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Tricks & Tips

The Best Search Engines for 2020 and Beyond


Since the inception of the World Wide Web in the early ’90s, there have been people who just get more out of the web than others. Learning to navigate the “Information Superhighway,” to borrow the old phrase, became a valuable skill for career and leisure. The earliest adopters found the search engines first.

As the web has grown and evolved, it’s ironic that the boundaries of the online world has seemed to shrink for most people instead of growing. It turns out most users will be content to go to a few sites and hang out there all the time. In the case of search engines, we’ve gone from a wide and diverse selection down to just one big one that everybody uses. But the truly web savvy are still out there, discovering whole wings of the elite web that are hidden from the casual user.

Join us on this safari of exploration, check out some of these niche search portals, and see if your online experience doesn’t improve.

Internet Archive

This site gets better with every passing year, as the web matures and more formerly copyrighted works fall into the public domain. You can find archives here of textbooks, videos, magazines, and media of every description, like all the libraries of the world at your fingertips. It even has video games with emulators you can play right in the browser, to revisit some classic and vintage entertainment. Check here if you’re tired of seeing the same old memes every day.


An interesting alternative when you can’t decide which search engine fits the query best is to come here and use all of them. DogPile aggregates search queries from multiple other search engines, so you get a broad overview of the top hits from every corner of the web. Use this one for critical research where you want to leave no stone unturned.


A huge movement in recent web culture has been the drive to take back our data from the corporations that abuse their access to our personal histories. HotBot is one of the engines which doesn’t collect user data, and offers sanitized results that are screened of spammy hits and potential malware threats. Go here when you want a safe surfing experience, or when you’re searchign a topic that tends to attract a lot of garbage results.


The granddaddy of privacy advocate search engines, DuckDuckGo has been the engine most popular for respecting your data privacy. It aggregates search hits from other sites and offers them with your anonymity protected. It also takes a no-frills approach, just offering clean, uncluttered query hits without getting in your way. Head here when you want fast answers and a secure searching experience.

Search Encrypt

If the other privacy-first engines aren’t enough for you, Search Encrypt takes the extra step of protecting your queries with encryption. Using a Secure Sockets layer and AES-256 bit encryption, it ensures that even if a hacker is listening in, your activity will remain secret. It’s also secure against multiple users on one device. Head here if you want industrial-grade security to the point where it’s nearly overkill.


Hot.com is another privacy-respecting engine with a sensible twist: It only searches risqué sites. Just about anybody would agree that searching for adult subject matter is the time when you’d most rather not have a corporation snooping over your shoulder. Go here for reasons that are nobody else’s business, and you want it to stay that way.


These are our picks for web search engines that will have something new to show you. As the web enters its “roaring 20s” age, a new generation of savvy power users are demanding more of their web experience than plain search results tagged with targeted ads. Check them out, and you just might find yourself wondering how you navigated the web without them.

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