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Ask HN: How have you deGoogled your life?
118 points by internxt 4 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 167 comments
A deGoogled device is excellent for the privacy and security of a user. Your data is worth a lot, and the hidden tactics used by big corporations are pretty shady.

By limiting the data you send to Google and other big companies, you ensure your Right to Privacy is in place. It takes time to embrace this life, but once you do, you will appreciate not having ads targeted to you or your devices constantly connecting to transmit data to servers.

*Benefits of deGoogling your devices*

1. Privacy for your devices.

2. De-Googled Operating Systems usually are open-source and can be actively checked for bugs and vulnerabilities.

3. De-Googled OS’ is based on stock Android.

4. There aren’t a bunch of trackers running in the background, and you can expect a much better battery life on your phone.

*The best alternative to Google Apps*

• Google Chrome

— Firefox - Safari

• Google Search

— Duckduckgo - Startpage - Neeva

• Google Chrome Passwords

— BitWarden - 1Password - KeePass

• Google Analytics

— Matomo - Fathom - Simple Analytics - GoatCounter - Counter.dev

• Google Mail

— ProtonMail - Fastmail - Zoho Mail

• Google Docs

— Beat Writer - Workflowy - Open Document Reader - Collabora

• Google sheets

— Airtable - Zoho - Coda

• YouTube

— Vimeo - PeerTube - Dailymotion - Newpipe

• Google Maps for Websites

— Leaflet - Mapbox - Nextzen

• Google Adwords

— BuySellAds

• Google Authenticator

— Authy - 1Password - AndOTP - Aegis

• Google Blogger

— WordPress - Medium - Squarespace

• Google DNS

— OpenDNS - NextDNS - Quad9

• Google Drive

— Internxt - Nextcloud - SyncThing

• Google Hangouts

— Telegram - Slack

• Google Images

— Unsplash - Pexels - Simple Gallery Pro

• Google Maps

— OpenStreetMap - Magic Earth

• Google Translate

— Deepl - WordReference - Lingva

• Google Maps

— Dark Sky - Weather Underground - OsmAnd

• Google Calendar

— Proton Calendar - Simple Calendar Pro - OpenTasks - DAVx5

• Google Keyboard

— OpenBoard - AnySoftKeyboard - Florisboard

• Google Keep

— Standard Notes - Joplin - Obsidian - Simple Notes Pro

• Google Podcast

— AntennaPod

• Ad-blocker

— Pi-hole

• Media

— Plex - Plexamp

• Netflix

— Sonar - Jellyfin

• Cloud


• WeTransfer

— Internxt Send

These are the best alternatives that you can use if you would like to deGoogle your devices. Using Google on your device stores your location every time you turn it on. It stores your search history across all your devices in a separate database, meaning even if you were to delete said history on all your devices, Google would still have a record of it.

That’s the same for anything you’ve watched on YouTube, every app and extension you’ve used. How often you’ve used them. Where you were and who you interacted with. We would like you to understand that we want to give you back the power of protecting and controlling your data. Detaching from Google would be challenging, but to protect your data privacy, you have to be careful in using the internet and the apps that you use.

Update: We will continue to update the list with every comment and suggestions!

1. Bought a couple of personal domains and signed-up with Fastmail. Configured Fastmail to periodically pull emails from my legacy gmail account. I use the Fastmail webapp on desktop and their android app on phone/tablet.

2. Removed google analytics from my personal website/blog.

3. Uninstall Chrome on desktops and disable it on Android phone/tablet.

4. Use Firefox with Multi Account Containers add-on so that I am by default signed-out of google unless I need to do specific things, which are sandboxed in specific tabs.

5. Paid for Kagi search and set it as the default search provider on my desktops and devices.

6. Migrated a few legacy accounts from Google oauth sign-in to email/password.

Still to do:

a. Migrate my calendars from Google to Fastmail. For various reasons I need to be able to share calendars on Google and I haven't had time to sort this out.

b. Migrate off Google Photos. I take a lot of pics with my phone and google photos is just so convenient. I try to only keep six months of pictures on google and archive the rest to a machine that I own.

c. Google Movies/TV. I have a fair amount of bought content, mainly because its convenient to stream on a tablet. Not sure what the solution is there.

d. I still find google maps useful for a few things - particularly as a way to discover opening hours for businesses. My car has a built-in, non-android, GPS so I don't use google maps for driving.

e. I still have an android phone and tablet, and I'm sure they're still phoning home about me.

> b. Migrate off Google Photos. I take a lot of pics with my phone and google photos is just so convenient. I try to only keep six months of pictures on google and archive the rest to a machine that I own.

Not knowing why it's so convenient for you, have your tried syncthing for your images? You could write a cronjob on your machine that automatically removes old files from the synced folder as well.

> c. Google Movies/TV. I have a fair amount of bought content, mainly because its convenient to stream on a tablet. Not sure what the solution is there.

Just wait until your licensed content becomes inaccessible because google stops paying the copyright mobsters. You can then repurchase all that stuff without feeling bad about it.

> e. I still have an android phone and tablet, and I'm sure they're still phoning home about me.

We still haven't reached the day of fuchsia, so there's other distributions that will separate google from your life:




Thanka for the suggestions!

Rightly or not, I'm always a little cautious about synchronisation - I worry about stuff getting overwritten, and this has bitten me in the past. But I've not used syncthing so I'll take a look at that.

Movies: I remember when Microsoft dropped PlaysForSure, and i think that over a long enough timescale "my" google content will go the same way. No easy solutions there, unless i go back to physical media. Ideally there would be a backup solution like Kalibre for Kindle ebooks

> Use Firefox with Multi Account Containers add-on so that I am by default signed-out of google unless I need to do specific things, which are sandboxed in specific tabs

That is a great idea.

I should probably clarify that it is not available on mobile.

I went through the process of de-Googling my life a few months ago after the announcement that the free tier of GAFYD was finally going away. I had been wanting to do the change for years but postponing it out of laziness, and that was the trigger that finally did it. (I know they backtracked on their decision, but I'm glad I ripped off the band-aid.)

Here is the excruciating process I had to follow in more detail, in case it may help anyone else: https://jmmv.dev/2022/03/abandoning-gafyd.html

A few weeks ago there was a post about Kagi[0] which is a paid search engine, I tried the trial and used all my searches, then immediately became a customer and have no regrets.

[0] https://kagi.com/

I know they can't do much about it but I really wish the default iOS search engine could be switched to Kagi. I could use another browser but the others I've tried are either compromised (Chrome) or buggy (Firefox, Kagi's own Orion browser).

I used beta over month. It was great experience. But not that great for 10USD/month.

Subsribtion business model annoys me quite a lot. I want be charged for actuall use.

10$/month for a search engine that is basically a nice google/bing Proxz is ludicrous. For that price you can just run your own searx instance

Kagi isn't a Google/Bing proxy, it's independent. Its quality is similar or better than Google/Bing.

I also really really do not want to self-host another thing.

I can't overstate how frustrating Google's search quality has gone down, and DDG just wasn't cutting it.

From their FAQ

> Our searching includes anonymized requests to traditional search indexes like Google and Bing as well as vertical sources like Wikipedia and DeepL or other APIs.

It's a fucking google proxy with some nice css

Ah, I wasn't aware that they pull content from Google and Bing.

However they do it, I get different search results from Kagi than I do from say DuckDuckGo and I have no reason to believe my privacy is compromised.

When I started "deGoogling" myself a year ago, the first step was to stop using Gmail. When changing my registered e-mail address everywhere on the Internet there was one crucial bit that I completely overlooked: the owner/tech/billing/etc. contact records of a domain that I own. Many registrars send all regular communications to the e-mail address of the user account, not to those in the domain contact records, so I happily went on thinking I was entirely "deGmailed" once my Gmail inbox had dried up as planned. If I had somehow lost access to that old Gmail address before I realized my mistake, that domain would effectively no longer be mine.

If you could still login to the Registrars user account that owned the domain and that email address had been changed I suspect you should still be able to change the domain contact information via the self service console.

Worst case you'd raise a ticket (how good is actual support!) and they would be able to change the domain contact information for you because you can already authenticate with the user account that owns the domain.

If this wasn't possible all those domains that have self referencing contact information (eg. abuse@this-same-domain.example) could never be verified.

Maybe it's not the case for all TLDs and registrars, but for my .se domain and my specific registrar, changing any of the contact records required a confirmation sent to the e-mail address of the owner record. A logical safety measure to prevent theft.

Setup the gmail account to forward everything to your new address. Enable 2fa.

I‘m not sure what you think would have happened. The domain is still registered via the register to your account and they literally know those contact emails become out of date. Those fields are pretty much just for informational purposes otherwise Whois privacy would own all the domains.

Changing contact records required confirmation sent to the e-mail address of the owner record. Ultimately, in case of domain theft/dispute or similar, the domain's owner record has highest authority.

> Changing contact records required confirmation sent to the e-mail address of the owner record.

I just changed the email in the owner field in namecheap. I did not receive a confirmation email. (At the old one, I did to the new one)

> Ultimately, in case of domain theft/dispute or similar, the domain's owner record has highest authority.

I would highly suspect in a court of law that is not true. You see, you have a contract with the registar for the domain. You can put whatever information you want there it doesn't change your contract with the registar. That is why your registar account is important.

I mean no offense, but it looks like you're just providing guesswork and making up answers.

> "I would highly suspect in a court of law that is not true."

OK, but why, and in what court and in what legal system?

> "You see, you have a contract with the registar for the domain."

It's not the registrar that sells the domain. They are brokers between registrant and the entity owning the TLD, and registrars also have domestic laws to abide to.

> "You can put whatever information you want there ..."

No you can't, not in European nations part of the EU. While not legally enforced, registrars based here are required to request and urge customers to put accurate and truthful information there. Some of them (e.g. OVH) even require personal identification documents in order to register a domain. In my case, with my .se domain, I cannot change anything in the contact records without providing verifiable identification data - part of which goes into my contact records.

> I mean no offense, but it looks like you're just providing guesswork and making up answers.

I mean, I literally went and changed the email on a domain to check if what you said was true. And validated that your claim was false.

Secondly, contracts are a thing. I am not sure why you think that you would have a contract with the registar is something that is guess work or made up. I'm also confused as to why contract law 101 isn't a thing you know.

> OK, but why, and in what court and in what legal system?

Why? Because contracts are a thing. And pretty much all of them. You know the first thing a judge will ask if it's being question who owns a domain? Who paid for it. The second thing will ask is what registar account it belongs to. The email address on the domain record would get ignored for the more important aspects that obtain to the fundamentals of law. It's like if you pay for a book but someone else writes their name on it. The judge isn't going to say "Oh but he wrote his name on it."

So many people think that judges care about small little details. They don't the case would be happened quickly and swiftly. It would be a minor case and the judge would literally ask basic information to obtain who owns it. Paying for it and having it in your domain regsitar account would statsify them that it belongs to you. If you honestly think a judge would listen to a claim of "But your honor my client came into possession of this email address and that email address is listed as a contact email for a domain so it belongs to my client" I don't really know what to tell you. It's not how the world works.

> It's not the registrar that sells the domain. They are brokers between registrant and the entity owning the TLD, and registrars also have domestic laws to abide to.

So here is how contracts work. You have a contract with the registar and they have a contract with the registery. There are obivously some clauses in there. But there will not be a clause that allows them to transfer that domain to another user/registar without your approval and that often comes from you going to their site and requesting the transfer code. And I don't remember when I did a transfer I had to confirm the email on the record.

> No you can't, not in European nations part of the EU. While not legally enforced, registrars based here are required to request and urge customers to put accurate and truthful information there.

That legally enforced part is a major thing. And request and urging is different from requiring. In fact, go do some whois and I'll be you find you can't find the information for any of domains you whois since they have whois privacy.

Quite simply, the idea that forgetting to update an email in a domain record means someone else owns your domain is ignorant of the law and how thing things work.

I'm just gonna sift through the filibustering and address what sticks out:

> "I mean, I literally went and changed the email on a domain to check if what you said was true. And validated that your claim was false."

You changed it on your domain, on your registrar. This doesn't the slightest invalidate the requirements and procedures that I am faced with when doing the same with my domain/TLD, on my registrar, abiding to domestic laws in my country.

> "Quite simply, the idea that forgetting to update an email in a domain record means someone else owns your domain is ignorant of the law and how thing things work."

It means what I said: the contact in the record is the legal owner of the domain, and also has rights to confirm a domain transfer, to alter the other contact records, and to change the NS records of the domain, no matter if that contact/e-mail is still me or someone else.

In the case of my TLD (.se) that contact is also the only one who's legally allowed to obtain an unredacted WHOIS from the registry. This information is not public for .se.

This keep this very on point. This is about whether or not losing access to a domain name means you lose ownership.

> abiding to domestic laws in my country.

Just to confirm, you country is Sweden, right? The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that a domain name is property. All member states of the EU must implement and have laws that follow EU laws. This means that the Court Of Justice of the European Union's decision must be upheld in all EU countries of they face penalties. This is echod by the Swedish Supreme court's deicision that domains are property that can be seized in The Pirate Bay case. Sweden like every other country has written laws and case law on the ownership of property. This stuff was solved and settled so many years ago it's hard to even guess when.

So let's put a line under this. In the country of Sweden your domain name is property of you, by law. Ownership of property doesn't change hands because you registered an gmail address. Just like ownership of property doesn't change hands because you move into an address that someone was previously there. I'm sure Sweden has laws about mail. Just because it arrived at your address does not make it yours.

Still need a google account to accept a google meet invitation or some interactions with other people’s google calendar invites

Using google accounts with a non gmail non gsuite email suuucks

Here are some of my additional recommendations:

Analytics - GoatCounter, Counter.dev

Keyboard - Unexpected Keyboard (A very cool keyboard)

Search - Neeva

Translate - Lingva

Some notes on the post:

- Protonmail as a company doesn’t have a very stellar reputation. I recommend hosting an e-mail server by yourself, or just use providers like Disroot Mail

- K9 Mail is an email client, not an email provider

> I recommend hosting an e-mail server by yourself

As someone who did this from about 2001 until three years ago, I strongly suggest most people don't bother with this route.

GMail, Outlook, etc, all throw so many arbitrary and ever-changing security conditions to accept mail, it really isn't worth the hassle - or the lost clients from mails that don't reach their walled-garden end-points.

I've used Fastmail for a few years now, and I'm 99% sure that when I respond to an email sent from GMail, they'll actually receive it (So, I'm not talking about cold-emails, which I could just about begin to understand).

Same here. I finally stopped self-hosting this past year. I moved to privateemail through namecheap, where I have my domains. For me it actually ended up being cheaper than the VPS I was using for rolling my own email server (let alone the cost of my time administrating/maintaining).

Rolling your own is fine until you're explaining to your spouse why the realtor never received the email they're waiting for to adjust the closing documents.

I self-hosted since 2001 as well and not planning to stop.

I moved a few domains to fastmail and found that oddly AT&T ISP drops some emails from them on the floor. It is not a big deal given I don't know many people using AT&T's email but just thought I would add that for completeness sake.

I'm still self hosting after more than 15 years and I think what matters most is the reputation of your IP address, so it can be hit and miss depending on where you host your mail server...

Yeah, I get this and had changed servers a couple of times over the years and sought to have shared IPs verified, etc, but I just got fed up of jumping through hoops, despite doing everything 'right'.

I still host my personal email address, but I lost a few jobs sent to my work address by inadvertently being 'rude' in not responding to cold emails from GMail addresses I had in fact responded to. THAT was the situation that really irked. Such a stupid logic, or lack thereof.

Few more additions:

• Google Chrome

— Firefox - Safari - Vivaldi

• Google Chrome Passwords

— BitWarden - 1Password - KeePass - Enpass

• Google Authenticator

— Authy - 1Password - AndOTP - Aegis - Enpass

• Google Translate

— Deepl - WordReference - Lingva - bab.la

• Google Maps

— Dark Sky - Weather Underground - OsmAnd - Guru Maps

• WeTransfer

— Internxt Send - filetransfer.kpn.com

Also you can use the official Bitwarden clients with a free open source self-hosted backend, like vaultwarden [1].

[1] https://github.com/dani-garcia/vaultwarden/

> Unexpected Keyboard (A very cool keyboard)

For Android, to be specific. I'd love for an alternative to SwiftKey after Microsoft acquired them.

I just blocked Internet access for it. Some minor functionality like GIF search is lost, but nothing serious.

Google forced my hand with their decision to punish Apps for your Domain users. I was so angry at the decision that I moved to iCloud+ Custom Domain and made DuckDuckGo my default search engine and switched to safari. I will never, ever use another Google product. My Apps account was essentially just a custom domain on a Gmail interface and Cost them no more resources than Gmail, and presumably they got all the same benefits via ad tracking, so it felt particularly unnecessary to cancel.

I went with a pretty straightforward approach at the time. I mostly de-Googled myself 3-4 years ago.

I use Fastmail for email and calendar, DuckDuckGo & StartPage for searching, Firefox as a web browser, and a Synology NAS for storage over Google Drive.

I use Google Drive / Docs / Sheets occasionally for collaborating. Most people aren't de-Googled so it's more of a hassle to ask them to use a different service. Additionally, I don't use Google services for anything particularly important so I don't mind if Google knows about it.

Fastmail isn't the most private service out there, but it is an amazing service to use for email, calendar, contacts, file storage, and notes. It works with 1Password with masked emails [0].

You can also use sieve [1] to fine tune your filter rules. I'm not aware of other email services that provide this (unless of course you are hosting your own).

I've played with it a bit. You don't really need to do it because the interface they have can generate sieve code for you, but it's nice that it is an option.

[0]: https://www.fastmail.com/1password/ [1]: http://sieve.info/

++fastmail they have actual real humans doing support.

Quant for search makes sense in Europe.

Trying hard but I still find stuff where my auth is gmail. Some sites won't let you change email. The ones of those that I can, I have left for other services.

What is most frustrating is that I have a Google phone so they snoop even bank auth.

I could not live without WhatsApp in Spain and, weirdly, that requirement forces me to have a gPhone or iPhone.

GrapheneOS! It's an amazing OS. The transition was quick and seamless and I was surprised that had to make zero sacrifices, because it allows you to create separate profiles. I have one profile with a Google Play Services sandbox, which the OS provides as a one-click install. It's useful to run banking/ride-sharing apps, etc. It's very quick to transition between profiles.

deGoogling is great, but I don't want any corporations to track me or have data about me, and unfortunately the alternatives to Google are usually not any better in this respect.

They might, like DDG, promise not to track me and to respect my privacy, but as an ordinary user I have absolutely no way of verifying their claims.

I don't trust Vimeo any more than YouTube. I don't trust Authy any more than Google Authenticator. FastMail is great, but I don't want it to have my email any more than Gmail. I don't trust Firefox any more than Chromium.

Unfortunately the internet and computers in general were never designed to respect privacy and most corporations are happy to collect data on their users... and I'm pretty pessimistic on this changing much for the typical user... If anything it's only going to get worse as tracking technology becomes ever more sophisticated and omnipresent.

That's not to say we shouldn't deGoogle. But we should be under no illusion that that alone will somehow magically make our online lives private.

Regarding your concerns:

  - SearX instead of DDG
  - PeerTube instead of Vimeo or YouTube
  - There are a TON of FOSS TOTP authentication apps that you can build the .apk yourself if you'd like. You don't need Authy or GA
  - You can self-host email with something like iredmail, or get a pre-made personal server like Helm
  - Browser situation is tough, but there are FF workarounds like arkenfox/user.js
There are always options.

> unfortunately the alternatives to Google are usually not any better in this respect.

I don't that's necessary true. Google (and maybe Facebook) are unique in the size of personal data they hold and they types of data they have access to. If you move email or docs or search to something else, at least that's one less data source for them about you. (Assuming they are not selling it to data brokers Google has access to.)

> I don't want any corporations to track me or have data about me

In that case, stop using the Internet, your smartphone (and smart devices), credit/debit cards, streaming services, etc.

Heretic take on this: Block first, figure out later. This is how we approach most technical issues anyways.

So take /etc/hosts or little snitch or whatever and hard block .google., googletagmanager etc. - all sorts of domains that you come across from google.

Then, when you run into something that doesn't work, figure it out at that moment.

Wait why is Netflix on your list? How are Netflix and Alphabet/Google related?

I've been actively degoogling my life for about 10 years, mostly kicked off by Snowden's revelations. Off the top of my head, here's what's left:

• Youtube

Too much content there to stop using. I almost never use it while logged in. I never subscribe: I bookmark the channel.

• Maps

Too useful to stop using. Haven't tried alternatives, but open to recommendations. Business locations and open/close times are must haves for me.

• Duo

It's a videophone that mostly works.

• Chrome

I never stopped using Firefox as my main browser since ~2005, but I'll use Chrome from time to time, mostly for website development and watching Youtube.

• GMail

I've almost completely moved off it about a year ago for Fastmail, but I keep checking my existing GMail. Probably should get around to moving over completely.

• Android

I'm a recent LineageOS convert, but still use it with the Play Store.

I also have Youtube left on my list. I also find it a little too addictive. Instead of using a browser, I use RSS to subscribe to the channels I'm interested in. From my RSS reader (newsbeat) I can even directly play the video (via mpv + yt-dlp).

You could always use Freetube which is for Desktop but if its convenient this way then I'll also give it a try. Thanks.

Good list to chime in on.

Youtube channel subs etc can be handled with some privacy adds by using NewPipe on Android. Features are never ending.

People interested by LineageOS may also be interested in GrapheneOS, and their Play Store related handling.

Tangentially related: Aurora Store in place of "actual" Google Play app/Google Play Services.

Signal or meet.jit.si for video calling.

Chromium. Pain in the ass, but worth it. Change ALL relevant settings, Chrome or Chromium. Find a couple guides.

Thanks for the reply!

GrapheneOS looks cool, but it only supports Pixel phones? (I have a Moto X4)

I'll look into the Aurora Store.

Duo's call interface is practically identical to POTS calls on smartphones, so I use it to call my mom.

Signal can do video? Didn't know that.

I set up a private Jitsi meet server two years ago, but it insisted on directing mobile browsers to the app. I was able to configure it to not do that, but friends complained about high battery usage. Has that changed since? Regardless, I'm not sure how I could call someone on it, aside from sending them a link and hoping they open it. It's more of a videoconferencing system.

I've used Chromium on a few Linux installs, forgot it supported Windows, too.

A good way to keep track of new videos on your YouTube channels without being logged in is RSS.

Didn't know they still implemented this! Is this how NewPipe handles subs?

* Channel subscriptions via RSS (since 0.10.0)

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NewPipe

I never really "googled" it in the first place.

Since I started using a smartphone/Android, I've been on CyanogenMod/LineageOS without Play services installed. I use FOSS apps from f-droid (Firefox, K-9 Mail, osmand~, DAVx5, Gadgetbridge, Signal) exclusively, and self-host the server-side of all my email (postfix/dovecot/amavis/opendkim) and CalDAV/CardDAV (radicale) stuff. I even set up my own public-ish DNS recursor that all networks I take care of use.

Never regretted any of it, but I'm aware few will find it enjoyable taking care of some of this infrastructure. I am lucky that I do :)

Many of these services are SaaS solutions that require a separate ToS and SPoF. The idea behind de-googling should be focused on self-hosted alternatives, not just other service providers.

Some of these make very little sense. For example:

• Google Images

— Unsplash - Pexels - Simple Gallery Pro

First two are stock photo sites, last one is an Android app for browsing local pictures. Google Images is a search engine for images, which is covered by the "Google Search" section anyways. Perhaps you confused Google Images with Google Photos (which is missing from the list), but even then the alternatives don't make sense.

Yes, with the following exceptions:

- YouTube has content that I enjoy and isn't available elsewhere. I know that it stores my history but I find its recommendations and multi-device support good enough that I consider it worth it. (Also, FWIW, you can disable the history using [0], it also has an autodelete, though I don't use it)

- I drive and in my region, nothing is good enough for driving directions aside from Google Maps. I've tried all the other major apps on iOS like TomTom, Sygic etc. but they just don't work well enough.

- Again, while driving, I use Android Auto on a device dedicated to that purpose. It's also the only situation where I use Google's voice recognition. I do so because I speak English in my daily life (e.g. song titles) but my region is German-speaking (e.g. places/street names/business names/addresses) and I need to be able to use both while driving. Only Google Assistant/Android Auto can be configured to recognise two languages.

[0]: https://myactivity.google.com/activitycontrols?settings=yout...

It’s the same 2 things for me

+ Google search. I tried setting my default engine to bing/ddg for a year and brave for a few months.

Everytime I found myself directly going to Google using the g! shortcut on brave and ddg

So I’m using other search engines now when Google Doesn’t give me what I want

Totally agree. Anything Google is off limits. The only exception is open source Android that has been thoroughly scrubbed. I currently use e/OS.

The advice and practical suggestions of this post are great, but for those who claim to have a hard time leaving google behind regardless (without a major business or work obligation that makes it difficult), the drama is overblown. It's not only possible, it's also relatively easy. I use google for exactly four things: Two gmail addresses for random crap emails and obligatory sign-ups if I want some document (serious email goes to a protonmail address); a phone with Android built into it (invasive but meh, I keep my smartphone engagement to enough of a minimum that it isn't a huge invasion of privacy); Google maps for random addresses and youtube for music I seek (and later download anyway), which in any case can be used without signing in.

That's it. The rest is easily superfluous for most personal uses and I suspect that claiming otherwise is pure self absorbed convenience-hunting.

> Using Google on your device stores your location every time you turn it on. It stores your search history across all your devices in a separate database, meaning even if you were to delete said history on all your devices, Google would still have a record of it.

All of this can easily be disabled on the setting page for your Google account? And, location history is off by default.

In order to actually disable location tracking, you have to disable Web & App Activity. The settings are highly misleading.


> Google has systematically deceived consumers about how their locations are tracked and used and has misled consumers to believe that they can control what information Google collects about them

I’ve moved away from Chrome and Google Search. But I’m struggling to move away from Gmail, especially since this email is linked to so many critical official accounts (bank, government agencies)

Any solutions to make the transition easier outside of manually updating email everywhere?

Also, what’s the best alternative to Gmail currently that will support using my own domain name?

There is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time

Visit each site in your password manager and knock over a couple a day.

You'll never get anything that fully automates this because every site does the change differently. Even LastPass's automated password changer could only ever do a handful of sites fully automatically.

I've seen everything from full self service, to manual approval, to begging their privacy/legal department, to sites claiming allowing me to change my email address would represent an unacceptable security risk. I ask those sites that make up reasons like that to delete my personal information and move to someone who understands why email addresses are bad primary keys.

If you use your own domain, you'll never have to do this ever again, no matter how many times you change your email provider.

You need to start today, if you wait it's only a matter of time before Google does it for you by locking you out of your account for reasons they won't explain. Browse the GMail subreddit and observe the sea of hundreds of people locked out each week.

And until the transfer is over, mail forwarding rules to the new (custom domain) email address would be a nice idea to not miss anything in the meantime without manually logging into Gmail.

Moving away from Gmail was easy for me. Get a new address at a reliable provider or self host. And then you can use Gmail's own Mail-forwarding functionality to forward everything to your new mail address, and theres also an option to delete the copy at gmail. Whenever you have time, set the new address at your accounts. And after a year or two you have changed all accounts and can delete your gmail address. A slow change is better than no change.

This is the way.

Fastmail will support your domain name and has a very good importer from Gmail. You don’t have to transition everything all at once. One thing that helps is to use different apps to access Gmail (like the official app) and Fastmail (your phone’s built-in Mail app), and if anything arrives @gmail.com, either unsubscribe or update the address.

I think you kinda have to update it manually everywhere, but that's why you get your own domain, so you only do it once. Personally, I discovered just how much spam/marketing email I was getting when I only migrated the "important" things to my own so I'm currently running with two emails.

As for alternatives, I have iCloud+ with my Apple One subscription I already pay for. That lets you setup five custom domains, with up to three emails each[1].

I think even if you don't switch yet, it's a good idea to change your domain name while you still can because most services ask for confirmation on the old email and we've all heard the horror stories with Gmail locking you out of nowhere

[1] https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT212514

Another vote for Fastmail. I set up my own domain on there about a year ago, and have been happy. Fastmail has wildcard inboxes, so I canary trap[0] the email addresses I give to people and websites.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canary_trap

I like Zoho for mail handling, the free tier covers up to 5 user with a custom domain, the small letters is that they don't provide IMAP/POP under the free tier, but it's pretty easy to set up.

If you're concerned about privacy I would evaluate fastmail.com

I moved to China and had to do it, then after returning back I really didn't miss their services, only Google apps in my phone without gapps are Gtranslate, which I really don't use and have it only just in case, sadly DeepL didn't have comparable app, I use also Gboard (with no internet access in firewall) since it's currently best swipe keyboard and that's it, everything else I use from other companies and find apps from Google inferior, I also use Google search but through my preferred browser (Kiwi in mobile, Vivaldi on desktop).

Email - Aquamail

Calendar - Business calendar pro 1.*

IM - Whatsapp (network effect sadly, otherwise I would go with Element, used for years Signal but was sick of horrible UX)

Maps - Mapy.cz

SMS - Pulse

app store - Aurora store, I know I know it's cheating...

2FA - AndOTP

Gallery - Simple gallery pro

Btw Duckduckgo is horrible shady search engine, you are better off even with Google or Bing, though Kagi, Searx and Brave Search are better.

It'll be interesting to find out later what other apps (Google or other) may be "assisting" Gboard in data exfiltration if it can't reach the servers it wants to.

Tons of non-Google Android users use Gboard, with varying levels of protection in place.

For maps, You should add Organic maps. People tend to like the UI more than OsmAnd.

Personally, I use OsmAnd with custom map files for better address coverage: https://github.com/pnoll1/osmand_map_creation.

Great idea. Disappointed to see it's only available for: AU, CA, MX, US

I don't use any of Google services or products.

Fairphone 3+ with /e/OS

Firefox + uBlock + uMatrix + NoScript


Tutanota (mail, calendar) and ecloud (mail, calendar, notes, tasks)

Quad9 DNS



Magic Earth


+1 for DeepL, it's better than google translate

It even has PDF translation now, which I think is pretty awesome. I live in a German-speaking country and it's invaluable for translating certain difficult things like government issued information sheets on certain legal issues.

/e/ intrigues me. How do you feel about using it?

Went from iOS to it. "It's good enough"(tm) for my needs. No serious experience with "vanilla" Android. With three exceptions (my bank app, Windy and Locus Map) I only use open source apps plus NoRoot Firewall running in the background. For browsing I use Firefox with NoScript and uBlock enabled. Plus, I'm cybersecurity savvy, so all things considered, should be safe enough.

/e/, aka, LineageOS, with even more time added for sec patches.

To me, feels like road to hell being paved with good intentions.

Forgot these three:


Tusky (Mastodon client)


I doubt you can get rid of google like that.

There is Google services that you and me don't know that we are using.

What can be done is stop outgoing traffic to Google AS. You can physically cut off internet connection for google devices. Or set rules on firewall.

Dutch journalist tried this for a month. He blocked FAMAG. The internet was pretty much broken for him, too much depends on these. AWS and such for example.

No. I don't care. I'm happy to hide in the crowd.

IMHO any data I generate is basically useless chaff. I still have yet to be convinced that there's a downside to this parasitic relationship. How exactly is my life, in a practical way, negatively impacted by this data going walkabout? Does it take years or months off my expected lifespan? Does it give me cavities? Does it turn my family and loved ones against me? Does it slow my typing speed?

Point me to a good non-philosophical non-ideological non-emotional argument and I'll spend my time and money on transitioning to non-google sources for my problem-solutions.

They track your every move when your device pings their servers with your location and that is an invasion of privacy to have this 24/7 log. This is barely scratching the surface, imagine how you are being manipulated with target advertising.

> imagine how you are being manipulated with target advertising

Imagination is not the question. I want facts. I can imagine all sorts of stupid. The majority of targeted ads I get are for things I just bought. This is not scary.

And once a cop came home to the wrong apartment and shot a dude.


Food poisoning kills dozens every year.


Some estimate that nearly 10% of people in Jail in the states are innocent:


Your example is a base rate fallacy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Base_rate_fallacy

aka Extension Neglect : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extension_neglect

"One swallow does not a summer make"

I'm sure it can, but in the link you provided it definitely did not.

> McCoy was lucky. He and his family are also a bit poorer because of the incident. If his parents hadn’t helped him out by giving him thousands of dollars to hire a lawyer, things could have turned out differently, he says.

Out of partly luck and partly a lawyer. He could easily have ended up in jail.

And that's one example out of hundreds of millions. Still not scary.

I use ungoogled-chromium and I'm pretty happy with it https://github.com/ungoogled-software/ungoogled-chromium

I should move away from Gmail too but that's the hardest part imo. I mostly have trust issues if that make sense. Not that I trust Google that much but I just don't know if any other email service will be around in 20 years or so. Probably Microsoft and Apple? iCloud Mail sounds good just don't have any experience with it (and it only works with custom domains afaik)


  SigLevel = Required TrustAll
  Server = https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/ungoogled_chromium/Arch/$arch

Somehow ungoogled-chromium is pushing Pipewire on all of us.

Pipewire works flawlessly for me (3+ months) with regular Bluetooth headset handoff

I have been quasi-DeGoogleified for nearly a decade.

The main thing standing in my way is the family domain hosted by Google. There are few enough of us, not using it for anything but family stuff, that Google is letting us keep it for free. Though I have an account at that domain (since I'm the administrator), I don't use the domain anymore.

Other than that, except for an occasional foray into YouTube and a !g search when DDG isn't satisfactory, I pretty much ignore Google. I'm still more entangled than I want to be, but better than I was.

For my WordPress site, I replace Google Analytics with Koko Analytics. It provides list visitor information. But, I really just care to see which pages are most popular.

i think those who go through all this hassle must value their data more than their time.

most of these services are inferior to the google service imo. and many of these alternatives may leak or sell your data too.

if you're paranoid then DTA. it's far better to hide in the crowd then to use some browser developed by 4 people with anime emojis on github.

also, I trust google won't get hacked far more than the others.

better solution would be to obfuscate your data as much as possible.

I agree, a big issue with deGoogling is the lack of simplicity and cross compatibility, it makes life a lot harder in the digital age. Another issue is that your digital footprint says a lot about you to these data collecting agencies, and using a bunch of privacy focused technology is something that makes a good data point on you as a person and your beliefs. I think the best way to regain privacy is incrementally and changing lifestyle, making yourself less dependent on technology in the first place and substituting closed source solutions with minimal serverless open source solutions.

I've been looking/trying many search engines (you.com, duckduckgo, etc.). As someone who is not from the US, none of them is able to provide local search results anywhere as good as Google Maps. e.g. I want cheap food near me. Name of a local restaurant, etc. Until then, sadly I'll have to stick with Google.

Also, Google Sheets & Docs are really really good too. I can live without Gmail.

Glad to see de-googling picking up steam. Personally, I created a Google Keep clone PWA[1] to address what I was missing after cutting the google tumor out of my life. I hope to see more and more passion projects which respect privacy and are of equal utility to what google provides.

[1] https://tinylist.app

Personally, I created a chrome extension for myself where I track my own behavior locally and recommend myself content from sites i like (youtube/twitter/quora/etc) in a feed. Would rather have control over my own algorithm and own the data. Also it gives me flexibility. Turns out I do like these feeds just not when I don't own it haha.

lmk if you're interested in the tech behind it. It's for my personal use now but could also release it if people are interested. I call it myAlgorithm.

Seconded! I’ve been curious about a self-hosted recommendation engine, I would love to see your implementation.

Hey! here's the repo https://github.com/jawerty/myAlgorithm I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts

that sounds pretty neat, I'd be interested in seeing the source

Hey! here's the repo https://github.com/jawerty/myAlgorithm I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts

> Your data is worth a lot

Ehhhh, not so sure about this.

• Your individual data is worth a lot of money in aggregate with the data of thousands/millions of other users, but it is difficult (impossible?) to exchange your individual data for money

• If you're talking philosophical/non-monetary "worth" then this varies from person to person. I value my data almost not at all.

I'm using Tresorit instead of Drive since about one year. Working fine. So far not considering leaving that service.

I've got a legacy free gsuite account with two domains, one is personal the other business. I never got the option to keep it free for personal use, but also since it's still in the 3rd week of transitioning from free, I have no support. Without human support I can't split out the business domain into its own paid workspaces account, the tools I have access to don't have the option.

I have no motivation to de-Google except how horrible Google has been about this transition, so far making it impossible through circular logic.

I guess I'd have to do a takeout of the business domain, then delete that domain. Then open a new workspaces account and import the takout. Then handwave magic, I somehow get Google's attention to get the personal workspaces free instead of just automatically shutoff as their support docs claim will happen. Since I might have to migrate this one domain to some other service anyway, I might as well move the other domain too because it's easier to manage the two domains with a single interface even if they are separate accounts. So yeah, Google themselves are the how I will deGoogle, seems like.

I never trusted google, so first step to degoogling is actually never start to use google products.

However there are few tools that has no competition yet. Unfortunately. YouTube and Gboard with swipe (for non English lang).

Partly, Google even helped me with the deprecation of the free gsuite. I never really found out what their solution was for private use, so I migrated the two domains I had.

I still have a gmail account, which is kinda needed for YouTube Premium, which is a service I do enjoy.

Google locked me out of my gmail a while ago, luckily I had moved almost everything away from Google that was important. My recovery email is a defunct me.com address back from when I was an iToddler. So effectively, THEY de-Googled ME lol.

I switched back to FF the day I noticed that I could "log in" to Chrome, and that the browser had already logged me in by default.

Also switched to ProtonMail for anything shopping or bill-related, and paid for a ProtonVPN sub

Shouldn't this post be clearly labeled a show hn: internxt, not an ask hn ?

I'm currently on with this.

Got my own domain, starting to change over accounts to new email. My webservers are at home, my NAS is being built.

I'm getting GrapheneOS because I love my PinePhones but can't quite use one exclusively yet.

But GrapheneOS only runs on the Google Pixel phones, doesn't it?

Officially, yes.

There are unofficial versions.

As it happens, I'm being gifted a Pixel 4, so full steam ahead.

Check their site/wiki for info, if this interests you.

I do like the idea of GrapheneOS, I just don't feel 100% comfortable running hardware made by Google.

Perhaps not perfect but in consideration of some of the barriers other OEMs may posses with a security device I think the situation reads as 'being better than the alternatives'. Pixels are also an reference device by Google for Google so that is another incentive for them to suck less.

I agree that the hardware seems technically impeccable. My worry is in trusting the firmware Google put in it.

I'm quite sure the hardware is fine. From what I recall google phones actually have some of the best security hardware. It's one of the reasons GrapheneOS chose Nexus/Pixel phones as official base as well as the long support for those devices.

What is the alternative? Running some chinese hardware and chips? I guess iPhones would work but you have no real softwarecontrol over those. And what do you worry about regarding the hardware if I may ask? That there is some way the hardware bypases the software running on the device and send out information?

> "And what do you worry about regarding the hardware if I may ask? That there is some way the hardware bypases the software running on the device and send out information?"

Yes, the firmware.

Sorry if that came of wrong. It was a genuine question. I don't quite know what is the alternative to putting some trust into either google devices and an OS like graphene or not owning a phone in the first place. Since I imagine if googles firmware bypasses things that every other chip manufacturer does the same. Wouldn't that be discovered quite quickly by security folks? As in noticing stuff being send on the network that is not expected?

It has been discovered before. As an example, a few years back someone found out that some Android phones' cellular modems were passively collecting base tower information when the phone was turned off, and then uploading it to Google when the phone came back online. The software portion responsible for doing it was Google's. I don't have any links to the articles covering this, but it ended up being quite a big deal, especially in relation to privacy/integrity laws in the EU.

The only trace left from Google in my life is search. No, DDG is unfortunately nowhere near Google Search.

The day I could replace that too, I'll try my best not to touch a Google product ever again.

I'm not saying it will fully replace google, but I find startpage.com to be much better than DDG, and I am leaning back on google search less and less

Seconded on Startpage. Bing refuses to index one of my sites for some reason, and it's a legit site. Makes me wonder what else they're ignoring. And poor DDG is using Bing results.

Startpage uses Google results.

Well, any alternative to Google is always welcome to try; I'll check it out.

FYI startpage got bought by an ad tech company.

I switched from DDG to You.com

Search results are great + additional features for developers

WeTransfer doesn't belong to Alphabet — it's an independent Dutch company. Netflix doesn't either.

1. Ensure all docs/pics are backed up somewhere on a PC I own 2. Discard smartphone 3. Delete gmail account 4. Enjoy a peaceful and productive life!

> you will appreciate not having ads targeted to you or your devices constantly connecting to transmit data to servers.

Why would I appreciate seeing more generic ads?

Why would you want to appreciate any ads? More targeted ads based on your personal data means you can be better exploited. Whether you want to accept it or not, advertising works and does influence our shopping behaviour. Otherwise corporates wouldn't be spending billions of dollars on it. Targeted ads means corporates have to spend even less money to better manipulate us. In what world is that good for us consumers?

Based on the results of the targetting that google does on me, I suspect it is these billion dollar corporates that are being manipulated, not me.

Yeah, I am getting "generic ads" these days and instead of them being stuff like insurance companies or macho brand soap, it's dating websites and Mr Beast scams. Definitely not an improvement.

Every google feature you replace with a paid feature is one step closer to the internet freezing over. You cut out the big (free to consumer/product) data farms and soon the internet experience becomes like Cable Tv, you pay for channels/features on-top of ISP access.

I don't really have an argument against this happening, capitalism will force it if it's an option. It's worth noting the internet the millenials and gen x'ers built, the internet we grew up on, could be gone forever and we are seeing it start to go now. The free web might become an altogether unpleasant place.

Google's data centres aren't the Borg hive-mind. They are the future glaciers that will be mined for knowledge and ideas much later on.

Is there any privacy benefit to using the ‘Mail’ app on an iPhone over installing the gmail app from google?

You're giving your data to Apple instead of Google.

forget Duckduckgo and replace it with

* anyone from https://searx.space/ or * https://metager.org/

Youtube: Odysee (with an extension that auto redirects youtube to odysee if it exists for the video) I only use google for youtube (if the content isn't on odysee) and gmail.

How are the gmail alternatives? Can I use my custom domain for free on any? Have self-hosting solutions come close to gmail with spam filters?

I really wanted to like Odysee, but the community and dominant content are really not for me. The Politics section especially seems to be dominated by people who are either banned or expect to be banned from YouTube - and not without reason.

I really wish PeerTube was more of a thing.

I watch mostly the same channels than on youtube, but yes if the platform is netural you will get everything, thats the point.

No, you really don't. You get an exaggeration of the margins of society (very often one specific direction) that is discriminated against elsewhere, unless you're also the biggest and most profitable platform. And that's YouTube.

You saw the same effect with Gab. These spaces become polarized very fast based on who is already there and what the admins believe is adequate moderation.

Odysee seems more right leaning. I don't see queer content creators on there, for instance, despite YouTube heavily demonetizing and recommendation-banning them too.

This is why I really want federated spaces, because they can serve different margins of society without becoming isolated islands.

Folding Ideas made this point (about VidMe) half a decade ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3snVCRo_bI

There is nothing preventing anyone from using these protocols, if US lefties feel excluded because other opinions exist on the same front-end, they can make their own frontend and ban aynone they want, the good thing is that the protol itself isn't censorious.

I have a problem with federated platforms where you just get scalled down youtubes where every local sheriff gets to terrorize the people under his domain with his whims and if youtube's are driven by ad sales these are perhaps even worse because they're just ego driven.

Federative approach is terrible, it combines the downsides of decentralized and centralized solutions, it's far from neturality or increasing inclusion or escaping censorship.

Thank you for reading my blog.

I don't bother with spam filters. Yeah I get some spam but it's not worth missing emails. Gmail has gotten really bad about throwing away legitimate email btw so I wouldn't say even theirs is good. Much better IMO is address tagging (x+y@z.com) so you can block a tag when people sell your address.

Google Analytics -> Plausible.io

Google Drive -> Mega.nz

Google Analytics -> insites.app

For me, talk about "de-googling" and other such processes comes down to really thinking about what your goals are. It's easy to get into a binary all-or-nothing frame of reference, which I don't think is constructive as for most use cases "some" is still significantly different from "none."

My own goals/use cases:

- I'm unhappy with the current economics of the online world, that are based on advertising. I accept that developing products requires money, and getting money requires a business model, so if I don't like the incentives ad-based business creates, I should actively support alternative models

- I'm unhappy with the intrusiveness of tracking. I think consent is important -- not as a legal concept, but as a regular human being understands it. When I interact with a person or organization, I can meaningfully give consent for their actions. I can't meaningfully give consent to what some third party who isn't part of that interaction does, regardless of the legal fine print that says.

- I'm happy that the internet has become mainstream and people who aren't "tech people" use it.

- I'm not concerned with targeted attacks, but am concerned with opportunistic attacks against my online accounts and identities.

- Yes, "identities" -- I believe people should be able to have multiple identities online.

With those criteria, my current set up:

- password manager -- no reusued passwords. Whole family uses this.

- Fastmail. Because I use email so much, it's clearly a valuable service for me. So it' worth paying for -- I'm many years out from being a broke college student.

- A domain I purchased just for emails, and make use of subdomain addressing. I tend to use a different subdomain email per service. Goes to the goal of multiple identities, reducing tracking and reducing opportunistic attacks

- I've kept my gmail address and forward it to my fastmail, because I don't want to make my personal contacts use a different email address than they have for years. Maybe I'll change that some day, but I'm ok with _reducing_ rather than _eliminating_ google in my life

- FireFox. Also Mozilla VPN, to give Mozilla some money, though in practice I don't really have a frequent use for VPN.

- Duck Duck Go

- Ublock Origin

- Subscriptions to a handful of news outlets I read frequently. Print subscription for one of them!

- Separate computer for work vs personal

Biggest gap I'm still uncomfortable with: Shopping on Amazon.



Pixel 4a with Graphene OS, only GCam Services Provider (https://github.com/lukaspieper/Gcam-Services-Provider) to be able to use Google Camera. Implementation is super simple and it shouldn't take long to see that it actually does nothing.


Firefox - followed https://blackgnu.net/firefox-hardening-guide.html; Fennec on Android

Search - https://searx.space/ (plan on self hosting one)

Youtube - https://docs.invidious.io/instances/ (plan on self hosting one)


Bitwarden - backups done regularly to encrypted external storage and encrypted rclone mount


Tutanota/Protonmail + custom domain




Signal - easiest way to setup for non-technical friends and family. Used to use a few different apps, but only use this right now. I also use https://meet.jit.si/ occasionally for calls on the laptop/desktop.


Mullvad - currently working on setting up my own.


Organic Maps on Android/Open Street Maps on desktop/laptop.


Syncthing - syncing desktop, laptop, a few phones to my home server on LAN only.


Markdown files kept on devices, synced through syncthing.


Emby - had issues with Jellyfin, but might revisit in a few months as I have some plans there. Airsonic - music


Mullvad + ublockorigin



Analytics for website:

C# console app that parses caddy logs and clears logs after parsing.


Create encrypted mount with rclone and dump backups there when needed.

It was a slow process to get here and I am lucky to have friends who followed me on this journey to be honest. The first step came while working for my final project at university and building something around my heavy dislike for Facebook. Once I had to research the subject more in depth I started to realize how wrong I was all these years entrusting troves of data to the highest bidder... I had a friend who had asked me about these things and I am sorry for not listening to him sooner, but I felt that he never went past "bro, you shouldn't trust google!". Which is I think what most of us do.

I am trying to have conversations about this with everyone and try to adjust my language to their level. It's good because it highlights how little I know and it works both ways as I have to learn myself a bit more about any given topic. It's quite nice. It's even better to have people who have followed me on this path, moving to devices with no google services at all on them, moving away operating systems and so on.

If you think you're stuck, try to get rid of an app or two and see how it goes. Most of them add little to NO value to your life and your tech stack so trust yourself and delete them. It took me about a year to fully get rid of any google related stuff (and I include micro G here to allow me to run stuff like WhatsApp/YT/Gmail/Maps). And I knew it's bad, so I imagine it's a lot harder if you don't think there are risks.

Some things are more difficult, but my phone is now a tool that quietly sits on a desk somewhere in the house and I use it to do something specific. It's also reassuring to know it's not constantly feeding off me to send info to whoever is interested in my particular demographic.

As an afterword, please, all of you who suggest open source alternatives, also keep in mind that most of these projects have very little financial support. A few dollars, euros, pounds might not mean much to you, but it could make the world of difference for all these people working to keep our data safe and our devices useful. Stop recommending people stuff and starting with "it's free" and phrase it with "it's private and secure...". Start introducing the cost early on. Without our support these alternatives can and will vanish or will morph to attempt to keep themselves alive.

Isn't Brave based on Chromium (i.e. still some Google behind)?

It is based on Chromium, but they're disabling a crazy amount of things in it to make sure nothing privacy-invasive stays in: https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/wiki/Deviations-from-...

i dont i just accepted my fate

iPhone, DDG, hosts.etc


No. Stop using smartphones. GNU/Linux and FOSS only.

You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. It's always good to state why when trying to convince people that this is a beneficial idea rather than making demands of complete strangers.

The Stallman hard line is seeming more and more reasonable every year

Being downvoted on "hacker" news for wanting to use only FOSS devices.

(As a side note, you can use a FOSS smartphone like PinePhone)

I own a Pinephone, I go back and forth with it. Once you take away the psychological manipulation and crappy mobile GUI from popular smartphone OSes you start to realize the form factor isn't that great over a very small (like 7-9 inch) laptop.

No way.

good point

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