Google has a firm grip on the desktop. Their products and services are ubiquitous. Don’t get us wrong, we’re long-standing admirers of many of Google’s products and services. They are often high quality, easy to use, and ‘free’, but there can be downsides of over-reliance on a specific company. For example, there are concerns about their privacy policies, business practices, and an almost insatiable desire to control all of our data, all of the time.
What if you are looking to move away from Google and embark on a new world of online freedom, where you are not constantly tracked, monetised and attached to Google’s ecosystem.
In this series, we explore how you can migrate from Google without missing out on anything.
A DNS, short for domain name system, is used to resolve a particular domain name to its IP equivalent. Domain names (e.g. linuxlinks.com) are easily remembered but all domain names are associated with a specific IP address. These IP address lookups are performed by DNS servers.
Choosing a reliable DNS hosting provider is important for a few reasons particularly redundancy, speed, and security. They can improve web browsing experience, offer accurate results without redirects, and more.
Your ISP automatically assigns name servers when your router connects to the internet but you don’t have to use those. Google Public DNS offers a simple and effective alternative to your own internet provider’s nameservers. Google’s service logs IP address information for a day or two. There are permanent logs kept but personally identifiable information is removed. Google doesn’t offer any tangible support. Instead there’s only basic guidance aimed at experienced users.
In the EU, in most cases your own internet provider’s name servers are recommended to use instead of Google Public DNS, or any other DNS service. But in some parts of the world you may prefer to delegate the lookups to a different service.
There are many free DNS providers. A few stand out from the crowd.
OpenDNS offers a free service with good speed, 100% uptime, phishing sites are blocked, and there’s over 50 customizable filtering categories. OpenDNS has adopted and supports the DNSCurve secure protocol.
Another good free service is offered by NextDNS. They provide a fast service together with EDNS0 Client Subnet (ECS). We admire their NextDNS CLI Client which is a DNS53 to DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) proxy with advanced capabilities.
Quad9 is a fairly new DNS company that offers malware blocking, DNSSEC validation, and ECS. However, it’s disappointing that setup guidance is very basic with no tutorials available for Linux. But most experienced Linux users won’t need guidance to use the service.
All articles in this series:
|Alternatives to Google's Products and Services|
|Gmail is a hugely popular email service. You might not like the automated scanning of email content.|
|Maps is a web mapping service offering satellite imagery, aerial photography, street maps, and interactive panoramic views.|
|Photos stores your images in the cloud for convenient access from anywhere. Lots of useful tools, but it’s difficult to shake the sinking feeling that Google is analysing your pictures.|
|Translate is a multilingual neural machine translation service that translates text and websites from one language into another.|
|Calendar helps manage your busy life with a digital calendar. It offers tons of features and makes it easy to keep track of life’s important events all in one place.|
|Chrome is application software for accessing the World Wide Web. It's the most popular web browser but has a chequered track record from a privacy perspective.|
|Search looks at privacy-focused alternatives to Google Search. If you believe that Google invades your privacy, what alternatives do we recommend?|
|Drive is a file storage and synchronization service. Want a solution that also includes the online office components available in Google Docs?|
|Earth Pro maps Earth by superimposing satellite images, aerial photography, and GIS. Fly anywhere to see satellite imagery, 3D buildings, 3D trees, terrain, Street View, planets and much more.|
|DNS resolves a particular domain name to its IP equivalent. There are many free DNS providers. A few stand out from the crowd.|
|YouTube is an online video sharing and social media platform. It's a hugely popular service but has encountered a number of privacy issues.|
|Google Docs is a web-based productivity office suite. The suite includes Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Drawings, Google Forms, Google Sites, and Google Keep.|
|New to Linux? Read our Linux for Starters series. We start right at the basics and teach you everything you need to know to get started with Linux.|
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|Hundreds of in-depth reviews offering our unbiased and expert opinion on software. We offer helpful and impartial information.|
|Alternatives to Google's Products and Services examines your options to migrate from the Google ecosystem with open source Linux alternatives.|
|Alternatives to Microsoft's Products and Services recommends open source Linux software.|
|Alternatives to Adobe Cloud looks at free and open source alternatives to products available from Adobe Cloud's subscription service.|
|Alternatives to Apple recommends free and open source alternatives to Apple's proprietary world.|
|Alternatives to Corel surveys alternatives to Corel's range of graphics processing products and other software applications.|
|Getting Started with Docker helps you master Docker, a set of platform as a service products that delivers software in packages called containers.|
|Essential Linux system tools focuses on small, indispensable utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users.|
|Linux utilities to maximise your productivity. Small, indispensable tools, useful for anyone running a Linux machine.|
|Home computers became commonplace in the 1980s. Emulate home computers including the Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, ZX81, Amstrad CPC, and ZX Spectrum.|
|Now and Then examines how promising open source software fared over the years. It can be a bumpy ride.|
|Linux at Home looks at a range of home activities where Linux can play its part, making the most of our time at home, keeping active and engaged.|
|Linux Candy reveals the lighter side of Linux. Have some fun and escape from the daily drudgery.|
|Best Free Android Apps. We showcase free Android apps that are definitely worth downloading. There's a strict eligibility criteria for inclusion in this series.|
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|These free tutorials offer the perfect tonic to our free programming books series.|
|Stars and Stripes is an occasional series looking at the impact of Linux in the USA.|