There are lots of features in this search engine; Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do with DuckDuckGo Search Engine
DuckDuckGo is a search engine that offers several unique and useful features for web searchers, such as streamlined shortcuts and instant answers. It’s especially appealing if you’re keeping track of how information is gathered about you online.
Search engines have evolved to make it easier to find the information you need without having to go through different websites. Google has the Knowledge Graph feature that shows a neat box with useful information above (or beside) search results. It can do cool things such as calculations, show flight information and even currency conversion.
Although these features are incredibly useful, Google Knowledge Graph has its shortcomings. The biggest problem is that results are not uniform. When we were digging through Knowledge Graph features to find cool things you didn’t know you could do with Google, we noticed that the results were not always the same. When one person searched for Apple stocks, Google showed him regular search results, but when a colleague searched for the same term, he was shown current stock information along with a nice price versus time graph.
These limitations made us look for alternatives and we found one that impressed us with its utility – DuckDuckGo Search Engine. We’ve previously mentioned DuckDuckGo, a privacy-focussed search engine, in an article on how to stop Google from tracking you. DuckDuckGo is a search engine that shows the same results for a search term to all its users. This is unlike Google, which filters search results based on the sites you have been visiting. It is also now possible to set DuckDuckGo as a default search engine in iOS 8 as well as OS X so you can get the instant search results just by typing your query into the Safari browser. Of course you can also use DuckDuckGo in Chrome or Firefox by visiting DuckDuckGo.com and clicking the Use in Chrome or Use in Firefox button.
Below are 10 different things you might not know you could accomplish with the DuckDuckGo search engine and you can see how it differs from competitors like Google.
What Is DuckDuckGo and What Can You Do With It?
Duckduckgo Search Engine offers a few features that are worth a second look for the savvy web searcher:
- The DuckDuckGo results pages aren’t paginated, making it easy to scroll down and find what you’re looking for quickly.
- Favicons (the small images that show up in the address bar, unique to each site) are displayed next to search results for instant recognition of your favorite sites.
- Instant answers called “zero-click info” show up before any other result, providing the answer to your question right upfront.
The search engine gives users the ability to jump to a website directly using bangs, which are shortcuts you can enter into DuckDuckGo that bypass the search results. There are thousands of DuckDuckGo bang shortcuts, covering a huge swath of sites varying in topics like research, tech, entertainment, and news. Here’s one example you could enter into the search engine to jump to Amazon.com: !a 55″ tv.
In addition to the shortcuts given above, DuckDuckGo offers what they call goodies, an intriguing array of all kinds of search shortcuts, anything from special keyboard shortcuts to specialized cheat sheets.
The DuckDuckGo search engine works through a mobile app, too, for Android and iOS users.
DuckDuckGo Search Engine and Privacy
“DuckDuckGo prevents search leakage by default. Instead, when you click on a link on our site, we route (redirect) that request in such a way so that it does not send your search terms to other sites. The other sites will still know that you visited them, but they will not know what search you entered beforehand . . . DuckDuckGo takes the approach to not collect any personal information. The decisions of whether and how to comply with law enforcement requests, whether and how to anonymize data, and how to best protect your information from hackers are out of our hands. Your search history is safe with us because it cannot be tied to you in any way.”
Protecting web privacy is becoming more of an issue for many people as the internet continues to evolve. If you’re concerned with privacy and you enjoy a simple, uncluttered interface with plenty of shortcuts, then DuckDuckGo would probably be a good choice for you as a search engine.
Run a Stopwatch
DuckDuckGo lets you run stopwatches right there in your browser window by typing stopwatch into the search box.
Maybe you need to time how long the turkey has been cooking, record how long you’ve been working, or see if you can beat your old games in record time. Just use the built-in stopwatch to start, lap, and reset the stopwatch as many times as you want.
Quickly Find Word Definitions
You can use DuckDuckGo Search Engine to define terms for you, so you don’t have to poke around through dictionary sites to look up a simple definition. Just enter define and then the word you want to learn more about.
For example, define empathy shows that definition at the top of DuckDuckGo Search Engine
View a Brief Weather Report
Enter weather into DuckDuckGo to see the local weather forecast. Or, add a location to the search to view the weather there (e.g., Chicago Illinois weather).
The search engine will automatically display graphics and details about the weather before any other weather-related result. You can see the weather for the next several hours and all week, including highs and lows, special weather statements, and weather conditions.
Find Your Favorite Recipe
Need to impress someone with your culinary skills? Use DuckDuckGo to search for recipes that include ingredients you already have on hand. Maybe you’re in the mood for salmon recipes, quinoa recipes, or Christmas recipes.
The first few results you see aren’t the only ones you can browse on DuckDuckGo. Select Recipes at the top, below the search bar, to find more recipes related to your search.
Convert Something Easily
Need to figure out ounces to grams, feet to yards, or inches to centimeters? Enter into DuckDuckGo what you’d like to convert, and you’ll immediately see the completed calculation done for you.
Here are a few examples:
- 8 oz to grams
- 55 feet to inches
- 12 kilometers to miles
- 8 fl oz to pints
Generate a Strong Password
It only makes sense that a search engine like DuckDuckGo Search Engine that focuses on privacy makes generating secure passwords easy. Just enter password, followed the length of the password, and then strong.
For example, password 12 strong.
If you don’t like the generated password, refresh the page to make a new one. If it’s too hard to remember (it probably will be), consider storing it in a password manager.
Locate Nearby Attractions
DuckDuckGo is also helpful for finding nearby attractions. Whether you’re looking for something in your local area that you haven’t tried yet, or you’re in a new city that you’re unfamiliar with, this particular feature can come in handy.
Since DuckDuckGo automatically picks up where you’re located, all you have to do to find restaurants in the area is type restaurants near me, or for bars, you might type bars near me. You can change the phraseology a little if you want, such as parks in this area to locate nearby parks.
Check a Website’s Status
Not knowing why a website you like to visit is currently down can be frustrating, but one thing you can do to alleviate the worry that it’s something you can fix is to ask DuckDuckGo if the website is down.
To do this, type is [website] up. For example: is simmyideas.com up
Find an Image
The DuckDuckGo search engine wouldn’t be complete without offering images. Like any good search engine, you can complete the phrase images of or picture of to see pictures on DuckDuckGo.
If you start the DuckDuckGo image search from the Web tab, you’ll see only a few pictures above the web page results. Selecting More Images from the top right will reveal all the related photos.
Find a Video
There are literally millions of videos on the web, and it can get somewhat overwhelming when you try to search for something specific. The DuckDuckGo video search lets you adjust several filters to help narrow down the results.
After entering a video title, use the duration filter to limit the video results to less than four minutes, between 4-20 minutes, or over 20 minutes. There are also resolution and region-specific filters.
These useful DuckDuckGo features don’t necessarily warrant their own item in this list, but they’re still helpful nonetheless:
- Put a backslash before a search item to trigger “I’m feeling lucky”: \simmyideas
- Enter ip address to find your public IP address
- Generate a QR code for any URL: enter qrcode followed by the address: qrcode simmyideas.com
- See what a short URL goes to by entering expand and then the short URL: expand bit.ly/2iSHN7p
These were the best instant answers we could find on DuckDuckGo Search Engine and none of those are available on Google. Which is your favourite DuckDuckGo Search Engine instant answer? Which one of these did you find useful? Let us know via the comments.