Your search engine queries are valuable data, and you can be in control of that data. This article is a brief review of Searx, an open-source and publicly-hosted search engine proxy and aggregator. I have been a Searx and DuckDuckGo user for more than a year now and have experienced excellent uptime and result quality.

Searx itself is an open-source project that proxies search queries it recieves from users. This means that a web user will enter the query into the search box, and Searx will re-submit the query to a list of search engines of your choice, and return the aggregated results. Each re-submitted request is carried as a POST request contains no personal information about the originating user. The motivation of the project is to provide users an option for search results without trading personal data away. The second motivation is a simple interface to asking the same question of many engines and getting diverse results.

Searx.me is an instance of Searx running in Germany. Since Searx is public code, anyone can launch their own instance of it, but most people will choose to use a public instance for convenience. Searx.me is currently configured with options to turn on or off 122 different engines for providing results. Everything from general-purpose engines like Google and DuckDuckGo are available, to specialty engines like 500 pixels or DictZone.

There are only two major configuration considerations when getting started. First, choose a theme that is comfortable on mobile, if that’s relevant. Then go down the list of search engines for Searx to re-submit queries to and activate or deactivate relevant engines.

For more information, read the brief project page at https://asciimoo.github.io/searx/, review the source code: https://github.com/asciimoo/searx, and read the About page on Searx.me https://searx.me/about.