Tech

21 Totally Free Things on the Internet Everyone Should Take Advantage Of

The internet is a magical tool that lets you ship toilet paper to your residence, collaborate with folks across the world, and say mean things to strangers. The best part about it, though, is that it's totally up to you how you use it, and we're not here to judge. This kind of access would make you a superhero at any other time in history, but it's your prerogative if you want to look at memes.

If you do, however, want to use this incredible resource to better yourself and your life, you'd be well served to check out the websites below. Some are educational, some are useful, and some will just save you money, but all of them are free and definitely worth your time.

Free ways to learn something

1. Class Central
Learning isn't just for eggheads and children. Class Central will get you back in the classroom without the awkward self-discovery and crippling student debt. You'll have access to recordings of full college courses, plus syllabi.

2. Open Yale
Basically the same as above, except this one has you in a specific set of hallowed halls, namely Yale's. Other colleges have similar programs, but this one stands out.

3. Coursera
Coursera features classes put together specially for the platform by professors, complete with assignments and opportunities to interact and collaborate with other students.

4. Code Academy
Code Academy will teach you the joys of coding and potentially the joys of making a bunch of money.

5. Duolingo
Duolingo is a great way to learn a language and is built around mini-lessons in a game-like format you might even enjoy. It's for sure a more productive way than Candy Crush to spend a train ride.

6. MusicTheory.net
MusicTheory.net is the perfect way for a beginner to learn how music works or to just brush up on the basics.

Free movies and books

7. Open Culture
Open Culture has just about everything, including textbooks, movies, audiobooks, and ebooks.

8. Documentary Heaven
The aptly named Documentary Heaven has a bunch of free documentaries.

9. Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg features over 56,000 free books (available to read online and often as Kindle downloads). Most of these have entered the public domain, so if you're interested in a throwback, you'll find it here.

Courtesy of Mint

Free ways to save money

10. Retail Me Not
All coupons clippers should bookmark Retail Me Not. You can directly search for savings at stores like H&M and Whole Foods and everything in between.

11. 10 Minute Mail
At 10 Minute Mail you'll be issued a free email address that'll dissolve into the ether after 10 minutes. Why would you want that? Because you can sign up for free deals elsewhere without using your real email address.

12. Craigslist
For free stuff proper, you can always check out this little website called Craigslist. The people on there are weird, and they throw out all kinds of stuff, including useful things you don't want to spend money on. Like coat hangers. Or a taxidermied bear.

13. Mint
The best way to save money is to just get your darn personal finances in order, but accountants cost money. Instead, just use the free service Mint. It's a website/app from the folks who made TurboTax built around budgeting, bill paying, and credit score-checking.

Free internet tools

14. IFTTT
If you're looking for something cool and free that'll make your life easier, IFTTT will give you "recipes" to make your apps and devices work together. For example, it'll teach you how to set up your lights so they turn off when your Uber arrives or how to hook Alexa up to your Google Calendar. It's a little Black Mirror for some people's taste, but at the very least it'll make your life seem more efficient.

15. Pixlr
Pixlr is basically a free version of old Photoshop if you want to touch up your Instagram posts before they go public.

16. Paint.net
You can also use Paint.net for an improved version of the MS Paint you loved so well in your youth.

17. Musescore
Finally, to compose some music with all that knowledge from MusicTheory.net, check out Musescore and get an opus cracking on a budget.

Free ways to feel and act better

18. 7 Cups
If you just need someone to talk to and therapy is way out of your budget, check out 7 Cups. It's a free space where you can air your feelings anonymously in group chats or directly to a listener or therapist, also anonymously.

19. Rainy Mood
If you're just looking to block out the world, head to Rainy Mood, which plays the sound of a thunderstorm and will likely improve your concentration.

20. Stay Focused
To really concentrate though, you can just start blocking websites that distract you with the add-on StayFocused.

21. Grammarly
If you don't feel up to actually getting educated via one of the websites above, you can at least write like an educated person if you download the plug-in Grammarly. It's basically a free spell check, but it's slightly more advanced than what comes with your computer and focuses more on grammar. Just remember: The next best thing to becoming a better version of yourself is appearing like you've become a better version of yourself, and that's what the internet is all about.

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James Chrisman is a News Writer at Thrillist who has spent his whole life searching for the dankest meme of all, to no avail. Send news tips to news@thrillist.com and follow him on Twitter @james_chrisman2.