DuckDuckGo is a search engine. Like Google Search, you just throw some keywords into a box and get a list of results. Lots of people use Google, but I don't. DuckDuckGo works better for me, and this is why.

The Duck

Consistent Results

Did you know that Google will give you different search results, based on who you are and what you have searched for in the past? This is called a filter bubble, and it's annoying and dangerous. DuckDuckGo doesn't put you in a filter bubble.

Goodies and Tools

Oh, man do I love the tools DuckDuckGo gives software developers. Here are just a few.

Software Development

  • Need to find a color? Search "color picker". A built-in color picker pops up.
  • Want to know the HTML character entity for, say, the interrobang? (‽) Type "HTML entity ‽"
  • Got some JSON that you need to prettify? Search "json validator" for a validator and beautifier.
  • Searching Stack Overflow, Mozilla Developer Network, etc. with Bangs! (more later)
  • Keybinding references for Emacs, Vim, Bash, etc.
Emacs cheat sheet (expands to show more keystrokes)

Entertainment

  • Need to play 2048? Yes, just search "2048" and an in-browser game pops up.
  • Today's XKCD (search "xkcd")
  • Cheat sheets for Kerbal Space Program, Minecraft, League of Legends, etc.

Bangs

Perform special operations by putting the appropriate !-sequence at the beginning of your search.

  • !yt Search YouTube ("!yt glitter bomb package")
  • !a Search Amazon
  • !w Search Wikipedia
  • !mdn Search Mozilla Developer Network
  • !unsplash Search Unsplash photos
  • !img Search Google images—proxied for you so you can keep your privacy
  • !ldss Search LDS Scriptures (just found this one 🤯

There are thousands. Literally.

Misc.

  • Generate Lorem Ipsum filler text by searching "lorem ipsum"
  • Check the weather with "weather <zipcode>/<city name>"
  • Calculator with "calculator"
Searching the weather

For a full list of instant answers, see here.

For a full list of Bang-directives, see here.

It's incredible. It's simple. Perhaps best of all, ad-free! Well, they do display ads based on your search term for just that search. They don't track you. The ads are not customized to you, rather they are customized to your search. They're not intrusive either. I forgot they were there until I was typing this. 😄

But seriously. DuckDuckGo is amazing. Give it a try.

You can even enable it as your default search engine on iOS. Go to Settings > Safari > Search Engine and select DuckDuckGo. You can set it as well in Safari on desktop, as well as Firefox. (I don't use Chrome or Edge, though I imagine they'd let you do the same. Comment below if you find anything out.