News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more. Tech help. No bull. We're community supported by donations from our Plus Members, and proud of it
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon
  • Waterfox has been sold to an AD company, System1

    Posted on Alex5723 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Questions: Browsers and desktop software Waterfox has been sold to an AD company, System1

    Tagged: ,

    This topic contains 9 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Kirsty 2 days, 9 hours ago.

    • Author
    • #2140396 Reply

      AskWoody Plus

      Privacy browser Waterfox appears to be sold to System1, a U.S. pay-per-click ad company that recently bought a majority of the Startpage search engine

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2140618 Reply


      oh well I gave up on Waterfox a long time ago

      I’ll use either Palemoon or Seamonkey instead

    • #2140700 Reply

      AskWoody Plus

      Alex5723, thank you for passing this on!

      To me, this is both interesting and a bit worrying, although it might not mean that much. It is a note from someone reporting some indirect evidence that, for all this person knows, such a deal might have taken place, but offering no hard evidence as the “smoking gun.” I am not sure what is the connection between this forum at “old.reditt”, where the note has been posted, and plain old “reddit” Because “plain old reddit” is not my first, or even my last source of information.

      I don’t expect such a deal, if it has been really made, to be announced in the front page of the “Wall Street Journal, or in any page of the WSJ for that matter, but looking around the Web in all the usual places dealing with “Tech” something more solid might pop up. Or not.

      I have “Waterfox” as my default browser in my Win 7 PC and in my newish Mac. I also have FF and Chrome (as well as poor old IE 11, no longer in use). Of the first three mentioned, Waterfox has been the most satisfactory, so it is now, as it has been for quite a while now, the default one. Same as the other two, it can be used in both Windows and Linux PCs as well as in Macs and I have it in all three.


      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W + Mac&Lx

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2140710 Reply

      Da Boss

      ‘startpage’ and ‘waterfox’ were once both a good search engine and browser, and for all intent and purposes may still be, I dunno, haven’t tried either for a while.
      Now both are under the same AD company umbrella, that makes me twitchy about using either.

      Win7 Pro x64 | Win8.1 Pro x64 | Linux Hybrids x86/x64 | Win7 Pro x86 | W10 never again
    • #2140711 Reply

      AskWoody MVP

      Startpage BV was acquired by the Privacy One Group, owned by adtech company System1 in October 2019, leading to privacy concerns.”

      “It appears that the Waterfox web browser has been sold to System1 recently, the same company that bought the Startpage search engine some time ago. To be precise, Startpage was bought by Privacy One Group Ltd which System1 owns. System1 is an advertising company that tries to “make advertising better and safer, while respecting consumer privacy”.

      I used StartPage until the sale.  I now use DuckDuckGo.  I’ve never used Waterfox, I’m using Firefox 73.0.

      Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
      "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
      "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2140714 Reply

      AskWoody Plus

      if it has been really made, to be announced in the front page of the “Wall Street Journal, or in any page of the WSJ for that matter

      Just like buying Startpage wasn’t on the front page, buying Waterfox isn’t such a big news.

      Have you read this ?

      Support Waterfox

      If you’d really like to help Waterfox out, please consider using the default search (Bing) with adblock disabled on it, it would be such a huge show of support! The default search is fairly privacy friendly.

      For a privacy minded browser I would expected the default search engine to be DuckDuckGo and not Microsoft harvesting data Bing.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2140729 Reply

        AskWoody Plus

        On the question of ‘support’: I give practical support to what I consider worth supporting by annually donating money to it, but in no other way. Wikipedia is in my list, Waterfox too, as is AskWoody — and other deserving causes. And I use Waterfox because, so far, I have not had a reason not to. If this were to change, I would seriously consider using something else as my default browser — as long as it is available for Windows, macOS and Linux.

        Any recommendations?

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W + Mac&Lx

    • #2140717 Reply

      AskWoody Plus

      Assuming the veracity of the reports of the sale of Waterfox to System1, then maybe Waterfox will start recommending that users switch to Startpage as their search engine…


    • #2141168 Reply

      AskWoody Plus

      This is Alex’s response to the news leaks:


      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2141280 Reply

        Da Boss

        Thanks for the link @matthew – an interesting background source, which includes in the summary:

        The elephant in the room. System1 has been to Waterfox a search syndication partner. Essentially a way to have a search engine partnership (such as Bing) is through them, because companies such as Microsoft are too big and too busy to talk to small players such as Waterfox. Before them, it was Ecosia, Startpage etc. It’s probably the one easy way a browser can make money without doing anything dodgy, and it’s a way I’ve been happy to do it without having to compromise Waterfox (and will be the same way System1 makes money from Waterfox – nothing else). People also don’t seem to understand what System1 does and assume the worst (I suppose understandable).. It’s a company that is pivoting to more privacy oriented products, due to the changing landscape. Understandable.

        It is good to see that Alex remains on board (“they were buying into me and my knowledge more so than they were investing in Waterfox”). It will be interesting to see future developments.

        1 user thanked author for this post.

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

    Reply To: Waterfox has been sold to an AD company, System1

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use Advanced BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.