Megathread De-Google

Thread Description
Remove Google from your life!

DarkMahesvara

varishangout.com
Since Google's grasp over our all lives continues to tighten, i dedicate this thread to discussing and recommending more privacy friendly alternatives and how to block Google entirely. Feel free to talk about your experiences with alternatives or recommend new ones.

The list isn't final and i will keep updating it so you might wanna visit it again later.
Since this will be a long list use "Control" + "F" on your keyboard to search for Apps, Services or Hardware.


De-Google.png

The only thing i still use from google is YouTube in my browser. Which will change in the future if the FreeTubeApp (YT front end application) leaves beta and is more stable.

The content of the list is not an outright recommendation. Some are more private/better than other. Do your own research!

If you are interested in more privacy friendly software check out my weekly software recommendations.​

Self-Hosted = use your own PC/Server to host your services
Hosted = use someone elses PC/Server and service

Web Services
Application/ServiceGoogle ProductAlternatives
Search EngineGoogle SearchSelf-Hosted:
Hosted:
  • DuckDuckGo
    • Search Engines/Results: Bing and own crawler
    • Requires JavaScript: No (limited)
    • Onion Site: Yes
    • Proxy viewing: No
    • Based in (Jurisdiction): United States
    • Ads: Yes (Search-based)
    • Save search queries: Yes
    • Status: Profit
  • Qwant
  • Startpage
    • Search Engines/Results: Google
    • Requires JavaScript: No
    • Onion Site: No
    • Proxy viewing: Yes
    • Based in (Jurisdiction): Netherlands and owned by an US Ad Company
    • Ads: Yes (Search-based)
    • Status: Profit
  • metaGer
    • Search Engines/Results: Bing, Scopia, OneNewspage and own crawler
    • Requires JavaScript: No
    • Onion Site: Yes
    • Proxy viewing: Yes
    • Based in (Jurisdiction): Germany/EU
    • Ads: No
    • Status: Non-profit
Avoid Ecosia: Uses Bing Client-IDs to "improve quality of search results"
Video/Streaming PlatformYouTubeSelf-Hosted:
PeerTube;

Hosted (no YT content):
Odysee; BitChute; Flote;

Front-end for YT:
Invidious (Web); FreeTube (Desktop); NewPipe (Mobile) (see my rambling);
Music PlatformGoogle Play MusicSelf-Hosted:
Jellyfin;

Hosted:
Funkwhale; Libre.fm; NewPipe (Mobile);
E-BooksGoogle Play Bookscalibre;

Content (use at own risk):
; Social MediaGoogle+ i know its deadPleroma (join our varis instance); 10friends; Flote;
EmailGmailSelf-Hosted:
Postfix; Dovecot; Exim;

Hosted:
ProtonMail; Tutanota; (see more alternatives with details)

Avoid CTemplar: Had total data loss and won't use backups for "security reasons"

Mail Client:
Thunderbird; Claws Mail; K-9 Mail;
Messaging and VideochatGoogle Hangouts
Google Voice and Video Chat
Self-Hosted:
Nextcloud Talk; Jitsi; Matrix; RocketChat; Session; XMPP;

Hosted:
Signal; Session; Matrix; RocketChat; XMPP;

Avoid WhatsApp: closed source, owned by Facebook and default enabled cloud Backups circumvent E2EE (Google can see all messages)
Avoid iMessage: closed source and by default enabled cloud Backups circumvent E2EE (Apple can see all messages)
Avoid Telegram: no local encryption, E2EE has to be enabled, Phone numbers are stored in cleartext, includes Google tracker
Avoid Zoom: Lied about E2EE for 5 Years and sends data to Facebook and Google without user consent
News AggregatorGoogle NewsAllSides; HackerNews;
Navigation MapsGoogle MapsWeb:
OpenStreetMap; DuckDuckGo; Qwant;

App:
OSMAnd (F-Droid); Transportr;
Satellite/3D World MapGoogle EarthNASA WorldWind; Marble;
CalendarGoogle CalendarSelf-Hosted:
Nextcloud, Radicale;

Hosted:
ProtonMail; Tutanota;

Offline:
Simple Calendar (Mobile) (F-Droid); Etar (Mobile);
NotesGoogle KeepJoplin; Simplenote; Simple Notes Pro (F-Droid);
TasksGoogle TasksJoplin; Thunderbird; CherryTree;
Online Docs, Slides and moreGoogle Docs EditorsSelf-Hosted:
Collabora Online in Nextcloud; libreoffice;

Hosted:
CryptPad; Framacalc; Etherpad; Ethercalc; Only Office;
TranslationGoogle TranslateFront-end (Text):
Simple Web Translator (no JS); Lingva;

Front-end (Image)
translateimages

Independent (Text):
libretranslate; Apertium; DeepL; dict.cc (Gecko/Firefox Addon);

Websites (limited and still in development):
Vivaldi (Browser); Mozilla Project Bergamot (Gecko/Firefox Addon) (Browser);
DictionaryGoogle DictionaryWiktionary; Dictionary Anywhere (Gecko/Firefox Addon)
AlertsGoogle AlertsF5Bot;
Cloud StorageGoogle DriveSelf-Hosted:
Nextcloud;

Hosted (always encrypt data before uploading e.g. with Cryptomator):​
ProtonDrive (beta); SpiderOak; Mega;

Avoid Backblaze: submitted unknowingly (to users and them) private file data to Facebook!

Filesharing without Account:
Disroot;
Link/URL ShortenerGoogle URL ShortenerKutt;
DNSGoogle Public DNSSelf-Hosted:
Unbound; BIND; PowerDNS;

Public DNS:
(see more alternatives with details);
VPNGoogle OneSelf-Hosted:
OpenVPN; SoftEther;

Hosted:
Mullvad; ProtonVPN; (see more alternatives with details);

Avoid Windscribe: Servers seized by Ukrainian authorities weren’t encrypted, revealed private key and used old vulnerable software settings
Avoid HideMyAss: Keeps logs and shares them with authorities
Online file and website Antivirus scannerVirusTotalHosted (Data uploaded will be shared with Antivirus provider!):
MetaDefender; Hybrid Analysis; Jotti;


Software & Hardware
Application/ServiceGoogle ProductAlternatives
BrowserGoogle Chrome
  • I try to point out Google dependencies/connection.
    But these might be not all or change in the future.
  • Forks that are severely Outdated won't be listed! (e.g. Iridium)
  • Avoid Edge, Opera(GX) and UC Browser!
    They send every website visited
    (full URL e.g. www.healthsite.com/i_have_disease_X)
    to there Devs even in "Private/Incognito Browsing mode",
    use unique user IDs and don't block Tracking!
Based on Gecko:
  • LibreWolf
    • No auto updates (for Addons too)
    • Build in Ad/Contentblocker (uBlock Origin)
    • No other connections!
  • Firefox (+arkenfox user.js)
    • Default Search Engine is Google
    • Google connection for safebrowsing and analytics
  • Fennec
    • Only on Android
    • Default Search Engine is Google
  • Tor Browser
    • Build in Contenblocker (NoScript)
Based on Chromium (using them could give Chrome -> Google more influence over the web):
  • Ungoogled Chromium
    • No auto updates
    • No default extension store (Chrome Webstore) integration (read more)
    • No other connections!
  • Brave
    • Default Search Engine might be Google depending on Version/OS/Region
    • Google connection for Extension updates
    • Build in Adblocker
  • Bromite
    • Only on Android
    • Default Search Engine is Google
    • No default extension store (Chrome Webstore) integration (read more)
    • Build in Ad/Contentblocker (uBlock Origin)
  • Privacy Browser
    • Only on Android
    • Google connection for Autofill-Service (more info)
    • Blocks JavaScript, Cookies and Ads using Filterlists
    • No default extension store (Chrome Webstore) integration
  • FOSS Browser
    • Only on Android
    • No default extension store (Chrome Webstore) integration
    • Build in Adblocker
Laptop, Phone, Tablet and Smartwatch Hardware(+OS)Chromebooks
WearOS
Hardware+OS:
System76; PinePhone/PineBook/PineWatch/PineTab; StarBook; Tuxedo; Purism;
Phone OSStock AndroidAndroid Open Source Project (AOSP):
LineageOS (no Google Play Services)
/e/ (fork of LineageOS with preinstalled MicroG = working Google Play Services)

GrapheneOS (requires Pixel Phone / experimental and limited Google Play Services) (see my rambling);
CalyxOS (fork of GrapheneOS with preinstalled MicroG = working Google Play Services)

Android De-Google App compatibility checker: plexus.techlore.tech

Linux:
Ubuntu Touch; PostmarketOS; Sailfish OS;
Smart TVAndroid TVOSMC; KODI;
Android Background Service and API rootkitGoogle Play ServicesMicroG;
Android Push NotificationFirebase Cloud Messaging (FCM)Server-Sent Events (SSE); WebSocket;
Android App StoreGoogle PlayStoreFree and Open Source Apps:
F-Droid (see my rambling);

PlayStore Apps:
Aurora Store;
Track mobile device locationFind your phoneFindMyDevice;
Camera AppGoogle Camera (Gcam)Gcam Services Provider; MicroG;
PhotosGoogle PhotosSelf-Hosted:
Nextcloud;

Offline:
Simple Gallery Pro (F-Droid);
ContactsGoogle ContactsSelf-Hosted:
Nextcloud Contacts;

Offline:
Simple Contacts(F-Droid);
DocsGoogle DocsLibreOffice (Desktop); Collabora Office (Mobile);
PodcastGoogle PodcastsAntennaPod (Android); gPodder (Desktop)
Multi-factor authentication (2FA)Google AuthenticatorandOTP (see my rambling); FreeOTP; Aegis Authenticator;
Password ManagerGoogle Password Manager
Google Smart Lock
KeePass (KeePass1&2 ((see my rambling)), KeePassXC, KeePassDX); Bitwarden;


Webhosting
Application/ServiceGoogle ProductAlternatives
CAPTCHAReCAPTCHAFriendly Captcha; hCaptcha; TextCaptcha; Securimage:
Web AnalyticsGoogle AnalyticsMatomo; Plausible ;Open Web Analytics; GoAccess; AWStats;
Crash Analytics/ReportsFirebase CrashlyticsSentry;


Block Google
  • In the web browser (Easy):
    • uBlock Origin blocks (google) Ads and Tracking by default. Manually add google sites e.g. ||google.com in Settings > My filter to block specific sites or use filter lists
  • On the whole Device with a Host file (Medium depending on the OS):
    • Windows
      • Edit C:/Windows/System32/drivers/etc/hosts and add google sites e.g. 0.0.0.0 google.com at the bottom
    • Linux
      • Edit /etc/hosts and add google sites e.g. 0.0.0.0 google.com at the bottom
    • Mac
      • Edit /private/etc/hosts and add google sites e.g. 0.0.0.0 google.com at the bottom
    • Android
      • Root (not recommended): Edit /system/etc/hosts and add google sites e.g. 0.0.0.0 google.com at the bottom
      • non-Root: Use a VPN-Firewall like NetGuard, Blokada or DNS66
    • iOS
      • Jailbreak (not recommended): Edit /private/etc/hosts and add google sites e.g. 0.0.0.0 google.com at the bottom
      • non-Jailbreak: Use a VPN-Firewall like Blokada or AdGuard
  • On the whole internal network -> All devices (Advanced):
 
Last edited:

namedoesntfi

varishangout.com
Regular
Patron of the Forums
Great thread! I have been slowly moving away from Google stuff. I still have my Gmail because unfortunately some websites I signed up don't allow change of e-mail address and I can't just change right now. Other than that, I think you Youtube.

Is self-hosting difficult?

Also, don't know if you forgot or don't an alternative yet, but what do you use for translating websites?
 

DarkMahesvara

varishangout.com
Great thread! I have been slowly moving away from Google stuff. I still have my Gmail because unfortunately some websites I signed up don't allow change of e-mail address and I can't just change right now. Other than that, I think you Youtube.
you can just redirect emails from gmail to your new email and slowly switch (best you use an Forwarding service (Anonaddy; Simplelogin) so google doesn't know your new email address. Gmail > Forwarding service > new email service.
Is self-hosting difficult?
That really depends on what you want to self host and how much you already know or are willing to invest to learn.
Also, don't know if you forgot or don't an alternative yet, but what do you use for translating websites?
added some but there are still only a few afaik.
 

Jahy

varishangout.com
Excellent thread! I myself am currently in the process of trying to de-Google as much as I can. So far, the last two standing are Gmail and YouTube, but the former is very quickly on its way out.

I can personally attest to and enjoy the following:
  • SearchPage: From what I understand, it uses the same engine as Google yet without the Google spyware. As a result, it provides a great searching experience without much concern. I should note that it was recently acquired by a US ad-agency, but as far as I know, maintaining privacy was considered a requirement from SearchPage before the deal went through. It's up to you to decide if that's enough for you, but as far as I'm concerned, DuckDuckGo isn't that much more trustworthy if at all.
  • Ungoogled Chromium: While I am not a big fan of Chromium, I have been trying to distance myself from Mozilla following their recent behavior. Works just like Chrome but again without Google.
  • DeepL: It is believed as far as Asian languages go that DeepL is vastly superior to Google Translate, so this is a win-win. I have not experienced any major difficulties so far with Western languages like German or Spanish.
  • hCaptcha: This isn't really a choice for an end-user like me since it ultimately depends on what the site hoster uses, but I can confirm that it is a much better experience.

What I did not see but am using or considering using:
  • Aegis Authenticator: Free and open-source authenticator that gets the job done. I have no complaints, and the app has never failed me in a way any other authenticator app would.
  • Mailbox.org: In my research for finding a private email service, I see this one brought up along with both ProtonMail and Tutanota. I am giving heavy consideration to at least giving their 30-day trial. Here is their PrivacyTools.io write-up for those interested. They look to be relatively secure, and I'd have to say between the three they have the most neutrally presenting domain name.
 

DarkMahesvara

varishangout.com
  • SearchPage: From what I understand, it uses the same engine as Google yet without the Google spyware. As a result, it provides a great searching experience without much concern. I should note that it was recently acquired by a US ad-agency, but as far as I know, maintaining privacy was considered a requirement from SearchPage before the deal went through. It's up to you to decide if that's enough for you, but as far as I'm concerned, DuckDuckGo isn't that much more trustworthy if at all.
(i think you mean "StartPage") yeah i used them before the acquisitions and switched but it seems that they do alright.
  • Ungoogled Chromium: While I am not a big fan of Chromium, I have been trying to distance myself from Mozilla following their recent behavior. Works just like Chrome but again without Google.
the only drawbacks with it are slower updates, no auto updates and that you need to install something to make extension work.
  • DeepL: It is believed as far as Asian languages go that DeepL is vastly superior to Google Translate, so this is a win-win. I have not experienced any major difficulties so far with Western languages like German or Spanish.
yeah it's almost always better.
  • hCaptcha: This isn't really a choice for an end-user like me since it ultimately depends on what the site hoster uses, but I can confirm that it is a much better experience.
re = +3 retries / h = first try 9/10 times
What I did not see but am using or considering using:
  • Aegis Authenticator: Free and open-source authenticator that gets the job done. I have no complaints, and the app has never failed me in a way any other authenticator app would.
ah yeah right forgot that one. added it!
  • Mailbox.org: In my research for finding a private email service, I see this one brought up along with both ProtonMail and Tutanota. I am giving heavy consideration to at least giving their 30-day trial. Here is their PrivacyTools.io write-up for those interested.
There are so many and so much to say that's why i just linked ptio email page. I prefer PM since they seem pretty transparent and dedicated. the free version and onion site are also nice.
 

Augustus

varishangout.com
Good suggestions. The farthest extent I have with degoogling myself is using Brave and DuckDuckGo, so I'll be to check some of the other things listed in this.
 

Beginner

varishangout.com
Regular
Firefox is pulling shit that makes me uneasy.
Been using Pale Moon, and ungoogled chromium when I specifically need a chromium app.
Really like Pale Moon now, does it's job and feels like the old Firefox I preferred - hate this new minimalised shit.
Sure, can't do some the things Firefox can do, but because every browser app requires chromium tools these days, won't be long before Firefox can't do anything useful either.

the only drawbacks with it are slower updates, no auto updates and that you need to install something to make extension work.
You say this like a bad thing, we're entering a world where auto-updates remove features and functionality.
Look at what iOS is doing to it's Discord app, if it's NSFW, you simply can't access because you had the audacity to use an Apple product.
 

DarkMahesvara

varishangout.com
Firefox is pulling shit that makes me uneasy.
Been using Pale Moon, and ungoogled chromium when I specifically need a chromium app.
Really like Pale Moon now, does it's job and feels like the old Firefox I preferred - hate this new minimalised shit.
Sure, can't do some the things Firefox can do, but because every browser app requires chromium tools these days, won't be long before Firefox can't do anything useful either.
agreed altho i don't like to recommend PM because of the malware incident and its way behind security upates.
You say this like a bad thing, we're entering a world where auto-updates remove features and functionality.
the browser is an essential tool that needs to be kept up to date. there is no problem with auto updates if you trust the devs and you can still disable/pause them.
Look at what iOS is doing to it's Discord app, if it's NSFW, you simply can't access because you had the audacity to use an Apple product.
yeah fuck them too but Apple always has been an golden cage.
 

Jahy

varishangout.com
the browser is an essential tool that needs to be kept up to date. there is no problem with auto updates if you trust the devs and you can still disable/pause them.
Have to agree with this for the most part, though the "trust" part of the equation is critical. The operating system is also essential, perhaps the most essential piece of software one operates, where updates are also necessary. But then you have people like Microsoft who not only force updates on you but provide a lot of unnecessary ones and many that break settings or act contrary to the end-user's wishes. So in many ways what @Beginner mentioned is becoming more and more valid, even for important pieces of software.

It's also for this reason that I understand why others are reluctant to use Firefox. Mozilla has started to reveal themselves more openly as pro-censorship and anti-user with their behaviors and takes over the last few years, especially as recently as this January. That being said, Firefox from what I can tell (when the proper tweaks are applied) is still a secure and private browser. At the end of the day it's really a matter of if/when Mozilla may decide to change that, similar to how Google no longer wishes to "do no evil", but I have faith the community at large will keep watch and inform everyone if the ship should be jumped.

A little back on topic, for those who may be uncomfortable with the fact Ungoogled Chromium doesn't auto-update, I would advise you follow their GitHub page and receive email notifications for when new releases are dropped. This doesn't change having to compile it yourself (or waiting for a binary) but it will keep you on track with the progress of the browser.
 

DarkMahesvara

varishangout.com
Have to agree with this for the most part, though the "trust" part of the equation is critical. The operating system is also essential, perhaps the most essential piece of software one operates, where updates are also necessary. But then you have people like Microsoft who not only force updates on you but provide a lot of unnecessary ones and many that break settings or act contrary to the end-user's wishes. So in many ways what @Beginner mentioned is becoming more and more valid, even for important pieces of software.
I agree. In Windows 10 feature and security updates are at least seperate and most of the time only the feature updates make problems and you can just wait until your version reaches end of life to update to the next now stable version.
It's also for this reason that I understand why others are reluctant to use Firefox. Mozilla has started to reveal themselves more openly as pro-censorship and anti-user with their behaviors and takes over the last few years, especially as recently as this January.
They could be the best privacy browser like they once were if they cut out all politics and google crap.
That being said, Firefox from what I can tell (when the proper tweaks are applied) is still a secure and private browser. At the end of the day it's really a matter of if/when Mozilla may decide to change that, similar to how Google no longer wishes to "do no evil", but I have faith the community at large will keep watch and inform everyone if the ship should be jumped.
The user.js changes really saves it for me. I hope that more good forks like with chromium come out but seems like no one wants gecko anymore.
 

Grönsak

varishangout.com
A nice list I have to look some of this stuff up.

But I might as well ad DDG's app as web browser on mobile to the list. It comes with what the ad on. On normal browsers provide plus you can have it clean all browsers data on turn off, global privacy control and Forced HTTPS. The review in the link makes a better job explaining than I can.
 

Typewriter

varishangout.com
I'd suggest you take it slow and try many possibilities with free and OS software. Firefox and its engine gecko are dying but still an amazing choice, add librewolf to the list. I suggest to use brave on PC and mobile (you can also use its bookmark sync that works on blockchain). I'd also suggest to use some linux distro on PC if you don't play some heavy anticheat games, use certain pro software or are depended on win/mac in any other way, awesome tool to check compatibility for games: protondb. For phones, if you have some older samsung, nexus, xiaomi, oneplus, you can almost certain install ROMS like lineage, for samsung you just use odin and install twpr, look in youtube and xdadevs for any info.
 

Jahy

varishangout.com
Word to the wise (or rather, lazy): just use a prepackaged ungoogled-chromium binary unless you feel like you're comfortable with the build process. I'm like three hours into publishing my own right now, and I'm already worried that some random, nameless, unhelpful error is going to invalidate all this "hard work".

Screenshot from 2021-04-16 23-15-28.png

Fuck, I wish technical convenience these days wasn't so often tied to a surrender of security. :gura-pain:
 

AustinZero

varishangout.com
I know it will be hard to not use google. But I currently use Google Docs to write my ebook novels and put the images that I drew from Sai for the ebooks on there. And I know I currently use gmail myself. Hell, I mostly use Google. Sometimes firefox if Google acts like crap. For the words after I finish typing them on google docs, I transfer them on wordpad. Sometimes for searching, I use bing. I use google translate since google docs can translate the words that I type. Since I do plan to release the ebooks in english, spanish, and Japanese. The rest of the languages. Probably not since I heard what they've been doing in banning anime and hentai. I have Brave. Looks good. So no complaints.
 

Grönsak

varishangout.com
So I have forced my self to use Invidious or FreeTube for about a week now and I guess this is sort of a review.

let's start with Invidious because I used it for like 3 h before I abandoned it. Because of its limitations
Yes it did have a search and subscribe feature but if you searched for something you are limited to 20 results and in your subscriptions or on a channel it is 60. That's unforgettably garbage. bottom line is you need to know the url for the video you want to watch to guarantee that you find it.
Btw https://instances.invidious.io/ is a dead link the one you get from git hub. If you want to find a invidiou instense go here https://api.invidious.io/

Now lets go over to FreeTube which frankly is a lot better. I like the fact that you can import your subscriptions from YT even if it was a bit of a hassle but the instructions were clear enough.
And it doesn't seem to have limitations for searching or on channels which is good because I usually search for specific things. Then you have a favorite and history functions that is stored locally. It doesn't show up in your youtube history. And you can easily clean it if you want. (because remember it do take up space) And a it have forward and backward function. A video download function that I haven't tried yet. a sharing function where you can pick either youtube or INVIDIOUS. And you can change video format if you want called dash,legacy and audio. Audio is self explanatory (radio) ,Dash is all out max video and legacy is max 720p. Then you have the comment section that at least me will not work 4 times out of 10 and gives a error code. Then we come to the in my opinion big draw back the lack of a tab function. I like to search for other videos while i watch and both because it is a program and missing a tab function I can't do that. And yes there is a picture in picture function but if you leave the page you can't use it to go back to that video. So it is pointless. Besides being a multi screen user why should I be limited to p in p. Then you can dick around in settings to put it into dark mode. and other functions you would expect. but you can also tell it to proxy to INVIDIOUS instead of running it directly by yt. Then there is a tor/proxy settings that I haven't managed to understand not that I'm to concerned about that.

So in summary I like it and can see myself continuing to use it from now on but I hope they make that tab function at some point. It 's still in beta (v0.12.0 Beta)
 

DarkMahesvara

varishangout.com
If you want. Chromium based browser try Iridium.
fyi Iridium connects to google for safebrowsing and depending on your OS language for translation (settings). Its also based on Chromium 85.0.4183.83 from August 2020 making it severely outdate for more than half a year! If you want pure De-Googled chromium I would strongly recommend using Ungoogle Chromium instead.
 
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