Dropping Google? What are your (and my) options?


#1

I was hoping to get everyone to chip in on the options.
I have switched from Google Chrome, Chromium, and Vivaldi to Firefox.
I replaced Google+ with Minds.com.
I need to replace Google Docs, GMail, Google Maps, Google Translate.
Please help!


#2

I have been using Firefox with DuckDuckGo for some time. Content :grinning:

I use GMail to sign into Amazon, eBay and other e-commerce purchases, ditto with forum accounts. But use a German e-mail for private usage, they also offer the facility to encrypt my mail.

I occasionally have problems opening an email. Hence Chromium is kept in reverse.

Translation

I’m old fashioned, I prefer a real map, but online maps, you are hard pressed to find anything that matches or betters Google maps.

Never used Google docs, but they seem as secure as Microsoft office 365, where I read a guys private company memo, as they failed to check their privacy settings, it published to the net. In my way of thinking, ain’t you suppose to opt into that, not opt out. Major fail M$.

Windies 10 is IOT not a desktop, and a rolling 6 monthly release.

:sunglasses:


#3

Thanks, I’ll try it.

Thanks, I’ll try that too…

I use LibreOffice

Is MapQuest worth it? https://www.mapquest.com


#4

I’ve used DuckDuckGo for over a year now replacing Google Search Engine.
I sometimes use Ecosia https://www.ecosia.org/ as they plant trees for every 47 clicks per person or something like that, but I never did look into their privacy policy. Since I’m too lazy, can someone else look into Ecosia’s privacy policy?


#5

When I went to the link you provided, it gave me a warning at the bottom of the page:

“In order to enable essential services and functionality on our site and to collect data on how visitors interact with our site, products and services we use tools such as cookies. By using our website, you agree to our use of these tools for advertising and analytics.”

Seems like I’m trading one beast for another. Is there something else? Or am I stuck with a beast?

I skimmed through the GMX privacy policy and found this which makes me want to try it:

" 1.3.7 Voluntary Nature of Data Provision

If data processing is based on your consent, you provide data completely voluntarily and can revoke consent anytime in accordance with the following information.
However, in some cases, we need the data we collect from you to provide our contractually promised services in line with our GTCs, e.g. in the scope of GMX Free Webmail, or process them in our legitimate interest (see next point).

1.3.8 Legitimate Interests

Occasionally, we also process the data of our customers on the legal basis of Art. 6 (1) (f) GDPR. When processing your data in this case, we pursue the following legitimate interests, unless otherwise stated below:

  • improving our offers
  • protecting from abuse
  • internal statistical purposes"

#6

I found this video and I think this is not off-topic:


#7

GMX email uses Google Analytics

"Google analytics tool

We use Google Analytics on our website. A web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. (“Google”). Google Analytics uses cookie information, including your IP address to understand your use of the website and this will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States. If you request IP anonymisation, Google Analytics will anonymise the last octet of the IP address. Only in exceptional cases, the full IP address is sent to and shortened by Google servers in the United States. On behalf of the website provider Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the website, compiling reports on website activity for website operators and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage to the website provider. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google.

You may refuse the use of cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser. However, please note that if you do this, you may not be able to use the full functionality of this website.

Furthermore you can prevent Google’s collection and use of data (cookies and IP address) by downloading and installing the browser plug-in available under: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout. "


#8

There are a couple of sites offering lists of libre replacement software.

https://redecentralize.org/

I forgot the name of another good site.


#9

As I do.

The reference about M$ Office 365 was comparing its privacy to Google Doxs, on how a company memo was published to the net, as they had not checked the privacy settings. Early M$ Orifice 365, privacy setting sucked. People thought they had a desktop, but really had an IOT.

:sunglasses:


#10

Yup, that’ll deserve a look. I’m hoping to succeed, however.


#11

Still have all my Google accounts because they do work so well.
Have a $15 USD annually acount at: https://mail.tutanota.com or free account too.

Proton https://mail.protonmail.com/ let’s you set password and decrypt mailbox pass. The android app is great. It’s a bit steeper at $48 a year or free acount also.

No app but the mobile site works fine on your phone https://mailfence.com/ free or paid option.

Haven’t tried https://www.etesync.com/ for calendar. It’s $10 USD I believe.

I’m with you though on the Google dropping.


#12

For Email I use “protonmail.com” since Jan 2019; encryped data; free box for personal use (limited volume and settings but ok for me); hosted in Switzerland
https://mail.protonmail.com


#13

I use ProtonMail since about a year and am satisfied with everything, except one thing. I would happily pay for a subscription but 50 bucks a year just for an e-mail service is way too much as the smallest amount you can pay. That’s the biggest downside for me. If there was an option for 12 or maybe 20 bucks a year, hell yes, I’d go for it.


#14

Thanks all for your comments. I would happily drop google but I need google account to activate playstore on android phone.
I use duckduckgo to search (in Falkon; which I find works better in recent versions), I use OsmAnd for maps (MapQuest is not available on playstore in UK). I have used mapquest as a website successfully, and its satellite images are good - so perhaps no need for google earth!! KDE is great with kmail, libreoffice etc
I’ve not used google to search for years, I just don’t see why they should be so intrusive


#15

Just a thought, have gone to your google account and sorted out the settings on that. You can change things on it. I use blogger, because I like it and having that I can control things and clear search history and stuff. You’ve probably done that, sorry if I am just repeating things.


#16

Yep, done all the usual stuff and gone through the Google control panel, they bury and reset everything.

But Google, Amazon and eBay still make suggestions, of items I’ve looked at, from my browsing history, that is set to be expunged, along with cookies etc, when I close my browser.

DDG Tracker log

Chartbeat are another big player, when doing a cursory search, on this subject. I’ll suppose the government agencies who monitor cyber traffic, will have their own tracking system, that don’t appear or is disguised as an anonymous entity on the radar, such as DDG used by Joe Public.

:sunglasses:


#17

Hi!
Instead using the PlayStore, keep an eye to the F-Droid repository. All the apps you’ll find are Open Source and free.

Here is my favorite “Big G” replacement list (in alphabetical order):
· Android’s basic file Manager from Google — instead the Android’s basic file explorer, give an opportunity to Amaze. You can move/cut/copy files/folders, dual panel view, Root access and more advanced options.

· Gmail — K-9 Mail, a thin but powerful Gmail/Email app replacement.

· Google Calendar — Etar is a minimalist Material design for Google Calendar replacement.

· Google Chrome — Tor Browser is based on Mozilla Firefox with some security improvements, and can replace Google Chrome flawlessly.

· Google GBoard —If you’re worried about what you type on your device, then try the FOSS AnySoft Keyboard. Allows swipe, add dictionaries… Layout are available in a dozen of languages (or customize your own) and many more.

· Google Keep — Omni Notes is a good replacement for Google Keep, available for Desktop/mobile devices.

· Google Maps — OSM is one of the best replacement for Google Maps, made and maintained with the assistance of community users. On the other side, Znavi (a fork from Navit) is more specific when you’re in Driving/Car mode. You can combine it with CosiDVR, as security camera…

· Google Search engine — DuckDuckGo can replace Google Search and keep your privacy, since it emphasizes protecting searchers’ privacy and avoiding the filter bubble of personalized search results, and doesn’t store your history. You can use it not only on mobile devices, but desktop browsers too.

· Google Translate — A great FOSS alternative is OpenL, based on DeepL translation service.

· YouTube — NewPipe Player is a YouTube player that respect your privacy (but also allow downloading Video/Audio from YT in case you need it).

Not specific from Google, but useful anyway from F-Droid:
· Open Camera — Free and Open Source camera App for replacing the default ones. It comes with auto-stabilize, several resolutions/Bitrate modes, HDR and Exposure, JPG/PNG/WebP/Raw photo mode, custom EXIF, external microphone, ghost/Overlay photo image (great to create stopmotion projects…), take a photo or video saying (IE) “Cheese”, custom text stamp, etc…
· QKSMS — Instead the default SMS app.
· Simple Contacts — Best contacts manager for your device.
· Simple Gallery — Replacement for default brand Photo gallery with advanced options, such as hide personal folders, copy/move files/folders, and a long etcetera.
· Telegram — Secure App Messaging that replaces Google Talk or (at least for me) the WhatsApp app (I know is not owned by Google, but Facebook/Microsoft…). Another good alternative is Riot.im
· VLC — Best multimedia Player on my Linux/Android devices. Available for other platforms such as Mac, Windows, Raspberry Pi, etc… on their official web.

As you can see, on F-Droid you’ll find DuckDuckGo and OSM you’ve mentioned before, all those I’ve mention… and a gazillion of other FOSS apps!

Other FOSS replacement for Google services available from official sites:
· Mozilla Firefox — Fast and secure browser replacement for Google Chrome.
· Osmand — Alternative for Google Maps, with offline navigation mode, too.

Finally, if you can’t live without the Google PlayStore, then you can use Yalp Store (Yalp it is written backwards as opposite to Play, same as closed source DivX and Open XviD). Yalp is like a bridge between you and the official PlayStore, allowing download apps without using a Gmail account nor sending private data or something like that. You can download Yalp Store from F-droid. I use Yalp Store to download a few FOSS apps that aren’t available on F-Droid: Color Note, RunnerApp and Softcatalà (since my mother tongue is Catalan) or Mitzuli, as replacement of Google Keep, Google Fit and Google Translator respectively. Another downloader à la Yalp is Aurora Store, but I haven’t tried yet since I’m happy with Yalp.

Other Free and/or FOSS Alternatives for Google’s Online services (in alphabetical order):

· Blogger — If you’re looking for Blogger replacement, keep an eye to any of these alternatives: Bootstrap CMS, Jekyll, WordPress, Yellow, ZeroBlog, most of them are Open Source solutions…

Gmail — Worried about privacy data on your emails? Then keep an eye to Disroot, GMX, Proton Mail, RiseUP, Tutanota, WeHost

Google+ — Disappointed because Google+ is gone? Try any of these FOSS services: Diaspora or Mastodon.

Google Code — Good bye to Google Code? No tears; GitHub and Gitlab are great FOSS alternatives!

Google DNS — 8.8.8.8 / 8.8.4.4 are familiar for you? You can replace the Google’s DNS by Cloud Flare: 1.1.1.1, Open DNS or 9.9.9.9 from Quad 9.

Google Docs — If you want to replace Google Docs, try any of these services: CryptPad, Draftin, Draw, EtherCalc, Pandoc Online. In case you want to check your text/grammar, keep an eye to the Languagetool project with available add-ons for Firefox/LibreOffice, but also a standalone version on same site or via downloadable program…

Google Fonts — You can easily find free fonts on Dafont, FontSquirrel and other sites like that.

Google Forms — Here choose Dudle, eSurv, EuSurv, Forms, Framadate, Rally, Tellform, WadoWedo or [Zoho Surveys].(https://www.zoho.com/survey/) to name a few…

Google Reader — Remember the Google reader? Feedly, RSSOwl or even Thunderbird are great alternatives!

· Google Maps— FramaCarte and Open Street Map are great web services to replace Google Maps.

· Google Photos — I use Hubic from OVH (Sourceforge’s host mirror) to replace Google Photos/Drive. Originally was an Open Source/free service. Nowadays is an Open Source/cheap and reliable cloud storage. You also could use the MEGA cloud service

· Google Search engine — DuckDuckGo is a search engine that keep your privacy and history search safe. Another good option is WeHost.

· YouTube— If you want to replace YouTube, here you have a couple of options: Dailymotion, PeerTube, Twitch and Vimeo.

On Desktop environment, remember you have LibreOffice and great extension Languagetool, Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird, great alternatives for Google Docs, Chrome browser and Gmail Website.

Not sure if I forgot any other Google service but, if any, please let me know…
Cheers,
Benny.

(Edited: Added links and answer questions some users asking me via PM)


#18

I use both Firefox for my Yahoo email address and then Chrome with my gmail email.

I need to use two different browsers for a specific reason.

I like the google docs and do use that as well though it took several hours to upload all my files from my laptop so I am not keen to do that often.

My portable hard drive broke so I am using the docs as a back up but I can’t use it daily because of how long it took. I need to get another but no extra funds right now…

Why are you moving away from the almighty Google? Privacy reasons?


#19

The old adage applies here, Damned if you do, and Damned if you don’t.

Google offer some excellent products, FREE of charge, unlike the Dollar loving M$ and Fruit. But all three imply they respect our privacy and our data. While they harvest, our purchasing and possible buying habits, to predict the latest hottest item, we do not need, but persuade us, we do.

Corporate espionage and insider trading wrapped up in a neat bow.


#20

Ever since Google took out of the mission statement “Don’t do evil” I had my doubts about them. Then I heard stories that Google is in bed with the U.S. Government doing things that violate my privacy. I don’t remember specifics, but I bet you can find them if you searched DuckDuckGo for them.