Though it doesn’t guarantee confidentiality from prying eyes if one’s computer is compromised through a trojan, virus, keystroke logger or other localised means, the launch of Google’s SSL search page comes as very good news. It’s not yet available for Google Sri Lanka, but I expect it will soon. As Google notes,
With Google search over SSL, you can have an end-to-end encrypted search solution between your computer and Google. This secured channel helps protect your search terms and your search results pages from being intercepted by a third party. This provides you with a more secure and private search experience.
Google also goes on to note that “Your Google experience using SSL search might be slighly slower than you’re used to because your computer needs to first establish a secure connection with Google.” This I did not find to be true. Searching for ‘Groundviews‘ on https://www.google.com took exactly the same time as the normal http://www.google.com – 0.29 seconds for about 285,000 results.
There are however some visual differences.
It’s not immediately apparent from the low-resolution screen shots above, but the date formatting, search result features (e.g. the Wonder wheel) and search results slightly differ between the two versions.
Google notes that https://www.google.com is still in beta, but it’s already my default search engine. Can’t be too careful in a country that recently wanted Chinese help in censoring the web and Internet.