Despite the Internet being home to forced memes and horrible YouTube comments, it’s also a fantastic resource the likes of which no other generation has experienced. From Amazon to Wikipedia, we can get our hands on information instantaneously, and often for free.
So, whether you want to pick up a new instrument or find a free and legal alternative to pricey software, (just be careful about which sites on the web you visit, for you and your computer’s sake), we pick out some of the top free online resources across a range of topics and uses.
Sight read the guitar
Sight reading refers to reading and performing music that you haven’t seen before, which can be a difficult task. Sight Read Guitar is a useful YouTube channel for guitar players interested in learning how to sight read, with quite a few video tutorials available.
Feel the F.lux
If you tend to use your computer or phone late at night, the blue light from the screen could possibly affect your sleep.
That’s where f.lux comes in – designed to adapt your display lighting depending on the time of day. And even better, it’s free.
Head to the Archive
The Internet Archive – a member of the International Internet Preservation Consortium – is a digital library that provides free access to a wide range of materials, though the legality of certain items has been questioned in the past. They’re also the brains behind the Wayback Machine, which allows you to view archived versions of 498 billion webpages over the years.
Spot the virus
Though not completely foolproof, VirusTotal is a handy, virtual layer of security if you’ve got a file or URL that you’re not completely sure is ok to use.
Described as a “digital tutor in your pocket”, Socratic can help you out when you get stumped by a problem or question across science, maths, the humanities and more. You can ask a question online, or download the app, take a photo of the problem, and the AI will figure out what concepts you need to learn to grasp the issue.
If you want to made some slight tweaks to your new Facebook profile image, there’s no need to whip out your credit card and download the latest edition of Photoshop. Pixlr’s web apps make lighter image editing tasks much easier (and free), with more features than you’ll find on Microsoft Paint.
Honourable mention: Tab for a Cause
There are a number of ways you can earn money online for yourself – how about earning it for a worthy cause? Tab for a Cause is an extension that turns the new tab page in your browser into a homescreen, with widgets, themes and charity information, from which ad revenue is collected.
So far they’ve raised over $263,000 for charities including Water.org, Save the Children and Room to Read.