Brax2 alternatives?

You all may, or may not, be aware of a tech privacy phone, router, website & email service by the name of BraxMe & Brax2.
I have been a user of this for at least 2 years, and a user of Fdroid for about 4.

I have nothing but good things to say about the whole concept and even the devices & services in an of themselves (especially for the Founder “Rob Braxman”). There is a problem though, that I have seen these past 2 years and it’s that this platform has no vision (or even interest IMO) to have, or make REALISTIC & PRACTICAL WAYS for the Newer & Future General Public to come over to the Free Open Source Software & Privacy Focused side of Phone & Device side; and is very content with the way things operate ATM. I Truly wish there was more thing like this available for people (without the bureaucratic style human platform interface operation), which is what brings me to the question of this thread:

Does any one know of similar devices & websites available like the BraxMe platform?

My understanding is that most people will just purchase android, and even some apple?, style phones and do roots (I still don’t know what that really is), and Lineage this or Linux that, to ATTEMPT to either have more control over their devices, make them more private, or make them more “transparent”. I think its safe to say that everyone here would like to have the maximum amount of all these concepts in their daily life devices, but I also understand that the big tech industry has made me/you an enemy for wanting to do so, hence the birth of things like F-Droid.

But it can’t be that there is only one or 2 players in town for this after at least 4 years of living in shadows of the big tech phone & device market. So once again, does anyone know of other (hopefully US based) privacy phone & device centered platforms out there, that are also F-Droid friendly?

If not, is the only other alternative doing “root” stuff to existing big tech manufactured android phones & devices?

Root is not needed 99% of the time.

See Calyx or Divest ROMs too.

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mmm, after a quick search it seems like these 2 have some potential.
Still doesn’t provide an alternative to the BraxMe platform, but it may just be a break even situation since on BraxMe you still have to do some of the privacy leg work as well.

I still can’t believe that it’s been at least 4-6 years of full blown general public privacy phone & electronics violation exposure, and we still only have F-Droid as the most top tier solution, worldwide.

What are you referring to in the 4-6 years?

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I guess my years are a little off, but I am referring to 2013 when the first large scale exposure of data privacy by Eric Snowden came out in the “public”. I understand data privacy has been “known” of a lot long er than that, but it has not been as big ever since Snowden; even people in their 70’s more or less know about what’s going on since watching Snowden’s interviews, in recent years. So it’s even worse that’s it’s been longer than 6 years and there really is only 2 platforms (one being BraxMe) that provide alternatives to big tech phone & device market.

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Brax phone is a proprietary GPL-violating OS and 5 year old outdated hardware that you can get from Alibaba for 1/4th the price:

Furthermore Brax phone is actually produced by a conglomerate called Secure Group, I’ll leave that one for you to research.

The other “degoogled” phones that they sell are blatantly overpriced and insecure:

BytzTOR is a downright stupid way to use the Tor network and costs $60 a year!

Brax social network has fake end to end encryption:

Brax XMPP server is nearly 3 years outdated and improperly configured:

Brax hosts all his services on Amazon Web Services: Hardenize: Comprehensive web site configuration test

And before you say Murena is the second alternative:


Thanks for this me the link about e mobile. That was a very comprehensive read. @skewedzeppelin

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That’s really great of you to share all those source links.
I am more informed because of them.
I still am on the fence about much of this, and still think that as untasteful & lacking as that platform is; I see no other major & practical option for the public to take up, at this time (minus the options Licaon_Kter presented).

There’s several other possibilities for open source products depending on which features you are willing to trade off for other goals or levels of completeness. Hardware wise, there’s

  • Librem 5 there is the plain version, or the “USA” version, which refers to the supply chain, not the frequency bands. Unfortunately both are quite expensive and there are shipping backlogs.
  • Pinephone there are several variants of this. Whether it works with any given carrier may depend on which OS you choose to run on it, see
  • Pyra a US version exists, could possibly be ordered but has uncertain delivery dates, also not clear if 4G is working yet so may not be viable as a phone for US use, but the 3G stuff should still work in Europe
  • Volla German, meant for Europe but at least one forum poster said he had no trouble getting it shipped to USA by ordering through indiegogo. You will have to verify frequency bands with your carrier.
  • Fairphone mostly for Europe but supposedly there is also a US distributor, Murena (whose site says Fairphone is a partner but does not make it easy to find this model for US use unless you start from a European product list). The supported frequencies have some overlap with US bands but not completely, you should check with your carrier for what bands they need to use. Murena Fairphone 4 says it should be usable, but I have not verified this, and they put /e/ on it which @SkewedZeppelin has commented on, you probably have to reinstall the Fairphone OS yourself.
  • Shiftphone - German, there is even smaller overlap with frequency bands used in US.

or even

  • WiPhone
  • Precursor
    if all you want is to make wifi VoIP calls and not bother about android stuff at all

There used to be PiPhone and ZeroPhone but those are no longer much use in USA after the demise of the 3G networks since these never had working 4G or 5G. There may be a few 2G networks left that none of the carriers want to talk about but those might quietly go away at any time now.

Software wise, there’s lots of websites devoted to alternate ROMs, app repos, individual apps, settings adjustments, rooting, etc. Others have commented on those so I won’t even try here.

If by “platforms” you mean Braxman’s XMPP service, there are literally THOUSANDS of those available. Some partial listings are at Public XMPP servers . And it is not too difficult to run your own, for example Freeedombox can do this and more. For the publicly available servers, not all are privacy friendly, you will have to check out the prospects’ policies individually. Some of my favorites are

For a client, there are quite a few available on fdroid. I’ve settled on using Conversations | F-Droid - Free and Open Source Android App Repository, but there are many others to choose from.

Other ideas (I don’t necessarily agree with everything on these sites, but can be good to look at and think about)
Android - Platforms - PRISM Break
Best Privacy Tools & Software Guide in 2023
Privacy Guides


3 posts were merged into an existing topic: DivestOS: long term device support with enhanced privacy and security

I am not sure what’s going here, but I definitely remember replying to this great reply of yours o.O

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

I am pasting the thread below:

for back ground’s reference (if desired) sake about the following request:

I am starting a new job next week, and am looking for any one wanting to pitch in with recommendations on a (relatively) quick & simple phone purchase to use (camera/microphone, text, and calendar are dealbreakers for me) and replace what I have been using (glitch ridden & “outdated” Android Version 10 Motorola G Play 2021) so far. BTW, which was supposed to be a “temporary” replacement for my 3 year Brax2 daily driver, then.

I’d like to have lots of app functions, sound library, alarms, and other cool stuff but right now I just need to be able to have a fairly reliable daily driver FOSS phone that doesn’t have a gagillion year wait list time, and that I can depend on for the dealbreakers above.

For more reference, after I read the thread above (along with a piece from another thread about a similar topic) and looked at it’s link recommendation below:

I came to the conclusion (then) that there was indeed no way around “rooting” and that I would have to “root” a phone, in order to get privacy & autonomy (approximately) of my wanted FOSS phone. So the question again is, does any one have any recommendations that more or less meet the conditions I mentioned above?

Any input helps.

Just get a Pixel 6a, it is supported by all the worthwhile aftermarket operating systems, has updates until July 2027, and can be found for <$300 new.

If you have more budget, consider the 7, it is often on sale for only $5 more than the budget-variant 7a.

If you are on a tight budget, try and find a OnePlus 6T as the 8GB RAM variant. They can be had for ~$100, but do not have any vendor updates anymore and are insecure. Supports LineageOS, my DivestOS, and even proper postmarketOS with a mainline kernel!

Also rooting is not needed to replacing the system, only flipping a unlock toggle in the Settings app is.

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Great link, It really helps with @SkewedZeppelin’s reply.

But you mentioned “source for devices”; and I don’t see any way to actually “purchase” them on that link, so it’s just a site to look at specs & device info, correct?

This comment right here is why I keep believing there is a chance of Freedom in the cyberpunk dystopian future we are headed towards, and why I keep donating to F-Droid.

Which reminds me, I should check if that autopay is still working :thinking: :thinking: :thinking:

Yes. It is a website for comparing phones that can be used with lineageos.

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