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“The complete list of alternatives to all Google products”
“With growing concerns over online privacy and securing personal data, more people than ever are considering alternatives to Google products. After all, Google’s business model essentially revolves around data collection and advertisements, both of which infringe on your privacy. More data means better (targeted) ads and more revenue. The company pulled in over $116 billion in ad revenue last year alone – and that number continues to grow.
Guest author Sven Taylor is the editor behind Restore Privacy, a blog dedicated to inform about best online privacy practices, secure your electronic devices, unblock restricted content and defeat censorship.
But the word is getting out. A growing number of people are seeking alternatives to Google products that respect their privacy and data. This guide aims to be the most exhaustive resource available for documenting alternatives to Google product. So let’s get started (in no particular order or preference)…”
oogle search alternatives
When it comes to privacy, using Google search is not a good idea. When you use their search engine, Google is recording your IP address, search terms, user agent, and often a unique identifier, which is stored in cookies.
Here are ten alternatives to Google search:
StartPage – StartPage gives you Google search results, but without the tracking (based in the Netherlands).
Searx – A privacy-friendly and versatile metasearch engine that’s also open source.
MetaGer – An open source metasearch engine with good features, based in Germany.
SwissCows – A zero-tracking private search engine based in Switzerland, hosted on secure Swiss infrastructure.
Qwant – A private search engine based in France.
DuckDuckGo – A private search engine based in the US.
Mojeek – The only true search engine (rather than metasearch engine) that has its own crawler and index (based in the UK).
YaCy – A decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer search engine.
Givero – Based in Denmark, Givero offers more privacy than Google and combines search with charitable donations.
Ecosia – Ecosia is based in Germany and donates a part of revenues to planting trees.
Note: With the exception of Mojeek, all of the private search engines above are technically metasearch engines, since they source their results from other search engines, such as Bing and Google.
Google Chrome is a popular browser, but it’s also a data collection tool – and many people are taking notice. Just a few days ago, the Washington Post asserted that “Google’s web browser has become spy software,” with 11,000 tracker cookies observed in a single week. Here are seven alternatives for more privacy:
Firefox browser – Firefox is a very customizable, open-source browser that is popular in privacy circles. There are also many different Firefox modifications and tweaks that will give you more privacy and security. (Also check out Firefox Focus, a privacy-focused version for mobile users.)
Iridium – Based on open source Chromium, Iridium offers numerous privacy and security enhancements over Chrome, source code here.
GNU IceCat – A fork of Firefox from the Free Software Foundation.
Tor browser – A hardened and secured version of Firefox that runs on the Tor network by default. (It also does a good job against browser fingerprinting.)
Ungoogled Chromium – Just as the name says, this is an open source version of Chromium that has been “ungoogled” and modified for more privacy.
Brave – Brave is another Chromium-based browser that is rather popular. It blocks trackers and ads by default (except for “approved” ads that are part of the “Brave Ads” network).
Waterfox – This is a fork of Firefox that is configured for more privacy by default, with Mozilla telemetry stripped out of the code.
Of course, there are other alternatives to Chrome, such as Safari (from Apple), Microsoft Internet Explorer/Edge, Opera, and Vivaldi – but these also come with some privacy drawbacks.
Unfortunately, YouTube alternatives can really be hit or miss, with most struggling to gain popularity.
Tip: Invidio.us is a great Youtube proxy that allows you to watch any Youtube video without logging in, even if the video is somehow restricted. To do this, simply replace [www.youtube.com] with [invidio.us] in the URL you want to view.
Google Translate alternative
Here are a few Google translate alternatives I have come across:
DeepL – DeepL is a solid Google Translate alternative that seems to give great results. Like Google Translate, DeepL allows you to post up to 5,000 characters at a time (but the pro version is unlimited). The user interface is good and there is also a built-in dictionary feature.
Linguee – Linguee does not allow you to post large blocks of text like DeepL. However, Linguee will give you very accurate translations for single words or phrases, along with context examples.
dict.cc – This Google Translate alternative seems to do a decent job on single-world lookups, but it also feels a bit outdated.
Swisscows Translate – A good translation service supporting many languages.
If you want to translate blocks of text, check out DeepL. If you want in-depth translations for single words or phrases, then Linguee is a good choice.
Google Analytics alternative
For website admins, there are many reasons to use an alternative to Google Analytics. Aside from privacy concerns, there are also faster and more user-friendly alternatives that also respect your visitors’ privacy.
Clicky is a great alternative to Google Analytics that truncates and anonymizes visitor IP addresses by default. It is lightweight, user-friendly, and fully compliant with GDPR regulations, while also being certified by Privacy Shield.
Matomo (formerly Piwik) is an open-source analytics platform that respects the privacy of visitors by anonymizing and truncating visitor IP addresses (if enabled by the website admin). It is also certified to respect user privacy.
Fathom Analytics is an open source alternative to Google Analytics that’s available on Github here. It’s minimal, fast, and lightweight.
AT Internet is a France-based analytics provider that is fully GDPR compliant, with all data stored on French servers, and a good track record going back to 1996.
Many websites host Google Analytics because they run Google Adsense campaigns. Without Google Analytics, tracking performance of these campaigns would be difficult. Nonetheless, there are still better options for privacy.
Google Maps alternative
A map alternative for PCs is OpenStreetMap.
A few Google Maps alternatives for mobile devices include:
OsmAnd is a free and open-source mobile maps app for both Android and iOS (based on OpenStreetMap data).
Maps (F Droid) uses OpenStreetMap data (offline).
Here WeGo provides good mapping solutions for both PCs and mobile devices with their app.
MapHub is also based on OpenStreeMap data and it does not collect locations or user IP addresses.
Note: Waze is not an “alternative” as it is owned by Google.
Google Play Store alternative
Currently the best Google Play Store alternative is to use F-Droid and then go through the Yalp store. As explained on the official site, F-Droid is an installable catalog of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) applications for the Android platform. After you have installed F-Droid, you can then download the Yalp store APK, which allows you to download apps from the Google Play Store directly as APK files.
See the F-Droid website or the official GitHub page for more info. Other alternatives to the Google Play Store include:
TechSpot – We have an Android section in Downloads full of safe and verified downloads.
Aptoide – An independent marketplace for Android apps.
APKMirror – This is a large library of APK files uploaded by different users (be careful).
Aurora Store – A fork of the Yalp Store.
Google Chrome OS alternative
Want to ditch the Chromebook and Chrome OS? Here are a few alternatives:
Linux – Of course, Linux is arguably the best alternative, being a free, open-source operating system with lots of different flavors. With some adjustments, Linux Ubuntu can be run on Chromebooks.
Tails – Tails is a free, privacy-focused operating system based on Linux that routes all traffic through the Tor network.
QubesOS – Recommended by Snowden, free, and also open source.
Of course, the other two big operating system alternatives are Windows and Apple’s operating system for MacBooks – Mac OS. Windows, particularly Windows 10, is a very bad option for privacy. While slightly better, Apple also collects user data and has partnered with the NSA for surveillance.
The biggest alternative to Android is iOS from Apple. But we’ll skip over that for reasons already mentioned. Here are a few Android OS alternatives:
LineageOS – A free and open-source operating system for phones and tablets based on Android.
Ubuntu Touch – A mobile version of the Ubuntu operating system.
Plasma Mobile – An open source, Linux-based operating system with active development.
Sailfish OS – Another open source, Linux-based mobile OS.
Replicant – A fully free Android distribution with an emphasis on freedom, privacy, and security.
/e/ – This is another open source project with a focus on privacy and security.
Purism is also working on a privacy-focused mobile phone called the Librem 5. It is in production, but not yet available (estimated Q3 2019).
Google Hangouts alternatives
Here are some alternatives to Google Hangouts:
Wire – A great all-around secure messenger, video, and chat app, but somewhat limited on the number of people who can chat together in a group conversation via voice or video.
Signal – A good secure messenger platform from Open Whisper Systems.
Telegram – A longtime secure messenger app, formerly based in Russia, now in Dubai.
Riot – A privacy-focused encrypted chat service that is also open source.
“NahNood: Awesome paranoia article.”
“pmallon: I couldn’t care less about them tracking my buying habits, it’s the censorship that is concerning.”
“JuliaH: The maps list isn’t complete, Microsoft Bing Maps is the main Google alternative.”
“ziffel66: Yeah, good luck with the whole securing your privacy on the internet thing. After you “get rid of” Google (lol), you’ll need to do the same with MS, Apple, Facebook, Instagram, your cell provider, your ISP, your government, and several hundred others.”
“Danster1616: I think its funny how there is not Microsoft product in this whole list!! O man the nerve… #MicrosoftForLife”
“optimuscream: Degoogle Android is useless if Webview implementation is based on Chrome Engine .. it still Google on the core .. even if you use alternative browser .. CMIIW . For hardcore geek you can try Micro-G devices.”