— Ranking The Most Secure And Private Software Tools: How I Created A Powerful Ranking System With Google Spreadsheets

Almost every other week we hear about some new data leak. If it’s Yahoo that experienced seeing 3 billion email accounts leaked, or Equifax where hackers got access to 143 million compromised Social Security numbers.

Unfortunately, most people don’t take their computer security that seriously. Some (like my dad) are deathly afraid of viruses, and believe that if they simply install and update their antivirus software, everything will be ok.

However, if the underlying services you use are simply not secure, antivirus software alone will do very little, if not anything to stop hackers from messing with your private information. Which can lead to a stolen identity, bank accounts and credit cards drained, resulting in a nightmare that can last not only months but years.

That is the reason why I wanted a service that compares the security of various software. Most of the comparison websites out there are bloated with ads, and don’t really give you a good impression of the actual security of various services. They are not always that easy to understand either.

I wanted the comparison system to be easy to understand, and allow anybody to contribute. No proprietary system that is only designed to promote affiliate links, but a real comparison.

The Power Of Google Spreadsheets

So why am I talking about Google Sheets? When I initially thought about creating this service, I had watched a video by Peter Levels, where he mentioned that it would be a good idea to keep a website ‘static’ when launching the initial version, in case it got a lot of traffic. I was initially planning on using the more advanced MEAN stack to develop the site. But learning how to use it in the proper way could take a lot of time, and fixing the website in case something breaks could take even more time.

Therefore, I though about alternative ways I could deploy a database to hold my ranking data, keeping my website lightweight but scalable. The option I settled on was Google Sheets. As we all know, Google possesses wast infrastructure, and can handle a lot of traffic.

I started searching the web for solutions, by reading countless blog posts and Stack Overflow submissions. I couldn’t quite get anything to work, before I stumbled upon Content Sheets by Jens Fischer.

The content on this web page is exclusively stored in Google Sheets, and nothing on Jens’ server. After getting some help, it was working with my own Google Sheet as well. I had to write some different code to have my data display as a table, but the concept was still the same.

Next, I started filling in my spreadsheet with data, and adding weight to my ranking factors:

Ranking factors

The values for each service is calculated with very common functions, namely RANK, SUM and VLOOKUP. In order to have the rows sort automatically, I used a script that I found on Stack Overflow. I used Bulma as my CSS framework, which made it very simple to design the site.

In the end, my result looks like this:

None of the ranking data is stored on my website, everything is in a single Google Sheet.

If you would like to have a look and find the most secure software tools and those who value your privacy, head over to and have a look. If you would like to contribute to our dataset, or make a financial contribution for the continued development of our service, that would be greatly appreciated as well. You can find more information about that here. The Google sheet is public, and anybody can comment on it. We also have a slack channel where you are free to share your suggestions on changes.

If you are on Product Hunt, please feel free to share your experience there as well.