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ZeroSSL Streamlines SSL Certificate Administration

Managing a website is a full-time job. If you’re not tracking down outdated links, you’re weeding out bad ads.

Maintaining the trust of your readers is vital, which is why SSL is so important. With a valid SSL certificate, your site will appear as trusted in every browser address bar and gain the HTTPS prefix. Search engines will look upon your site more favorably.

Let’s Encrypt is a popular option for small-scale webmasters to set up encryption, but it’s a little clunky, which is where ZeroSSL comes in. Let’s take a look at this smart and easy-to-use tool for adding free SSL certificates to your website.

What Is SSL?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, a cryptographic protocol for ensuring security over networks. It introduces trust into the act of visiting a website. Sites operating without SSL certificates could be easily spoofed, and the visitor (you) would never know.

As a webmaster you can add SSL to your site by acquiring a certificate. This has various advantages, from improving search engine rankings to appearing more trustworthy to users.

SSL certificates are only issued to people who can validate their credentials, thereby revealing who the certificate belongs to. This enhances the level of trust between a user and the website they visit.

It’s how we trust online marketplaces like Amazon or streaming sites like Netflix with our personal data.

An Alternative to Let’s Encrypt

Since Google made it clear that HTTPS was the future, websites of all sizes have scrambled to add SSL certificates. For smaller sites, the solution usually heading to Let’s Encrypt, a “free, automated, and open certificate authority.”

This service creates 90-day TLS-standard (Transport Layer Security, the successor to SSL) certificates at no cost to webmasters.

While this sounds great, and it is, it’s also a bit clunky, and the 90-day lifespan for certificates is a pain. Additionally, it only offers “Domain Validated SSL Certificates” which is a sort of low-grade version of certification. Other certificate authorities (CAs) offer a wider selection of certificate types.

ZeroSSL home page

ZeroSSL is a smart, genuine alternative to Let’s Encrypt, offering totally free SSL certificates, an easy user interface, and an API for developers. There is also support for the ACME protocol that verifies control and ownership of a domain.

ZeroSSL is launching as a Sub-Authority (SA) in partnership with an existing CA.

Sign Up to ZeroSSL and Get These Features

Signing up to ZeroSSL is simple. Visit zerossl.com and click Get Free SSL; you can also use the Create Free SSL Certificate tool to start the process.

All you need to start is your email address, a password, and your website URL. Add billing information if you choose a paid package. Signing up to ZeroSSL gives you these features:

  • SSL certificates
  • One-step validation
  • Quick installation
  • Management console
  • SSL monitoring
  • ACME automation

Let’s take a closer look at these.

SSL Certificates

ZeroSSL offers certificates for every possible scenario.

For example, you can grab a free single domain certificate that lasts 90 days. For larger projects, multi-domain certificates are available, and if your budget doesn’t stretch that far, you can also select from wildcard certificates for subdomains.

These are all available via the ACME tool (see below), which enables a streamlined certificate creation process.

One Step Validation

The most frustrating aspect of Let’s Encrypt is the validation of domain ownership. In many cases, validation is required by someone whose expertise is blogging or selling, not messing around with DNS.

ZeroSSL offers an email validation process to confirm site ownership. This is a surprisingly straightforward way to authorize the certificate.

Quick Installation

Installation of your ZeroSSL-provided certificate is remarkably simple. The service provides full help resources, and ZeroSSL generates certificates in a format that suits your platform.

Simply download the certificate, follow the steps, and you’re ready.

Management Console

ZeroSSL management console

To simplify matters further, ZeroSSL features an intuitive user interface. You’ll find all of your SSL certificates listed here, with expiration reminders, billing management, and more.

Developers can use the management console to reset API access keys, too. The console provides the tools you need to manage, create, validate, and install SSL certificates.

SSL Monitoring

SSL certificate creation isn’t always plain sailing. ZeroSSL provides monitoring tools to keep an eye on your certificates. If a certificate isn’t connecting visitors to your site, responding incorrectly in some other way, or is about to expire, you’ll know about it.

It also detects HTTP errors and other issues, then reports them to you.

ACME Automation

Starting in May 2020, ZeroSSL’s ACME server is available. It’s a tool to automate certificate issuing through ZeroSSL.

The tool allows creation of 90-day and one-year certificates, allowing existing ACME and Let’s Encrypt clients to automate via ZeroSSL.

REST API Provision

API documentation is provided for developers to build automation apps and other tools for ZeroSSL. REST API supports certificate creation and validation, as well as automated status webhooks.

How Much Does ZeroSSL Cost?

Various pricing options are open for ZeroSSL. The free option is the most attractive for standard bloggers, offering three 90-day certificates for no charge ever.

For $10 a month ZeroSSL offers unlimited 90-day certificates, three one-year certificates, multi-domain certificates, REST API access, and tech support.

The Premium package is the most popular. $50 a month will get you unlimited 90-day certificates, 10 one-year certificates, multi-domain certificates, 90-day wildcards, a single one-year wildcard, and REST API and tech support.

For $100 per month, the business package will deliver all of the above, plus 25 one-year certificates, three one-year wildcards, and REST API and technical support. You can choose variations on this option, each offering more one-year certificates and wildcards for an appropriate annual fee.

Integrate SSL With Your Website, Satisfy Your Visitors

Start your streamlined SSL creation journey with a trip to zerossl.com. Here, you can quickly begin setting up your certificate using the Create free SSL certificate wizard. Click Next Step to input or set up your account credentials.

Alternatively, click Get Free SSL to create your account first.

In the New Certificate screen, confirm the domain name, then click Next Step.

Secure your domain with SSL

Next set the Validity—either 90-Day (free) or 1-Year (premium). Proceed to the CSR & Contact section and ensure you have Auto-Generate CSR selected. (CSR stands for Certificate Signing Request, containing information about the domain name, location, country, and owning organization.)

Configure your SSL certificate

Click Next Step to select your package, then Next Step again to select a verification method. Three options are available:

  • Email verification
  • DNS (CNAME)
  • HTTP file upload

The magic of ZeroSSL is that it offers email verification. This requires that you have an email address set up with your domain, but it must begin with admin, administrator, hostmaster, webmaster, or postmaster. So for example, hostmaster@yourdomain.com would work.

Don’t wish to verify right away? Click Verify Later and complete the process when you have more time.

If you’ve previously used SSL certificates, you probably already know about DNS and HTTP verification methods. So let’s look at ZeroSSL’s best feature: easy verification using email.

Verify Your SSL Certificate

Click Verify Domain to start email verification, which will trigger an automated email. Note that if this doesn’t come, you should check the email address you’re using and hit Resend Email if all is well.

Next, check your email inbox and open the message. Copy the Verification Key, then click Go To Verification Page.

Verify your domain with ZeroSSL

On the Domain Control Validation page, enter the verification key and click Next. This validation enables certificate issuing. Return to the Verify Domain screen in your ZeroSSL account, and if necessary, click Refresh Status.

Click Install Certificate to proceed, which prompts another email. This one will send to the address you signed up to ZeroSSL with (which may be different from the one you used for verification). Here, click Install Certificate again to return to ZeroSSL. Click Download Certificate and save the ZIP file to your device.

Install your SSL certificate from ZeroSSL

Follow your webhost’s instructions to install the certificate on your server.

Install the SSL certificate on your server

ZeroSSL Is Easier to Use Than Let’s Encrypt

Having a SSL certificate and using the HTTPS URL prefix is vital for your site’s reputation. If you’re running an online business, this is doubly important. Blogs might not worry too much about it, but if you run ads on your site, SSL can help to communicate trust. Often this is a subconscious reassurance, but it helps.

Let’s Encrypt is a great service, but it’s let down by clunky (at times poor) implementation. As we’ve seen, ZeroSSL builds on Let’s Encrypt’s promise, automating SSL management and saving you a lot of messing around in the meantime.

Read the full article: ZeroSSL Streamlines SSL Certificate Administration

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How to Morph Faces Online and Create Face Merges With MorphThing

Browsing the web is a great way to find fun things to do. From games to joke sites, to Twitter accounts and subreddits, you can always discover something that is either really cool or will provoke a laugh. Face mashup tools will give you a mix of both.

If you’ve never tried out face morphing before, we’ve included a simple explanation of what it is below this. We’ve also put together a quick list of the best face merge websites that you can use for free.

What Is a Face Morph?

Morphthing Combine Two Faces Together With an Online Face Morpher

Face Morphing is the use of image manipulation programs to combine two separate images into a brand new image; usually, this image is of a face.

The earliest known version of a face mixer came from a practice known as “tabula scalata” that originated in the 1600s. It’s the process of constructing two images side-by-side over a bumpy or ridged surface. These images can then be viewed as a “picture” if you look at each of them from a specific angle.

In the current era, you can morph two faces together online for free via websites and apps. You can also try out a celebrity face morph through quick image generators. Additionally, there are also professional design programs out there that you can use to morph faces, including Adobe After Effects.

With that out of the way, let’s list off some of the websites where you can create your own face mash.

1. MorphThing

Morph Thing Morph Faces Online

MorphThing is an online face morpher. It lets you take any two face images, it can be celebrity photos or your own, then morphs these two different faces into one.

While you can register for an account to use this site, you can also visit the site and try out its tools without one.

Here are some other features that you should know about:

  • You can share your images with friends and family by forwarding them a link.
  • Additionally, you can embed your creations on other sites.
  • You can also check out the most popular morphs by scrolling down to Today’s Popular Morphs section.

Basically, try out MorphThing if you want to do a celebrity morph with a single click of a button. Please note, however, that this website is kind of old. It hasn’t been properly updated since 2015.

2. 3DThis

Face Merge Online 3DThis

3DThis is another face merger website that you can use to create mashups. While it’s not as easy to operate as MorphThing, it does give you some options.

When you open up the website, you can upload two images to mash together. Once uploaded, the website will resize and reposition these images so they line up more cleanly with one another. Additionally, you can choose to publish your face morph as well.

Some important things you should know about using this website include:

  • They do not “guarantee any confidentiality” to the images that you upload to the site.
  • Content can be submitted to the site as Public, Unlisted, or Private, but you can only upload private content if you have an account.
  • Public content appears once you’re done creating your face mash.
  • By using the service, 3DThis can also upload your face merge to its own social media accounts.

In essence, while this website can definitely help you create a cool effect, its rules are somewhat overreaching and they don’t do enough for privacy. As such, it’s not the top choice on our list.

3. FaceSwapOnline

Face Mashup FaceSwapOnline

Next on our list of mashups? Try FaceSwapOnline, a simple composite editor where you can make funny pictures through simple selections.

FaceSwapOnline is different from the other websites on this list, in that it’s not focused on animated morphs so much as it’s focused on swapping out one face for another. To use this website, just upload your own image, or try out some of the pre-generated content already on the site. Once your edits are complete, you can download your creation.

Some other things you should know about using this site:

  • You can only “post, modify, or distribute” content that you own the copyright to.
  • When you upload your pictures to FaceSwapOnline, you grant them the ability to use your images “royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable,” as well as “worldwide,” as per the Terms of Service. Basically, they can do what they want with your images once you’ve uploaded them to the website.

So again, just be careful with these face mashup sites and how you use them. You should also be careful about what kind of pictures you upload, too.

Additionally, if you’re looking for other funny pictures to use online, check out this list of the best websites to find new memes.

4. Loonapix – Facer

Face Merge Loonapix Facer

Looking for a simple face merger website? Then you need to check out Loonapix’s “Facer” tool, which allows you to upload your face onto another person’s body using a “face in hole” template.

With Loonapix’s Facer, you can choose a template from a variety of different categories. You can then add your face by uploading a file. Once you’re done adding your picture to your creation, click Save Image. Choose from a variety of different options for what you want to do with your image, including saving the picture to your device or sharing that image with others.

Loonapix’s Terms of Service are less overreaching than some of the others on this list, so it’s a good in-between if you crave fine-tuned creation tools, but also want personal control over how you use your pictures.

Morph Things Online Using Apps and Websites

Now that you know where to face merge online, you can try out some of these websites yourself. While they won’t be able to give you the seamless results of a full-fledged design program, they should still be able to help you create a quick image manipulation for free.

If you prefer apps over websites, here is a list of the best face swap apps.

Read the full article: How to Morph Faces Online and Create Face Merges With MorphThing

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5 Free Homeschooling Websites to Teach and Educate Children at Home

With the internet, education comes to your home as you can teach kids through online classes. Where do you start? Try these best free websites and apps for homeschooling children.

If homeschooling is a permanent plan for you, you’ll likely want to spend on premium apps and websites that offer robust packages. But if you are temporarily homeschooling or trying it out for the first time, the internet makes it easy to do it for free.

1. TED-Ed@Home (Web): TED-Ed’s Free Homeschooling Newsletter and Activities

TedEd@Home issues a daily newsletter for easier homeschooling, and hosts a daily new speaker on Instagram

The makers of TED Talks launched a new program to encourage learning for students without going to school. The TED-Ed@Home initiative is a daily newsletter with free lessons, activities, and challenges to support students of all age groups, and parents and teachers too.

The newsletter includes new lessons daily for elementary, middle school, high school, and university. A single click will take you to TED-Ed’s archive of educational videos appropriate for that age group. The lessons cover the arts, literature, language, math, science, technology, and more.

You can also browse all TED-Ed lessons, which you can filter by subject, student level, content type, date uploaded, and popularity.

Also, check out the new TED Challenges on the @TEDEducation Instagram page. Every weekday, a new TED speaker will take over the account for a brief educational talk, and a family-oriented challenge that students can do at home.

Remember, TED isn’t the only platform of its type. You should check out the best TED Talks alternatives and see if their lessons are better suited for your children.

2. Things to Do Indoors (Web): Free Resources From Roald Dahl’s Official Website

Roald Dahl's Things to Do Indoors has a variety of free learning resources for children

The books of Roald Dahl are ever-popular among children. The official website now has a mini-page called Things to Do Indoors, which collects free resources to entertain and educate kids at home.

It’s a mix of fun activities and educational pieces. For example, teachers can browse the “Lickswishy Lesson Plans” to find interactive ways to teach language skills. Or take drawing classes to learn how to draw some of Dahl’s famous characters like Matilda.

There are quizzes, puzzles, arts and crafts, and much more for children to browse directly, as well as adults to teach their kids.

Dahl’s website tries to be as inclusive as possible. The video storytelling section, for example, tells some of his classics in sign language. Also, download the giant activity pack from the Create and Learn page, which has quizzes, activity sheets, dress-up ideas, and more.

3. Techie Home School Mom (Web): Beginner Homeschooling Advice and Curriculum Directory

Techie Home School Mom has an easy to browse directory of home learning courses and curriculum

Beth decided to homeschool her kids, and share all the tips and tricks she learns along the way. Despite the name of her blog, you don’t need to be adept at technology to use it. Beth’s articles are accessible for any level of tech expertise.

The first thing to check out at Techie HomeSchool Mom (THSM) is the online homeschool curriculum directory. Beth has scoured the best free online homeschooling courses to make them easy for you to browse.

Filter by subject, grade, or type, and you’ll find a brief description of each course, the class format, grade levels, and categories it applies to.

Throughout the website, Beth shares to-the-point articles about what you’ll need to successfully homeschool children. It’s a lot of thoughtful things that you wouldn’t have considered, like the equipment you’ll need, or specific homeschooling advice for children struggling with certain subjects.

4. Scholastic Learn at Home (Web): Free 4-Week Homeschool Courses

Scholastic teaches children at home through free four-week courses

Educational books giant Scholastic released some of its library to make four-week-long educational courses. You need to sign up to use it as a teacher, parent, or student, and then it’s completely free, no strings attached.

First, choose a grade group: PreK and Kindergarten, Grades 1 and 2, Grades 3 to 5, or Grades 6 to 9. Each course has four weeks divided into a normal 5-day week. Every day has four activities or educational elements.

Scholastic draws upon its vast repository of educational materials to mix up the lessons for well-rounded learning.

Generally, the kids will have to read an article or watch a video, and then have a follow-up activity like writing an essay based on what they learned. By finishing the daily activities, kids earn a “daily reading quest” for enjoyable comprehension.

Scholastic has also made BookFlix free till the end of the school year. BookFlix is its interactive story-telling app that teaches children to learn to read. Check out the Resources for Families section to learn how to use BookFlix free, and get other free downloadables.

5. GoNoodle Good Energy at Home (Web): Free PE and Exercise Games for Kids

GoNoodle's Good Energy at Home has free weekly physical education and exercise activities for kids

Homeschooling needs to be well-rounded like the system a real school would provide. Your child needs physical activity, and GoNoodle’s Good Energy at Home is the answer. Get free movement, yoga, and mindfulness videos for kids in a variety of activities.

The website has new activities every week, where kids learn different exercises with a bit of fun to them. For example, an NFL player taught children some coordination and agility training exercises. Dance instructors teach kids to shake a leg while getting some cardio. And there are other printables, videos, and activities to find something new each day of the week. Plus, you can always go back through the archives for more.

GoNoodle also works on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV devices, and Roku, for a big-screen activity experience. Several parents reviewing the app say it’s a great compromise. Kids are happy to get a little extra “screen time”, and parents are happy that the child is active and moving. Plus, it also recommends a few off-screen activities to give those eyes some rest.

Download Free Homeschool Printables

Scholastic doesn’t do what GoNoodle does, and GoNoodle has none of the activities from Roald Dahl’s free site. Ideally, you should mix and match the above recommendations to create your own schedule. And you’ll need to print that out for the child to stick to it.

Much like at the school, homeschooling often requires good old paper and pen. But the good news is that you don’t need to draw up those charts, report cards, and schedules. We’ve got your back with a collection of the best free homeschool printables and templates you can download.

Read the full article: 5 Free Homeschooling Websites to Teach and Educate Children at Home

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5 Unique Ways to Celebrate Birthdays Online

No birthday goes uncelebrated on the internet. Before you blow the candles and cut that cake, check these websites and guides for a happy birthday.

In a world where everything is going digital, why not birthday celebrations too? From virtual birthday parties on video calls to apps that pump up the special day, the internet has it all. You can get a free Happy Birthday song, create a fake newspaper with your details, or check out intergalactic happenings on your birthday.

1. How to Host a Virtual Birthday Party on Video Chat Apps Like Zoom

Check these guides for tips and tricks to host a virtual birthday party celebration on zoom or video call

The first thought that pops into one’s head about an online birthday celebration is to do a birthday party on a video call. How do you do that though? And is it any fun? Well, a few people tried it, and they’re sharing tips and tricks to have an entertaining remote birthday party video call.

  1. How to Celebrate a Birthday During the Coronavirus Showdown by The New York Times
  2. How to Celebrate a Birthday While Social Distancing by Refinery29
  3. I Threw a Virtual Birthday Party and 46 People Came, Here’s What I Learned by Inc.

All three posts are worth reading and offer a range of advice, hacks, and tips. They have a few common words of wisdom for virtual birthday parties.

First and foremost, allow for some advance planning for participants. Ensure most people know each other. Have a common activity, like a drink or food you can all eat at the same time, or a fun dress code like party hats. And whoever hosts the party should have a few topics they can involve all people in, or ask them to prepare in advance.

Naturally, a virtual birthday celebration isn’t going to be as fun as a real one. But if circumstances dictate such limitations, then you can still have a merry old birthday. All you need then is Zoom or any of the great Zoom alternative video chat apps.

2. 1 Happy Birthday (Web): Free Birthday Song, Movie Clips, Trivia, and More

1 Happy Birthday has a free custom birthday song with your name in it

1HappyBirthday.com has a customized birthday song maker. Search for your name on the website, and if it’s listed, download the free song wishing you a happy birthday. It’s not the usual Happy Birthday song, but a different peppy and lively number.

The collection of names is surprisingly large, including odd ones that you might not easily find. In our search, we found most of the MakeUseOf staff’s names.

Apart from the song, every bit of audio you want related to birthdays, you’ll find on this site. In Movie Birthday Wishes, you’ll find famous quotes from movies as audio clips that you can play or download. It collects pop-rock birthday songs, Spanish and Mexican birthday songs, and lyrics for all of them.

1Happy Birthday also hosts a bunch of mini birthday games. Enter any birth date to find exactly how many days, weeks, months, or years old that person is. Get random information and trivia about things that happened on your birthday. Or play the “Younger or Older” game if you like pop culture.

3. My Birthday Hits (Web, Spotify): Playlist of the #1 Hit Song on Every Birthday

My Birthday Hits creates a playlist of chart topping songs on your birthday each year

Would you like to know which song was topping the charts on the day you were born, or every birthday after that? My Birthday Hits has the answer. And it will quickly create a playlist of all these songs on Spotify.

Key in your birth date and the website generates a grid of the #1 song in the USA on that date each yet. Click any song to open it with an embedded YouTube video, and a bit more information about how long it stayed at the top. My Birthday Hits also throws in the top movie and the top book of that year, if you’re interested.

At the bottom of the results page where you input your birthday, you’ll find playlist options. You can copy-paste a text file of all songs, and search and add them to a playlist in your favorite music streaming app. Or grab the Spotify track list and add it to a playlist. It’s a little time-consuming, but the end result is fun.

My Birthday Hits has a catalog of hit songs going back to the 1940s. So if you’re less than 80 years old, you’ll get a list of every hit on your birthday (or any special date).

4. What Did the Hubble See on Your Birthday? (Web): Space Events on Your Birth Date

What did the Hubble Telescope see on your birthday? Check NASA's mini-site for a galactic birthday celebration

We’re just a tiny speck in our galaxy, let alone the whole universe. But while we’re exploring the Earth, the Hubble Telescope is exploring the Milky Way, constantly photographing events for over 30 years. What if something cool happened on your birthday?

This official NASA mini-site lets you find the universe’s highlight on your birthday. You can only filter by month and day, not by year, which is a bit of a bummer. But you’ll quickly forget about that limitation as the site brings up a galactic event with a colorized photo.

The image comes with a short description educating you about its significance. You can also visit the Hubble site link to learn more about it, as well as related trivia. On a day when many consider their own mortality and meaning, it’s marvelous to get this big picture perspective.

5. The Birthday Times (Web): Create a Fake Newspaper Birthday Gift

Create a fake newspaper of your birth date at The Birthday Times

Newspaper pages are a cool way to commemorate birthdays. The Birthday Times lets you create a fake newspaper page from the day you were born, but goes a long way in trying to look authentic. It’s filled with little things to bring that era alive while customizing it to you. Add your name and birth date, with the year, to begin.

The Birthday Times has 10 elements, starting with a big headline announcing your arrival. Then the US President of that time visits you, followed by a wrap-up of news events of that year.

Other elements of that year include a sports event, the Academy Awards, musical hits, and even an ad of that era. Surprisingly, more than all the words, the ad provides a unique and cool feel for the era that’s hard to replicate.

You can purchase a PDF copy of this newspaper front page for $3.99, or have it printed and sent to you for $5.99. You can’t change the text, but if you want to customize the newspaper, you could try making your own through free templates like Make My Newspaper.

What About Birthday Gifts?

Online birthday celebrations are great, but the gifts get a little difficult. Sure, if you ordered them well in advance to ship in time, that works.

But if it’s last-minute or unavailable, you can send a cash gift online in a creative way. It’s a nice compromise that still looks and feels like a gift, not the digital equivalent of cash stuffed in an envelope.

Read the full article: 5 Unique Ways to Celebrate Birthdays Online

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6 Funny Comedy Blogs That’ll Make You Laugh Without Pictures or Videos

While being online 24/7 is not always great, the list of ways that you can entertain yourself through the web is practically endless. On top of social media sites, there are also tons of funny blogs to read when you’re bored.

To put it in perspective: everyone reading this article has probably heard of The Oatmeal, Fail Blog, or The Onion at least once.

However, one thing all these websites have in common is that they are immensely popular, and need little introduction. A lot of them also rely on images instead of text in order to give you a laugh.

So to show you the other side of “absolutely hilarious,” here are six more blogs, forums, or social media accounts that will make you laugh with just text—no pictures or videos.

1. Not Always Romantic

Funny Blogs Not Always Romantic

If you’ve been on the internet for a while, you might have heard about Not Always Right. It’s a blog that documents how employees try to satisfy unreasonable customer demands from the employee’s perspective.

Not Always Right also has a sister site called Not Always Romantic. Once again, it parallels the same concept. Through Not Always Romantic, readers can send in their stories detailing weird, offbeat, quirky, or downright strange conversations between themselves and a loved one.

From unromantic quotes, to stories about how couples first met, this funny blog has it all. At the very least—even if you’re not laughing—it will leave you feeling slightly amused. Not Always Romantic is definitely one of the more interesting blogs to read when you’re bored.

If you’re looking for other “odd-ball” things to do that may be romantically inclined, you can also check out our list of hilarious Valentine’s Day pranks. Fair warning, though: be careful who you try these pranks on.

2. Not Always Related

Funny Blogs to Read When Bored Not Always Related

Following in the tradition of our previous recommendation, we also wanted to give a shoutout to Not Always Related, which, once again, is related to Not Always Right.

Featuring stories about family members, these funny blog posts talk about the weird occurrences, strange events, and odd conversations that occur between readers and their relatives.

There’s even a hall of fame section that will guide you through the most upvoted posts. Usually, those posts are a distinct combination of superbly awkward but amusing.

3. Don’t Even Reply

Funny Blogs to Read Don't Even Reply

Looking for funny blogs to read that are all about classified ads, and nothing but? The creator of Don’t Even Reply—a consummate troll of the old-school variety—has set up a website with this premise.

While some of these posts may be shocking, we think there’s a high chance it’ll keep you entertained.

Basically—for each blog post—the author of the website finds a classified ad and replies to the person who posted it. When the original poster responds, the blogger sends back increasingly nonsensical replies until the recipient becomes understandably angry. You can’t help but feel bad for some of these ad owners.

While this blog has not been updated in a very long time (since 2013), its magic lies in how it’s a window to an earlier internet time period. Since these conversations often involve ridiculous levels of trolling, the posts do contain profanity more often than not. So heads up on the language.

If you’re looking for more humorous blogs or ways to entertain yourself when you’re bored, check out our list of fun things to do online when you’re bored at work.

4. r/IAmVerySmart

Funniest Blogs r/iamverysmart

While this subreddit does dip into screenshots—and screenshots are technically pictures—most of the screenshots on r/iamverysmart are usually of text. As such, we think it should make the list.

As a forum devoted to making fun of online posts from people who think they are “very smart,” r/iamverysmart is one of several massive subreddits that cover the huge levels of ego that you can find on the web.

These posts range from people preening about their IQ scores in ironic ways, to “not-so-humble-brags.” It seems that everyone wants to shout from the rooftops that they are better than everyone else in the room, and often, it comes back to bite them.

With over 1 million members, this subreddit is definitely updated frequently. Although it’s not a blog in the technical sense, it can definitely fall under the category of “fun blogs to read when you’re bored.”

5. Clients From Hell

Funny Blog Clients From Hell

Clients From hell is a text-based website that I’ve personally been following on-and-off since I was a university student. It’s also one of the funniest blogs around.

The concept of “Clients From Hell” is very simple. Like Not Always Right, the blog documents customer interactions from the point of the employee, except this time the employees are specifically designers.

From people who try to get out of paying for a service, to downright illegal requests, the stories on this site are numerous, mind-boggling, and absurd. The levels of difficult behaviour that designers must put up with is astounding, and there are actually so many stories that each post is filed under a particular story “type.” These types range from deadbeat clients to full-on bigots.

We definitely recommend checking out Clients From Hell if you want to work in a design-related field.

6. So Sad Today

Funny Twitter Accounts So Sad Today

Last on the list, we want to recommend So Sad Today: a Twitter account devoted to sad-but-funny one-line tweets.

Part millennial humor, part self-effacing doom and gloom, this Twitter account captures the mindset of a generation (or several) that is always on the brink. Even still, it seeks to find some laughter in the darkness.

So Sad Today has almost a million followers. In fact, there’s even a book to go along with the account. The book is called So Sad Today: Personal Essays by Melissa Broder. It’s a must-check-out if you’re a regular Twitter user.

Laugh Out Loud With More Funny Sites

With this list of blogs to read when you’re bored, you can settle in, start reading, and smile.

If you’re looking for other funny sites that have less of a text-based focus, you can also read up on these hilariously random websites to help you procrastinate.

Read the full article: 6 Funny Comedy Blogs That’ll Make You Laugh Without Pictures or Videos

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8 Most Common Internet Explorer Issues (And Easy Ways to Fix Them)

After being the subject of jokes and hated for years, Internet Explorer has largely moved into obscurity now. Microsoft still includes Internet Explorer 11 (the final version) with Windows 10, but it’s more for compatibility reasons than anything else.

However, you might sometimes find yourself in situations where you have to use Internet Explorer. Let’s look at quick fixes for common Internet Explorer issues so your time with the aging browser isn’t a hassle.

1. Internet Explorer Is Not in Active Development

Before we address specific Internet Explorer problems and fixes, we have to cover the obvious. While Microsoft maintains it on supported versions of Windows, Internet Explorer is an old browser that the company no longer actively develops. Due to a lack of modern features and an aging configuration, Internet Explorer 11 is increasingly insufficient for today’s web.

Because of this, we don’t recommend that you use Internet Explorer unless you absolutely have to. It’s mainly included with Windows 10 as a backward compatibility tool, as many internal business websites require Internet Explorer to work properly. Unless you come across such a site, you’ll be much better off using Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Microsoft’s revamped Edge, or even an open source browser.

Below, we’ll cover a few common problems with Internet Explorer. If you can’t solve any of them easily, don’t waste your time—just use something else.

2. Basic Internet Explorer Troubleshooting: Updates Not Installed

IE 11 About Page

As mentioned, Internet Explorer doesn’t receive updates often. However, on the off chance that Microsoft fixed a known problem with Internet Explorer recently, you should check for updates before you start more focused troubleshooting.

On Windows 10, the browser receives updates through Windows Update, since it’s a component of the OS. Head to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update to check for the latest updates, and apply any that appear here.

3. Can’t Find Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer comes with Windows 10 by default. To open it, just search for Internet Explorer on the Start menu. If it doesn’t appear there, press Win + R to open the Run box and type iexplore.exe.

Should you see an error message or have Internet Explorer fail to load, it’s likely that you (or another administrator on your computer) disabled it. Perhaps they didn’t want anyone using the old browser unnecessarily.

To activate Internet Explorer again, type Windows features into the Start menu and select Turn Windows features on or off. In the list that appears, scroll down and check Internet Explorer 11 if it’s not already. Click OK, wait for the process to complete, then restart your PC. It should then be available.

Enable IE 11

4. Error 404 in Internet Explorer

Error 404 means that the page you’re trying to visit doesn’t exist. Usually, this happens because you mistyped a URL or clicked on a link that leads to a dead page; it’s rarely a problem with IE.

When this happens, press F5 to refresh the page and make sure it’s not a temporary issue. If you manually typed the URL, double-check to confirm you didn’t make any mistakes. After checking those, try searching for the page using Google.

If it doesn’t appear from searching, chances are that the page no longer exists. Try accessing it from another browser, or a different device like your phone. If that works, try clearing your browser cache in IE.

5. Internet Explorer Crashes, Freezes, or Hangs

A lot of Internet Explorer troubleshooting revolves around poor performance. To address these problems, you should first run the Internet Explorer Performance troubleshooter.

To access this, search for control panel in the Start menu to open it. If you see Category in the top-right, click this to change it to Small icons. Next, select Troubleshooting, followed by View all at the top-left.

In the resulting menu, double-click on Internet Explorer Performance. Before you start, click the Advanced link and choose Run as administrator for best results.

Internet Explorer Performance Troubleshooter

Once the troubleshooter completes, it shows you any completed actions that it took. Hopefully, these will resolve your Internet Explorer problem.

Toggling hardware acceleration can also help with these issues. This option uses your PC’s graphics card (instead of the CPU) to handle graphics-extensive tasks, such as streaming video. Most of the time it’s better to keep it enabled, but you can try toggling it to see if it makes a difference.

To change this, click the gear icon at the top-right of Internet Explorer (which represents the Tools menu), followed by Internet options. Select the Advanced tab at the top, then check the box for Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering. Click OK, then you’ll need to restart your PC for the change to take effect.

Internet Explorer Use Software Rendering

Further Performance Troubleshooting

Browser add-ons can often interfere with performance. Click the gear icon and choose Manage add-ons to review the ones you have enabled and try turning off any that you don’t need. As another troubleshooting step, you can also run Internet Explorer without any add-ons and see if that improves anything.

To do this, close all Internet Explorer windows first. Then press Win + R to open the Run dialog, enter iexplore.exe -extoff, and hit Enter. See if IE performs better with no extensions running.

Internet Explorer No Add Ons

If all else fails, you should try a complete reset of Internet Explorer. This sets everything back to its default state so you can start from a clean slate. Before proceeding, we recommend saving anything you want to keep from Internet Explorer, such as backing up your bookmarks.

To reset IE, go to Tools > Internet options > Advanced and click the Reset button at the bottom. You’ll see a warning letting you know what this process will do. It resets all your settings, but won’t remove personal content like your homepage, history, and saved form data.

Check the Delete personal settings box if you want to erase this content as well.

After you click Reset, you’ll need to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

6. Internet Explorer Display Issues

If a website doesn’t look like you expect, such as appearing blank, images not displaying, broken or jumbled text, or misplaced menus, there could be some compatibility issues between IE and the website.

This can often occur due to Compatibility View, a feature designed to help display websites built for ancient versions of IE. To check, click Compatibility View settings from the Tools menu. The current website will show in the Add this website box; click Add to display it using Compatibility View.

On the flip side, if the site looks wrong and it’s on the Compatibility View list, click it and choose Remove. You should never need to use Compatibility View Unless a website was specifically built for IE 8 or older, which is rare these days.

IE Compatibility View

Internet Explorer’s Tracking Protection feature, which reduces website tracking for your privacy, can also interfere with content. To turn off Tracking Protection, select Manage add-ons from the Tools menu. Choose Tracking Protection from the left sidebar, then right-click on each item in the list and choose Disable.

IE Tracking protection

You can also try clearing your browser cache, as mentioned in section #4 above. Head to Tools > Internet options > General and click Delete under Browsing history.

Display issues can also be caused by hardware acceleration, as mentioned above. Try toggling that setting if you haven’t already.

7. Videos Won’t Play in Internet Explorer

If you can’t get a video to play in IE, try using another browser. Most video uses HTML5 these days, which works in every modern browser. When a specific video won’t play, it probably relies on a feature that IE lacks.

If you really need to watch it in IE, check your add-ons to check for conflicts, as described above.

8. Can’t See Any Pictures in Internet Explorer

You can try all the previously mentioned solutions for this problem, such as Compatibility View, turning off Tracking Protection, and clearing temporary internet files. However, there’s actually a setting that disables all pictures in Internet Explorer. It’s a simple fix if you’ve run into this issue.

Browse to Tools > Internet options > Advanced. Scroll down to the Multimedia header and make sure that Show pictures is checked.

IE Show Pictures

If this is checked, you may want to reset Internet Explorer’s security settings. While in Internet options, click the Security tab and you’ll see several “zones” at the top (most sites fall into the Internet zone). Simply click Reset all zones to default level and restart your PC to put everything back to normal.

Should this all fail, reset IE to its default settings as explained above.

IE Is Old, So Issues Aren’t Surprising

Now you know how to respond when Internet Explorer isn’t working properly. Hopefully, you almost never have to use it and thus don’t run into many problems. Again, since the browser is far from modern, these problems can definitely occur. We urge you to use another browser when at all possible.

In case you’re stuck with IE for a while longer, check out our Internet Explorer FAQ for more help.

Read the full article: 8 Most Common Internet Explorer Issues (And Easy Ways to Fix Them)

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How to Identify Deleted Videos in YouTube Playlists

It’s incredibly frustrating to open your painstakingly crafted playlist on YouTube and see the dreaded message: “One or more videos have been removed from the playlist because they were deleted from YouTube.” How are you supposed to remember every video that you added to a playlist?

Thankfully, there are a few ways to find the title of a deleted YouTube video. Let’s look at how to see what the deleted videos were, and a few ways to help when this happens in the future.

How to See the Title of a Deleted YouTube Video

As you know, when you open a deleted video, the page doesn’t give you much information on what it was. You can’t see the video title, channel name, upload date, or anything else that would help you identify it.

Thankfully, there are a few ways that you can hopefully recover this information.

See Deleted Video Titles via a Google Search

As it turns out, the most reliable way to see a deleted video’s name is by simply performing a Google search for its URL. Since you still have access to the URL via your playlist, you can use that to see what else the internet knows about it.

Start by opening the playlist containing the deleted video. Open the video that you can’t view, and you’ll get a URL like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VrsIEYZHys&list=WL&index=41

The unique video identifier is the content after v= and before &list, so in this case, you’d want to copy _VrsIEYZHys. Then, simply paste this into a Google search and see what comes up.

Google Find Deleted YouTube Video

Hopefully, you’ll be able to see what the title of the deleted video was (or perhaps an image result for the video thumbnail). If this brings up too many results, try putting the video ID in quotes so Google only shows exact matches for it.

Google may have a copy of the page in its cache, in some cases. In the above example, the video was re-uploaded to another video sharing site, where you can actually watch it in its entirety.

You won’t always be this lucky, of course. If you find the video title, try Googling that to see what else comes up. There’s a chance someone re-uploaded it to YouTube or somewhere else.

Find Out What Video Was Deleted on Archive.org

You might already be familiar with Archive.org, a site dedicated to preserving content on the internet. It takes snapshots of websites so you can see what they looked like at a certain point in the past.

While the service can’t archive every single page on YouTube, there’s a chance that it saved a copy of the video page you’re interested in before it was deleted. To check, head to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine and enter the URL of the video you want to check.

Make sure to strip any extraneous info at the end, such as playlist codes. Thus if you have:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlDRNtlVKlQ&list=WL&index=102

Enter this instead:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlDRNtlVKlQ

After you enter the URL, if the service has it saved, you’ll see Saved X times between certain dates. Click one of the dates on the calendar at the bottom to see how the page looked at that time. If one date doesn’t work, try another.

Archive Machine YouTube Saved

For most YouTube videos, Archive.org won’t have the actual video saved, so you can’t watch it. However, as long as it archived the page, you can see the title, channel, upload date, and even the description. As above, try using this information to see if you can locate the video elsewhere.

You’ll have the best results with this method if the video was available on YouTube for some time. Videos that were quickly deleted after uploading probably didn’t have time to archive.

Why Do Videos Get Deleted From YouTube?

Unfortunately, YouTube videos become unavailable all the time for a variety of reasons. These include the following:

  • The owner makes them private: Private videos still exist on YouTube, but are only accessible to their owner and people they specifically invite. Channels often set videos as private when they don’t want people to watch them anymore, but also don’t want to delete the video and lose the stats associated with it.
  • The owner deletes the video: Sometimes a channel owner deletes a video in cases where they need to re-upload a copy with corrections or additional edits.
  • The channel no longer exists: If the owner of a channel deletes their own account or has it terminated due to violating YouTube’s rules, all of its videos disappear with it.
  • The video received a copyright claim: If a video contains large amounts of copyrighted content, the intellectual property owner can file a claim on the video and potentially make it unavailable.
  • The video contains inappropriate content: In some cases, YouTube will remove a video if it breaks the site’s terms of service. This can happen for explicit material or videos containing illegal content.

How to Avoid Losing YouTube Videos in the Future

Of course, there’s no way to prevent a channel from deleting its own video. However, you can take a few steps to make it easier to remember what a video was if it does get deleted.

Add Notes to Videos in Playlists

One method for this involves a YouTube feature that allows you to add your own notes to videos, which is buried behind several menus. It uses the classic YouTube interface, and works as of this writing but could disappear in the future.

To use it, open one of your playlists on YouTube. On the left side underneath the playlist title, you’ll see a three-dot Menu button. Click this and choose Playlist Settings. Note that you won’t see this option for default YouTube playlists, such as Watch later and Liked videos.

YouTube Playlist Settings

On the resulting dialog box that appears, select Advanced Settings. This will open the classic YouTube interface with a settings page for your playlist. You don’t need any of the options here, so click Cancel to close it.

Next, mouse over a video in your playlist and click the More button that appears on the far right. Choose Add/edit notes from the list of options and YouTube will provide a box where you can enter your own notes for the video.

YouTube Add Notes to Video

Once you save the note, the page will refresh and you’ll see your note next to the video in the playlist. Unfortunately, this note only appears on the classic playlist view, so you won’t see it on the modern YouTube interface. Still, if you take the time to do this, it could come in handy down the road.

Use RecoverMy.Video

If you don’t want to use notes, there’s a dedicated service called RecoverMy.Video to help you keep track of deleted videos from your playlists. Click Recover now, sign in with your Google account, and it will take a snapshot of all the videos in your playlists.

When you return and click Recover now again, the service will tell you the names of any videos that were deleted in the meantime. You can even have it send you an email when it recovers a video.

RecoverMyVideo Home

This is a great way to keep track of videos without having to manually take notes. You won’t have to guess what a video was any more! Just make sure to check in occasionally to update your database if you add more videos to your playlists.

Recover Deleted Video Titles With Ease

Now you have several methods to figure out what video was deleted from your YouTube playlists. It’s definitely a frustrating problem, but due to YouTube’s ubiquity, the information from its videos is usually available elsewhere.

We’ve focused on finding the video title here. But if you want to keep a copy of the YouTube videos so you can watch them even after they’re deleted, check out the best way to download YouTube playlists.

Read the full article: How to Identify Deleted Videos in YouTube Playlists

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10 Interactive Sites With Fun Art Games for Kids

Most of us leave the drawing pencil or the crayon behind while growing up. Maybe, our own dreams of turning into fine artists won’t come true. But maybe we can inspire the kids in our lives to pick up where we left off. Art games could be a fun introduction to the world of color.

Art games aren’t a replacement for formal art lessons for kids. So, don’t make them drop the palette and the brush, but do check out these interactive art websites for fun with your kids.

1. PBS Kids Coloring Games

PBS interactive art website for kids

Any search for online activities for elementary students will land you at PBS Kids. The network is the most popular platform for children’s programming and content in the United States.

The PBS Kids portal is filled with interactive games for kids so you will be spoilt for choice. This particular link leads to online coloring games of all kinds.

2. Sesame Street

Sesame Street Art Maker

The Art Maker on this PBS site is another popular online destination that has a nice little collection of art games for kids. They can paint Elmo the furry muppet or go against the Cookie Monster with a coloring brush in their virtual hands.

It is all online, but you can show your kids how to paint with crayons, oil paints, or watercolors, etc and light the creative fires in your kids.

3. GirlsGoGames

A collection of art games on GirlsGoGames

This site has a collection of casual art games designed for girls. But it need not be gender-specific because it’s all about having fun with color and craft.

Try fashion makeovers, decorate a friend, or turn into a hairdresser with a click on the Play button.

4. Smithsonian for Kids and Teens

Smithsonian for Kids and Teens

Smithsonian doesn’t take half-measures when it comes to science, history, nature, and even pop culture. This section of their vast site is dedicated to art and craft activities for kids of all ages. Many of the resources are part of the Smithsonian Learning Lab.

For instance, you can help your kids make an ArtBot, an art-making robot with detailed instructions on the site. There are milder activities like coloring sheets and collage work too if you would like to skip the robot.

The Smithsonian can be a fun art website but you will get more out of it as a serious educational resource.

5. Tate for Kids

Tate Museum Art Games

Art appreciation can begin early with visits to museums like the Tate art museums in Britain. But you can do a lot from home too. For instance, Tate has an entire section devoted to free art games, art activities, and fun quizzes on its site.

Kids can make art like Andy Warhol or paint virtual walls with graffiti on Street Art. There’s no one to stop them once they begin their art adventures.

6. Toy Theater

Art and design activities for kids on Toy Theater

Toy Theater is a clean little site filled with educational activities for elementary school students. Head straight to the collection of interactive art games which will help your children develop visual learning skills, abstract idea expression, and design awareness.

The activities are a great fit for early learners from kindergarten to the third grade.

7. Artsology

Artsology is website with interactive art games for kids

Artsology is another collection of 107 art games for kids of all ages. Start by spray painting the walls of New York City with graffiti and make your way through surrealist art with an arcade game.

There are some games marked with the Flash logo. So, everyone can enjoy the Flash games till December 2020 at least when Adobe will officially stop updating Flash.

8. Drawize

Drawize is a fun draw and guess game

Drawize can replace Pictionary as it’s a similar “guess what I drew” game. Your kids can draw and take part in the daily drawing challenge or go online to play with friends or a stranger anywhere in the world.

The drawing and guessing game is also available on Android and iOS.

Download: Drawize for Android | iOS (Free)

9. Quick, Draw!

Using Quick Draw as an art game for kids

This Google A.I experiment will keep kids engaged for 20 seconds at a time as they keep playing against the neural network and its image recognition prowess.

It’s an amazing research project, but you can also use it as a quick doodle drawing game like Pictionary. The game uses its neural engine to guess the drawing. If it guesses correctly, the “game” is over.

The twenty-second timer will also make your kids draw from their intuition rather than pause and deliberate about their drawing. The drawings don’t have to be perfect, and that means anyone without artistic ability can join in and have fun.

10. AutoDraw

AutoDraw from Google

Auto Draw is another A.I powered game from Google. It is a bit different from the above game because the automated bot will “guess” your doodle and suggest a more polished piece of clip art to replace it.

Children can also see in an instant if their own doodles are close enough to the suggested drawings that have been done by icon artists.

AutoDraw is a nifty little tool for non-artistic kids because they can swap their rough drawing for nicer clipart and use it in any art project.

A Few Other Art Websites for Kids

Many art games can now be found as mobile apps. But here are a few more simple art games your kids can enjoy in the browser.

  1. Art Pad
  2. Color With Leo
  3. Beautiful Curves
  4. NASA Coloring Books
  5. Crazy Games—C0loring
  6. Disney Junior Coloring Pages
  7. Son of String Art
  8. ThisIsSand
  9. Tessellate
  10. Weave Silk

Spark Creativity With Art and Drawing

Art games can prompt kids to just free draw. After all, they aren’t wasting paint on canvas or paper and making a mess of things. In fact, art is just the space kids need to jumble up stuff and see what comes up.

These interactive art websites are perfect for kids, and then there is the ocean of drawing and painting apps and some even masquerading as games on Android and iOS. Point your kids towards sites that teach the basics of drawing and they will start building the foundations of a great hobby.

Read the full article: 10 Interactive Sites With Fun Art Games for Kids

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The Top 15 Sites for Copyright and Royalty-Free Images

Maybe you’re an aspiring photographer looking for inspiration. Or an up-and-coming entrepreneur trying to find stock photography to add to your website.

Whatever your profession, this list of the best stock photography websites will ensure that you’ll always have access to copyright and royalty-free images.

How Do Copyright Free Images Work?

Some websites allow you to download pictures for private use (e.g. background wallpapers) yet disallow images to be used commercially. This includes instances such as business cards, websites, or posters. The images on the following websites have protection under Creative Commons CC0:

“The person who associated a work with this deed has dedicated the work to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.”—CreativeCommons.org

The following websites either support or are fully composed of CC0 images available in the public domain. The owners of these images have allowed users to modify, edit, and use their images without copyright backlash.

creative commons license
Image Credit: WikiImages

Before delving into the free stock image sites, there are two common courtesies to consider when using CC0 images.

  • Although you do not have to give credit to the creator, we recommend that you do to publicize the artists’ efforts.
  • These websites often have a Donate page or splash screen. If you use free image hosting sites often, consider donating to their cause. If everyone using a copyright-free image site threw in the price of a coffee, it would greatly benefit the photographers and artists offering their wares for free.

Now that that’s cleared up, here are the websites you need to bookmark for quality, copyright-free images.

1. Freerange

freerange copyright free images

Once you register for a free membership at Freerange, thousands of high-resolution stock photos will be at your fingertips at no cost. All of the website’s images can be used for personal or commercial projects. For photographers, Freerange also offers Google AdSense revenue sharing when you contribute.

In addition to thousands of unique images, the site also has about 20,000 CC0 photos, most of which have accurate keywords and descriptions.

2. Unsplash

City Photography Unsplash
Image Credit: Patrick Tomasso/Unsplash

Unsplash is a side-project started by Crew, an online marketing agency dedicated to making your design dreams a reality.

Besides providing free stock photography, Unsplash also showcases graphic design work done by users with its MadeWith section.

Although Unsplash started as a side project, it is now one of the best copyright free image sites around. Hence why it doesn’t feature on our list of lesser-known free stock image sites.

3. Pexels

Mountain Range And Clouds Pexels
Image Credit: eberhard grossgasteiger/Pexels

Pexels is a website that wants to help. Started in 2015, it has grown to be a reputable stock photo library. Its mission statement phrases their aim best:

We help millions of designers, writers, artists, programmers and other creators to get access to beautiful photos that they can use freely which empowers them to create amazing products, designs, stories, websites, apps, art and other work. We call it: “Empowering Creators”—Pexels.com

Pexels is also unique in that it doesn’t only display images located on the Pexels website. It also outsources images from other high-quality websites such as Little Visuals.

Best of all, Pexels screens its images to ensure the highest quality images available. Note that you can also download copyright-free stock videos from the site.

4. Flickr

Run Down House Flickr
Image Credit: Bernard Spragg/Flickr

Although Flickr is not dedicated to public domain images, it boasts an extensive library of high-quality public domain images.

Flickr is, and has been for a long time, one of the greatest image libraries on the internet. With millions of high-quality public domain images, you’re unlikely to run out of stock photography anytime soon.

There are always new features appearing over at Flickr, too. For instance, you can now order photo prints directly from Flickr.

5. Life of Pix

Skyscraper Architecture Photography Life Of Pix
Image Credit: Tuur Tisseghem/Life of Pix

You can easily lose yourself for hours scouring through the beautiful copyright-free pictures available on Life of Pix.

Created by the LEEROY advertising agency in Montreal, Life of Pix is a haven for free, public domain photography. Better yet, its Life of Vids website contains even more impressive stock video footage, alla available for free.

6. StockSnap

Sunset Photography StockSnap
Image Credit: Asaf R/StockSnap

StockSnap provides an excellent and extensive library of free stock imagery. With hundreds of high-quality photos added weekly, StockSnap isn’t your casual photography outlet.

Created by the good people at Snappa, every single image in StockSnap is free for you to use. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better image repository.

7. Pixabay

Old Painting Of General Pixabay
Image Credit: WikiImages/Pixabay

Pixabay is another image repository that integrates images from other image hosting sites. It attempts to gather the very best of free stock images for your own personal or commercial use.

Pixabay also allows easy access to “camera search,” which allows users to explore images based on the camera used to take them. This is a great resource for both beginners and professional photographers alike.

8. Wikimedia

Presidential Photography Wikimedia
Image Credit: Cecil Stoughton, White House Press Office (WHPO)/Wikimedia

Wikimedia provides a truly stunning image repository, spanning everything from lush landscapes to historical events.

Touting over 34 million freely usable pieces of media, including videos and sounds, Wikimedia is a necessity for graphic designers, photographers, and artists looking for free, high-quality images. Wikimedia is also part of a much larger organization dedicated to free images, education, and information.

9. Burst

Nature Photography Of Fish Burst
Image Credit: Ryan Bruce/Burst

They say something works well when you hardly notice it at all, and that’s exactly what Burst provides. In the same vein as Unsplash, Burst not only provides a sleek interface to explore but a very wide selection of images and categories to choose from as well.

Better yet, it provides both low- and high-quality images without copyright, depending on whether you’re adding images to a website or using images for graphic design.

If you need a vast online repository of free high-quality images, bookmark Burst immediately.

10. KaboomPics

Classic Car Photography KaboomPics
Image Credit: KaboomPics

KaboomPics is a legitimately impressive undertaking. From the UI design to the vast reservoir or stellar images, you will find yourself combing through images you don’t even need.

If it was just about royalty-free images, KaboomPics’ selection would already be top of the class. But it also features both a color picker search engine and color palettes for images as well.

That’s just scratching the surface of what KaboomPics has to offer. From photoshoots to informative blog entries, it’s one of the most impressive free stock image sites around.

11. Vintage Stock Photos

vintage stock photos copyright free images

The team behind Freerange also operates another free site specializing in vintage images, called Vintage Stock Photos. The content previously required payment, but now you can find thousands of dollars’ worth of quality vintage photos available at no extra charge.

Vintage Stock Photos is another site where you can lose serious time browsing through the catalog. The range of copyright-free images spans multiple decades and provides a fantastic snapshot of life through the ages.

12. Gratisography

gratisography copyright free images

Are you looking for something a little more out there? Do you need a quirky free high-resolution photo? Then Gratisography is the place for you.

The site features a heap of “quirky… beautiful… arresting” copyright-free images that will enable you to put a unique spin on your next project.

13. Libreshot

libreshot copyright free images

Libreshot is another handy source for slightly unusual free stock photography. Every shot on the site is the work of owner Martin Vorel.

Vorel uploads his brilliant photography from around the world to Libreshot, allowing you to use them for free. He only asks that if you do use one of his photos, consider adding a link to the site.

14. Negative Space

negative space copyright free images

Negative Space offers up thousands of beautiful royalty-free images for you, covering a comprehensive range of categories. Like some of the other top copyright-free image sites, you can search Negative Space using the color of the image you want, rather than a specific search term or category.

New free images are added all the time, so make sure to bookmark Negative Space for your next project.

15. Reshot

reshot copyright free images

Your final option for royalty-free stock images is the excellent Reshot. If you want truly unique stock images, Reshot is one of your best options.

The development and creative team vet each copyright-free shot uploaded to the site, ensuring only the best of the best are available to you. That means the standard of photography on show at Reshot is very high—and that will be reflected in your work, too.

Look at the quality on offer in my casual search term, “eggs,” pictured above. There are some brilliant high-resolution shots there.

More Copyright-Free Media for You to Use

With so many sites dedicated to bringing you high-quality stock images for free, you may feel overwhelmed with choice.

However, we recommend focusing on the one site that most appeals, and browsing the range of copyright-free images available until you find something that appeals.

If you’re a budding YouTuber, you should check out the best sites for copyright-free music for YouTube videos.

Read the full article: The Top 15 Sites for Copyright and Royalty-Free Images

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How to Use Chrome Remote Desktop to Control Your PC From Anywhere

Want to connect to a remote computer or let someone else connect to your system? Chrome Remote Desktop is a free and simple way to do this. You can use it on any computer running Chrome, as long as it’s online.

Let’s look at how to use Chrome Remote Desktop and how it works.

What Is Chrome Remote Desktop?

Chrome Remote Desktop Home

Chrome Remote Desktop is a free remote access tool that will seem familiar if you’ve used other remote access solutions. The service allows you to access another computer over the internet as if you were sitting right in front of it. Your keyboard and mouse inputs control the remote PC.

Potential uses for Chrome Remote Desktop include:

  • Using a platform-specific app on a different computer.
  • Checking in on a computer from anywhere around the world.
  • Offering tech support for a friend or family member from afar.

Chrome Remote Desktop works on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS. Despite its name, you don’t actually need Google Chrome to use the service; we tested it as functional in Firefox. However, Google recommends it for the best results, so you should use Chrome if possible.

Also, you can remotely access and control a desktop with an Android or iOS device. We’ll show you how to install Chrome Remote Desktop on each platform so you have everything you need to use it. You’ll need a Google account, so make sure that’s set up before proceeding.

How to Set Up Chrome Remote Desktop

We’ll walk through the differences in the Chrome Remote Desktop install process for each platform. However, they all have the first few steps in common: install Google Chrome if it’s not already. Then, head to the Chrome Remote Desktop web hub and sign in with your Google account.

You’ll then see the Chrome Remote Desktop homepage. At the top, there are two headers: Remote Access and Remote Support. Remote Access is for controlling your own computers from anywhere. Remote Support allows you to control someone else’s computer (or have someone control yours) by generating a one-time code.

Chrome Remote Desktop requires you to install an app to get remote support or access your computers from anywhere. We’ll assume you want to access your computer remotely; if not, you’ll find a download link for the required app in the Get Support section of the Remote Support tab instead.

Chrome Remote Desktop Get Support

Let’s look at the install process for Windows to illustrate the main process, then we’ll cover the differences in the other operating systems.

How to Set Up Chrome Remote Desktop on Windows

If you want to make your current computer accessible using Chrome Remote Desktop on other computers, go to the Remote Access tab. Then click the Download button in the Set up remote access box.

Chrome Remote Desktop Set Up

This will launch a new window to the Chrome Remote Desktop extension on the Chrome Web Store. Click Add to Chrome, then Add extension to approve the permissions. You can then close the new window.

Next, you’ll see a prompt to download a file called chromeremotedesktophost.msi. Save this somewhere convenient, then click Accept & Install in the Ready to install box to run the installer.

Chrome Remote Desktop Ready to Install

Once it installs, you’ll see a prompt to choose a name for your computer. Make sure this is descriptive so you don’t confuse it with other machines.

Chrome Remote Desktop Name Device

Next, you’ll need to choose a PIN for this device. You must enter this every time you connect to this computer using Chrome Remote Desktop. Enter a PIN that’s at least six characters, check the box if you want to let Google collect usage statistics, and hit Start.

You may see a UAC prompt from Windows to allow the remote connection; click Yes to approve this.

Chrome Remote Desktop PIN Setup

Now on the Remote Access tab, you’ll see your current computer listed as Online. This means everything is ready.

Set Up Chrome Remote Desktop on a Mac

Because most of the app works through a browser interface, installing Chrome Remote Desktop on a Mac is almost the same as the Windows process above. You’ll need to install an app and extension just like Windows.

Click the Download button in the Set up remote access section to download it. Choose a location to save the DMG file, then open it to reveal the installer file inside.

Chrome Remote Desktop Install Mac

Double-click on the PKG file to open the installer, then walk through the process. You’ll need to enter your administrator password to approve the installation.

Once that’s done, back on the website, click Turn on to set up access from your other devices. Set a device name and PIN. After doing this, you’ll see a prompt to grant Accessibility permissions to Chrome Remote Desktop so it can work properly. This is a security feature of modern macOS versions.

Click the Open Accessibility Preferences button, which brings you to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy. Here, select Accessibility from the left sidebar, then click the lock in the bottom-left and enter your password to allow changes.

In the list on the right, check the ChromeRemoteDesktopHost box. If it’s already checked, uncheck it and check it again.

Mac Chrome Remote Desktop Accessibility

Next, you’ll see another prompt to grant screen recording permissions for Chrome Remote Desktop. Click Open System Preferences in that alert to jump to the Screen Recording tab on the same Privacy settings page.

Again, check the box for ChromeRemoteDesktopHost.

System Preferences will warn that the app won’t work properly until you restart it. Click Quit Now to close Chrome Remote Desktop. Return to the Chrome Remote Desktop page in your browser and if everything is working properly, you should see your Mac’s name and Online under This device.

Now you’re all set to use Chrome Remote Desktop on your Mac. You may need to approve the Input Monitoring permission the first time you connect, which may require restarting Chrome Remote Desktop again before it works properly.

Set Up Chrome Remote Desktop on Linux

The Linux process for Chrome Remote Desktop is a lot like the above (assuming that Chrome is available for your distro). On the Chrome Remote Desktop page, click the Download button under Set up remote access and you’ll be prompted to add the Chrome Remote Desktop extension to Chrome in a new window.

Once this downloads, click the Accept & Install button and confirm the prompt that launches. You’ll then need to install additional packages to run the Chrome Remote Desktop app.

Chrome Remote Desktop Install Linux Packages

After that completes, you’re ready to generate a code so someone else can access your computer. However, you’ll also see a prompt to install Chrome Remote Desktop in the bottom-right corner of the window.

If it doesn’t appear, click the Plus icon at the far right of the address bar to show a prompt to install it.

Chrome Remote Desktop Linux Install App

This opens a dedicated Chrome Remote Desktop app on your computer. However, in our testing, the Linux computer didn’t appear in the Remote Access panel, meaning that you can’t connect to your Linux machine from other devices. It still allows you to remotely control other computers and receive incoming connections, though.

Chrome Remote Desktop No Devices Linux

If this is a deal-breaker for you, see other ways to remotely from Linux from Windows.

Set Up Chrome Remote Desktop on Chrome OS

To use Chrome Remote Desktop on your Chromebook, make sure you’re signed into the same Google account that you used to set up your other machine(s). Like every other platform, go to the Chrome Remote Desktop site, click Download, and follow the steps to install the Chrome Remote Desktop extension. Then you’re all set.

Like Linux, it seems that you can’t set up a Chromebook as one of your computers in the Remote Access section. This is an unfortunate drawback, but the rest of the app still works.

How to Control Your Own Computers With Chrome Remote Desktop

Using Chrome on any computer, open the Chrome Remote Desktop page and sign into your Google account. On the Remote Access tab, click one of your computers. It must show as Online to connect, so make sure the system is reachable.

Chrome Remote Desktop Connect

You’ll need to enter your PIN to connect to that device. Check the Remember my PIN on this device box (not available for all connections) to skip this step in the future.

In the list of devices, click the Pencil icon to the right of an item to change its name. You can also change the current device’s PIN. Use the Trash icon to remove a computer from your account.

How to Give or Get Assistance With Chrome Remote Desktop

The other half of Chrome Remote Access is the Remote Support tab, which lets you help a friend (or have someone connect to you).

If you want someone else to connect to your computer, you’ll need the Chrome Remote Desktop extension, as described above. If you don’t have it installed yet, you’ll see a prompt to install it under Get Support.

Once it’s ready, click Generate Code and you’ll see a 12-digit code. Give this to the other person (via text, email, or another method), who will need to enter it in Chrome Remote Desktop on their end.

Once they do, you’ll see a box asking for your permission to let your friend connect to your PC. Only approve this if it’s someone you expect to connect.

Chrome Remote Desktop Generate Code

Conversely, if you’re the one connecting to a friend, have them follow the above steps to install the extension and generate a code. Then type the code they provide in the Give Support box at the bottom of this page, followed by Connect.

Using Chrome Remote Desktop

Once you’re connected, you can freely control the other computer using your mouse and keyboard as you’d expect. On the right side of the screen, you’ll see a small arrow that you can click to reveal more options.

Enable Full-screen if you need access to certain keyboard shortcuts. For example, if you’re using a Windows machine to control a Mac, Chrome Remote Desktop sends the Command key when you press the Windows key. However, unless you’re in full-screen, your computer will intercept commands like Win + R.

Chrome Remote Desktop Options Top

You can Enable clipboard synchronization if you’d like to copy and paste between devices. Under Input controls, you’ll find the option to send Ctrl + Alt + Del, Print Screen, and F11 to the remote computer. The option to Configure key mappings is particularly handy, as it lets you reassign keys if the defaults don’t work for you.

Use Displays to choose which screen you want to control, if the remote device has multiple.

File Transfer lets you send a file to the remote machine or grab one from it.

Finally, the Add to desktop option lets you install another Chrome Remote Desktop app (which you may have installed earlier) for a few enhancements.

Chrome Remote Desktop More Options

If you’re the one being controlled, click the Stop Sharing button at the bottom to end the session.

Chrome Remote Desktop on Android and iOS

Want to control your computers from your smartphone or tablet? You can install Chrome Remote Desktop on Android or iOS for anywhere access.

The apps are simple: install them, sign in with your Google account, and you’ll see all your added machines under My Computers. Tap one to initiate a connection and provide the PIN to remote into it.

Unfortunately, you can’t use the mobile app to get support or connect to others using codes; only machines that you’ve added to your account will work.

Once connected, here’s how to interact in Trackpad mode:

  • Drag one finger to move the mouse cursor. The display will follow the cursor as you move it.
  • Tap one finger to click (you’ll click whatever is under the cursor).
  • Tap with two fingers to right-click.
  • Use a three-finger tap to middle-click.
  • Pinch or spread with two fingers to zoom in and out.
  • Swipe up or down with two fingers to scroll vertically.
  • On Android, swipe down with three fingers to bring up the toolbar.
  • On iOS, tap the screen with four fingers to show the menu.

Using the toolbar/menu, you can switch between Touch and Trackpad modes. Trackpad (mouse icon) is the default, while Touch behaves like other apps by letting you use a finger to scroll the screen and tapping anywhere to click there.

Also on the toolbar, you can bring up the keyboard to start typing, send a Ctrl + Alt + Delete combo, resize the desktop to fit your display, and end the session.

Download: Chrome Remote Desktop app for Android | iOS (Free)

Is Chrome Remote Desktop Safe?

Google says that “all remote desktop sessions are fully encrypted.” Combined with the fact that you need a PIN to connect to your remote devices, you can be reasonably sure that Chrome Remote Desktop sessions are safe from snooping. For best results, use strong PINs that aren’t easy to guess.

In addition, the one-time codes generated when you connect to someone’s computer expire after five minutes. This prevents old PINs from being used in the future.

Now You Know How Chrome Remote Desktop Works

You’re all set to use Chrome Remote Desktop for your own machines or connecting to others. Regardless of which platforms you set up, though, make sure you configure their settings to disable sleep mode when idle.

Chrome Remote Desktop can’t connect to a remote machine when it’s offline, sleeping, or turned off. The app doesn’t support Wake-on-LAN, so if you want to access it at any time, make sure your computer won’t go to sleep or run out of battery.

Need another option? For a cross-platform remote desktop app that doesn’t involve Google, check out our full guide to TeamViewer.

Read the full article: How to Use Chrome Remote Desktop to Control Your PC From Anywhere