DuckDuckGo is probably best known for its privacy-focused search engine that doesn’t track your searches and other data that way that Google and Bing do. But the company has also been offering mobile web browsers for years.

Now the company has announced plans to offer desktop web browsers with an emphasis on privacy, simplicity, and speed.

DuckDuckGo says that rather than forking Google’s Chromium like many other web browsers, the new desktop browsers will use the default rendering engine provided by the host operating system, much the way that its mobile browsers do. That means the macOS version of the DuckDuckGo desktop app will most likely be based on Safari, while the Windows version will be based on Edge.

Both will have privacy features baked in. DuckDuckGo says it’s “privacy protection that works by default across search, browsing, email, and more.”

Like the company’s mobile apps, the the upcoming desktop browser will also block third-party trackers from websites, enforce encrypted connections for enhanced security, and include a “Fire Button” that allows you to close all browser tabs and clear your data with a single click.

While the goal is to offer better privacy than you’d get from other web browsers, DuckDuckGo notes that its app is also “significantly faster” than Google Chrome, likely due to the reduced overhead that often comes from processing requests from third-party trackers, among other things.

According to The Verge, a macOS version of the DuckDuckGo desktop app is currently in closed beta testing, but a Windows version is also on the way. There’s no word on if or when we’ll see a DuckDuckGo desktop app for Linux.

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12 Comments

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  1. Just use Librewolf…and forget the rest. I wouldn’t even use DuckDuckGo’s search engine after reading the fine print. Searx or a metasearch is much better. I actually prefer Gibiru…

    I’d personally stay away from anything Chromium unless I’m on a Rpi4.

    Edge? The edge of insanity from my viewpoint. Microsoft is an exercise in corporate arrogance.

    Best,
    Steven B.

    1. So I tried Gibiru. My uBlock kept it from working because it was trying to load a script directly from Google…

  2. I wish they’d outright use firefox as the base. Edge is chromium now, so most users will be stuck with a chromium fork despite their protestations to the contrary. Firefox could use some additional open source allies. Chromium is getting too big, so big that when MS moved that way, they simultaneously criticized firefox for even existing independently and not collapsing into a chromium fork as well. How dare firefox offer anyone a lifeboat?

  3. I use the Duckduckgo browser on Android, and I have it assigned as my default browser, but this is just so that when I follow links from various places (like when friends send me a link) it will open in Duckduckgo, instead of my preferred browser. It isolates my casual browsing activity from my deliberate browsing.

    I don’t think I’d find any use from a desktop version of the browser. Firefox is flexible enough to offer the same privacy features, and its established support makes it a far better option.

        1. It wouldn’t be forking the chromium base. It would be using Webview2 engine provided by the OS.

        2. True, but this is only the case for Windows. For Mac it would be Safari. So the general statement made in the OG comment was just not correct.

  4. Seems like there’s pretty much no point in installing their browser whatsoever.
    I really don’t trust them when they say they don’t track you, but I can expect that their analytics are worse than Google’s. Besides that, they’re mostly just a Bing reseller.
    That being said, they won’t kick you out for trying to search through TOR. If you don’t want your insane government to think you’re a danger to society because you want to look up scientific literature, just using TOR browser is probably the most convenient thing to do. You really should be hosting your own search engine at home if possible.

    1. Or you could use Presearch (presearch.org) which is building decentralized search engine…