Is there anyone who got totally degoogled? I need your advice

Hi!

Is there anyone who got totally degoogled? I mean at all. No google at all.

  1. How did you replace YouTube?
  2. What is your favourite search engine?
  3. The pain of android - office. How did you replace it?
  4. Contact sync. How?
  5. What is your translator now?
  1. I can’t find a way to replace YouTube, as a lot of top quality creators/channels are residing there.

  2. Brave. BUT, from my experience, it only works well with English search queries. Google Search kills everyone when it comes to non-English search, at least, with my mother language.

  3. There’s no (viable) replacement for Google Docs, Sheets, etc. for me on Android. Other than MS Office (fewer features than Google’s) and WPS Office (proprietary, no reason to switch to), most office suites are very buggy with my mother language, or not working at all.

  4. Skiff recently lets you sync your phone contacts with their account.

  5. Brave. But it only works as an on page translation. It’s a lot slower than Google Translate, but the translation quality seems to be on par. Brave uses Lingvanex as its translator backend. You might want to try whether it can replace Google Translate (for your language).

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  1. There’s no replacement for that obviously. Other platforms work fine, but they have different content. And I presume you want to watch the content on YouTube. That’s simply not available on other platforms. That being said, there’s not reason why you would need to access YouTube by yourself directly. With Invidious (with activated proxy), Piped, Yattee, yt-dlp, cobalt.tools, automatic redirect extensions etc. there are tons of ways to watch YouTube videos without contacting Google servers by yourself. What would work best for you is something you have to try out.

  2. MetaGer with paid keys, especially via their Android app because that uses blind tokens for privacy, but I’m biased here (not gonna doxx myself so I’ll leave it at that). There are other good search engines, though. And there’s especially no reason for everyone to use the same one, which is really the big issue. I can only recommend to actively seek out the small players and open projects in that field and see what works for you.

  3. I use LibreOffice on a desktop. My Android (GrapheneOS) can only open PDFs. I also only use that phone occasionally (it’s turned off 95% of the time) and it does not have a SIM. For phone calls I use a cheap dumb phone or landline. I might start to use smart phones more regularly when community Linux distributions become more mature on them.

  4. Self-hosted Nextcloud. Solves many issues, not just contacts. And works great with all platforms that I use. (Which is desktop Linux and Graphene)

  5. I only read texts in the languages that I’m capable of speaking. If I ever go to a country where I cannot speak the local language I’m using English + gestures. I like chaos, spontaneity and plan changes anyway. But I also really like language learning so often enough I speak well enough to understand what I think I need to understand. But there are also privacy frontends for Google Translate and DeepL if you have texts without any personal information. Then at least you don’t need to contact Google servers by yourself.

  1. No replacement, but I mainly use FreeTube and NewPipe. From browser it’s Firefox+uBlock Origin, without login to google account. But I don’t watch YT that much
  2. Startpage & DuckDuckGo. From my experience SP has the better search results than google, even if it’s based on it
  3. LineageOS, no google services. LibreOffice as main software, OnlyOffice or FreeOffice (not opensource) as companion (for better MSO support). Collabora Office on Android, OnlyOffice in the cloud, for multiuser access and editing (nextcloud provider)
  4. Via WebDAV & CalDAV. For server, i use hosted Nextcloud instance, but my mail provider (mailbox .org) also has support for those. On desktop I use Kontact or Thunderbird, on Android DAVx5 and simple contacts and calendar apps
  5. DeepL (free version)
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@crossroads
LineageOS:

  • makes requests to Google for NTP, captive portal, SUPL, remote keystore provisioning, PSDS on Tensor, and fallback DNS
  • includes Google Widevine DRM
  • includes Google Hotword detection
  • includes Google Face Unlock
  • includes Google Carrier Settings/Setup/Services/WiFi/Location
  • includes Google EUICC
  • includes Google Play Services library inside of the WebView, ImsServiceEntitlement, and Car/DebuggingRestrictionController packages
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Let me just preface this by saving that I am not totally degoogled, although I do plan on being so in the future.

  1. I didn’t really. I use Nebula, which has a decent privacy policy, and actually pays its creators. Its content selection is a lot smaller, of course, and unfortunately it only has videos in English (not an issue for everyone). I do however think its content selection is of a very good quality, and it’s mostly educational, which I like.

  2. My favourite search engine is DuckDuckGo, because it’s private, has the Bangs shortcuts feature, which is really practical, and because it’s not based on Google. It uses mostly Bing for results, which I don’t like either, but I don’t think there’s a better alternative.

  3. I didn’t need to replace it, because I never used it. I only use office applications on the desktop, where I use LibreOffice. If you want to use it on your Android phone though, you can use Collabora Office.

  4. I don’t actually sync my contacts per se, because there’s no good private way of doing it. I instead have them on Proton Mail, and I download and import them into my phone, since they’re needed by apps like Signal.

  5. My translator now is DeepL. Its privacy policy is probably decent, though I haven’t read it. In any case, it has to be better than the alternatives, since it’s based in Europe and is usually recommended as an alternative for people who want a more private option. Again though, there’s no better alternative.

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  1. I haven’t been able to fully, but I use LibreTube on Android and Piped on Desktop. Yattee is great as well on Apple TV and iOS.

  2. I generally use Brave Search, but it causes a lot of captchas for me unfortunately, so I go back and forth with DuckDuckGo as well.

  3. I don’t use Office suits or anything like that often, but when I do, on Desktop, I use LibreOffice, and on Android, I use Collabora Office (which is based on LibreOffice and a partner of them). For viewing PDFs, I use the GrapheneOS PDF Viewer (Works on any Android, not just GrapheneOS) or just Firefox’s built-in PDF Viewer (with JavaScript disabled).

  4. I don’t usually sync contacts personally, but I have self-hosted Nextcloud in the past which works for this. You could also use Proton’s suite and sync through there.

  5. I usually use Firefox’s Translations feature (built-in on desktop, on Android you need to install this extension). You could also use DeepL, though it isn’t specifically privacy focused.

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I think the best way to privacy in general, not just degoogling, is to prioritize minimization over replacement. Ask yourself, “Are these things really that vital to my life?” (particularly YouTube)

As society seems to “progress”, the number of “problems” that need to be “solved” increases, but a lot of them, if we actually look at it, are non-problems. They are socially constructed problems that do not necessarily need to be solved if you decide to step outside its social bounary.

This is, of course, more complicated than I present it. It’s not just “socially constructed.” But this is simply an approach to privacy, not a solution.

I personally went from replacing my search engine, browser, and apps to using completely irrelevant tools for the sake of privacy rather than for the sake of myself. The goal of privacy on an individual level should always be for the sake of the self, not to attain some unattainable concept of “absolute privacy.”

Why optimize this part of my life when it wasn’t actually something I needed? I lost sight of my individual life by believing that fulfilling this idea of absolute privacy, or at least the best privacy attainable based on what the internet had to say, could bring me comfort and purpose. It didn’t. It just brought me paranoia and overwhelming angst of how much privacy I couldn’t accomplish.

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  1. I have not replaced youtube, I use privacy friendly front-ends for youtube. Some of the options I use are Invidious, Piped, Newpipe, LibreTube, and Freetube.

  2. I use duckduckgo and brave search. Neither are excellent enough to use only one but they do a good enough job for me.

  3. I’m assuming you meant an office suite, in that case, Onlyoffice is what I use to read stuff on the phone.

  4. Not a problem I have solved, I back up my contacts regularly as a .vcf file. That backup file is synced to all my devices with syncthing.

  5. I have not run into this issue yet.

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  1. How did you replace YouTube?

I have replaced the need for the youtube app or website, I use Freetube oon desktop OSes, and Newpipe on Android, and Yattee on iOS, or Piped on any OS. But I have not replaced my reliance on youtube as a backend / repository for content.

  1. What is your favourite search engine?

DDG or Brave

  1. The pain of android - office. How did you replace it?

What is Android office? I’ve literally never heard of it, so it was never something that needed replacing for me.

  1. Contact sync. How?

Nextcloud, etesync, skiff would be a few options (or just manually backup your contacts to your computer.

  1. What is your translator now?

Best google alternative I am aware of is DeepL (Firefox also has translation built in now for a limited number of languages)

  1. Odysee or Piped ( I know it’s not an alternative as it’s just proxied youtube, but most of the creators are on there )
  2. Brave, own index for the win!
  3. I don’t use office at all, but if I had to I would use LibreOffice or OpenOffice
  4. Etesync selfhosted
  5. LibreTranslate
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NewPipe on Pixel phone running GrapheneOS, Piped/Invidious on fedora desktop.

I host my own instance of SearXNG that I share with my social circle on a VPS that I rent for $5/mo. If something like that is not an option, you can try the public instances listed at https://searx.space/. Otherwise, I have found Brave to be the most accurate for search results.

I use Collabora Office, whose team also contributes to the LibreOffice project. They have an F-Droid repo that you can use for downloads/updates.
About: About Us - Collabora Office and Collabora Online
F-Droid repo: f-droid Archives - Collabora Office and Collabora Online

Self-hosted Etesync server (Etebase) using community-developed image by victorrds. GitHub - victor-rds/docker-etebase: Docker image files for Etebase server

I don’t use translator services so I cannot recommend anything for this.

LibreOffice Viewer | F-Droid - Free and Open Source Android App Repository is also a thing if you just need to look at stuff without doing any editing.

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I tend to use StartPage, because it doesn’t throw captchas at me as much as Google does over a VPN. Duckduckgo, sometimes, but the results can be crappy.

I don’t really bother with frontends, because they’re usually not very functional anyway, for example the search engine ones are often blocked, and don’t really add much when using a VPN or Tor anyway.

For YouTube, I just paste the link in my terminal and set the format to be something I want (don’t always need best quality) ie:

mpv --ytdl-format=bestvideo[height<=\?720]+bestaudio/best \
      https://youtube.com/watch\?v=CbILj_CYqno

I very rarely care about any other features of YouTube (eg comments). Newpipe is also a good option too. I use RSS heavily and have my YT channels in my RSS client.

For contact/calendar syncing I use my provider’s CalDav server with DAVx⁵. Unfortunately no E2EE there. For particularly sensitive things I’d just have a local instance of Radicale.

As for office suite, I usually just use LibreOffice locally, or NeoVim. For most things I just store in txt or markdown with peek). If the document is something I want to reproduce publicly then I might do LaTeX (with VimTeX plugin).

When I was taking math lectures at uni, I did something similar to:

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