For most of us, the internet works based on technologies that may as well be magic. For us younger folk, the internet is such an integrated part of our lives, we take it for granted. The term “Google” has become part of the common vernacular to describe the action of querying information online.
That being said, those in the know can refine their online experience in a wide variety of ways, and the main way is to change our approach to how we access online poker– I mean, online content. By default, most people use Chrome and Google to get what they need- but there are dozens of other search engines and browsers that equal or even surpass their capabilities!
First, let me define what “Search Engines” and “Browsers”. For the more tech-literate readers, this may seem like a complete waste of time, but you’d be surprised by just how many people don’t know the basics.
Search engines use algorithms to query data from servers. Since there are literally billions of websites in the world, there’s a lot of technical wizardries that goes into finding what you want without causing your machine to light on fire in the process. Google is the most common search engine.
Browsers are what display websites and data that are found by search engines. Newer ones are built on HTML5 and handle the formatting of websites. The most well known is Chrome, which is owned by Google.
Opera is a robust alternative to Chrome and has a wide berth of awesome features. Opera has a built-in ad-blocker, VPN, and even has it’s own Crypto Wallet for managing cryptocurrencies like BitCoin. It’s available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and IOS. If you’re a gamer, then Opera GX, a derivative, is what you need, since it contains nifty features like Twitch integration and Razer coma support.
Worried about how big tech is collecting private information about you and selling it to advertisers and the Chinese government? Don’t worry, your fears are completely justified. Why else would anyone bother to make an alternate search engine to Google themed around ducks, that promotes itself as the best search engine for privacy?
That’s basically it. DuckDuckGo doesn’t store or collect any personal information, so if you’re worried about that, then DuckDuckGo is the alternative to Google that you need.
- Microsoft Edge
Microsoft had a rough two decades on the browser front. In 1995, they released Internet Explorer, which is now infamously known as one of the worst internet browsers in existence. It’s only till talked about because all windows machines come with it preinstalled.
Well, that changed in 2015 when Microsoft released their new browser, Microsoft Edge. It’s basically everything that Internet Explorer isn’t– fast, reliable, and with a clean interface. It’s Microsoft’s default browser on machines running Windows 10, but also has versions for IOS, Android, and Mac.
However, if you neglect edge by cheating on it with another browser, it can be pushy at random moments by asking, “pretty please can I be the default browser, with cherries on top?”
Believe me, I never heard of this search engine either until very recently. It was released back in 2014 and is run by a Swiss Company (kinda obvious) that has data servers under the Swiss alps. There are a couple of things that make this one stand out in my mind.
First, is it’s claim that it using something called “semantic data recognition” to retrieve faster answers from searches.
However, it’s more interesting feature is the fact that it’s “family-friendly”. All mature content is filtered for explicit or graphic material, and from some minimal testing on my part, seems to do a marginally better job than Google’s “safe search”, which hardly blocks anything. Since this feature cannot be turned off, this may or may not appeal to those of you who do like to look at bums, ankles, and other sinful things.
I personally love Firefox and use it as my default browser. It runs well, blocks annoying pop-ups by default, and is extremely customizable. There are thousands of ad-ons and plugins that you can install to customize your experience to the fullest.
It had a complete overhaul a couple of years back that drastically boosted its performance to keep it competitive with the likes of Chrome. If you need a browser without too many bells and whistles, but still has them if you want them, this is the browser for you.