Ixquick is a so called metasearch engine that holds your privacy up high.
What is a metasearch engine?
The fundamental philosophy behind metasearch engines is, that the Internet is simply too large to be indexed by a single search engine. In order to bypass this, metasearch engines combine several search engines and thereby increase the number of search results heavily.
Source: blank version from Wikimedia commons, labels inserted by me
Advantages and disadvantages of the metasearch technique
Combining several search engines is as well the greatest benefit as also the biggest challenge for metasearch engines.
The high outcome of results makes finding certain topics more likely, since you are literally using several search engines at once. This is extremely helpful, when you are looking for not so popular topics. It also loosens the dependency towards your search engine and therefore the power it has over you.
With larger outcome of search results prioritizing becomes a problem. 10 Million search results, not put in a proper order, are as good as, a needle in a haystack. This is where most metasearch engines have failed in the past.
Features and other reasons for Ixquick:
Ixquick claims to be “the world’s most powerful search engine employing the most advanced metasearch technology.”
Ixquick does NOT save your IP. Neither does it store User ID cookies, which could be used to analyze your search habits in any way. For their great afford in protecting their customers privacy Ixquick was awarded the first European Privacy Seal on July 14th, 2008. Ixquick thereby is the first and only EU-approved search engine.
Ixquick offers several interesting setting that can be set by clicking on “my settings” on the main site. They include: size of results, search/display language (17 available), number of results per page, family filter, connection via HTTPS and some more.
HTTPS establishes an encrypted connection to the Ixquick servers that prevents your Internet Service provider (ISP) from reading your data. This extra security results in slightly higher respond times.
To solve the problem of prioritizing the search results, as described above Ixquick uses a star system. A search result is awarded a star for every search engine that has rated the result as one of their top ten answers. So a five star result means that five search engines have the result listed in the top ten.
Ixquick also offers special search syntax as well as a “power search” and a “expert search” to optimize your results, but this would be too much detail right now.
I hope I managed to interest you in this alternative search engine. Please give Ixquick a chance and tell me what you think about it. I’m happy about every comment.