DuckDuckGo's privacy-focused desktop browser is in closed beta


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In context: When a company offers you a product for free, especially a useful or high-quality one, you are often the product in some way. Whether your data is sold, shared to third parties, or merely used to make the service as a whole better (and perhaps attract paying users), little comes for free. DucKDuckGo is a rare exception: it's a search engine that puts your privacy at the forefront and costs absolutely nothing to use.

Of course, the quality of the search results isn't quite as good as Google's, but the lack of tracking is a fair trade-off in the eye of DuckDuckGo's many users. Now, DuckDuckGo's creators are working on a browser that will follow the same principles. Well, technically, it has already done so: the DuckDuckGo browser has been available on mobile devices for quite some time now.

However, the desktop version is now in closed beta. Notably, it isn't a fork of Chromium or any other browser platform. DuckDuckGo is creating their app from scratch, using "OS-provided rendering engines." This allows the browser to work faster and more smoothly than competitors, as it does away with much of the "unnecessary cruft and clutter" that they tend to have.

The interface also emphasizes clean, simple design elements, and has the same "Fire Button" as its mobile counterpart. This button immediately deletes cookies, browsing history, and other accumulated site data; except for sites you've chosen to "fireproof" (in case you need to stay logged in to, say, your email account). The browser's built-in privacy features include a tracker blocker, forced HTTPS encryption, and anti-email tracking, among others.

It isn't clear when the DuckDuckGo desktop app will be made available to everyone, but it seems that early testing is going well, so hopefully, it will be released sooner rather than later.

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"DuckDuckGo is creating their app from scratch, using "OS-provided rendering engines.""

I can understand this for something like iOS where it will just use the same rendering engine as Safari, but what does that mean on Windows? IE is legacy, and Edge is based on Chromium now, so...?

Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with on the desktop regardless of the underlying technology.


Posts: 4,454   +2,419
You're only the most secure until someone else comes along 3-6 months later and takes that title away from you. Rinse and repeat. It's called competition. This "I'm more secure than you" battle is boring now. All browsers are promoting their browsers' security, so just pick the one that has the other things that you want/need. Chasing browsers is silly.


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Not hopeful if they're not forking Chromium. We'll have to see how fully they implement w3c standards, but it's a given that web developers aren't going to be worrying about testing on a new, non-Chromium browser.


Posts: 83   +1
Mypal browser has DuckDuckGo as their search engine. When other web browsers are diligently checking for expired certificates and will not get through the interneat, this web browser has my endorcement using DuckDuckGo.
My Windows XP Pro SP3 could not work without it, when Internet Explorer for security reasons and secure connections could not function.
A racoon icon on the desktop for Mypal web browser.


Posts: 4,152   +5,795
I just want a quick modern browser that allows me to run the old Firefox addons. Pale Moon is the only thing that seems able to do this but its addon collection is not as complete as I'd like. I have lots of addons saved from the pre-v56.2 days of Firefox, and they are NOT any less secure than newer ones contrary to the propaganda from Mozilla. The only "security" for addons is inspection by algorithms and human coders.

Avro Arrow

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I'm interested to see how it works because I like the fact that it's not Chromium-based. I've been a Firefox user for over 20 years and I love the privacy features that Firefox currently has.