What I use instead of Google services

 

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Like most people, I don't like to be tracked more than I need to be. I believe in privacy policies that do the minimum collection needed as opposed to the maximum collection possible. I am also the founder of the search engine that doesn't track you, DuckDuckGo. For these reasons, I personally don't use Google services where I don't absolutely have to, and honestly it's not very hard to do because there are good alternatives. I get asked a lot what I use instead of Google services, and this post answers that question.

Practically, switching away from as many Google services as possible will help alleviate the most obvious issue of the bulk of your personal data being in the hands of one company since Google already passively collects click/browsing history through Google Analytics and their ad networks embedded across the Internet. It will also alleviate some non-obvious issues like ads following you around the Internet and getting trapped in your personal filter bubble.

It would be great if you could stop being tracked with little to no sacrifice, or even with an improved experience (above and beyond no tracking). That's the vision of DuckDuckGo for search: great results and great privacy at the same time.

To be clear, these are the alternatives that I personally use as this is my personal blog and I am relating in that context. I am obsessed with productivity and will quickly ditch anything that isn't being productive for me, which I've done repeatedly. Like everyone I also have some nuanced constraints (e.g. family, professional, app integrations, etc.) that impact these decisions. In other words, your mileage may vary. I'm completely open to suggestions though and I will update this page as things change.

Finally, there are of course many other alternative services you could choose in these and other categories, many of which are listed at prism-break.org. Some do a better job of not tracking you, but may involve more sacrifice.

Update: it should be noted (and I may expand in a future post) that Google is fundamentally different than other companies (including other big companies) in terms of how they are embedded in the Internet outside of their consumer services. In other words, even if you opt-out of all Google consumer services, you are likely still being heavily tracked by them through Google Analytics embedded on tens of millions of sites and their external ad networks (AdMob, DoubleClick and AdSense) embedded in millions of apps and sites. (Browser add-ons can help reduce this passive tracking.) The point is though that given how deeply Google is embedded on non-Google sites, switching all your consumer services to another ecosystem is a privacy win. I am significantly more diversified than that, however.

 

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I'm the Founder & CEO of DuckDuckGo, the search engine that doesn't track you. I'm also the co-author of Traction, the book that helps you get customer growth. More about me.