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.
Moving 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.
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.
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.
All articles in this series:
|Alternatives to Google's Products and Services|
|Gmail is a hugely popular email service.|
|Maps is a web mapping service offering satellite imagery, aerial photography, and more.|
|Photos stores your images in the cloud for convenient access from anywhere.|
|Translate is a multilingual neural machine translation service.|
|Calendar helps manage your busy life with a digital calendar.|
|Chrome is application software for accessing the World Wide Web.|
|Search looks at privacy-focused alternatives to Google Search.|
|Drive is a file storage and synchronization service.|
|Earth Pro maps Earth by superimposing satellite images, aerial photography, and GIS.|
|DNS resolves a particular domain name to its IP equivalent.|
|YouTube is an online video sharing and social media platform.|
|Google Docs is a web-based productivity office suite.|
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