Why I use DuckDuckGo as my default search engine and you should too

DuckDuckGo by default

For many years now, the different scandals have made us look a little more for our privacy. Companies like Google or Facebook do not respect it, since they need some of our information for their business model, and it was especially when this came to light that DuckDuckGo rose like foam. And it is that it is a search engine with a different philosophy: they do not save our searches, so they could not use our information even if they wanted to. So we already have a first reason: privacy.

With the above explained, there are a couple of questions to keep in mind: are your search results good? Well, it depends on what we are looking for, yes. In fact, it is said that when we search for Linux information, tutorials and such, DuckDuckGo results are the best, but are less good in other searches. So why use it by default? Because it includes something that they have called ! Bangs, and once you try them you don't want anything else.

DuckDuckGo's best weapon has a name:! Bangs

Although this is not that I have read it anywhere, the name "Bang" seems to come from "Boom", that is, we want something and Boom! there it appears instantly. That's what they exist for. To explain it and make it understood, the ! Bangs They are shortcuts to search or launch tools that the search engine offers us. The best way to understand it is to give some examples:

  • ! g: as I will explain later, this may be the most important. Do a Google search.
  • ! gi and! bi: search for images on Google and Bing respectively.
  • ! gturl and! bturl: if we put it in front of a URL in another language, it translates the page in Google and Bing translate respectively.
  • ! yt: Search for videos on YouTube.
  • ! wo! wes: search Wikipedia or its Spanish version.
  • ! rae: define words.
  • ! spotify,! deezer or! tidal: Search Spotify, Deezer, or Tidal. ! applemusic also exists, but it fails and should be reported. In fact, many Apple services fail, and not just DuckDuckGo.
  • ! password X: creates a password with the number of characters that we indicate. For example,! Password 12 will create a random password of 12 characters.
  • ! gp or! ituneses: search for apps on Google Play or iTunes, but in the second case it was done differently, so that it would search all Apple stores, such as the App Store or iTunes. For this reason, the results appear in the same search engine, and not in an Apple website.
  • stopwatch: it throws us a stopwatch.
  • ! tw - Search Twitter.
  • ! aur: search the Arch User Repository
  • ! lauchpad or! lp: Search Launchpad.
  • Dozens of options for Linux in this link.
  • And hundreds of other! Bangs that you can discover on the main page of the search engine, adding the symbol «!» and starting to write the service in which you need to search, or from this link.

As I have explained in the first example on the list, using DuckDuckGo makes sense, from my point of view, because from it you can search in Google, and from Google you cannot perform searches like DuckDuckGo and their! Bangs. Also, if we fill in a form, we can ask them to add a! Bang to search services that are currently not possible through the duck search engine.

DuckDuckGo and all this from the URL bar

Setting DuckDuckGo by default is not putting it on the home page. Is so that we can search from the url bar, or if we have an online search tool, to search directly from it. And at this point I am perfectly aware that many of you will be thinking that this article is silly or is sponsored, but it is not. It is a personal recommendation, but I know that very few will attend it. Therefore, I am also going to talk about an alternative: create our own shortcuts or launchers.

Logically, it is not the same and with this we will have two problems: only the ones we believe will work and, when we reinstall the browser, depending on which one and if they are not added to the synchronization options, they could disappear. In any case, create our own shortcuts o! Bangs is simple:


  1. We go to a website or service.
  2. In the search box, we right click.
  3. We choose «Add a keyword to this search».
  4. We fill in the information you ask for. One box is for the name that will appear and the other for the keyword or shortcut.

In other browsers, like Vivaldi, is similar, but the option is "Add search engine".

Chromium / Chrome

  1. We do a search on the service, this is important.
  2. Let's go to Settings / Search / Manage search engines.
  3. In «Other search engines» we look for the service.
  4. We click on the three dots / Edit.
  5. In the window that appears, we put the shortcut that we want to use in "Keyword" and we accept.

Personally, which I have also gotten used to, I prefer to save all the work and use DuckDuckGo, so I leave the recommendation there.

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  1.   Fabricio said

    Everything sounds very good but in practice it falls short, I tried to use it and only hold with the peak for more than the month. The truth is that the search results are better with Google and it does not close with the option to search in a user-defined period of time.

    1.    pablinux said

      Hi Fabricio,

      ! g search.

      You've already googled "search." And besides, everything else.

      A greeting.

  2.   Martin said

    DuckDuckGo? Who collected user data and sent it to their servers boasting of "privacy"?
    It is more of the same.

    1.    pablinux said

      Hello. I don't think you have read the article either: although I mention privacy (and what you comment was a failure of the Android App), I do so in passing. The reason for choosing it is another: productivity.

      A greeting.

  3.   Marcelo said

    Tremendous search engine. I have used it for years and it is, after the handle, the best invention. In it I have found things that Google does not. The! Bangs are GOLD POWDER !!!!
    Not to mention the issue of privacy. FUNDAMENTAL!!

    In short: SUPER RECOMMENDED !!!!

    1.    pablinux said

      Hello. I think you are the only one who has understood the article, simply because you use it. Everyone else has been left with one thing: they don't like its results or privacy is questionable (due to a bug in an external app), but only you have attended the part of the! Bangs that is the main reason why I recommend. So much so that the article ends up proposing an alternative to them.

      A greeting.

  4.   Miguel Rodríguez said

    Despite its benefits, on the other hand:

    1 Prioritize results in English when available even when language preference is set.
    2 If you have Firefox configured to erase all data when you exit the browser and / or you use extensions such as "Forget Me Not", it does not matter how many times you configure the search engine or how much you use "Save to the Cloud" and "Load Configuration", it will always reset to its default settings.
    3 It is unclear how the use of its extension benefits the browser and whether it is compatible with other extensions that remove ads. Nor is it clear how its extension differs from many others dedicated to privacy, knowing that today many extensions that block advertising also contribute to privacy through lists such as the famous "EasyList EasyPrivacy".

  5.   Albert Gallego said

    I fully agree with everything mentioned in the article. Bangs are why I use DuckDuckGo by default myself too. For some simple searches, the duckling is enough, although if I can't find what I'm looking for, the first jump to Google. My favorite bangs, which I use regularly:

    ! aes - Amazon Spain
    ! enes - Google Translate from English to Spanish (! esen will obviously be the reverse)
    ! wa - Wolfram Alpha
    ! gm - Google Maps
    ! imdb - IMDb

    And the aforementioned! Yt,! W,! Rae,! G and! Gi. Having the ability to search almost anywhere from the browser bar is great. You study English? Try! Dec (Merrian-Webster) or! T (Thesaurus). Japanese? ! kanji or! jisho will be very useful to you. Looking for icons? Try! Flaticon. Kitchen Recipes? ! recipe is for you.

    Once you get used to it, it far exceeds any advantage that Google or another search engine can give you: As you say, what you get with Bangs is to integrate any other search engine into your searches. Of course, you need a minimum level of English to be able to get the most out of many places. It's what the internet has in general ...

    I really recommend it to everyone. It is not "change search engine." You must change the way you use the search engine, and that is why it is difficult for people to understand the concept. But when you get it, you understand that with the same action you can access a much greater and much more specific amount of information than with other more mundane options.

    By the way, I didn't know about! Gturl's bang. Very good. I'll write it down: D

    1.    pablinux said

      Hi Albert. That is exactly what I mean. As you say, "it is not to change the search engine", since you can continue searching in Google, but the way to do it would be from DuckDuckGo. You can even leave google.com as your home page, but the! Bangs in the URL bar is what puts it above the rest for me.

      A greeting.

      1.    Carlos said

        It happens to me, although it has Spanish by default, it usually prioritizes searches in English.
        It is appreciated that the article emphasizes the Bang, but it is true that it is better known as an alternative to Google for its supposed privacy.
        What do you think of the Qwant search engine?

        1.    pablinux said

          Hello. From what I see, he bases a lot of his results on Bing. But, be that as it may, what we have to choose is what leaves us the best sensations. If I use DuckDuckGo by default, it is not because of its good results, but because of the shortcuts that I can launch in any browser without making any configuration (beyond choosing it by default).

          Regarding Qwant, if you like it, DuckDuckGo search there with the! Bang! Qwant + search. This is why I insisted on DuckDuckGo. For example, I search Start Page (Google engine but more private) by adding! Sp in front of the search. I'm doing fine, I avoid Google and I get almost the same results. Unless it's a very general search, I don't usually search with the duck itself.

          Qwant is supposed to respect privacy, but if we listen to what they say, better Start Page that uses the best engine (Google) and does not spy on us.

          A greeting.

  6.   Pablo said

    First of all, congratulations on the article. It is certainly a very interesting topic.

    From my point of view (and opinion), yes, it is good to use! Bangs because they are practical and effective, but they are not as practical as going to the browser bar (Ctrl + L), put for example "you", press Tab and be able to directly enter the search term for youtube. The same for wikipedia, amazon, etc. That is in the case of Chrome or Brave. It is true that in Firefox you would have to take the trouble to configure these "shortcuts" (and perhaps there if you rent to use the bangs directly).

    When you get used to that one realizes that it ends up being somewhat more cumbersome / less practical to use duckduckgo because also, over time, you will probably end up using! G so much because you can't find what you need that you end up switching back to google.

    However, it seems to me an excellent search engine that I have a lot of affection for and that it is seen that it is improving every time.

    A greeting.

  7.   Frol said

    Try Utopia p2p ecosystem

  8.   Javier Mediavilla Portillo said

    Why does Duck ask for an account number to install on Windows pc

    1.    pablinux said

      Hi Javier. I don't know what you're trying to install, but it's not from DuckDuckGo.

      A greeting.

  9.   Alfonso Villalba said

    haa about 10 years ago that I put the duck in all the installations of Firefox or Chromium (I'm from the fox). It seems the opposite to me, the useless results are put by google. I do one of a usual word and I get the most "trendy" thing that is cooked on the internet in the country from which I connect, it is like the search engine of the old gossipers in no opinion.

    I never went back to google, the duck is not ONE search engine, there are many search engines

    And the guy who puts the hit that if you use incognito the duck does not save the configuration ... oops! It seems that you have the problem that your browser does what you ask! XD