DuckDuckGo: Privacy-centric Browser for Mac

DuckDuckGo is a privacy-focused browsing app. It is obtainable in beta on Mac, but you’ll have to hook a private waitlist to acquire access.

As the mobile browsing app, DuckDuckGo on Mac employs the DuckDuckGo search engine by default, automatically jams web trackers, and comes with the famous “Fire” button that burns up your browsing history and tabs in a single click.

The browsing app also has a new feature to help block those annoying cookie consent pop-ups that appear when no sooner you open a website. DuckDuckGo says it will vacate them on 50 percent of sites while automatically fixing the option that jams or minimizes the cookies that track you.

Allison Goodman, the senior communications supervisor at DuckDuckGo, said that the company plans on increasing this coverage “significantly” as the beta progresses.

You’ll also access a private feed that emerges on DuckDuckGo’s homepage. It glimpses quite a bit like the Privacy Report on Safari’s website, but instead of just displaying how many trackers it blocked, it breaks down tracking by site and lets you precise data on each one. In addition, DuckDuckGo won’t pack the content on sites — like Facebook — that put trackers in embedded content. Instead, it will show a notification that warns you about the tracking and asks if you wish to proceed.

Some other perks contain a built-in password manager, the ability to import passwords, history, and bookmarks from other browsers. In addition, its Smarter Encryption tool directs you to sites that employ encrypted HTTPS connections more often. DuckDuckGo also states it stores your history, bookmarks, and passwords locally, and the company can’t access this data.

DuckDuckGo’s new browser for Mac doesn’t fork an existing browser like Chrome. Instead, it’s built off of the rendering engine employed by Safari, also known as WebKit.

Because of this, DuckDuckGo declares its browser is faster than Chrome “on some graphics performance” measured employing the MotionMark 1.2 benchmark, and it says it uses 60 percent fewer data than Chrome.

“Beyond rendering, all the code is ours — written by DuckDuckGo engineers with privacy, security, and simplicity front of mind,” Beah Burger-Lenehan, DuckDuckGo’s senior director of product, says in the post. “This means we don’t have the cruft and clutter accumulated in browsers over the years, both in code and design, giving you a modern look and feel and a faster speed.”

Download the DuckDuckGo app on mobile to hook the waitlist for the browser. Then head to Settings and choose the DuckDuckGo for Desktop option from the Privacy selection. After that, you’ll have to wait to obtain a notification from the app, including an invite code and link you can utilize to download the browser on the Mac. DuckDuckGo says it’s presently letting individuals into the beta in waves.

DuckDuckGo says an app — built using the operating system’s default Chromium-based Edge rendering — is “coming soon” for Windows. 

DuckDuckGo also hopes to bring its browser to Linux in the future but says it’s focused primarily on Windows and Mac for now.

The one thing everyone is looking forward to with DuckDuckGo’s new browser is its cookie consent blocker. All are curious to see how many notifications it can block and if it impacts performance. There’s also how DuckDuckGo’s browser compares to Brave, a Chromium fork already available on Mac, Windows, and Linux that delivers some of the identical ad- and tracker-blocking abilities.