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Cliqz Browser

Cliqz is my new browser of choice. Why?
  • It is faster
  • It is more private
  • It is safer
  • So far zero crashes

In early February a client of mine, Dave Reynolds of Skyview Farms, asked me to check out Cliqz browser. I did. I was impressed. I started testing it. I switched to it. Then I switched my phone and tablet to their Android version as well.

So, What makes it different?

Cliqz has a few features that set it apart from other browsers.

  • Human powered search: Their innovative search engine works by looking at human behavior rather than links. Instead of giving you results based on what sites link to which sites most, Cliqz search gives you results based on what you and other people selected when entering those search words. If you do not like their options, press enter twice and it will launch your default regular search engine on your entry. They call the regular search engine the "complementary" search engine. It has taken me a few weeks to get used to this approach, but now, as I type, I look at their suggestions and actually read them! It is surprising how often they have what I want.

  • Privacy Browser: Cliqz incorporates an ad-blocking, anti-phishing and anti-tracking technology that is exceptionally good. In addition, it keeps your search and browsing information local. Most browsers will share your search results and other information with the parent company in the sky. Cliqz keeps your search history and other information on your own computer. It will use that information to try and give you better search results and news stories which it will attempt to monetize, but, the information stays on your computer.
  • Fast: Because it blocks trackers, and blocks advertisements, and limits add-ons, it is very very fast.
  • Uses Mozilla Engine: It uses the Open Source Mozilla engine, so it looks and feels like a leaner faster Firefox. Auditors can examine the code and verify what if any information is leaking out.

Image Explanation
  1. The "Q" like symbol to the right of the address bar is a quick menu into some options and information.
  2. Anti-Tracking: You'll notice they found and blocked 20 tracker objects. Click here to see what trackers were blocked.
  3. Ad-Block [Beta]: 20 ads were blocked. Click to see what Ads were blocked.
  4. Anti-Phishing: Tries to warn you of potentially dangerous sites
  5. Prefer HTTPS: Moves you to secured browsing when possible.

Search Options

In addition to their Human Search results, they let you use any of a number of search options including those you might add yourself. To change the default search engine choose the Menu then Options then Search. Select your complementary (other) search engine from the list in the box. If the engine you want isn't there, just click the Add more search engines... link below the list.

Why I'm so enamored

Companies must have a way to monetize their investment. Firefox sells search clicks to Yahoo. Google and other search providers use our IP Address and other computer details (like a fingerprint) to help build a profile of our actions and sell that profile to advertisers. This is the first time I've seen a company that will monetize their investment by selling clicks and pinpointing offers to us based on our actions but will keep the information local to our computer.

I believe this local control of data is the hope for our future privacy. We want to be assisted by our computers so they have to learn about us. But, they should keep that information local and use it to choose what to market to us, not sell the profile to all comers. I would like the local model to win.


Cliqz removes the open add-on feature that is so important to Firefox and to a large extent to Chrome as well. They feel that add-ons tend to slow the browser down, cause crashes and most importantly leak private information. Cliqz refuses to support the standard Web Extension model, that can compromise your security and privacy.

Instead, they are working to integrate a few add-ons into the browser and control the privacy options. Currently, they have integrated Https everywhere, and YouTube offline viewing into Cliqz. They have optional support for LastPass password manager and Ghostery Tracking blocker. As of March 5, 2017, no other add-on are allowed.

Download YouTube videos off-line

One of the integrated add-ons is integrated support for YouTube video off-line viewing. You can download YouTube videos to view later. Once you have started a video, the YouTube Downloader will appear and you can save the file in a variety of video formats and also in a just audio format.

The video icon only appears once the video is started.

With Cliqz for Mobile, you can also watch YouTube videos offline. On Android, you have to open the video page in the browser and then select "Watch video offlineā€¯ in the three-point menu at the top right. A selection of available video formats will appear. On iOS, you will find the option in the action menu (square with the arrow pointing up). Cliqz browsers are available for all major operating systems.


I do miss a couple add-ons, but I appreciate the speed, privacy, and reliability this browser offers. It is my main browser on my Computer, my tablet, and my phone.

More Information

Tutorial on setting and adding search engines on desktop, iOS, and Android.

Date: March 2017

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This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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