How to De-Google Your Life with these Alternatives to Google

published on: 02 December 2019 written by: Sebastian Petrosi

There is no denying, the 20 years of Google made our life heaven by providing its top-notch online services and products.

how to De-Google your life

But surprisingly 20 years ago the greatest singer of all time “Prince” (the purple rain guy) said:

“Don’t be fool by the internet. It’s cool to get on the computer, but not let computer get on you. Its cool to use the computer but not make computer use you, you all saw the Matrix.

There is a war going on and battle fields are inside (mind). And the price is the soul. So be careful.”

We all know that what the soul is for these online giants today; it’s your online data!

In reality you are trading much more valuable thing than money that is your online privacy.”

Have you ever think how Google can earn billions in revenue every single year without charging anything for its services and products?

Google is always one step ahead from you. By hiring best of the best people all around the world, the advertising giant create amazing services and tools.

This allure you to use them and force you to not degoogle your life any time soon.

In this way, when you use Google products and services, you are allowing them to collect and sell your data to third parties without your consent and make billions through ad targeting.

Whether its Google search engine, Gmail, Google Drive, Google Photos, Google Docs, Calendar, Chrome browser, Analytics, You Tube, or anything that offers by Google are vulnerable to privacy.

To add, the simplest answer why you should de-Google your life right now is that it is located in Five eyes countries (USA, California).

So what does it means? In short all your data is share and collected with mass surveillance agencies like NSA. Also Google liable to incorporated with Government Agencies upon their request.

Isn’t it enough to de-Google your life and switch to alternatives to Google? I hope you all are agree at this point to de-Google your life.

If you are not, then my Five Eyes, Nine Eyes and Fourteen Eyes guide will definitely makes you agree with my degoogle-ify campaign.

Here is the list of great alternatives to Google that I created after spending almost 124 hours to find the best:

How to Degoogle Your Life by Switching to Best Alternatives to Google

Leaving Google’s eco system is not easy at all, especially when 90% of people are using it. There are almost more than billions of users who use Google primary products, according to Statista:

how to De-Google your life

However, at the same time it scares me to use Google products since it collects massive amount of data that cannot be ignored at any cost.

Here is another shocking stats of how much Google collects your data on hourly basis:

how to De-Google your life

And my decision of de-Google is changing from tentative decision to permanent decision after seeing shocking stats of Google cooperating with Governments by providing their users’ data:

how to degoogle your life

This means Google not only use your data for ad targeting purposes but also share with government agencies to make us their puppets.

By having all the data regarding our online preferences and choices, Government can easily mold our choices towards what they want us to see and choose, which is petrifying.

Due to all this reasons, I finally decided to find best alternatives to Google. And I guess the above mentioned stats are more than enough for you to de-Google your life as soon as possible.

After spending almost 3 weeks to find some great Google alternatives, here is the list that will help you to De-Google your life in most convincing manner:

Secure Alternatives to Google’s Search Engine

When it comes to De-Google your life, the first thing comes to your mind that is it any perfect alternative available for Google search engine?

Well initially when I start looking for privacy centric search engines, I was having the similar mindset like you that it is impossible.

And this is not your fault to assume like that since the Google spectacular search engine never make us think about any other alternative.

However, I found some top of the line secure Google’s search engine alternatives:

Duck Duck Go

This privacy centric search engine is a recommendation of Edward Snowden who start revealing the real face of Google back in 2013.

After that, according to Statista analytics the average search for DuckDuckGo is rising:

how to degoogle your life

And from 2014 till October 2018, the search queries regarding DuckDuckGo is showing rising trend as of Statista analytics:

how to degoogle your life

So if you are looking for secure search engine that doesn’t track and monitor your online activities, DuckDuckGo can be your choice.

However, this search engine does collect search queries to provide you relevant results.

 

Ecosia

If you are a person who loves nature, then Ecosia search engine is a complete search engine for you. It is way secure than Google and it does not track your online actions at all.

And most amazing thing about this privacy oriented search engine is that it spends 80% of its surplus income in planting trees.

Qwant

Based in France, when you talk about great privacy centric and security features, I must this search engine has all of it to protect your online privacy.

Searx

This is another secure meta search engine that is way better than Google to provide you ultimate privacy.

Best Gmail Alternatives

Gmail is one of the most toxic Google product when it comes to your online privacy. Gmail not only collects data regarding the mails you receive or send.

But what if I tell you, according to Google privacy policy, it does have the right to access the information within email including text, data and attachments.

Moreover, if you are logged into your Gmail account with your mobile device it tracks and each and every moment of your with the help of active and passive data collection strategy.

Therefore, to quit Gmail, I have found some great alternatives that you can use without concerning about your online privacy:

Runbox

Offers a free trial for up to 30 days and based in Norway.

Mailfence

This secure Gmail alternative offers free account up to 500 Mb and based in Belgium.

Posteo

Provides ultimate secure mailing service from the lands of Germany and offers a €1/monthly plan with 14 days refund policy.

Tutanota

This is one of the best Gmail alternatives for small start-ups’ since it offers free services for up to 1GB.

Top Alternatives to Google Chrome Browsers

This is true that most of you who are reading this blog is on Chrome browser right? Well it makes sense because of its ultimate features and massive list of useful extensions.

To add, these extensions really helpful increasing productivity and online experience without any doubt. However, you all need to understand that nothing is bigger than your online privacy.

And Google Chrome is worst browsers after Opera to maintain your online privacy. From searching your favourite sites to use your favourite extension, Chrome collects every data about you.

For this, I have found these following secure browsers that will help you to go one more step further to de-Google your life.

Firefox Focus

It is one of the best secure alternative secure browser by Mozilla. If you are looking for phenomenal data protection, Firefox Focus must be your choice.

In the start of this security focused browser development, it is only available on iOS platform. But recent updates by Mozilla, introduce its new app for Android users, which is great.

Its enticing interface and ultimate security features will force you to say Goodbye to Chrome. Recently Mozilla collaborate with ExpressVPN to provide more privacy to its users.

Brave

As a privacy freak, Brave browser is my personal favourite. Although it is based on Chromium platform that makes it speedy and trust worthy browser when it comes online privacy.

To add, it has lots of security features such as built-in ad blocker that keeps you away from vague ads.

The user interface and features are one of its own kind that makes Brave browser one of the best secure browser in 2019.

Furthermore, this ultimate browser allows you to have a choice to watch ads or not. It means you can turn off ads if you are not interested.

Although, if you opt for watching ads on this browsers, you will be rewarded by BAT (Basic Attention Token) by Brave team.

However, the only that I want to change in Brave browser is it chromium base structure. But still the features it offers vanishes the impact of Chromium based structure.

Alternatives to Google Maps

For Desktop

The best Google Maps alternative for desktop users is OpenStreetMap

For Mobile Devices

For mobile device users, here are some secure alternatives to Google Maps:

OsmAnd

Maps (F Droid)

Maps.Me

MapHub

Perfect Google Analytics Alternatives

Online business, requires proper analytics of website, to keep your site updated. And due to the influence of Google’s eco system most of you use Google Analytics for this purpose.

But like other Google products and services, Google Analytics also uses different trackers to collect users data.

For this I have found two great alternatives to Google by which you can climb one step more to De-Google your life:

Matomo

Previously known as Pwik, this alternative to Google Analytics is my personal favourite and also one of the few online services who are certified users privacy protector.

Fathom Analytics

It is an open source and very good but not the best alternative to Google Analytics. For me Matomo is still the best due to its ultimate features and offers privacy and anonymity.

Google Calendar Alternatives

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:

  1. Kolab Now
  2. Posteo.de
  3. Mailbox.org

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:

  1. Fruxx
  2. Kin
  3. aCalender
  4. Etar

Alternatives to Chrome OS

Here is the list of Chrome OS alternatives that are privacy centric and does not track and monitors your data at all:

Note: Windows is also very vulnerable to your privacy. You can also use the following operating systems as Windows alternatives too:

Linux

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.

Tails

Based on Linux, this OS is a privacy-centric that routes all the traffic through the Tor network.

QubesOS

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.

Best Alternatives to Android OS

LineageOS

This Alternative to Android is available for mobile devices, free from Google products but based on Android.

CopperheadOS

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.

Google DNS Alternatives

Norton ConnectSafe

  • Primary, secondary DNS servers: 199.85.126.10 and 199.85.127.10

Comodo Secure DNS

  • Primary, secondary DNS servers: 8.26.56.26 and 8.20.247.20

Open DNS

  • Primary, secondary DNS servers: 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220

 

Other Google Alternatives

Alternatives to Google Forms: Jotform

Alternatives to Google Fonts: Font Squirrel, FontSpace and Behance

Google Voice Alternatives: JMP.chat

Secure Fire Base Alternatives: Kuzzle and Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Top Alternatives to Google Keep: Standard Notes and Joplin

Secure Alternatives to Google Blogger: WordPress, Medium and Ghost

Best Alternatives to Google Drive: Nextcloud, Sync.com, Tresorit and TeamDrive

Alternatives to YouTube: Vimeo, Bitchute and invidio.us

How I De-Google My Life

If you are more conscious about privacy, here is how I keep Google AND other tech giants away from my life. Note that my choices are mostly open-source and definitely stay away from the 5 Eyes (although there are some exceptions).

  • Chrome > Firefox and Brave: Firefox is the best at privacy. Brave is considered as one of the most private Chromium-based browsers.
  • Android > Android: Apple may be better than Google in terms of privacy but they are known to be “friends” with the NSA. A root Android with LineageOS and MicroG installed is widely considered better in every way. However, for you, an iPhone right now can still be a good choice but don’t stick with it for too long.
  • Chrome mobile > Firefox: Like I said, Firefox is the best. Safari can’t be removed from iOS so no way to avoid it (but Apple has enhanced Safari’s security recently so it’s not really a bad choice for you).
  • Google Drive / Photos > Nextcloud: Dropbox isn’t better than Google at all. Check out Nextcloud – the most famous private open-source cloud storage out there.
  • Gmail / Google Calendar > ProtonMail: One of the best encrypted email providers. Proton is still developing their own calendar right now so you may want to store your contacts and calendar in Nextcloud.
  • Google Voice > MySudo: MySudo gives you second phone number and email.
  • Google Search > StartPage, Searx > These two is considered better than DuckDuckGo. DDG has some problem, such as it is based in US (belongs to 5 Eyes, not good) and search results aren’t really good. I personally use StartPage which pull search results from Google but eliminated all trackers, therefore giving you much better results than DDG (results from Yahoo and Bing). Searx is more private than StartPage and more complicated as it pulls results from many other engines.
  • Google DNS > DNSCrypt: Cloudflare is US-based. Avoid US and UK as much as possible. DNSCrypt is more private and also has an iOS app called DNSCloak.
  • Google Docs > LibreOffice and Only Office: I use LibreOffice on PC and OnlyOffice on mobile. Don’t use Microsoft Office and Apple iWork (the latter can be reconsidered).
  • Google Hangouts > Signal: Signal is the best encrypted messaging app. No debate. Don’t use WhatsApp and Messenger (belong to Facebook), Telegram (only half open-source).
  • Google Maps > OpenStreetMaps: OpenStreetMaps (web) is open-source and contributed by people. iOS app is OsmAnd. Waze is owned by Google and somehow I got malware caution when trying to access HERE on web.
  • Google Analytics > Fathom Analytics, Matomo, Open Web Analytics: Pick your most favorite.
  • Google Keyboard > Apple keyboard: Stay with the default. Don’t use Grammarly. They have keyloggers.

Conclusion: Using Google Alternatives is Enough for Your Online Privacy?

Most of you might be thinking that  Google alternatives, which are mentioned above, few of them are located in five eyes, nine eyes and fourteen eyes countries.

This concern of yours is absolutely valid. Other than that one more privacy concern that prevails is your ISP (Internet Service Provider).

In the countries like Australia, USA and UK, The ISP’s also records your online activities even you are not using any single product or services like Google.

And all of your information is legally sold to third parties and Government agencies without your consent.

Moreover, if these mentioned above apps and services do not collect your data directly, they provide a path to allow Facebook to monitor you by adding SDK certificates in their system.

It means only using Google Alternatives doesn’t mean you are completely protected. So what’s the best way to ensure your entire online privacy?

Using a VPN with Google Alternatives is the Ultimate Solution to Your Privacy

Using best VPN services is the ultimate solution to ensure your complete online privacy. It is a two steps process. First switch to best alternatives to Google to De-Google your life.

The second step includes prevent ISP’s and surveillance countries to track your data. And this can be done by using VPN.

The Virtual Private Network will encrypt your data and provide anonymity to your online activities by hiding your actual location and IP address.

In this way ISP’s will not able to collect your data since they don’t know what your actual IP address is. For me the best VPN service is NordVPN and Surshark

Since it is located in safe jurisdiction (outside Five, Nine and Fourteen Eyes countries), economical and exceptional services.