Note that Kagi just update their pricing in a very positive way. You now have to pay $10 instead of $25 to get unlimited searches. I am using it for a few months now and I really like the search engine. Clean, customizable and good search results. Also, their AI features (quick answers and universal summarizer) are reallyuseful.
If you like google search results try Whoogle
I’m using Brave Search on Firefox with uBlock Origin and I’ve never seen an ad or sponsored link yet.
DuckDuckGo user since years I started giving Kagi a try since some days thinking «I will never pay for a search engine. But there is a free trial of 100 searches, let’s try it with a temporary email address (thanks SimpleLogin) and see what it does. And… and… I absolutely LOVE it ! And I’m really really starting to reconsider my thinking of never paying for a search engine.
What I love about it (for now, only used it for some days):
- UI. Love it !
- The direct unit conversions in search. (for example if you type «1USD in GBP» you got the direct result and not just a list of websites which can do unit conversions).
- The bangs : it can uses bangs, it seems you can create your own (I need to explore that more actually)
- No ads, no sponsor, no bullshit
- Maps results not using GoogleMaps (for now it uses by default Apple Maps and have a beta of something looking similar to OSM but I suspect it’s not OSM. Maybe Mapbox I guess ?)
- The results : the search results are spot on ! I was very very impressed ! You can also customize how you want your results to appear (on the center, on the lenft, etc…).
- You can block something in the results : let’s say you don’t want Twitter/X appearing in your search results you can literally block results from this domain. And vice versa : if you think a result is too far away in the list but is a better answer to your query than the first results you can «upvote» it. I didn’t really start using this feature yet because for me up to now all the results were so perfect I had nothing to change
- The fact you have to log in with your email : I finally liked that because it means when I tried it on my phone as a WPA I just had to log in again with the same account and it kept the things I’ve tweaked in the settings (different UI theme, presentation of results etc.). With DuckDuckGo there is a way to remember your settings but sometimes it forgets them and you have to restart again.
- The fact you don’t need to self-host it : I «played» with SearXng and Whoogle in the past and I didn’t like the fact I had to maintain something myself and troubleshoot the thing myself in case it would stop working. Also tried different public instances of each ones and never really got hooked on them usually because they were too slow or unstable (meaning one day everything will be fine but the next day you’ll got a 404 page). Here with Kagi you just type what you want to search, you click, it’s there. No need to wait, no need to troubleshoot a home server or a cloud server, no need to try to setup access to your server from outside your home on your phone.
What I don’t like about it :
- It’s a paid service : I’m really starting to like it a lot and I think the fact it’s a paid service will not be something I dislike very soon. Prices are 5USD for 300 searches per month or 10USD for unlimited.
- You can’t pay with crypto : unfortunately only credit card or bank transfer. I’d like to see if it would accept prepaid credit cards such as Vanilla MasterCard because that combined with a temporary SimpleLogin alias email address could make it very interesting. On the billing page the information asked are : your name as it appears on your credit card+country+postal code.
- The fact it’s not 900% open source : I’d love to use something totally open source. But DuckDuckGo is not (that’s one of the reason I’m looking elsewhere). But at the same time that’s also where something like SearXng or Whoogle, something I could host myself would be perfect. So I have to compromise.
EDIT : I just found out on their billing page if you look down and squint your eyes you can see a link about paying with alternative methods and there you’ll find PayPal etc. and… and hurrah you can pay with crypto ! It uses OpenNode for BTC and BTC Lightning. That’s great ! I like that very much I guess one more thing to push me toward paying for a search engine.