The Most Useful Websites on the Internet

Finger drawing smiley face on laptop screen

Getty Images/Nanette Hoogslag

When it comes to practical knowledge, the Web is hard to beat, as it's comprised of literally billions of pages of information — some useful, and some not so much. In particular, the websites detailed here should be among your go-tos for obtaining practical and accurate information quickly, so that you can make a purchasing decision, wage an argument, or improve your home life within minutes.

01
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Vox

Vox is not just a news site.  It is a brilliant looking glass to examine the world. Using explanatory 'cardstacks' that present information as Lego building blocks, it is possible to spend an hour at Vox and quadruple your understanding of the Middle East, the possible seceding of Texas, and why flight MH 370 is still a mystery.

The writing at Vox is very honorable, as it challenges people's beliefs and nudges them to think beyond their own emotions. In many ways, Vox embodies the deepest spirit of democracy: the collision of different points of view that result in a greater appreciation for the people and the world around us.​

02
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Lifehacker

Lifehacker is an online community dedicated to 21st-century thinking people. The idea behind 'hacking your life' is about solving daily problems and tinkering with your own mind and personal skills so that your life improves.  

From learning how to give a better public them, improve your campsite cooking abilities, build your Lego in dealing with people, and much more. There is so much motivating information at Lifehacker.​

03
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Fact-Check Those Outlandish Claims You Hear

We've all been on the receiving end of those Facebook posts outlining the trauma of finding a deep-fried rat in your fast-food chicken, or that outlandish web page claiming the cure for cancer lies in a simple pantry staple — grape juice. Luckily, there are multiple trusted resources online that research media lies and debunk online scams, frauds, and urban legends.

Snopes, OpenSecrets, FactCheck, Politifact, and Hoax Slayer are all reliable resources you can use to verify claims and avoid fake news-induced embarrassment.

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BBC News

As much as American news gives us the most drama and the most compelling imagery, it is not always the most objective point of view. Of the many different international news choices available today, the British Broadcasting Corporation has earned the title of the most objective and the most expansive journalism and international reporting. If you want to see more than one point of view of the ISIS conflict, the spread of Ebola, the Kyoto Protocol, and political news across the world, then the BBC should earn a place in your list of bookmarked news sites.

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How Stuff Works

This website is a tremendous source of learning, covering a vast variety of topics that will give you the insight to:

  • See how fire extinguishers and tasers work
  • Learn how a hurricane really forms.
  • See how a Mazda rotary engine functions,
  • Learn how bulletproof armor deflects bullets.

Basically, you'll wish you had real-life teachers that were as clear, visual, and vivid as this website.

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Homefair: Resources for Moving, Career, and Raising Your Family

Are you thinking about renting or buying your next house, or considering whether you should you move to Nevada or Ontario? Is your daughter's university town a safe city to live in? How much should you be earning for your current level of education and experience?

Homefair.com answers all of these questions and more, serving as a very useful combination of research tables, statistical trends, and international surveys to help you plan your next big step in life.

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Which Date Works: Meeting and Event Date Chooser

Need to find an evening when you soccer club can meet for a barbecue, or looking to organize a surprise party or a night out with friends?  Whichdateworks.com removes many headaches and saves you many a confirmation phone call.

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Evernote: Synchronized Online Planning Tool

Evernote is a free online office space that synchronizes with your multiple devices and your desktop computers. In the same way, you would use a scribbler or notebook to capture ideas, phone numbers, questions, notes, and action items, Evernote lets you do all of this online without using a single piece of paper.

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Epinions: Consumer Reviews by Regular People

Epinions.com is websitehelpful in making a consumer decision on a product. This is the smartest and easiest way to do your shopping homework on your next digital camera, your next LCD TV, your next MP3 player, your next dog food purchase, your next car, and your next washing machine investment.

Real people making real comments on real purchases. This is a truly valuable resource for the smart consumer.

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TinEye: Reverse Image Search

Similar to Google Image Search, TinEye is here to help you answer your burning photo-related questions. Want to know what country is in that photo?  Unsure who that famous actor is in that picture?  Or perhaps you want to see if anyone is illegally using your own photography online.

TinEye will take your uploaded photo, or a URL you give it and search the Web for where that photo occurs. 

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Google News

Although Google News is not arranged by community recommendations nor by editorial suggestion, it does plug you into over 4500 news sources.

This site offers amazing breadth and depth of choice. Search by celebrity name, current event, topic, or by region — you're bound to find nearly all the news you'll ever want here.