Ixquick is a search engine that can be used to search for any type of information. Apart from searching for different items, searches through Ixquick may also be specifically conducted for videos, images and phone numbers. The web application provides a phone directory search option for both personal and business phone numbers in at least thirty countries. To search for a phone number, users need to provide one or more names of the person or business that the phone number is regsitered to. The phone search process also involves specifying the city, state and country where the phone number originated. Any user can type in a keyword or other information into the search boxes and begin the search process. It is also possible to use Ixquick as an add-on to a browser and conduct advanced or more detailed searching.
In 1998, David Bodnick launched the Ixquick search engine in New York and Surfboard Holding B.V., a privately held Dutch organization, acquired Ixquick in 2000. The company spread the message about Ixquick’s private search engine capabilities and the popularity of the search engine exploded as users began seeking more privacy and protection for their information. As people realized the potential of private searches, word of mouth became a major advertising force for Ixquick. Search Engine Watch presented Ixquick with best metasearch awards and Europrise, a certifying authority, gave Ixquick the 1st Enropean Privacy Seal award. With over a billion searches under its belt, Ixquick is continuing to grow in popularity by continuing to offer advanced levels of privacy. Since Ixquick is privately owned, it has no affiliation with any particular country, enterprise or agency. Instead, there is a desire within Ixquick to remain small, manageble and flexible, which will enable it continue to provide valuable services for it’s users. Ixquick can improve it's search processes and continues to look for ways to provide a great experience for its users.
Unlike regular search engines, Ixquick is quite conscious about not storing information about its users in a permanent manner. This includes information about what the user is searching for or how many times a particular search is conducted. Other information such as IP addresses and user cookies are also deleted by Ixquick and never stored pernamently in any database. While other search engines can use collected search data to develop user profiles and enable targeted advertising or similar objectives, Ixquick readily promotes its position and attitude about helping users maintain their anonymity and privacy. Ixquick also has a sister search engine website known as Startpage.
The user is provided with a clean-looking and simple search screen when they first connect to the Ixquick search webpage. The colors on the webpage are appealing. There are no clashes with themes or text. Users can also select different themes for the webpage. There is no confusion regarding where users need to go for specific searches. This enhances navigation issues for the user. At least four search sections including web, images, videos and phone are clearly distinguished on the main search screen. Also, there are options available on the screen for finding out more about Ixquick, conducting advanced searches, adjusting the settings of the search engine and specifying the language used to conduct searches.
There are no specific registration requirements for using Ixquick. Users simply type in their keywords or phone number information and begin using the Ixquick search engine. There are opportunities to acquire more instances of Ixquick or make the search engine more accessible to the user by adding Ixquick to browsers, downloading an Ixquick toolbar, making Ixquick the user’s homepage, adding an search box directly to a user’s website or simply telling a friend about the search engine. A prompt to copy and paste HTML code, click on links or download information is all that is needed to add Ixquick functionality to browsers and webpages.
There are no costs to use the application. Users can search for information and phone numbers using Ixquick without having to pay anything for the service. There are no subscription fees or other similar charges. The user may fill a form to tell a friend about the Ixquick search engine or download toolbars, but no costs are involved with these processes.
The Ixquick search engine can be recommended to anyone, especially people who desire privacy. People who are conscious about not being tracked or having their IP addresses and other information recorded will be happy to use Ixquick's search engine. In addition to the more familiar searches for items, products, images, people and videos, Ixquick would also be recommended to people who need to search for the phone number of a person or a business. However, in some situations, users may find that the Ixquick search results may not be as concise as other search engines.