Windows users can now ditch Chrome or Edge for the privacy-focused DuckDuckGo browser. It includes a ton of built-in protections, such as anti-tracking technology, a private YouTube player, and a hide-my-email service.
The DuckDuckGo browser first debuted in December 2021. At the time, it was only available as a private beta on macOS – it entered public beta on Mac some time ago and is now available in public beta on Windows. (This is a pretty solid beta version, though you might run into bugs and other small issues.)
Here are some of the features included in the DuckDuckGo Browser:
- Tracker blocking: DuckDuckGo Browser automatically blocks invasive third-party trackers on the web. Please note that DuckDuckGo is very discriminating when blocking trackers; it rarely interrupts the functionality of a website.
- Managing cookie popups– If a website allows you to choose its cookie settings, DuckDuckGo will automatically select the most private setting and hide the website’s pop-up message.
- fire button– Clear browser history and active logins with the push of a button. You can mark websites as “fireproof” if you do not want them to be affected by this feature.
- email forwarding: DuckDuckGo may automatically hide your real email address by providing you with a forwarding address @duck.com.
I should also clarify something: the DuckDuckGo browser is not based on Chromium. Instead, it relies on your operating system’s built-in rendering engines (which probably explains why Windows development took so long). This not only eliminates some privacy concerns, but allows the DuckDuckGo browser to report itself as Microsoft Edge on most websites, which should help hide your identity.
The DuckDuckGo browser also lacks extension support at this time. But it can block ads and it has a built-in password manager (along with all the features mentioned above). If you’re like me, the lack of extension support isn’t a good start, but this shouldn’t be a problem for the average user.
You can install DuckDuckGo Windows Browser today. You can import bookmarks and passwords from another browser if necessary.