So I’ve heard people saying, that StartPage is pretty much Google without the privacy issues.
I’ve known StartPage for years, but I always thought it’s just another crap search engine like Bing or Yahoo!, but without all the tracking or whatever. Since I was made aware, that it actually uses Google results (sadly, Google results are the best search engine results you can get, even if you count in the filter bubble), I tried out this search engine for about a week, sporadically.
At first, it seemed to do its job, but the first very negative thing I noticed was, that I could only make a limited amount of requests. Sometimes, when you use StartPage, you get a warning instead of search results. It tells you, that if you are using a VPN, TOR or have created too many requests, they can’t offer you the service during that period. I could not get rid of this warning, until I closed another tab with StartPage in it in my browser. Then they let me continue.
This was already the first big annoyance; you have to limit your connections to StartPage.
Well, fine, if I mix StartPage with DuckDuckGo, I can live with that.
The second thing I noticed was the comparison of search results between those from StartPage and other services.
To accomplish good enough test results, I’ve started searching in DuckDuckGo, then used the Google bang (!g) and StartPage bang (!s) to get results for a single request from all those engines.
Unfortunately, the StartPage results weren’t nearly as helpful and precise as those from plain Google. So you also lose most of the Google benefits, when using the stripped down Google results.
Lastly, I was made aware of the StartPage Firefox extension during the latest search.
Out of curiousity, I checked it out and read through some of the reviews.
I think the one start reviews summarize all the issues I mentioned pretty well, plus it seems like StartPage does not seem to be as trustworthy (anymore)…
Rated 1 out of 5
by DailySurfer, a year ago
WARNING! An advertising company called System1 has now huge impact on data collection of each user using Startpage because System1 has become majority shareholder. Do not use this search machine anymore!
Startpage Acquired by System1, Privacy One Group - Still Safe?
So, I hope people still using StartPage are now aware of all the unsolved problems coming with the service.
It seems like people are doomed to privacy-less search engines. They are just too lucrative to stay free in this society.