How to Cut Google from Your Life - Alternatives to Google Services

How to Cut Google from Your Life - Alternatives to Google Services

If you decided to give up Google's services for more private options, here are some alternatives you might enjoy!

Google is one of the Gang of Four technology companies and it has earned that spot for a reason. Google helps us live an effortless digital life by providing a great number of products and making it extremely easy to keep everything interconnected.

But there's no secret Google does its best to gather as many data as possible about users, a practice that raises serious privacy concerns.

Ever wondered why Google's products are free? That's because their main source of revenue comes from advertising. And how can they serve you the ads with the best chances to be clicked on? By learning all about you and what you like. Google knows where you've been, who you're in touch with, what you've bought, and can even predict what you'll need in the future.

They collect even more information about yourself and your online browsing than you might think.

The more Google services and products you're using, the more private information you give away.

The good news is, you have choices.

We're not saying you must cut Google out of your life. It is totally up to you. But you should be aware that if you're using Google's products, there's no online privacy for you.

If you decided to give up Google's services for more private options, here are some alternatives you might enjoy!

Google Chrome alternatives

It's well known that the majority of internet users are using Google Chrome, their market share being at around 63% browser-market-share as of July 2019. While the famous web browser is fun and useful, it's also probably the biggest snooper on the internet. On a test run by a security expert, was discovered Chrome requested over 11,000 tracker cookies during one week. So if you want a bit of privacy while browsing the internet, maybe it's time you give other browsers a try.

Here are the best alternatives to Google Chrome:

Firefox- Firefox might not be the most popular web browser, but it definitely values users' privacy more than Chrome. Recently, Firefox has rolled out a feature that enables Enhanced Tracking Protection by default, blocking third-party cookies. They also updated the Facebook Container extension that prevents Facebook trackers following you across the web.

Brave- Brave is an open-source browser focused on privacy and security. It blocks trackers, malware, and malvertising by default and it also automatically upgrades websites to HTTP to increase security.

Tor - Though some people scare away from using Tor because of the misconception that only criminals use it, you should know it is the most private browser out there. Tor works by encrypting the data in multiple layers, your IP address becoming hidden to the websites you visit and creating a secure and private way to access the internet.

Google Search alternatives

Google Search is the most used search engine in the world, with 92% market share in July 2019. And because it tracks all searches, the results are getting more and more personalized and user-specific. And this can be a good thing sometimes. But if you think about all the data they collect in order to make results "universally accessible and useful", as they state, you might not find yourself wanting more. They know about all your searches, everything you click on while browsing, your user agent, IP address, and even more unique identifiers.

Here are the best alternatives which value your privacy:

DuckDuckGo - This is a search engine designed for enhanced internet privacy. It doesn't save your browsing history, stops advertisers from tracking you on the sites you visit, forces sites to use encrypted connections if available, and even shows you how much a website can be trusted. Install the browser extension to get a private browsing journey from now on.

Mojeek - Another alternative to Google Search that values users' privacy. Mojeek is a search engine based in the United Kingdom that uses its own crawler and index of pages, providing unbiased search results with no user tracking.

Gmail alternatives

While Gmail is a convenient email client, it's also one of Google's golden sources for users' personal information. The content in your inbox gathered and analyzed not only by Google, but they also share it with third-parties.

ProtonMail - This is one of the most secure email services out there. With ProtonMail, all your emails are end-to-end encrypted and stored on Swiss servers. Being under Switzerland jurisdiction gives this service a big plus as Swiss privacy laws are rigid and offer high user data protection.

Tutanota - Another email service alternative that provides end-to-end encryption and two-factor authentication. It's open-source, which means the code can be audited by more security experts, there are no ads, and they don't keep IP logs. An extra bonus is an encrypted calendar which comes integrated into the email client.

Mailfence - Mailfence is an email service based in Belgium (where the law highly protects privacy) that's a secure and private alternative to Gmail. Your emails are encrypted and they don't track your activity nor use advertising or marketing trackers. It also comes with useful features such as a calendar, a place to store your documents, and the option to create groups.

Google Drive alternatives

Google Drive is a popular option when it comes to backing up your files but, as expected, the files you upload on Drive are not encrypted and Google has access to them anytime they want.

Here are some more secure alternatives to Google Drive:

Tresorit - When you upload files on Tresorit, they are automatically encrypted using the AES encryption and a 256-bit key and not even Tresorit has access to your files. Moreover, the company is based in Switzerland, well-known for its strong user data protection laws. Tresorit is a paid solution, but it might be worth the small fee.

Sync - Sync is another great cloud service alternative that uses end-to-end encryption to protect your privacy and files. You can get 5GB of storage with the free plan or opt for one of their paid plans.

Google Calendar alternatives

Lightning Calendar - It's a calendar alternative developed by Mozilla which allows you to manage multiple calendars, create to-do lists, subscribe to public calendars, and invite your friends to events. It integrates with Thunderbird and Seamonkey emails.

Fruux - A Google Calendar alternative that encrypts all your data. It is highly customizable, allowing you to create multiple lists and filter them, create teams, share calendars with friends and coworkers and many more features. It's supported on all operating systems and the plan designed for individuals is free.

Youtube alternatives

Youtube is a bit tricky as you might not find the content you want on other platforms. Still, it's worth giving a shot to other platforms, maybe the content creators you follow also upload their videos outside YouTube.

Vimeo - If you're looking to switch video platforms, Vimeo might be your best bet, being the second most popular video website. Because Vimeo's business model is different than Youtube's, you won't see ads popping up on the platform.

Dailymotion - It is a French video-sharing platform where you can find all kinds of video content ranging from funny to political coverage videos.

Invidious - Invidious is a Youtube proxy you can use to watch Youtube videos. You can create an account that's not related to the Google account and it doesn't require any identifying information such as an email address.

Google Photos alternatives

Cryptee - With Cryptee, you can easily back up our photos in a secure and fun way. The app encrypts the files before leaving your devices, it offers multi-factor authentication, and you're able to create an anonymous account. It also has some nice features such as adding notes and using Markdown.

Lychee - Lychee is a free, self-hosted, photo management tool. Because the files live on your server, you are in total control of your photos, which makes for a secure alternative to Google Photos.

Google Maps alternatives

OsmAnd - It is an open-source mobile app (Android and iOS) that works offline. You get tons of features, including voice guidance, announcing traffic warnings, searching for specific places (such as hotels, restaurants), seeing walking, hiking and bike paths, and many more.

HERE WeGo - It's a free app available for both Android an iOS that also allows you to download offline maps. You get detailed routes, guidance, recommendations for car, bike, or public transit. It also gives you costs for public transit ticket and cab fares, recommends places to park, and warns you about traffic delays.

Google Keep alternatives

Standard Notes - Standard Notes is a simple, open-source, notes taking app. All your notes are encrypted so only you have access to them and there are no trackers or intrusive advertising.

Evernote - Evernote is a freemium note-taking app compatible with most devices and probably the most popular notes app option. It comes with many useful features such as creating notebooks, adding tags to your notes, adding attachments, clipping web pages, and many more. With the free plan, you can use your account on two devices.

Zoho Notebook - Zoho Notebook is one of Zoho's products designed for note-taking. You can create more types of notes such as text, checklists, audio, photo, sketch. Your notes sync to the cloud across all your devices and it's completely free for individuals.

Google Hangouts / Google Duo alternatives

Signal - Signal is considered to be the most secure messaging app up to this date. The app is open-source, making it available for a security expert to check it for security flaws yet, no flaw has been found to this date. Messages and calls are private due to the end-to-end encryption and its design is clean, without being stuffed with unnecessary features.

Telegram - The Telegram messaging app is quite popular due to the security and privacy it provides to users. Even though the communication is not encrypted by default, you can manually enable the Secret mode. The app has a great design and many extra features such as audio memos, stickers, and even basic photo and editing options.

Wire - The Wire app provides end-to-end encryption for conversations, including messages files, and video calls. You are able to initiate conference calls and create guest rooms to get in touch with those who don't have a Wire account.

For more alternatives to Google Hangouts, take a look over our list of the most secure messaging apps.

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