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STOP!

le stop men

Everyone has plenty of reasons to reduce their usage of Google. Our reasons may be different. Maybe your interests are merely about privacy. Maybe you're worried about the NSA. Maybe you don't like Google's political lobbying and donations. Maybe you think it's all just creepy.

Here's a list of how to replace Google "products" in your life. I put scare quotes because, as you no doubt know, Google's "products" are merely platforms for it to sell its one and only true product: your clicks and information to other companies. Regardless, check it out:

First off...

Use AdNauseam all the time. 95% of Google's revenue comes from AdSense ads. AdNauseam isn't just a pop-up blocker, but it spoofs clicks on ads, ruining the value fo Google's services to other companies. You will cost Google and other odious mega-tech monoliths thousands a month using this.

Google Search

DuckDuckGo

DuckduckGo isn't just a privacy respecting, non-results-biasing search engine, it also has great features that Google search lacks. Chief among those are Bangtags, that is, you can throw certain letters with a "!" in your searches which will send you to particular sites instantly.

For example, typing in "!w Linux" will take you directly to the Linux Wikipedia page (!w for Wikipedia), "!ebay Latin grammar books" will search eBay for Latin grammar books. "!yt Luke Smith" will search YouTube for my videos (I'm the balding one, not the fat game designer Luke Smith).

searx.me

searx.me is free software meta search engine that's hugely customizable and also allows you to run your own instance of it.

Google Chrome

It's hard to emphasize how bad of an idea it is from a privacy standpoint it is to use Google Chrome. Everything you even partially type in the bar is Google's forever, every site, every click, everything.

Firefox or Derivatives

Firefox is "the" standard free-as-in-freedom fully-featured browser, lacking the enormous privacy flaws that plague Google Chrome. A lot of people prefer some Freifox derivates like Waterfox or, for people who prefer the classic design, Pale Moon.

A million other choices

There are innumerable good, free software browsers, especially for Linux users. qutebrowser is one of my favorites.

Google Docs/Drive

Syncthing

Syncthing. Free, open source. Syncs the folders of your choosing between computers. Does not use the cloud at all. Syncthing is definitely worth looking at because you can also sync program files between machines, say calendar data, etc., allowing you to avoid other cloud services.

Syncthing can also run on phones; I use it to sync my phone media with my computer automatically.

git

An extremely powerful terminal-based program for syncing files, version control and editing. It's the standard for professional development, and while git may seem huge, open and possibly daunting at first, learning how to use it well is a very good investment of time, as it's a crucial tool for programming and other computer-based tasks everywhere.

Anything is better

If you really need the exact style of Google Drive, there are plenty of other cloud services out there. Cloud services are inherently privacy-violating since your files reside on another computer, but using less centralized and totalitarian services like Overleaf or Dropbox are probably better than using Google.

Some services, like Dropbox, due to their construction, allow you to encrpyt your saved files on your computer so while they are stored on Dropbox servers, are not easily accessible.

Gmail

Anything is better

Tutanota and teknik.io are some of my favorites, which I use for a couple of accounts. There's also Riseup for ancoms larpers and cock.li for 4chan shitposters who wouldn't mind having a meme email like "luke@420blaze.it", "luke@horsefucker.org", "luke@nigge.rs" or "luke@tfwno.gf", etc. (okay, they have a couple presentable ones).

There are also sites that offer high-tier encryption (which sometimes requires a little extra payment), such as Proton Mail. They do have free options.

Host your own?

If you has a RaspberryPi and a big-brane, you might want to considering hosting email yourself.

Googe Maps and Earth

Open Street Maps

Open Street Maps is a free/open source project equivalent to Google Maps. Its interface foten isn't quite as "refined" as Google Maps, but since it's open source, it comes with huge benefits.

For example, you can download maps and use them offline to avoid using data on your phone and to use maps when you're way out in the middle of nowhere or on a mountain or under lots of concrete. I use an app MAPS.ME on my phone that lets me easily download the Open Street Map for my town/city/state/country/the entire world. I never have to worry about the huge data/power drain or of losing reception when out. (Note, MAPS.ME is FLOSS, but not copyleft (Apache 2.0))

There are also great Google Earth equivalents (I mean a lot). One of my favorites is Marble, which is cross-platform and can download and use custom maps as well.

Google Sites

Google Sites are actually really terrible in the first place. I used Google Sites for my first website for years, and until I tried something else, I failed to appreciate exactly how terrible it is. Highly restrictive, downtime based on Google bots deciding to mark your site as malicious and lot more.

Github Sites

Github sites is a really good no-price web hosting service. It uses Jekyll, which is a static site generator quite easy to use, and of course, you can easily modify it with git. No ads or BS. I use this for several sites I run.

Rent server space or do it yourself

Web hosters will give you functionally unlimited server-space for a couple dollars a month. Having one of these will let you use tools like ssh and rsync to keep all the files you need online. If you have an extra computer or RaspberryPi, you could run your own server of course.

Google+

>implying you or anyone else actually uses this

YouTube

YouTube is tougher because it benefits a lot from networking effects. Regardless, even if you consume on YouTube, by using things like AdNauseam you can nullify any gains Google would accrue from you. If you put up videos like me, it's easy enough to just not monetize, you shouldn't really have delusions of getting rich from monetizing videos.

Alternative Sites

Not only are there alternative video sites like BitChute and vidme, but there sites like Hooktube which simply mirror all YouTube videos.

Better ways to browse YouTube

I prefer downloading YouTube videos using tools like youtube-dl, which if you give it a URL, it can download individual videos, playlists, or entire channels. There are also terminal tools like youtube-viewer that let you search thru YouTube videos without any possibilty of ads.