34 votes

How would one go about removing Google from one's life?

I have an android phone and my main email is a gmail. I'd like to somehow de-googlefy myself if at all possible. I don't have facebook so that isn't really a concern.

72 comments

  1. [21]
    tempestoftruth Link
    For your phone, you're going to want to look into LineageOS, which is an open-source OS that doesn't have Google Apps installed. Some services rely on Google Apps to function, so if you need to...

    For your phone, you're going to want to look into LineageOS, which is an open-source OS that doesn't have Google Apps installed. Some services rely on Google Apps to function, so if you need to use any of those on your LineageOS install, you can instead use MicroG, which is still Google, but less compromising. If your Android phone doesn't support LineageOS, I'm not too sure what your next steps would be other than logging out of Google services on your phone, deleting them if possible, or just avoiding them otherwise.

    Like another commenter said, Tutanota is a good alternative. There's also ProtonMail. An important thing to consider with these emails, however, is that if you're emailing someone with an @gmail.com, then Google still gets copies of your replies to that person, defeating the purpose of using a non-Google email account. Check out Privacy Tools and look in the heading under emails to find a list of high-quality email providers.

    If you're using Google Chrome you're going to want to switch, and regardless of the browser that you're using you should install uBlock Origin which helps with tracking from both Google and Facebook. Hope this helps!

    12 votes
    1. PopeRigby Link Parent
      MicroG isn't Google. It's a FOSS re-implementation of Google Play Services, which are a bunch of proprietary libraries that Google provides, and many apps rely on (e.g using OSM instead of GMaps)....

      you can instead use MicroG, which is still Google, but less compromising

      MicroG isn't Google. It's a FOSS re-implementation of Google Play Services, which are a bunch of proprietary libraries that Google provides, and many apps rely on (e.g using OSM instead of GMaps). That might have been what you were saying but I wanted to clear that up just in case.

      9 votes
    2. [7]
      sqew Link Parent
      I highly recommend Firefox, especially for desktop use where power consumption isn't an issue (but even then, on my MacBook, Firefox isn't too much worse on power use). Mozilla has improved...

      If you're using Google Chrome you're going to want to switch, and regardless of the browser that you're using you should install uBlock Origin which helps with tracking from both Google and Facebook.

      I highly recommend Firefox, especially for desktop use where power consumption isn't an issue (but even then, on my MacBook, Firefox isn't too much worse on power use). Mozilla has improved Firefox a ton over the last few years, and it's now really quite fast. I vastly prefer it to any of the other major browsers.

      5 votes
      1. [5]
        Akir Link Parent
        Firefox for Android does not appear to use much battery either (though to be fair it has been a long time since I have used Chrome because it doesn't have extentions).

        Firefox for Android does not appear to use much battery either (though to be fair it has been a long time since I have used Chrome because it doesn't have extentions).

        1 vote
        1. [4]
          chembliss Link Parent
          Have you tried Firefox Preview? It's still alpha I think, but it's the future of Firefox, built on GeckoView instead of Android WebView. It's still a bit rough, but blazing fast, and has the...

          Have you tried Firefox Preview? It's still alpha I think, but it's the future of Firefox, built on GeckoView instead of Android WebView. It's still a bit rough, but blazing fast, and has the address bar on the lower side of the screen.

          1. [3]
            Akir Link Parent
            The regular Firefox for Android is already built on top of Gecko; no need to use beta software unless you are trying to help out the development effort. You may be thinking about Firefox Focus,...

            The regular Firefox for Android is already built on top of Gecko; no need to use beta software unless you are trying to help out the development effort.

            You may be thinking about Firefox Focus, which got changed to GeckoView a while back.

            1. [2]
              chembliss Link Parent
              No, I'm thinking about Firefox Preview, which I'm using right now. Didn't know that Firefox already was using GeckoView. Firefox Preview however works much faster for me. I'm aware it's not...

              No, I'm thinking about Firefox Preview, which I'm using right now. Didn't know that Firefox already was using GeckoView.

              Firefox Preview however works much faster for me. I'm aware it's not finished and it's experimental, and have Firefox too for when I run into some issue, but it works so much faster that it's my main mobile browser now.

              1. Akir Link Parent
                To be clear, I'm not sure if Firefox is based off of GeckoView, but it is based off of Gecko in some way or another. There was an engineer from Mozilla a while back who said that Firefox for...

                To be clear, I'm not sure if Firefox is based off of GeckoView, but it is based off of Gecko in some way or another. There was an engineer from Mozilla a while back who said that Firefox for Android is having it's development slowed down a little bit while more people work on the new version (Firefox Preview), so every firefox user will be on it sometime or another.

      2. tempestoftruth Link Parent
        Absolutely, Firefox is my main browser and I use Waterfox when I need to use a different browser for whatever reason.

        Absolutely, Firefox is my main browser and I use Waterfox when I need to use a different browser for whatever reason.

    3. [12]
      JakeTheDog Link Parent
      One criticism I heard against LineageOS is that it's generally less secure, because of fewer security updates(?). Any insights on that?

      One criticism I heard against LineageOS is that it's generally less secure, because of fewer security updates(?). Any insights on that?

      3 votes
      1. [8]
        sron Link Parent
        Well, you'll often get security updates faster than the manufacturer implements them on the stock OS. Each phone on the Pie branch of LineageOS (at this point, quite a lot) gets an update every...

        Well, you'll often get security updates faster than the manufacturer implements them on the stock OS. Each phone on the Pie branch of LineageOS (at this point, quite a lot) gets an update every day with the changes made since the previous one, so whenever the security patch is implemented into Lineage you should get it within 24 hours

        If your phone isn't officially supported, check XDA Forums, there might be an unofficial version there. They won't be updated as often though

        Lineage also has Trust, one of the features of this is fine-tuning permissions. You can tell an app not to start at boot, for example.

        I don't know who told you that, you will get security updates quicker but it is right in the sense that rooting might make it less secure, if you're not careful what apps you grant access to. And if someone gets physical access to your phone they might be able to get data off it using the recovery.

        But in general it's much better!

        5 votes
        1. [6]
          JakeTheDog Link Parent
          Okay that makes sense, I'll check it out again. Though it's gonna be hard to drop the MIUI OS, it's so good... I wish CopperheadOS was still a viable thing...

          Okay that makes sense, I'll check it out again. Though it's gonna be hard to drop the MIUI OS, it's so good... I wish CopperheadOS was still a viable thing...

          1 vote
          1. [3]
            Deimos Link Parent
            GrapheneOS is being built by the former lead developer of CopperheadOS: https://grapheneos.org/

            GrapheneOS is being built by the former lead developer of CopperheadOS: https://grapheneos.org/

            2 votes
            1. [2]
              JakeTheDog Link Parent
              Oh sick! I'm so glad! Do you have any thoughts on it? It appears to be a little too new to switch to just yet...

              Oh sick! I'm so glad! Do you have any thoughts on it? It appears to be a little too new to switch to just yet...

              1. Deimos Link Parent
                I'm not sure, I haven't used it myself. I think if you have one of the primary target phones (which might be just the Google Pixel ones) it probably works well, but I haven't really read much...

                I'm not sure, I haven't used it myself. I think if you have one of the primary target phones (which might be just the Google Pixel ones) it probably works well, but I haven't really read much about it.

          2. [2]
            sron Link Parent
            http://xiaomi.eu/ is MIUI but with some tweaks to enable hidden features, Google Play by default and remove some Xiaomi spyware and bloatware. If you like MIUI you might like that Also, MIUI-ify...

            http://xiaomi.eu/ is MIUI but with some tweaks to enable hidden features, Google Play by default and remove some Xiaomi spyware and bloatware. If you like MIUI you might like that

            Also, MIUI-ify is a MIUI style notification and quick settings UI for any version of Android.

            Not used either myself but they both look good

            1 vote
            1. chembliss Link Parent
              Well, that doesn't help much in the way of ungoogling your life.

              Well, that doesn't help much in the way of ungoogling your life.

        2. HanakoIsBestGirl Link Parent
          Im on unofficial lineage and I still get monthly security updates on XDA.

          Im on unofficial lineage and I still get monthly security updates on XDA.

          1 vote
      2. [2]
        PopeRigby Link Parent
        Where did you hear that?

        Where did you hear that?

        1. JakeTheDog Link Parent
          Several different forums while I did my degoogling last year.

          Several different forums while I did my degoogling last year.

          1 vote
      3. tempestoftruth Link Parent
        I don't actually have an Android device running LineageOS, I just frequent privacy subreddits and this is the bog standard advice that is given to everyone who posts asking how to become more...

        I don't actually have an Android device running LineageOS, I just frequent privacy subreddits and this is the bog standard advice that is given to everyone who posts asking how to become more secure on Android.

  2. Algernon_Asimov Link
    I know this question has been asked before, but I'm not able to find the previous topic I'm thinking of. However, I did find these two relevant discussions: Trying to de-Google my life bit by bit....

    I know this question has been asked before, but I'm not able to find the previous topic I'm thinking of. However, I did find these two relevant discussions:

    8 votes
  3. [17]
    gpl Link
    You can pay a subscription for ProtonMail, which might be a nice project to support. It is open source and privacy focused and runs on a subscription based model, so you are the customer and not...

    You can pay a subscription for ProtonMail, which might be a nice project to support. It is open source and privacy focused and runs on a subscription based model, so you are the customer and not the product.

    You can use DuckDuckGo for search, which has pretty good results.

    OpenStreetMap for maps.

    You can switch to Apple iOS for your phone, which despite its reputation as a closed garden has pretty good privacy policies and encryption. Most sensitive data (biometrics like the fingerprint scanner and health metrics) don't even leave your phone.

    You can use Firefox for browsing.

    That covers the big things I suppose. I'm trying to think of other major ways Google creeps into your life. There's no great alternative to YouTube, for example. I'm sure there's other things I am forgetting.

    7 votes
    1. [2]
      heady Link Parent
      The official OpenStreetMap site you linked is useable but only intended for contributors and such lacks common features end users would expect in a google maps alternative. Instead I'd recommend...

      The official OpenStreetMap site you linked is useable but only intended for contributors and such lacks common features end users would expect in a google maps alternative.

      Instead I'd recommend Osmand as an phone app.

      For browser you could try Qwantmaps, Maps.me or any number of sites that use osm data for niche purposes.

      9 votes
      1. Soptik Link Parent
        If you live in Europe, Mapy.cz is great. Their phone app even allows you to download everything offline which is awesome, especially for mountain tours. It has maps for rest of the world as well,...

        If you live in Europe, Mapy.cz is great. Their phone app even allows you to download everything offline which is awesome, especially for mountain tours. It has maps for rest of the world as well, but I cannot confirm how good they are (I assume they use OpenStreetMaps there as their source). They are more pleasant to use and in my country they even have better data than google maps.

    2. [4]
      joelthelion Link Parent
      OpenStreetMap is great, but it's not really a drop-in replacement for Google maps. For example, it doesn't provide real-time traffic and driving directions. Is there another service that can be...

      OpenStreetMap is great, but it's not really a drop-in replacement for Google maps. For example, it doesn't provide real-time traffic and driving directions.

      Is there another service that can be used to really replace Google Maps?

      7 votes
      1. gpl Link Parent
        Probably not, for the time being. You're absolutely right that OpenStreetMap lacks many of the features that GMaps has. Google collects a ton of data, but they do often use that data to improve...

        Is there another service that can be used to really replace Google Maps?

        Probably not, for the time being. You're absolutely right that OpenStreetMap lacks many of the features that GMaps has. Google collects a ton of data, but they do often use that data to improve their products in noticeable ways. As with many things, it is a trade off. I personally still use Google maps and am pretty hooked in to the Google ecosystem.

        6 votes
      2. emdash Link Parent
        Apple Maps works alright in most cities now, and comes with really slick Apple Watch notifications for turn-by-turn navigation.

        Apple Maps works alright in most cities now, and comes with really slick Apple Watch notifications for turn-by-turn navigation.

        5 votes
      3. PopeRigby Link Parent
        There's Qwant Maps, which recently launched in beta. It's free software and uses OSM data. From my experience, it works a lot better than openstreetmap.org's map. They're going to be implementing...

        There's Qwant Maps, which recently launched in beta. It's free software and uses OSM data. From my experience, it works a lot better than openstreetmap.org's map. They're going to be implementing more cool features as they go along.

        2 votes
    3. [6]
      HanakoIsBestGirl Link Parent
      Protonmail only has small parts open source.

      Protonmail only has small parts open source.

      5 votes
      1. chembliss Link Parent
        That's why I use Tutanota, it's fully FOSS plus has an encrypted calendar and agenda too (and it seems more transparent, although that's my personal perception).

        That's why I use Tutanota, it's fully FOSS plus has an encrypted calendar and agenda too (and it seems more transparent, although that's my personal perception).

        1 vote
      2. [4]
        teaearlgraycold Link Parent
        I believe their entire web front end is FOSS

        I believe their entire web front end is FOSS

        1. [3]
          HanakoIsBestGirl Link Parent
          But not the mobile app, backend or bridge

          But not the mobile app, backend or bridge

          1. [2]
            teaearlgraycold Link Parent
            I wouldn't expect a SaaS company to release the source to their backend. The other two would be great to have, though. I wonder if releasing the mobile app as FOSS is planned.

            I wouldn't expect a SaaS company to release the source to their backend. The other two would be great to have, though. I wonder if releasing the mobile app as FOSS is planned.

            1 vote
            1. stu2b50 Link Parent
              It doesn't really say much for the privacy of the service, though, for only its web client to be FOSS. You can already see everything that goes in and out of any web client. And there are SaaS...

              It doesn't really say much for the privacy of the service, though, for only its web client to be FOSS. You can already see everything that goes in and out of any web client.

              And there are SaaS services that open source their backend, and they themselves just offer one hosting service. Gitlab, NextCloud, and Bitwarden are a few off the top of my head.

              Not that I necessarily expect them to open source everything, but it doesn't really make sense to put "Open Source" as a pro if it's so limited in scope.

              4 votes
    4. [4]
      Askme_about_penguins Link Parent
      Startpage buys search results from Google and you can choose to use its European servers (which are in the Netherlands), meaning your data doesn't go through the US (unlike Duckduckgo, which uses...

      You can use DuckDuckGo for search, which has pretty good results.

      Startpage buys search results from Google and you can choose to use its European servers (which are in the Netherlands), meaning your data doesn't go through the US (unlike Duckduckgo, which uses Amazon servers in the US, which some people would rather avoid). Since the results are from Google, it means they're more accurate than DDG's, but it also means search results Google has blocked don't show up (in my experience, some torrent and piracy sites, but potentially news, according to other people). It does have fewer features than both Google and DuckDuckGo, however.

      Both DDG and Startpage are really subpar when trying to find images. In the case of Startpage, it gives you the links to anonymized images, which makes sharing a simple URL that ends in .jpg or .png quite a pain, since you have to go to the actual website the image came from and find the image there, which sometimes (if the image came from a shopping site, for example) is just not possible (at least now without technical knowledge the average user doesn't possess).

      There's also searx.me, which can have results from several other search engines. But requires a bit of setting it up and the UI might put off some people.

      Another search engine is Qwant, which is a French search engine and the one their government institutions are told to use. It has more features than Searx and Startpage, I don't know how it compares to DDG and Google in terms of features. I haven't used it much.

      Personally, I have Startpage as my main search engine, use DDG for piracy sites, and Google on an incognito windows for images and some instant answers.

      Most people don't know it, but you can add search engines to your browser and search on different sites by first typing keywords. Which I find the most useful approach once set up.

      There's no great alternative to YouTube, for example. I'm sure there's other things I am forgetting.

      There are pages and apps where you can browse YouTube anonymously. I don't know if they're great, however.

      3 votes
      1. [3]
        Soptik Link Parent
        I can recommend NewPipe for android (via F-Droid) - no ads, tracking, stupid recommendation algorithm or comments. You can even import subscriber list from YT, so the videos on the home page will...

        I can recommend NewPipe for android (via F-Droid) - no ads, tracking, stupid recommendation algorithm or comments. You can even import subscriber list from YT, so the videos on the home page will be almost the same - but ordered chronologically. And of course you can listen with screen turned off or when newpipe is at background, and if I’m not mistaken, even download videos.

        3 votes
        1. Keegan Link Parent
          Here's the GitHub releases page for NewPipe, which also contains the source code for anyone curious. https://github.com/teamnewpipe/newpipe/releases The latest version is 0.16.2, but 0.17.0 will...

          Here's the GitHub releases page for NewPipe, which also contains the source code for anyone curious. https://github.com/teamnewpipe/newpipe/releases

          The latest version is 0.16.2, but 0.17.0 will be released soon. Occasionally YouTube might break things in it by updating how they serve videos, so you just have to wait a little bit for the devs to release a fix, which is rolled out faster on GitHub than on F-Droid.

          [No] comments

          The app actually does have support for viewing comments now, and can be disabled.

          ordered chronologically

          This will be released in 0.17.0 afaik. Before that, the "What's New" page was in random order.

          even download videos

          Videos can certainly be downloaded with NewPipe, and is really convenient. Audio by itself can be downloaded too. Make sure there is a video player app (VLC) or music player installed to view those files though.

          NewPipe also has SoundCloud support and support for some other small websites, and is looking at adding more.

          Disclaimer: I copied some of this comment from a previous one I made on this subject.

          3 votes
        2. HanakoIsBestGirl Link Parent
          Skytube is worse than newpipe in every way, except that it has a functioning subscription feed and you can view comments and descriptions while you watch.

          Skytube is worse than newpipe in every way, except that it has a functioning subscription feed and you can view comments and descriptions while you watch.

  4. [7]
    HanakoIsBestGirl Link
    Ive done this, so feel free to msg me if you want help / elaboration. Email: tutanota, protonmail etc. look here Search: duckduckgo or startpage.com (still uses google results). Im sure there's...

    Ive done this, so feel free to msg me if you want help / elaboration.

    Email: tutanota, protonmail etc. look here

    Search: duckduckgo or startpage.com (still uses google results). Im sure there's more if you do a quick search.

    Android: if you can unlock your bootloader, look into lineage os or similar. Also look into the librem phones. Also check f droid as a playstore replacement.

    Chrome: Firefox

    Google drive / photos: syncthing or nextcloud

    Google password thingo: keepass + syncthing

    Google pay: cash.

    Hangouts: Signal maybe? Mumble? Telegram?? Not too sure.

    Also check out google takeout. You can download all your data and delete your account afterwards.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      tempestoftruth Link Parent
      Telegram is a bit sketch, looking through their Wikipedia page gives a good overview of the concerns the security community has had with them:...

      Telegram is a bit sketch, looking through their Wikipedia page gives a good overview of the concerns the security community has had with them: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telegram_(software)#Reception

      Signal and Wire are both good centralized instant messagers though, there's also Matrix/Riot if anyone's interested in federated communications.

      5 votes
      1. bailey Link Parent
        I’ve been using Signal exclusively for my personal messaging over the last year and it has worked pretty well. The only real issue I’ve had is dealing with storage space on my phone, as it keeps...

        I’ve been using Signal exclusively for my personal messaging over the last year and it has worked pretty well. The only real issue I’ve had is dealing with storage space on my phone, as it keeps all media in full size on the device.

        3 votes
    2. [2]
      gpl Link Parent
      Is the process of switching to protonmail easy? I have years worth of email in my gmail that would be nice to import. This is honestly the biggest reason I have not switched yet.

      Is the process of switching to protonmail easy? I have years worth of email in my gmail that would be nice to import. This is honestly the biggest reason I have not switched yet.

      2 votes
      1. HanakoIsBestGirl Link Parent
        I never bothered importing my old emails. I just saved the mbox file from google takeout. So far I've only used it a few times. But a quick search found these...
        2 votes
    3. [2]
      HanakoIsBestGirl Link Parent
      Oh and keepass for passwords Osmand for maps VLC for videos and audio

      Oh and keepass for passwords

      Osmand for maps

      VLC for videos and audio

      1. Keegan Link Parent
        They recently updated their UI and it performs worse now. Double tap to go back ten seconds is buggy and doesn't always work, and there are some other issues. By far the best media player still...

        VLC for videos and audio

        They recently updated their UI and it performs worse now. Double tap to go back ten seconds is buggy and doesn't always work, and there are some other issues. By far the best media player still though.

  5. [7]
    Surira Link
    I see people recommend ProtonMail often in these threads, but no one ever goes through the process for transferring your email from Gmail to a new email service. What are best practices for moving...

    I see people recommend ProtonMail often in these threads, but no one ever goes through the process for transferring your email from Gmail to a new email service. What are best practices for moving over important messages and notifying friends/family of the new address? Is forwarding your Gmail to your new email going to break the purpose of privacy if Google is still scanning what comes through your inbox even if you're not checking it directly?

    5 votes
    1. kfwyre (edited ) Link Parent
      Not ProtonMail, but I moved from Gmail to Fastmail. Fastmail had a really nice import system that brought over all my messages. I did have an issue with duplicates which I think is based on how...

      Not ProtonMail, but I moved from Gmail to Fastmail.

      Fastmail had a really nice import system that brought over all my messages. I did have an issue with duplicates which I think is based on how they transferred tags to folders, but they had a duplicate cleanup tool that resolved things nicely. I then set up forwarding for my Gmail account to my Fastmail.

      Following this I then changed over my email on every front I could think of--banking, online shopping sites, any digital accounts I could remember (if you already use a password manager this will be way easier since it acts as an account vault for you). This was, understandably, a super tedious process. I also notifed a few email contacts of the new address.

      That took care of 80% of everything. The rest was a sort of slow, low-key vigilance over the following months where I would keep an eye on my inbox to see which account incoming messages were going to. Every message that came in that was addressed to my Gmail was a reminder to update some random account I'd forgotten to switch over. I'd update it, and that would be one less input for my Gmail. It's now been over a year, and while I still have the redirect active on my Gmail, I think it's pretty much run dry. The only ones that come through now are Google's messages directly to that account (e.g. security notifications).

      It's definitely a lot at the beginning, but the end result has been worth it for me. Not only do I appreciate that Google no longer has domain over my email, but I'm very happy with Fastmail as a service. Their web interface is great and quite feature rich. I say this not as a shill but simply as a happy customer.

      The only other source of friction to be aware of is that I had to move to using an external program for calendar and contact syncing on my mobile. Google makes it an easy all-in-one that is supported by iOS and Android, but when you move away from them you have to do a little more legwork. I now use an app called DAVx5 for calendar and contact syncing on Android, which works wonderfully but takes a bit more setup. I am not sure what the corresponding solution for an Apple phone would be, but I'm sure one exists.

      6 votes
    2. [4]
      markh Link Parent
      I basically made a pact with myself that my Gmail inbox would be read-only. It’s been a long but cathartic experience. A lot of unsubscribes, a lot of account deletions on sites I didn’t know I’d...

      I basically made a pact with myself that my Gmail inbox would be read-only. It’s been a long but cathartic experience. A lot of unsubscribes, a lot of account deletions on sites I didn’t know I’d ever signed up for, and a lot of changing emails and passwords on other sites.

      I also use aliases for all of my accounts. So my inbox is [me]@protonmail.com, but if i sign up for a service, I use service@mycustomdomain.com and then forward *@mycustomdomain.com to the protonmail account. It’s been working out well for two reasons: 1, my email addresses are now provider-agnostic, and 2. if my information is ever sold or stolen, I’ll know who did it.

      In the process, I also moved all passwords to a password manager and added 2FA where applicable.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        Kenny Link Parent
        Depending on your tier, you could just have it so it's a catch-all domain and no matter what * is it gets forwarded to your ProtonMail so you don't have to set up the forwarders. I also switched...

        Depending on your tier, you could just have it so it's a catch-all domain and no matter what * is it gets forwarded to your ProtonMail so you don't have to set up the forwarders.

        I also switched to ProtonMail earlier this year and made my Gmail account essentially read-only. It's a great way to cut down on the spam notifications that we all get used to.

        1. markh Link Parent
          It’s also really made me think twice about how often and to whom I give my information out to. I recently got an email from a band that I liked 10+ years ago announcing a new album. How long have...

          It’s also really made me think twice about how often and to whom I give my information out to. I recently got an email from a band that I liked 10+ years ago announcing a new album. How long have they had my email? What other information did I give them? What other services have access to my information?

          I’m probably more paranoid than I reasonably should be, but who knows how the information I give out today could be used to harm me or others in the future.

      2. bbvnvlt Link Parent
        This. I had a similar setup already when still using GMail (I used my freelance business url for email), which made switching much easier. I simply switched the forward to Fastmail, imported all...

        I also use aliases for all of my accounts. So my inbox is [me]@protonmail.com, but if i sign up for a service, I use service@mycustomdomain.com and then forward *@mycustomdomain.com to the protonmail account. It’s been working out well for two reasons: 1, my email addresses are now provider-agnostic

        This. I had a similar setup already when still using GMail (I used my freelance business url for email), which made switching much easier. I simply switched the forward to Fastmail, imported all my GMail messages there, and there, done.

  6. jahnu Link
    I have been using Tutanota.com for my e-mail. Good format, encrypted, free.

    I have been using Tutanota.com for my e-mail. Good format, encrypted, free.

    3 votes
  7. [11]
    gergir Link
    The others already gave you good tips, but to start gently: stop using them by setting duckduckgo as your default search engine; use 3rd-party DNS (neither your ISP's nor Goog's); get software...

    The others already gave you good tips, but to start gently: stop using them by setting duckduckgo as your default search engine; use 3rd-party DNS (neither your ISP's nor Goog's); get software from fdroid, apkmirror, apkpure for example (can verify contents online with virustotal); and then, if that's comfortable for you, read up on alternative operating systems, but mind the risks re. warranty/provider snags! Good luck.

    p.s. this may be important to you - good advice from https://tildes.net/user/hook: https://matija.suklje.name/rooting-and-flashing-your-device-does-not-void-the-warranty-in-eu

    4 votes
    1. [8]
      HanakoIsBestGirl Link Parent
      Virustotal is owned by google

      Virustotal is owned by google

      3 votes
      1. [7]
        gergir (edited ) Link Parent
        Dang! Thanks. edit: they don't even say: https://support.virustotal.com/hc/en-us/articles/115002145529-Terms-of-Service - odd
        3 votes
        1. [6]
          HanakoIsBestGirl Link Parent
          When possible, I think they try to hide the fact that they run certain services. Look at recaptcha, by interacting with it, you consent to all of googles spying. Yet the fact that google even own...

          When possible, I think they try to hide the fact that they run certain services.

          Look at recaptcha, by interacting with it, you consent to all of googles spying. Yet the fact that google even own it is not made obvious.

          2 votes
          1. [4]
            Wes Link Parent
            Their website is https://www.google.com/recaptcha/. Google is in their logo. Their introduction video is uploaded by Google Webmasters. The recaptcha badge links to Google's terms. The admin...

            Their website is https://www.google.com/recaptcha/. Google is in their logo. Their introduction video is uploaded by Google Webmasters. The recaptcha badge links to Google's terms. The admin console requires a Google account, and also verifies you agree to Google's terms of service. reCaptcha was famously used in OCR for Google Books.

            In what way could they possibly be hiding the association?

            3 votes
            1. [3]
              HanakoIsBestGirl Link Parent
              I meant to the end user. When the recaptcha box appears on a website, is there a google logo?

              I meant to the end user. When the recaptcha box appears on a website, is there a google logo?

              3 votes
              1. [2]
                Wes Link Parent
                No, the reCaptcha badge is too small to include multiple logos. However they do still require you to include links to Google's terms of service and privacy policy when you install it. The badge...

                No, the reCaptcha badge is too small to include multiple logos. However they do still require you to include links to Google's terms of service and privacy policy when you install it. The badge includes these automatically, or if you hide it you're required to add those notices yourself instead.

                1 vote
                1. HanakoIsBestGirl Link Parent
                  for this one there is a lot of space... Even if it just says "powered by Google" at the bottom. and for this one that doesn't need user interaction, they could extend the box down a little and...

                  for this one there is a lot of space... Even if it just says "powered by Google" at the bottom.

                  and for this one that doesn't need user interaction, they could extend the box down a little and write "powered by Google" or something. Or perhaps make the arrows of the recaptcha logo form the letter G?

                  Those privacy policies should be there, but few actually click on them, let alone read them.

          2. gergir Link Parent
            Reflects badly on them if they feel the need to hide their involvement. Thanks for the tip anyway; I'll be more wary now.

            Reflects badly on them if they feel the need to hide their involvement. Thanks for the tip anyway; I'll be more wary now.

            1 vote
    2. [2]
      sron Link Parent
      For getting apps from other sources I found this https://www.ghacks.net/2019/03/22/apkgrabber-update-android-apps-without-google-play/ Download:...

      For getting apps from other sources I found this https://www.ghacks.net/2019/03/22/apkgrabber-update-android-apps-without-google-play/

      Download: https://github.com/hemker/apkgrabber/releases/tag/v1.4.2

      Checks various sources for newer versions without having to use the Play Store, with a much wider range of apps available than F-Droid as it isn’t an app store itself

      Edit: For DNS use Cloudflare: 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1

      1 vote
  8. [2]
    nothis Link
    Still in the process but, surprisingly, switching to DuckDuckGo had no significant impact on my search experience. I'm old enough to remember when Google was so far ahead in search, any...

    Still in the process but, surprisingly, switching to DuckDuckGo had no significant impact on my search experience. I'm old enough to remember when Google was so far ahead in search, any competitor's offerings felt pitiful in comparison. Not so anymore. Also, by escaping the filter bubble and ad-heavy recommendations, you might even get better results in some niche cases. In the ~6 months since I switched, I don't remember ever searching for something on DuckDuckGo and having been disappointed with the results. Not once.

    4 votes
    1. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
      I recently asked about Google's search algorithms, and ended up switching to DuckDuckGo as a result of that. Apart from a strange quirk of not being able to open found sites in my phone's browser,...

      I recently asked about Google's search algorithms, and ended up switching to DuckDuckGo as a result of that. Apart from a strange quirk of not being able to open found sites in my phone's browser, I haven't had any problems.

      Quite the opposite: it has achieved my goal of providing a wider range of search results. In fact, it's quite disconcerting to notice that the usual suspects which appeared near the top of my search results in Google are now much further down the list in DuckDuckGo. I got used to seeing Wikipedia as the first or second result for most searches! :)

      1 vote
  9. Wes Link
    Well, Android isn't inherently Google-bound. You can certainly opt for alternatives for just about everything. Your launcher, keyboard, search provider, etc can all be customized. It's a bit...

    Well, Android isn't inherently Google-bound. You can certainly opt for alternatives for just about everything. Your launcher, keyboard, search provider, etc can all be customized.

    It's a bit harder to get outside of the store because that's where the vast majority of apps are. There's F-Droid, but it's pretty limited in comparison. Some services will allow you to download free APKs from the Play Store.

    Youtube, not much you can do. Even though alternative video platforms exist it doesn't help with the content problem. You can replace that content with streaming services if you'd like (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon).

    Email, there's plenty of good options now. I like ProtonMail myself.

    Browsers, also a few good options. Firefox works just as well as Chrome. There's little difference in rendering or performance at this point.

    Search, there's Bing or DuckDuckGo. Not quite as good but decent enough.

    It's really just a matter of finding an alternative for any service you don't feel comfortable using.

    3 votes
  10. moonbathers Link
    You can put a different OS on your phone. There's a thread about it that I can't find right now that inspired me to do it, but here's another one. LineageOS is the most popular non-Google OS as...

    You can put a different OS on your phone. There's a thread about it that I can't find right now that inspired me to do it, but here's another one. LineageOS is the most popular non-Google OS as far as I'm aware.

    2 votes
  11. cge Link
    It's worth considering the limits of removing Google from your life entirely, and the problematic nature of this being so difficulty. While many of the comments here describe more noticeable uses...

    It's worth considering the limits of removing Google from your life entirely, and the problematic nature of this being so difficulty. While many of the comments here describe more noticeable uses of Google, there are many subtler ones that are harder to avoid.

    For example, in order to pay my US property taxes online, the county government requires that I go through recaptcha, which in turn requires that I consent to Google's privacy policy, terms of service, tracking, and data collection. Thus, the only way to make those payments without using Google would be to pay by paper check, by mail. For the newer version of reCaptcha, it seems possible that you might consent to this without ever actually seeing reCaptcha at all.

    Similarly, if you visit websites that use AMP, at appears you are agreeing to Google's privacy policy, tracking and data collection.

    If you visit sites that use Google's hosted libraries, you are also agreeing to data collection and Google's privacy policy, though Google claims this specific case is more limited. Many, many sites will also include Google elements outside of these hosted libraries, as well as Amazon and Facebook: using uMatrix is rather enlightening in this regard.

    2 votes
  12. JXM Link
    I would suggest taking a look at the DeGoogle subreddit. It's an entire subreddit devoted to exactly this.

    I would suggest taking a look at the DeGoogle subreddit. It's an entire subreddit devoted to exactly this.

    2 votes
  13. sron Link
    Found this Some things I’d add to or change though DuckDuckGo is great for searches as an alternative to Google.com. It even has a built in dark theme and customisation such as changing the colour...

    Found this

    Some things I’d add to or change though

    • DuckDuckGo is great for searches as an alternative to Google.com. It even has a built in dark theme and customisation such as changing the colour and appearance of links in search results
    • ProtonMail as a replacement for Gmail is good, especially with the paid addon as some other commenters have suggested. I don’t use this one myself as a primary address so can’t say too much about it
    • there’s a great app for Android called OsmAnd. It uses OpenStreetMap data and can plot walking/driving directions turn by turn, you can change the map theme, even download them offline without time limitations, it’s quite nice
    • Firefox is surprisingly good, even has extension support. Firefox Preview is the next version coming to Android later this year. It’s quicker and more optimised but not quite at feature parity yet
    1 vote