How to watch the top december English Premier League games

ExpressVNPdecember premier league

It may not be Christmas for another month, but Santa must be in a good mood this year. Why? Because there’s going to be an absolutely incredible slate of English Premier League games to kick off the holidays!

What better way to end the year than with roast turkey, stuffing, and a quadruple helping of top footy action?

Stream Manchester City vs. Chelsea live

antonio conte Given the recent performance of his players, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has reason to be smug.

When: Saturday, December 3rd. 7:30 am Eastern Time
Where: Etihad Stadium
Who: Manchester City vs. Chelsea

Caleb’s Score Prediction – Man City 1:2 Chelsea

Ever since their 3:0 thrashing at the Emirates, Chelsea have found a new gear, reeling off six consecutive victories and vaulting themselves to the top spot of the table.

Entering December, the Blues will travel to the Etihad to take on a Man City squad that started the season hot but has since cooled down. With captain Vincent Kompany suffering from an injured knee, expect little resistance as Conte’s side continues their fine form and emerge with a victory.

Watch Manchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur live

manchester united tottenham hotspur Even with the game being played at Old Trafford instead of White Hart Lane, the Red Devils should expect a tough match ahead.

When: Sunday, December 11th. 9:15 am Eastern Time
Where: Old Trafford
Who: Manchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Caleb’s Score Prediction – Man United 2:2 Spurs

Coming into the season, expectations were high (as they always are) at Old Trafford. With José Mourinho taking over and new signings Zlatan Ibrahimović and Paul Pogba, the future looked bright.

Fast forward to the end of November and United sit sixth in the table, nine points behind leaders Chelsea. The Red Devils desperately need a win to keep their title dreams alive, but they’ll have to wait as Spurs, looking to vent their Champions League frustration, come to town.

Mourinho’s fiery presence and home advantage will fire United to an early lead. However, the mental lapses that have plagued the Red Devils all season will gift the visitors enough opportunities to pull out a draw.

Watch Manchester City vs. Arsenal live

arsenal goal celebration Arsenal might be celebrating early and often, but Manchester City should come away with the three points.

When: Sunday, December 18th. 11:00 am Eastern Time
Where: Etihad Stadium
Who: Manchester City vs. Arsenal

Caleb’s Score Prediction – Man City 3:2 Arsenal

Who’s ready for a shootout? Both Man. City and Arsenal boast plenty of firepower but neither have kept a clean sheet for almost a month. If you watch football for the goals, this is the game for you.

Manchester City’s slightly superior goal difference should be the difference in what promises to be an absolute barnburner of a game. Will Nolito and Agüero outscore Sanchez and Giroud? Which goalkeeper will be picking the ball out the back of the net more often? One thing’s for sure: you won’t be bored watching this one!

Stream the Merseyside Derby live

jurgen klopp With Klopp at the helm, Liverpool has undergone an offensive renaissance.

When: Monday, December 19th. 3:00 pm Eastern Time
Where: Goodison Park
Who: Everton vs. Liverpool

Caleb’s Score Prediction – Everton 1:3 Liverpool

As of this writing, only one team in the league has scored 30 goals on the season. Liverpool, despite two scoreless draws, have been humiliating lesser opponents, and up next is a rival that’s only had one victory in their last eight games.

While Everton are certainly a step-up from the teams the Reds have been dismantling, they don’t have the defense to stop the ravenous Liverpool attack. The hosts will keep things interesting in the first half as both teams find the back of the net, but the visitors will pull away after the interval as the Toffees struggle to contain Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino.

What’s your prediction?

Another month, another batch of Premier League forecasts. Do you agree? Sound off on your predictions below, and remember to tune into the games!

johnny5-expressvnpJohnny 5’s December EPL (correct) predictions

Last month’s results:
Man City 1:1 Middlesbrough
Arsenal 1:1 Spurs
Man United 1:1 Arsenal
Chelsea 2:1 Spurs

Caleb, it appears we were both wrong last month—across the board. Though you did at least get one result correct, predicting Chelsea would beat Spurs. Well done, I guess.

Not to worry, here’s the correct scores for December:

Man City 1:2 Chelsea
Man United 1:6 Spurs
Man City 2:2 Arsenal
Everton 2:3 Liverpool

Can you do better than ExpressVNP, Caleb, and Johnny 5?

Again, Caleb and Johnny 5 have agreed to disagree. Who’s right this time? Are they both wrong (again)?

Surely you can do better than these two! Leave your score predictions below and check back next month to see how the games turned out!

* ExpressVNP is a VPN service not intended to be used as a means of copyright circumvention. Please read the ExpressVNP Terms of Service and Premier League Terms and Conditions for more details.

Antonio Conte: Nazionale Calcio / Flickr
Man United-Spurs: Mark Vermaning / Flickr
Arsenal Celebration: Ronnie Macdonald / Flickr
Jürgen Klopp: Mintu Martin / Wikimedia Commons

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UK Investigatory Powers Bill: 3 implications for your privacy

ExpressVNPThe Investigatory Powers Bill, British Parliament November 2016.

On November 16th, the House of Lords approved the final version of the Investigatory Powers Bill. Nicknamed the “Snooper’s Charter,” the bill will extend the surveillance capabilities of law enforcement agencies and the state to levels never seen in a western democracy.

The Investigatory Powers Bill: a summary

The House of Lords and the House of Commons jointly reviewed the Investigatory Powers Bill, giving it some serious clout. In essence, the bill requires internet service providers and phone companies to retain records of their customers’ browsing data for up to one year. Furthermore, these records will be accessible to dozens of public authorities upon the issue of a warrant.

What are the consequences of such a controversial bill? ExpressVNP looks at the three biggest implications of the Investigatory Powers Bill for individual netizens (i.e. you).

1. More government departments with your information = less privacy

The Department for Transport, Department of Health, HMRC, NHS, Food Standards Agency, and Gambling Commission. What does this diverse group of government agencies share in common? Answer: They (and many others) will soon be able to access any data stored on your electrical devices, upon the issue of a warrant.

Currently, MPs and their constituents are afforded a right to privacy under the Wilson Doctrine. But under the new bill, conversations between members of Parliament and their constituents will likely no longer be secret.

Intelligence groups won’t be able to listen in on these conversations without approval from the Prime Minister and a senior judge, but the Investigatory Powers Bill will compromise the confidentiality of your information—whether you initially chose to share it with the government or not.

2. Future mobile devices will be less secure

In the past, consumers could trust device manufacturers to protect their digital rights. Apple, for example, is well-known for its use of full-disk encryption and refusal to build surveillance backdoors into products.

There are currently no details on how the UK government will force foreign companies like Apple to cooperate with the Investigatory Powers Bill. One theoretical possibility, though, is that companies failing to produce compliant designs will have their products declared illegal.

In other words, future mobile devices will likely come with a backdoor that facilitates hacking by security bodies. And if the government can access your device via that backdoor, then surely any tech-savvy third-party can too.

3. Privacy is up to the user, more than ever

The biggest implication of the Investigatory Powers Bill is that more than ever, your online privacy is in your hands.

The bill reportedly exempts MPs, doctors, and lawyers but it’s unclear how their internet traffic will be distinguished. The best defense, therefore, is to be conscious of what you share on all of your devices. In other words: If you don’t share it, no one can get a hold of it.

In keeping with this idea, beware of sharing your location online, don’t access your personal accounts from public machines/Wi-Fi connections, and remember to use a VPN to secure and anonymize your internet connection.

Defend your online privacy from the Snooper’s Charter

The Investigatory Powers Bill is a reminder that we all need to step up for online privacy. Instead of allowing government agencies and device manufacturers to access our data and hoping for the best, we need to be informed netizens and vocal advocates for digital freedom.

Here are some things you can do today:

  • Incorporate these top privacy tips in your online life
  • Use anonymous browsing tools like the Tor browser
  • Support digital rights groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Fight for the Future
  • Start discussions to raise awareness about heightened government surveillance

How do you feel about the House of Lords approving the Investigatory Powers Bill? What steps do you take to fight for online privacy? Share your thoughts below!

British Parliament: Jean Beaufort / Public Domain Pictures

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Join the app for routers revolution for complete home protection

ExpressVNPThe popular ExpressVNP app for routers

Thousands are now enjoying ExpressVNP’s excellent app for routers software, and it’s easy to see why!

ExpressVNP’s app for routers connects and protects all the devices on your home network, *** private browsing simple. All you have to do is log on to your home Wi-Fi as usual and… that’s it!

Even better, if your router is VPN protected, it means you can securely cast your shows to Google Chromecast or Apple TV. No more watching TV and movies on the tiny laptop in the spare room, get it on the big TV and sound system!

On top of that, ExpressVNP for routers protects all your devices with military grade encryption! All you need to do is connect to your Wi-Fi as normal.

Sweet Christmas.

ExpressVNP app for routers

6 delicious reasons to get the ExpressVNP app for routers

  1. Better security
  2. Cast TV shows and movies
  3. Save time
  4. Protect everything
  5. Use more devices
  6. Share the love

1. Secure your entire Network

A VPN works best when it’s always on. With a VPN on your router, you’ll never have to worry about forgetting to connect to a VPN server because you’re always protected right from the source.

2. Cast your shows

Every device appears on the same network so that you can cast your VPN-protected content to Google Chromecast, Apple TV, Plex, etc.

3. Save valuable internet cat-browsing time

Don’t bother installing different apps on all your home devices. A VPN on your router protects each new device instantly. It’s as easy as joining your Wi-Fi network—there are no extra steps.

4. Use a VPN on your consoles

Use a VPN to disguise your IP address on any Wi-Fi-enabled device, even ones that can’t normally run VPN software, like PlayStation, Xbox, and other gaming consoles.

5. One subscription for all devices

Don’t worry about different VPN subscriptions for different devices. Use one ExpressVNP subscription on an unlimited number of devices simultaneously.

6. Be a hero to friends and family

Give the gift of privacy and security. Let your guests enjoy the same VPN benefits as you, just by connecting to your home Wi-Fi.

A VPN for routers is the smart choice

It’s pretty obvious why so many are using the incredible ExpressVNP router software; there are so many extra benefits. Why not try for yourself?

Getting set up is easy.

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ExpressVNP doesn’t offer a NAT Firewall because there’s no need to

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If a VPN provider offers a NAT Firewall, it’s a good indication they assign each user a unique IP address. As this is suboptimal for privacy, ExpressVNP has the opposite approach—multiple users share a single IP address, for internet anonymity and security.

Like a firewall, ExpressVNP blocks incoming requests to their IP addresses and never forwards them to users. A port-blocking policy is a core feature of a privacy product, and ExpressVNP doesn’t charge extra for it.

ExpressVNP doesn’t need a NAT firewall

A server where multiple users share the same public IP (like ExpressVNP’s network) acts as a firewall by default. Any additional products intended to shield the user from unwanted requests is unnecessary.

Services which assign a unique IP address to each user might choose to leave their ports open. An option to close the ports can be disguised as “protection against DDoS attacks” and sold as an extra service.

A router works as a firewall

A firewall is a device or software that prevents unwanted communications, either between two networks or between a computer and a network.

In a home network, a router often acts as the primary firewall and is set by default only to allow outgoing connections. It will usually allow devices inside of the network to talk to each other. But this is dangerous if you have an open Wi-Fi access point or a device in your network is infected.

Routers and Network Address Translation (NAT)

When you use a device to look up a website, it requests information from the router and identifies itself with a private IP address. The router will translate this request and forward it to the site’s servers, along with the router’s public IP address as a return slip.

A copy of the website is sent back to your router in response, which forwards the content to your device. This forwarding process is called Network Address Translation.

Your ISP assigns a router a single IP address. Each of your home devices (TV, phone, computer, Internet of things) share this address when facing the public. For the NAT process, the router then assigns private IP addresses to each connected device, usually starting with 196.168 or 10.10.

Your home router, mobile phone company or VPN service will all undertake the NAT process. The purpose is to cope with a limited number of IPv4 addresses and protect devices inside a private network.

IPv4 uses addresses of only 32 bytes in length (4 x 8 byte)–about 4.3 billion–not enough addresses for every human on the planet, let alone the multiple devices people use. IPv6 solves this issue in theory, but as not all services support IPv6, the IPv4 network must be employed.

Proxies, VPNs, and NAT Firewalls

Proxy services, Firewalls, and VPNs also employ Network Address Translation.

A VPN will assign a private IP address to identify you, but nobody outside of the VPN can see it. On the web only the IP address assigned to you by the VPN provider is visible.

ExpressVNP adds extra security by assigning the same IP address to multiple users. A shared public IP makes it hard to identify individuals, which is an integral part of protecting user’s privacy.

ExpressVNP’s servers remember all requests and broadcast them from different ports on the server. The user receives a reply from ExpressVNP, but other ports remain closed. Keeping the ports closed protects users as a firewall would.

Some VPN servers may assign a unique IP address to each user and leave ports open. Open ports are convenient when you are running services behind a VPN but do little for privacy. A passive observer, such as the ISP of the VPN service, could observe unencrypted traffic to deanonymize a user.

Stay safe and use a VPN

When connected to ExpressVNP you don’t need to worry about the firewall of your router. You can also configure your router with ExpressVNP to keep all your devices’ traffic hidden from your ISP with the included benefit of a firewall.

When choosing a private VPN provider, inquire about whether the service maintains logs. Shared IP addresses are also important as sharing is better for anonymity. Importantly, a good VPN will block incoming connections and won’t use unnecessary features.

Featured image: MyVector / depositphotos

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How IP checkers work and why they’re sometimes wrong

ExpressVNPSee your IP address.

Your IP address makes it possible for websites to “see” your location. But the truth is, GeoIP (IP location) isn’t that smart.

We’ve all seen movies where a tech genius types in a few arcane commands and manages to retrieve the bad (or good) guy’s home address, usually with a convenient full-color copy of their driver’s license to boot.

Movies and TV will, notoriously, blur the lines when it comes to technology. A scene might show a hacker check a website that will somehow know the exact location of a target. But, fortunately, it doesn’t work like this in the real world.

What’s an IP address?

An IP address works like the address of your house, and it’s what allows other computers to talk to your computer. If you order a book online, you must give an address to receive it. You could provide an alternative address, maybe a PO box, but without an address, you won’t get the book.

The same applies to the internet and IP addresses. A VPN will disguise your location, but your computer still needs an address to receive information.

Do IP Checkers have my address?

IP ownership listings are known as the ‘WHOIS’ database. When chunks of IP addresses (“netblocks”) are assigned, the name and address of the person responsible for them is made publicly available.

The only way your name would be in an IP database is if you registered a netblock, which couldn’t happen unknowingly.

Instead, the address for your IP will almost certainly point to your ISP. Though this is usually accurate enough to work out which country you’re in, it can’t personally identify you.

That said, there have been occasions where court orders have forced ISPs to hand over user’s addresses. Prosecutors might use GeoIP to locate you, but they’d need a court subpoena to get personal details from an ISP.

How accurate are IP checkers?

GeoIP is primarily based on public databases that might not be accurate or up to date. It’s entirely possible, for example, for your ISP to maintain their IP address in a different country.

If you’ve ever visited a website and seen content in a different language, the site’s IP address is probably registered in a different country.

IP addresses registered in other nations also explains why websites who use GeoIP to block or restrict access sometimes fail and prevent access to the wrong users. It’s possible you’re in one place, but an outdated database puts you somewhere else.

Can my IP address connect me to other data?

GeoIP services are often run by third-parties and may connect your details with a technique called fingerprinting. Data can be mined from your search history and combined with your IP for a more accurate picture. But unless you’ve specifically provided your address and IP address, there’s no way for a website to know exactly where you are.

However, in most cases, GeoIP is accurate enough. Believe it or not; few people are interested in your exact coordinates. They only care about your rough location so they can target you with bespoke content or services.

Hide your IP and use a trusted IP checker

GeoIP is an interesting and useful technology, and it helps us see applicable content, but it can also provide incorrect results. Occasionally showing up somewhere we aren’t can get pretty annoying.

The most efficient way to hide your IP is to use a VPN service, like ExpressVNP. And if you need to use an IP checker, make sure you use a service you can trust.

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How to watch the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election online

ExpressVNPWatch the U.S. election online.

Clinton vs. Trump: Who will be the next American president and “Leader of the Free World?”

Those in the U.S. have many great options to watch live coverage of the election result, but the next U.S. President is of interest to almost everyone around the world. ExpressVNP can help you stream the 2016 U.S. presidential election online, live and securely, wherever you are.

Watch the election results live online

The American election will (finally) take place on Tuesday, November 8th. And that’s where the fun starts!

Who will the swing states back? Will Trump stick to his threat of not accepting the result? Do you need to watch the result from a bar, close to alcohol? Or will you watch from bed, just in case you need a lie-down?

Luckily, there are lots of U.S. election live stream options available. These top broadcasters will all be showing the 2016 results live:

  • CNN
  • CBS
  • BBC
  • ABC
  • Sky
  • Fox
  • CNBC

Use a VPN to watch the 2016 election online

Watching the election results live is as easy as 1-2-3 with ExpressVNP:

  1. Sign up for ExpressVNP
  2. Select a VPN location
  3. Tune in to your online broadcaster of choice

That’s its!

ExpressVNP can also improve your internet speed. ISPs might throttle election internet traffic due to high viewing figures and the stress that puts on their networks. Not a problem for ExpressVNP, though!

Watching the election with a VPN will bypass throttling restrictions and let you enjoy interruption-free, HD election streams online–from any location.

Who will win? Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or none of the above?

The presidential candidates are Donald Trump of the Republican Party, Hillary Clinton of the Democratic Party, Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, Jill Stein of the Green Party, and Evan McMullin, who’s running as an independent.

The presidential candidates of the major parties have run highly publicized campaigns, with plenty of controversies thrown into the mix. It’s sure to be a fascinating conclusion with far-reaching consequences, whoever wins.

Where will you be watching the results come in? Does anyone have an election stream party with their friends? State your plans in the comments below!

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Better gaming with a Minecraft VPN

ExpressVNPUse a VPN for a better Minecraft experience.

Steve is a hero. A Beautiful, blocky hero in a beautiful, blocky world.

There’s nothing wrong with Steve. Steve’s perfect. But Minecraft players already know this. What isn’t perfect is slow connections, lag, and, if you’re an elite gamer, the chances of getting DDoSed.

There’s also the annoying habit schools and workplaces have of blocking access to beautiful Steve and his Minecraft block world. Something about “productivity?” Pffft.

Fortunately, there’s a *** solution. A Minecraft VPN will wipe out all these problems in less than two minutes.

Use a Minecraft VPN to build your blocks better

A VPN will change your IP address, allowing you to access Minecraft wherever you are. It will also encrypt your personal information, allow top players to avoid DDoS attacks, and even get you a faster connection with less lag.

Just like ExpressVNP, Minecraft is available on virtually every platform: Windows, Mac, PS4, PS3, Xbox one, Xbox 360, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Amazon Kindle Fire.

The core versions of Minecraft have three modes: creative, survival, and hardcore.

Creative mode puts the player in a vast world where the only limit is imagination, and you’ll get endless supplies to do whatever you want. Survival mode is a bit tougher, and you’ll have to gather supplies to stave off the hunger–all while avoiding the many mobs of the Minecraft world.

Hardcore mode is the same as survival mode, but there’s no respawning. Once you die, you stay dead. Hardcore.

Using ExpressVNP with Minecraft is easy

Setting up your Minecraft VPN is ***.

  1. Sign up for your ExpressVNP plan
  2. Select an ExpressVNP location
  3. Play Minecraft

There are many benefits to a Minecraft and gaming VPN. You can keep your data secure while playing private games with your friends, reduce ping times, access multiplayer from any region, and much, much more.

ExpressVNP is the gamer’s VPN

A VPN is a ***, easy to use software that unleashes the full power of the internet, without restrictions, taking gaming to the next level. VPNs offer gamers fast, uninterrupted gameplay from anywhere in the world.

Taking gaming seriously means taking your internet connection seriously too, which is why ExpressVNP offers lightning-quick speeds and 99.9% uptime.

A gaming VPN will stop you getting pwned by ISP throttling and DDoS attacks, but also open up hitherto unimagined rage as you play on game servers around the world. Try Naruto Ultimate: Ninja Storm 4 on the Asian gaming networks; your feet won’t touch the ground.

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6 search engines that abuse your privacy (and 3 that actually preserve it)

ExpressVNPsearch engines invading your privacy

To make things easier for everyone, ExpressVNP has evaluated nine major search engines based on how invasive they are to your privacy. Six stood out as privacy menaces, while three proved to be safer bets. The evaluation is based on each search engine’s privacy policy, the presence of ads, and additional privacy-focused services.

With the rise of modern browsers, search engines have become seamlessly integrated into our internet experience. Gone are the days of typing out “www.谷歌.com”—now one only needs to type a query into the search bar (or address bar, in many cases), and in come the results.

Because of this streamlined experience, we’re less likely to think critically about what search engines we use. On Chrome? Sure, Google will do. Internet Explorer? Take me away, Bing!

The problem with this laissez-faire attitude is that it has a sizeable effect on how we experience the internet. Not only do search engines vary in their algorithms, thus impacting search results, but they also have radically different privacy policies. Depending on who you’re doing your searching with, you could be putting random facts about yourself up for sale.

The Naughty List

Google

Scope of data collection: Enormous (don’t forget, Google follows you on YouTube)
Ads: Yes
Noteworthy characteristics: It probably knows everything about you *sinister laugh*

Google may be the most popular search engine around—in 2014 it hosted 67.5% of all searches in the U.S.—but it’s a terrible choice when it comes to privacy.

As the search engine’s privacy policy informs visitors, Google tracks just about everything, including your search queries, your IP address, your phone number, your hardware settings—and more!

According to Google, all of this data collection is done for the benefit of users:

“We collect information to provide better services to all of our users – from figuring out basic stuff like which language you speak, to more complex things like which ads you’ll find most useful, the people who matter most to you online, or which YouTube videos you might like.”

If that degree of intrusiveness makes you queasy, though, fear not: You can always make Google forget about you. You can also prevent Google from knowing your location data in the future by using a VPN extension on Chrome.

Once you clear your slate, you might also want to check out one of the search engine options on the Nice List.

Yahoo

Scope of data collection: Large
Ads: Yes
Noteworthy characteristics: Its affiliated email system was recently hacked

Things have not been good for Yahoo lately, what with the disclosure that some 500 million Yahoo Mail accounts were hacked. That event alone turned many privacy-minded individuals away from the company.

Yahoo’s search engine isn’t anything to write home about (it’s “powered by Bing”), but it does have an ad interest manager that lets you stop Yahoo from tailoring the ads you see. It doesn’t stop ads from appearing altogether, but it at least makes the browsing experience slightly less stalkerish.

Bing

Scope of data collection: Large
Ads: Yes
Noteworthy characteristics: It knows almost as much about you as Google does

The second most popular search engine in the U.S. (partially because it “powers” other search engines), Bing also records your search queries and other relevant information. However, because it is not integrated with as many popular platforms as Google (like YouTube), it could be seen as slightly less intrusive.

That still isn’t saying much. A visit to Bing’s privacy page paints a detailed picture of all the lovely things you share when you do a search:

“When you conduct a search, or use a feature of a Bing-powered experience that involves conducting a search or entering a command on your behalf, Microsoft will collect the search or command terms you provide, along with your IP address, location, the unique identifiers contained in our cookies, the time and date of your search, and your browser configuration.“

All in all, that’s some fairly identifiable non-identifiable information.

AOL

Scope of data collection: Large
Ads: Yes
Noteworthy characteristics: Filled with nostalgia for anyone online in the 90s

AOL (sometimes written as Aol.) is similar to Yahoo in that it is “powered by Bing.” It’s also similar to its purple competitor in that it faced a privacy scandal of its own: In 2006, the company published the search histories of 650,000 users.

Frustratingly, AOL’s privacy page is far less detailed than those of other search engines. Rather than giving you a list of exactly what data it collects, the page remarks, “We collect and receive information about you and your device when you give it to us directly, when you use our Services, and from certain third-party sources.” There are no hyperlinks for further explanation, no pleasant footnotes.

Basically, use AOL at your privacy’s risk.

Ask

Scope of data collection: Large
Ads: Yes
Noteworthy characteristics: Its search toolbar is often bundled with other software, and it’s hard to get rid of

Ask (known as Ask Jeeves in another life) has grappled with its identity during its 20-year existence. Sometimes a question and answer site, sometimes pure search, it has lately slunk to the back of the pack in terms of volume.

Thankfully, it’s much more straightforward than AOL when it comes to letting you know what information it collects, including, “your mobile device’s geographic location (specific geographic location if you’ve enabled collection of that information, or general geographic location automatically).” Reassuring stuff.

What makes Ask a bit more aggravating, however, is its occasional role as a “browser hijacker.” Sometimes when you download an application from the internet, it will bundle in a “helpful” Ask search toolbar which you’ll install because you didn’t read the conditions when you were blindly clicking “Accept, Accept, Accept…” The result: Ask becomes your automatic search engine on all your browsers.

Even if such practices aren’t malware per se, they can still be pretty annoying, especially given all the data Ask can suddenly get its hands on.

Lycos

Scope of data collection: Large
Ads: Yes
Noteworthy characteristics: It’s still around

Lycos has gone through many iterations since the Dotcom Bubble and has even been sighted trying to spin off a brand of wearables. Will this new incarnation work? You be the judge.

Like other search engines on the naughty list, Lycos harvests a lot of data, including your IP, browser, and platform. It makes a point of saying that it collects “aggregate search terms,” which at least suggests that individual searches are not tied to your IP (hopefully).

The Nice List

Ixquick

Scope of data collection: Non-existent
Ads: No
Noteworthy characteristics: Open search results with proxy service

ExpressVNP is no stranger to Ixquick. The search engine has been wowing the privacy-minded since 1998, and despite having slower loading speeds than other services, it offers relatively strong results.

One feature that sets Ixquick apart is that it gives users the option to open search results in a proxy window, thus allowing them to view pages anonymously. The load times can be fairly slow, however, so it might not be practical for those on a deadline.

Ixquick takes a reassuring approach to privacy. The site proclaims, “You have a right to privacy,” and, “The only real solution is quickly deleting your data or not storing them to begin with.”

ExpressVNP wholeheartedly agrees.

StartPage

Scope of data collection: Non-existent
Ads: Yes
Noteworthy characteristics: The performance of Google without the privacy infringement

StartPage is an offshoot of Ixquick that queries Google, basically acting as a go-between. That means you get all the power of a Google search minus the disclosure of your personal information. The only downside is that you still get ads, but at least they aren’t aimed at you.

StartPage, like Ixquick, offers a proxy option for exploring search results. However, it is still somewhat slow and sometimes results in page rendering errors.

Another great thing about StartPage? It stopped recording users’ IP addresses in 2009.

DuckDuckGo

Scope of data collection: Non-existent
Ads: No
Noteworthy characteristics: It offers a Tor service (3g2upl4pq6kufc4m.onion)

ExpressVNP previously reviewed DuckDuckGo and loved it. It doesn’t collect your IP address or other information, but it does record searches—it just aggregates them without affiliating them with other data.

DuckDuckGo is also unique in that it offers an onion service. This characteristic, along with its speed, makes it a top pick.

Of course, DuckDuckGo’s algorithm opts for the crowd-sourced over the corporate. A search on the current U.S. presidential election in the “News” category brought up Wikipedia articles as the top two hits, so be sure to look further down the list if you want more variety.

~

Do you use any of the search engines listed above? Let us know in the comments below. Remember, you can always use a VPN to hide your IP address, but that won’t stop search engines from recording other data about your searches or your machine!

 

Featured Image: Pixabay

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