DuckDuckGo may have begun as a private search engine, but on Tuesday it debuted a web browser to run on Macs, now in Beta.
DuckDuckGo for Mac on the desktop, with DuckDuckGo for Windows coming soon, allows the company to compete with rivals Brave, Chrome, Edge, and Safari.
The browser relies on DuckDuckGo’s private search engine as the default option. It blocks ad trackers on about 50% of sites, for now, and shows how many have been blocked. It also includes a built-in option for saving passwords, and incorporates the company’s recently launched email protection service, which blocks hidden trackers in the emails sent.
The company also claims that the browser is fast, because it uses 60% less data than Chrome.
DuckDuckGo for Windows uses the operating system’s default Chromium-based Edge rendering. The hope is to build a browser for Linux in the future.
Since the app is in beta, it does not yet support extensions. The most popular extensions are password managers and those that protect users from advertising. The features are built into the app, which the company says has benefits for privacy, security, speed, and simplicity.
DuckDuckGo said it is working on ways to add extension functionality without compromising those critical elements, but in the meantime, developers feel confident that the built-in features can meet these needs.
The company also says the browser contains Smarter Encryption technology that ensures users are directed to the secure version, HTTPS, of the site.
DuckDuckGo says it will not access browser history, bookmarks and passwords. Users can see the sites caught attempting to track the user’s activity. It also blocks Facebook’s content embedded in other websites, which Facebook uses for tracking purposes, even if when not on Facebook.