There are millions upon millions of websites, but the ones we visit are probably the same ones we always visit. However, there are many amazingly useful sites that you might not know about that could soon become your new favorites.
These sites exist to save time and money, to help us search more effectively, to drill down into reference materials, and so much more.
Search and Reference
- Wikibooks: A giant collection of online textbooks that anyone can edit.
- HyperHistory: A visual timeline of 3,000 years of world history. Select a link to be taken to a whole new panorama of information.
- TinEye: A reverse image search engine that lets you see where an image is being used on the web by running a visual search against a database of billions of images.
- Digital History: For anyone who wants more information on U.S. history, this is the place to look. It has primary sources, quizzes, and more, all print-friendly.
- Wayback Machine: Visit an archived version of a web page to access the page as it was when it was archived, even if things have changed since then.
Reading and Writing
- Project Gutenberg: A huge database of tens of thousands of free downloadable books (you can read them online, too).
- ManyBooks: Tons of free Kindle books and books in other formats (and in dozens of languages) for your computer or eReader.
- Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL): A fantastic array of hundreds of free resources for improving your writing. Includes an updated MLA style guide.
- LibraryThing: Share what you’re reading with millions of other users, and connect with people that read similar books.
- Hemingway Editor: Have you ever been curious if your writing is too hard to read or could improve? Paste the text into this site to see the readability score and suggested edits.
Entertainment and Video
- Freevee: Did you know Amazon Prime Video also has free, ad-supported movies? All you need is an Amazon account.
- JustWatch: Ever wondered where a movie or TV show can be streamed the cheapest, or even free? Check out this site before you decide to purchase or rent a movie; you might be surprised where else it’s available.
- Zamzar: A file converter where you can upload any media file format and change it into another format absolutely free of charge and without installing any software.
- Internet Movie Poster Awards: Get the first look at the very latest movie posters. Archives go back to 1912.
- Animoto: Make a video using your own images and music, with professional looking effects.
- Internet Movie Script Database: If you’re looking for a movie script, IMSDb is where you need to be. It’s a great way to get another point of view on your favorite film.
Web Applications and Tools
- Mint: Free and automatic money management. Mint is a great way to be on top of your finances and is one of the best money management apps.
- Tripit: Forward confirmation emails to a special email address to automatically create a master itinerary for your trips.
- Saltify.io: Share sensitive information through unique, password-protected and encrypted links that automatically expire after a set time.
- DWService: Run this remote access tool on a computer to access it from any web browser.
- Mutual Backup: Keep your important files encrypted and backed up on a friend’s computer for free.
- Wormhole: Share large files and folders through your web browser with end-to-end encryption.
Shopping and Travel
- Woot: One of the best places to find deals on the web; everything from home and kitchen items to gadgets and technology-related products.
- RetailMeNot: A coupon website that has coupons for both online and in-store products.
- FlightAware: A free live flight tracker where you can view and track the activity of any private or commercial flight, as well as get printable airport information.
- TrustedHouseSitters: Quit paying nightly rates when you need somewhere to stay during trips. This site lets you apply to stay in an unlimited number of homes all over the world for an affordable yearly fee, in exchange for watching the owner’s home and oftentimes their animals.
Music and Multimedia
- iHeart: Find free streaming radio stations across the U.S. of any music you’re interested in.
- HypeMachine: Listen to the music that people are talking about on the web.
- Gnoosic: Discover new music that you didn’t even know you liked.
- Miro: Free, open source video player that works with a huge variety of video file formats. Also lets you use torrents, convert files, and share files over your network.
- Magnatune: A unique website of free streaming music, most of which is unique to this site.
News and Information
- Upstract: This is the mother of news aggregators. Previously called Popurls, it’s an awesome way to get quick information from a variety of popular online sources. On a single page are listings from Reddit, Google News, Twitter, Digg, Vice, Medium, CNN, YouTube, and other sites.
- BoingBoing: An exceedingly eclectic array of information gathered from all over the web.
- Techmeme: One of the best places to get breaking technology news.
- Drudge Report: Find news that’s off the beaten track. It’s usually one of the first places to break really big news items.
Fun and Games
- Paper Toys: Hundreds of free custom-designed paper models that you can print out and fold yourself.
- Web Sudoku: Play Sudoku for free with literally thousands of different combinations.
- Miniclip: Tons of cute animated games for kids and adults.
- Wordle: Can you guess the five-letter word in six tries?
- Escape Team: Experience escape rooms at home with these printable escape room games that are paired with a mobile app.
Productivity and New Media
- Focusmate: Connect with other people over video who need an accountability partner to get something done.
- Artful Agenda: An online calendar inspired by paper planners.
- Twitter: A mini-blogging application that you can use to journal your thoughts and ideas.
- Netvibes: A start page for the web; you can personalize your Netvibes to your unique preferences.