PriEco, 🔒 private, 🌲 eco-friendly and 📖 open source web search engine

Long beginnings

In 2021, I, Roman Láncoš, chose to stop using Google and tried out different web search engines. I wanted to find the best option and believed that even when Google is the most popular choice, it doesn’t automatically mean it is the best. So, I tried to find a better option. During my search I found many private ones: DuckDuckGo, Startpage, QWant… and some eco-friendly ones: Ecosia, Oceanhero… but none which was both private and eco-friendly. I didn’t like the fact that no matter which search engine I chose, I will always miss some features.

After some time, I saw that the only right thing I can do is to create my own web search engine that fulfills all of those requirements. I knew that I didn’t have the skills to create a web index from scratch, and so after some searching, I settled on Google API: “100 daily API calls should certainly be sufficient.” I thought. And it was, at least for now.

Privacy

is a very important part of PriEco.
We never track you, or let others track you.
By default, we store only a hashed version of your IP address.

Initial idea

Combination of ultimate PRIVACY and ECOLOGY

Ecology

is a very important part of PriEco.
We host PriEco on energy efficient servers powered by Green energy.

Start of development

October 29, 2021, the date when first lines of code were written. At this time, it was a rudimentary search engine. Powered only by Google. Simple UI, no image, video, and news search. I switched to PriEco from day 1 and so, it was a usable search engine. This phase of PriEco took some time. Slowly but surely it was becoming a better and better web search engine.

Design improvement

I want PriEco’s users to feel it’s amazing user experience, and design is an essential part of it. I have created PriEco’s theme from scratch. I took inspiration from other web search engines, but mostly not. The design looks calming, minimalistic, and modern.

Privacy rules

To ensure the best privacy possible for our users, PriEco does not collect nor share any personal data of its users.
PriEco uses only your IP address to be protected against attacks, but even they are hashed and stored only for 1 hour.
It’s also worth noting that PriEco is currently hosted by GreenGeeks. While this hosting solution isn’t permanent, it’s my choice for the time being.

Ecology

Ecology is one of PriEco’s two essential pillars.

Current Ecology Initiatives.
Utilizing energy-efficient servers with streamlined components.
Purely using electricity from fair sources: wind, solar.
Minimizing requests to others’ services.

Future Ecology Goals.
Donate money to charities.
Fully cut off our dependence on others.

Open source

Story
Question to open source, PriEco was there, and my users really wanted it.
I like open source software, but didn’t want to get PriEco stolen. I didn’t want anyone, with better marketing, to make their PriEco more popular than the original one.
Later, one guy in Session contacted me. He persuaded me to open source PriEco. I researched it and figured out there is nothing to be worried about.
Doing it was one of the best decision I have made!

My stand
PriEco is open sourced with AGPL v3 license.
I am excited for your contributions and collaboration.

PriEco Alpha 2

After several weeks of dedicated work, I proudly unveiled PriEco version Alpha 2.
I changed its logo and finally named my search engine to “PriEco”.
Design of this version was used for a long time.
At this time PriEco was still a simple web search engine, but it was on its way.

Powered

PriEco is powered by Google, Bing, Brave, Mojeek, YouTube, Search expander, Pixabay, OpenWeather, Wordnik, Yacy, A-ADS and our index.
PriEco’s Index is very important there. It provides Wikipedia data, news, Reddit conversations, YouTube, and a part of web results.
Sure thing, it calls other services only when necessary and caches everything it can for the future.
My goal is to become fully independent.

PriEco Beta 1

After months of hard work, I created a PriEco version Beta 1.
There were many improvements in this version.
This version was again used for a long time.
The logo was again changed.

By this update, PriEco became an useable web search engine.
It still needed a lot of work, but it had most of the features you would expect in a web search engine.

Wikipedia, news, Reddit and YouTube

This time I added Wikipedia, news, Reddit and YouTube into PriEco. All of them are in web search. Some of them even have their own dedicated tabs in PriEco.
All of them underwent a lot of changes over the time:
Addedimproved design and added information (many times) – created index for each of them – added Search Expander to improve its helpfulness even more.
After all of this work all of them are fully independent, eco-friendly, and private.
The only additional is the Search Expander, which can be easily turned off in PriEco’s settings → Widget (turn off)

PriEco Beta 2

Final version of PriEco beta.
This version was live for months.
I was correcting all the issues in PriEco, and build index and widgets.
Also, finalized final touches.

Here we are!

but the story is just starting…