|Editor's Review Costs & Features User Reviews|
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NGOBrowser is not a browser at all, but a brandable, charitable search engine that donates 60% of its revenues to charity. What do we mean by brandable? Well, if you are a charity or NGO, you can submit your non-profit organization to NGO Browser, upload your logo and turn NGOBrowser into your own branded charitable search engine, with your logo prominently displayed on the homepage. This effectively makes NGOBrowser your own search engine, which you can market yourself. Not only that, but you will also receive your own unique browser extension on Firefox or Chrome, which you can also market yourself, either to the wider public or just to your employees or volunteers.
NGOBrowser is not a browser at all, but a brandable, charitable search engine that donates 60% of its revenues to charity.
NGOBrowser supports over 60 charities at the time of writing this review. These are mostly German-based national or local charities and NGO's (Non-Government Organizations). As such, if you are not German, it is unlikely you will have heard of most of these NGO's. Unfortunately, there is no page on the NGOBrowser website where you can read about these charities or what they do - you simply have to choose your preferred charity or NGO from a drop-down list on the homepage, with nothing much to go on other than the name (which, if you do not speak German, may of little help to you!) Having chosen a charity, the logo pops up on the homepage above the search box and the charity name appears in the URL so that the site has all the branding of the charity you chose. However, if you then wish to change your mind and support a different charity, that is not so easy, as there is no button or link that we could find that enables you to do this. Even if you manipulate the URL to remove the charity name from the query string to try to change the charity you wish to support, the logo of the original charity you chose still persistently pops up on the homepage. The only way that we could change our supported charity was to first clear our cookies for the website and then remove the charity name from the URL. We were then presented with the blank NGOBrowser homepage (without any charity logo) and we were finally able to select a new charity. This, of course, is unnecessarily complicated, making us feel as if the developers forgot to add the ability for a user to change their mind about the charity they wish support.
As a user of NGOBrowser, you may only elect to support one charity at a time (and as we mentioned above, changing your mind is not that easy!). This is in contrast to most other charitable search engines, which will allow you to support multiple charities at once and will split your donations between them.
NGOBrowser states that it donates 60% of its revenues to charity. This is more than the 50% average donations of other charitable search engines we've reviewed, but less than some of our top choices, notably SearchScene at 95% and Ecosia at 80%.
NGOBrowser have done a very nice job of displaying their search results in a nice, clean way. Like so many other charitable search engines, the search results are powered by Bing and, as such, you can be guaranteed fresh, relevant search results. The web search results also include rich-content, mainly comprising image thumbnails, video thumbnails and news thumbnails (wherever these are relevant to the search query). NGOBrowser will typically load 3 images, 3 news stories and 3 video results with accompanying thumbnails on the search results page, which contrasts with other search engines, which will usually load these into a sliding carousel, allowing you to slide right for more images, news and video results.
NGOBrowser's search results also contain a small knowledge panel - this is a panel found in the right-hand sidebar for many search queries (or at the top of the search results if you're using a mobile device). The knowledge panel contains additional information about your search query (normally from Wikipedia) and may also contain images, and other data. This is typically found on Google and Bing, as well as many of our top ranked charitable search engines. However, the strange thing about the NGOBrowser search results is that the knowledge panel only occasionally seems to appear - probably only once out of every two or three searches for the same search query, and sometimes only on page 2 of the search results. Very often, it doesn't seem to appear at all. This seems like it might be a bug to us.
NGOBrowser provides a dedicated image search, video search and news search, via the tabs at the top of the search results pages. The "Maps" tab simply links to Google Maps and the "Shopping" tab simply links to Amazon using NGOBrowser's affiliate link. The dedicated image search displays a grid of large-scale thumbnails with infinite scrolling (i.e. loading more results as you scroll down the page). Clicking on a thumbnail image reveals the image in a drop-down panel, with a link to the source website. Strangely, however, the image in the drop-down panel is actually often smaller than the thumbnail image that you had to click on to get there, so there is probably little point in clicking on any of the images unless you want the link to the source website.
The video search results are displayed as a list (Google-style) rather than as a gallery (Bing-style) with 10 videos listed per page. Click on a video to get whisked off to the source video site. Rather than using pagination links, NGOBrowser have opted instead to use a "Show More" link at the bottom of their video results. When clicked, this loads more videos but also regularly throws in a PHP website error for good measure! News search results are presented as a list of links with thumbnails, in much the same way as the video search results, however only 5 news links are displayed on the page, and with no pagination links and no "Show More" button, 5 news links is all you get folks! Is this another bug? We think so!
NGOBrowser state that they do not store your search results permanently and that users can delete their search history (which you can do from their Settings menu). In keeping with most websites these days, the site is SSL-encrypted, meaning all your search queries and search results are end-to-end encrypted and invisible from the prying eyes of your ISP (Internet Service Provider). NGOBrowser state that they do not use any third-party analytics tools, by which we assume they mean Google Analytics - the most widely used (and arguably least privacy-friendly) analytics tool there is. All of this sounds great and very private, but it is worth noting that, in keeping with most other charitable search engines, NGOBrowser need to send your search query and your IP address to Bing to get the underlying search results and ads and Bing do store your search data and IP address, for a limited time at least, just as if you were searching on Bing directly. So we think that NGOBrowser is certainly more private than Google, but only as private as Bing, by definition.
Beyond supporting various environmental charities and NGOs, NGOBrowser does not seem to have any specific eco-credentials that we could find.
The thing that sets NGOBrowser apart from other charitable search engines is the fact that it is brandable, allowing charities and NGOs the ability to brand the site with their own logos and market it as their own.
Browser extensions are available for Firefox and Chrome. Because NGOBrowser is a brandable search engine, it also provides unique browser extension codes for many of its branded charities. You are therefore likely to find many NGOBrowser browser extensions if you search the Firefox or Chrome web stores, all branded slightly differently, however they all link back to NGOBrowser, but each supports a different charity. If you're not quite yet sure which charity you want to support, the easiest thing to do is to install the original NGOBrowser extensions (which we've linked to above) and just choose your supported charity from the drop-down list on their homepage.
NGOBrowser does a fine job of displaying the search results, with added rich-content on the web search results, which makes your search results much more engaging. The dedicated image search, video search and news search tabs were also present, as with most (although not all) charitable search engines we've reviewed. The thing that sets NGOBrowser apart from other charitable search engines is the fact that it is brandable, allowing charities and NGOs the ability to brand the site with their own logos and market it as their own. This concept is a great marketing strategy. However, we were disappointed to see so many bugs on the site, from the chopping off of people's heads in the image thumbnails, the Wikipedia knowledge panel only occasionally appearing for the same search results, the PHP errors thrown into the video search results pages, and so on. Also, the inability to change your chosen supported charity without clearing your cookies seems like a major oversight.
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