It’s been fun Google, but it’s time to say goodbye.
Have you noticed? Google’s entire business model is based on you surrendering to their corporate surveillance. That’s it. All they do is repackage mass corporate surveillance into convenient, free, trendy applications that suck up all your data. Your private data helps Google dominate the online advertising market.
You are the product.
Of course, they don’t want you to focus on this fact. They’d rather you just keep using their products and feeding them your data.
But you’re smarter than that. After deleting all your Google accounts you can use the following Google alternatives.
Google search alternatives
When it comes to privacy, using Google search is not a good idea. Here are a few good Google search alternatives:
- Searx – A very privacy-friendly and versatile search engine.
- DuckDuckGo – This is a great privacy-friendly Google alternative that doesn’t utilize tracking or targeted ads. They also have a zero-sharing policy with other features.
- StartPage – StartPage is basically Google, but without the tracking.
We’ve covered this before, but Gmail is one of the worst products you can use if you’re concerned about privacy. Every email, attachment, and image becomes legal property of Google. Your private data is used by Google to dominate the online advertising market and hit you with targeted ads. Staying logged in to your Gmail account further enables Google to track your browsing and activity.
Here are a few Gmail alternatives:
- OpenMailbox – Based in France – 1 GB storage
- Mailbox.org – Based in Germany – 2 GB storage
- Mailfence – Based in Belgium – 250 MB free; 20 GB Pro
Google Chrome is a popular browser, but it’s recording and tracking everything you do. So check out these alternatives instead:
- Firefox browser – This is a free, open-source internet browser that’s quite popular. You can also use a variety of privacy add-ons that can block ads and tracking (but beware of browser fingerprinting).
- Tor browser – This is simply a hardened, privacy-friendly version of Firefox. You won’t need any add-ons or extensions because it’s already configured for maximum privacy and security. This also does a great job protecting you against browser fingerprinting – see setup instructions here.
Google drive alternatives
If you’re looking for a secure cloud storage option, you can check out these Google drive alternatives. They are more secure and better for protecting your privacy and data.
- TeamDrive – This is a business-oriented cloud backup and file synchronization option based in Germany.
- Tresorit – This is a user-friendly cloud storage option based in Switzerland. They offer client-side encryption, but also utilize Microsoft Windows servers, which is one drawback.
- Zoho Docs – This is an online management software solution that allows you to edit and share documents with others.
Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be many popular YouTube alternatives, but here are a few:
Update: A commenter has informed us that Hooktube is another alternative. According to their site:
Share YouTube videos without giving them views. Bypass country blocks and age restrictions. Download YouTube videos and music. View quarantined videos as they appeared before YouTube Heroes got to them. Keep your data private from the G.
HOW: Just replace the domain in any YT link with hooktube.com and you get a light-weight page that loads YouTube’s media files (mp4, webm, etc) directly into your browser’s native media player. https://youtube.com/watch?v=S6bOkFLrsAc becomes https://hooktube.com/watch?v=S6bOkFLrsAc, etc. Supported parameters: start, end, loop (1 for on), speed (range: 0.01 to 4), autoplay (0 for off, default is 1).
Google analytics alternative
If you’re running a website, it’s important to see which content people like the most, so you can give your readers what they want. Otherwise publishing articles is like throwing darts blindfolded. Unfortunately, Google Analytics goes overboard with the tracking. Here are a few alternatives:
- Piwik is a great open-source analytics program that provides webmaster with good data, while also respecting the privacy of the visitors.
- Clicky is another alternative that provides slightly more data than Piwik, while also not going as far as Google Analytics.
having some kind of analytics option to see which pages people like the most is important. (Without this a webmaster would have no idea what users want and enjoy reading.) One decent alternative to Google Analytics is Clicky.
Google apps for work alternative
Need a good business email solution? Forget Google apps, and instead consider:
Google Maps alternative
A map alternative for PCs is OpenStreetMap.
A few Google Maps alternatives for mobile devices include:
- Maps.Me is a good option that is free on both Android and iOS.
- CityMaps is another good alternative that is also free.
- Here WeGo provides a high quality mapping solutions for both PCs and mobile devices with their app.
Do you care about your privacy?
Most people people looking for Google alternatives have woken up to the fact that Google is awful for privacy – mainly because Google tracks and records everything you do.
But now in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, internet service providers are also recording your online activity. This information can be legally sold to third parties (in the US), or saved in government databases to be potentially used against you (UK, US, and Australia).
And of course, these same Western countries have been working together for years in the collection, sharing, and analysis of mass surveillance data (14 Eyes).
It’s now time to encrypt and anonymize your online activity.
For a detailed description of the top-performing VPN services, see the Best VPN List.
For an overview of different privacy tools, see the Privacy Tools resource page.