Using DuckDuckGo for Search

Near the beginning of the show Leo remarked that he has tried to like DuckDuckGo but has failed. As I have used this search engine for years without any difficulty, I am very curious to know how it falls short. If the better alternative is Google then I’m more than happy to remain with DDG as I do my best to avoid giving Google any of my personal data (although I am happy to say that TWiG is my favorite show on the network).

Thank you!


I suspect he’s talking about the results for a search. He prefers the results set Google returns over what DDG returns. If you are happy with the search results of DDG, there’s no reason to change.


I don’t know what the present position is but I thought that originally DDG presented the results of a Google search but prevented Google from tracking or collecting personal data.


If DDG is now comparable to Bing (as Leo said (not sure if he is serious), then it has gotten way better. I have been using Bing for the past 5 years and find little difference between the top results of Google and Bing.

I started a drinking game since Leo has talked about “Apple silicon” so much recently. This will replace the CPU you have in your MBP and it might give you better battery life. What it won’t do is change the world. I can’t for the life of me see why Leo is so excited over this.

I am way more excited about AMD’s upcoming Zen 2 desktop CPUs.

1 Like

Ultimately, the beauty of a search engine is in the eye of the beholder. If @russell1066 is happy with DDG results, it really doesn’t matter what Leo or any other pundit says. My personal opinion of DDG shot way up after they adopted the “site” keyword a while back.

One difference is that “Apple silicon” is not solely a CPU to plug into a motherboard. Leo and Rene are discussing this in MacBreak Weekly #733 (9/29/2020) around 52:00. The Apple [silicon] H1 chip in Apple’s newer Airpods and Beats headphones is tiny and has tiny power demands. Nevertheless, this 10-core (!!!) chip does a lot: ANC, “hey Siri”, automatic switching between devices, audio sharing, spatial audio, and a Motion API to send the wearer’s head orientation/acceleration to an iPhone or other devices. This is Apple silicon; it’s a sand castle that can be molded into all sorts of functionality distinct from a monolithic CPU. Rene has some great comments in that MBW segment about the useful kinds of edge computing that Apple silicon can provide.

Another difference is that Apple silicon Macs will have the entire iOS and iPadOS arsenal of apps available immediately when those new Macs are released. We were discussing that here. This will have strategic value for iPhone/iPad users to also choose an Apple silicon Mac. This synergy is something that the fastest Zen 2 chip cannot compete with. The app-compatibility is also a great feature for individuals who may never bother with any mobile device. Odds are low that your local bank will ever make a Mac-specific app, but every bank already has an iOS app. :slightly_smiling_face: With Catalyst and SwiftUI, Apple’s case for running the same app everywhere will only get stronger.


Yes, it started as a Google anonymiser service. It later started collating results from multiple engines.


The biggest thing with the new Apple silicon is that it is breaking the Intel architecture stranglehold on desktop and portable (as opposed to mobile) computing.


I tried the new Duck Duck Go browser Leo mentioned - it’s actually pretty slick with its privacy focus - I’m adding it to Safari, and Firefox on my iOS devices to give it a fair shot

1 Like

used it for years, seem to find more technical results faster.

why is it better? one word !bangs


I’d agree that DuckDuckGo’s results aren’t as good as Google, but they’re good enough and I get far fewer ads following me across the web. Plus, if I really want, I just throw a “!g” on the front of my search and it switches to Google.

You get used to going to the right search engine for what you’re looking for: !npm for node package, !mvn for java package, etc.

The main hidden privacy benefit for me is not having my iOS spotlight searches sent to Google.

I use an ad blocker (UBlock Origin) and see no ads and have nothing following me across the web. Adding this browser extension is easy so if other people are not doing it there must be a good reason. What am I missing?

Hi russell1066 :slight_smile:

Many people I help with computers have no idea what a add-on is. If they do have it installed it gets turned off completely as it broke some site. They do not even know what a browser is let alone which one they are using.

I run uBlock Origin too but do continuously think about how I am not supporting the websites I get value from. Some I donate to or use Pateron but I could not possible donate/pay everyone I get value from on the web. So may be some people make the choice not to run a ad blocker.

Just because you do not see the results of being followed does not equal you are not being followed and receiving a less obvious tailored experience with tailored pricing for example.

As time goes on Ad people are getting smarter and are not making it so obvious that they know you in a unique way and will be more subtle in pushing wares / curating a web experience for you of their choice.

uBlock Origin is great but browser fingerprinting/tracking is far more complex cat and mouse game. uBlock does not block WeRTC or JavaScript in its default config either. Browsing without JavaScript is not a fun time. Then your IP and all the other apps/IOT leaking info from your network… Then in the future it would not surprise me if uBlock had an unintentional unique identifier of some nature so it actually helped with tracking as that is how things seem to go. :laughing:

Start of the rabbit hole:

1 Like

rah, thank you for a considered and informative response. I have to acknowledge your opening point from personal experience. My wife, an Ivy League graduate with a sharp mind, is totally befuddled by most technology. Her IT problems and questions repeatedly expose the failure of developers to put themselves in the shoes (or minds) of their users and design accordingly. Now retired, I spent my career in computing: where I intuitively navigate the web and applications without problems she often feels confused, frustrated, and annoyed.
You also make a good point about supporting worthwhile sites and I may lift the blocker on those in future.
Finally, and this belongs in a different thread, I have been using the Brave browser for several years but have become increasingly unhappy with it. I find multiple sites that just do not respond on Brave and I have to switch to Safari where I very rarely have a problem (and still block ads!).

1 Like

I understand why people might use DDG but I prefer Google for those same reasons. I like tailored ads and I know that Google will keep my data safe. Who knows what DDG does with your data. I guess it’s who you trust with what they say.

That is the whole point DDG don’t have the data. They are privacy orientated, so there is no account and, allegedly no tracking.


Google sells your data to all sorts of nefarious companies. They never tell you who they sell it do, and they never tell you how much money they make on cultivating your browsing habits.

If that’s your definition of “keeping [your] data safe”, then god help you. Google is selling your details; how do define that as an “safe” way to “keep” your data? SMH.

1 Like

Google selling my data? That’s the dumbest thing I’ve read this month and now I think you’re just trolling.

The data they collect is their secret sauce. They would not sell it.,information%20is%20not%20for%20sale.

Please make constructive comments and avoid name-calling. If you suspect someone is trolling, ask for the source of their facts. And, yes, there’s an easy answer to that question:

Side note: don’t go to Google if you want to understand the bad behavior of Google. You need to search elsewhere.