DuckDuckGo wants to be more than a search engine

DuckDuckGo Privacy
(Image credit: DuckDuckGo)

DuckDuckGo may be best known for its privacy-focused search engine but following the success of its all-in-one privacy apps and extensions, the company is now developing its own browser.

Since making the decision to move beyond private search in 2018, the company's privacy apps and extensions have been downloaded over 150m times. In addition to providing users with a search engine, DuckDuckGo's mobile app also allows you to browse the web privately.

Now in a new blog post, DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg has revealed that the company is working on a desktop browser that will redefine user expectations of everyday online privacy. Unlike with other browsers, DuckDuckGo for desktop won't have any complicated settings, misleading warnings or “levels” of privacy protection. Instead, the company's browser will feature robust privacy protection that works by default across search, browsing, email and more.

While browsers like Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Vivaldi, Brave and others use Chromium, DuckDuckGo is building its desktop app around OS-provided rendering engines just like the company does on mobile. This will allow it to strip away the clutter that has accumulated over the years in most major browsers.

DuckDuckGo year-in-review

While we'll likely hear more about DuckDuckGo's desktop browser next year, the company spent 2021 strengthening its all-in-one privacy solution with new improvements and features designed to help users take back their privacy.

The company announced the beta release of its free email forwarding service Email Protection this year which removes trackers in your email and protects the privacy of your personal email address without asking users to switch to another email service.

Just last month, DuckDuckGo released its App Tracking Protection feature into beta in its Android app to block third-party trackers from companies like Google and Facebook that often lurk in other apps. Interested users can join the waitlist through the company's DuckDuckGo Android app to test App Tracking Protection out for themselves.

Finally, DuckDuckGo made a lot of improvements to its search results this year including giving its search results page a more simple and modern design while it continued to refine and improve its local, maps and directions results. However, other improvements made by the company include a new translations instant answer, revamped definitions and weather answers, custom data range filtering, more filters on images and upgrades to advanced search.

With 2022 just around the corner, you may be trying to come up with a New Year's Resolution and if you're struggling to think of one, why not improve your privacy and security by giving DuckDuckGo a try, installing an antivirus, using a VPN and storing your credentials securely with a password manager?

We've also highlighted the best browser, best VPN and best SEO tools

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.