Hacking your salads since 2018

Goodbye Google, Hello Proton!

22 Dec 2020 - Garrett Brown

Just like most people on the internet, I've relied a lot on Google for stuff like email, storage, calendar, etc. This had a lot to do with the fact that I've used Android for almost all of my life, (with the exception of some touch-screened feature phones in early middle school,) but also because Google is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) forces on the internet. They do everything, and they do it all really well for the most part. So when I started to look into ways to make my digital life a bit more private, getting rid of Google services seemed to be the biggest obstacle. First off, my school used Gmail, Google's office suite, and Google Classroom, so I had to use those. But once I graduated, I stopped using the school account. But that left my personal account. I used just about every service they offered, so it wouldn't be easy to just leave it all behind. In fact, I still use Google services like Google Photos, Google Drive (until I set up a Nextcloud server) and Google Pay. But the services I didn't need, or the services that I could find good and easy alternatives for started to get replaced one by one. Google search was replaced by DuckDuckGo, and later Whoogle, Chrome was replaced by Firefox, and I just moved from Google Docs to just using OnlyOffice on my laptop. But the first big thing I decided to switch from is Gmail. This would be a bit hard since I had to change the email for a bunch of accounts, and make sure I wasn't missing emails from Gmail, but I figured I could just forward stuff until I got everything important changed over. Coincidentially, as I was thinking about how to swtich over, I was introduced to Protonmail through Mr. Robot. I saw Elliot use it in an episode in season 3, and I was intrigued. A couple weeks later, I had created an account and started moving stuff over. After I started using it, I fell in love with it! It worked just as well as Gmail did, and I still got to have the piece of mind of having all of that privacy and security I had been looking for! Later on, I found out about ProtonVPN, but ultimately ended up ditching it. There was nothing wrong with it, but I ultimately went with Surfshark as my VPN since it was cheaper in the long run. But Protonmail still remained one of my favorite services to use. After a while, I decided to buy the plus version for more storage and multiple addresses, and I switched to the beta version of the web client. With this, I found out about ProtonCalendar. I thought this would be great since I could replace Google Calendar as my main calendar service. The only thing that really kept me from fully switching over was using it on mobile, since there was no official app, but now that there is an official ProtonCalendar app, I have officially switched over from Google Calendar. Before, I just saw Proton Technologies as another company that was doing awesome things. But now, with ProtonCalendar, and the recently introduced ProtonDrive, I feel like Proton has the chance to become the new Google, but without all of the garbage. It will offer a lot of great internet services, and they will all respect their users' privacy, which is great! And while ProtonCalendar and ProtonDrive are both in beta right now, I can see a future where people have a Proton account the same way people have a Google account now, and they won't have to worry about the privacy of their data. This is post 12 of #100daystooffload.