DuckDuckGo Extension Pros & Cons
In the world of search engines, Google remains prevalent on the internet with more than 90% of queries online, one of the competitors gaining foot lately is DuckDuckGo. While still not on the same level as Google, relative to the number of employees they have, DuckDuckGo packs a punch beyond its weight class.
DuckDuckGos' marketing policies are based on privacy, which is a point Google was criticized for time after time. Over the past 12 years since its debut, DuckDuckGo went through huge growth, reaching a record of 102,000,000+ queries per day, with its users increasing by the day.
DuckDuckGo Extension was first introduced in Apple's Safari browser in 2014. It came after the iPhone leaks relating to the actress Jennifer Lawrence. It was meant to be an extra security feature implemented by Apple. Soon after, Firefox followed suit and instilled the web browser extension.
Finally, Google did the same and added the DuckDuckGo privacy search extension five years later, in 2019, to its web-browser Google Chrome. As such comes the question is the DuckDuckGo extension any good? Let's find out.
DuckDuckGo Extension Availability
DuckDuckGo extension is available on all major browsers, including Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Google Chrome.
To add DuckDuckGos' extension, you can simply access the corresponding extension store.
DuckDuckGo Pros and Cons
-Increased encryption protection
- Bangs system
- Lack of customized search results
DuckDuckGo extension pros
DuckDuckGo sells itself through its privacy features. The privacy beyond protection update by DuckDuckGo in 2018 provided users with extra tools.
1. The built-in anti-tracking
Did you know that many big websites can be found lurking in websites across the web using trackers? Why do you ask?
It's because these big websites like Google (76% of webpages) and Facebook (24% of web pages) want to know where you surf on the web, so they can track you and collect your data to adjust advertisement. Trackers help them pinpoint the pages you visited regardless of the source of access.
Anti-tracking works by stopping the lurking tracking used by larger corporations on other websites. Whether you access a webpage from Google or some other source, Google would still know and add this to its database. The anti-tracking blocks all possible hidden trackers and exposes the ad-networks tracking you over time.
2. The increased encryption protection
Websites on the internet can be found in two main formulations HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) and HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure). The HTTP is less secure but is faster to load, while HTTPS loads a little slower but is more secure, as it encrypts your data either with a TLS (Transport Layer Security) or an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) protocol.
Many sites tend to send their users to the non-encrypted version of their websites because the pages would load faster. DuckDuckGo ensures to send you to the encrypted one instead of prioritizing your safety over website loading speed.
This works by summarizing every website's terms of service in a table, and color-coding them in terms of privacy issues from green, to gray, to yellow, to red, indicating which terms of service are most invasive of your privacy. You can also view the original text from which each point was summarized.
A total grade rating is also provided on terms & privacy policies ranging from A to E. While not all websites are already studied and ranked, both companies are working together to cover as many websites out there as possible.
4. DuckDuckGo bangs!
Let's face it, the way most businesses work nowadays is by making life easier for customers, need to eat? Get someone to cook and bring the food for you. Need some coffee? Let that barista make it while you chill.
DuckDuckGo came up with the idea to reduce the number of clicks you have to make! Instead of entering a website like Amazon and searching through it, you can now save effort calories by only using the exclamation mark ( ! ) plus the website of choice abbreviation to search its database!
That being said, using bangs with DuckDuckGo doesn't mean you won't be subjected to the searched website's privacy policies, so keep that in mind. Currently, DuckDuckGo has more than 13 thousand bangs. More bangs are added by the day. You can suggest a bang by submitting your proposal of a particular bang on their website.
DuckDuckGo extension cons
While DuckDuckGo does collect data from users, they claim it cannot identify the users in any way. It is used instead to optimize search results and create ads based on collected data for revenue. That being said, the lack of tracking they implement means they cannot track your personal data to personalize your search results further.
When you Google search a particular topic, for example, basketball sports clothing. While DuckDuckGo will give you a general result of all possibilities, a search engine like Google would check what your previous search history of the topic is and what matches you've seen. Hence, it is more likely to show you your favorite team's basketball clothing results instead, making it more personalized for your taste.
Complementary Suggestion "VPN."
If you are a person who is reading about the DuckDuckGo extension, it's probably because you're concerned about your privacy and safety, therefore you will love this. The epitome of internet privacy lies with premium VPN services.
To elaborate further, a VPN masks your IP address and encrypts your data so that no one can get hold of it, neither governmental via ISP (Internet Service Provider) logs nor hackers trying to intercept your outgoing data. In addition to privacy, you can gain access to geo-restricted content such as streaming servers abroad.