ditch Google!! (build your own PRIVATE search engine)

Video Notes:

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Have you ever wanted to create your own search engine? Of course you have! Well in today’s video, NetworkChuck is not only going to show you how to make your own search engine using Searx, he’s going to show you how to create your own private and secure search engine so you can keep these pesky tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook from creating profiles based on your search history!

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0:00 ⏩ Intro

1:37 ⏩ What are we doing?

2:14 ⏩ What do you need?

3:15 ⏩ What is Searx and why is it so awesome?

7:00 ⏩ Time to build our server!

9:30 ⏩ How to install Searx

12:00 ⏩ Testing our search engine!

13:24 ⏩ Tearing it all down(if you want to)

15:00 ⏩ Fixing the back button issue

15:40 ⏩ Adding in some other cool features

17:19 ⏩ Checking stats

17:30 ⏩ Outro

You need to build your own search engine, your own Google, your, your own being because Hey, your privacy is at risk companies like Google and Microsoft. They know everything about you. 

So it learns information about me seems like an invasion of privacy. 

Every time you search for anything, Google and Microsoft build a profile information about you. And then they sell it to advertisers. Jerks, leaving you with no privacy, but you might be thinking, Hey Chuck, what about incognito mode? Nope, doesn’t work, but wait, what about duck dot go? They’re pretty private, right? No, they’ve got this weird relationship with Microsoft. So the best way to ensure your privacy, your anonymity necessarily the right anonymity, anonymity online is to build your own search engine, your own Google, which might sound like overkill, but it’s not too crazy. Actually. It’s actually kind of easy. You’ll be able to do it here in about 10 minutes. And it’s awesome. Like you could say you have your own search engine and you’ll have complete control over it. Complete privacy. Now I’m building my search engine in the cloud, which is super quick and easy. 

Thanks to our sponsor Leno, but you don’t have to do that. You can literally build this on anything, a spare computer in your house. A, um, oh, I know I had one around here, somewhere, a raspberry pie or even the computer you’re using right now. So yeah, you can install it anywhere cuz we’re using Docker. You’ll see. You’ll see. And before you’re like, ah, Chuck, this is so stupid. I don’t wanna do this. Hear me out. Try it for yourself. I’ve already built it. Actually. It’s already up in the cloud. You can use my Google that I built. So check it out. Link below search.network, chuck.coffee. I can promise you this. It’ll give you more privacy than Google or Microsoft, but it’s not the ultimate privacy option. The only way you’re gonna get the ultimate privacy is by doing it yourself, having it on your own stuff. 

So let’s do that right now. Now before we start, what do you need to do this? And what are we even doing right now? <laugh> well first lemme, lemme tell you this. We’re deploying something called seas. Think it’s like say it, seas circs. And more specifically we’re deploying CIS NNG, which is a fork of the original sea. Essentially what it is is a Maita search engine, which all that means is that it uses Google Bing or whatever other search engine you want to use. It uses all of those, everything everywhere all at once. I just watched that kind of it’s pretty good. So far. Now there are other search engines that do this, but the difference here is that this is your search engine, your own private one now se search. However you say it. It’s awesome. It’s open source and their goal is to protect everyone’s privacy. 

We’ll talk more about how that works here in a moment, but first, what do you need to be able to build this? The great news is that you don’t need much. All you need is a computer or a server that can have Docker installed, which is pretty much anything. If you’re using windows, Mac, or Linux, you can install Docker. Now I’m not gonna cover that here in this video, but I do have other videos showing you how to do all that stuff. So check him out here below or up here and below there I’m I need more coffee. And if the word Docker scares you, don’t worry. I’ll walk you through. It’s actually ridiculously easy and super powerful. I, I love it so much. Like I can’t wait to show you and second you’re gonna need, I actually, you don’t need, this is optional, but you’ll want a domain name. 

So for example, mine is search.network. chuck.coffee. You’ll want something pretty to do that with you don’t have to, but you can. And finally, the most important thing on this list you’ll need some coffee because everything in it, it requires coffee. Did you know that it does now for this tutorial, I’m going to install Docker on a Linux server in the cloud. I’ll walk you through every step. And for most situations, this will be the instructions for whatever you’re working on. So don’t think, oh, he’s in the cloud. I can’t follow this tutorial. No, it’ll it’ll work pretty much wherever you are. Now. As I mentioned before, this tutorial’s gonna be like really fast. It’ll take you about five minutes to do this. So I’ve gotta fill the time in this video with something. So let me explain how sea works real quick, which you don’t, you don’t wanna skip this. 

You gotta know how your privacy is being protected. So why is sea awesome? And I feel like I’m saying that wrong CISs. I don’t know. There’s no way around it. The first thing it does. And I, I love this whenever you search for anything, for example, coffee, as you do on the daily, we know that sea is a made a search engine. So when you search for coffee, it’s gonna go, Hey, Google, what you got? Hey, Bing, what you got? Hey, duck, duck go. What you got? Which so far, this seems kind of like not different from anything else because you’re thinking, well, Google’s gonna know I’m searching for coffee. Bing’s gonna know I’m searching for coffee. Duck do go is gonna know I’m searching for coffee. They know it’s network. Chuck I’m exposed. No, no, here’s what, here’s what CX does for every single search. 

It builds a random search profile, a profile that has nothing to do with you. They don’t know who you are. They don’t know your interest. They don’t know anything. All they know is this random new profile of searching for coffee. And that happens every single time you search for something. Whereas, you know, Google or Bing, they’ve got a history of all the things you’re searching for. They know who you are. You like coffee and you like Marvel. That’s who you are. They’re gonna give you ads for coffee and Marvel Marvel coffee mugs. That’d be pretty cool. I want one. I’m probably get an add for one here in a moment. Yep. There it is. So that’s the first thing they do is they just generate a private profile for you. Every time you search every single stink and search. Guess what else it does. It’s so cool. 

Do you like ads? I mean, you should watch ads in this video. That’s the only time I condone ads, but with this no ads, Bing, Google, duck dot go, or you know, search itself. Cause it’s your browser. They’re not gonna serve you. Ads, no ads coming back at you. Then finally, number three, what they do here is when you do search for coffee and Google obviously is gonna tell you network chuck.coffee. That’s obvious, normally private data about you. Your profile will be shared with that resulting website. That resulting page that you’re looking for, not here, not with C. And then there is one more added benefit. If you install us on a cloud server, like we’re about to do on Le node and it’s this normally when you’re searching for something, they know your IP address, that’s just how the internet works. So right now, if I were to Google for my computer, they would know my home IP address, which does tell the internet something about you like where you live, go 

To Google earth and type in your address 

And a bunch of other stuff. And also your ISP and whoever you use for DNS. They know things about you, but if you have a server in the cloud, you’re deploying this on, Hey, it has its own public IP. And when you search for anything websites, Google, Bing are gonna see that IP address, which does not tell anyone where you live or really much about you. Now that’s a super, super high level overview coffee break. If you want a deeper dive, which I, I went down this rabbit hole a bit and to understanding how these search engines are made and how they work. It’s kind of crazy. I’ll put links below, but they’ve got a BKU amount of documentation showing you exactly what things do. And actually one thing they touch on, which I did not touch on just yet. And not saying, what are the consequences of using a public instance? 

What does that mean? Well, for example, if you’re gonna use my search engine search.network, chuck.coffee. Yes, it is pretty private and pretty secure, but I do have control over it. So if I chose to, I could look at some logs. I could have some data that would tell me some things about you. I’m not going to, but I could. And when it comes to the internet and computers with anything you’re doing, don’t trust anything don’t trust, anyone don’t trust any company. The only thing you can trust is, well person is you. Unless you’re a thing, check the box. If you’re not a robot, that’s the only person you can trust. So build your own. Now this is also talking about is you can build out a public instance like I’m doing, you can make your search engine available to your friends or your family, whoever you want to, or you can just make a private instance. 

That’s only available on your land. And as long as that thing has internet access, you’re good. So for a lot of you, this might be what you want to do. Just have your own private search engine on your computer or on a server on your computer, on your nest, whatever you wanna do anyways, back to the geekiness of this. You can look at all the documentation. You can look at the architecture and all the crazy fun stuff it does, but enough talking about it, time to actually build this, which is gonna take about five minutes again. So coffee break, we gotta fuel up and let’s do this. First thing we gotta do is build out our cloud server. <laugh> in the cloud. Why am I struggling with that? I’m gonna navigate out to my favorite cloud provider. Lek. You can do that too right now, by going out to Le node.com for slash network Chuck and you can magically spin up a server within seconds. 

Like I’m gonna do right now. Create Le node. I’m going to do Ubuntu, uh, 20. No, no, 2004. Nice and sturdy. Put it close to me. I’m in Dallas. Choose how big I want it to be Le node five bucks a month. That’s stinking it, man. And then I’ll name this sucker and put a password in and click on create. That’s it. Let that sucker bake three 50 for five minutes. No, I’m just kidding. I’ll be done in like three seconds, but coffee break in the meantime, you gotta be quick though. All right, mine is done. Baking, gonna grab my SSH access over here. Copy that sucker launch my command prompt, CMD paste the command and get logged in or in a best practice. Real quick. Let’s do a update, pseudo PT update to update our repositories and then we’ll do an upgrade pseudo P T upgrade. 

And we’ll tell it yes. Do everything all at once everywhere. Go and again, coffee break. This might take a moment. You don’t have to upgrade by the way, but it’s just best practice. Wanna make sure everything works right. And it’s safe and secure. You do. Yeah, you do. Whew. That took like two minutes. I was, I’m just impatient, but it’s done now. So we have our server. We have it updated. Now. Time to install my favorite thing in the whole world right now, it really is Docker. Don’t know what Docker is. I’m not gonna tell you right now, but I do have a video where I already told you. So check it out. Anyways, here we go to install Docker. We’ll do pseudo P T install, docker.io. Now this should work for most people. Just putting that caveat there. Then I’ll do a space dash Y and let it do its thing done. 

Okay. Now we’re gonna install one more thing. We’re gonna install something called Docker compose, which allows us to do so many Dockers all at once. It’s so great. Anyways, those should install it. I’ll show you so pseudo a P T install, Docker dash compose, do a dash wide at the end and this should be fairly quick. Okay. Everything is installed. Now. Time to let’s let’s do the search thing. Okay, here we go. And actually at this point, what you may wanna do is go get a domain name. If you don’t already have one. Now, if you’re running this at home, inside your network, I’m not gonna show you how to do that. But if you’re running Le node with a public IP address, we can do that real quick. So choose your favorite domain provider. Ooh, I like this one. <laugh> not google.live. And once you have your domain name, all you’ll do is point the, a record at your public IP address for ode. 

So I’ll grab that IP address by the way. This is not a tutorial on how to set this up. So I’ll point it at my IP address, click on save. And that part is done. Now. Time to build out CIS CISs, CIS, it feels weird now saying it. First thing I’ll do is navigate to a folder where I wanna keep this thing. You can do the same thing or just stay where you are. I’m gonna go to CD for slash user slash local bam. I’m there. Now we’re gonna download CIS CIS. I’m gonna pace this command. All these commands will be below by the way, a full guide, a full walkthrough and keeping in mind, I’m also using get clone. If you don’t have GI, you should get it. Sorry for that. Um, just a PT install. GI. This is one of those essential tools you just gotta have. 

And when I hit enter, it’s gonna be done. Like that was it. <laugh> okay, cool. If I type in LS, I’ll see. I have a new folder right here. CIS and G slash or dash Docker. Let’s go ahead and jump in there. CD CIS Docker. I’m there. Now we are almost done. Just a few things we have to do to get things ready to go here. In this folder. If we do LS, we got a few files. There is one hidden and one we wanna edit. So I’ll type in L L to see all my head stuff. And this guy right here, the dot E NV file, let’s edit him. So we’ll type in nano dot E NV. And here we’re gonna change just a few things. If you are using a domain, you’ll put that sucker right there. And then for the let’s encrypt certificate, it’s gonna generate a certificate for you. 

So you actually have SSL on your search engine, which is super cool. You’re gonna put in your email address. So I’ll do that right now. I’ll make sure I comment out or UN comment out this information, put in my new address, not google.live and my email address, just like that. Control X Y enter to save, and then we’re gonna run just, well, a couple more commands, but <laugh> just copy and paste this one real quick. This is gonna generate a super secret key for you, and it’s gonna throw it into your settings folder done. So just do that. And now I’m gonna clear my screen, cuz this is, this is my favorite part of the whole process. If you type in LS, you’ll see that right here. I, I have to explain, I can’t help myself. We have a Docker compose YAML file inside that file. 

It’s telling Docker how to build our circs environment. It’s actually gonna build out three Docker containers, connect them together and make it work like magic. And all you have to do is type in one command like this one, check it out, pseudo type it with me, pseudo Docker dash compose. Just make sure you are in this current directory with your Docker compose YAML file. And all we have to do is do up and then we’ll do, uh, dash D to make it a Damon. So it runs in the background. Ready? Set, go look at all this. It’s downloading the Docker containers. It’s getting them ready. It’s doing it. Ugh. This magic is so cool. And that’s it. It’s done. <laugh> like, that was it. Um, you can see your running containers by doing this pseudo Docker PS. And I can see right here, I’ve got three containers, caddy, CIS, and Reddis all essential components to make this thing awesome. 

Now at this point, I could actually go check it out. You wanna go check it out? Let’s go check it out. Not google.live. There it is my own stinking search. Let’s search for coffee and just like that. Safe, secure, searching private notice how, when I did search for coffee right here, there’s all the sources. Wikipedia, brave Wiki data, duck dot go, whatever quant is. I don’t know what that is down here. We have everything in, in Google and it’s our own private server. By the way, if you want to use not google.live, go for it. In fact, make that the main one, not google.live. You can use that however you want. I promise I won’t track you too much. Although I do talk a lot about hacking. So I, I take that with a grain of salt. Now, as far as getting this up and running and having it work great, that’s it, there are a few tweaks that I wanna show you real quick. 

Um, but first for you home lab users who may not be deploying this on a server in the cloud, I went ahead and deploy this on a virtual machine here on my computer. This one right here, it’s running on Kelly Lennox. And if you didn’t change the environment file. So actually, if I look at that nano dot E NV, I didn’t change it. It’s default commented out, which means it’s by default gonna use local host so I can launch my browser, go to local hosts kicks. I dunno know why I said that local host bam. So right here, even if I’m not using a another machine or a cloud server, I can use it right here on my local machine and search. Now keeping in mind, it’s gonna use my IP address. So that part is not private or secure. Uh, but everything else is all the benefits of CIS works like a charm. 

Love it. Now just a couple of things. Uh, getting back to our server here. If I wanna tear down those machines like right now, I’ve got pseudo Docker, PS, I’ve got three Docker containers running. I can run pseudo Docker, compose down, down, boy, that’s all we gotta do. And it tears it down so you can actually tear it down, make some changes and then put it back up. Now what’s cool about Docker man. I’m I’m the biggest fan is every time you bring it back up, it should update the Docker containers to the latest versions available out there on the interwebs. So you are always being up to date as long as you bring it down and bring it back up. Now, a few things we may wanna change. Uh, if I do LL, I can see there is a CI NG folder. I’m gonna jump in there, CDs, NG. 

And if I LLL or LS in there, I’ve got settings dot YAML or YML. This right here is a file that you can pretty much control everything in your browser with everything. So let’s edit it real quick. Pseudo nano settings dot YML. Right now, it’s pretty bare. It’s using a lot of default settings, which for most people, this will be a okay fine. But if you look at their documentation, look at all the stuff you can change with settings that YML, I mean just a ton of things, a few things I wanna change right now, actually let me show you, let me actually spin up my server once more. And this is kind of annoying. I get back into my main folder with the Y uh, the, uh, composed file. Bring that sucker up. They actually have a pretty amazing support group, which helped me out a ton. 

So if I go to not Google that live search for coffee with extra ease, apparently I’ll jump into one of the options here. Cool. Totally works. But now if I go back, Ooh, Ugh, gross. I don’t like that at all. This happens because by default they use a post method HTTP method, which doesn’t play nice with some things. So what we can do is actually change the method to get, so we’ll do that here in our settings as well. So yeah, it’s uh, you can just do back or refresh it. It’s not a big deal, but it’s very jarring and I hate it. So I’m bring my stuff down once more, then I’ll edit that file. So the first thing I’ll change is that pesky method I’ll do that right under here, under these server options. Ah, keeping in mind, this is a YAML file. 

So you’ll need YAML format making it look nice and pretty. If you’re like, I don’t know. It’s okay. Just copy the spacing. Just make sure it looks exactly like the, the examples here. I’ll do method and I’ll do colon and specify. Get that should change that. So actually let me just do a control X, Y enter to save, bring back up my stuff, which it’s so cool. How fast that is. My gosh. Did you see that? I’ll uh, refresh it here. Search for coffee. Let’s make sure this works. Let’s jump into one. Then go back. Totally works. No more weird issues. Awesome. Now I’m not gonna go over every single change you can make because that’d take three years, but I’ll show you some fun ones. Like, let me grab some here. You can add a general section general section. You can change your instance, name to network, Chuck search. 

You can enable metrics, which I’ll show you how that works here in a bit. And then you can also control like safe search and things like that. So, um, let me grab that. This is great for my kids. So here under the search section, I enabled strict safe search, which is option two. You can also do auto complete and you can specify which auto complete engine to use. I’m gonna use duck dot go. That doesn’t mean I’m losing any privacy, but anyways, let’s, uh, save that sucker control X Y enter to save and actually notice my stuff is still up. So I’m gonna bring it down, down and back up. Notice how off the top here. It says network network. I can’t talk network check, search at the top. And when I start searching for network, Chuck auto complete. So cool. So anyways, this is your search engine. 

This is your baby. This is yours. And you can share it with anybody or you don’t wanna share it with anyone. It’s your own private thing. Do whatever you wanna do with it. Now there’s other things you can do that are pretty crazy at this. Now by default, this thing CIS supports over 70 search engines, which you can also enable or disable. You can say, no, I don’t wanna use Google and taking that away. You can also add SQL servers. You can also add your own databases that are searchable. So you can add a local instance of let’s say my SQL and it will search that. How cool is that? And then if you’re like really paranoid and you wanna be super, super, super private, you can also add some proxies for every search you can add proxies. You can add tour, you can do all that stuff, which they have documentation for that. 

I’m not gonna cover that in this video, cuz that’ll make this video way too long, which is probably already too long. Cause I’ve been talking too much coffee. Well, forgot to show you the stats. Um, I can click on engine stats here at the bottom. It’s just four slash stats right now. There’s no data available cause I haven’t done anything yet. But if I did, it would show you stats about searches and stuff. Pretty cool. Oh. And they also have some like APIs and, and just, oh, this thing is cool. It gives you like, if you’re a home lab or just a geek or it, or you’re a person you’ll love this cuz you can do so much with it. It’s kind of API. That’s just cool. Right? Anyways. That’s all I have. I wanted to show you something cool. I think that can protect your privacy. 

And it’s just a fun project to do it. Didn’t take very long. You can do it on the computer using right now and using Docker and Docker compose. And you can essentially make a, a search engine for your friends and your family to make you safe and secure. Don’t let Google know what you’re searching. It might be weird. And even, even if it’s not weird, you don’t want Google to know that you don’t wanna be a product they’re selling. I, I don’t know if you’ve done this, but have you hacked YouTube today? Have you hacked YouTube algorithm? Let’s make sure you do hit that like button notification, bell comment, subscribe, uh, that I think that’s everything. Just do all the stuff because you gotta hack YouTube today. Ethically of course. And that’s all I have. I will catch you guys next time.

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