DuckDuckGo is Creating a Privacy-Focused Desktop Browser

Colin Thierry Colin Thierry

DuckDuckGo, creator of the privacy-focused search engine of the same name, is working on a desktop browser that looks to bring its strong emphasis on privacy to users’ entire web experience, according to a company blog post posted on Monday.

DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg explained in the blog post that the desktop browser will offer “robust privacy protection” by default. Unlike other web browsers, DuckDuckGo users wouldn’t need to manually toggle on any hidden security settings. Similar to the mobile app, the desktop browser will come with the same “Fire” button that instantly erases all browsing history, stored personal data, and tabs with just one click.

The desktop app is also built around “OS-provided rendering engines,” just like how it is on mobile. Weinberg said that this will create a neater interface and eliminate any clutter that comes with many mainstream browsers. Additionally, he claims that early tests of the DuckDuckGo browser indicate that “it’s significantly faster” than Google Chrome.

“macOS and Windows both now offer website rendering APIs (WebView/WebView2) that any application can use to render a website,” Allison Johnson, the senior communications manager at DuckDuckGo, in a statement. “That’s what we’ve used to build our app on desktop.”

“Instead, we’re building the desktop app from the ground up around the OS-provided rendering APIs. This means that anything beyond website rendering we have to build ourselves. So this means that the browser will use Edge/Chromium rendering on Windows and Safari/Webkit rendering on macOS. Johnson also clarified that this isn’t the same thing as forking, which would mean that the browser is built off of an already existing one.”

The DuckDuckGo browser is currently in a closed beta test on macOS. However, a tweet from Weinberg indicates that the company is getting it prepared for Windows as well. There’s no news on when the desktop browser will become available to the public.

In November, DuckDuckGo introduced a built-in tool for its mobile browsing app that’s meant for preventing apps from tracking users on Android. Also, in July, the company unveiled an email protection service that says it will get rid of any trackers attached to users’ emails.

About the Author

About the Author

Colin Thierry is a former cybersecurity researcher and journalist for SafetyDetectives who has written a wide variety of content for the web over the past 2 years. In his free time, he enjoys spending time outdoors, traveling, watching sports, and playing video games.