I recently moved to Chromium - the open source version of Google's Chrome browser - after I grew tired with Firefox crashing and bloating my system.
Chrome defaults to searching with auto suggestions through the omnibar (location/search bar) using an unencrypted connection, but it is easy to use Google's encrypted search instead. This seems like a good idea with open WiFi connections being very common. Simply Manage search from Preferences and Add a search engine with these details:
- Name: Google Encrypted (or whatever)
- Keyword: g (or whatever)
- URL: https://encrypted.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%s
The 'en' part of the URL can be changed to use another language. The keyword is very useful for non-default search engines to be able to search e.g. Wikipedia from the omnibar using 'wiki topic' and so on.
As a side effect search suggestions are no longer offered, which I consider a feature. They in effect send Google every character you write to the location bar. (The 'prediction service' option in Under the Hood preferences is related and should probably be disabled by anyone caring about privacy.)