Use DuckDuckGo 'Lite' For Absurdly Fast Search Results

Most folks probably think of DuckDuckGo as the more privacy-focused alternative to Google, but one of the lesser-discussed benefits ditching all that data tracking is increased search speed. The normal DuckDuckGo search eats up less data and requires fewer requests than Google, but there’s also a “Lite” version of the DuckDuckGo page that loads results much faster.

This is all you see on DuckDuckGo Lite (Screenshot: Brendan Hesse, DuckDuckGo Lite)

The main DuckDuckGo homepage and Google search pages are both about 2MBs. That’s not much data at all by today’s standards, but DuckDuckGo Lite trims it down to just 33KBs. The only UI elements on-screen are the search bar and a DuckDuckGo logo—all ads and other images have been stripped away. DuckDuckGo Lite also only needs to make a few requests to populate the search results page, while the normal DuckDuckGo page makes at least 50, and Google makes 100 or more. Those smaller numbers lead to near-instantaneous loading times; we’re talking milliseconds, rather than seconds.

Here are a few hard numbers for you to stew on. I searched for Lifehacker on all three engines in the same chrome browser on the same PC, and this is how fast it took to load the search results:

DuckDuckGo: 2.40 seconds

Google: 7.56 seconds

DuckDuckGo Lite: 264 milliseconds

Should you always use DuckDuckGo Lite instead of other search pages? If internet speeds and data caps aren’t an issue where you live, you’ll only be saving a few seconds at best, but users on slower or restrictive connections will get the most benefit from DuckDuckGo Lite—since it uses a lot less data.


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