Disgusted with search engines logging and retaining information concerning every search that you do on the internet? Get your privacy and peace of mind back with Startpage!
Startpage (formerly known as Ixquick) has a nice simple layout for the search homepage with relevant links more information, adding Startpage to your browser, and settings. It is recommended to have a quick look at the Settings Page to see if you want to make any refinements to the search parameters or how your results will be displayed.
Here is what the settings page looks like. You can quickly change how your results will display, the filtering level that you desire, video filtering if desired, enable secure https connections (very nice!), and anonymous picture searching if desired.
Note: Startpage will place a cookie on your computer, but only to maintain your desired settings.
Just How Private is Startpage?
Startpage does not record your IP address or retain any records on the searches that you do (now that is terrific!).
Startpage has received awards/recognition by the European Data Protection Supervisor and the Certified Secure Service for their work in protecting your privacy.
Startpage references a well-known incident (the AOL Privacy Scandal – August 2006) to demonstrate just how easily information retained by search engines can be turned against people.
There is an active link so that you can have a look at the leaked database for yourself. It leaves you with a less than wholesome feeling just thinking about it and what can be done with that kind of data…
More About Startpage Search
Startpage uses multiple search services to bring you results…anonymously. You can also see an accuracy indicator for particular results with “Star Ratings”. The higher the number of stars that are shown for a particular result, the more likely that it is a good match for what you are looking for.
One you have the results for a search displayed, you may further refine the results using the “Check Mark/X Mark” system that will be displayed beside some of the results.
Note: You will need to activate this feature on the settings page in order to use it.
Here is a look at the services that Startpage uses to help you search with. You can easily deselect any of the search services that you do not wish to have used.
What Do Search Results Look Like?
This is an example of a search for the term “Firefox Fangirl” using Startpage. Notice the “Star Ratings” and the “Check Mark/X Mark” power refinements displayed besides these results. Star Ratings will vary depending on the particular information that you are searching for.
For our example the search was conducted using a less well known reference term to see how well Startpage did with it. Not bad at all!
If you have grown sick of being tracked and having your searches recorded for someone else’s database use, then Startpage can provide a refreshing change of pace and give you your peace of mind back.
- Published 08/24/09