Five DuckDuckGo Tricks You Should Know

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DuckDuckGo has been building a reputation as the "go to" search engine for folks who are privacy conscious. Unlike many other search engines, DuckDuckGo doesn't track you or keep records of what you've been searching for. But aside from being privacy focused, what else does DuckDuckGo bring to the table? Here are our tips and tricks.

Start by making DuckDuckGo your default

Adding DuckDuckGo to your web browser is easy. Simply browse to duckduckgo.com. A small pop-up will appear in the top-right corner of the display allowing you to add DockDuckGo to your browser.

Once that's done you'll need to go to your browser's settings and enable DuckDuckGo as the default browser.

    Safari: Open the Safari | Preferences menu and go to the Search section. Choose DuckDuckGo from the list of avail be search engines.

    Chrome: When you installed the Chrome plug-in, the setting was automatically updated for you.

    Firefox: When you installed the Chrome plug-in, the setting was automatically updated for you.

    Edge: Open the ellipsis menu at the right-hand edge of the toolbar and open Settings. Open the Advanced settings, click the Change search provider button and set DuckDuckGo as the default.

Bang out a quick search

DuckDuckGo has a shortcut system called Bangs. A Bang is a shorthand version of the "site:" modifier you can use with most search engines. For example, of you want to find something on Amazon, start the search with "!A" (without the quote marks) and the search will be limited to Amazon. If you use "!R", you'll search Reddit.

There are almost 12,000 bangs and you can create your own. There's a full list of DuckDuckGo Bangs here

Quick cheat sheets

If you're trying to find the shortcuts for a popular apps, simply type the name of the app followed by "cheat sheet" and you'll get a list of handy shortcuts.

URL shrinker and QR codes

As well as making it easy to find things, DuckDuckGo has a handy URL shortener built in. Just type in "shorten" (no quote marks) and the URL. DuckDuckGo will create a shortened URL for you.

Similarly, if you start the query with qr, DuckDuckGo will create a QR Code for that address.

Password generation

Need a new, strong password? Just type in password # where # is the password length you want and DuckDuckGo will create a strong password of that length.

Finding alternative apps

DuckDuckGo has teamed with with AlternativeTo, a crowdsourced platform that provides recommendations for apps. If you're after a different option for a task, then simply querying for "alternative to application_name" will bring up a list of apps you can choose from.

xkcd

If you're a fan of the xkcd comic strip, just type xkcd into DuckDuckGo and the most recent strip will be displayed along with controls for flipping back to past strips.


Comments

    I find DuckDuckGo not as useful as Google...

    Where are all the useful shortcuts that Google has? - such as limiting searches to a date range, to Australia only (I find that the "Australia" switch still brings up lots of overseas sites), excluding words etc etc

    I just use Google in a Private Window to minimise privacy concerns.

      This! I've been using DDG for about 2 years as my default search engine, and in trying to restrict searches to Australian results is pretty much useless. In the end I usually resort to adding "Australia" or a capital city to the end of my search string and the sometimes does the trick.

    I get that some people like their privacy, but for me there's something to be said for having Google learn the kind of things I search for and bringing me back the most relevant based on my previous searches.

    This Google dog might just turn around bite us.

    Google Chrome is undoubtedly superior to all other browsers. Even Apple Inc had a plan to drop Safari and have Chrome installed as default.

    But hey, if you have a Android phone you have just thrown privacy out the window. Google seems like a nice passive dog for now, but we have given it all the tools to turn nasty. Why not Google is big business & big bucks. The dollar rules. There is no telling what they could do with all the information they have on us.

    Look at Google this week, they want to break Addblock. Google do not understand people like to walk their own street add free, we also like to peruse the net and not see adds when we are not shopping. Hey Google the internet is not the place to hog with companies try to flog there wares on every web page.

    I run Tor Browser when I do not want Google to collect shopping information from me. It works a treat.

    Been using it for ages and once I got used to it, I found it just as good as Google for finding anything I need. Privacy is important and Google do not like it when you hide your info from them.

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