I’m currently working on re-evaluating our search engine selection (reading privacy policies and all that good stuff), to see what to keep, remove, maybe add. I figured I might use some input from lemmy.

  • what do you use out of the ones we include? is anyone actually using search engines like qwant and metager?
  • do you add any search engine to librewolf?

if you’re curious bout my notes on this -> https://gitlab.com/librewolf-community/settings/-/issues/111

@molly
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@libre_warrior
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Currently, Im using duckduckgo. I love the bang feature. Im curious about decentralized engines like searx.

@kixik
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searx, but I do not self host. Currently lusing searx.be most of the time…

Adda
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I personally use SearX as my primary search engine (one local instance, the default searx.be instance as a fallback). Sometimes, I use one of the following search engines as well, but generally, there is no need for them in my case (for some of them, I retrieve their results with my SearX search, anyway). I rarely get to the point where SearX cannot provide the required and satisfactory results and I have to search with some specific search engine. The search engines I currently have set up in all of my browsers on both desktops and mobile phones are:

  • SearX,
  • DuckDuckGo,
  • StartPage,
  • Qwant,
  • Metager and
  • some specific search shortcuts for a few websites (Wikipedia, Lemmy, …).

I have one Whoogle instance set up too, just for testing purposes, though. And I love the idea of per website aggregated results provided by Gigablast, but Gigablast is way too slow to use regularly. Interesting idea, though.

@fishonthenet
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213d

Whoogle seems to get blocked very often for me, both selfhosted and public. I’m actually thinking whether we should be remove it and put back Startpage because of that.

other than that, google-only results is not my cup of tea, so just like you I mostly have it for testing.

Qwant

how good is it? it’s another one I was looking into removing.

Adda
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Whoogle seems to get blocked very often for me, both selfhosted and public.

It seems to be the same for me. I used to get timeouts or other errors when testing it. And as far as I can say, it lacks a lot of features I find necessary nowadays (advanced filtering, options etc.). And yeah, if possible, I try to stay away from Google results, or at least mix them with others. Thinking about it, I would be up to remove Whoogle in favour of Startpage.

I actually really liked Brave Search for their results mixed with their own indexing. I have no idea how good Brave Search is privacy-wise (it will not be such a win, I can think), but the results are definitely nice in my opinion.

Qwant

Furthermore, I find myself quite enjoying Qwant in general. The results are good, and the functionality is ample. What I really hate about Qwant is that it is not OSS. Qwant being a European (French) company with respectable reviews (there is always something, of course, but I do not recall that much of a controversy about Qwant) gives it some credibility in my eyes (although, credibility might be a bit too strong of a term). I trust them to some degree, though, for sure. And I used to search Qwant exclusively when I could not find something (especially for national searches) at SearX quickly enough. It worked surprisingly well for me.

The same goes for Startpage (European roots from the Netherlands), for example, but to be honest, If I have to choose between Qwant and Startpage, I would probably go for Qwant. But I did not test Startpage on its own that much, to be honest. It might just be much better than Qwant for all I know. I think I might give it a try for some time…

From my perspective, I would keep Qwant and treat it the same as Startpage, for example. I do not see that much of a difference between these two. I would highly appreciate if anyone here knows more about Startpage or Qwant and point me to some privacy-oriented facts considering these search engines. It would be great to learn more. All I know is just what I have been able to pick up here and there. I lack deeper insight into all of this, sadly.

@fishonthenet
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for evaluation of privacy policy and practices of each search engine you can see the link in OP, I’m done evaluating all of them. Startpage and Brave search actually came out cleaner than Qwant, but overall all of the evaluated ones are very much above average.

I think Startpage main advantage is that it’s a Google alternative, and atm it seems like a more viable one than Whoogle, which we tried to push instead. Brave and Searx are cool, I don’t see much added value that justifies including them by default (if one likes the results just add it manually), so if we were to trim some stuff I would consider them honestly, but I’m not sure either.

Adda
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To add to the Gigablast mention, they teamed up with freenode to create private.sh search engine… Well, I do not know whether they mean the former freenode (nowadays Libera.Chat), or the new one (the freenode after that debacle with the takeover of freenode). If the latter is the case, well, I would say stay miles away from it. And considering I have not seen any mentions of it anywhere, I would be marginally cautious. It might be all all right, but who knows.

From private.sh How it works site:

Built to be audited

Rather than relying solely on closed technologies, we’ve made a genuine effort to publish our code and to use well known and thoroughly tested open solutions to provide a truly private search experience.

Our website and extension is built with open source technologies and can easily be audited and improved through our open source program (coming soon!).

Well, I do not know, but I have not been able to find the source code, so as far I can tell so far, I cannot believe them.

@fishonthenet
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I will look into this, thanks!

@snoopa
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Metager is great. Open-source, nonprofit, private

OneiricBotcelot
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I am using a searx instance.

@fishonthenet
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do you use the default librewolf instance (searx.be) or a different one? I personally have one on my LAN which I use in combination with DDG.

OneiricBotcelot
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I use https://paulgo.io/ . Works pretty well.

Lionel C-R
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Same here

@fishonthenet
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111d

in the end the final decision was:

  • keep ddg, ddg lite, searxng, metager, wikipedia.
  • remove whoogle, brave, qwant.
  • add startpage.

basically, reduce the number of engines by keeping only the most popular ones (nothing against the others, but users can add them manually), and replace whoogle with startpage for google results.

by popular ones I mean the one that were suggested the most in this discussion, so thanks everyone!

@DPUGT2
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I’m using DDG. I try to like it, but it’s just so bad. Occasionally I have to switch back to Google to find things… except that Google 2022 is not the same as Google 2015. Google 2015 was almost supernaturally good, I could find anything. Google 2022, even ignoring its own self-censorship is nearly as bad as DDG… and I’m not sure if it’s that they give bad search results because they earn more money advertising that way, or if there is some other strategy (or even incompetency) involved.

IngrownMink4
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Startpage, Metager and sometimes DDG.

@Jeffrey
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Ecosia. I am willing to sacrifice some privacy to support their cause. For sensitive searches I might not want associated with my user profile I usually use duckduckgo through Tor.

@HorrorSpirit
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Same. Ecosia is one of the few sites where i turn my adblocker off.

Sagar Acharya
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I use searx disroot instance. There is private.sh which is interesting, there is ecosia.org which I like though they ought to be compliant with LibreJS. Ecosia is essentially bing and tracks ip too but it functions well with tor so I sometimes use it.

@3arn0wl
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I use searx too, or search within a specific database like Wikipedia or IMDb.

@greensand
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everything but Google really

Lionel C-R
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Sadly I can’t say the same, even though I use my own searx instance which is an aggregator for some of the suggestions here, I regularly find myself using google for more relevant results.

Adult_InThe_Room
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metager, swisscows.

@BXM1X9UyZ588Yb7Ebgv
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Maybe(to add): https://searx.neocities.org

Policies:

  • Redirects users directly to a random selection of any known running server after entering query.
  • Requires Javascript.
  • Excludes servers with user tracking and analytics or are proxied through Cloudflare.

I found this random Searx/SearXNG search engine redirector at https://searx.space under the About tab.

To use it, I save the search redirector as a bookmark at https://searx.neocities.org/#q=%s&category_general=on

I also turn on javascript on at searx.neocities.org because otherwise I have to type in my search query manually into a specific search instance.

However if your threat model requires it, you can also go to the no-javascript version of searx.neocities.org. You will not be automatically redirected to a random Searx instance when using no-JS version.

I type in a keyword in the url bar and then the service redirects me to a random Searx/SearXNG instance. For load balancing purposes, it seems great since no single server will be stressed significantly. The searches are spread across multiple instances.

Sometimes the redirected Searx/SearXNG instances output bad results(e.g. errors). In that case, just use the Searx redirector again to have new random Searx/SearXNG instance.

@fishonthenet
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112d

I used this in the past but I don’t really like the idea anymore, or at least for librewolf default: the instances are selected randomly and while some things are checked, things I would consider important like the version of searx, are not checked. I also would rather include an instance that has contact infos on the frontpage.

Welcome to the official community for LibreWolf.

LibreWolf is designed to increase protection against tracking and fingerprinting techniques, while also including a few security improvements. LibreWolf also aims to remove all the telemetry, data collection and annoyances, as well as disabling anti-freedom features like DRM. If you have any question please visit our FAQ first: https://librewolf.net/docs/faq/

To learn more or to download the browser visit the website: https://librewolf.net/

If you want to contribute head over to our Gitlab: https://gitlab.com/librewolf-community/browser

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