Can DuckDuckGo’s privacy-first browser take on Google Chrome?

For years, DuckDuckGo has worked on building a privacy-focused alternative to Google. Of late, though, it has bolstered its position as a champion of privacy with a slate of new tools: its extension and mobile apps block trackers both on browsers and phones, it lets you protect your inbox with free disposable email addresses, the list goes on. The latest addition to that suite is the DuckDuckGo desktop browser, and in more ways than one, it’s the culmination of the startup’s efforts to offer you a way to break free of Big Tech.

There’s no shortage of privacy-first browsers, and if DuckDuckGo is already available as an add-on, what’s the need for another one? DuckDuckGo says its goal with its new browser is relatively straightforward: it wants to manifest its  “privacy, simplified” slogan. The company argues that most people won’t go through the hassle of downloading and setting up a host of extensions to cover their tracks online. So it’s packaged all of them in the DuckDuckGo browser, and once someone installs it, they don’t have to worry about anything else. On top of that, there are limits to what it can control on a third-party product, and hence, the DuckDuckGo browser has a few features you wouldn’t find on its extensions.  

(Image credit: DuckDuckGo)

Besides, with Chrome extensions you’re still ultimately trusting a large corporation like Google to respect your choices, which has backfired a few times. That’s why it’s developing everything from scratch. The DuckDuckGo browser, unlike many of its peers, is not programmed on the same engine that powers Google Chrome and instead takes advantage of the OS’s built-in services, which in macOS’s case, is Apple’s WebKit.

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