Ah yes, websites. There are at least a thousand of them, but which ones are the best? Obviously I can’t really answer that, but I can at least tell you about some that you should definitely know about. In this article I’ve got 11 cool websites that range from being extremely useful, to just pure fun. You’ve probably heard of some of them, but I doubt all of them, so you should at least get something out of this. So let’s get started about 11 cool and useful websites everyone should know!
Number one, this website is definitely in the extremely useful category. It’s called, “VirusTotal”, and you may have heard me mention it before. It’s actually owned by Google now, and what it does is let’s you upload any file, and
it will be scanned with pretty much every virus scanner software out there, which is over 60 of them. This obviously can’t replace having antivirus software on your computer because it only scans individual files, but it’s great if you come across something suspicious. Maybe you download something and your antivirus software says it’s fine, but you want to be sure. Or maybe your antivirus says it’s a virus, but you think it could be a false alarm. In both cases, you can use VirusTotal to compare it to all the other antiviruses to get a better idea. Like if every antivirus says it’s fine except for a few, those are probably a false positive. But if a pretty good chunk of them say it’s a virus, better play it safe. Also, they even have a feature to search websites as well. So if someone sends you a link you’re not too sure about, you can check it out. Of course common sense is the best defense, so don’t rely on it completely, if it’s a
brand new phishing site or something I don’t know if it would detect it.
Next up we have a quick one that’s just for fun. It’s called “Windows 93”, which emulates a theoretical version of Windows that would have been from 1993. It’s not exactly historically accurate, in fact it’s mostly just humorous, but is actually surprisingly complex. It has an internet themed Wolfenstein game, a drawing program like paint, even Half Life 3, which apparently never finishes loading. You can also start a virtual machine, which runs Windows 93, inside Windows 93. There is obviously a ton of stuff you can do to waste time on here, so I’d better not get too far into it, you can just explore it yourself.
Alright number 3 is another important one, called “HaveIBeenPwned”. It seems like all the time now, we hear about a new website getting hacked and passwords being leaked, but how are you supposed to know if YOUR data has been leaked. Well that’s the point of this site. You just type in your email address, and it will tell your email address, along with your password and potentially other info, was included in any breaches in it’s database. That way, you know to not only change your password on that site, but also never use that same password again. That’s because hackers frequently use leaked databases to try email and password combinations on a bunch of sites. If you used the same password on multiple websites, they can easily get in. Another really important feature of this site is you can sign up to receive an email notification if your email has been found in any future breaches going forward. And chances are you will eventually. Just look at the one from Adobe in 2013, where over 150 MILLION accounts were leaked. You’ll obviously want to immediately know if it happens to you.
Number 4, we have a site called “10 minute mail”, which generates a temporary email address for you that expires in 10 minutes. This is great if you come across a website that requires you to sign up for an account to use, but you know you’ll probably never use it again, and don’t want to give away your real email. Now you can just sign up with a throwaway email address, get whatever you need from the site, and leave. Another use might be if you aren’t sure whether a site is junk or not. You can sign up with a temporary email, and if it turns out to be legit, you can just
make a real account or change to your real email. If the site ends up being useless, you won’t have to worry about getting on any new spam list from it.
Onto number 5, this one is great and is so simple. It’s called “DownForEveryoneOrJustMe”, or the short version is just isup.me, and all this site does is tells you if any website you type in is currently up or down. I’m it’s happened to you a million times, you try to go to a site, and it either takes forever to load, or won’t load at all, and you’re wondering if the problem is on your end or not. Not really much more to say about it… If the website is up, it will tell you it’s just you, and if it really is down, it will say it’s not just you. Definitely a handy one to remember.
Ok next up, number 6, this one is pretty well known I think, which is “GetHuman”. This website is for any time you call customer service for any company, and you just can’t seem to talk to a real person. With this, you type in a company, and it will tell you exactly what steps to take to get connected to a human customer support agent, assuming it’s possible. For example, if we try Sony, it tells us the phone number to call, and then what numbers to press that will put you through to someone. In this case, you press 5, then zero, then zero. For companys or websites that have basically no way to talk to someone, like YouTube, it will at least have some instructions for how to fix common problems. They also apparently have a paid service where they will literally call the company on your behalf, but I’ve never tried that particular service myself.
Alright, next we have an interesting little site called “Which Book”, and the point is to help you find a book you might want to read, or several. On the left of the page there are a bunch of criteria sliders you can use to describe what you’d like. So maybe you want one that’s really happy, but also really disturbing, which would be a weird combination, and we can see it actually has quite a few possible recommendations. There is a limit of four slider criteria at once, I guess because otherwise it would just be too specific or inaccurate. There’s also a button to add more settings like a specific type of plot, setting, or character. Overall it’s just a cool site you might want to check out.
Number 8, PixaBay. This is an awesome stock photo website, except every single one of the pictures are royalty
free. Specifically the pictures are all released under Creative Commons Zero, meaning they are released into the public domain. And there are a surprising number of stock photos on here, right now over a million. That’s nowhere near some of the paid stock photos sites that might have over 100 million, but hey you really can’t complain. There are still a ton of really cool, high quality images on here that you can use for anything from desktop wallpaper, to being put in YouTube videos. You’re also able to filter for specific types of images, like actual photos, or vector graphics, or ones that have transparent backgrounds. And yes, I very often get a lot of pictures from here and use them in videos. It might be difficult to find images about really specific topics, but for the most part, you can usually find at least something you can work with.
Moving on, number 9 is a site called “JustWatch”, where you can type in any movie or TV show you want to watch, and it will tell you what streaming services have it. And as you can see it supports pretty much every streaming service out there, or at least the most popular ones. Let’s do an example, like for game of thrones. Under Watch Now, it shows you services that you can stream it on, assuming you subscribe to it, as well as other services that let you just buy episodes outright, and how many seasons those sites have. In this case, it looks like they all have six seasons, but you want to double check, because even though it says Fandango and Microsoft have 7 seasons, if you actually go to them, they just have the option to pre-order season 7, and you can’t actually watch it yet. As I said it also works for movies, so if we type in something like “Dr Strange”, right in the results we can see that it’s streamable on netflix, and most of the other services allow you to either rent or buy the movie, since Google play is listed under both. I should mention that the results will definitely vary by country, but at least it seems like it also supports a lot of European based streaming services as well, so it should work no matter where you live.
Alright almost near the end, number 10, is Product Hunt, which is a really cool website to find out about brand new products that have just been released or announced. These might be physical products, apps, or services on websites.
New products are posted every day, and a lot of them are from random startups you’ve never heard of, but you’ll also see people posting stuff released by major companies like Apple or Google, and usually before they’re widely advertised. Of course you can filter through different catagories to see the most popular recent stuff as well. So I think this is a neat site worth checking out every few days or so, to see the best stuff that you might have missed.
Ok, finally number 11, we have If This Then That, also known as IFTTT. This website basically connects the APIs of a ton of different websites and services all together to interact however you want. For example, you could make it so any time you get a new Twitter follower, your smart light bulbs blink. Or any time you post a photo on instagram, it automatically posts it to facebook as well. The possibilities are pretty much endless, you could even do weird pointless stuff like, any time you upload a video on YouTube, it turns up your thermostat or something. Completely ridiculous, but you get the idea. The one thing I will say though is unfortunately it’s not always super reliable, so you shouldn’t use it for anything important. Sometimes the triggers might be delayed for several minutes for no reason, or might not trigger at all sometimes. So just be aware of that. Still, even if it is kinda slow, it’s still pretty darn useful.
So I guess that’s it a bunch of cool websites that I think you’ll find pretty cool, and maybe you knew most of them, but you can always send this to friends and let them know about these too. If you have any awesome sites I didn’t write about, let me know in the comments, I’ll probably write about one of these eventually. Which of these websites you liked the most? Let me know below! Thanks a lot for reading.