How to Help Presearch Test Out Its Decentralized Engine

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Avatar for LateToTheParty
2 years ago

Article is originally published on Publish0x.

There are a plethora of privacy-focused search engines that do not collect your personal data and sell it to ad corporations. From DuckDuckGo to Qwant to Metager to Brave Search to Presearch, each have its own share of strengths and weaknesses.

Personally, I like to rotate between Brave Search and Presearch. The former is a mostly independent search engine owned by the same company that makes the Brave Browser and the experience is very similar to DuckDuckGo (more about it here). Presearch is also independent with its DSearch engine and it rewards your searches with the PRE token. On top of that, you can earn PRE tokens through other means from keyword staking and running nodes (here's my Linux Mint guide).

In addition, thanks to the ability to run nodes, Presearch is decentralized in contrast to most other privacy-focused search engines who are centralized... provided that you set the testnet as the default. On January 28, 2021, Presearch launched its testnet for node operators to power the decentralized engine. However, even if you have opened a Presearch account and run your own node, your account uses the centralized version as the default. As a result, your searches are not contributing to the node-powered engine.

The good news is that changing the default to the testnet engine is easy. On, click on the gear icon to change the settings. Then, find the Presearch logo inside a magnifying glass. That's the testnet and click & drag it to the top of the page. Place it on the left side of the row if you have other search providers in the list to make it the default. However, there is a bug when you have the testnet alongside the vanilla Presearch engine, the site will default to the vanilla version no matter what. Best way to get around this is to remove the vanilla Presearch engine. It should look something like this.

If you mostly search from the address bar of your browser, then go to the search engine section in your browser's settings. Make sure that you have the search extension installed. Find "Presearch" and click "edit" to change the URL query to "". Click save and do a search in the address bar. You should be getting results from the testnet engine.

What it should look like on Brave Browser. The search engine name and keyword can be arbitrarily set.

If you have followed the steps and it works on your side, then congratulations, you are now contributing to the node-powered testnet. There is no concrete date on when Presearch will launch the mainnet, suggesting that that is still far away. However, if more and more people run nodes and use the testnet engine, then theoretically, it should speed up the process even if just a little.

Also, Presearch has yet to make the switch from .org to .com. Once that finally happens, it should give us an idea of how close the mainnet launch is.

If earning PRE tokens from your searches or the idea of a decentralized search engine catches your fancy, but you've yet to create an account, then you can click on this referral link to get started. Once you earn 50 PRE and your account is active for 30 days, then you will earn a bonus of 25 PRE.

$ 1.40
$ 1.37 from @TheRandomRewarder
$ 0.03 from @NakamotoBch
Avatar for LateToTheParty
2 years ago