DuckDuckGo for Mac launched as a public beta on Tuesday. The free web browser makes privacy settings the default, and offers private search, tracker blocking and website encryption.
The Mac version joins the one for iPhone and iPad that’s been out since 2018.
DuckDuckGo gives Mac users a privacy-focused browser
“DuckDuckGo for Mac is an all-in-one privacy solution for everyday browsing with no complicated settings,” promises Beah Burger-Lenehan, a Product Director at DuckDuckGo.
The browser includes a built-in private search engine and a tracker blocker. Its cookie pop-up blocker offers protection on approximately 50% of sites, and DuckDuckGo promises that that percentage will grow.
In-app data like history, bookmarks and passwords are only stored locally on your device, and are not accessible to DuckDuckGo. Plus, the browser feature DuckDuckGo’s popular “Fire Button,” which quickly wipes all your private data in just one click.
It’s quick, too. The browser uses the macOS website rendering engine also used by Safari, and blocks trackers before they load, saving on bandwidth. “We’re already faster than Chrome on some graphics performance,” said Burger-Lenehan.
Now in private beta
DuckDuckGo for Mac is currently in beta testing. Getting access requires joining a waitlist.
Signing up to become a beta tester happens through the iPhone or iPad version of the browser. In the app, go to Settings > DuckDuckGo for Desktop (in the Privacy section), then click Join the Private Waitlist.
Can’t wait on a beta? DuckDuckGo already offers a Privacy Essentials plugin for Mac That brings a number of its best features to Safari. You can use it to encrypt your connection, to block trackers and to see Privacy Grades for each of the websites you visit.
Or, as noted, DuckDuckGo is available as a standalone web browser for iPhone and iPad. It already has the privacy features of the Mac version.