Here you have a small dilemma: you want to replace the set of Google products in your life with an alternative. But you don't like the idea of gathering lots of random applications to find a solution. So you want a consistent all-in-one package. That's exactly what the cloud software suite called Zoho is about.
Zoho is primarily aimed at businesses, but it is also an excellent option for individuals. So we recommend you get a Zoho account for personal use and here are four reasons to try this tool.
1.- Email with your own free domain
Personalized email addresses are a good touch to polish your digital identity. They are considered essential if you work online as a freelancer.
But creating an address that ends with your own domain, you are more likely to generate a recurring expense. Now, you may think that this is excessive for personal email, or perhaps, it is an expense that you cannot pay at this time. Fortunately, you have free options available and Zoho Mail is one of them.
If you sign up for a commercial email account with Zoho, you can host the email in your own domain. This account comes with a free level, which is more than enough for the personal use of many people. So what happens if what you have is a commercial email account?
The problem with the free account is that you can access your email only with the web version of Zoho Mail. And not through a desktop email client.
To start with a commercial email account, visit the official site: mail.zoho.com. Select the "Commercial email" button and then click on the "Register now" button.
Since the next step requires you to connect your domain to Zoho, you must have a domain name registered in advance. Depending on the domain name registration you go with, you may have access to a one-click configuration option to configure Zoho Mail with your custom domain.
Also, keep in mind that if you go with Zoho's free personal email service, you will get an email address that ends at @ zoho.com.
2.- Robust Zoho applications in a single package
Like Google, Zoho has many applications to keep you organized and productive. For starters, in addition to the mail and calendar applications, you'll find applications for:
- Create notes, tasks, invoices, forms and websites.
- Manage contacts, bookmarks and passwords.
- Create documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
- Make a backup of your files in the cloud.
Here are three of the best applications of this tool:
This is one of the best free email accounts you should keep in mind. Do not think that you will get stuck with a lot of basic features because you are not paying anything. That is not the case at all.
While some applications of this tool seem a bit dated, Zoho Notebook doesn't have that problem. It is a pleasure to use it! You can create any number of notebooks and notes. Zoho Notebook has a web clipper extension for Chrome and Safari. It is one of those extras that you will want to explore further.
It is in the list of the best free online word processors. When you face Zoho Writer against Google Docs and Microsoft Word Online, Zoho Writer always ranks first.
It is important that Zoho has thought a lot about the design of each of its applications. That does not mean that all applications are perfect.
But, since it has so many positive aspects to focus on, you will probably be willing to overlook the occasional negatives. On the other hand, it depends on whether failures are a decisive factor for you.
3.- Less intrusive approach to data collection
There are many people who want to get rid of Google for privacy reasons. But not all of them have the time, inclination or knowledge to establish more private, open source or general alternatives. This is how this tool is presented as a viable commitment for such people.
For newbies, that tool:
- Keep all your products free of advertising, even at the free level.
- It has applications that need a configuration from zero to minimum. And they are easier to use than many other more private alternatives.
- It also has detailed guides to help you get through complex parts.
Of course, we must reiterate here that, while Zoho does not collect as much data as Google and Microsoft, it does collect some data to do its job well. As a result, the tool's applications are not as private as a self-hosted application could be.
4.- Mobile application support
While Zoho does not have a complete set of desktop applications, it has mobile counterparts for many of its web applications. The portable applications are quite good and not just symbolic versions created to please mobile users.
It can be annoying to log in to each application separately on your mobile, but you can solve that problem by installing Zoho OneAuth. Once you log in to this mobile application, you will not be asked for your credentials when you open any of the other Zoho applications on your mobile device.
Zoho OneAuth also adds an additional layer of protection to your account with multi-factor authentication. In other words, to protect your account against password violations, the application has more than one checkpoint to confirm your identity:
- Your login credentials.
- A second method, such as a one-time password.
It is worth paying for Zoho
There is no doubt that Google is the best at what it does. It gives you all the tools you need to manage your work and your life efficiently. But at a price, a subtle but persistent intrusion of your privacy. That should be enough to make you consider changing tools.
Unfortunately, there are not many alternatives that can match Google's capabilities. Zoho is one of the few that does this, and it is worth exploring, both for personal and commercial use.
Of course, if you want to replace Google Search, you'll have to see beyond Zoho. So you will have to choose more Google Search alternatives focused on privacy.