Google Drive Alternatives

Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Google Drive

Google has a firm grip with their products and services ubiquitous on the desktop. 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 can be questions 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. We recommend open source solutions.

Google Drive alternativesMoving away from Google Drive is fairly straightforward as there are many options to choose from. However, for a true alternative, we want a solution that also includes the online office components available in Google Docs. There’s two open source alternatives that receive our strong recommendation.

The first is NextCloud, an open source service that lets you store files, photos, videos, calendar, contacts, and more. You can host it on your own server or use a recommended provider.

Nextcloud
Click image for full size

What makes NextCloud really stand out is that it’s expandable with hundreds of apps, offers good security with two-factor authentication, and makes it easy to access, sync, and share your data.

Another option that gets our strong recommendation is CryptPad. This is a realtime collaborative editor, spreadsheet and presentation creator alongside encrypted storage. CryptPad is an open technology that you can run on your own machines. It doesn’t rely on a central point of authority.

Cryptpad

Syncthing is a continuous file synchronization program. It synchronizes files between two or more computers in real time, safely protected from prying eyes. It’s easy to use, offers good security for your valuable data, and tries to minimise user interaction.

If you’re not ready to move away from Google Drive, you might want an open source client to access the service. Here’s our recommendations.


Nextcloud is written in PHP and JavaScript. CryptPad is written in JavaScript. Learn PHP with our recommended free books and free tutorials. Learn JavaScript with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

Syncthing is written in Go. Learn Go with our recommended free books and free tutorials.


All articles in this series:

Alternatives to Google's Products and Services
GmailEmail is an essential activity and starts the ball rolling in this series
MapsWeb mapping service offering satellite imagery, aerial photography, street maps +
PhotosStore your images in the cloud for convenient access from anywhere
TranslateMultilingual neural machine translation service
CalendarManage your busy life with a digital calendar
ChromeApplication software for accessing the World Wide Web
SearchPrivacy-focused alternatives to Google Search
DriveFile storage and synchronization service
Earth ProMaps Earth by superimposing satellite images, aerial photography, and GIS data

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Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There's tons of in-depth reviews, alternatives to Google, fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
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3 comments

  1. Thanks for the informative article. I’m really keen to remove as much as Google as possible although I’ve yet to find a better browser than Chrome.

  2. I’m sticking with Google Drive. It’s much easier to use and integrates seamlessly with Gmail. Given that Big Brother is watching us all constantly, there’s no real privacy anyway. How do you think the FBI managed to recover a large chunk of the money paid to hackers for the Colonial Pipeline cyber attack?

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