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Want to find an alternative to Google? Here are your options

Google’s services are some of the most used applications around the world, but what if you wanted to use something different?

CONSIDERING HOW UBIQUITOUS Google is, you’re going to end up relying on some, if not all, of its services often.

But what if you wanted to find an alternative to Google search or maps? There are many services out there which offer the same functionality as Google, but here are ones that will make up for the more popular services out there.

Google Search
Use instead: BingDuckDuckGo

While it does get mocked for being an inferior version of Google, Bing is still a solid search engine that deserves a little more love. It’s not as comprehensive as Google, but it still gets the job done whenever you need to find something.

Also, on a purely superficial level, the images and videos it uses on its homepage can be stunning sometimes, some of which you can download.

On the other hand, DuckDuckGo is designed around privacy and doesn’t track any of your search activity. That means when you search, it doesn’t use personal information to give you curated results, just ones it deems to be the most important.

Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 14.02.19 Source: Bing

Chrome
Use instead:
Firefox, Opera, Vivaldi

There are some very good alternative browsers out there. If you’re looking for versatility, Firefox is the one you should go for. Thousands of plugins allow you to customise it like Chrome and its privacy and security features are some of the best out there.

If you’re looking for speed, then Opera’s a great choice. One of its major benefits is Opera Turbo which uses compression technology to reduce site data and ramp up the loading speed.

If you want something different, then Vivaldi is another one to look at. It’s still in tech preview – so it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles other modern browsers have – but it’s designed for power users by combining tons of customisation features with a minimalist interface.

Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 14.05.07 Opera's compression software means sites load up almost instantly when you request them. Source: Opera

Google Maps
Use instead: HERE Maps

Nokia may have left the smartphone business after being sold off to Microsoft, but it still makes some great software. HERE Maps is the results of years of work and is a great alternative.

It’s not as minimalist as Google Maps, but its search bar does make it easier to find suggestions for places to visit and its traffic setting is arguably more useful since it highlight specific areas through icons.

Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 14.52.09 Source: HERE Maps

Google Drive
Use instead: Dropbox, OneDrive

What’s to say about Dropbox or OneDrive that hasn’t been said already? If you want large amounts of storage from the word go, OneDrive offers 15GB. If you want flexibility, Dropbox is a better option.

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Source: OneDrive/YouTube

YouTube
Use instead: Vimeo

The home of short films and more artistic content, Vimeo normally uses high-quality footage which can be sharper than most videos on YouTube. The editor’s picks are a particular highlight and it’s perfect for those who want a little more meat to their videos.


Source: Maciej Tomków/Vimeo

Google Calendar
Use instead: Sunshine

Sunshine is probably one of the best calendar apps on iOS and Android, and it has a desktop version to boot. Easy to use, colourful and streamlined, it really helps you make sense and keep track of your schedule throughout the day.


Source: Sunrise/Vimeo

Google Docs
Use instead: Microsoft Office (OneDrive)

Pretty much everyone is familiar with Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint, but if you have it, it allows you to work and collaborate documents online should you require it. The drawback is you have to pay for it, but there is a free version available so you can try it out.

Read: These are the weirdest things we saw at the biggest tech conference in the world >

Read: Every version of Windows is at risk from this 1990s bug >

About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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