While ChatGPT is undoubtedly a powerful tool, there are privacy concerns surrounding the platform. Understandably, this is a dissuasive argument that may lead you to avoid ChatGPT. But there are alternative ways to use the tool. Here, we take a look at some of the ways you can use ChatGPT without an OpenAI account.
1. Bing Chat
Bing Chat is probably the easiest way for most people to use ChatGPT without an OpenAI account. The Microsoft chatbot is based on the GPT-4 version of the platform. Additionally, it can also incorporate “live results” from current data sources into its results.
To use Bing Chat all you will need is a Microsoft account and access to Microsoft Edge. If you are already a Windows User, you may already have a Microsoft account. The exception is if it is a local account, a local account differs substantially from a Microsoft account.
Once you have your account details, accessing the chatbot is simple—just use Microsoft Edge to navigate to the new Bing and the magic of ChatGPT would be at your fingertips.
2. Bing Mobile App
For mobile users Microsoft has it covered with its AI copilot app. This is a free download for Android and iOS and again, GPT-4 is at the heart of the app. The app has most of the features of the browser version and it also brings a new dimension to search capabilities for mobile users. If you are looking for mobile access without an OpenAI account, this is a terrific way to circumvent the privacy concerns surrounding ChatGPT.
Download: Bing for iOS | Android (Free)
Merlin is a browser extension that’s available for Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. Once it is installed, it integrates itself into the browser and acts as a virtual assistant. Among the functions it can perform are:
- Assisting with emails: Merlin can help you to respond to your emails or compose promotional emails.
- Adding AI replies to Google searches: Merlin appears as an “alternative” answer to Google queries.
- Summarize blog posts or YouTube videos: Merlin can be used to bullet point blog posts and videos. It can also transcribe entire YouTube videos, although there are already plenty of YouTube extensions that perform transcribing and other tasks admirably.
Installing this is simple, although you will need to sign up for a Merlin account. This is slightly more restrictive than standalone chatbots, but it is a good premise and works well.
Download: Merlin for Google Chrome/Microsoft Edge (Free, in-app purchases available).
4. ChatGPT Writer
This is very similar to the Merlin Chat extension. It works by embedding itself within your chosen browser (Chrome or Edge) and from here it can be called up to perform a variety of tasks.
Before we could use the extension, it prompted us to visit the OpenAI website for Cloudflare authentication. Once we did this (without creating an account), we could use the tool with no problems.
We tested it using Gmail. To do this we wrote ourselves a fictional email requesting more details in support of a job application and asked ChatGPT Writer to respond. The results were impressive and the tool was easily accessible from the Gmail reply toolbar.
Overall, this was a smooth experience that just edged Merlin in terms of ease of use.
Download: ChatGPT Writer for Google Chrome/Microsoft Edge (Free)
Using ChatGPT Without an OpenAI Account
There aren’t that many ways to use ChatGPT without an account. However, in the four methods we found, there should be one to suit most purposes. While the Bing chatbot was the closest to the “genuine ChatGPT experience”, the browser extensions were impressive too.
The massive surge in popularity that the platform is experiencing has exposed privacy and security concerns that are justified, at least currently. As the technology develops, privacy and security concerns are likely to be tightened to be more in step with legislation and expectations.