Startpage vs DuckDuckGo: Private Search Engine Comparison

What Exactly Is A Private Search Engine?

A private search engine is similar to Google or Bing, but it doesn’t use cookies and ads to track your location to learn about your interests and purchases whenever you make a search request. Instead, they work with major browsers, converting them into a privacy browser. It won’t log your personal info, the search terms you enter, or keep a record of your search histories.

If privacy is important to you, then you should consider switching to Startpage or DuckDuckGo. But which is better between the two, Startpage vs DuckDuckGo?

Startpage vs Duckduckgo – What Are The Similarities And Differences Between These Two Popular Alternatives To Google Search?

Offers Free Proxy

Can Use Offline

Private Search Engine



Our Rating

Respects Privacy




The Netherlands

United States

Masks User Location



Need Internet Connection


You can download the app and use DuckDuckGo even without internet.

Cookie Free

Quality Search Results

Mobile App

Keep Search History



Supported Countries

The Netherlands, Germany, France, Ireland, United Kingdom, United States

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia , Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Cyprus, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom

Age Limit

Not safe for children under 13

Not safe for children under 10


Startpage and DuckDuckGo are robust private search engines that provide free services for an individual user. Startpage utilizes Google, where DuckDuckGo relies on Microsoft’s Bing and some indexing partners to offer search results for their customers. While comparable to Google’s results, Bing searches may produce different results for some specific searches.

Startpage offers a way for you to get around Google’s censorship policies. It allows you to access information about topics that Google would otherwise censor. For example, if you want to find out more about the holocaust or 9/11 conspiracy theories, you can use this service instead of searching on Google directly. The main difference with DuckDuckGo, however, is that it doesn’t censor any results at all. You will still see links to websites like Wikipedia etc., but they will still appear in your searches because they don’t fit into their ‘acceptable’ guidelines.

Here Is A Quick Startpage Overview

Startpage is a strong competitor of DuckDuckGo because it does not collect anything about you — your name, your IP address, location, or search queries. Instead, it is a private browser that utilizes a proxy server to provide you with a Google-like searching experience, with far more user privacy and protection than Google or Bing. You can set Startpage as your default search engine on Chrome and Firefox. Or, you can install it as a browser extension add-on.

Startpage Pros

Startpage is privacy-focused. It does not record your user IP address or track your browsing history on popular search engines. In addition, every search query you make is encrypted using HTTPS.

They offer a free proxy with every search. This feature is optional and allows you to visit sites anonymously. Third-party sites and their advertisers cannot track you. Even better, they cannot download malware onto your computer!

No-logging privacy. None of your information is logged by the search engine operators. As a result, your internet activity cannot be tracked.

It is based in the Netherlands. Therefore, your privacy is protected by law and is not subject to the same mandates and regulations as other countries.

Startpage is not backed by 3rd party investors or venture capital firms. Instead, this company generates its income solely from Google Ads.

They are certified by EuroPriSe. They passed a strict audit for their use of cookies, web hosting, content delivery networks, social media plugins, and much more. They renew this certification every two years.

Blocks referrers. Websites you visit will not be able to determine your location.

You’ll receive search results from two search engines. Startpage combines the results from lxquick and Google.

Like DuckDuckGo, Startpage offers an Instant Answers feature that helps you save time. Search for specific keywords or any combination of search terms to see a summary of answers from Wikipedia and specialized weather-related answers.

Their setting panel is easy to use. It offers three sections: General, Appearance, and Privacy and Safety. You have several settings to customize with each section. Switch between five theme colors. Turn promotional messaging on or off. Turn the Family filter on to reduce the amount of adult content your child sees. Save your settings with a browser cookie.

Startpage is free to use. You won’t have to register for an account before you use it. Just start typing! If you like what it does, you can set it as your default search engine on Firefox.

Startpage Cons

Startpage does not manage ads. Unfortunately, that means that once you click on one, you’ll be exposed to the typical data-collection tricks from advertisers.

Startpage will collect some data. Because they are a for-profit business, they need to provide their advertisers with information about the types of people who read their content. However, rather than being upfront with users, they bury this information deep within their Privacy page.

Here Is A Quick DuckDuckGo Overview

DuckDuckGo was founded in 2008 by Gabriel Weinberg, Ben Gomes, and Michael Barret. They are known for taking their security very seriously, constantly monitoring and auditing their platform for threats and vulnerabilities. As a result, DDG is one of the most popular privacy-focused search engines in the world.

DuckDuckGo Pros

DuckDuckGo doesn’t collect any personal information about you when you use popular search engines to find information. You’ll receive clean, private search results without your IP address being tracked.

Their Safe Search filter bubble checks every word against their blocklist of bad words. Unfortunately, while this can provide a safe searching environment for families, you can miss out on good keywords.

DuckDuckGo offers a fast loading speed. As you begin typing your search terms in the search bar, DDG instantly starts scanning through billions of indexed documents.

You can customize your search query results. Change the fonts, colors, add images, and more.

DDG offers a broad spectrum of instant answers. If you find yourself stuck between two pages of irrelevant results, jump straight to the answer page to get the information you need.

Uses non-intrusive, non-destructive ads that won’t track you. These appear as small boxes below each search result and contain a link to relevant content. They redirect you back to the original source when you click on them.

DDG does not spy on your web browsing history. However, they do collect your user history. Unlike the major search engines, they will not sell or share this information with third parties.

DuckDuckGo is free from censorship. You can search for sensitive topics without getting blocked.

You can work offline. No internet connection is needed to use DuckDuckGo. Just download the app!

Like Startpage, DDG is free to use. You can enjoy unlimited searches per day without having to register for an account. You can also install a free extension to your Firefox browser to set it as your default search engine.

DuckDuckGo Cons

It doesn’t post publishing dates. As a result, the information you need might be outdated, making for a frustrating online search experience.

It doesn’t store user data. Because of that, you may have to conduct the exact search multiple times to get the result you want.

DDG is US-based and relies on Bing for search results and advertisements. Therefore, it can’t guarantee that your search activity is private.

DDG uses !Bang syntax. This will not protect your privacy when you search from other sites.

DDG is more suitable for English speakers. However, you might need to translate specific terms manually if you are using a different language.

Startpage vs. DuckDuckGo Key Features Comparison

Based in the NetherlandsBased in the US
Anonymous ViewFast load speed
Simple, user-friendly, customizable interfaceSimple, user-friendly, customizable interface
Uses a proxy to create a Google-like experience!bang syntax technique
Cookie-free searchingCookie-free
Save searches with a cookie5-seconds to load everything
Firefox browser extensionFirefox browser extension

So Which One Should I Use – Startpage or DuckDuckGo?

Startpage and DuckDuckGo offer plenty of features for safe and private internet browsing. When deciding which one to choose, consider what your needs are. There are two considerations to take into account — privacy and relevant search results.

Startpage utilizes its own algorithm to retrieve its search results from Google. Therefore, you’ll have a more Google-like searching experience — without the intrusion. Choose DuckDuckGo if privacy is more important, although you may not get the most accurate results.

How Do Startpage and DuckDuckGo Results Compare To Google?

Both Startpage and DuckDuckGo provide similar search results compared to Google. The main difference lies in how these services rank websites based on relevance. Both companies utilize algorithms to determine website rankings. For example, both Startpage and DuckDuckGo return Wikipedia first before any other site. In addition, both companies display links to popular news sources like CNN and BBC News at the top of the list.

However, there are some differences. For example, while Startpage displays only the number next to the URL, DuckDuckGo shows the ranking score along with the number. Also, while Startpage provides no option to filter out specific domains, DuckDuckGo allows users to exclude specific URLs by clicking “Hide” under the domain name. 

Final Thoughts

Startpage and DuckDuckGo are great search alternatives to mainstream search engines because they can help keep you and your information safe. Both work with major browsers and mobile browsers.

Frequently Asked Questions Private Search Engines

How do you change the default search engine on your browser?

You can easily switch between Startpage and DuckDuckGo’s search engine through your web browser settings. Then, simply type either “startpage” or “duckduckgo” to see the available options.

How does Startpage differ from DuckDuckGo? What makes them so unique?

Startpage differs from DuckDuckGo in several ways:
1. Startpage has an independent team that creates its own proprietary search engine.
2. Startpage offers free accounts as well as paid plans.
3. Startpage also includes additional tools such as RSS feeds and email alerts.
4. Startpage is open-source software.

Can you use DuckDuckGo on an iPhone?

Yes, DuckDuckGo is compatible with iOS and Android devices.

How is DuckDuckGo different from a VPN?

A virtual private network creates a secure connection that encrypts all data sent over it. This means that even when someone else is viewing your activity online, they will be unable to read anything you send or receive. A VPN service works similarly; however, instead of connecting directly to another computer, it connects to a server located somewhere else. Once connected, everything you do appears to come from that location.

DuckDuckGo is a privacy-oriented search engine that doesn’t guarantee complete anonymity. Unfortunately, that means that you won’t be able to use it in any country where it’s blocked, such as China. However, pairing it with a VPN allows you to change your IP location so that you can access content that might otherwise be blocked.

Leave a Comment