Best private and safe alternatives to Google

Best private and safe alternatives to Google

Take back your privacy by using a strong alternative to Google's search engine

by Casey Reims

Google has been the world’s dominant search engine for years and shows no signs of slowing down. However, many have started to realize just how far this tech giant’s reach is. The amount of our information they harvest without care or consent is beyond what anyone could have imagined. 

Every click you make, and site you visit is stored inside Google and used for their benefit. They can sell these intimate pieces of information to advertisers, which leads to those frighteningly accurate promotions you may receive when on the web. 

There is a way to stop feeding the giant. Each year, more and more promising browsers and search engines are developed that can rival Google in terms of features and search accuracy. 

Best Google search alternatives

If you are looking for a change from Google, there are many alternatives that offer different features, benefits, and levels of privacy. Some of them are based on the same technology as Google, while others use their own algorithms and methods. Here are some of the best Google search alternatives that we recommend.

For safe browsers to add to your mobile device, click here


1. Brave 

  • A replica of Google Chrome in speed and features, making for an easy interface to navigate
  • Supports all Chrome extensions.
  • Focuses heavily on privacy by protecting you from ads and pesky tracking pixels which monitor your every move.
  • Protects against potentially harmful websites that could damage your computer.
  • Contains a built-in incognito mode that hides your IP if you want to search anonymously.


2. Startpage

  • Does not use cookies, which are storage files created by websites that stockpile your data and are used to tailor ads and identify the user across different sites. 
  • Has created its own private email solution called StartMail which encrypts and protects everything you send. StartMail is my #1 pick for secure and private email.  You can get an Exclusive deal for CyberGuy readers: 60% off: $23.98 for first year ($2 per month, billed annually).  Includes a free 7-day trial.
  • When you conduct searches, each link has the option to be viewed anonymously, which prevents the site from knowing how you found it or where you came from. 
  • Cannot be forced to comply with US government surveillance programs like PRISM since it is based in the Netherlands.


3. Ecosia

  • The environmentally friendly search engine reports that 80% of its profits go to organizations that plant trees and help heal the environment.
  • Not as safe as other privacy-focused engines but refuses to collect or sell user data, unlike Google.
  • It is available on Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge browsers as a default search engine.
  • It’s B Lab-certified which means it operates with a higher level of transparency and accountability than other browsers.


4. Disconnect Search 

  • A proxy search engine that collects search results from sites like DuckDuckGo, Bing, and Yahoo and presents them to you in a more secure manner. 
  • Prioritizes anonymity. It blocks sites that track data and allows you to view advertising requests beforehand to protect your privacy.
  • It comes with a browser extension that makes pages load faster. 
  • Very simple interface with no added filters or confusion. 


5. Opera

  • Opera is a fast, secure, and innovative web browser that offers a variety of features and benefits.
  • Opera has a built-in ad blocker, VPN, crypto wallet, news reader, video pop-out, and more, making it a versatile and convenient browser for different needs and preferences.
  • Opera is compatible with most websites and extensions and supports multiple platforms, such as Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS.
  • Opera is constantly improving and updating its browser with new features, enhancements, and bug fixes, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable browsing experience.


6. DuckDuckGo

  • DuckDuckGo is a privacy-focused search engine that doesn’t track your searches or personal information.
  • It offers a clean interface and quick search results without the clutter of ads based on your search history.
  • DuckDuckGo provides additional privacy features like tracker blocking and a privacy grade rating for each website you visit.
  • It’s available as a web browser extension and a mobile app, providing secure search across all your devices.


Bonus: 5 important settings to change on your Chrome browser

If you insist on using Google Chrome, there are several precautions you can take to enhance your privacy:

1. Unlink browser from your Google account

  • Open the Google Account settings page in your web browser. You can do this by going to or by clicking on your profile picture or initial in the top right corner of any Google page and selecting “Manage your Google Account.
  • Once you’re on the Google Account page, click on the “Security” tab on the left sidebar.
  • Scroll down to the “Your devices” section and click on “Manage all devices.
  • You’ll see a list of devices that are currently connected to your Google account. Find the device or browser that you want to unlink and click on it.
  • On the device details page, click on the “Sign out” button next to the device name. This will sign out the device from your Google account.

2. Turn on safe browsing

  • From the same Google Account settings page in your web browser, click on the “Security” tab.
  • Scroll down to the section that says “Enhanced Safe Browsing for your account.” Click on “Manage Enhanced Safe Browsing” and click the switch in the box.
  • Click “Turn on” on the pop-up.

3. Turn off Google saving your web and app activity and location

  • From the same Google Account settings page in your web browser, click on the “Data & Privacy” tab.
  • Scroll down to History settings.
  • Turn off Web & App Activity,” “Location History,” and “YouTube History.

4. Turn off sending usage data and URLs to Google

  • Click on the three vertical dotsMore in the top right of your Chrome browser.
  • Scroll down and tap Settings
  • Click on “Sync and Google services.”
  • On the tab “Help improve Chrome’s features and performance” make sure your switch is turned off.
  • On the tab “Make searches and browsing better” make sure your switch is turned off.

5. Set new default search engine from your computer’s web browser

  • Click on the three vertical dotsMore in the top right of your Chrome browser.
  • Click on the three lines next to “Settings” at the top of the page.
  • Click on “Search Engine” in the left-hand strip and change from Google to your choice of alternate engine.
  • Click on “Manage search engines and site search” and scroll down to the section with the header “Search engines.”
  • Click on the three dots next to your preferred search engine and click make default.
  • If your preferred engine is not already listed, click on the pencil next to one of the other engines and enter the URL and name of the one you want. Then hit Save.

For added safety, use a VPN

Consider using a VPN to protect against being tracked and to identify your potential location on websites that you visit.  Many sites can read your IP address and, depending on their privacy settings, may display the city from which you are corresponding. A VPN will disguise your IP address to show an alternate location.

My top recommendation is ExpressVPN. It has a quick and easy setup, is available in 94 countries, and will not log your IP address, browsing history, traffic destination or metadata, or DNS queries.

Right now, you can get 3 extra months FREE with a 12-month ExpressVPN plan. That’s just $6.67 per month, a saving of 49%!  Try 30 days risk-free.

Read more of my reviews for best VPNs here

Best VPNs for browsing the web privately 2024


Kurt’s key takeaways

In the age of Google’s dominance, the extent of information harvested without consent is alarming, but there are browser alternatives like Brave, Startpage, Ecosia, Disconnect Search, and Opera. It might be time to embrace these alternatives to take control of your online privacy.

Will you consider switching to a safer, alternative search engine? If you have already, what are you using, and how has your experience been? Let us know by commenting below.





KIDS   |    MEN    |    WOMEN    |   TEENS   |    PETS   | 


COOKING    |    COFFEE   |    TOOLS    |    TRAVEL    |    WINE    |





CAR   |    KITCHEN    |   LAPTOP    |   KEYBOARDS   |    PHONE   |    TRAVEL    | KEEP IT COZY    |




ANTIVIRUS    |    VPN   |    SECURE EMAIL    |




Leave a Comment

Subscribe to receive my latest Tech news, security alerts, tips and deals newsletter. (We won't spam or share your email with anyone else.)

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Tips to avoid our newsletters going to your junk folder