Ixquick (styled "ixquick") is a metasearch engine based in New York and the Netherlands. which highlights privacy as its distinguishing feature from other internet search engines.
Founded by David Bodnick in 1998, Ixquick is owned by Surfboard Holding BV of the Netherlands, which acquired the internet company in 2000. Ixquick and its sibling project Startpage.com reached their latest record (28-day average) daily direct queries of 5.7 million on February 2, 2015.
Ixquick also provides the stand-alone proxy service, Ixquick Proxy, which has also been incorporated into both its Ixquick and Startpage search engines allowing users the option to open all search results via proxy.
Ixquick is developing a privacy protecting email service, called StartMail.
Ixquick was re-launched on March 23, 2005, with many new features including a redesigned metasearch algorithm, an international phone, and lowest-price directory.
On June 27, 2006, following Scroogle, Ixquick.com began to delete private details of its users. IP addresses and other personal information were deleted within 48 hours of a search. Ixquick has stated that it does not share its users' personal information with other search engines or with the provider of its sponsored results.
Ixquick was awarded the first European Privacy Seal (EuroPriSe) for its privacy practices on July 14, 2008. This European Union-sponsored initiative guarantees compliance with EU laws and regulations on data security and privacy, through a series of design and technical audits. It was re-certified together with Startpage in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015.
On January 28, 2009, Ixquick completely ended the recording of user IP addresses.
On March 29, 2016, Ixquick was discontinued in the United States – officially "merged" with the same company's Startpage search engine (a search engine affiliated with Google, reportedly with some of the privacy features of Ixquick, but using Google searches). Users entering ixquick.com are now automatically re-routed to startpage.com. However, at the end of Ixquick's merger notice (linked from the Ixquick's new home page), the company reports: "We think you're going to love StartPage, but if you prefer original Ixquick search results, don't worry. They are still available at ixquick.eu." Ixquick had long declared, on its home page and/or linked pages, that it operated in compliance with European Union privacy standards, and it apparently retains its original European search engine, at present (April, 2016) – though obviously downplaying it in favor of moving Ixquick.com patrons to Startpage.
Ixquick returns the top ten results from multiple search engines. It uses a "Star System" to rank its results by awarding one star for every result that has been returned from a search engine. Thereby, the top search results are the ones that have been returned from the most search engines. Ixquick can search in 17 languages: Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish. Each language version includes local search engines.
Ixquick uses only one cookie, called "preferences", which remembers a user's search preferences for future searches and is deleted after a user does not visit Ixquick for 90 days. It is however possible to save preferences in a bookmarked URL, thus avoiding cookies completely. Also, preferences are not saved automatically. Only a visitor can decide to save his or her preferences.
On July 7, 2009 Ixquick launched Startpage.com to offer its service at a URL that is both easier to remember and spell, and in contrast to ixquick.com, fetches results from the Google search engine. This is done without saving the users' IP addresses or giving any personal user information to Google's servers.
Prior to the release of Tor Browser version 4.5, Startpage.com was its default search engine.