Startpage.com – Search The Web Anonymously

imageI’m an Internet privacy advocate, and I have a great interest in any tool that will either stop Google, and other data accumulators, from collecting personal information on me, or in any tool which restricts their ability to do so.

If you’re into protecting your privacy, then take a look at the following search engine – Startpage.com – a search engine provider that promises to safeguard your privacy (not recording your IP address, not salting tracking cookies, not recording your search terms, the links you choose, etc.), while you search the Internet.

Keep in mind, that when you use a free service such as this, you are trusting the developer to adhere to the wording of the Privacy Policy.

The search engine’s home page is not very much different from any typical search engine.

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Since we all know that nothing is every really for nothing – it’s appropriate to wonder how this service provider manages to generate revenue. And, according to the developer – inserting relevant sponsored results on the top and the bottom of the results page, makes it possible – “Each time these sponsored results are clicked upon Startpage receives a minimal fee from the advertiser.”

The sample search page screen shot below, shows two relevant “sponsored results” as described by the developer.

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Whereas, the same search string in Google is ad free (see below). Not counting of course, the “normal” Google ads which normally fill the far right hand pane.

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From the site: Startpage offers you Web search results from Google in complete privacy!

When you search with Startpage, we remove all identifying information from your query and submit it anonymously to Google ourselves. We get the results and return them to you in total privacy.

Your IP address is never recorded, your visit is not logged, and no tracking cookies are placed on your browser. When it comes to protecting your privacy, Startpage runs the tightest ship on the Internet. Our outstanding privacy policy and thoughtful engineering give you great search results in total anonymity. Here are some of our key features:

  • Free proxy surfing available.
  • Praised by privacy experts worldwide.
  • Twelve-year company track record.
  • Third-party certified.

If you’re a Firefox users you can easily add Startpage.com  to your Search Engine List.

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The developer has provided an applet (see below), to make this a quick and easy process. Go here.

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If Internet privacy is something you have concerns about then, I recommend that you checkout Startpage.com in depth.  There are a surprising number of additional benefits, including a Proxy Service (designed for additional privacy), not discussed in this article.

Note: We may yet see a game changer – the European Union, which seems much more concerned with Internet user privacy than elsewhere, is in the process of drawing up legislation which may allow citizens of EU member states to delete data stored by websites and services.

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18 Comments

Filed under Firefox Add-ons, Freeware, Google, Opinion, Privacy, Windows Tips and Tools

18 responses to “Startpage.com – Search The Web Anonymously

  1. Thanks, Bill. I installed the firefox add-on.

  2. Mal

    Hey Bill,
    Anything that helps in the good fight has my vote. It’s the same with everything, isn’t it, if there is a buck to be made, the scum crawl out from under their stones like a plague. If it’s not the internet they infest, it would be something else.
    Cheers

  3. Michael Cole

    Hey Bill:

    Been using this for a year now. I highly recommend this over Goggle. I never use Google, Big Brother approach, and the now Chairmen of the Board’s take on privacy has always been disgusting as well as laughable at the the same time. I have never encountered anything that suggests that Startpage does not follow their privacy policy. The Google approach has always been to troll for personal data. Info is king and very valuable. They are masters at this, use Google if it doesn’t bother you that they have unbelievable computer power devoted to knowing about the mole on the back of your neck.

    Regards
    Michael
    .

    • Hey Michael,

      This one somehow escaped my attention all this time. It seems like just the right tool to thwart Google, and I’m all for that.

      I have to agree, there is no reports, or any indication, that the company does not abide by its privacy policy.

      BTW, how did you know about he mole on the back of my neck. :)

      Always good to get your comments on important issues.

      Best,

      Bill

  4. Hi Bill ~ I will give it a go. It seems to work fine although I notice that the thumbnails in the video search page results are all playing ! I will look see if that’s something I can prevent

    It’s worth going into “Settings” & adjusting to suit ~ I’ve turned off the two Family Filters, increased results to 20, set it to default to Advanced Search & enabled Secure Socket Layer. Important to white list their cookie or make & bookmark a URL that includes the prefs ~ otherwise prefs are lost when the browser cookies are cleared. It’s all explained Here

  5. Jose.

    Hi Bill.

    Up to now I’ve always used Google because, after comparing it with other engines, I found it to be the best one.
    Start Page gives me the best of both worlds: Google and privacy.
    It is now my home page.

    Thanks,
    Jose.

  6. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    I’m back in circulation after 10 days in Italy. It was good to have some proper sunshine after the apology for a summer we’ve had so far in the UK.

    I used Scroogle for a while when it first came out as an antidote to Google. I’ll certainly give this one a go.

    Kind regards
    John

  7. Why does this PC cleaner call StartPage spyware? Or does StartPage really attract spyware and make your computer run slower???