Look, the internet is great. No one knows that more than Millennials, who literally grew up with it. But every so often, we find ourselves in an "internet rut." If you've just been ping-ponging between Seamless, Facebook, and Etsy for the past few weeks (or, like, months, whatever, no one's counting), then check out these little-known websites that are unbelievably useful. Let the internet do some work for you for once, you know?
In an AskReddit thread posted on Sunday, Redditor u/contumac posed the question, "What website is not very well known, but is insanely helpful?" And then in, 24 hours, almost 6,000 comments rolled in. Apparently, I was the only one in an internet rut, because there are so many suggestions that sorting through them can be somewhat daunting. But thank goodness you folks know me, because I was willing to do the work. Most of it, anyway.
For this list, I've (hopefully) opened your eyes to one website per life space. We've got an online shopping website (er, plugin, technically), a coding website, a cooking website, an online safety download, and a handful of other useful tools to truly streamline your life.
Got a hidden gem that's not on this list? Let me know! Let's collectively become cool, high-tech hacker people. It's 2017. If not now, then when?
What with, you know, the world in shambles, an increasing number of writers, activists, and honestly, just concerned humans have been looking into VPNs ("virtual private networks") to encrypt their online identity. Ultrasurf is free to download as a Chrome extension, encrypts your online communications, prevents websites from gaining your IP address, and, in some cases, speeds up page loads.
When buying essentially anything online, I always look at the reviews and the ratings. Except that, uh, sometimes people write fake reviews, ruining everything. Fakespot will help sort out which reviews are fake and which are genuine, so that you can get exactly what you paid for, and not a weird mesh tank top with an extra opening instead.
3Free Code Camp
Having at least basic coding skills is becoming an increasingly marketable skill. Free Code Camp is an open source coding community that helps you learn all there is to HTML speak. Once you log in some serious hours (1,200) in coding challenges, you'll be able to begin practicing your coding skills IRL — for non-profits around the world, maybe.
4My Fridge Food
Is there anything more difficult than grocery shopping for just yourself? My Fridge Food asks you to input all the items in your fridge you're looking to cook up, and provides you with a host of potential recipes. You will never throw out multiple bunches of kale because you couldn't make yourself eat it fast enough again.
Oh, for the love of Goddess, will everyone please just go to Vote Smart and research their freaking lawmakers already. Our future literally depends on it.
Ever wondered whether your information was leaked in one of those numerous hacks? If you want to know (or maybe you don't; ignorance is bliss; maybe you want to burn your computer and leave to homestead in Utah or something instead), then HaveIBeenPwned is here to help. I've got my fingers crossed for you, pals.