When it comes to home offices (or any office setup), many people are stuck with Google Docs, even though we know Google is sharing or selling your data and profiling you. Effectively, the documents you upload are legally in the hands of, and kinda owned by, a big corporation.
Google doesn't charge money to use (some) of their products, but you pay with your data.
That, of course, doesn't bother everyone, as they are good tools to work with, especially when you work and collaborate with others.
But you could have a much better, fully encrypted, open-source solution.
CryptPad is built to enable collaboration and is private by design.
Every document is fully encrypted and can only be decrypted by your browser from the accounts and passwords with which you share the document. This means documents, chats, and files are unreadable outside of the session into which you are logged. Even the service administrators do not have access to your information. Additionally, all documents are synced in real time.
CryptPad has a full Office Suite of applications, which includes Rich Text, Spreadsheets, Code/Markdown, Kanban, Slides, Whiteboard and Polls. This means you have everything Google Docs can offer you plus some additional features like Kanban, Poll, Code and Whiteboard.
Every single app has a full-blown collaboration feature, is encrypted and has a chat feature. You can see where your business partners are changing the docs in real time and can work everything out the way you would or could with Google Docs. The difference is, the files remain fully encrypted at all times.
This is where it all gets interesting, all encryption is done client side. This means CryptPad itself has no way nor any option to decrypt and view your docs. Now contrast that with Google Docs, which is not encrypted at all, so not just be able to see your docs, but actively scanning them and use the data for ads and to profile you.
And as listed above, the applications are complemented by a set of collaboration features such as Chat, Contacts, Color by Author (code/markdown), and Comments with mentions (Rich Text).
CryptPad features in brief detail
- You will have access and use the main modules of CryptPad, which include: CryptDrive, Rich text, Code, Presentation, Poll, Kanban, Whiteboard, Todo and Sheet.
- You will have access to several capabilities including chatting, editing documents and files, importing and exporting documents and files, viewing the history or user lists for documents, files, and chats.
- You can view and download documents and files shared by other users.
- Store visited pads on the browser so that you have easy access to these pads and can open them there at a later time.
- You can create a profile and chat with contacts.
- Manage folders, shared folders, templates and tags
- You’ll have access to CryptDrive everywhere with your user account, particularly in the case where it is publicly available over the internet.
- Store pads on your CryptDrive and more
With CryptPad you can also organize your CryptPad drive to store and manage documents, create and share folders, create tags, upload files including PDF, pictures, video, audio etc.
You got a single row of adjustment settings and tools. There is a panel that shows collaborators who've joined you for co-editing.
You can add tables, math functions and imagines. Documents can be shared via URL, and you can even password protect a shared URL.
The UI is minimalistic and maybe lacks a few things that Google Docs offers, but for many people, beyond this, it will be all you would need in a document editor.
CryptPad also has instances, so you can pick or host your own instance.
The flagship instance is hosted by the developers themselves, cryptpad.fr
Here you can choose between a Guest, a Registered and a Premium version.
The big question remains, can CryptPad replace Google Docs? I would definitely say so, plus having everything encrypted and OWNED by yourself and not a data hungry collecting corporation is most certainly wothwhile.
Stay safe and happy collaborating
The Privacy Advocate
Link to the Privacy Cookbook Index