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HomeTechnologyIs Startpage Legit? Here's everything you need to know about Startpage.

Is Startpage Legit? Here’s everything you need to know about Startpage.

Is Startpage legitimate? It has high-end privacy features and external security audits. There is also low data collection. There’s more…

Is Startpage a legitimate search engine? It is one of the most popular proxy search engines online. has its privacy and security advantages, but is just like any other online service .

Let’s look at the positive and negative aspects of Startpage.

Is Startpage Legit? The Good

Our mini Startpage review will begin with some of the positive aspects of the search engine.

1. Logs are not kept by Startpage

Startpage claims it is the most private search engine in the world. There are a few reasons why it is so strong.

The lack of logs is the most important. Startpage doesn’t keep IP addresses of people who use its services. It also does not place tracking cookies on users’ computers. The company claims that it has no information about its customers.

It offers proof, which is something that many search engines don’t offer. A third-party audit verified its privacy features and no-logs policy. Startpage has never received any government requests for user data during its existence.

2. Use HTTPS for Startpage

All searches on Startpage use HTTPS encryption.

You are protected against internet snooping by the encryption. It is impossible for anyone to monitor your internet connection (for instance, via an insecure public Wi Fi network) and see what you have been clicking or searching for.

3. Google Without Google

Google is unquestionably the most popular search engine, based solely on search results quality. Unfortunately, Google is also the most open-minded about your privacy and data.

MAKEUSEOF VIDEO DURING THE DAY

Someone who is concerned about privacy and needs search results that are high-quality may ask the question, “Can we trade quality for privacy?”

Startpage allows you to enjoy all the benefits of Google search results but without the privacy concerns. It acts as an intermediary by anonymously submitting your queries and returning the results to you privately. Google doesn’t know who you are.

4. Anonymous View Proxy

The anonymous view feature at Startpage is a new addition. This allows you to view any site from a list search results by proxy. It prevents the site you are visiting from knowing anything about you.

  • Location
  • ISP
  • Content stored in cookies
  • Content stored within caches
  • Type of browser
  • Network settings
  • Hardware
  • and more

Click on the link to view any search result in Anonymous View.

5. Startpage has won Privacy Awards

The search engine used to be called Ixquick before it was rebranded as Startpage. It was the first European Privacy seal (EuroPriSe), in 2008 during its Ixquick days. It received the award in 2013, 2014, and 2015.

After undergoing stringent design audits and technical audits, the EU awards this award to companies that have met its data security and privacy requirements.

Startpage won the 2019 Dutch Privacy Awards for Best Consumer Product in 2019, largely due to its Anonymous View feature.

Alex van Eesteren (the company’s Business Development Director) said these words after receiving the award.

“We are proud that the National Privacy Conference recognized our commitment in creating tools to protect privacy. With Startpage.com consumers can search for privacy and visit anonymous websites. This is Search 2.0. We place a high priority on privacy by design.

Is Startpage Legit? The Bad

Ok, enough optimism. There is no perfect world. What are the negative aspects of Startpage? Is Startpage a fraud?

1. Nine Eyes Location

Startpage is located in The Netherlands. This raises concerns.

The Netherlands is among the Nine Eyes countries. It also includes the USA, UK, Canada and Australia. Nine Eyes, also known as the “second-tier”, is one of the most important and influential intelligence alliances in the globe.

The lack of logs by Startpage should allow it to be isolated from the requirements of being located in a country participating in the program. If Startpage has nothing to share, it could not comply with some of the most controversial aspects US domestic intelligence gathering such as PRISM.

It’s not a case of never say-never. Startpage asserts that European governments cannot force service providers like us into implementing a blanket spying program against their users. Legally, this is false.

The Netherlands, for example, has ignored an April 2014 European Court of Justice decision that invalidated the European Data Retention Directive. The country requires ISPs to keep the personal data, web browsing history, and email of customers for the term of the contract and six months after the customer leaves the service.

It seems unlikely that search engines could be included in the law.

2. Startpage Is For-Profit

Startpage BV, a Dutch privately-owned company, is a Dutch company. According to the company’s literature, the business is profitable since 2004.

We don’t condone companies making a profit. Capitalism is what makes the world go round. Despite Startpage’s extravagant statements regarding privacy and data protection, it raises an interesting question: How does Startpage make its money?

Here’s what Startpage has to say about the situation on its site.

” Startpage.com earns its revenue from advertising. You may see up three sponsored search results when you do a Startpage.com Search. These ads are labeled accordingly. Clicking on a sponsored link will redirect you from the Startpage.com site to an advertiser’s site.

Startpage defends itself by stating that Startpage doesn’t use cookies , past searches or browsing history to decide which ads you see. They only consider the search term that you type. Some privacy snobs might find this too restrictive.

All of this changes when you click on an advertisement. Anonymous View is not able to view the ads as they aren’t managed by Startpage. Clicking on an advertisement will expose you to the usual data-collection techniques used by advertising companies.

3. Some data can be collected by Startpage

The privacy policy of Startpage is worth reading. Take a look at the following:

“We […] count aggregate numbers. We do measure overall traffic numbers and some other—strictly anonymous—statistics. These stats could include how many times our service has been accessed by certain operating systems, types of browsers, and so forth. However, we don’t have any information about individual users.

Startpage needs to collect data to ensure that it can offer a service that is accessible to all users. Remember is a for-profit company that runs ads. Advertisers will require at least some information about who is likely to view their content.

Startpage’s decision to hide data collection information so deep in its privacy policies, instead of being open with users, is concerning.

Is Startpage Legit?

Unquestionably, yes!

Startpage can be used if you aren’t completely against data logging. In which case you shouldn’t use the web at all. It offers much greater privacy and protection for users than Google and Bing. Startpage could only be believed by the most paranoid users.

However, the negative aspects of Startpage are a reminder that no company can be taken seriously. If you look beneath the surface, there is always something slightly unpleasant.

Startpage can be used in conjunction with other security measures such as a VPN or better security practices. We recommend the top VPN services.

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