Google is currently one of the world’s leading big tech companies and offers a massive range of powerful technology both for individuals and businesses alike. And as great as their software is, the recent focus on online privacy has seen more and more people seeking Google service alternatives that offer the same level of functionality with the added bonus of better privacy.
For those that want to start taking their online lives away from big tech, these are some of the best Google alternatives on the market at the moment.
Google’s biggest and most popular product is their search engine, and in terms of raw functionality, it’s difficult to find one better. The problem, however, is the fact that anyone using their search engine will undoubtedly have their information logged and used for targeted advertisement. Luckily, there are a few options available that offer much more privacy. DuckDuckGo, a US-based metasearch engine, promises users full privacy and anonymity while searching online. StartPage, Qwant, and SwissCows are also decent alternatives, although overall search results can vary greatly.
Android is the world’s most popular mobile operating system, but most versions of Android circulating at the moment are intrinsically tied in with Google’s services, meaning that they’re able to track what a user is doing on their device. While it’s difficult to break away from Android completely, it’s possible to find versions of Android that either limit Google’s reach, or remove it entirely. LineageOS is a great example of a comfortable middle ground, offering stock Android with the option of limiting Google services greatly. For those that want to break away from Google completely, GrapheneOS is a good choice, along with CalyxOS – they will all mostly work the same, allowing the user to enjoy any Android apps.
Gmail has long been at the forefront of email technology and has become one of the leading providers of reliable email. But Google is also known for scanning emails and using the information contained within to build a more fleshed-out user profile. The first step for many moving into a more private online life is finding a more secure email. Tutanota, an email provider based in Germany, is an excellent choice with a focus on security and privacy. Another good option is Protonmail, which is housed in secure servers in Switzerland, which has some of the strongest privacy laws in the world.
Most people may think of Google Drive or OneDrive when they picture cloud storage, and while these are two of the most common options, they’re both far from being the most private. Cloud storage is never 100% private unless it’s self-hosted, so it can be difficult to find a cloud service that’s truly reliable. Tresorit, Sync.com, and pCloud are some of the more well-known services, and each offers a wide range of different packages. For those that want to be as secure as possible, installing an instance of NextCloud on a self-hosted server is the best method available.