Handling Over 2 Billion Global Transactions a Year, with Speed, Security, and Accuracy

We created StartPage, the world’s leading privacy-oriented search engine — a sophisticated, data-intensive, intelligent application.

Challenges

Empowering the World’s Most Private Search Engine

Every day, millions of people around the world trust StartPage to conduct their Internet searches in privacy and security. And we crafted its highly resilient, high-availability, multi-cluster architecture that serves a giant global userbase in 18 distinct languages.

01

Making it Mobile

We extended the functionality to provide a mobile experience.

02

The Need for Speed

03

Reliable Around the World

The product’s good reputation rests significantly on its being available whenever a user needs to conduct a search, wherever in the world they are.

04

Secure Processes

Security is critical to the reputation and existence of a highly visible, privacy-focused product.

05

Ongoing Product Extension and Support

Since launching StartPage in 2001, we have supported StartPage with CTO-level counsel in support of its business growth.

01

Making it Mobile

Mobile users worldwide conduct about 55 million searches annually. The app earned 4.6 stars on Google Play with over 9,000 ratings, and similarly high numbers on the iOS App Store.

02

The Need for Speed

This product performs an extremely large amount of computation for every search.

Yet we have achieved consistent sub-second response times through extensive performance optimization and thoughtful performance-oriented architecture on many levels. We also applied architectural techniques, including table and indexing schemas that support rapid interaction for most frequent queries, while enabling scaling, and supporting failover needs for uptime-critical systems.

Reliable Around the World

We take a number steps to ensure uptime.  For example, whether a single server or an entire cluster become unavailable, the system immediately and seamlessly directs users to other available servers. It incorporates a broad spectrum of self-healing and self-monitoring elements, and automatically returns servers and clusters to service once their health has been restored.

Secure Processes
04

Ensuring Privacy and Security

We have refined many security-oriented processes that include secure coding mechanisms and enforcement techniques, as well as security-focused architecture and operational practices.

StartPage’s security and privacy practices have been regularly, rigorously and successfully audited by top security experts as part of its privacy certification (the only such certification of a search engine). These have included confirmation of compliance with numerous ISO standards, as well as external source code reviews. Security challenges in the current environment are extensive and intricate, and these experiences inform a secure coding framework and perspective that are unusually broad and informed.

05

Ongoing Product Extension and Support

As market conditions open new opportunities to serve users, we actively support StartPage by engineering new features and products. We also provide ongoing system maintenance.