Online Tools You Didn’t Even Know You Needed

I decided to make yet another link dump post. This time around I’m linking to minimalistic online tools that some of you may find useful. This list is not really for full blown services such as twitter, delicious and etc. It is for throw away apps that perform some basic function on demand without a need to register an account. Most of these tools could be replaced by a shell script or a desktop tool but since they are online you can access them from anywhere at any time.

Checking Your External IP

Everyone and their mom has a website that displays your external IP back to you. I wanted to link to the more notable ones here:

  1. – is the one with the most memorable name
  2. – is the one that is bare bones
  3. – attempts to geo-locate your ISP
  4. – more better geo-location and ISP info

Online Ping and Traceroute

Sometimes you just want to figure out if a website is down just for you, or for everyone in the world. To do that, you usually need to ssh or VPN to a remote location and check it from there. Unfortunately not everyone has a remote location they could connect too. For those people, and for those who just couldn’t be assed to pull up ssh there are the online ping and trace route tools:

  1. – very simplistic – tells you if the site is up or not
  2. – ping, traceroute, port check, whois and etc
  3. – dns lookup, reverse-dns, whois, ping, traceroute, geolocation and bunch of other tools
  4. – does a traceroute from 4 remote mirrors at the same time

Online Virus Scanners

Ok, sometimes you have a file and you want to know if it is infested with some nasty malware or not. Simplest way is to scan it with an AV scanner of some sort. Better yet, scan it with a whole bunch of different AV tools and see how it compares. There are dozens of sites that do exactly that for you. Upload a file, wait few minutes and get a report of a scan with a few dozen different AV engines:

  1. – scans with 20 different AV tools
  2. – 14 different AV tools
  3. – 40 different engines (bit slow)

HijackThis Log Analyzers

If you ever tried to remove nasty malware from an infected system, you might be familiar with HijackThis tool. Unfortunately digging through it’s logs can be tedious and it is sometimes easy to spot bad entries in a forest of crap that users tend to have installed on their systems. This is where an automated analysis tool comes in – it can help you to scan the HJT logs by highlighting evidently suspicious entries and discounting known legitimate ones. They are not 100% accurate but they can improve the readability of a long log file. Here are couple of them that I used in the past:


Unix Timestamp Converters

Recently I’ve been teaching people about the unix timestamp and since most of the people I talked to were bash impaired I found about a bazillion online converters you can use. All of these work back and forward, with various degrees of granularity and input quirks:


Other Stuff

Here is the stuff that I didn’t bother to categorize.

  1. ShieldsUp – is an online port scanner that will test your machine. Sort of like your nmap on the web, just less scary so even a total luser can use it.
  2. HashCalc – will calculate an md5, sha1, sha256, crc32 and bunch of other hash values for any string. Very useful!
  3. – I guess you can imagine what it does. It performs rot31 on a text you submit. Also, I noticed it accepts GET requests, so you can actually link to it like this. I think I actually used this feature in the past.
  4. Zamzar – online file converter. It can convert files for you (eg. you submit one format, it sends you another. It can also create thumbnails and etc. Never really needed it, but it looks useful.
  5. Color-Blend – very cool tool. You pick two colors (either from a color chart or by typing the RGB value/hex code) and it will attempt to blend them. You can generate up to 10 steps – different colors that between the two you picked. Just use it and you will see what I mean.
  6. – another great resource for web designers. It will generate an animated gif preloader thingy for you. You know – one of those little things AJAX sites love to use to indicate that something is loading in the background. Some people call them spinners, others call them thobbers. This site has a huge collection of designs, and you can pick size, animation speed, colors (background and foreground) and etc.
  7. – it will generate absolutely fake name, address, phone number, dob, social security and other made up personal details based on some input parameters. You can pick gender, nationality and country of residence. Nice thing about this generator is that the output actually looks like actual plausible names, addresses and numbers and pass various mental crc checks we all make when checking if someones personal info is bogus or not. You can use these to fill out stupid online registration forms, or scam pishers.
  8. – an online voicemail box. It takes 5 seconds to sign up, and you get a number, extension and a pin. You can give it out to people you don’t know or don’t like or post it online without the fear someone will abuse it. The catch? Anyone calling it pays long distance so don’t give it to your close friends. You can check your voicemails online and avoid paying anything.
  9. – possibly one of the most useful services on the internet. I’m not going to tell you how to use it. Figure it out yourself. I’m sure you will love it. :)

That’s all I have for today. Add your favorite online tools in the comments. Just keep in mind my spam filtering thing can be a bit trigger happy at times. If you post to many URL’s it will freak out and block you. I recommend using the good old trick where we spell out the address:

thewebsiteaddress [dot] com [slash] foo [slash] bar.php

That may or may not make the spam filter angry. I guess this will be a test to see if it can recognize meaningful contributions from spam. Again, I’m not really looking for popular online services, microblogging or anything like that. I’m looking for throw-away, obscure but useful online tools like these above.

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6 Responses to Online Tools You Didn’t Even Know You Needed

  1. freelancer SWEDEN Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says: :D (also related xkcdb quote for anyone who cares:

    Also, does anyone know of a good site with IPv6 tools? I have yet to find a reliable one. Maybe I should set one up myself, since my server has an IPv6 tunnel now… Yay new project! But yeah, off-site tools would be nice ;)

    Btw,, in case anyone doesn’t know about it (not really sfw) :P

    Reply  |  Quote
  2. STop DENMARK Mozilla Firefox Windows says: is an online text-editor… It keeps revisions history (wiki-like) on your edits and you can share text by sending an URL. Login with your Google account.
    Nothing like Vim, of course: feature-wise, it’s more like Notepad, and you’re probably better off with your (portable) editor of choice and/or DropBox. But the history and sharing features are still interesting.

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  3. d UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    This site is currently in rebuild stage but I’ve used it previously in the past to correlate IPs from my IDS/firewall logs.

    I even wrote a script to parse the output from the site and compare it to my own log files.

    I’m really hoping they get it back and up running very soon.

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  4. Rob UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    What an awesome list!

    I also wanted to add: (from your link) and (also from your link).


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  5. tank5 Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Check this multi-tool website:

    Reply  |  Quote
  6. lebon FRANCE Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    On line tools for webmasters .Provides geolocation , ping, pagerank, whois , etc ! I like it.

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