Web Redecentralization

So now that everyone uses Google, Outlook email, Yahoo … Is it worth to migrate back to a smaller model?

These days we are increasingly dependent on large service providers. I think everyone makes web searches with Google, has an Iphone or Android phone, uses either Google Drive, One Drive, Drop box and so on. Certainly everyone see movies on Netflix.

Leaving the privacy paranoia aside, after all, unless a people write down their innermost thoughts, much of what crawlers and spies get are habits. And habits should never been accepted as “proof that somebody knows you“, even more today. It is a fact that these companies are monitoring you.

I honestly don’t mind about it: it’s been a long time since I don’t discuss anything serious in my mail, maybe except for my master’s degree (and my thesis will become public anyway). I scarcely talk about business on Gmail. I don’t do confessions on my Gmail, I don’t disclose things that could “end up” with my life. At most one or another conversation with Simone (my wife), some research for real estate… Some shopping…

I don’t care if a hacker access my mail. I do not store nude photos there. In fact, I believe the best way not to have nude photos exposed is not taking them, in the first place. I don’t know if someone already coined that phrase, but it’s kind of a saying I have with me since my teen years:

The best way to solve problems is not creating one.

So I don’t give a damn about my e-mail. Almost… There is one thing. Passwords. All my passwords to redirect to one of my Gmail. That’s dangerous. So, it’s not because of the content that some guys are working on a movement of “web redecentralization”.

Redecentralize the WEB, what is it?

Basically is to use smaller providers or services or, in the case of companies or who is technically aware, use one’s own servers for services such as email, storage, web hosting and such.

This blog that you, at this moment, reading, for example. It was born in wordpress.com. Someday I decided that I didn’t want to host it there. I ended up signing up for a server in a cloud hosting service that would hold my website. No, it was not a web hosting service. I had actually to set up the whole server. Okay, there is a lot of recipes on the web to do this safely, but still, I had to put some effor on it.

The point I want to make: I have somewhat decentralized my blog, after all, I have control of the server. If I have my 5 minutes, I can migrate everything to another server. It’s something on long term road map, to be honest …

I think critical services or anything that means the professional performance of someone or some company must be under the control of the company itself. Not necessarily in the form of proprietary servers, but maybe something along my server in the cloud.

It is always nice to have the option of throw everything up and take the control, of course, “if you have your 5 minutes”


There ain’t no such thing as free lunch.

That really doesn’t exist. It is very difficult to find free alternatives to these services that offer real privacy option. The average user gets things for free from these services because this user is doing a trade-off: they have the service for free, however, they pay with their data. It is just like open broadcast TV: you pay with your time watching commercials. The TV is free in terms…

Then one thing should be very clear: those who use a free service are paying with their information, by disclosing their habits and etc. As I said, people must undestand that they are paying a very cheap price because people usually offer their habits for free by doing checkin, post photos of food or love to announce the things they bought…

Hardly Google will leak photos: it is usually the behavior of people that put them in tough situations or exposed: why does someone need to take so much naked photso on the very cell phone they carry around?

I, for example, never got tired or stressed with Gmail ads. So far so good…

What to do?

For those who do not care much

Just as I don’t.

the thing is just change the email to a safer alternative or not leave the emails on the server. There was a time that space was a problem for most users: I think that if you take out the trash, my gmail has a 200 MB e-mail useful …

I decided to set up a mail server in the cloud, no date yet to do that. As I said, in my Gmail there’s not much pay, follow him. I have migrated the targeting passwords to another mail, safer. But the tips are:

  • Use mail from college;
  • use your ISP mail
  • Use some webmail services listed here.
  • Use mail providers that enable POP or IMAP access and an application to keep the e-mails in the provider (or leave it at given time, only).
    • Examples: GMAIL + Thunderbird. There’s a lot of tutorial for use.

For anyone who is worried

Then I see no other way than get hands-on and eventually look out for a server or at least getting one in the cloud and administer it. If doing it home, one must get an IP address. To get an IP, a fixed IP VPN service can be the solution. The servie I use, last time I’ve checked offer an IP along with VPN services.

I can say that I have been migrating some services gradually out of the cloud, most because learning than privacy. To set up a server with redundancy is fairly simple. So I will list here some things I have been studing. I hope this helps.

  • Mail: Mail-in-a-Box
  • Armazenamento: Owncloud
  • Senhas: keepass (e suas variações para smartphone) + owncloud
  • Músicas, fotos, arquivos de mídia: é só usar o armazenamento do owncloud.
  • Streaming: Plex
  • Analytics: Piwik

Besides these, take a look in “alternativeto” for self-hosted versions: that can help anyone to find more service alternatives.

Want to know more?

Here is basically technical content …

Take a look at this site. I stumbled on it while I was looking for tutorials of how to set up a mail server for the blog.

And also look at this:


About rftafas 183 Articles
Ricardo F. Tafas Jr graduated in Electrical Engineering at UFRGS with focus on Digital Systems and achieved his Masters also in Electrical Engineering on Telecomunications Network Management. He also author of "Autodesenvolvimento para Desenvolvedores (Self-development for developers). Ricardo has +10 years experience on R&D Management and +13 years on Embedded Eystem Development. His interest lay on Applied Strategic HR, Innovation Management and Embedded Technology as a differentiator and also on High Performance Digital Systems and FPGAs. Actually, he is editor and writer for “Repositório” blog (, editorial board member at Embarcados (https://embarcados.com.br) and he is Management and Innovation Specialist at Repo Dinâmica - Aceleradora de Produtos.
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments