Protect Your Privacy – Use Startpage.com To Search The Web Anonymously

imageIf personal privacy makes the short list of your Internet concerns, 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.

Note: SSL encryption is the default standard.

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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: Startpage has earned the coveted EuroPriSe “trust mark” for outstanding privacy and data handling practices. It is also certified by Certified Secure and registered with the Dutch Data Protection Authority.

This article is an updated and revised version which was originally posted – September 20, 2011

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12 Comments

Filed under downloads, Firefox Add-ons, Freeware, Google, Privacy, Search Engines

12 responses to “Protect Your Privacy – Use Startpage.com To Search The Web Anonymously

  1. Mal

    Hi again Bill,
    Startpage is now my home page and has been for a long while, since you first mentioned it last year. Anything that helps keep the snoops out has my vote.
    Cheers

  2. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    I use “Scroogle”, which looks similar. It installs a small search window in Firefox. Felt good to have one I actually wanted, rather than one foisted on me by “free” software suppliers.

    Kind regards
    John

  3. Hans

    The problem is, however, that startpage.com was installed on my PC from ‘sometime – somewhere’. Now, I cannot get it deinstalled and cannot modify my startpage back to google. That makes it all highly suspicious. Sorry, but therefore my proposal…. STAY AWAY from startpage.com!

    • Hi Hans,

      No, startpage.com is not the problem. So, your proposal to “STAY AWAY from startpage.com!” is NOT valid.

      You have, in fact, identified the issue in your comment -”that startpage.com was installed on my PC from ‘sometime – somewhere’.”

      At some point, your system has been infected by malware that can change your security settings, modify your internet browsing, and trick you into visiting malicious websites.

      From Malware Removal Instructions

      Adware.StartPage pretends to be a valid program but actually it is an adware that modifies the Internet Explorer home page without the user’s permission. This adware changes certain Windows registry values so that it starts automatically when the user logins to Windows. It may modify Windows Hosts file and add a list of URLs to the Favorites folder, some of which may contain adult content as well. Basically, Adware.StartPage is designed to deliver various advertisements to the users’ systems. I’m sure you know how to change the home page in Internet Explorer. Unfortunately, Adware.StartPage changes Internet Explorer’s behavior, so you won’t be able to change your home page through Internet Explorer settings as you would normally do. To remove Adware.StartPage from your computer, please follow the removal instructions below.

      Bill

      • Hi Hans,

        I’d recommend that you not assume your system is malware free. It may well be malware free – still, running a scan with a boot disk such as Kaspersky Rescue Disk (free), is an essential precaution. You can find a full walk-through on how to do this, in an earlier article – here.

        Bill

  4. Hans

    Dear Bill,
    Thanks for the fast reply! OK, in that case it must be coincidence that in my case the malware adware.startpage in my case has choosen the http://www.startpage.com as my homepage. I’ll try to follow the instructions you mentioned. So far, both Avira Antivir (not in your list) and Spybot Search and Destroy didn’t find/solve the problem. I’ll let you know what the end of the story is.

  5. Hey Delenn13,

    lol! Only 24, huh?

    Terrific vid – highly recommend it to all.

    Saw your comment over at TFE – Duck Duck Go. Have noted it here 10+ times over the years. Highly recommend it.

    Also saw your comment on the “Sweden” house – got a chuckle out of that. :)

    Best,

    Bill

  6. Pingback: Google’s New Policy – What’s The Problem? – Why The Outrage? | Bill Mullins' Weblog – Tech Thoughts

  7. Russ

    can you make an iphone app for this so i don’t have to use Google or Bing on my iphone. Please and thanks!