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||Email is an essential activity and starts the ball rolling in this series|
|Maps||Web mapping service offering satellite imagery, aerial photography, street maps +|
|Photos||Store your images in the cloud for convenient access from anywhere|
|Translate||Multilingual neural machine translation service|
|Calendar||Manage your busy life with a digital calendar|
|Chrome||Application software for accessing the World Wide Web|
|Search||Privacy-focused alternatives to Google Search|
|Drive||File storage and synchronization service|
|Earth Pro||Maps Earth by superimposing satellite images, aerial photography, and GIS data|
Click the button to make a donation via flattr. Donations help us to maintain and improve the site. You can also donate via PayPal.
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.