Here are 15 useful websites you may not be aware of, that will make you say: “The Internet isn’t so dumb after all!” And they’re all free. (Although some can be upgraded to a paid plan.)
I’ve divided them into 4 broad categories: Privacy & security, Speed tests, Design & photography, and some miscellaneous, as a bonus.
I’ve used all of these at least once, some even dozens of times. I hope you come across something useful that will save you time and headaches. I know I did.
Let’s get into it.
Privacy & Security
Got a super-secret message that you don’t want to risk getting into the hands of the wrong people? You may not be a CIA spy, but there may come a time when you need to share sensitive information, think of passwords for identifiable personal information.
This site allows you to write your message and then either email it or send it as a link to the recipient. The best part? After being opened, it auto-destroys Mission Impossible-style. There are also other options if you want to be even more strict.
Do you still use your childhood address or grandpa’s maiden name as a password? Or some intricate strings of characters that you can’t easily remember? Then you may need a passphrase. It’s like a password, but better. Easier to remember, and harder to crack. It can look like this: undocked lesser delegator clinic.
This site generates 4, 5, or 12-word (!) passphrases. It also explains why most people’s passwords suck. It’s worth a read. Have fun generating your uncrackable password!
Don’t you hate it when websites demand you make an account before you can use their service? Yeah, I feel your pain. And what if you’re not ready to commit? Or are unsure of the trustworthiness of the site? Use a 10-minute email. If you need more than 10 minutes, you can ask for 10 more.
If you’re concerned about how your data is being used and would like more privacy in your digital world, then look no further than Privacy Guides. It’s an extensive list of tools and services that put privacy front and center. From browsers to VPNs or email providers, there are great options to choose from.
Is everyone bugging you to get on Twitter, but you simply can’t be bothered? However, you’d still want to check out what some people you like to share on there, without needing an account. Nitter is the answer.
This website lets you check your internet speed and has plenty of resources to help you figure out how to get more out of your internet connection.
If you’ve been on the Internet for more than 5 minutes you know how important website speed is. No one has the patience to wait even 1 extra second for a snail-paced page to load.
So if you have a website, you should check its loading speed to make sure you’re not losing visitors. This website will show you so much more than load speed, so if you can decipher all the nerd-talk, then you’ll have a field day.
Design & Photography
This is a designer’s heaven. This site offers almost 8 million icons and stickers. The categories are as broad as they can get, and the quality is excellent. If you’re interested in accessing the truly great icons and packs, then you may consider upgrading to a paid plan.
I needed to create a few logos in my life and had no idea where to start. This is where Looka comes to the rescue. Looka is an AI-powered branding platform that can help you find your brand identity.
From choosing your company name to picking a logo and even designing business cards, Looka has you covered. Everything is customizable to fit your unique personality.
If you choose to use their service, you’ll need to pay, but you can start for free simply to browse logos for inspiration.
Did you ever need to create a persona or use a realistic picture of a person, but didn’t want to resort to the same over-used free stock images? Meet “this person doesn’t exist.” I guess you can’t meet them, but you can use their photo. Each image is AI-generated and it can fool even the best of us. Simply refresh the page until you find one that suits your needs.
When you need Photoshop, but don’t have it, this is as good as it gets. It’s a browser photo editor that can save you when you need a quick photo-retouching job. It has more settings than you may think and has been useful for me more than once.
It’s not perfect and the speed is not always great, but hey, it’s better than nothing.
Ever struggled with creating a color palette? Maybe for your wedding, passion project, or even a website. (Especially a website!)
This tool lets you browse an outrageous number of color palettes. Can’t find anything you like? Create one from scratch, or try adjusting the ones the app suggests to you. The options are endless.
If you’re a designer who uses Figma, they now have a Coolors plugin you can integrate with it. Proceed with caution, it can get addictive.
Notely is a no-fuss website that lets you create simple boards with post-its, images, or lists. It is very minimalistic in features, and this is exactly what I appreciate about it.
This can be a great tool to help you gather and organize your notes, either for work or a personal project. It doesn’t require an account, just start creating!
This tool allows you to convert video files, images, various documents, and even fonts from any format to, you guessed it, any format. If you need to convert files larger than 100 MB, then you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan. But it’s a great option for smaller files.
I saved the best for last. I thought I’d include a website that’s not geared towards any specific purpose, but simply the joy of reading.
The concept is simple: every time you open the page, you’ll be “served” 5 timeless articles from 5 categories: Living better, Business, History, Science, and “Wildcard.” I’ve found countless amazing reads on here, like this gem.