If you use duckduckgo.com (and you should!) over TOR, you will be pleased to know this search engine provides an .onion address as well – https://3g2upl4pq6kufc4m.onion.
By using the .onion version of this search engine, your ISP (or any man in the middle, for that matter) will no longer have any records that you have visited duckduckgo.com at all, since all the routing happens over the TOR network, and not over the ‘clear’ Internet. They will, at best, know that you connected to the TOR network, but will have no clue what you are doing on there, what sites you visit, what terms you are searching, none of that.
Here’s how it’s done:
- Download an existing ‘opensearch’ XML file for one of the DuckDuckGo provider add-ons, such as the ‘Lite’ version (or the ‘html’ version which is also non-JS by default): https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/duckduckgo-lite/ or https:// addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/duckduckgo-html/. Do it by right-clicking on the ‘Download Now’ button on the add-on page and ‘save link as’ to save the .xml to your computer.
- Modify the XML on your computer to replace all instances of
3g2upl4pq6kufc4m.onion. For extra security and privacy, double check that https is included in the url strings – HTTPS works on .onion urls also.
- In the
<ShortName>line, modify the name if you want to differentiate it from the existing one or just make it clear to yourself it’s the Tor DDG. e.g.:
<ShortName>DuckDuckGo Lite Tor</ShortName>.
<Param name="kp" value="-1"/>.
- Now upload the XML file to a temporary file sharing service that can provide a direct http link of your modified XML file. E.g.: https://gist.github.com and it’s Raw-Link. I’m providing the raw file here: https://100.evervee.me/ddgtor.xml.txt
- Find a ‘HTML sandbox’ site that provides a template for a browser-readable HTML page, and put in the
<head>section this tag:
<link rel="search" type="application/opensearchdescription+xml" title="DuckDuckGo Lite Tor" href="https://direct-link-to-your-modified-xml-file.xml">
- I’m providing that here: https://100.evervee.me/ddgtor.html
basically, visit the above link in your TOR Browser and add the search engine to it;
- Load the html sandbox code, and a blank page will be the result (but code obviously in the source). On that page, the tag tells Firefox that a custom search engine is to be found on this page! Go to the search bar and use the drop-down arrow on the left, and you’ll see ‘Add “DDG(TOR).onion”. Do it and you can now search from the Firefox bar with Tor hidden service anonymity, forever!
The settings and preferences that I’ve chosen for the search engine in its .onion form, are as follows:
Settings in JSON:
ae=d; p=-2; n=1; am=osm; ay=b; aq=1; ap=1; au=-1; g=p
By default settings are stored in non-personal browser cookies (in your browser).