DuckDuckGo launched a web browser for macOS in beta today, offering privacy-minded web surfers a new way to browse. The browser uses a variety of techniques to protect your information from snooping websites and even includes some innovative tools, including Duck Player, which is supposed to let you watch YouTube with fewer ads and less data collection. You can download DuckDuckGo for Mac here.
If you’re like most people on earth, you’re cruising around the web using Google Chrome, which sends so much data back to company servers that some privacy advocates call the browser spyware. There are a number of more private options, including FireFox, Brave, and even Apple’s Safari. DuckDuckGo already has a browser for mobile devices, but this marks the company’s first foray into desktop browsing.
As far as features go, the more private YouTube player might be the star of the show. Duck Player harnesses Google own tools for embedding video on another page using the strictest privacy settings available. According to DuckDuckGo, that means you’ll be better protected from tracking, and the ads you see won’t be personalized. In fact, the company says it prevented most ads from playing altogether during their tests, a perk YouTube otherwise makes users pay for. It’s hard to imagine Google will let a fewer-ads version of YouTube slide for ever, but you can enjoy it while it lasts. You’ll also be able to watch your videos in a cleaner, distraction-free interface.
As DuckDuckGo points out in a blog post, you’re mistaken if you think Chrome Incognito Mode is helping you sneak past the data industry. DuckDuckGo’s browser comes with a variety of privacy protections that actually make a difference, and they’re turned on by default. These privacy tools won’t just help protect your data, they’ll also make your web browsing more convenient.
DuckDuckGo for Mac includes a number of techniques to block third party trackers, including the company’s Smarter Encryption tool, which automatically encrypts a large portion of your web traffic, and a button to automatically clear your browsing data. The browser is also integrated with the Bitwarden password manager.
But there are a few other privacy tools that you may be more likely to notice. For one, DuckDuckGo for Mac will block a lot of ads, and a new feature will actually clean up the white space that’s left behind for a smoother look.
You’ll also has a cookie consent management tool. That will automatically choose the most private options on some websites when they interrupt you to ask if they can track you with cookies (which is especially annoying when you realize that a lot of the time, those cookie pop-ups don’t even work).
If you want to give the browser a shot, it’s pretty seamless to set up. You can take it for a spin and import your bookmarks and passwords from another browser with a couple of clicks. Let us know what your experience was like in the comments.