You may have heard of Search Encrypt before, or this may be your first time hearing about our private search engine. This post will help you understand what our product does, and how it keeps your searches private on the internet.
Table of Contents:
- Search Encrypt Features
- Is Search Encrypt Safe?
- Is Search Encrypt A Virus?
- Is Search Encrypt Malware?
- Search Encrypt Browser Extensions
- Search Encrypt Removal
- Search Encrypt Reviews
- Privacy Concerns with Major Search Engines
- Private Search Engines
- Why Should You Use Search Encrypt?
Search Encrypt Features
- Expiring Browsing History: After you’re done searching, the encryption key for your searches expires, so that even if you try to return to the search in your browsing history you cannot access it. This feature keeps your search terms confidential even if someone checks your browser history. You won’t have to clear your browsing history to keep your searches private.
- End-To-End Encryption: Search Encrypt begins encrypting your searches as soon as you press enter. Your search terms are encrypted locally on your machine to prevent anyone else who could access your computer or network from snooping or spying on your search history. We then send your search terms to our servers in encrypted form. This prevents any man-in-the-middle attacks. Your search terms remain encrypted after you’re done searching so that your search history can’t be viewed.
- Privacy-Friendly Maps Search: One of Search Encrypt’s newest features is its maps search. Unlike big search engines which require gathering your location data to offer a useful map product, we’ve made it easier to access maps on the internet, without sacrificing on privacy. We’ve chosen Open Street Maps as our maps provider because it doesn’t collect user data, like other map search tools on the internet. Since we don’t know your specific location, you should include that in your search term to help narrow your location results. Our maps search is a great tool for finding shops, restaurants, and other destinations in your area.
- Privacy-Friendly Video Search: Another cool feature we’ve added to Search Encrypt within the past few months is a video search. We make it easy to watch videos from around the internet, including some of the most popular video providers, in an enhanced privacy mode. Another perk to watching videos on Search Encrypt is that you can skip the annoying pre-roll ads that many video hosting sites require you to watch. We search a number of sources of the best video content on the internet and return your results with our high level of privacy.
Is Search Encrypt Safe?
Search Encrypt is a product which is made with privacy-by-design. Your safety and privacy are our number one concern. Other search engines collect information about your searches and browsing behavior to serve you ads. The ads you see in your search results on Search Encrypt are based on your search term and nothing else.
Is Search Encrypt A Virus?
No. Search Encrypt can be installed on your browser as an extension. It is not a virus. We do not take any information, like passwords, data, or email contacts, from your computer. If you are unhappy with Search Encrypt, you can just remove it from your browser. You can also contact us and let us know if you have any feedback, as we’d be happy to hear from you. Using Search Encrypt can potentially help prevent viruses and other breaches into your computer.
Is Search Encrypt Malware?
Search Encrypt is not malware, it is a search engine. We do not install any unwanted or unnecessary programs on your computer by using our products. We protect you by encrypting your search terms and keeping them private and hidden from anyone who gains access to your computer. Our hope is to address any concerns that Search Encrypt is a virus or malware with complete clarity and transparency. Search Encrypt does not inject or install any programs on your computer without your permission. In fact, the only tool that we have that can be “installed” is our browser extension which is only installed within your internet browser.
Search Encrypt Browser Extensions
Search Encrypt for Google Chrome
Search Encrypt is available as a browser extension for Chrome. You can use Search Encrypt by just going to www.searchencrypt.com, but our extension adds an extra layer of search protection. It sets your default search engine to Search Encrypt and allows you to redirect searches on other search engines to our private search engine.
Using Search Encrypt is simple and easy, and makes privacy more convenient and user-friendly. Google Chrome by default is set to use Google as your default search provider, but our extension makes switching to Search Encrypt easy.
Search Encrypt for Mozilla Firefox
We also offer an add-on for Mozilla Firefox. Our Firefox add-on works in the same way as our Chrome extension. It switches your default search engine to Search Encrypt and enables redirection to our private search engine when you search on other sites that may put your privacy at risk.
Search Encrypt Removal
If you decide that you don’t want to use Search Encrypt any more, removal is a quick process. Like any other browser extension, just go into your browser settings and remove the extension or add-on. This article explains how to remove Search Encrypt from your computer and your browser. There are some websites out there that claim that you need to install other software to remove Search Encrypt. However, if you have our browser extension installed, removing it is a simple process taking just a few clicks within your browser’s “extensions” menu.
How To Uninstall Search Encrypt
How To Remove Search Encrypt from Google Chrome
- Click the Chrome menu icon in the top right of the browser
- Click “More tools”
- Click “Extensions”
- Click on the trash can icon for Search Encrypt
- Click “Remove” on the dialog box that pops up
How To Remove Search Encrypt from Mozilla Firefox
- Click on the “Open menu” button in the top right of the browser
- Click “Add-ons”
- Click “Extensions”
- Click “Remove” on the “Search Encrypt” item
Search Encrypt Reviews
“Great Extension to keep your search data private.” Source: Mozilla Add-On
“What a great extension. On all my devices now.” Source: Facebook
“Just added this to Chrome. I can tell I’m going to use this for a long time.” Source: Chrome Extension
Privacy Concerns with Major Search Engines
How is Search Encrypt Different from Google?
Google and Search Encrypt are both search engines. Their core functionalities are essentially the same. To search, just type in your search term and hit enter. They both return results in similar ways, and you can just click on the link to the information you’re looking for.
Where they differ is how they determine which results to return. Google uses information that it has collected in the past to figure out which results you are most likely to click on and changes your search results based on what its algorithm decides. Search Encrypt, on the other hand, does not track search history in any user-identifiable way. So all of your search results on Search Encrypt are based on your search term and nothing else. Another difference between the two search engines is the ability to log in. Google offers (and encourage using) other services like Gmail and Google Drive, and uses those to collect more information about you. This means their data profiles about you and other users will be very complete. This let’s Google offer “customized” search results for each user. While this may sound appealing or beneficial, it actually creates an issue called “filter bubbles“.
Filter bubbles are a result of these algorithmic search results. They are a type of intellectual isolation from only seeing information you may agree with or are likely to click on. Search Encrypt offers more neutral and unbiased search results because we don’t use information about your past searches to determine your future search results.
Search Encrypt also prioritizes privacy, because its business model is completely different from Google’s. Our search engine is focused on privacy, and since we are a search engine only, we don’t need your data. Google operates a full suite of products, many having over a billion users. It’s valuable for them to collect your search behavior so they can apply it to their ad network for targeting purposes.
Private Search Engines
List of Private Search Engines
- Search Encrypt: Search Encrypt uses end-to-end encryption to secure your searches. It combines AES-256 encryption with HTTPS/SSL encryption. Search Encrypt securely retrieves your search results from its network of search partners. Then after you’ve finished searching, your encryption key expires, meaning your searches cannot be accessed, even if someone has access to your computer.
- StartPage: StartPage offers Google results with added privacy protection. It began as Ixquick, but changed its name in 2008 to StartPage, because it was easier to spell and remember. It offers a proxy service, privacy-friendly customization and HTTPS support.
- DuckDuckGo: DuckDuckGo is the most well-known alternative search engine. However, as we’ve pointed out in this post, there are some privacy issues with DuckDuckGo. It’s CEO Gabriel Weinberg is outspoken about the importance of privacy on the internet.
- Gibiru: Gibiru gets its results from a modified Google algorithm. Gibiru’s CEO, Steve Marshall, announced in a press release that his service is exactly what Google was early on. It provides reliable search results without excessive tracking.
- Swisscows: Swisscows is made by Hulbee AG, a Swiss tech company. IT is a semantic search engine, which means it uses artificial intelligence to figure out the context of users’ searches. This is a cool feature from a privacy-friendly search engine.
- Qwant: Qwant is a French search engine that “never tries to guess who you are or what you are doing.” Qwant doesn’t track your searches and doesn’t use any of your data for advertising purposes.
- Oscobo: Oscobo is another privacy-focused search engine. Similar to the other search engines on this list, Oscobo believes that you shouldn’t have to give up your personal data as a way of paying for services on the internet. Oscobo uses full encryption, like Search Encrypt. It also chooses not to use third-party scripts or analytics on its search engine, so only you will know what you searched for.
- Searx: Searx is a more advanced option for people looking to search the web privately. This search engine is open source and is fully hackable to let users to run their own instances. There are quite a few public instances available if you don’t want to set up your own.
Private Search Engines on iPhone
If you’re using an iOS device, you can change your default search engine in Safari to Google, Yahoo, Bing or DuckDuckGo. However, you can easily use Search Encrypt, or any other search engine, by bookmarking SearchEncrypt.com or setting it as your homepage in Safari. If you want to use Search Encrypt you can also just go to SearchEncrypt.com in your browser on your iPhone or iPad.
Private Search Engines on Android
Search Encrypt doesn’t currently offer an app for Android, but we’re always looking to expand our product line by adding more mobile privacy solutions. If you use Google Chrome on your Android devices, you can change the default search engine to any search engine, including Search Encrypt.
To change your Chrome search engine on Android, open your browser, select ‘Settings’ and then go to the Search Engine option. You can choose from the list of search engines or you can choose ‘Manage Search Engines’ if you want to add Search Encrypt to the list.
Private Search Engines With Hidden Search History
One advantage that Search Encrypt offers over many of the other search engines on the market is that your search terms don’t show up in your history. While DuckDuckGo is probably the most popular private search engine, it doesn’t hide your search terms in your browsing history.
The image below shows what happens when you search for “your search term” on these search engines. This is a screenshot of our browsing history in Google Chrome. You’ll notice that DuckDuckGo and Google both display your search term in your browsing history. Search Encrypt though does not include your search term in your browser history.
Search Encrypt uses an expiring encryption key. This means that after you’re done searching, your searches can’t be accessed, even if someone else on your computer wanted to see them, or a hacker gained access to your network.
Why Should You Use Search Encrypt?
- Search Encrypt helps avoid filter bubbles. We do not follow you around to the sites you visit to serve ads. As a result, we don’t personalize or tailor your search results based on your past browsing. This helps avoid the dreaded filter bubble effect.
- Search Encrypt offers perfect forward secrecy. When you’re done searching, your searches are in encrypted form forever. You won’t have to worry about your searches leaking in the event of a hack or data breach.
- We use advanced end-to-end encryption. We encrypt everything, from beginning to end. This means no one can spy on your searches. It is this encryption that sets Search Encrypt apart from the big search engines on the internet. Read More: What is Encryption & How Does It Work?
- Privacy By Design. When Search Encrypt was originally developed, it was already a privacy-focused product. This means that each feature and function of Search Encrypt was intended to be private. We never had to try to add privacy as an afterthought.
- Neutral and Unbiased Search Results. Private search engines deliver unbiased information. They don’t determine what you’re most likely to click on based on your past browsing behavior. Since we don’t track your browsing history, all we use to determine the search results and the ads you see is your search term you typed into our search bar.