Alternatives to Google 2019: Ultimate Guide to Degoogle Your Life
- Salman Ahmed
- April 22nd, 2019
There is no denying that the convenience offers by Google ecosystem is super handy. Also, I believe so many of you are already leave social media after reading my blog regarding why I was ready to leave Facebook but not Google.
Now it is time to make your life free from Google by switching to its alternatives.
Before writing this blog, there is a reason why i did not tell you to leave Google. If i did that, it would be very challenging for you to leave Facebook and Google together.
Therefore, in the end, you would end up with using both, which would be the worst scenario towards securing your online privacy.
This is why I choose the step-by-step strategy to guide my audience on how to protect their data and stop mass surveillance by these tech giants.
As I mentioned in my previous blog that I am a big fan of Google products even after I know they collect a massive amount of data.
But everything has a limit. At that time, I was unaware of the reliable and best alternatives to Google products. Now the time has come since I finally find some great alternatives to Google products.
For this, I go one step further to explain how you can switch to alternatives to Google proficiently without compromising anything and regain your online privacy.
Form my team I requested two people “Alex” and “John” to use google apps and their alternatives respectively for three months.
This is what I found:
Anyone who is very serious regarding his/her online privacy, using the Google search engine should not be an option at all.
When you use the Google search engine, it records all the information regarding your search habits, including your search intent, IP address and creates your Google ad profile with the help of cookies.
This is why to maintain your online privacy here are some best alternatives to Google search engine:
This search engine is the most excellent privacy-centric search engine alternatives to Google. Since it does not monitor or track users from targeting ads and share information with third parties.
Although it does record search terms only to improve users experience.
This search engine is a privacy-friendly alternative to Google to plant trees by donating 80% of its surplus income.
How does it work? Well, the process is simple:
Read the interview with Ecosia’s team member Jacey Bingler
One of the most secure Google search engine alternatives with ultimate privacy features based in France.
This is another great alternative to Google search engine with resourceful meta search engine.
Highly secure engine based in Germany
Although this search engine gives you Google search results but does not track users’ online activities or collect personal information.
When it comes to providing users’ online privacy, Gmail is one of the worst product of Google. The email you send or receive on your Gmail account, all the information collects by Google.
Google can access everything that you put inside your email including text, image, attachment, personal contact and confidential information to analyze behavior and target with ads accordingly.
Moreover, when you keep logged in to your Gmail account, they can easily track your online activities since you use the same browser to search for other things.
Additionally, by tracking this kind of information, they use it for their target ads strategy. In short, using Gmail services, not a single online activities of yours is hiding from Google eyes.
Fortunately, Following are some tremendous secure alternatives to Gmail that you can use to protect your privacy:
Offers a free trial for up to 30 days and based in Norway.
This secure Gmail alternative offers free account up to 500 Mb and based in Belgium.
Provides ultimate secure mailing service from the lands of Germany and offers a €1/monthly plan with 14 days refund policy.
This is one of the best Gmail alternatives for small startups since it offers free services for up to 1GB.
Google Chrome browser is one of the most popular browsers nowadays. The reasons for its popularity are; it is super easy to use and have massive numbers of useful and productive extensions.
Although when it comes to privacy, it is one of the worst browsers right now globally. Therefore, if you want to regain your online privacy, the following are some great Chrome alternatives:
Firefox Focus is one of the most significant users’ privacy-focused browsers by Mozilla so far. This phenomenal browser primarily develops for users who are looking for sturdy data protection.
Initially, this secure browser was only available for iPhone/iPad (iOS) users. However, the recent update comes with the new app for Android lovers.
This is one of the best secure browsers to provide data privacy and breathtaking UI interface that will sparkle your eyes.
Without a doubt, Waterfox browser has all the potential to rank in the list most secure browsers. This open-source browser is also a product of Mozilla.
This phenomenal browser is mainly for those users who want all the features like Firefox and Firefox Focus but do not want to lose their freedom.
However, while testing this Waterfox browser, our technical team found out that Mozilla uses telemetry process to collect user data. It means your online activities will be stored until you erase the data.
Thanks to Jonathan Samson, a genius mind behind the development of Brave browser. Personally, this as privacy evangelist, I need this kind of secure browser. It is based on Chromium mechanism that is speedy, reliable and online privacy-focused. It also contains default ad blocker, which is a great sign of providing online privacy.
The developers behind this one of the best secure browser formally worked for Mozilla. Therefore if you are looking for ultimate privacy box, Brave should be on your list.
Although, the biggest drawback of this secure browser is that it is based on Chromium structure. It means it is built on open source code that is also used by Google Chrome.
However, the security feature it provides covers all its pitfalls.
It seems like Mozilla has multiple options when it comes to providing browsers to its users. Palemoon is also the product of Mozilla but the design on an older version of Firefox (38 ESR).
This is why when you use it, you feel like using the old browser.
The reason why I listed this classic browser still in my most secure browser list is that it supports some old add-ons.
Similar to other secure Mozilla browsers, Palemoon is free from all the vulnerabilities that steal user’s privacy.
For more see my secure browsers to get additional information regarding reliable add-ons and browsers.
Google Drive is another product by a tech giant that is highly vulnerable to users’ data privacy. Therefore, it would be disastrous for your privacy if you are still using Google Drive.
To help you out here is some top of the line secure Google alternatives for you:
From Germany, Nextcloud is one the most secure cloud drive that is self-hosted, open source and great communication platform.
This Google Drive is best for both individuals and the corporate sector since it offers highly encrypted cloud storage services from Canada.
The only pitfall of this Google Drive alternative is that it uses Microsoft servers, which is a concern, especially when you are looking for privacy-centric product.
Although it is one of the handiest and user-friendly alternatives to Google Drive as compared to Sync.com.
Based in Germany, mainly for business and cooperate sector, that offers encrypted cloud backup and docs synchronization features.
You might be surprised why I did not include Dropbox in Google Drive alternatives list. It is undeniable that Dropbox is one of the most exceptional services but not in terms of privacy.
For further detail read my Dropbox review.
The good news is that you can use similar apps to replace both Gmail and Google Calendar. It means you can use one of the following apps for both functionalities:
Right now I am using Mailbox.org that works great for me. However, if you are looking for more Google Calendar alternatives, I would recommend you to check the following apps:
There are large numbers of Google Docs alternatives available in the market. However, not all the alternatives are worth mentioning here since most of them have some pitfalls regarding privacy.
This secure Google docs alternative is available on all the primary OS including Android, iOS, MacOS, Linux and Windows. Moreover, it is an open source app.
Like its name, this Google Doc alternative is privacy-centric with ultimate encryption and free to use.
If you are looking for Google Docs alternative that has a simple and user-friendly interface with amazing features, then I would recommend you to go for Zoho Docs.
To add, if you want more online privacy, for this I would recommend you to log in at Zoho.eu since it has improved privacy policies due to GDPR.
Personal photos are the one that you never want to compromise by Google. Thus if you do not want to put your photos to be compromised, delete the Google Photos right away from your device.
Here are some great alternatives to Google:
This great Google alternative is available on Android, iOS, MacOS, and Windows with both free and premium plan.
Additionally, this app is without any ads, which is impressive since it gets very annoying with it.
This app is a free and open source and useful option for replacing Google Photos.
It is tough to find close Youtube alternative, especially when you are a vlogger. However, if you are still looking for secure Youtube alternatives, check out the following streaming apps:
Many review sites put Dailymotion as a secure Youtube alternative in their blog. However, I’m afraid I have to disagree with them since Dailymotion uses SDK certificates to collect and share user data.
After spending almost a day to find out secure alternative to Google Translate, I found four reliable alternatives:
DeepL is one of the best alternative to Google translate that allows you to translate 50,000 characters at once. However, if you go for its premium subscription, you can translate unlimited words at once.
Additionally, the interface is very enticing and super handy to use and also has a built-in dictionary.
If you are looking for a Google translate alternative that can translate small phrases accurately, then Lingue must be your choice.
Moreover, Lingue also provides user contextual meaning that translates words more easy to understand.
If you are running an online business or your blogging website, this is must you are using Google analytics to analyze your website traffic.
However, when it comes to privacy, Google analytics is not a right choice since it uses trackers. For this I found some great alternatives to it that you can use for analyzing your website:
This alternative to Google analytics is the only analytics service that is certified to protect users’ privacy. Previously known as Piwik, is an open source analytics service that offers users’ anonymity and privacy.
This is also a good alternative to Google Analytics but not as good as Matomo. You can download this open source analytics from Github.
The best Google Maps alternative for desktop users is OpenStreetMap
For mobile device users, here are some secure alternatives to Google Maps:
This map service is available on both iOS and Android that works on OpenStreetMap data. It is an open source app that is considered as a better option than Google Maps when it comes to privacy.
This Google Maps alternative is an open source app. The best thing about this app is that it works offline based on OpenStreetMap data.
Since you can use this app offline, it is way better in protecting your privacy as compared to Google Maps.
Maps.me is a great alternative to Google Maps and available free on both iOS and Android. However, it does collect considering amount of data but way less than Google Maps.
This MapHub is also using OpenStreetMap data to offer services to users. Moreover, it is more privacy-centric app since it does not track users’ IP addresses and location.
Currently, the best Google Play Store alternative is to use F-Droid and then go through the Yalp store.
As explained on the official site, F-Droid is an installable catalog of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) applications for the Android platform.
After you have installed F-Droid, you can then download the Yalp store APK, which allows you to download apps from the Google Play Store directly as APK files.
You can learn more about Yalp and download it from the F-Droid website here. (See also the official GitHub page here for more info.)
Here are some secure alternatives to Chrome OS for your Chromebook and degoogle your life:
Linux is the most reliable and secure alternative to Chrome OS since it is an open source and offers a wide variety of features. You can use Linux Ubuntu on your Chromebook by doing some tweaks.
Based on Linux, this OS is a privacy-centric that routes all the traffic through the Tor network.
According to Edward Snowden:
“If you’re serious about security, Qubes OS is the best OS available today. It’s what I use, and free.”
You might be thinking that I do not mention the two primary OS, which is MacOS and Windows here. You believe or not these two major OS are toxic for your privacy since they share users data to mass surveillance agencies.
When it comes to Android, the most prominent alternative is iOS without a doubt. However, they are still some privacy concerns for which I do not recommend it. Check out some secure alternatives to Android:
This underrated OS is breaking grounds to protect users privacy and greatly help you in degoogle your life. Check out the detailed interview of one of its creator here.
This Alternative to Android is available for mobile devices, free from Google products but based on Android.
This Alternative is no more secure to use since its infrastructure has been compromised. However, previously it was considered as privacy-centric OS and one of the best alternative to Android.
Alternatives to Google Forms: Jotform
Alternatives to Google Fonts: Font Squirrel, FontSpace and Behance
Great Alternatives to Google Voice: JMP.chat
Best Alternatives to Google Firebase: Kuzzle and Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Top Alternatives to Google Keep: Standard Notes and Joplin
Secure Alternatives to Google Blogger: WordPress, Medium and Ghost
The time has come to degoogle your life by switching to secure Google alternatives product.
I hope the demonstration through infographics above would open your eyes regarding using Google is ultra-pernicious to your privacy.
With the approach of active-passive data collection strategy, using Google products allows tech giants to track and collect your data to the maximum.
What if I tell you that in most of the advanced countries like USA, UK, and Australia, ISPs also trace and monitor users online activity.
And not only they just collect users’ data, but they have all the permissions to sell it to third party organizations that are part of 5, 9 and 14 eyes countries.
Moreover, they also share data to social giants such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.
So what should be the next step after degoogling your life to protect your privacy from above-mentioned threats?
Further, to protect your online privacy from ISPs and Mass Surveillance agencies is by using a VPN service.
VPN or Virtual Private Networks encrypts your data and provides you anonymity while using the internet. It also hides your IP address and location.
See my full guide regarding “What is VPN and How it works” to get in-depth understanding of this tool.