[ Update, June 2009: new Firefox 3.5 solution here ]

A simple way to turn off the new Google Suggest “feature”, now enabled by default…

googlesug.jpg

Instead of setting your homepage to the plain…

http://www.google.com/ncr

Change it to…

http://www.google.com/webhp?complete=0&hl=en

That turns off ‘autocomplete’ and works for me in IE7. And it still gets you the Google.com rather than a localised version. Although if you then click to look at News, and then click on Google’s internal page link back to the main search page, the main page re-activates Google Suggest.

I think the best option in Firefox 3 is to simply turn it off — by blocking clients1.google.com via the “BlockSite” Firefox add-on. ‘Clients1’ being the receiver server for all the letters you’re typing into the Google search box. That works for me.

Blocking clients1.google.com in IE7 ( Tools / Internet Options / Privacy / Sites / Block ) didn’t stop Google Suggest for me.

Another simple alternative that works is just to use the Firefox Google homepage…

http://www.google.com/firefox

…which doesn’t (yet) have Google Suggest enabled by default.