DuckDuckGo Lite can shave a lot of time off of a Google search according to Lifehacker. In fact, the lesser-known companion to the standard DuckDuckGo can save seconds over either of the other services.
For those who are already using DuckDuckGo, the difference in speed is arguably negligible. That's thanks to the Google alternative's focus on privacy, which drops the number of requests made on a search and the amount of data used. In a test of the two apps, DuckDuckGo loaded up search results in 2.40 seconds. Google took 7.56 seconds.
By comparison, DuckDuckGo Lite took just 264 milliseconds. That's just 0.264 seconds. While the difference is still fairly negligible, for those who do a lot of web searching, that time and the data savings could really add up.
How is DuckDuckGo Lite accomplishing its feat?
DuckDuckGo is achieving its goal of reducing load times and data use in a fairly straightforward way here. Not only is the company not loading any trackers or related cookies. That's an approach that's helped DuckDuckGo build its reputation and face down Google on growth. It's also gone entirely spartan with how the pages work.
Summarily, the pages look and operate like in an old-school, hard-coded HTML kind of way.
The impact of that is immediately obvious. Both Google and the standard DuckDuckGo page — as compared to the Lite variant — take up around 2MB of data. With DuckDuckGo Lite, the company has taken out all of the extra bulk. So the pages only weigh in at around the same amount of space as a standard text document.
More concisely, the source noted a page size of around 33KBs. That is, conservatively, only around 1.65-percent the size of either Google's home page or the DuckDuckGo home page. As it follows, the speed of the pages matches up with the reduction in data that each page needs to load.
What's the difference and who should use DuckDuckGo Lite?
The UI for DuckDuckGo Lite — and consequently, the experience — simply isn't as fleshed out as Google or the standard version.
DuckDuckGo Lite is reminiscent of a 90's version of Google. Users aren't presented rich imagery, videos, related links, and added touches such as an on-hover box around search results. There's no link at the bottom to load up more results on the same page either.
Instead, users are presented with a basic page filled with text and numbered results. Links are only directly clickable in a standard HTML format. To load up more results, users need to click the "next page" button at the bottom to retrieve an entirely new page of results.
The final difference there actually increases as more pages are loaded since Google or DuckDuckGo will simply load even more results on the same page — making it a cumulative effect.
That means that the chief audience for DuckDuckGo Lite, found at the URL "duckduckgo.com/lite," is going to be fairly slim compared to those who can just use Google or DuckDuckGo. For the most part, the user base will consist of users on strict data usage limits or slow connections.