How to live without Google

For many the Internet is Google: Search, mail, videos, web browser, cloud services, mobile OS, etc. - Google is the major player in all these fields. But Google uses all data it gathers across its services to post targeted ads, and to massively profit from the data many share so freely with the Internet giant. Your personal data can also be subpoenaed by lawyers, including for civil cases like divorce. Google answered over 100,000 such data requests in 2016 alone.

More and more people are also realizing the risk of relying on one company for so many personal services. So, the time has come to stop this unlimited data mining and to take back our right to privacy. Here's a quick guide as to how you can use the Internet without sharing all your data with Google.


  • DuckDuckGo icon

    DuckDuckGo

    Free Web Android iPhone Android Tablet iPad ... Vivaldi Browser Chrome Safari Yandex.Browser Opera Firefox Website

    Google service to replace: Small Google Search iconGoogle Search

    Let's start with the easiest one. Google search is widely used because in the past it was the only one giving reliable results quickly. However, privacy-friendly search engines have caught up over the past few years, and there is no reason at all not to favour those.

    Also worth mentioning: Small Searx iconSearx, Small StartPage iconStartPage, Small Qwant iconQwant & Small Ecosia iconEcosia.

     

  • Mozilla Firefox icon

    Mozilla Firefox

    Free Mac OS X Windows Linux Android iPhone ... Android Tablet BSD iPad PortableApps.com Haiku Website

    Google service to replace: Small Google Chrome iconGoogle Chrome

    Today there are several browsers that give you much more privacy-protection than Google Chrome. Firefox is a well-established browser known for respecting user's privacy, and recently, with the Quantum update, it even became faster than Chrome. And if you need extra anonymity when browsing online, you can use the Small Tor Browser iconTor Browser.

    Also worth mentioning: Small Brave iconBrave, Small Waterfox iconWaterfox, Small qutebrowser iconqutebrowser, Small Midori iconMidori, Small Pale Moon iconPale Moon, Small Ungoogled Chromium iconUngoogled Chromium & Small uzbl iconuzbl.

     

  • Linux Mint icon

    Linux Mint

    Free Linux Website

    Google service to replace: Small Chromium OS iconChromium OS

    Linux Mint is an elegant, easy to use, up to date and comfortable GNU/Linux desktop distribution. Linux Mint is an Small Ubuntu iconUbuntu based distribution (so, Small Debian iconDebian based) whose goal is to provide a more complete out-of-the-box experience by including browser plugins, media codecs, support for DVD playback, Java and other components.
    It also adds a custom desktop and menus, several unique configuration tools, and a web-based package installation interface.

    Also worth mentioning: Small Arch Linux iconArch Linux, Small Fedora iconFedora, Small Manjaro Linux iconManjaro Linux, Small openSUSE iconopenSUSE, Small Gentoo iconGentoo, Small KDE neon iconKDE neon, Small Solus iconSolus & Small Qubes OS iconQubes OS.

     

  • ProtonMail icon

    ProtonMail

    Freemium Web Android iPhone iPad Website

    Google service to replace: Small Gmail iconGmail

    Gmail is by far the most used email service in the world. But even if it's a very handy service with lots of third-party integration, you have to know that Google can read all your email for marketing purposes and that you have strictly zero privacy while using such a service. ProtonMail, on the other side, offers end-to-end encryption so that it is fully protected from snooping eyes and even the developers cannot read your emails.

    Also worth mentioning: Small Tutanota iconTutanota, Small Posteo iconPosteo & Small Kolab Now iconKolab Now.

     

  • Thunderbird icon

    Thunderbird

    Free Mac OS X Windows Linux BSD PortableApps.com ... Haiku Website

    Google service to replace: Small Inbox by Gmail iconInbox by Gmail

    Thunderbird is a free, open source, cross-platform e-mail, news and instant messaging client. The project strategy is modelled after Small Mozilla Firefox iconMozilla Firefox. It supports POP (storing mail locally on your hard drive so that it can be accessed without an internet connection), and IMAP. It features excellent mail filter capabilities and management. Thunderbird has strong support for using multiple accounts and identities, including automated signature features. Thunderbird can also function as an RSS/Atom feed reader, and has a large selection of add-ons that extend it with calendar support (Small Lightning Calendar iconLightning Calendar), PGP support (Small Enigmail iconEnigmail), integration with online services and much more.

    Also worth mentioning: Small Spark iconSpark, Small Astro iconAstro, Small Canary Mail iconCanary Mail, Small K-9 Mail iconK-9 Mail, Small Claws Mail iconClaws Mail & Small Mailspring iconMailspring.

     

  • Nextcloud icon

    Nextcloud

    Free Mac OS X Windows Linux Web Android ... iPhone Android Tablet iPad Self-Hosted Cloudron Website

    Google service to replace: Small Google Drive iconGoogle Drive

    When using Google Drive, one must know that all files are stored unencrypted on Google servers. Everyone gaining access to these servers can easily copy and read those files. Netxcloud allows you to access, share and protect your files, calendars, contacts, communication & more at home and in your enterprise. It's a self-hosted service so your data are on a server you control. But if you want a hosted solution with end-to-end encryption, you can also try Small SpiderOak iconSpiderOak or Small Tresorit iconTresorit.

    Also worth mentioning: Small Syncthing iconSyncthing, Small Seafile iconSeafile & Small Resilio Sync  iconResilio Sync .

     

  • Lineage OS icon

    Lineage OS

    Free Android Website

    Google service to replace: Small Android iconAndroid

    The most popular alternative to Android is, of course, Small iOS iconiOS, which offers easy device encryption and encrypted messaging via iMessage by default. But iOS is detained by Apple and some people might want to use an open-source operating system based on Android. And since Cyanogen, Inc. officially ended support for Small CyanogenMod iconCyanogenMod some times ago, the new kid in town is LineageOS and it's really good.

    Also worth mentioning: Small CopperheadOS iconCopperheadOS, Small Sailfish OS iconSailfish OS, Small Replicant iconReplicant & Small Paranoid Android iconParanoid Android.

     

  • F-Droid icon

    F-Droid

    Free Web Android Website

    Google service to replace: Small Google Play Store iconGoogle Play Store

    F-Droid is an installable catalogue of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) applications for the Android platform. The client makes it easy to browse, install, and keep track of updates on your device just like Google Play. F-Droid only allows you to install open-source apps, so, if you want to install non-FOSS apps but don't want to use the Play Store, you could also be interested in Small Aptoide iconAptoide and Small Yalp Store iconYalp Store.

     

  • Vimeo icon

    Vimeo

    Freemium Web Android iPhone Windows RT Windows Phone ... Apple TV Kindle Fire Website

    Google service to replace: Small YouTube iconYouTube

    This one is a hard one — maybe even the harder one on this list. Nowadays, everyone upload and watch videos on YouTube. If you're creating and hosting videos yourself, Vimeo is the best-known alternative which focuses on creators. For videos that are only on YouTube (unfortunately, a lot), you can search for and watch them using Small Hooktube iconHooktube for better privacy protection.

    Also worth mentioning: Small NewPipe iconNewPipe, Small SkyTube iconSkyTube & Small Minitube iconMinitube that are some good open-source Android and desktop YouTube clients.

     

  • OpenStreetMap icon

    OpenStreetMap

    Free Web Website

    Google service to replace: Small Google Maps iconGoogle Maps

    For iOS users, Apple gives you an alternative built-in via Small Apple Maps iconApple Maps, so no installation is necessary if you're okay with using Apple services. If you want to use an open-source service with wider device support, check out OpenStreetMap and its mobile application Small OsmAnd iconOsmAnd though it may not have the same ease-of-use or coverage quality as Google Maps.

     

  • bitwarden icon

    bitwarden

    Free Mac OS X Windows Linux Web Android ... iPhone Android Tablet iPad Self-Hosted Microsoft Edge Vivaldi Browser Chrome Tor Browser Bundle Safari Opera Brave Firefox Website

    Google service to replace: Small Google Smart Lock iconGoogle Smart Lock

    A password manager is a mandatory tool if you use lots of passwords for online protection and don't want to use the built-in Chrome/Firefox one. One of the best on the market is Bitwarden. It's open-source, easy to use and works on all the desktop and mobile platforms.

    Also worth mentioning: Small Master Password iconMaster Password, Small Less Pass iconLess Pass & Small KeePass iconKeePass with its derivates (Small KeePassXC iconKeePassXC, Small KeePassDroid iconKeePassDroid, Small KeeWeb iconKeeWeb, Small Keepass2Android iconKeepass2Android & Small MacPass iconMacPass).

     

  • Signal icon

    Signal

    Free Mac OS X Windows Linux Android iPhone ... Android Tablet iPad Chrome Website

    Google service to replace: Small Google Allo iconGoogle Allo

    There are several services offering private messaging but Signal (or Small Silence.im iconSilence.im) gets our recommendation. It offers free, end-to-end encryption for both messages and private calls. It's also recommended by Edward Snowden and renowned security expert Bruce Schneier, among others. Small Wire iconWire is also a good solution. The app allows users to exchange end-to-end encrypted instant messages, as well as make voice and video calls.

    Also worth mentioning: Small Signal iconSignal, Small Tox iconTox, Small Riot.im iconRiot.im & Small Ricochet iconRicochet.

     

  • Jitsi icon

    Jitsi

    Free Mac OS X Windows Linux Web Android ... BSD Website

    Google service to replace: Small Hangouts iconHangouts

    Jitsi is a robust video chat alternative we use internally that works well even for large numbers of participants, though requires software to be installed. A web-only alternative is Small Jitsi Meet iconJitsi Meet which doesn't require an account — just go to the website to open a chat room and you're ready.

    Also worth mentioning: Small Mumble iconMumble, Small Linphone iconLinphone & Small Ring iconRing.

     

  • Ghost icon

    Ghost

    Commercial Mac OS X Windows Linux Self-Hosted Cloudron ... Node.JS Website

    Google service to replace: Small Blogger iconBlogger

    Ghost is both a hosted (paid) and self-installable blogging platform, tracker-free by default and run by a non-profit foundation. It's an open source publishing platform which is beautifully designed, easy to use, and free for everyone.

    Also worth mentioning: Small WordPress iconWordPress, Small Grav iconGrav & Small Jekyll iconJekyll.

     

  • Matomo icon

    Matomo

    Free Web Android iPhone iPad Self-Hosted ... PHP Cloudron Website

    Google service to replace: Small Google Analytics iconGoogle Analytics

    Piwik is an open-source alternative to Google Analytics that you can self-host on your own server or web hosting. It's better than GA in many ways:

    • You have the full ownership of the analytics data
    • You get unsampled data (understanding data sampling in Google Analytics)
    • The cost is very low
    • No data storage and collection limit
    • Endless customization of the platform
    • You can configure privacy settings like "Do not track" and the anonymization of IP addresses of visitors

    And even if you don't want to setup, configure and maintain your infrastructure for Piwik and/or if you want to customize Piwik to meet your specific tracking/reporting requirements, then you can use Small Piwik PRO iconPiwik PRO which is a paid service.

     

  • Standard Notes icon

    Standard Notes

    Freemium Mac OS X Windows Linux Web Android ... iPhone Chrome OS iPad Self-Hosted Website

    Google service to replace: Small Google Keep iconGoogle Keep

    Standard Notes is a safe place for your notes, thoughts, and life's work. All your notes are encrypted and secured so only you can decrypt them. No one but you can read your notes (not even the company behind the app). Standard Notes is free to use and is cross-platform and there's also a premium version at $3,99/month for those who need extended functionalities.

    Also worth mentioning: Small Simplenote iconSimplenote, Small Paperwork iconPaperwork, Small OpenNote iconOpenNote & Small Turtl iconTurtl.

     

  • ONLYOFFICE icon

    ONLYOFFICE

    Free Mac OS X Windows Linux Web Self-Hosted Website

    Google service to replace: Small Google Drive - Docs iconGoogle Drive - Docs

    OnlyOffice is an open-source office suite that combines text, spreadsheet and presentation editors. You can download and use them for home, government, educational and commercial purposes without restrictions and use these office tools online.

    Also worth mentioning: Small Etherpad iconEtherpad, Small Cryptpad iconCryptpad & Small Notion iconNotion.

     

  • Wekan icon

    Wekan

    Free Web Self-Hosted Sandstorm.io Cloudron Website

    Google service to replace: Small Google Tasks iconGoogle Tasks

    Wekan is an open-source Trello-like kanban board built with Meteor. Whether you’re maintaining a personal todo list, planning your holidays with some friends, or working in a team on your next revolutionary idea, Kanban boards are an unbeatable tool to keep your things organized. They give you a visual overview of the current state of your project and make you productive by allowing you to focus on the few items that matter the most.

    Also worth mentioning: Small Habitica iconHabitica & Small Taiga.io iconTaiga.io.

     

  • GitLab icon

    GitLab

    Freemium Linux Web BSD Self-Hosted Ruby ... Cloudron Website

    Google service to replace: Small Google Code Hosting iconGoogle Code Hosting

    Even if Google Cloud is discontinued since 2015, I wanted to present you a good open-source alternative named GitLab. It's a web-based Small Git iconGit repository manager with wiki and issue tracking features, using an open source license. Nowadays, it's the best alternative to Small GitHub iconGitHub that's free and open-source.

    Also worth mentioning: Small GitHub iconGitHub, Small Bitbucket iconBitbucket, Small SourceForge iconSourceForge & Small Gogs (Go Git Service) iconGogs (Go Git Service).

     

  • Diaspora icon

    Diaspora

    Free Linux Web BSD Self-Hosted Ruby Website

    Google service to replace: Small Google Plus iconGoogle Plus

    Diaspora is a federated social networking service, designed to be a more privacy-aware alternative to Small Facebook iconFacebook and other social media. Diaspora lets you sort your connections into groups called aspects. Unique to Diaspora, aspects ensure that your photos, stories and jokes are shared only with the people you intend.

    Also worth mentioning: Small Minds iconMinds, Small Mastodon iconMastodon & Small Friendica iconFriendica.

     

  • Apertium icon

    Apertium

    Free Windows Linux Web Android Firefox Website

    Google service to replace: Small Google Translate iconGoogle Translate

    Apertium is a free and open-source machine translation platform, initially aimed at related-language pairs but expanded to deal with more divergent language pairs (such as English-Catalan). The platform provides a language-independent machine translation engine, tools to manage the linguistic data necessary to build a machine translation system for a given language pair and linguistic data for a growing number of language pairs.

    Also worth mentioning: Small Mate Translate iconMate Translate

     

  • Font Squirrel icon

    Font Squirrel

    Free Web Website

    Google service to replace: Small Google Fonts iconGoogle Fonts

    Font Squirrel is the best resource for free, hand-picked, high-quality, commercial-use fonts. Font Squirrel also has a great @font-face font generator. It means that if you own a @font-face license for your fonts, you can use the generator to create web-kits or to tweak your existing kits to improve rendering and file sizes.

    Also worth mentioning: Small Open Font Library iconOpen Font Library

     

  • Lstu icon

    Lstu

    Free Linux Web Self-Hosted Perl Website

    Google service to replace: Small Google URL Shortener iconGoogle URL Shortener

    Lstu – for Let's Shorten That Url – is a simple and open-source URL shortener that's easy to use and that you can customize as you wish. You can use it as service or install it on your own server.

    Small Polr iconPolr was also a good open-source URL shortener but I seems that the service has shut down.

     

  • Exoscale icon

    Exoscale

    Commercial Web Website

    Google service to replace: Small Google Cloud Platform iconGoogle Cloud Platform

    Exoscale is a safe European cloud hosting for Saas companies, developers, sysadmins and everyone seeking deployment agility. Protected by Swiss privacy laws, your data will stay safe from technical or legal harm.

    Also worth mentioning: Small CloudSigma iconCloudSigma, Small OrangeWebsite iconOrangeWebsite & Small FlokiNET iconFlokiNET.

     

  • FreeOTP icon

    FreeOTP

    Free Android iPhone Android Tablet iPad Website

    Google service to replace: Small Google Authenticator iconGoogle Authenticator

    FreeOTP is a two-factor authentication application for systems utilizing one-time password protocols. Tokens can be added easily by scanning a QR code. FreeOTP implements open standards: HOTP and TOTP. This means that no proprietary server-side component is necessary: use any server-side component that implements these standards. We recommend Small FreeIPA iconFreeIPA.

    Also worth mentioning: Small WinAuth iconWinAuth & Small andOTP iconandOTP.

     

  • DNSCrypt icon

    DNSCrypt

    Free Mac OS X Windows Linux Android iPhone ... Docker Website

    Google service to replace: Small Google Public DNS iconGoogle Public DNS

    DNSCrypt is a protocol that authenticates communications between a DNS client and a DNS resolver. It prevents DNS spoofing. It uses cryptographic signatures to verify that responses originate from the chosen DNS resolver and haven't been tampered with.
    It is an open specification, with free and open source reference implementations, and it is not affiliated with any company nor organization, unlike Google Public DNS.

    Also worth mentioning: Small OpenNIC iconOpenNIC

     

As you can see, moving away from Google isn't necessarily hard. In fact, you might even find you prefer the alternatives while also getting better privacy!