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25 Incredibly Useful Free Sites And Services

Save time, protect your privacy, stash some cash, and more with these no-cost wonders.

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With all the mobile technology that’s available today, sometimes it’s easy to overlook the lowly desktop web browser. But that big, nimble rectangle of connected, glowy goodness has continued its course as an indispensible tool over the years.

Here’s a look at sites and services to help you work smarter, save bigger, and generally improve your life in one way or another.

Time Savers

Everything In One Place
Throughout your digital lifetime, you’ve amassed a lot of "stuff" and—if you’re like most people—it’s probably scattered among various services. Xendo ties together 30 popular services, from Asana to Zoho, to provide you with the ability to search across all of them, complete with optical image recognition. The free version has no limit on the number of accounts you can scour and lets you search your most recent 30 days of files.

Xendo

Set Up While You Snooze
There's nothing quite like the unbridled exhilaration of setting up a new computer, no? Just me? But getting all your favorite apps set up can take forever. Thankfully Ninite helps you automate most of the process by way of a slick click-and-pick interface that packages all your goodies together into a giant installer that can run while you sleep.

Conversions "R" Us
Despite us living in 2016, it's still surprisingly cumbersome to convert files from one format to another. Zamzar lets you convert more than 1,200 file types up to 50 megabytes in size for free. Just upload your source file, choose which format you'd like, and the site will email you once your converted file is ready.

Gigabytes To Go
File-transfer site WeTransfer offers a dead-simple way to send large files to other people. Enter your email address, your recipient's email address, and an optional short message, then shuttle up to two gigabytes of files between your respective machines.

Simultaneous Socializing
Even if you're doing the bare minimum from a marketing standpoint, you should be posting to popular social networks. Postfity kills four birds with one stone—Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus—with the free version, letting you connect up to five unique accounts. Send updates immediately or schedule up to 10 posts in advance, giving your followers the impression that you never sleep.

GIFs In A Jiffy
The once-lowly animated GIF has been enjoying quite a resurgence lately. Don't let not having any idea how to create one stand in your way. The easy-to-use Giphy Gif Maker pulls in video clips from popular sites such as YouTube, or enables you to upload your own video files. Then, just pick your soon-to-be GIF's start point, end point, and wait as the site works its magic.

Hey, Free Gibberish
Need a big block of dummy text to help you shape your next presentation? Check out the Lorem Ipsum Generator. Copy and paste the available text or generate a specific amount by number of paragraphs, words, list items, or by file size. You'll eventually have to go back and . . . you know . . . actually write stuff, but this provides a good start if you're concerned with visual presentation.

Leave Me Alone!

Mask Your Mailbox
Your poor, poor email address. You’ve given it out to everyone, traded it for free stuff, and used it to sign up for service after service online. Keep your primary address private from now on by using MailDrop for your necessary-evil mail. No signup, no password; just use whatever@maildrop.cc and you’re good to go.

MailDrop

Opt Out And Out And Out
Closing unused accounts tends to range from simple to impossible. Instead of going site by site and hunting around for cancellation links, give Just Delete Me a try. It’s a directory of a seemingly endless number of services that tells you how easy (or hard) it is to quit each, along with quick links for quitting the easy ones.

Digital Estate Planning
We all die, so why not leave some important info (usernames, passwords, and the like) for your loved ones from beyond the grave? Dead Man’s Switch lets you craft a secure email to be sent out if you don’t respond to a message that periodically gets emailed to you asking if you’re still alive.

Turn Down The Marketing
Unroll Me rounds up all your email newsletters in an attempt to declutter your inbox. Instead of receiving marketing emails at random times throughout the day, the service sends you a once-daily summary of all of them and helps you quickly unsubscribe to the ones you no longer want.

Mail That Goes Poof
Conventional email isn’t overly secure, and while nothing’s 100% foolproof, (Privnote lets you send secure messages that self-destruct either after being read or after a certain period of time. You can also password-protect your messages for an added layer of security.

Money Minders

Don't Overpay Jeff Bezos
Save big on Amazon purchases, or at least see how much you’re not saving on those so-called sale items. CamelCamelCamel can look up just about any Amazon item and tell you what it usually sells for and how low it’s gone in the past.

CamelCamelCamel

Empty That Pantry
You may think you need to make a grocery run, but plug the food you have on hand into MyFridgeFood to get a list of recipes you can make without going to the store. There are several product categories with a broad array of options that send you to a sizeable collection of easy-to-follow recipes.

Play Handyman (Or Handywoman)
Before sinking meaningful money into repairing or replacing your roughed-up gadgets, swing by iFixit, where you’ll find straightforward repair guides and spare parts you can order. There’s also a bunch of handyman-style projects to help you save money around the house.

Info Ingestion

Headline Attraction
If you’re a news junkie, put a spare monitor to work with Newsmap. The site showcases a big, bold, comprehensive grid of headlines from around the world. The hotter the story, the larger the font. You can customize the categories you’d like to see as well.

Newsmap

Netflix Sans Stinkers
Metacritic’s super-handy What to Watch Now on Netflix gets updated each month to show you which new movies and TV shows have made their way onto the popular streaming service, and which ones are about to get killed off. Only content with a Metacritic score of 61 or higher makes the list, ensuring you’ll actually watch something slightly more than halfway decent.

Have Fun, Then Sleep
If you’re heading out on a road trip of any meaningful length, make sure to visit Roadtrippers first. Input your starting point and your destination, and the site will then map out cool attractions and affordable hotels along your route.

YouHugeTube
Hook your computer up to your TV and enjoy YouTube from your couch with YouTube TV. The site sports a big-screen-friendly interface with gigantic fonts and thumbnails to make for easy navigation from across the living room.

What's News Now?
NewsNow is like a pretty, thoughtful digital newspaper that links to interesting articles found all over the web. It’s a great periodic stop throughout your day if you need to get quickly caught up, or leave it open in a browser tab and watch as it auto-refreshes to pull in the latest news every few minutes.

Figure It Out

Decaf Fans Need Not Apply
If you’re going to suck down liquid uppers all day, you might as well figure out how much caffeine you’re ingesting. Caffeine Informer is a helpful, straightforward site with an enormous database of jitter-inducing stimulants that you can search for, filter, and sort with a few clicks.

Caffeine Informer

Connectivity Reality Check
Down For Everyone Or Just Me helps you figure out whether a site you’re trying to access is acting up for everybody or if you have a problem on your end. Simply type the link into the search box, click the link, and go.

Typeface Tutor
If you ever come across a cool-looking product logo and wonder what font it uses, the aptly named What the Font can help. Simply upload the logo, double-check some letter mapping, and you’ll be presented with a list of possible fonts most likely to match.

Documentation On Tap
Get rid of all those bulky user manuals you’ve got stashed all over your house. ManualsLib is a massive collection of almost 2 million guides for more than 38,000 product brands, handily accessible in PDF format.

Broadband-O-Meter
Troubleshoot a spotty Internet connection or make sure you’ve got the horsepower to fire up that video conference with Speakeasy’s Speed Test tool. It’ll relay your download and upload speeds via test centers located across the country. You’re paying good money for internet access—might as well make sure it’s as fast as promised.

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