The complete list of alternatives to all Google products

Julio Franco

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

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.

Editor’s Note:
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)...

Google 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.

Gmail alternatives

Gmail may be convenient and popular, but there are three major problems:

  • Your inbox is used as a data collection tool. (Did you know Google is tracking your purchasing history from the receipts in your inbox?)
  • Rather than seeing just emails, your email inbox is also used for ads and marketing.
  • The contents of your inbox are being shared with Google and other random third parties.

When you remain logged in to your Gmail account, Google can easily track your activities online as you browse different websites, which may be hosting Google Analytics or Google ads (Adsense).

Here are ten alternatives to Gmail that do well in terms of privacy:

  • Tutanota – based in Germany; very secure and private; free accounts up to 1 GB
  • Mailfence – based in Belgium; lots of features; free accounts up to 500 MB
  • Posteo – based in Germany; €1/mo with 14 day refund window
  • StartMail – based in Netherlands; $5.00/mo with 7 day free trial
  • Runbox – based in Norway; lots of storage and features; $1.66/mo with 30 day free trial
  • Mailbox.org – based in Germany; €1/mo with 30 day free trial
  • CounterMail – based in Sweden; $4.00/mo with 7 day free trial
  • Kolab Now – based in Switzerland; €4.41/mo with 30 day money-back guarantee
  • ProtonMail – based in Switzerland; free accounts up to 500 MB
  • Thexyz – based in Canada; $1.95/mo with 30 day refund window

More information on these providers is available in the secure and private email services guide.

Chrome alternatives

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.

Google Drive alternatives

If you’re looking for a secure cloud storage option, you can check out these Google Drive alternatives:

  • Tresorit – A user-friendly cloud storage option based in Switzerland.
  • ownCloud – An open source and self-hosted cloud platform developed in Germany.
  • Nextcloud – Nextcloud is also an open source, self-hosted file sharing and collaboration platform, based in Germany.
  • Sync – Based in Canada, Sync offers a secure, encrypted cloud storage solution for businesses and individuals.
  • Syncthing – Here we have a decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer cloud storage platform.

Of course, Dropbox is another popular Google drive alternative, but it’s not the best in terms of privacy.

Google Calendar alternative

Here are some Google Calendar alternatives:

  • Lightning Calendar is an open source calendar option developed by Mozilla, and it’s compatible with Thunderbird and Seamonkey.
  • Etar, an open source, basic calendar option.
  • Fruux, an open source calendar with good features and support for many operating systems.

For those wanting a combined solution for both email and calendar functionality, these providers offer that:

Google Docs / Sheets / Slides alternative

There are many solid Google Docs alternatives available. The largest offline document editing suite is, of course, Microsoft Office. As most people know, however, Microsoft is not the best company for privacy. Nonetheless, there are a few other good Google Docs alternatives:

  • CryptPad – CryptPad is a privacy-focused alternative with strong encryption, and it’s free.
  • Etherpad – A self-hosted collaborative online editor that’s also open source.
  • Zoho Docs – This is another good Google Docs alternative with a clean interface and good functionality, although it may not be the best for privacy.
  • OnlyOffice – OnlyOffice feels a bit more restricted than some of the other options in terms of features.
  • Cryptee – This is a privacy-focused platform for photo and document storage and editing. It’s open source and based in Estonia.
  • LibreOffice (offline) – You can use LibreOffice which is free and open source.
  • Apache OpenOffice (offline) – Another good open source office suite.

Google Photos alternative

Here are a few good Google Photos alternatives:

  • Piwigo – Piwigo is a great option that you can self-host. It is also free and open source.
  • Lychee – Lychee is another self-hosted, open source photo management platform.

Shoebox was another alternative, but it closed operations in June 2019.

YouTube alternatives

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.
  • Maps.Me is another option that is free on both Android and iOS, but there is a fair amount of data collection with this alternative, as explained in their privacy policy.
  • 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.

Android alternatives

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.

Google Domains alternative

Google Domains is a domain registration service. Here are a few alternatives:

  • Namecheap – I like Namecheap because all domain purchases now come with free WhoisGuard protection for life, which protects your contact information from third parties. Namecheap also accepts Bitcoin and offers domain registration, hosting, email, SSL certs, and a variety of other products.
  • Njalla – Njalla is a privacy-focused domain registration service based in Nevis. They offer hosting options, too, and also accept cryptocurrency payments.
  • OrangeWebsite – OrangeWebsite offers anonymous domain registration services and also accepts cryptocurrency payments, based in Iceland.

Other Google alternatives

Here more alternatives for various Google products:

Google Forms alternativeJotForm is a free online form builder.

Google Keep alternative – Below are a few different Google Keep alternatives:

  • Standard Notes is a great alternative for a note-taking service. It is secure, encrypted, and free with apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android (web-based also available).
  • Joplin is another great option that is open source and works on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android.
  • Zoho Notebook from Zoho, with apps for desktop and mobile devices.
  • QOwnNotes is an open source file editor with Nextcloud integration.

Google Fonts alternative – Many websites load Google fonts through Google APIs, but that’s not necessary. One alternative to this is to use Font Squirrel, which has a large selection of both Google and non-Google fonts which are free to download and use.

Google Voice alternativeJMP.chat (both free and paid)

G Suite alternativeZoho is probably the best option

Google Firebase alternativeKuzzle (free and open source)

Google Blogger alternativesWordPress, Medium, and Ghost are all good options.

Do you have any other tips or suggestions for Google alternatives? Feel free to drop a comment below. This guide will be regularly updated to reflect the latest information and user feedback.

Editor's Note: This story was originally published on June 29, 2019. It's just as relevant and current today as it was then, so we've bumped it as part of our #ThrowbackThursday initiative.

Permalink to story.

 

Adi6293

TS Maniac
I've been using Ecosia for about 2 months now and I sometimes need to use Google as it not as good but that's like 1 out of 10 times
 

Eldritch

TS Addict
The opening para that is missing from the article :

Google has been losing its Neutral image at an incredible rate.
Google News is confirmed to cater to a certain political affiliation and is proven by neutral researchers to be promoting a certain political side more over the other.
Youtube is also mired in controversies after controversies by stifling certain voices and demonetizing creators of a certain side.
It doesn't matter what our political ideology are or if we don't care at all about politics, but when a corporation size of Google starts to indulge in such questionable practices and policing of its consumers, we need to take notice and do our part to end the monopoly of Google.
 

Andrea8583

TS Rookie
Okay let's be honest, you used Google to research everything here, including the alternatives to Google, so are they really viable alternatives? Bing has thought it was an alternative for years, and it still isn't a verb, none of the alternatives are...
 
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KevinFanch

TS Rookie
The best alternative to Google Android currently is /e/ , It is totally degoogled android, so all android apps work but your data is private. I used it for some months and it is working well.
 
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picka

TS Booster
Yea, apart from a few hearty souls, the majority find the services Google provide for free (as in you don't pay them cash) are far too good to pass up. The idea you can substitute Android, Gmail, Chrome, Maps and Search was particularly funny. When the alternatives are better than what Google offers, then people will switch.
 
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Eldritch

TS Addict
Yea, apart from a few hearty souls, the majority find the services Google provide for free (as in you don't pay them cash) are far too good to pass up. The idea you can substitute Android, Gmail, Chrome, Maps and Search was particularly funny. When the alternatives are better than what Google offers, then people will switch.
Android needn't be calling back to Google with private info. Degoogled android builds are blooming.
Outlook for android is quite good but thats from Microsoft so not really what we want.
There is no real alternative to Maps. Agreed.
Search.... Well, I suggest you do try the above alternatives. They give some pretty good results and especially when it comes to research and exploration they shine.
 

picka

TS Booster
Android needn't be calling back to Google with private info. Degoogled android builds are blooming.
Outlook for android is quite good but thats from Microsoft so not really what we want.
There is no real alternative to Maps. Agreed.
Search.... Well, I suggest you do try the above alternatives. They give some pretty good results and especially when it comes to research and exploration they shine.
Since degoogled build are booming, maybe you should inform Huawei, they sure could do with one right now.

People need a reason to switch from something that works well for them. Google provide some excellent products and the majority of people are fine received more personalised ads in return, sure beats getting random ads.

When those products are not just "pretty good" but better than what Google provides, then people will switch.
 

Draconian

TS Enthusiast
People aren't going to pay for a personal email account.

Also, Gmail gives you 15 GB, way more storage space than the alternatives listed here.
 
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Danny101

TS Guru
I spread out to using different services. I use Google, but not for everything. Don't put all your eggs into one basket.
 

cutervino

TS Rookie
I want to sail away from Google because I experienced these annoying and unfair issues:
1- All the Android phones I had, suffered from "early termination" updates: Bricked, not charging, low volume, no landscaping mode in maps (screen goes blank)
2- Some weeks ago, using Maps navigation, I heard the google voice "turn right at Taco Bell". I was disgusted.
So, this on top of political influence, privacy issues, ads all over, etc, it's too much for me.
 
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Mr Majestyk

TS Maniac
I'm slack I'm using startpage and prefer Firefox (with anti-ad and anti-trackers) to Chrome but Firefox doesn't allow java apps to run and plenty of websites still haven't moved away from some java based stuff. I liked Brave when I tired it but it felt too beta, maybe 18 months later it's worth a try again. I'm not paying for email client and surely does it matter what client you use if you have gmail accounts. I only have them as I got sick of changing email addresses when I changed ISP.
 

TheWetChef

TS Rookie
I find that Discord . GG is a good alternative to Google hangouts.
Yes it's primary for gamers but it's still extremely for non gaming.
 

dakkecuspa

TS Rookie
This is actually a good list. Of course one could add some things here and there, like Jami or XMPP for messaging, but overall it's ok.

Nowdays only completely brainless people use google services. (This is how you will notice how many brainless folks there are) Anyone with a minimum level of intelligence grasped already why it's a bad idea to use products of an evil company (it's not only about ads, they've got many military developments too). You pay with your data - with your life - with your family's and friends' data - and their life - (think about uploading photos of them to google, where they analyze every single picture to death) - why would someone like to do that?

Some alternatives are even much better than the google offerings. I especially like syncthing, Iridium, deepl, e and invidious. When there is no google tracking (blocked on sites and ripped off from the browser), internet surfing becomes much faster.
 
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ziffel66

TS Enthusiast
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.