The latest Google Chrome web browser update has a pleasant surprise in store for users who value their privacy. The chromium engine under the hood of the browser has been tweaked to add DuckDuckGo to the default search engine list. Chrome 73.0.3683.75 was released earlier this week, with a total of 60 security fixes listed in the official Chrome team notes. What those release notes didn’t mention, however, was the privacy fix that Google had made available. Needless to say, as the update started to roll out and those of us who inhabit the security and privacy world got a chance to poke around in it, the DuckDuckGo inclusion was revealed. Not everyone will get the chance to switch to DuckDuckGo as it has only been added as a preferred search option in 60 countries. These do include the U.K. and U.S. though.
What is DuckDuckGo and why should I switch to it?
What are the downsides of using DuckDuckGo?
The positives and negative can both be summed up in just three words: it isn’t Google. While the privacy implications are pretty clear, what about the quality of the searching? This is where you need to balance the whole risk and reward thing. You don’t get a personalized search with DuckDuckGo, it can’t do that as it doesn’t store your search history or allow you to create an account. For most users, most of the time, I would argue this really doesn’t matter. Day to day searching compares relatively well with Google search results. Maybe not as many hits per search, but who scrolls past the first handful of pages anyway? The top page results are generally much the same as those Google returns, you still get news items top of page and an explanatory box to the right and you still get quality results.
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