For people who want to be free from Google, there is a good news that now exist 3 providers of ethical alternatives namely Framasoft.org, Disroot.org, and PrivacyTools.io. They provide all the services gratis so ethical services will be accessible for everybody. By ethical service I meant network service that based on free software and with commitment to user privacy as privacy-security community recommends it. By all-in-one here I meant as close as possible to Google in number of services they provide. This can't be avoided to introduces you to new names to you like Searx, Nextcloud, Gitea, and such free software that are now popular in our community. I hope this review reaches as many audiens as possible to make people aware about existence of privacy services. Now let's go!

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Background


I got idea to write this after seeing recently PrivacyTools.io started to provide ethical online services based on Searx, Nextcloud, and Etherpad. I really am glad with that.

Names


In technical community like ours, we cannot help to know about names. Here are several names important:
  • Searx: search engine (software) that can be installed to your computer. While provided as service, Searx replaces Google.
  • Nextcloud: server storage (software). While provided as service, Nextcloud replaces Google Drive.
  • Jitsi: video conference (software). This replaces Google Hangouts (or Microsoft Skype).
  • Etherpad: note writing on the web (software) with multiuser collaboration feature. This replaces Evernote. 
  • Gitea: Git web interface (software). This replaces GitHub or the discontinued Google Code.
  • Discourse: web forum (software). This replaces vBulletin. 
  • Matrix: federated chat (protocol). A matrix service connects Instant Messengers into one.

1. Framasoft.org




Framasoft organization is a long time supporter and promoter of software freedom and user privacy. Do you know PeerTube technology? They created it. Do you know DeGoogle movement? They built it. Do you know who in our community talks a lot about decentralization/federation? They are one among few groups doing it. More about Framasoft you could read at Wikipedia.

Framasoft is the oldest between these three. All Framasoft services are gratis. Framasoft provides all online services except email. So at Framasoft you could expect to find replacements to Google+ and Docs, but not Gmail. This is the point it differs to Disroot at least for today. I supply my opinion at the end about it. One more thing important, unlike at Google, here your account is not centralized (one account for all services) so you should create new one at every service. If you love Framasoft, you will have many accounts. Lastly, Framasoft is actually the most visually interesting as you can see at its Contributopia by famous free software artist David Revoy.


Framabee
  • Google Search replacement
Framatube
  • YouTube replacement
Framadrive
  • Google Drive replacement
Framacarte
  • Google Maps replacement
Framagenda
  • Google Calendar replacement
Framalistes
  • Google Groups replacement

Framalink
  • Goo.gl Shortener replacement 
Framaforms
  • Google Form replacement
Framacalc, Framaslides, Framapad 
  • Google Docs replacement
  • Microsoft Office 365 replacement  
Framapiaf
  • Google+ replacement
  • Twitter replacement
Framatalk
  • Google Hangouts replacement
  • Skype replacement
more...








2. Disroot.org



Note: personally I do not agree with demonstration like what Disroot website depicts a lot but I really agree with ethical services it provides.

Disroot website explains perfectly:
"Disroot is a platform providing online services based on principles of freedom, privacy, federation and decentralization. No tracking, no ads, no profiling, no data mining!"

Disroot services are all gratis except for additional storage. And in my opinion Disroot is the best all around ethical service provider that closest to completely replacing Google for now. My reasons are three [1] it is the only one that provide Gmail replacement with POP/IMAP [2] the entire services are provided in English unlike Framasoft's, the second one closer [3] unlike Framasoft or PTIO it has one account for all services.



Disroot Search
Google Search replacement

Disroot Email
Gmail replacement

Disroot Pads
Google Doc word processor replacement

Disroot Forum
Forum

Disroot Bin
Pastebin replacement

Disroot Polls
Google Forms replacement

Disroot XMPP
Instant messaging platform for all people

Disroot Cloud 
Many in one Google replacements are here:
  • Google Drive, 
  • Google Calendar
  • Google News
  • Google Hangouts
  • Google Picasa

Disroot Diaspora
(registration closed)
Facebook replacement

Disroot Board
Collaboration project management on web

Disroot Upload
Replacement to Google Drive or ZipShare for file sharing



3. PrivacyTools.io




PrivacyTools by BurungHantu is a website that recommends ethical software and services that saves users against global surveillance. It is the youngest among these three. For a long time this source of privacy information only focused at recommendations. But since recently, good news for us, it started to provide online services for public like search engine, blog hosting, social network, instant messaging, pastebin, and source code hosting. Like Framasoft and Disroot, services under PTIO are all gratis. In other words, PTIO serves as a replacement to Google Search, Blogspot, Twitter, Evernote, and GitHub in one place.


Searx Search engine
Google replacement

Matrix
Instant messaging

Mastodon
Twitter replacement

PrivateBin
Pastebin replacement

Writeas
Blogspot replacement

Discourse
Forum

Gitea
GitHub replacement


My Opinions


I have no position in security nor privacy commentaries against those 3 services I respect above. Let PRISM Break and PrivacyToolsIO forums, the people who are entitled to it, give their commentaries about it. Here I only noted my personal opinions or more likely suggestions I believe constructive for them.

  • Framasoft: I think it needs English translations completed for a lot of pages as most people cannot access if it's only available in French. If you master French and English, you could help translate Framasoft here
  • Disroot: I admire great efforts behind Disroot services. But I really like if the pictures presented are not protests.
  • PrivacyTools.io: I think it needs time to prove themselves as a good ethical service provider as they have proved themselves as the best privacy recommendation resource.
  • For readers: we all need services like they provide but they need our helps especially funds and promotions. If you could donate, please donate, as we community cannot succeed without it. If you could promote them, like I did with this article, please promote. There is no meaning of a public service if public do not know about it.
  • About email: seeing how awesome Framasoft and PTIO are, but they do not provide email service, just made me more aware that providing email service is very difficult even for big organizations. Replacement to Gmail is nearly impossible today except for Disroot. And this is why I regard Disroot more than them, at least for now, because it provides email service with POP/IMAP gratis like Gmail did but unlike Gmail, Disroot is ethical. I said "POP/IMAP" because other providers like ProtonMail could provide ethical email at no cost, but without POP/IMAP.

Let's enjoy their services!

Further Readings


 



This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.


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