Better Alternatives To Big Tech

It is no secret at this point that Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, and other large companies do not have a care in the world for end-user rights. Be-it simple things like allowing customisation of the user experience, or large scale things like Telemetry, AKA the software that Microsoft implements into Windows 10 which tells Microsoft everything you do. Did I mention that Windows itself tells you that you can't turn it off? Regardless, I have decided to make a directory of sorts for alternatives to things such as Gmail, Windows, Dropbox, YouTube, ect, which are all extremely customisable, user-friendly, and more private as a result of not being run by big tech. I will also include a short paragraph for each section, as well as small descriptions to help you better understand the practicality of each item.

Search Engines

For starters, Please STOP using the Chrome browser! While everything on this list will work fine on Google Chrome, a key aspect to them is that they are more private in comparison to the services they seek to replace. Google Chrome is like the Facebook of web browsers, so the privacy aspect would be pointless. That being said, your search engine is important. Most people use Google, and as a direct result, Google knows a LOT about them. I don't mean just the shows and music you like, but that Google builds an entire portfolio of you. This includes your political beliefs, what sort of *dirty* stuff you might be into, your shopping habits, and other things which you likely would not even tell your own family about. You also do not get to choose how the search page looks whatsoever. The services listed here should have no problem fixing these issues for you. You can change your browsers default search engine from the settings.

Email Services

Email is unique in the fact that it is extremely unprivate unintentionally. The protocol which email runs on is extremely old, dating all the way back to the 60s. If you would like an email service that does not seek to view the contents of your messages or sell your data, it is entirely worth it to switch to an email provider which is more private and user friendly.

Video Sharing Platforms

By now, the whole world knows what YouTube is. What started out as a niche site for sharing video content has become a part of Google's internet nightmare. This section contains alternative websites for video sharing. If you want a guide on how to watch YouTube/Make playlists and subscriptions without an account, you can read about that here.

Social Media

Social media, while being a huge detriment, is unfortunately an important part of Today's world. Thankfully, there are a few decentralised and user-friendly social media platforms out there for people who do not want to use anything owned by Facebook, or (God forbid) Twitter. When using decentralised social media, your account works on all decentralised sites, meaning you can not technically be "banned", so much as silenced until you move your account to a new website. All sites listed below, minus bwitter, are also cross-platform compatible with PeerTube.

Voice Communications

If you know me, you know how much I hate Discord. It seeks to know as much about you as possible, and in the past, has been extremely hostile toward open-source/free software. Thankfully, there are a few good replacements for Discord, though none will ever be as feature-packed. Discord is only feature packed to attract you, and openly admits to storing all of your data for others to see. Not to mention how inherently awful its user-base is these days.

Operating Systems

An "Operating System" is what runs on your computer after it powers on. Your operating system of choice is Likely Windows 10. Windows 10 shamelessly uses Telemetry, which it even tells users can not be turned off. It is also not very customisable. Thankfully, there are other operating systems available for free which use a kernel called "Linux". Even if you do not choose to switch to a fully customisable version of Linux listed here, I suggest downloading a program on your computer called ShutUp10 and applying the recommended settings; as this will stop at least SOME of the spying that Windows does to you. I personally dual-boot Linux and Windows 8.1 on my PC, only using Windows to play a select few games that don't work on my Linux OS. I also do not sign in to any accounts using Windows, unless required by the game I am playing. (Sidenote: Linux operating systems are also a lot less vulnerable to malware and viruses!) I will have a proper page up soon on the topic of migration from Windows to GNU/Linux.