Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
It’s seriously hard to keep track of which sites have the greatest content and resources. So to help make things easier, we’ve compiled this comprehensive list of over 100 of the best websites on the internet.
The sites on this list are those that we consider to be genuinely useful, top-of-the-line websites (not apps) where you’ll find what you need. We update this list regularly, so check back occasionally, and be sure to tell your friends!
Own an e-reader but hate paying for e-books? Luckily, a huge number of great classic books are no longer under copyright. Project Gutenberg is a massive repository for these texts, in a dazzling array of formats, all available free of charge.
What could be better than large social network for book enthusiasts? Amazon-owned Goodreads is fantastic for keeping track of the books you’ve read, connecting with other readers, finding quality book reviews, and sharing recommendations.
The internet’s home of audio books, Audible has an insanely-sized catalog featuring most classics, many new releases, and a host of quality audio courses to keep you learning for years. These are all perfect for listening to in the car, at the gym, or simply as a way of reading a book while giving your eyes time to rest from the screen.
If you’re anything like me, your list of books to read is literally never ending. However, the insights of some books can be garnered in a few short minutes. And that’s what Blinkist is about. The ideas of over 2500 bestselling non-fiction books have been condensed so you can read or listen to them in just 15 minutes.
You can be a book lover without being pretentious. And that’s exactly what Book Riot is selling. An online publication filled with witty, entertaining news and reviews of all things book-related, this is a literary blog anyone can love.
Invaluable for Kindle owners, Pixel of Ink tracks down great Kindle ebooks available cheaply or for free. Ideal for the bargain-hunting reader looking to expand their horizons.
A quality book recommendation engine which works by taking in information about what you’re looking for, and matching you to hand-classified books in its library.
Instapaper allows you to save articles to read later without any distractions. While reading these on your desktop or via the mobile app, you can highlight passages, make notes, and even integrate your account with other apps using IFTTT.
Pocket is another popular read-later app. With a single click, you can save videos, articles to read on any of your devices (including in your browser).
Available as a browser extension, Translate leverages Google’s machine learning to convert seamlessly between languages. The results are surprisingly accurate (and getting better with every update).
A simple service for hosting samples of formatted text, at unique URLs, to be shared freely on the internet. Lightweight, useful, and clean.
Need to sign up for a service but don’t want to submit your real email to an endless torrent of spam? Mailinator lets you create unique, disposable inboxes which delete themselves after a few days.
Want to test a service but don’t want to give them your data or set up an account? BugMeMot lets users create shared profiles for accessing websites and then disposed, without revealing personal information.
Mega is currently one of the best file hosts on the internet, with local file encryption, fast downloads, and an impressive 50 GB of free storage space when you sign up.
Dropbox is a leading solution for cloud storage because of its ease of use. Using a “drop box” is exactly like using any other folder on your computer, only the files you save to your drop box are synced online and to any other computers or mobile devices linked to your account.
Microsoft’s answer to Dropbox, OneDrive lets you host, share, and edit your files and images from your browser, across multiple machines. If you’re in Microsoft’s online ecosystem, it’s a great resource.
A virtual hard drive for hosting your files, you can access them from any internet-enabled machine, and edit them from your browser.
When you do get stuck emailing documents to your team, HighTail is a great way to get around arbitrary file size caps on email clients, allowing you to email documents and folders up to two gigs in size.
A great general file converter, allowing the conversion between many different image, audio, document, and video formats. Great for any application that supports only specific file types.
Finance and Accounting
An entirely automatic spending tracker and budgeting tool, Mint is great for people trying to build financial responsibility who have trouble keeping track of the specifics of their finances.
When it comes to sending and receiving money online, PayPal is a major player. A huge (and growing) number of online retailers and service providers now accept payments via PayPal. And you can even send international transfers (for a fee).
TransferWise is a quick and easy way to send and receive money in various currencies. Their fees are usually far lower than your bank would charge (including PayPal), and they use the real exchange rate, so you can calculate exactly how much money you’re sending.
Money Saving Expert is an absolutely huge resource covering everything you could possible need to save money. Whether you’re trying to find coupons, or looking for credit card deals you’ll find the advice you need. The site also has an incredibly active forum if you have more specific questions to ask.
Rather than relying on just one financial news site, Google brings together stories from the many of the best. Whether that’s Reuters, Bloomberg, or the Financial Times, the main headlines will show up in Google Finance. You’ll also have easy access to all the market and portfolio data you need.
Need to track your spending to find out where your money is going? Expensify lets you track your spending in many ways and generates expense reports and analyses for you to look over later.
This is a much-loved, easy to use platform for preparing and filing your taxes at the end of the fiscal year. Free for simple returns.
Whatever you want to learn, no matter how obscure, it’s likely there will be a quality video tutorial on YouTube ready to teach you. Whether it’s programming, plumbing, gymnastics, or learning a language, everything is covered.
A wonderful platform for short video lectures, TED is a great place for inspirational talks and educational lessons. Ted Talks provide fantastic insight into the projects and ambitions of engineers, scientists, artists, explorers, and philosophers.
Kialo is a relatively new site where you can join in depth debates and discussions about a variety of deep, and interesting topics. What makes Kialo different however, is the way that discussions are structured (see above). Debate points are ordered into pros and cons. You can then click on any of those points to explore (and contribute) the pros and cons of that specific point. This helps you to really garner an in-depth understanding of the topic in question.
Blooming from a simple series of math tutorials into the largest school on planet Earth, Khan Academy is a powerful tool for teaching yourself anything from Python to linear algebra.
Arguably the web’s best question and answer site, Quora is that place to “share knowledge and better understand the world”. Questions can be submitted and answered by anyone. The site is often frequented by influencers from many industries, with answers to questions being famously high quality.
Coursera lets you take online classes from more than eighty universities and educational organizations, all in one place. Courses are structured like interactive textbooks, including lectures, quizzes, and projects to ensure you’re learning the content thoroughly.
Lynda is kind of like the Spotify of education. For a reasonable monthly fee, you can access the entire catalog of video courses on offer. These are all incredibly easy to follow, covering both the basics and more advanced areas of many technical subjects. These range from 3D animation and CAD, to photography and coding.
Hands down the best free tool for learning another language, Duolingo makes it fun, and helps keep you engaged for the long haul.
If you’d rather learn something more in the humanities, Open Culture has a massive number of free online courses and educational media for you to choose from. These range from complete lecture series, to free-to-access audio books.
Udemy mostly offers paid video courses (80,000 at the time of writing, making this the largest selection of courses online), on every topic imaginable. The prices aren’t bad, either. And some courses are even free!
At the often-surreal intersection of shop class and Pinterest lies Instructables, a massive repository of guides for making everything from mood lamps to robots to chandeliers. If you want to make it, someone will show you how. If you’ve been looking to get into DIY culture, Instructables is a great place to start.
Like Instructables, MAKE is a great introduction to maker/DIY culture, and great source for tutorials if you want to delve deeper into the maker scene.
Probably the best data visualization site out there, Information is Beautiful distils complex sets of data into ingenious, visually stunning infographics, that’ll definitely teach you a thing or two.
Learning to program? Trying to program? Stuck, or not understanding a concept? Ask StackOverflow! Between the searchable archive (use those first) and an active community of experts, StackOverflow is a fantastic resource for beginning and established programmers alike.
The best free mapping tool, Google Maps is fantastic for planning trips, and finding your way around. Over the past couple of years, it’s also become an invaluable way to find local restaurants, gas stations, coffee shops, and attractions, making this your perfect local guide!
A local review site, Yelp lets you check what’s good in your area, and leave reviews if you have a good (or bad) experience. This covers everything from restaurants to local electricians and architects.
Whether you’re at home, or traveling to a new place, be sure to check out Like a Local. This is a site that’s packed full of insider tips to help you avoid the tourist traps, and find the hidden treasures, wherever you find yourself!
A great resource for finding huge bargains at restaurants, shops, and for goods in your area.
Like Living Social, Groupon offers a selection of local offers. These can often save you a hefty chunk on the original price of a meal, vacation, or tickets to a local show.
Even if you’ve been living somewhere for years, finding something to do on your days off can sometimes be a struggle. In these cases, TripAdvisor can serve as more than a hotel and flights directory. It also has an extensive database of local attractions that’ll keep you occupied for some time to come.
A foodie’s resource for local restaurant reviews, Zomato is awesome for discovering hidden gems in your neighborhood — and finding out which expensive restaurants aren’t worth your time.
One of the best weather sites out there, Weather Underground is a great resource, especially if you’re the outdoorsy type and need to know whether or not you’re going to freeze your jorts off.
With an astonishing number of movies, TV shows, and documentaries available to watch on demand, Netflix is a worthwhile investment. Their catalog of shows just keeps on growing, and their original productions such as Orange is The New Black and Stranger Things are as good as you’ll find anywhere else.
Amazon’s video streaming service may not be as elegant as Netflix’s, but if you have Amazon Prime, it comes as part of your package. You’ll find a ton of great stuff in their catalog including many critically acclaimed original shows. Amazon’s deep pockets are also seeing the company signing exclusivity deals with companies like HBO and the BBC, meaning their library of shows is just getting stronger and stronger.
Want to know if a movie is good before you watch it? Rotten Tomatoes aggregates reviews, categorizes them as positive or negative, and then averages them. The result is a simple, unbiased appraisal of the odds that you’ll like the movie.
Literally one of the oldest websites on the internet (it predates the web browser), IMDb is one of those exhaustive, meticulous collections of movie ratings, facts, and trivia that would take decades to replicate. Like Rotten Tomatoes, it’s a go-to place for movie ratings to help you discover your next movie to watch. If you want to dig deeper, we’ve written before about how these movie rating sites differ.
There’s more to YouTube than meets the eye. In fact, it probably belongs in nearly every category on this list. One of the best (and less known) features is the ability to rent movies and TV shows. There’s also a decent selection of free movies to watch on the site, too. Basically, if it’s not on Netflix, it’s probably on YouTube.
As a self-respecting movie buff, ScreenRant should be one of the sites you visit religiously. Packed with the latest movie and TV news, this is an insightful, well-edited publication that keeps you in the know for anything Hollywood related.
Each week, a new, independent, hand-picked short movie is added to Short of The Week for you to watch for free. These can be on any topic under the sun, from love, to killer zombies. Every short manages to incorporate incredible storytelling finesse into 5-20 minute movies. It’s a fantastic way to while a few minutes each week.
Many people see Vimeo as little more than YouTube’s smaller competitor. But the site has managed to capture a segment of the movie industry that’s hard to find anywhere else. Home to a vast number of indie filmmakers, Vimeo is the place to find refreshing, art-house movies to stream on demand. We’re talking about the kind of films you’ll see played at festivals like Tribeca, Sundance, or SXSW.
Spotify continues to be the leading service on PC or mobile for streaming any music (and plenty of podcasts), whenever you want. The free service is a good introduction, but it’s worth picking up Spotify Premium. You don’t realize how annoying the ads are until they’re gone. Plus, the offline access is a god-send.
TuneIn is a free internet radio service, that allows you to stream over 100,000 real radio stations from around the world, and over 5.5 million podcasts direct from the TuneIn website, or the service’s free apps.
Without a doubt, SoundCloud is God’s gift to indie music. It’s a simple, bare-bones service that allows anyone to upload and download music under a variety of licenses, and embed uploaded tracks across the web. SoundCloud is great, and if you want to hear the next big thing before the labels do, SoundCloud is where to look.
Connect your SongKick account to your Spotify, Facebook, and Last.fm accounts, and you’ll be kept up to date about when your favorite artists will be playing nearby (and the price of tickets). This is a simple, yet powerful way to ensure you never miss another live gig.
iTunes has grown to dominate the music industry, comprising a huge portion of music sales across the planet. If you want to buy music (or movies, or audiobooks), iTunes probably has what you’re looking for. It’s also heavily intertwined with Apple Music, Apple’s direct competitor with Spotify, where for a reasonable monthly fee, you’ll have unlimited access to the entire music library, ad-free.
Last.fm eavesdrops in on your listening habits, and uses statistical analysis to predict what you might like. By installing Last.fm’s “toggler” onto, say, your Spotify account, the service offers accurate recommendations for other artist’s you’re likely to enjoy.
Pandora (US users only), is a great tool for finding new music. It’s a “free personalized internet radio”. Simply add a few of your favorite artists and the station will start playing related music that you’ve probably never heard before. Pandora is a great tool, and hopefully it’ll stay that way for years to come.
Genius is a gigantic community of music lovers. This is where people turn when they want to discuss and deconstruct a song, or a specific lyric. It’s where artists come to explain their music to the world. It’s certainly worth checking out.
No matter what kind of music you’re into, MixCloud has you covered. This is a fresh approach to radio in the 21st Century, where anyone can be the radio host. Simply search for the radio station, DJ Mix, or podcast that’s for you, and start listening for free. If you fancy yourself on the other side of the mic, no problem. Just start uploading your own shows!
For in-depth analysis on a huge range of topics, you’ll find it hard to beat The Conversation. The site only accepts commentary and editorials from professional academics. What I love about the site though, is that it will often publish several articles on a single subject to offer different perspectives.
Reuters is the world’s leading multimedia news agency, and has received multiple Pulitzer Prizes on international reporting. More importantly, however, according to Media Bias Fact Check Reuters is one of the the least biased news sources out there, offering objective reporting, while using very few loaded words.
Reddit is one of the most diverse media sites on the web, with content ranging from the serious to the absurd. It’s also a great source of news, both locally and internationally, on whatever topic you like.
Google News is a news aggregator, pulling in the top stories from around the web. The site also uses Google’s secret sauce of machine learning to turn up articles you’re likely to enjoy, based on Google’s statistical models of you.
Quartz is home to some of the most intelligent and thought-provoking journalism you can find. Its global-centric approach offers stories you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. And its understanding of the online world makes Quartz a beautiful site to visit, knowing you’ll always come away more informed than when you arrived.
On the surface, Hacker News is a standard tech news aggregator. However, its technologically literate and involved community offers a unique and insightful perspective that’s not available from the more broadly-aimed tech news sites.
538 is the product of statistician Nate Silver, who is known for almost perfectly predicting the outcome of the 2012 political election via some combination of sober statistical modelling and old-fashioned witchcraft. The site provides news blogging from a data-centric perspective, and often offers an interesting and perhaps soberer take compared to traditional twenty-four hour news networks.
Tor is not technically a site, but rather a “browser [that] contains everything you need to safely browse the Internet.” Tor makes it very difficult for attackers to figure out who’s talking to who, much less what they’re saying by using computers as a massive obfuscation network to bounce encrypted messages. Want to learn more? Check out our TOR User Guide!
Keeping on top of all your passwords is tough. That’s why so many people use the same password for most of their services. Rather than do this, LastPass remembers all your passwords, and keeps them safe under lock and key. Whenever you visit a site, so long as you’re logged into your LastPass account, you can also log-in to your other accounts, without needing to remember your password.
This site allows you to find out if any of your account information has been leaked. Just search the site for your email address, and you’ll be shown which of the leaks your data appears in so you can take necessary action to secure those accounts.
Think your computer has been infected with a virus or malware? Visit BleepingComputer.com. This is a huge resource not just of security news, but also virus, ransomware, adware and malware removal guides.
A search engine that scrapes a variety of other search engine to provide its muscle, DuckDuckGo helps to anonymize your searches, making it harder for search engines to build up information about you from your search history. It also keeps no logs of its own users.
Terms of service are dry, bland, unreadable screeds of legalese not intended for human consumption. TOS;DR takes terms of service and digests them into something succinct and meaningful. Great for people who want to take a more active role in the services they use, and how those services use their data.
An easy repository of links for purging various social media accounts from the internet with a minimum of fuss.
Gmail is arguably the best email client out there. Integrating seamlessly with all of Google’s other productivity apps, using Gmail is a no-brainer for most people. And with a steady stream of new third-party app integrations and productivity features being released, it’s only getting better.
Google Drive (and its associated suite of web document editors) might just be the best cloud document service out there, especially if you’re already in the ecosystem (via Android or Gmail).
Microsoft Office is now offering a free version of many of its popular apps. Among others, these include Excel, Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and OneDrive. These free versions are naturally less feature-rich than the paid version, but are a fantastic way to access and edit files from within your browser, even if you don’t pay for the full Office suite.
IFTTT (If this, then that) is a powerful automations platform. From your free account, you can connect hundreds of services and apps that you rely on. Once connected, you can create “applets” that automate certain tasks, so you no longer have to do them manually. For example, you could have IFTTT automatically save email attachments to Google Drive. You could automatically publish your Instagram posts as a Tweet. You can even get an SMS alert to remind you when an event is due to start on Google Calendar.
Arguably the best to-do list manager out there, Todoist has both a free and paid version. Being able to add, schedule, and search for tasks with natural language is a huge plus. As are the many integrations that the app has with the automation engine IFTTT. With its cross-platform availability, quick syncing, and mass of useful features, Todoist will surely help you get more one.
Evernote is one of the world’s leading, multi-platform note-taking apps, that’s also available in your browser. It’s a tool designed to help you capture anything, at any time. You can save your favorite articles, photos, Pinterest pins, recipes, notes, scanned receipts etc., to your account, and easily find these at a later date, even if you have thousands of them!
Microsoft’s free note-taking app is, according to some, even better than Evernote. Its standout feature is the ability to customize the layout of your notes however you want. Each element within a single note can be dragged and dropped to any location. This means you can insert all sorts of media into a single note. Before you know it, you’ll be running your entire life from this web app.
Google Keep is a simple, much loved note taking app that’s far more lightweight than Evernote and OneNote. You can easily create and store notes, lists, images, and audio in your account. Share these with friends and family, and use Google’s famous search capabilities to find your notes again when you need them. The app is available on your browser, or on iOS and Android.
RescueTime is a browser plugin with an accompanying site that could save you a huge amount of time. By keeping track of the time you spend on certain sites, you can see an overview of how you’re spending your time online. This insight can help you see where you’re losing too much time, and adjust your browsing habits for a better work-life balance.
Google’s free, browser-based answer to Skype is a great application and one you’ll find yourself using to keep in touch with friends and family all over the world.
A great, easy screen-sharing application powered by LogMeIn, Join.me is great for remote collaboration for small businesses and creative ventures if you need to host an online audio or video call (with screen sharing), from your browser or smartphone, this is the tool for you!
If you’re trying to get more hours out of your day, outsourcing some of your tasks could be the best decision you’ll ever make. UpWork is the largest freelance jobs site online. Post a job description letting people know the kinds of tasks you’d like them to do (making reservations, data input, etc.), and you’ll receive a huge number of affordable proposals. Then pick the person you think is right for the job.
If you work best with ambient background noise, you’re going to love this site! Simply play around with the sliders to create your very own background noise to channel you straight into that flow state.
You know what Google is. It is to search what the pyramids are to wonders of the world (more specifically, nobody remembers the other six). Google will find what you need, quickly and accurately. They’re the best in the business.
Want to know where a photo came from? TinEye uses “reverse image search technology” to trawl the web for images similar to the one you submit. Perfect for finding other parts of an image series, finding higher-res or uncropped version of a low-quality image, and even finding where else an image has been published.
Wikipedia is one of the greatest repositories of human knowledge ever constructed. Want to know about anything, from dogs to advanced mathematics? Wikipedia can oblige.
Want to know what a function looks like? Done. Want to see how to solve an equation, step by step? Can do. Want to know the nutrition facts of a cubic parsec of fried chicken? Not a problem. Wolfram Alpha has a bizarrely broad and sophisticated suite of features, and is the student’s best friend.
When it comes to searching for international and domestic flights, SkyScanner is where you need to be. The free service allows you to search a huge number of airlines simultaneously, to find the cheapest option. You can search for flights on specific days, or you can see an overview of prices across an entire month.
Everybody knows Amazon: If you want it, they’ve got it, and can get it to you for a very reasonable price, and quickly. Amazon is fantastic.
If eBay is the world’s garage sale, Etsy is its crafts fair. Thousands of artists and makers turn to the site to create their own online store from which to sell their wares. A bit of searching can bring up some genuinely beautiful, unique items here. It’s a fantastic way to customize your home.
eBay has been called the world’s garage sale, and the comparison isn’t unfair. Less of a player than once it was, the site (especially its ‘motors’ section) remains a viable avenue for bargain-hunters all over the world.
A first glance at Craigslist, with its early nineties web design, would not cause it to jump out at you as a website relevant today. That’s where you’d be wrong. The minimalist website and its classified ads remain a great way to buy and sell cars, computer equipment, and anything else you can imagine.
Overstock, Amazon’s iconoclastic little brother, remains a major online retail outlet: they have great deals, good service, ship internationally—and they accept Bitcoin. What’s not to like?
Years after its formation, ThinkGeek remains an internet staple. The stuff they sell is rarely practical, but it’s often seriously cool: the site delights in nerd tchotchkes and swag, and their stuff makes for great gifts and desk toys for the unrepentant dorks among us.
Newegg is a retailer dedicated to inexpensive consumer electronics, and they do a good job of underbidding the big, non-specialized stores. Their refurbished items are often seriously good deals.
For shoppers outside the US thwarted by region-specific deals and stores, ViaBox lets them permanently register their own US address that they can have parcels shipped to. ViaBox collects the parcels together and ships them anywhere in the world!
Canopy is Amazon, curated. Sometimes finding what you’re looking for on Amazon can be daunting. So, if you’re particularly keen on beautifully designed products, Canopy might be able to help. The site’s hand-curated products are each stunning, and all available on Amazon. This is a fantastic site to browse and find boutique interior products to help your home to stand out.
We all know Facebook. It’s the most used social network on Earth and by now it’s hard to get along without it (despite the bad publicity recently). Facebook is invaluable for organizing events, keeping in touch with old friends, and sharing bad political memes.
Twitter seems facile on the surface. However, it turns out that forcing succinctness eliminates a lot of the cruft that pops up on traditional social networks, and the platform has proved a great way to keep up with businesses, friends, and celebrities. Without allowing them to monopolize too much of your time.
LinkedIn, a website you may know from those emails it keeps sending you, is a professional social network. Want a job? Need to hire somebody? LinkedIn is your friend.
Instagram is a great way to communicate visually with your friends and followers, whether you want to share behind-the-scenes images and videos of your life, or more polished pics to show off your photography skills, this is the platform for you.
Pinterest is a great platform for collecting and sharing eclectic albums of visual content (much of it tutorials, recipes, decor ideas, and art).
Previously just a mobile messaging app, WhatsApp also has a web and desktop client. This hugely popular app has become one of the primary ways for over a billion people per month to stay in touch. And with end-to-end encryption, it’s more secure than many alternative messaging clients.
As an adult, meeting like-minded people outside of work can be tough. Meetup puts an end to this struggle. Acting as a directory of thousands of meetups around the world on a bewildering array of topics, it’s never been easier to make new friends, in real life.
Think of Imgur as a slimmed-down Pinterest. Originally developed as a photo-host for Reddit, Imgur has since bloomed into a great image-sharing platform in its own right.
Tumblr remains one of the leading blogging platforms. It’s a great place to connect with original content, put your own creations out there, or simply curate the awesome stuff you’re finding. The political side of the site can be scary, the creative side of the platform is phenomenal.
For a few years now, Buffer (free and premium), and its accompanying browser extensions, has been making scheduling posts to your social accounts easier than ever. Simply connect your social profiles to your Buffer account, and you can quickly schedule your posts in advance.
If an app you previously used has started charging, or isn’t quite offering what you need, check out AlternativeTo. Type in which application or website you want to replace, and the site will churn out plenty of decent alternatives for you to try.
GitHub, currently the most popular platform for hosting and contributing to open software projects, is fantastic. It gives access to downloads, version history, commit logs, and contributor statistics.
Similar to GitHub, SourceForge is another open-source coding repository to help you “find, create and publish open source software for free”.
Which Awesome Websites Did We Miss?
We’re sure you’ll agree that these sites are awesome, but they’re still just a drop in the bucket. Which among these are your favorite picks? Did your favorite not make the cut? Let us know! Your contributions will help us keep this list updated.
Image Credit: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock