What made you change the search engine you have right now?

I swithed from ddg to brave search when my school’s website and online classroom disappeared from ddg and bing

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Yesterday I switched to Kagi. Still in beta, but it is a paid search engine. No ads, no data collection, you pay with money and not with your data. Results are amazing too.

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I’ve been using brave search since it released, has relatively solid results (best I’ve personally seen that can rival google)

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Startpage. Google results., Opensource, no tracking, no controversy.

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Previous discussion about Kagi on the Techlore Matrix/Discord

Some messages omitted for brevity. Formatting minorly edited for sake of presentation.

There are many people on HN raving about Kagi as a DDG alternative (a few are rightfully skeptical). Anyone have any insight on Kagi from a privacy perspective? The idea of a search engine requiring login doesn’t sound any better than Google (worse, actually, because Google doesn’t require logging in).

Well
You needed an account for brave search aswell

>requires login
Alternative discarded, unbased points given

In reply to “You needed an account for brave search aswell”:
… no you don’t?

needed
You don’t need one now

closed beta doesn’t really count :)

Same for kagi

In reply to “There are many people on HN…”:
Not that many from what I’ve seen, would probably just avoid it

Yeah, once Kagi reaches public beta, there’s supposedly going to be a “free version with limited use”, whatever that means, in addition to the paid “unlimited” version. I assume the free version won’t require an account, but I have no idea how you can really ‘limit’ a search engine.

In reply:
Even in the link you used, there’s only like, 6 people recommending kagi. A decent amount shows reasonable skepticism

In reply:
6 or however many is a fairly strong number of private beta invitees to all be in one place, so I am inclined to believe the results are pretty good. Honestly the Lenses feature seems quite interesting too. The part that’s basically impossible to judge is the privacy aspect.

In reply:
There’s one reddit thread where someone claimed to be the owner (haven’t fully checked, so take this with a grain of salt)
His take seems, questionable https://www.reddit.com/r/privacy/comments/oeseql/rise_of_adfree_paid_search_engines_what_do_you/
Also, if kagi “goes bad”, it’ll be far messier than ddg as it’s tied to your account

In reply:
Honestly I don’t see much of substance in that thread either way (dispelling or strengthening the skepticism)
I guess my question really is this: Is there any known information at this time to dispel some of the healthy skepticism of Kagi’s privacy? Or is use of Kagi truly just a leap of faith at this point in time?

In reply:
Honestly every search engine is a leap of faith, needing an account just means that it’s a far bigger leap of faith
A __paid__ account*

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For those of you using and especially considering Brave Search, I encourage you to read through the criticisms posted in another thread:

It is also worth reading about the major controversies associated with the Brave web browser and, by extension, Brave the company. Even though these controversies do not affect the search engine, I believe the awareness is important for maintaining an appropriate level of (dis)trust of Brave, just as with DuckDuckGo’s recent controversy.

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I’m currently using Startpage, but I hope I don’t get any problems using a VPN.

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Update to this comment

Kagi requires you to use an account even with free versions. The free version includes only 50 searches per 30 days… They also say:

It costs us about $1 to process 80 searches.

and

Our own index of the finest results augmented by the results from the best search engines on the market.

And a friend of mine:

well with a vps for 5$ a month, the one i currently have, with nothing else running on it, and having a db ready like they have, i could potentially do hundreds of thousands of searches depending how optimized the search code is, if not even more.

Which leads me to believe that their statement about cost either is not true or they are unimaginably inefficient with their resources.

Their service also runs on Google Cloud Platform, so there is trust in GCP as well. Kagi (just like any popular search engine) makes no claims about encrypting your user account on their servers and Kagi makes no claims about what is/isn’t logged by Google Cloud Platform either so theoretically and practically, google can see what you search for (because an unencrypted copy of the search request has to exist on the server in order to get processed), your payment information, email, and so on.

@anon33963123’s update on the matter:

I can’t find any definitively egregious issues in terms of privacy, but it’s anyone’s guess what GCP is or isn’t logging. The use of Discord is very questionable for a company that claims to respect your privacy. There being no sign of a PGP key for the “security contact” or the email in /.well-known/security.txt reminds me of the infamous Panera Bread incident and leads me to question whether Kagi can actually be trusted to secure your account and financial information. In terms of features, sure Kagi seems to bring some neat innovations to the table, but the price tag and supposed infrastructure costs are absolutely astronomical compared to the cost of self-hosting a metasearch engine like SearXNG (of which many instances are publicly available for free).

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I just use searxng

The instance I use is https://paulgo.io/search

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I was google search engine up til I decided to cut down on using google services, so I switched to duckduckgo and sometimes use Brave. I do prefer the results from duckduckgo but brave search is the smarter way to go to avoid reliance on microsoft (since ddg uses bing).

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I’m currently using Brave Search, because I decided to migrate from DuckDuckGo after Techlore pointed out the issue with duckduckgo’s reliance on big tech.

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DuckDuckGo for more private Bing results. Startpage for more private Google results.

I think you can’t go wrong with most options that are offered because you’re reducing the amount of data Google or Bing get on you. There’s no reason to even be uniform across browsers. I typically have defaulted to DDG, but if I pull up my Brave browser, I leave Brave Search as the result with no problems.

At the end of the day, you can always just google it if you don’t get the results you want. By using other search engines, you’re reducing the data you give to other companies overall and help improve these other services through your usage.

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I used to use DuckDuckGo after I started degoogling, but now I’m not really sure about them anymore. Startpage is what I have mainly been using now. (Brave search also looks promising)

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I’m in the process of moving to searx. I’ve lost most of my trust in DDG and like how searx blends results together.

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I use pretty much all kinds of search engines. From Google to Duckduckgo to some niche, obscure ones. Mostly because I need to do a hell lot of research, and I just can not restrict myself due to privacy reasons.

The problem with privacy-respecting search engines is that they usually do not provide as good service as Google does. There are some services like Yandex, that can rival with Google when it comes to some features (image recognition in this case) but those decent alternatives are usually not privacy friendly.

Honestly, if you care that much, I think that it would me much more convenient to simply take advantage of bookmarks and perhabs have a separate browser/browser profile/container to isolate different types of your searches.

It is very easy to do in firefox with container tabs extension.

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Isn’t brave search open source?

I am using brave search just to “punish” ddg after the censorship controversy. I feel that besides a custom searxNG instance (which I haven’t tried so I don’t know how good it would be) all sarch engines will be bad (Of course google being the worst).
I tried the “blonde braids” test Menstal Outlaw showed in one of his recen ddg videos on a few shearch engines and none gave me good results.

So yeah… still searching

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I don’t think so, but why does it even matter if it is? The end user has absolutely no way to verify what code is running on the server.

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I encourage you to read the responses to that thread.

I like Brave Search due to the amount of instant answers that it has, a bit like in Google. It is the best Google replacement and seems to keep getting better

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