Tuesday October 17, 2017
Alternatives to Google Search and Chrome Browser
Google is without question the most popular search engine. It’s become a verb in our vocabulary and is usually the default search engine in all major browsers. Because of that, many think it’s the only search engine to use.
If you’ve been thinking about alternatives to Google or you’re getting more and more cautious of the amount of data Google knows about you, there is a great alternative to Google’s search engine and browser. Yes, it is possible to break free from Google’s hold on you!
Before I provide some alternatives, it’s important to note that I’m not in my office wearing an aluminum foil hat. And no, I don’t think Google is evil. However, it’s always good to take a look at what else is out there. For me, speed and simplicity are keys to getting work done and I’ve found the following search engine and browser an excellent combination to achieve both. It’s at least something to consider or maybe add to your existing Google ecosystem!
So, with that being said, let’s explore some alternatives:
Switch to DuckDuckGo for search.
One of the best alternative’s to Google is a search engine called DuckDuckGo. They’ve been around for a while and offer excellent search results that are not based on your search history. (Perform a Google search using your account and you’ll often get a completely different result from a friend using their account.) DuckDuckGo’s position is to simply return results based on your keywords. What a concept! I primarily use DuckDuckGo as my search engine because of the fast and clean design and interface. It is slick, fast, and has a ton of unique features including the popular ‘bang’ functionality.
Switch to Firefox or Brave as your web browser.
Mozilla’s Firefox was not too long ago one of the top web browsers. Developed by the Mozilla Corporation, Firefox touts a strong commitment to community and privacy. Chrome has far surpassed Firefox’s user base over the years, but the latest versions are showing promising features and technologies that compete with Chrome. Don’t get me wrong, Chrome is a slick browser and Google has made strides to deliver a browser with speed, security, and efficiency. However, over the years Chrome feels more bloated and there is that connection to Google which raises privacy issues with some people.
Mozilla has recently announced the development of a brand new version of Firefox called Quantum. I’ve been running the beta for a while and have been blown away by the speed, technology and new interface. Firefox also has excellent developer tools for those testing or developing web sites – something close to my heart.
If you prefer the Chrome browser, Brave Browser is an excellent choice. Brave is a browser that uses the Chromium browser code, but they have stripped out all of the Google code. They also have added additional privacy and security functions. Brave has become one of my favorite browsers to use and is really growing in popularity. (Updated June 2021 – They are also working on their own search engine!)
It’s refreshing to see a powerful new Firefox and the Brave Browser that adds some good competition to Google Chrome. You can download the beta or wait until November to download the final release.
So, maybe you’re ready to ditch some of Google’s ecosystem and try something else. Or maybe you want to expand your internet arsenal of tools. DuckDuckGo and Firefox make an excellent combination that provides search without tracking and a browser made by a company that values community.
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