Startpage launches proxy service for anonymous web browsing

Seeing that it is Data Privacy Day, Startpage announced the launch of a new proxy service allowing users to browse the web anonymously. Visitors must first enter a query in the Startpage search engine and select the "proxy" option under a result. The website is then displayed in a privacy-protected Startpage window. Users' IP addresses are protected from third-party sites and cookies cannot be installed, since the user is not interacting directly with the site.

Startpage's privacy policy states the company does not track users' search queries, IP addresses, or usage information. Robert Beens, CEO of Startpage, had this to say:

"People are more concerned about online data retention policies than ever before. We wanted to offer them a useful tool and this proxy is a logical extension of our services. A search engine is a starting point for people to visit other pages. Now our users can take the privacy they get with Startpage to the next step, and go privately to the sites they have found as well. This proxy completes the total search privacy picture."

The announcement comes after critics vocalized frustration at Google's recent anti-privacy comments, as detailed in this post. Although the idea of browsing the web anonymously is a welcome thought for many users, the downside is pages load slower using the proxy service.

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16 Comments

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You'll see this being utilised in schools and colleges where Facebook and Bebo are blocked by the corporate policies and Web Filters. It's a legitimate service, but one that won't get the use as it'll be blocked/banned itself under the same policies that block the sites it can give access to.

badblood said,
You'll see this being utilised in schools and colleges where Facebook and Bebo are blocked by the corporate policies and Web Filters. It's a legitimate service, but one that won't get the use as it'll be blocked/banned itself under the same policies that block the sites it can give access to.

If I would have had this back in high school.....would have made it so much easier to get around the blockers.

Its Useless!

Firefox took 5 goes before it would even load, complaining about "unsupported compression mode".

then it took about a minute lo load a page that normally load up immediately, and the formatting was all totally messed up

dvb2000 said,
Its Useless!

Firefox took 5 goes before it would even load, complaining about "unsupported compression mode".

then it took about a minute lo load a page that normally load up immediately, and the formatting was all totally messed up

Instant here, working fine on firefox 3.5

Ecion said,
Instant here, working fine on firefox 3.5

try this page, natively and then proxied with startpage:
www.smh.com.au

nDrg said,
It loaded here first time but it took a fair bit longer and the formatting was pretty screwed up.

Hmm so you only get that issue with this specific site...that would be an issue with that webserver processing the request...but realistically why would they care. Most webdevelopers I owuld think don't develop thier pages around these kinds of things rather they develop them around functionality in a normal usage environment.

Ecion said,

Instant here, working fine on firefox 3.5


Well firefox just got updated last week to 3.6 maybe the dvb is using that?

Jecet said,

Well firefox just got updated last week to 3.6 maybe the dvb is using that?

I am, but I don't believe firefox is the problem. Maybe an extremely simple site will load up instantly, but most other sites will struggle when they are being proxied by startpage.

To the comment about a "sepcific" site might be slow - please re-read my comments. It is lightning fast if you display it natively. Go through the startpage proxy and it is as slow as molases and the formatting is totally screwed up. I couldn't be bothered testing many sites for a useless product like this. I am 100% sure that the majority of decent sites will be slow- I havent tried it but you can bet Neowin will be very slow through the proxy as well.

Edited by dvb2000, Jan 29 2010, 10:07pm :

or when you don't care to be tracked, hey, anything that protects privacy is welcome, esp when Google, Facebook and the like are working so hard against privacy/anonimity

Tom W said,
These are useful for when a site is blocked somewhere but generally these types of sites are blocked too!

+1