The internet is a vast sea of information, tools, entertainment, news, and more. It is easy to get lost if you do not know exactly what you are looking for. Here are seven handy websites that I have found useful. Hope you will too! If you know some more useful sites, or better alternatives to the ones listed below, please leave a comment below.

1. Install And Update All Your Programs: ninite.com

Ninite helps you install and update your programs with ease. It does away with the hassle of checking for version, malware, unwanted toolbars, etc. It is clean, safe and facilitates multiple app installations with a single click.

It works exactly as advertised- pick, download and run. If you are not tech savvy and details such as 64-bits vs. 32-bits, apps installed location, language setting of installed app, reboot requests, proxy settings from Internet Explorer confuse you,  just forget them all. Ninite is your new technical friend who will take care of everything. And, most importantly, you will never have to click on those annoying “Next” buttons ever again.

Step 1: Pick the software/s you want to install.

Step 1: Pick the software/s you want to install.

Step 2: Download and run.

Step 2: Download and run.

2. Free Disposable Email: mailinator.com

Have you ever shied away from signing up for a webinar, or from downloading a “free” newsletter out of fear of being spammed? The next time a website asks you for an email, just make one up  with Mailinator! If you can’t think of a good email it also makes great suggestions.

The emails are in the public domain and get deleted every few hours.

Make up an email and click go or pick the one displayed.

Make up an email and click go or pick the one displayed.

Sample inbox: bob@mailinator.com

Sample inbox: bob@mailinator.com

3. Find Alternative Apps: alternativeto.net

Have you ever felt underserved by a software that you use? Do you feel compelled to keep using a software only because you do not know of any alternatives? Don’t settle for crappy apps! Visit AlternativeTo.net and it will give you a list of alternative software choices. These options are listed with ratings based on user recommendations so you know there are no sales gimmicks behind the suggested offerings.

You can also browse what people are searching for and may end up finding your new favorite app.

Type in the search field and click find apps.

Type in the search field and click find apps.

Trending and popular apps

Trending and popular apps

4. Make Web Pages Printer Friendly: printfriendly.com

If you ever desired a gold star for being environmental friendly, this is for you. Although we live in the digital age, the necessity of paper persists. Now and then we need to print out a page or two from a website. Printfriendly.com does exactly what it says. It turns websites into a print-friendly document that you can print, convert into pdf, or email. You can also easily delete unwanted sections, pictures, etc. leaving you with only the information you need. Save paper, save ink, save the world. Use printfriendly!

Paste your url and click print preview.

Paste your url and click print preview.

Here is Print Preview of a page from Wikipedia.

Here is Print Preview of a page from Wikipedia.

5. Handle pdf files online: docupub.com/pdfcompress

If you want to work with pdf files without installing unwieldy or licensed software, then you should to bookmark this site. DocuPub allows you to convert, compress, merge, and scale / resize your documents online. It is clean, uncluttered and has a user-friendly interface that gives you plenty of options without causing confusion.

There is also a desktop version of docupub that you can download and install. Also, developers who wish to create their own pdf compression application can download sample codes from the website.

Options for file compression.

Options for file compression.

Options for file resize/scale

Options for file resize/scale

6. Get the latest technology news: cnet.com

If you are technology enthusiast, you already know this. There are a number of great websites you can turn to when you are looking for info on gadgets, technology, reviews, software, and tech videos. Mashable.com , Theverge.com, and Techcrunch.com are some of the most popular tech news sites. However, my top choice without a doubt is cnet.com. This is largely because it publishes unbiased reviews and maintains a lot of info about how to get the most out of your device. Further, it also offers plenty of free software, apps, and games on the website. It’s difficult to beat free, isn’t it?

Your source for tech related news, reviews, deals, downloads, and more.

Your source for tech related news, reviews, deals, downloads, and more.

7. Check your grammar as you write: hemingwayapp.com

I have saved the best for last. Hemingwayapp.com acts as your personal, 24/7 editor. HemmingwayApp nudges you towards better, concise and more readable writing. It gives your text a readability score and assigns a grade level. In the edit mode, your text is highlighted and marked on readability, complexity of sentence, use of adverbs, and passive voice. It also checks spelling, however it does not offer alternatives. If you spend a lot of time editing blocks of text then HemingwayApp can alleviate some of your editing pains.

In case you were wondering, I did use HemingwayApp to write this blog. I scored a 7! :)

Edit mode of the app with sample text and highlighted suggestions.

Edit mode of the app with sample text and highlighted suggestions.

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