The problem with StartPage (formerly Ixquick) is that their search results are nothing compared to what you would get with Google. You can test it for yourself. The search results are surprisingly horrible, and in some cases unusable, e.g., getting zero results on a set of search terms with StartPage while Google provides hundreds of matches....still happening a year later after my Ixquick review. Privacy is essential, but a search engine must have some useful capacity comparatively speaking, and StartPage just doesn't cut it.
Update (5/20/17): In response to the reply from StartPage S. -- I'm on a dynamic IP (it changes regularly), never logged in to Google, have no Google software installed on my computer, and my browser cache is always cleared, etc. So Google has no search history or profile or any other means to track me or my searches.
Besides, I don't use Google and haven't for several years now. I've only used Google to comparatively test results among other search engines. I've done a number of tests over the past several years, all of which were conducted under new/different IP addresses, and some of which were at different geographical locations. Bottom line, the "tracking variable" in my tests is effectively controlled.
And as I've already mentioned, the issue here is in the quality of search results as well as the quantity, e.g., zero results with StartPage while Google provides hundreds in some cases. Moreover, I'm also comparing StartPage results with other non-tracking search engines. Sorry, but the technical glitch is not on my end.
For those interested, I've opted to use DuckDuckGo. It has its problems as well, but comparatively it remains the best out of the non-tracking alternatives out there, all of which still fall behind Google in terms of their search results, but from my testing and experience the best alternative to Google for privacy.
Google dropped the plus sign operator in 2011, but StartPage never adapted to this change, i.e., StartPage helpfully inserts a plus sign in front of each keyword. Hopefully the people who maintain StartPage will some day figure this out!
I personally use DuckDuckGo as my default browser, mainly because it includes shortcuts to directly search a website (for example, typing "!sp ducks" into DuckDuckGo gives you Startpage search results for ducks).
But because DuckDuckGo is sometimes lacking in normal searches, I often use the aforementioned Startpage shortcut to get more relevant results.
Startpage doesn't seem to find existing websites that are readily found by other search engines. I could not find one of my own websites for one of the businesses that I own AT ALL. What's the use of privacy if you can't find the sites you are looking for? No, there was not a problem with my site because I could readily find it using another search engine. So, I would have to say thumbs down on Startpage.
Startpage is a VERY awesome alternative to Yahoo & Google and they are working on Startmail which will work like Yahoo mail minus the gathering of information.
This search engine is even more private than www.ixquick.com...... It doesn't allow links to work in the webpage you visit that would be able to trace back to you.....
StartPage is an initiative by Ixquick.
StartPage works similar to Google. Go into your URL bar - type "startpage.com" and you can surf the internet like Google does. But - what's the difference between Google and StartPage? What makes StartPage better than other search engines?
Well StartPage.com picks up very similar results as to what Google would pick up. StartPage.com doesn't log your IP address and supports 256 bit SSL. A really cool part about StartPage.com is its proxy tool. For example - lets say you wanted to view the NASA website - enter NASA into the engine, then click "proxy". This will then take you into their site through a secure proxy server. However - bare in mind that it will disable Java.