there is no cloud; only other people’s computers
at one point, i realized how many different parts of my life were somehow intertwined with google’s services. while i don’t deny their usefulness, as they saying goes, if you don’t pay for the product, you are the product. and i started thinking more about how to actually move my data and usage off their services. interestingly, this is part of a bigger grassroots movement: degoogle. i’m far from being finished - because some of the services still make sense for me to use. but i am attempting to at least slowly move my online self off of their services. if you have particular suggestions, please do contact me for how to continue getting off of google’s services.
there are lots of lists out there that go over alternatives:
below, some notes on things i have and haven’t switched off.
i decided to start paying for encrypted mail at protonmail. however, after having used my previous email at gmail for almost two decades, the switch is far from being finished. but getting started is half done! by paying for it, i was also able to now use a custom domain when i give my email out. this allows me to later decide to change off protonmail if i want, without having to change my email.
i use firefox for 99% of my personal browsing, but often am required to use chrome for the occasional chrome-only website, or for work.
i started a nextcloud server - but i still need to set up automatic backups. the server, as a whole, has a weekly autoback up that is easy enough to use in the meantime.
i switched to using aegis.
haha, google already killed this product. i use feedly.
youtube has a clear monopoly on content, as well as content creators. while there are tools like invidious, or NewPipe (which i use) - they only partially disconnect you with the youtube platform itself.
i’m aware of peertube but have not really found that there is a ton of content that i am after there. often when i do find a video, the speeds are so poor its hard to use. however i am happy to see the development’s that framasoft are making towards a decentralized search across peertube instances.
for technical information, or hyper local information, i find that google search is hard to beat. i’m ok with this for the time being. i also tried using DuckDuckGo for quite some time, and still use it sometimes, but am hoping that someday, we can do better than DuckDuckGo.
recently, i was suggested to give StartPage a try. i did give it a try but overall wasn’t super impressed. another one that was recently brought to my attention is searcxng, which is a free internet metasearch enginge. there are different providers of the same software, and it searches over a handful of existing search engines like google, wikipedia, and others. you can find existing servers that host this engine at https://searx.space.
i tried using open street maps for android, and frankly, it is far from comparable. i still use google maps all the time. i would like to find a reasonable alternative. while open street maps works to some degree, it doesn’t really have the business information i often rely on google maps for. i don’t think there is a simple solution here yet for me.
i am excited about maps.earth though!
i used cyanogen mod for about 8 years before more recently switching back to stock (pixel) android. i’d like to consider switching to something like
or even the newer version of cyanogen:
i use google fi for my phone plan. this one is easy to change, so i have been putting it off. for some reason, i’m not exactly sure why, i kind of care about this one the least. it feels like there aren’t a ton of good alternatives in general.
one recent one that i saw that caught my eye was PGPP:
google photos i think has been one of the harder ones for me. i’ve looked at some alternatives but simply organizing photos is such a royal pain imo. however, out of all the services, this is the one i’d like to tackle the most. i set up a sync to nextcloud using the nextcloud app from my phone, but it ends up failing quite a bit and isn’t super reliable.
i’ve considered running photo prism but probably need to rent or run an additional server in order to run something like that.