they use the same algorithm as Google to give you what you need, so they are basically Google without the insidious tracking.

They don’t track or trace you, so they’re a great option if you want something that is going to be able to track down what you are looking for in a timely manner.

13. Brave

Brave

The next private search engine on our list is definitely built with the user in mind.

For example, when you open this search engine, it increases your privacy because it is going to send less requests that other search engines.

You don’t have to worry about creepy personalised ads, and you also don’t have to worry about your information being sold onto a third party.

14. Lukol

Lukol

This private search engine is anonymous, and offers similar search results to Google. It maintains your privacy as the user by removing elements that are trackable and traceable.

For example, you can make the most of the power of a ‘Google’ search engine, without being worried about your movements being tracked down.

This way, you can benefit from complete anonymity. They don’t collect or share your data or personally identifiable information.

15. Oscobo

Oscobo

Oscobo is a private search engine that is going to protect your privacy while you check out what’s going on out there on the web.

They don’t use a third-party script, which means that they protect your personal data and information from hacking and misuse.

They don’t send you search terms to the website that you clicked on, and they don’t collect, share or store your data either, which is always nice.

16. Gigablast

Gigablast

Another top rate private search engine is Gigablast, which is going to be able to index millions of websites and servers, so that you can gain real-time information, without tracking data.

It is also going to hide you from marketers and spammers.

It offers a number of different choices as far as being able to personalise your search queries go, which includes file type, language and specific phrases.

They believe that your search queries are your property and don’t want to violate this in any way.

17. Infinity Search

Infinity Search

This private search engine is great if you want a specific focus on your privacy and not a lot else.

They aren’t going to store your data, and they aren’t going to store any information that could personally identify you.

One of the best things about this private search engine is the fact that it is open source.

It has integrations that are built in, so you are going to be able to get a lot of information out of this private search engine.

18. Discrete Search

Discrete Search

Another search engine that is focused on privacy is Discrete Search, and they want you to be able to search the web without having to sacrifice your privacy in the process.

They offer advanced encryption, and the best part is that you can look up anything you want, and feel confident that your searches are going to stay discrete and private.

They don’t keep a log of your search history, and they don’t use any tracking tools.

19. Yippy

Yippy

Yippy is great as a private search engine because they can help you look up exactly what you are looking for, and you can filter your searches as well.

Unlike some other search engines out there, you can choose to find specific content.

FAQs

What is a Private Search Engine?

Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo use your data to create something known as the “User Map.”

However, those who value their privacy often use private search engines or VPNs.

A private search engine does not use your data or track your activities to present you with various relevant ads. It’s like another layer of protection for you.

Secure search engines keep your data safe from falling into the hands of data collectors, who use your data in order to boost their reach in return.

Even though getting ads is not harmful, there are several downsides to letting your data be stolen.

We never know how the information can be used in this world. That’s why we recommend using a private search engine to keep your privacy in check.

How Do Search Engines Function?

A search engine is like a tool that functions on the internet. As its name suggests, we can search for anything on the internet by using search engines.

They help in narrowing down our search according to keywords that we enter in the search bar.

As many users provide the World Wide Web with content to display, it indexes them accordingly.

Search engines go through the database of the internet to find the results that nearly or completely match what you wanted to search for.

Types of Private Search Engines

Even though a private search engine is another type of search engine, it’s further divided into two major types.

Anonymous Search Engines

These engines highly support true anonymity. They do not take any bit of data from the user in order to conduct the search. However, these search engines have ads on them.

Even though anonymous search engines do not take your data, clicking on ads on these engines can put your data at risk.

This risk is due to the free nature of these search engines.

Paid Private Search Engines

While famous search engines earn money through ads and selling your data, some engine earn through subscriptions.

If you buy a subscription to these search engines, you will be provided with utmost privacy.

Unlike anonymous engines, subscription-based engines require your basic data in order to provide you with services.

Incognito Modes vs. Private Search Engines

Many users think that using incognito or private mode provided by the browser can keep your data safe.

However, the only thing it does is not let your search history be recorded in the browser.

The searches you conduct on incognito mode won’t stick on your browser history.

This is useful when you are using a shared computer or device and you don’t want other users to find out about your searches. However, this mode does not provide you with privacy.

Incognito mode does not prevent sites and search engines from stealing and tracking your data.

A private search engine provides privacy by either being completely anonymous or by making the users by subscriptions.

These engines have their own ways of making money without exposing your data. 

Do You Need a VPN?

In reality, a VPN is your greatest line of security against organizations, cybercriminals, con artists, and governmental organizations who could trace the geolocation of your gadget or use your online activity.

A VPN stops outside parties from monitoring your information by hiding your real address and substituting it with an address from its own network of servers.

Even though your personal data is not stored, sold, or used in any other way by private search engines, but that doesn’t stop the websites you browse from engaging in it.

Your internet service provider (ISP) monitors your online behavior and sells the information it collects in many nations.

That implies that you are being monitored well before you type a search phrase.

Which VPN Should I Go For?

Based on our research, we recommend NordVPN.

This top VPN service guarantees you total online privacy by encrypting your data at a tactical level and using sophisticated security features.

Your identity, geolocation, and internet information are crucial to safeguard, so NordVPN provides features like IP masking, DNS/IPv6 leak prevention, ad filters, and kill switches.

Additionally, it offers military-grade encryption, limitless bandwidth, and performance and can bypass all major subscription services.

Are Private Search Engines Actually Private?

The answer to this question depends on the business model.

A non-private search engine is going to gain profit from sharing your information with third parties.

With a private search engine, they aren’t going to track your data, and they are going to offer more objective results as a result of this.

Is Private Mode Going to Help?

No, unfortunately using private or incognito mode isn’t going to make a huge difference.

This is because websites and search engines can still see what you are doing. It just means that your browser isn’t going to store your current browsing history.

How Can I Search Privately on Google?

If you want to be able to search on Google but make it private, you can disallow Google to store your search history, and you can also sign out of your Google account while you are browsing.

As an added layer of protection, you can use incognito mode, or you can just choose to use a private browser instead.

How Do I Choose the Best Private Search Engine?

All of the private search engines that we have talked about above are excellent if you want to be able to maintain your privacy while looking up information online.

It’s up to you at the end of the day which one suits your needs the best, and which one looks like it’s going to be able to help you search what you are looking for.

Bottom Line

Even though you are using a private search engine, your security depends upon you.

You must carefully choose the search engine that best suits you and your needs to have a great experience on the internet.

We have provided you with a list of private search engines that are the best choices. 

No matter what reason you have to conceal your search history, private search engines can help you achieve complete privacy.

Conventional search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. may sell and share your personal data.

This may result in targeted ads that can be annoying sometimes.

These search engines also track your search history and then provide you with personalized search results.

This may seem quite beneficial at first, but it comes at the cost of your personal data.

To acquire a completely private surfing experience, we recommend you use a VPN, along with one of these free private search engines.

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Written by Trevor Cooke

The only safe internet is a private internet. You’ll see me at parties talking about cybersecurity, privacy, and VPNs. Yes, I’m that guy.
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