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As an ixquick user, I was puzzled when searching here for ixquick brought up startpage as well. It looked as if they were one and the same, but with a different domain name. I downloaded the add-on, and did some searches to see.
It appears that someone firgured out that "ixquick" isn't exactly a memorable monicker. Can you see anyone saying, "hey, why don't you just ixquick it?" So, obviously, "ixquick" is not the next Internet meme.
I can only assume that someone at ixquick accidentally wandered into a marketing seminar at The Learning Annex, and thinking it was the "How Ninjas are more Leet than Pirates" meeting, they sat down. The very next morning, feeling all full of marketing goodness, they thought, "Good Lord man, we need a new name, a name that will cause everyone to use us as their start page !"
And hence, ixquick begat startpage.com. At least, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
Since ixquick and startpage seem to be exactly the same thing, here is my ixquick review. I leave the difficult substitution of "startpage" for each appearance of "ixquick" as an exercise for the reader:
I am in the early stages of using ixquick, but wanted to make some observations. First, if you are using this, I'd assume you believe in privacy. If so, I would suggest that you select the https version, not the http.
Ads, yes, their SITE has ads. So does Google. If you do a little reading on ixquick you will discover that while Google is busy compiling massive databases about your search activities and tying them back to you, ixquick does not. This means that Google makes a lot of money selling you to others, while ixquick gets all of its income from you clicking on ads.
Which do you prefer - being Google's chattle, or wading through a few more ads?
After all, we all have bills to pay - I'd even suggest clicking on the occasional ad to keep these folks in business.
As for search results, ixquick is a meta-engine. This means that it searches other search engines. Notably missing from the list is Google. The biggest name present is Yahoo. I'd love to see them have Google in the mix, but I assume that for some reason or another, they felt that wasn't an option. I've done some test searches for pretty off the wall stuff, and the results seem satisfactory. You always have the option to search with another engine if you don't find what you need, or, if you prefer, to use ixquick just for your more nefarious or embarrassing searches.
Overall, I would encourage everyone to use ixquick. While I am not a Google hater, I do think we need to support alternatives so that we don't end up with only one search engine in the world, with our every Internet activity being tracked on it. Try it. It may actually be fun to search wthout the Google-Monster peering over your shoulder !