Updated September 1, 2017
How To De-Google-ify Your Life: The Complete Guide To Leaving Google
Data collection is a fact. Whether or not you’re spooked by the NSA releases this year, data collection is a thing and it’s here. No matter where you are on the spectrum, you should be aware that you store data on the internet.
You should also know that no company is perfect, so it’s smart to take your data into your own hands when you can, and to know the fail points of the companies whose services you use.
As an entrepreneur, I like to control as much of my business as I can. Call me paranoid, a control freak, or whatever, but whenever you give up data in exchange for free services, you give up a limited amount of control as well. It’s a short-term trade off that has a long-term negative value.
I believe it’s a bad idea for one company to have control over multiple choke points in my business. Especially when their service is offered for free, and I have no path of recourse with them (which is why I’d rather pay to host this blog with InMotion than host it on a free alternative such as Blogger).
In this area, Google is one of the most visible offenders. Google has some of the best free suites of services around. But it also has more information on you than you know and probably more than any other company out there. Don’t believe me? Click here and tell me how accurate that is in the comments. Would love to know if you’re surprised by this.
If you need more reasons to agree with me, ask yourself about the NSA Scandal, the YouTube comments fiasco, Google+, or even Google’s declining search? It all adds up after a while.
Google is still great for lots of people but I can’t tell you how many entrepreneurs I’ve talked to who are moving away from Google or who are at least diversifying the companies, services, and programs they use.
Whether you’re looking for Google alternatives, you want to diversify the services you use, or you want to completely nuke your data from Google’s servers, here’s everything you need to know about de-Google-ifying your life.
How To De-Google-ify Your Life: The Complete Guide To Leaving Google (and what services you should use instead)
Table of Contents
The Best Alternatives To Gmail:
- Hush Mail – Hushmail is free email service with privacy and no ads. I haven’t used this personally but it’s a good option for the privacy-conscious.
- Fastmail – Fastmail.FM is a paid alternative that’s super fast, with a very clean interface. I’m moving all my hosted email here.
- Proton Mail – Secure email based in Switzerland.
Other “Free” Email Options:
There are other free email services but these are also run by companies with the same data biases as Google (they want your data to sell you ads). At least with these options, you’re diversifying the companies you give your data to.
Calendar & Tasks
Google Default: Google Calendar
The Best Alternatives To Google Calendar:
- Any.Do / Cal – This has actually taken over my entire scheduling setup. This combo integrates with iCal, and has finally helped me to get my life organized.
- Momentum – This is a Chrome app which replaces your default “new tab” page. It’s great as a reminder to focus on your top tasks (interesting that it only works with Chrome).
The Best Alternatives To Blogger:
- Self-hosted WordPress (best option) – Read how to do this here.
- Posthaven – This isn’t a great place to build a blog or business, however, if you just want an online place to put your words, this is a solid, clean option.
- Tumblr (if you want to post photos of cats)
The Best Alternatives To Chrome:
- Brave – A 2017 addition to this list. Blocks ads by default & is super fast.
- Firefox – Firefox is non-profit, non-evil, and simple.
The Best Alternatives To Google Search:
- Duck Duck Go – Duck Duck Go is a search engine which doesn’t track you. It still needs work but a good amount of queries are actually pretty good.
- Startpage.com – Google without all the tracking. (h/t vezzy-fnord)
- Bing – Bing isn’t that great but not as terrible as everyone would have you believe.
The Best Alternatives To Picasa:
- Flickr – Flickr is Yahoo’s photo sharing service.
- 500px – 500px is an independent and classy photo sharing platform that makes you want to start taking better photos.
The Best Alternatives To GDrive:
- Dropbox – Just about everyone has heard of Dropbox by now.
- Box – Box is a solid business alternative to Dropbox.
- Mega – Mega gives you up to 50GB of free storage. It’s a pretty sweet deal.
- iCloud (built into OSX)
The Best Alternatives To Google Docs:
- Evernote – Evernote is a cross-platform note taking program for your brain.
- TextEdit – This option is stupid simple on the Mac, but it works.
- Microsoft Office / iWork
Google Default: Google Apps for Domains
The Best Alternatives To Google Apps:
- NameCheap.com – I have 100+ domains registered with NameCheap. Man, that’s embarrassing to write down (believe it or not, that number is a lot lower than it used to be).
- IWantMyName – IWantMyName.com has the rest of my domains. Their interface is stellar.
The Best Alternatives To Google Sites:
Self-host your own site with InMotion (50% off). In general, don’t mess around with free sites. If you’re serious enough to want to make your own site, don’t even bother with anything other than a self-hosted solution.
Google Default: Google Analytics
The Best Alternatives To Google Analytics:
- Clicky – Clicky is a simple analytics replacement for Google Analytics.
- MixPanel – MixPanel provides advanced analytics. Unless you’ve got a growing startup, you probably won’t need the power that MixPanel offers.
- CrazyEgg – CrazyEgg is a heatmapping analytics tool that shows you where users are clicking on your site and what they’re looking at.
Not that anyone is using G+ but if you are, here’s what you should be using instead.
The Best Alternatives To G+:
- Twitter – You know what Twitter is. Say hi to me here.
- Instagram – You know what Instagram is. Follow along here.
- Path – Based on the principle that you can only have 150 strong connections, Path is actually a very beautiful, streamlined app for limited social networking.
- Whatsapp – Whatsapp is very popular in international circles, and provides free international texting.
The Best Alternatives To YouTube:
Vimeo – This is a classy alternative to YouTube but it definitely has a specialized artistic angle. It’s not meant for continuous video publishing in the way that YouTube is.
As far as I know, YouTube has no good competitors as far as reach and simplicity are concerned (which is saying a lot because YouTube isn’t all that simple anymore).
Someone out there, please make a decent, clean looking version of YouTube. There are a few billion dollars waiting to be made here. Heck, you could copy the YouTube “feather” beta, and be up and running in no time.
Export Your Google Data
If you decide you want to leave Google, the good news is that Google has actually made it easy to take your data with you (unlike Facebook). Pretty nice. If you want to make this happen, here’s the simple way to export your Google data via their Google Takeout system.
Click here for Google Takeout.
How To Delete Specific Google Accounts
Once you’ve exported your data, you can either leave your account up or shut it down. If you’re looking for step-by-step walkthroughs on cleaning up each individual account, here are the links you need.
Remember to export or “take out” any data you want from these accounts before you actually delete anything.
- How To Delete Your YouTube Account (step-by-step walkthrough)
- How To Delete Your Google+ Account (step-by-step walkthrough)
- How To Delete Your Gmail Account
How To Delete Your Entire Google Account
If you want to take the nuclear option, and just delete everything wholesale, proceed at your own risk below.
Remember, don’t delete anything until you’re sure you don’t want it anymore.
There you have it – the complete guide to leaving google. You should be all set.
What did I miss? Are there any Google services I forgot or alternatives I should add? Let me know.
Join The Discussion on Hacker News
Photo credit: Robert Scoble
Steve P Brady says
I’m with you on most of this, but I have to disagree on Google plus. I have far superior interactions there and get a good portion of my clients from those interactions.
Joel Runyon says
I tried to provide alternatives for all their services – including G+.
Also Firefox has been up to some shady activity. Tracking users without consent during there Clicz testing. Also donating to riseup. A very questionable email service. Which hosts many antifascist groups.
John Evans says
Thank you for the information. If Firefox is helping people who fight against fascism, then that is a great reason to support Firefox.
If you have problem with anitfascists then maybe you’re sitting a little to close to fascists. Just saying being anti-genocidal hyper imperialist militarism should only worry bad people.
> I have far superior interactions there and get a good portion of my clients from those interactions.
And you know, you hit the nail on the head right there! G+ is like walking into a convention of salespeople! If you go to Twitter or Facebook, it can be like walking into a party with friends.
Daniel Gnomm says
Facebook is more like dealing with the TSA. You get groped, there’s no privacy, everyone complains but still puts up with it.
Facebook is any sane person’s last option.
Monique Crowley says
Hi Joel, I really appreciate your article above. I have been wanting to delete my google accounts for a while now. Ever since Google teamed up with Amazon, youtube, Pinterest, and Apple to censor information about Non-GMOs and vaccines, I have been very aware of how these corporations are now actively censoring information that is not considered “authoritative news”. I like to look into issues on my own and make my own decisions- I don’t need these Big Companies to decide what I am allowed to read. I just wanted to point out that Vimeo has joined these Big Tech Companies and is now actively censoring information it deems inappropriate.
Google Voice Alternative?
I have GrapheneOS on my pixel4 which is entirely stripped of google and google background services. I’ve had a heck of a time finding a Google Voice Alternative that DOESNT require Google Play Services or any other Google background service. – Thanks!
http://prism-break.org/en/ has a list of alternatives to proprietary software by Operating System, it is worth a look.
James Grimes Jr says
Fantastic idea. Thanks for linking.
Great post–valuable alternatives that I’ll definitely look into. Thanks!
What do you think about http://medium.com/ ? Very nice blogging platform.
I don’t consider Medium to be a blogging platform. You can’t build up followers, you don’t have any control of your content, and Medium is profiting off of your hard work.
Sure, it’s nice for exposure–if you’re writing about their target audience. But if you want to do something real with your writing, get your own domain and use a self-hosted platform.
Khürt L. Williams says
I was torn in whether to post via medium or not. After some thought I came to the same conclusion you did.
Joel Runyon says
I like medium as a place to guest post – but I’d strongly caution against trying to build your personal / business platform on something that you don’t control.
For Documents, you should check out SpiderOak. Dropbox is great, but SpiderOak encrypts everything. If anyone ever tries to force your data, SpiderOak will give it to them, but it’ll all be encrypted–heavily. Usage isn’t as smooth as Drive or Dropbox, but it’s excellent.
I tried SpiderOak at one point and found it much less intuitive to set up and use. What I ended up with instead is Dropbox with BoxCryptor for security. The free version of BoxCryptor only lets you encrypt up to 2GB, but that’s plenty for the date I’m really worried about securing.
Khürt L. Williams says
Try building your own cloud storage.
For browser alternatives, there are also Chromium-based browsers for those who want Chrome without the browser sending all your info to Google. Two good ones I’ve used are Comodo Dragon and SRWare Iron.
This is a great list, thanks! I’ve been looking at more Google alternatives myself lately, and the one I’m most struggling with is email. I knew about Hushmail but Fastmail.FM is new to me, so I’ll check them out.
What worries me is that FireFox depends 90% on Google royalties. Just a matter of time for “do-no-evil” empire to ask Mozilla to return a favor.
This is something that bothers me, too… Are there any other alternatives? TOR, sure, but for casual browsing?
Ingrid Harrison says
I just found out about and installed Pale Moon Browser as my default browser. I am ecstatic. I also just installed DuckDuckGo for the Search Engine. Will be also installing Opera as suggested by many wonderful posts to my inquiry as to an alternate to Google and Firefox. Just wanted to pass on information. I copied and pasted this entire post into a word document for reference, and bookmarked it. Extremely interested in the incredible information. I have no idea about changing email, huge task, but I have been wanting to.
Sparky Jones says
To eliminate the hassles associated with changing email addresses, use an email forwarder such as bigfoot.com. It’s free, and only forwards mail to the address you give it. When you change email providers, change the forwarding address. Your respondents won’t even know.
Karl J. Gephart says
I was just getting ready to say that. Google is a HUGE revenue source for Mozilla. Even the upcoming Firefox Australis interface resembles Chrome greatly. And Microsoft is no privacy sweetheart, either. Otherwise, the recommendations are pretty spot-on.
I’ve been using EpicPrivacy Browser (https://www.epicbrowser.com/). It’s very nice (based on chromium). It has its own “EpicSearch.in” feature, as well as an encrypted proxy that is part of the browser (use of proxy is optional, convenient icon, top right, can be toggled on and off).
For free encrypted email, Tutanota.com is on par with ProtonMail.com, and it offers other names, such as tutamail.com
There’s also the option of hosting your own email; check out the following series of articles,
Parts 2 – 4 of the series have a different title format,
Taking e-mail back, part 2: Arming your server with Postfix and Dovecot
Taking e-mail back, part 3: Fortifying your box against spammers
Taking e-mail back, part 4: The finale, with webmail & everything after
Running your own email is a big gulp, but once you have an understanding of the pieces, it makes you a lot more savvy about security and privacy.
ALTERNATIVE OFFICE APPS
To move away from MS-Office (everyone is big data these days, not just Google), there’s LibreOffice. I miss some of the MS-Word keyboard shortcuts, but Libre-Writer’s approach to other aspects of word processing is superior to MS-Word.
Thanks for the list … I’ve been slowly de-googling for awhile now. Not sure why, but I prefer ixquick.com search engine over duckduckgo.
Hushmail is horrible for privacy – see http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2007/11/encrypted-e-mai/ discussing a matter where they deliberately and secretly introduced a vulnerability into their software to allow a user’s E-mail to be vulnerable to interception, despite the use of cryptography.
For photo sharing, in addition to 500px, another option to both Google and Flickr/Yahoo is iPernity.com.
Following changes to the Flickr interface over the past several months, and with rumors of more changes ahead, a number of my Flickr contacts are reducing their Flickr presence and transitioning to 500xp and iPernity. And really, is setting up camp at Yahoo via Flickr or Yahoo Mail any different than posting content through Google? Yahoo! also owns Tumblr, so be aware when you’re posting those kitty pictures!
Solid list of options. Any chance of follow-ups on how to cut ties with Yahoo! and that most pernicious of leeches, Facebook?
Oh, and instead of Google Docs or any other electronic note-taking app, I use a little pocket-sized Moleskine kraft-paper cover notebook. I like the “squared” (meaning graph paper pages) version. Old school, I know. My co-workers laugh at me. But I can find telephone numbers whether or not my phone battery is charged. Sometimes I carry a Field Notes version instead — if Made in USA matters to you. Actually, though, the Moleskine has more pages for the money and a better binding than Field Notes.
Sebastian Bagiński says
Great article to search for alternatives, although in terms of data collection: in most cases, you’re really just moving data from one cloud to another. You can’t be sure whether it’s more or less safe than on Google’s servers.
Since every company will collect data anyways, why bother?
Joel Runyon says
I’m interested in diversifying it from one company to another. It’s more of me being interested in not letting one company have control of the data / services and me losing leverage in that situation.
Interesting thought experiment – if Google shut down tomorrow, how screwed would your business be?
Khürt L. Williams says
In response to your last sentence. I’d be fine. My wife’s doctors office. Screwed!
Great article. I try to use Google as little as I can as well. My Nexus 5 runs on Cyanogenmod which gives you great privacy options. They just released Wisperpush which encrypts messaging. Runs super stable even in the nightly builds. For syncing contacts, calendars & tasks I highly recommend http://fruux.com. It’s open source based and platform independent.
I’m a Nexus user as well. Haven’t even begun the Android-Google extrication process. Thanks for tip. I’ll check it out.
Joel DeVenney says
Great article! But, your missing a few. Owncloud is a perfect addin for:
File Sync (Like Dropbox but MUCH BETTER)
Feedly (Google reader) replacement for News
Both Calendar and Contacts sync using Dav clients available for most phone platforms.
For Analytics is Piwik, it’s a dead drop in and in most ways much, much better. We use Piwik on all my companies sites and won’t look back.
We recently drug our entire company off of apps and opted for self hosted email on a VPS and Owncloud for the other options that Apps offered. We won’t ever look back either.
The best alternative to Google Docs – iWork for iCloud.
Zoho docs! Zoho docs! ZOHO DOCS!!!!
Putting your privacy in apple’s hand is as bad as utting it in google’s hand.
Laurent Bourrelly says
There is also http://www.dataliberation.org/ (initiated by googlers)
Khürt L. Williams says
Ha! I just wrote my own poorly articulated post on this earlier this week. I hope we start seeing more people think deeply about what “free” really means.
Apple Mail is a better alternative than Outlook Mail. They keep practically no data about you and make it easy to opt out of any data collection. Microsoft is a heavy participant in the Prism program.
Thanks to the NSA revelations and Google foisting Google + down our throats I’ve weaned myself off all Google services except Gmail and I am working at getting off that too.
Don’t forget selfhosted webtracking Piwik as alternative for google analytics
John Burris says
I just can’t believe Google is any worse or better than most big tech companies when it comes to privacy and/or using your data for their own financial gains. Do we really think Apple and MS are less involved than Google when it comes to NSA issues? Even the little guys are subject to the whims of government intervention – if not, why would some choose to close rather than be bullied? And if anyone thinks any policy statement by the President during today’s presser will make a diff, I only point to the last 80 years of governmental control over our private lives – and the increasing erosion of our civil liberties.
De-Googlefying be a noble pursuit (so would de-Appling or un-Microsofting) but lets not fool ourselves; the alternatives are not any more safe or privacy-related reliable. We’ve let the tiger out of the cage (i.e. Patriot Act, back doors, foreign heads-of-state spying, et al) and its not going back in
Paul R says
I used your “Click Here” to learn what Google has on me and it isn’t much. Just the fact that I’m a male between 50 and 54. Which tells me that they pay attention to the privacy settings that are available to all Google users. If you never change them, then yes they know a lot about you.
Mine all say N/A because I’ve opted out of everything.
Still, I do use a lot of Google products and have considered moving more toward companies that don’t make their money by selling personal data, such as Apple.
An interesting comment, although I would like to point out that in regards to the Opt-Out feature for Personalized Ads, at least, they never say on that feature that it would opt you out of data mining; it only says that it would opt you out of personalized ads. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they still data-mine us but just don’t forward the data toward ad personalization programmes.
I have a gmail account that I’ve been using intensely since 2009, as well as a google calendar, and use google search almost exclusively. I occasionally post on google plus. Feedback on your “click here and let me know” — http://www.google.com/settings/ads/onweb/ : other than my gender and consumer electronics as an interest, nothing else is correct. Even my age. Granted, I turn off ads everywhere, as well as beacons and tracking cookies.
Great piece. I’m educating our 14- and 16-year-old daughters about that pithy comment from someone besides me (wish I’d said it) that goes, “If you can’t identify the product, you ARE the product.”
I’m struggling with finding the right mail solution. Used to have it all go through a g mail account for their great spam filtering and then on to my paid host’s server where I get at it with IMAP. Then I realized that the big g reads every word because of the ads I was getting. I
moved everything to my host but their filtering is atrocious even with Spam Assassain turned up. I’m going to give your recommendations a try.
Thanks for taking the time to brief on your experiences. I do the same on my site about the world of publishing and selling images online.
Nice guide overall; thanks. I encourage you to add LibreOffice (www.libreoffice.org) under your list of replacements for Google Docs. TextEdit is fine for writing, but sometimes I really need a spreadsheet.
It works like a charm. The only problem is that you can’t use it in browser or have it sync all your documents, but you can easily get around it by using the portable version (on a flash drive) and save your files to Dropbox.
It’s ever so convenient. I’m leaving my gmail account as the first point of contact only to establish more secure channels of communication (think PGP).
There’s also StartMail for email (although it’s not free, it’s private and your data isn’t collected so it can’t be demanded or coerced from StartMail by paranoid subversive snoops) and of course, there’s both StartPage and Ixquick (sister sites), which are both totally private web browsers.
What about OpenOffice for Documents? I’ve been using it exclusively for years and find it does everything I need – except play nice with PowerPoint.
Alternative for e-mail:
Posteo is an independent email provider based in Berlin. It offers anonymous and sustainable email accounts, address books and calendars. The service is completely ad-free and self-financed. Posteo was founded in 2009. It wants to provide an impetus for greater security, privacy and sustainability on the internet, and offer alternatives.
I just signed up with them and am quite happy so far. I would much rather pay 1 euro a month for some added privacy and security.
Jack Yan says
I de-Googled for privacy reasons and started doing this in 2009, and found that Zoho was a very worthy email service, with a solid alternative to Google Docs. Another thing I discovered this month: ordering a phone from China isn’t a bad idea, since Google is outlawed there. I now have an Android phone which, although it has an OS they created (albeit with my cell manufacturer’s own overlay), it’s free of the Play Store, Gmail, YouTube and Google Plus. It helps that I am Chinese by ethnicity so non-Latin type doesn’t faze me, but it’s been great to have a device and apps where none of them show up in the Google Dashboard.
Tom B says
That’s a bit hilarious. Given the Chinese government’s significant penetration of all of the Chinese phone manufacturers and their penchant for hacking everything from large telco equipment manufacturers, defense contractors, social media services, and even power and public service utilities well outside Chinese borders, I have to find an irony in you worrying about Google having every last piece of data about you and your affairs and your solution being a Chinese-made cell phone (thus giving that data entirely to the Chinese agencies that are doing the same thing as Google).
It’s tough to get off of Google. I’m wrestling with what other platform can provide the sort of power that labels, multiple shared calendars that each have a type of function, and the great Gmail spam filter…. and so far, no luck. Labels particularly define how my mail is organized and manually resorting 10 Gb of historical data seems lengthy.
Google does some things (spam defense) well. They do provide some easy interfaces and that’s not of no value. It doesn’t offset their massive data-mining and their annoying habit of deprecating APIs, changing services, or shutting down services just about the time you’ve found how to make use of a new tool they’ve developed.
I want off, but there’s a lot of power to replace and a lot of smooth integration that you’d need to replicate.
Of course, given the latest NSA leaks, if you are on an iPhone, a Droid, Windows or a Mac, there’s enough holes in your OS that nothing else matters (if the gov’t is your main concern).
Jack Yan says
Here’s the weird thing about Chinese apps: they actually tell you in their T&Cs which ones snoop. Unlike a lot of western apps, which don’t honestly tell you what goes where.
Simple solution: you avoid them, and you grab your APKs through trusted sources. Don’t use default stuff.
If Chinese-made phones (which must be nearly 100 per cent of them) all send data back to the PRC then logically isn’t it better to have one government know your stuff than two parties?
What I do know is Google Services drained my western phones, and all the Chinese-spec ones don’t—not being a technologist I assume they are either sending no data or fewer data to whatever mothership they are connected to.
I’d be interested in subjecting this to a proper test rather than conjecture from you or me.
Victoria Nance says
WTF!! that just fa-reeeaaked me out! They shouldn’t have all this stuff on everyone! Aaahh! ?????
Johan Vandepopuliere says
You omitted Google Maps, which is being used by many people. There are alternatives for that one too. Commercial companies include TomTom and Here. Free alternative is Open Street Maps.
What about a secure and private email service like Mailfence.com that gives you the possibility to encrypt your emails. A real alternative to Gmail, Google Calendar and Docs and Interoperable with any other openpgp encrypted email service
This has taken on increased urgency now that google, like Facebook, you tube, and twitter, has decided to delete content based on viewpoint.
Review the case of Salil Mehta. All his google products were deleted without warning and no right of appeal. He wasn’t told what his violation was either. It happened after criticising Silverstein and critically reviewing Trump approval ratings.
He was well known enough to get his google email and other google accounts un-deleted. How many people has this happened to who are unknowns?
You missed out GOOGLE DOCS’S MAIN COMPETITOR.
The usage of the zoho suite is nowhere near as smooth as google docs. With a few bugs here and there, but since zoho wrier/ zoho show/ zoho sheet is aimed towards businesses, the features in the suite almost reach Microsoft office status, and is much more feature filled than google docs, making it literally better than google docs.
This is a NO BRAINER in this list.
Where is vid.me ?
whatsapp is owned by facebook, which is just as bad .
Use, LINE or viber
Qwant is a good search engine for ddg haters i guess. Too bad keyboardr is down, i think goggle derived their search-as-you-type code from there. That was a sweet sweet search.
IGnatius T Foobar says
Running your own email server isn’t all that difficult. And no, it isn’t illegal to run one in your own house (Hillary Clinton didn’t break the law by running her own email server; she broke the law by using it to conduct state business — something most of us don’t have to worry about). With your own domain name and a simple email server program, you can be free of Google/Microsoft/Yahoo, hold on to your own data on your own equipment, and always be in control.
How would I do this without using the regular search engines? I’m not software savvy but I’m a hardware eccentric, I just hate how Google has become and am looking for non-android options as well for phones as well. I was an apple user until s10 came out but I never realized until using one how much I hate google.
IGnatius T Foobar says
By the way … DuckDuckGo has made BIG progress in the last year or so. In the past I’ve given it a try and always ended up going back to Google, but for the last few months I’ve found that DuckDuckGo is now usable as one’s primary search engine, and the search results are quite good. (And in the few cases where you think Google might produce better results, you can type !g as the first word of your seaarch and DDG will fetch the results from Google instead of itself.)
Hey, no, I’m sorry but Duck Duck Go is inferior. I tried it for a couple of years or so, compared to Google it usually sucked ass. When compared, it often lacked critical search results for the given query which Google had. I wanted to believe in DDG, but it came up short. I still hope a decent rival to google can be made…
Trina Parry says
IMO ddg has surpassed G in some ways for sure. In G the things omitted from their search results, their online store scams, the bad customer service and scamming (many bad Trustpilot reviews…G is rated 2/5), their shady business with China… better off if you actually want real results to use ddg. Yes it is not as fast but does that matter if you don’t need a website or ad blocker? This world is changing and G is not the #1 anymore for “best results”. There is a lot of contraversy going on with G and business owners. G removed “do no evil” from their code of conducts in July 2018. I could go on, but I know that the info is out there for you to view. I don’t want to support a company that does such evil things.
Jack Yan says
I used to do this very thing—DDG as a first resort, and maybe if I couldn’t find something I would do a !g—but sadly once they stopped working with Yandex, DDG has become a Bing clone (I guess with more privacy). With Bing having collapsed (try doing some site: searches and compare them with Google, Mojeek, Yandex, Baidu, etc.) I had to switch away from them. Mojeek has been the solution—not perfect, but in the occident it’s second only to Google in its index size—and you can always go to Google and the others from the bottom of the page (bit like DDG in the old days).
Keif Malone says
I appreciate the thoroughness of this report. Here are my Google alternatives:
Best alternative to Google News: http://www.currnews.com/
Best alternative to YouTube: Rabb.it
Best alternative to Chrome: Firefox
I needed an alternative to Blogger, thanks for the advice.
I want to get away from Facebook and Google. I really hate these two places. I am looking for a place that I can not only feel safe, but be able to say what and how I feel, even though it might not be what they like. It is, after all, how I feel, not that of the group.
No mention of Nextcloud?
John Philipp says
99% of everything collect informations. It makes a lot of months i’m trying to un-google myself and it’s a real pain. I’m getting way past crazy.
Still, mostly, i don’t have anything to hide. Everybody got their personal things but i’m not a criminal nor a NSA agent.
While i’m typing at the moment i just had a flash. Almost everybody got a credit card. Almost everybody got a gps. Almost everybody have a cellphone or something similar. All cars have a tracking device built into nowadays. Every phone lines, skype calls/video and such are tapped/monitored. Online survey/contests. There’s others examples.
There’s absolutely no privacy now and it’s not likely that governments will do something about it.
The radical solution i think is, throw away almost all technologies, live in the wood offline from everything… meaning, unplug yourself from the internet also.
We can’t get out of this at the moment and it sucks!
What keeps me using some google service’s is youtube and google play. Yes, you can download if you search thoroughly for stand alone apk’s but there will be a lot of chance that they will contain malware/viruses and such.
Technology is now an absolute hell and it’s confirmed.
Thanks for the alternative’s and how-to’s though!! Great article!
Jeff N says
Check out OnlyOffice for a Google docs/drive/sheets substitute. I looked at a lot of other options and settled on this one. I pay for a subscription for my family but it’s worth it.
I agree that duckduckgo has made great progress in the last few months. if you compare searches with google, they’re nearly identical. I don’t think I’m missing anything when I use DDG now.
This is an old article, but I just wanted to say that Peertube is a solid replacement to Youtube. Youtube still has WAY WAY more content than any of it’s competitors, but since Peertube is decentralized and federated, it offers a tone of features that might interest people trying to leave Google.
On a related note, Mastodon is a great Twitter replacement for those trying to leave “Big tech” in general. You can even subscribe to Peertube channel through a Mastodon account.