How to get rid of Google

- written by UncleReaton

- 2021-12-29

It's not a secret -- except for people living under a rock --, Google is collecting data about everything on everyone. But we can do something to stop being unconscious victims! Do you really want Google to make money with your data? If you don't want any of this, if you want to regain a bit of your online privacy/freedom, come aboard matey and let's become a Pirate!

How to get rid of Google Chrome?

That's the easiest thing ever. Uninstall Chrome and install Firefox instead! You may have some memories about Firefox being slower than Chrome but that's not the case anymore, give it a try! Also don't forget to add some useful add-ons like Ublock Origin, Privacy Badger and HTTPS Everywhere. That's the minimum to be less tracked on Internet. If you want something even more privacy-friendly, you can use Tor Browser and use onion services as much as possible!

How to get rid of the Google search engine?

With more than 90% of the Worlwide market share of search engines, Google rules over everything. Today, you don't even make a research on the Internet anymore, you are googling something. But do you really want to have every single one of your researches saved in a Google datacenter? And then sold to an advertiser to target you better?

What can we consider a good alternative?

That's a good question! Because I'm talking about Google but Bing, Yahoo! or even Yandex are doing the same thing (making profit out of you). So how should we define what's a good alternative?
Let's have 2 different grades:

  1. Proprietary engine but without trackers
  2. FLOSS (and self-hostable) engine

1. DuckDuckGo (DDG)

Search the web without being tracked is the "slogan" of DDG. You might know this engine but did you ever used it? It returns good search results. DDG claims to not track its user: "we do not log (store) [information about your computer] at all. This is a very unusual practice, but we feel it is an important step to protect your privacy.".
Should you trust it? It depends, as you cannot verify if it really doesn't log information about you, you cannot be sure. But it seems quite trusted by the privacy-concerned community.

Good to know: DDG is available over Tor via its own onion service!


- Whoogle

Whoogle is basically a privacy friendly front-end to Google. "Get Google search results, but without any ads, javascript, AMP links, cookies, or IP address tracking." is the first thing you can read on its github README. You can self-host it but a lot of good websites/associations/individuals are hosting it so you don't have to bother with setting up a server. :)

- Searx

Searx is a meta search engine, which means it gets its results from different search engine (such as Google, Yandex, ...) but like Whoogle, it acts as "front-end" so you are not tracked by those search engines. So you just need to trust the entity who host the instance you're using and it's good or even better: Self-host your own instance! ;)

Good to know: Both solutions have a Tor support!

How to set one of those as your default search engine (for Firefox)?

To set DDG as the default search engine just go to about:preferences#search and select DDG.
For Whoogle or Searx, you can check it out right here

How to get rid of your Google account? (Gmail, Youtube, Google Drive, ...)

I ain't gonna lie, that's gonna be the most difficult part. But if you don't want to be part of a system where you are the product, that's absolutely necessary.

First step: Find a new email service provider

There are many associations which respect your privacy that provide an email service. For example you have Disroot or some CHATONS. If you have the soul of a real pirate, you can still self-host your own email service. :) Now that you have your new email address, tell your friends and other services that need your address about this change.

Second step: Get everything you have on Google Drive out of their cloud

"There is no cloud, just someone else’s computer" so if you ~still~ think your documents are safe from Google, well... You're wrong. :/
Take back everything you have on their cloud service and save it on your own computers, or on someone's computer you trust. Again, some CHATONS provide a cloud service. To set up your own cloud, check out nextcloud.

Last step: Delete your Google account

Everything should be good now, except for android user but we'll cover that in another guide (you can still check info about lineageOS for example), so don't wait any longer and go DELETE YOUR DAMNED GOOGLE ACCOUNT.

How does it feel to be a bit more free?

Tell us about your experience about getting rid of Google in your life by using #Pirates4Freedom #PirateTheInternet or #p4f on Mastodon/Plemora!