This list is not complete.
Please do note that just migrating to the alternatives mentioned in this
list is not enough for user privacy.
For example just installing the operating systems mentioned here will not save you from the privacy
exploits of the software you choose to install in it.
Be cautious of what you do, always make sure that there are no binary blobs in anything that you use.
Get rid of things that automatically opts you into their telemetry services.
This is a list of FLOSS
(Free/Libre and Open-source) softwares that can be used
instead of the proprietary
malwares in your life.
I have tried to list out every alternatives that I am using. And some of the softwares might not be
maintained by the time you read this.
If they are outdated I recommend you to find alternatives from https://privacytools.io
You can also update this list with a pull request on my GitHub
There’s a big difference between
In a nutshell security is confidentiality of your data, while
privacy is appropriate use of your data.
Of course, without confidentiality (encryption), your data can be intercepted and used inappropriately, so
entirely unencrypted transmissions are always susceptible to privacy violations.
But just encrypting your data is not sufficient for your privacy, a weak encryption or a backdoor will
provide you a false sense of privacy and security. This is why you should always choose apps and services
which you can read the source code and lets you modify them.
The best way to enforce privacy is to collect no data at all.
This will soon become a long list, so I have tried to optimize this page as much as I can
And I strongly encorage you to click on the Know More... button to know our reason for choosing
It would also be better if you could click through all the links we provided for more detailed
Software is not like making a car. Once you've made one copy of your software, the
to make a
million more are tiny
It does make sense to pay/donate a little to the people who developed your favorite OS,
but the amount
should be tiny, not 100s of Dollars.
(there's a reason Microsoft has so many billions in the bank).
But that is just in cost perspective, there are other moral and ethical reasons for you to
stay away from
is a privacy nightmare
Mac OS Does
not care about user freedom!
But don't worry, There are other operating systems which exists which is free and much better.
is GNU/Linux and this is the only Operating system I know which cares about user freedom.
You can get a list of GNU/Linux Operating systems from
is a fully free GNU/Linux distribution based on Debian and will probably suit your needs.
Personally I feel debian can be used as long as you don't install anything
from its non-free repository. I use it in my main system and it works great!
But what if you just came from Windows or Mac and you want the OS to "Just Work" and install
whatever you want?
There are other GNU/Linux operating systems exists which are
not fully free
These non-free distributions came with the cost of your freedom, but much less compared to the
Other AOSP based operating system for
iOS also restricts user freedom just like Mac OS, The
users are kept in a jail with
access to the free world.
I Do not recommend anyone to use Apple products if you wish to have a private
might promise you security but it is impossible for you to verify them unless
provide you with the source code which can reproduce their build.
There are no good alternatives for Android, if you install the malwares such as
Google Play Services or Playstore you will
compromise your setup.
Sadly these comes built-in with almost all mobiles.
This is the reason I promote custom roms like LineageOS
instead. The official guide
asks you to install GApps (Google apps),
but if you avoid it and install F-Droid
instead of playstore,
are good to go.
You can always buy Librem
5 or Pinephone
if you wish to have a GNU/Linux system in your pocket
But they are not yet a full fledged mobile and needs a lot of improvements
The pocket world is filled with spyware,
but if you are
an Android user
install custom rom to avoid all proprietary apps and
services! F-Droid is a
repo for FLOSS Android Applications
Sorry iOS users, you threw away that freedom when you choose Apple. You could still sideload
(there are other stores available now) without jailbreaking.
But it is not a FLOSS repo like F-Droid.
F-Droid Repository is an easily-installable catalogue of free and open source apps
for Android. With F-Droid, it's easy to browse and install apps on your device, and keep
track of updates. You can also browse the repository with a web browser, and download the
app directly from there, if you can’t or don’t want to run the F-Droid client on your
All applications in the default F-Droid repository must be Free and Open Source software – for
example, released under a GPL or Apache license. Every effort is made to verify that
this is actually the case, both by visual inspection of the source, and by building the
application from the published source.
Software that reports user activity without permission (e.g. via Google Analytics) or tracks
user behavior (e.g. most advertising platforms) is specifically excluded from F-Droid’s own
repository, as is software with the primary purpose of interacting with a non-Free network
service. You are, of course, free to set up your own repository for this kind of software –
the server source is available, and the client will allow addition or removal of
repositories as you see fit.
Google Chrome (Mobile), Safari (Mobile)
TorBrowser (Guardian Project)
I did not add Chromium and other browsers based on it in this list purposefully. It has some
of Google bloats that
needs to be removed and some folks have made ungoogled chromium
for that specific purpose.
But user needs to add an extra unofficial repo to F-Droid to install
engine based browsers are forced
onto iPhone users, Apples policy does
not allow developers to develop a browser that is not based on their tool (Another reason to
stay away from Apple).
source code from the Mozilla project is free
software, they distribute and recommend nonfree software as plug-ins and addons. Also their
trademark license imposes requirements for the distribution of modified versions that make
it inconvenient to exercise freedom 3.
is based on the latest Firefox
release. It's focused on removing any
proprietary bits found in official Mozilla's builds. There might still be some binaries left
and the app (or some builds) might get removed or re-pushed anytime.
But Fennec is also not fully Free-- it is just a variant of firefox without the binary
This is the reason why
IceCatMobile is a Browser using the Gecko layout engine to render web pages, which
implements current and anticipated web standards. This is a free software rebranding of the
latest Firefox-ESR release.
read more about IceCat
Another option is the Tor Browser, though it is
official F-Droid repo yet, you can enable the
Project Official App Repository
in F-Droid to install it.
WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Duo, hike, line, etc.
Communication must not be done in a walled garden, using protocols instead of
apps makes sure that
talk to anyone regardless of the app they use. This is the main reason I ask people to switch to
Element works with all Matrix-based apps and bridges into proprietary messengers too.
Signal is another candidate, but I am adding it here half-heartedly. Unlike Element, using it with
will be a hassle right now and
requires you to use your phone number to create an account. Signal app does not exist in f-droid
developer has been hesitant to do so for many years (here is one instance).
The Signal clients and server does support federation, it is just a matter of time before it
federated. It is said to get a phone number free feature in the future and until then
theoretically one could
use a burner number for it.
Telegram also raise some concerns as the chat is not default end-to-end encrypted and requires you
yourself with your number.
The encryption is done on the server side with their own solution. User will have to just "Trust"
recommend you to use Telegram only if you need to part of a public channel - not for secure
But these are much better in terms of privacy and security compared to the mainstream
There is a widespread misconception that WhatsApp is secure and privacy-friendly.
While WhatsApp can’t see what’s inside the messages, they can see your activities, who is
sending a message to
whom and when - which is a large risk (read more on their policies from the links
And according to the WhatsApp privacy
policy, the company reserves the
right to record this
information, known as message metadata, and share information with "others"
obviously not limited to) law enforcement and to respond to legal
If you use their service, please check their statements regularly.
statement through links.
Details on information shared to law enforcement can be found at WhatsApp's privacy and security page.
their messenger app, the best I could find is this.
I will just assume that it has the same policies as
and Line follows the
- Be safe