Ixquick (styled "ixquick") is a metasearch engine based in Zeist and New York,[3] which highlights privacy as its distinguishing feature.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10]

Founded by David Bodnick in 1998, Ixquick is owned by Surfboard Holding BV of the Netherlands, which acquired the internet company in 2000.[11] Ixquick and its sibling project Startpage.com reached their latest record (28-day average) daily direct queries of 5.7 million on 2 February 2015.[12]

The company also provides the stand-alone proxy service, Ixquick Proxy, which has also been incorporated into both its Ixquick and Startpage search engines, allowing users the option to open all search results via proxy. The company developed a privacy protecting email service, called StartMail.[13] This service was released to the public in 2014.[14]


Ixquick was re-launched on 23 March 2005, with new features including a redesigned metasearch algorithm, an international phone, and lowest-price directory.[15]

On 27 June 2006, following criticism of Google Shopping, Ixquick.com began to delete private details of its users.[16] IP addresses and other personal information were deleted within 48 hours of a search.[17] Ixquick has stated that it does not share its users' personal information with other search engines or with the provider of its sponsored results.[18][19]

Ixquick was awarded the first European Privacy Seal (EuroPriSe) for its privacy practices on 14 July 2008.[8][9][7] This European Union-sponsored initiative guarantees compliance with EU laws and regulations on data security and privacy, through a series of design and technical audits.[20] It was re-certified together with Startpage in 2009, 2011, 2013[21] and 2015.[4]

On 28 January 2009, Ixquick completely ended the recording of user IP addresses.[22][23]

On 29 March 2016, Ixquick.com was officially "merged" with the same company's Startpage search engine[5] (a search engine with the privacy features of Ixquick, but using only Google search results[6]). Users entering ixquick.com are now automatically re-routed to startpage.com. However, at the end of Ixquick's merger notice, the company reports: "We think you're going to love StartPage, but if you prefer original Ixquick search results, don't worry. They are still available at ixquick.eu." Ixquick had long declared on its sites, that it operated in compliance with European Union privacy standards, and it retains its original European search engine.[10]

Search mechanism and interface

Ixquick returns the top ten results from multiple search engines. It uses a "Star System" to rank its results by awarding one star for every result that has been returned from a search engine.[24] Thereby, the top search results are the ones that have been returned from the most search engines. Ixquick can search in 17 languages: Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish. Each language version includes local search engines.

Ixquick uses only one cookie, called "preferences", which remembers a user's search preferences for future searches and is deleted after a user does not visit Ixquick for 90 days.[25] It is however possible to save preferences in a bookmarked URL, thus avoiding cookies completely.[26] Preferences are not saved automatically. Only a visitor can decide to save his or her preferences.


On 7 July 2009 Ixquick launched Startpage.com to offer its service at a URL that is both "easier to spell and remember[27]", and in contrast to ixquick.eu, fetches results from the Google search engine.[28] This is done without saving the users' IP addresses or giving any personal user information to Google's servers.

On 29 March 2016, Ixquick.com was officially "merged" with the same company's Startpage search engine[5]

Prior to the release of Tor Browser version 4.5, Startpage.com was its default search engine.[29]


  1. ^ "Ixquick.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 25 October 2017. 
  2. ^ "Startpage.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 25 October 2017. 
  3. ^ "Ixquick Search". www.metamend.com.
  4. ^ a b Ixquick.eu press release, "EuroPriSe: Privacy-friendly Internet search with Ixquick and Startpage reaffirmed", 20 July 2015, Surfboard Holding B.V., Bonn, Germany, on Ixquick.eu website, retrieved 5 April 2016.
  5. ^ a b c Ixquick.com notice, "We've streamlined the fight against Big Brother!", announcement on Ixquick.com website, retrieved 5 April 2016.
  6. ^ a b Ixquick.eu press release, "StartPage and Ixquick Join Forces in the Fight Against Big Brother", 30 March 2016, Surfboard Holding B.V., Zeist, The Netherlands, on Ixquick.eu website, retrieved 5 April 2016.
  7. ^ a b "First European Privacy Seal Awarded" (Press release). Ixquick. 14 July 2008. 
  8. ^ a b EuroPriSe press release, "First European Privacy Seal Awarded", July 14, 2008, EuroPriSe consortium, via Business Wire / Google, Kiel, Germany, retrieved April 5, 2016.
  9. ^ a b Privacy.org news article, "EU Awards First Privacy Seal to Online Search Engine Ixquick.com", July 14, 2008, EPIC - Electronic Privacy Information Center / Privacy International, Washington, D.C., retrieved April 5, 2016.
  10. ^ a b ExpressVPN.com, "Free Search Engines: What You’re Looking For?," 19 January 2015, retrieved April 5, 2016.
  11. ^ "New Ixquick International Search Engine Unveiled" www.hventure.nl. March 23, 2005.
  12. ^ "Ixquick/StartPage Direct queries per day (28 Day Average)". Retrieved March 20, 2015. 
  13. ^ "When is your StartMail private email service going to be released? - Startpage Support". 2013-07-23. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  14. ^ "StartMail Launches "Email Encryption Made Easy" at pii2014 Conference". Startpage. Retrieved 24 October 2017. 
  15. ^ "IXQuick.com Q & A With David Bodnick & Alex van Eesteren". www.marketingshift.com. 23 March 2005. 
  16. ^ "Ixquick.com Eliminates 'Big Brother'". biz.yahoo.com. 27 June 2006. 
  17. ^ "http://ixquick.com/eng/protect_privacy_qa.html Privacy Q&A"
  18. ^ Greenberg, Andy (February 15, 2008). "The Privacy Paradox". Forbes.com. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  19. ^ "Ixquick: Privacy Policy"
  20. ^ "About Europrise. Archived 2011-07-20 at the Wayback Machine."
  21. ^ "Register of Awarded Seals". EuroPrise. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  22. ^ Albrecht, Katherine (28 January 2009). "Privacy-friendly search engine Ixquick.com completely stops recording IP addresses". Ixquick press release. Retrieved 2010-06-21. 
  23. ^ Rodriguez, Sarah (1 May 2009). "Search engines besides Google? Who knew?". Special to Wisconsin Law Journal. Wisconsin Law Journal. Retrieved 2013-07-11. 
  24. ^ Shuman, Bruce A. (2001). Issues for Libraries and Information Science in the Internet Age. Englewood, Colorado: Libraries Unlimited, Inc. p. 159. ISBN 1-56308-805-3. 
  25. ^ "ixquick Privacy Q & A". Ixquick. 
  26. ^ Ixquick Company FAQ
  27. ^ "The History of Private Search Engines – Hacker Noon". Hacker Noon. 2018-04-09. Retrieved 2018-04-12. 
  28. ^ "What is the difference between StartPage and Ixquick? - StartPage Support Center". Support.startpage.com. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  29. ^ "Tor Browser 4.5 is released". blog.torproject.org. Retrieved 2015-09-16. 

External links