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Google Alternatives

Trying to De-Googlify? Here’s four brilliant free Google Alternatives

There is a reason that Google dominates our day to day lives. That it powers our phones, sends our emails, searches the web, and organizes our day. It’s because Google is so damn good at what it does. Google products are generally excellent and well integrated. This has given them a market dominance many companies can only dream of. Yet despite all this success there are plenty of people looking for Google Alternatives.

There’s many reasons you might want to de-googilfy your life. You might be sick of the advertising in your emails. Or maybe you are concerned that Google collects huge amounts of data on you in the name of better targeted ads. Perhaps you are concerned about the risks of putting all of your faith in a single company’s services. Maybe you just want to see what the competition has to offer.

Whatever your reason there are plenty of brilliant alternatives out there. We’ve made a list of the best free, privacy focused, Google alternatives on offer right now.

Google Chrome’s best alternative is Mozilla’s Firefox

Google Alternatives

One of the most important things you have on your computer is your browser. Chrome is one of the best out there. It’s fast, very customizable and integrates perfectly with other Google services. If you’re serious about finding real alternatives to Google then Chrome is the first thing that you’ll have to drop.

Thankfully there are a plethora of alternatives out there. Ranging from the well knowns; Microsoft Edge, Firefox and Safari to the lesser known; Vivaldi, Chromium and Brave. As well as various spin offs of all of these.

Deciding on the best alternative was difficult so we went for a browser that was compatible on all operating systems, fast, stable and customizable. This essentially left us with Firefox and Chromium. Both are excellent choices but it seems a little silly to chose Chromium if you’re trying to step away from Google, so Firefox won out.

Firefox has had a reputation for being a little sluggish but recent updates have really improved the browser. It’s fairly fast, very stable and it comes with lots of apps you can use to customize your experience. On top of that it’s open source and in recent updates the browser has moved towards protecting your privacy.

With excellent customization, solid stability and strong speeds, Firefox is definitely the best alternative to Google Chrome.

The best Google Search alternative? The plucky DuckDuckGo

Google Alternatives

The Google search Engine is so ubiquitous that “just google it” has essentially become shorthand for surfing the web. It’s quite easy to forget that there are alternatives out there. Perhaps a little surprisingly there are a few competitors still swinging. You have probably heard of the two big ones, Bing and Yahoo search but there is one plucky competitor that you may not have heard of. The small but really very good DuckDuckGo.

There are plenty of pros and cons to DuckDuck Go vs Google but it  really is the antithesis of Google. DuckDuckGo is a purely privacy focused engine. It doesn’t collect any data on its users and the search engine takes active steps to prevent websites learning more about your devices than you might want.

DuckDuckGo also helps to prevent the phenomenon of a filter bubble, helping to prevent users from forming an echo chamber around themselves and becoming trapped in a specific area of the web.

On top of being privacy focused, DuckDuckGo also comes packed with extra features. The search engine is highly customizable and has special search times that allow you to search for alternatives to products, calculate a loan and a lot more. It also comes with the !bangs feature that allows you to search directly on other websites by searching something like  “cute cat pictures !instagram”.

While DuckDuckGo is a solid search engine it does also have some drawbacks. Specifically in the fact that its results are generally not as relevant as Google’s, so you will probably be forced to do some digging to find what you are looking for.

DuckDuckGo is an excellent Google Alternative. It is a privacy focused search engine that comes with features you’re not going to see on Google Search.

MegaCloud is the best alternative to Google Drive

Google Alternatives

Google Drive is probably one of the most useful services out there. It lets you store all of your files in one place and access them from anywhere with an internet connection. Countless students are in its debt because drive saved them from losing essays and is a brilliant alternative to a USB stick if you need to print something off. It’s even possible for multiple people to work on the same document at the same time.

Google Drive is one of Google’s best services and this makes it one of the hardest to find an alternative to. Nobody else offers the staggering combination of 15 gig of free data, ease of use and the capacity for multiple users to work on document. That said, one service does Provides everything that Google does with the added bonus of even more data.

Mega Cloud prides itself on security and space. It’s super easy to set up and even a novice user should be able to jump straight in and start using an account. It’s also easy to share files with others. Although it should be noted that anybody you want share files with will need an account on Mega Cloud.

Security is what Mega Cloud is known for and they do it well. Every time a file is transferred it is protected by an AES encryption protocol. This helps to ensure that any prying eyes can’t take a look at that important project of yours. On top of this, Mega Cloud doesn’t store any passwords. This means that if the service is compromised you won’t risk losing your data.

Collaboration is another nice feature of Mega Cloud. As with Google Drive it is possible for users to work simultaneously on one document. As with sharing a document, both users will need a Mega Cloud account in order to collaborate.

With more storage and a strong focus on privacy and security, Mega Cloud is one of the best Google alternatives out there at the moment.

The best alternative to Gmail? The privacy focused ProtonMail

Google Alternatives

Gmail is the giant of the email world. There’s fewer other services as popular and ubiquitous but it is not without its flaws. There’s really very few Google Alternatives in this case. Few other providers can compete in terms of features. The service that really stands out in terms of privacy and quality mobile apps is ProtonMail.

ProtonMail comes with the promise of excellent security and it delivers in the areas that Google fails. For starters, the project is not funded by ads and won’t scan your emails in the same way that gmail does. ProtonMail also offers solid end to end encryption. Your email is encrypted from the moment you hit send until the moment your recipient opens it. This works best internally but you also have the option to encrypt emails you send to others. There are no readable copies of your email stored on any server.

On top of solid end to end encryption ProtonMail is also pretty good at managing your emails. You can colour code and categorize your emails as well as mark specific emails as important. There is also the option group emails into threads and filter your folders to display only unread items. It is also possible to search for emails, but only by message header, sender and date etc. The emails are encrypted so the server can’t search the text body.

ProtonMail also looks really good. Offering a slick web interface as well as excellent iOS and android apps. Unfortunately that is where the extra features end. You currently won’t see any calendars with the app. It also comes with less space than gmail, offering only 500mb for free version users.

Despite the drawbacks Protonmail is the best free privacy focused way to de-googilfy your life.

Google asks you to exchange your privacy for convenience, is it worth it?

The fact is that Google services are great and it was honestly difficult to find services that could adequately replace them. The excellent integration between Google’s services make switching seem difficult and unattractive. The offer of convenience and a multitude of linked services is enough for most users to be willing to sign away their privacy. It also makes de-googlifying your life very difficult as you have to disentangle yourself from a web of linked services.

Yet you are giving up a lot by sticking with Google. On top of the loss of privacy. all of your data is with a single company. This means that if something goes wrong you could lose access to everything. Sticking with Google could also mean that you are missing out on some of the great alternatives out there. Many of which might actually suit your needs better.

Do you have any favorite Google alternatives? Let us know in the comments!

 

About Saul Bowden

Saul Bowden
I have always been fascinated by the impact of new technology and discoveries on the World around us. Every great advancement mankind has made has had a profound impact upon our society. Now our science and technology is advancing at a rate never before seen. It is my mission to understand the latest changes in the tech and science world and try to relate it back to our lives and how it will change the world around us. For good or ill.

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