HomeTechnologyNews5 DuckDuckGo Features You Should Use

5 DuckDuckGo Features You Should Use

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DuckDuckGo is primarily known for its focus on privacy. But the search engine (and now the browser) offers several useful features, many of which are not even available on Google or Bing. So if you’re new to DuckDuckGo, here are five features to enhance your search experience.

Hits

Duck Duck Go Bangs
duck duck to win

Bangs is without a doubt the most practical feature that DuckDuckGo offers. They are shortcuts to searching for specific websites and services. Simply put, you don’t need to leave DuckDuckGo to search a particular website. Instead, just use your blast and be redirected to the search results page on that website for your query. In particular, for some explosions, such as “!w” for Wikipedia, it is likely that you will be redirected to the specific Wikipedia entry in your search rather than a search page. So bangs can be efficient and time-saving.

To use a bang, type it next to your query in the DuckDuckGo search box and submit. For example, you can search for Windows 11 articles on the How-To Geek website with:

!howtogeek windows 11

It is important to note that all bangs have the exclamation point in front of them. It helps the search engine to identify that you are using a bang. Otherwise, it will only be counted as part of the search keyword.

There are more than 13,500 bangs as of December 2022, and you can find one for almost every popular website. DuckDuckGo also allows anyone to suggest a new blast or submit an edit to an existing blast.

However, if you want website or service specific results directly in DuckDuckGo, you can always use the “site:” search operator.

instant responses

DuckDuckGo is down search

In addition to providing you with a list of web pages relevant to your search, DuckDuckGo can also provide direct answers to your queries. The site uses more than 100 sources, so instant answers are available for a variety of queries.

Simple things like calculations, a calendar, a stopwatch, what rhymes with a word, or factual information are obviously readily available. But you can also use this feature to generate passwords, solve anagrams, shorten or expand links, or change the case of a bunch of text.

Plus, Instant Answers can tell you if a website is down, provide loan estimates, generate QR codes, and recommend alternative software and services.

Duck.com Email Protection

DuckDuckGo’s email protection feature can help you keep trackers embedded in emails at bay. To use it, you need the official DuckDuckGo app or its extension in your browser. Once you’ve installed either, you can sign up for a @duck.com forwarding address that receives emails on your behalf, removes trackers, and then forwards them to a mailbox of your choice.

Another cool part of the email protection feature is the ability to create random aliases to share with potentially spammy, untrustworthy, or random websites. (It’s similar to Hide My Email from Apple.) Emails sent to these aliases are also removed from trackers and then forwarded to your primary email. You can share different aliases with different websites and disable them individually if you start getting spam.

Plus, you can even use your duck.com address to reply to emails in cases where you don’t want the recipient to know your personal email address. In typical DuckDuckGo fashion, privacy is at the heart of email protection, which is why DuckDuckGo says the company never stores any of your email. Only their aliases and primary email ID are retained.

Android App Tracking Protection

DuckDuckGo App Tracking Protection
duck duck to win

App tracking protection is another DuckDuckGo feature that can improve your privacy. Exclusive to Android, it can stop constant spying on your phone apps by third-party trackers. Most of these trackers are from advertising companies like Google and Taboola, social media companies like Facebook and Twitter, and analytics companies like Adobe. And these companies collect details like your precise location, email address, phone number, time zone, and device fingerprint to create a profile with which they can target you with creepily relevant ads. Unfortunately, some of this information can also end up in the hands of data brokers.

To use app tracking protection, install DuckDuckGo for Android on your phone if you don’t already have it. And then go to Settings in the app and enable the feature. You will find it in the “More from DuckDuckGo” section. The feature will ask you to set up a VPN connection to monitor your apps’ data traffic (none of this data is sent to DuckDuckGo’s servers, however). Once the feature is active, you will be able to see how many trackers were blocked, including from which companies and on which apps.

Note: As of this writing in December 2022, the app tracking protection is still in beta, but it is available to all Android users.

cheat sheets

DuckDuckGo Cheat Sheet

Cheat sheets are a somewhat lesser-known feature of DuckDuckGo, but they can be very useful for improving your productivity. It can help you find keyboard shortcuts for your favorite application and learn the basics of popular programming languages. All you have to do is type cheatsheet next to a query for an app, language, or service, and DuckDuckGo will display a list of common shortcuts or the basics of your search term.

For example, when you search for a Chrome cheat sheet, DuckDuckGo offers all the common shortcuts for the web browser. On the other hand, a cheat sheet search for C++ returns the fundamentals of that programming language. You also get a link to access more information about your query just below the cheat sheet.


In addition to all these cool features, DuckDuckGo offers most of what you’ll find in other popular search engines, such as image search, video search, news, autocomplete suggestions, maps, safe search, and financial data. If you are concerned about privacy and want to migrate to DuckDuckGo, our guide on how to switch to DuckDuckGo can help.

RELATED: How to switch to DuckDuckGo, a private search engine

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