A new search engine promises a more private, ad-free experience. Will you pay $5 a month to use it?

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be out of date. Please look at the timestamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Google has long been the leader in search, and while it’s free, you have to deal with things like ads and tracking. From now on, a new search engine named Neeva bet people will pay for a more private, ad-free experience.

Follow Rich DeMuro on instagram for more new techniques, tips and tricks.

“When the product is free…we are actually the product,” explained Neeva co-founder and former Googler Sridhar Ramaswamy. We spoke via Skype about his new search engine and his years at Google, where he was a top advertising executive.

“I think Neeva is less in competition with Google and more as an alternative to people,” Ramaswamy said.

Neeva has no advertising and no more privacy. It always tracks what you are looking for, but only to improve results. If you wish, you can completely disable tracking in the settings.

“None of your information is sold to advertisers,” Ramaswamy said.

Neeva is loading users $4.95 per month to use the search engine, which we are certainly not used to. However, we’ve grown accustomed to paying for things like Spotify, Netflix, and in-app purchases.

“Competition is good…choice is good, so even if you’re not that skeptical of Google…I think it’s a good thing that Neeva is doing this,” said editor Harry McCracken. Chief Technology Officer at Fast Company.

He profile Neeva for their launch.

In the end, it will probably depend on the search results. During my week of testing, I found that Neeva’s results are actually quite good. They’re simpler than Google’s and there aren’t any ads anywhere, which makes the results a bit easier to filter.

Although I’ve changed my default search engine to Neeva for now, I find myself performing the same searches on Google just to make sure I don’t miss something important. Also, I miss some of Google’s built-in features like Maps and all the information it has about me, which makes my results more personalized.

Neeva says they are constantly improving their results and especially the local results, which somehow seems non-existent right now.

They also have some unique features, like the ability to customize your news preferences, a way to bookmark results in what they call spaces (handy for planning a trip), and you can combine search results from various online services, including your email, Google Drive and Dropbox.

Personally, I’m not ready to allow Neeva to index all of my most personal information in these places, but I like the idea of ​​one search box to rule them all. I’m surprised Google doesn’t offer this option because so many people using search also have Gmail and Drive.

Bottom line, it’s worth checking out Neeva. They offer new users a generous free trial of at least three months, and you can earn more free months by doing things like taking a tour of their features.

“By being customer first and paid for by customers, we can focus on what you need,” Ramaswamy concluded.