Mojeek on Mullvad Browser
21 November 2023
Every now and again we are asked if we have considered launching a privacy-focussed browser. The answer is yes, but that would take away time and effort from our main focus: building the world’s alternative search engine. It would also mean using a set of skills that are quite different from those needed in search. Since 2014 our homepage has presented a simple tagline:
No Tracking. Just Search.
This isn’t just a way of simply communicating what you get with Mojeek, but also a wider philosophy that we’ve applied to our mission. We are fully focussed on building a search engine outside of Big Tech which is completely independent and privacy-first – a true alternative, not something which is taking results from Google or Bing (whether via an API or through imitation).
This means that if you’re looking for browsers, for emails, or for storage for your files, there are other places you can get these services, and we readily encourage that you do so.
Fortunately the browser space keeps on having new and exciting entrants. Browsers are, after all, the tools through which a large chunk of what everyone does online is funnelled. Choice is a great thing for search providers, as the larger browsers have agreements in place with dominant search engines, resulting in their moats deepening even further. It is also a positive thing for users, as problematic actions by one provider can be identified and passed on by people with their ear to the ground.
On April 3 2023, Mullvad, a Swedish company which offers a fast, trustworthy, and easy-to-use VPN, announced the release of a browser developed in a collaboration with the TOR Project. In their own words (emphasis by us):
It’s designed to minimize tracking and fingerprinting. You could say it’s a Tor Browser to use without the Tor Network. Instead, you can use it with a trustworthy VPN. The idea is to provide one more alternative – beside the Tor Network – to browse the internet with more privacy. To get as many people as possible to fight the big data gathering of today. To free the internet from mass surveillance.
The browser itself leverages the Gecko engine (so similar to Firefox, LibreWolf etc.) and scores well on the much-cited privacy browser comparison site privacytests.org.
VPNs x Browsers
One of the interesting things about the Mullvad browser is that it is made with VPN usage in mind. Frequently web services can penalise you for coming from a different IP address, especially if this is on a known list of VPN IPs. Having your browser built to respect the fact that your IP address might be here one day, somewhere else the next, can help you to cut down on some of the hassle which comes with trying to keep yourself anonymous-ish online.
There is also a great deal of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt when it comes to the marketing of some VPNs that claim no logging. Your ability to check that this is actually happening is very limited. Audits can go some way to giving users peace of mind, but what is even better is to have the authorities take action and see what comes of it, as they did earlier this year…
Available on Mullvad
So if you’re looking for a combination of search engine and browser that seeks to free the internet from mass surveillance, Mullvad and Mojeek are complementary. Furthermore Mojeek is on the integrated list of search engines which are available as standard in the Mullvad Browser.
You can now find out how to simply add Mojeek to Mullvad on our support pages.
21 November 2023