MXToolbox is an awesome web-based tool for analyzing and monitoring server systems. Key features include:
- Blacklist monitoring
- Mail-flow monitoring
- DNS monitoring
- Domain health monitoring
- HTTP website monitoring
MXToolbox is available for free. Paid users get access to multiple monitors, more blacklists, and advanced email delivery reporting tools.
For more than 20 years, IT pros have trusted and recommended network-tools.com, which features a wide range of tools to keep networks operational and optimized. Key features include:
- DNS lookup
- Email checker
- HTTP headers
- IDN and Punycode conversion
- NS lookup
- Online ping
- Spam blacklist checker
- URL encode and decode
- WHOIS search
Access to all of these tools is 100% free. Amazing, right? And by the way: if you have an incredible memory and a sneaking suspicion that we included network-tools.com on our 2016 list…you’re right! We’re not trying to be unoriginal, but we just had to include this site because it’s still so incredibly useful.
Ninite is one of those “how did I ever manage before this?” web-based solutions. It’s a free tool that automatically downloads, installs, and updates various Windows programs like browsers (e.g. Chrome, Firefox), messaging platforms (e.g. Zoom, Skype), security apps (e.g. Malwarebytes, Avast), and many others.
But that’s not even the best part. Ninite only downloads apps directly from the publisher’s website, which means that it automatically steers clear of those unnecessary, unwanted, and potentially unsafe toolbar offers that we all hate so much. Plus, you don’t have to worry about visiting websites that might be riddled with malware. IT pros (and many non-IT pros) also love Ninite because it:
- Installs apps in their default location.
- Installs 64-bit apps on 64-bit machines.
- Installs apps in your PC's language (or another language of your choosing).
- Skips up-to-date apps.
- Skips any reboot requests from installers.
- Verifies digital signatures or hashes before running anything.
Ninite is free for personal use. Businesses can get Ninite Pro, which is subscription-based. Fees start at $1/month for 1 machine. The higher the machine count, the lower the fee for each machine. For example, a subscription for 250 machines costs $135/month, and a subscription or 1,000 machines costs $365 month.
Yes, we did also mention WeTransfer in our 2016 list, but it’s so useful that we had to include it again. If you’re in search of a simple, straightforward, and streamlined way to transfer files — and you don’t need features like cloud storage and file syncing — then WeTransfer is the online tool for you.
Using WeTransfer couldn’t be easier. You simply head to the website, add files by clicking a big and friendly + button, enter your email and the recipient’s email, and then click transfer — and that’s it. There’s no zipping or unzipping.
WeTransfer is free to use and supported by ads. However, the file transfer size limit is 2GB, and files are deleted after a period of time. If you upgrade to WeTransfer Plus, you can transfer up to 20GB at one time, store up to 100GB, password protect files, personalize your profile, choose your background images, and customize your emails. Furthermore, your files are not deleted after a period of time. WeTransfer Pro costs $12/month.
The TurnKey Linux Virtual Appliance Library is a free open source project that has developed a wide range of Debian-based, pre-packaged, ready-to-use, server software appliances (a.k.a. virtual appliances) in multiple categories, including:
- Web development
- IT infrastructure
- Content management
- Business management
- Issue tracking
Each virtual appliance is optimized for ease of use, and they can be deployed in just a few minutes on bare metal, a virtual machine, and in the cloud.
Crontab Guru and Cronitor.io
Crontab Guru is a fast and simple editor for cron schedule expressions covering virtually any time period. The website has a schedule generator with variables that can be modified in real time, including minute, hour, day of the week, day of the month, and month.
Crontab Guru is free to use. However, keep in mind that it doesn’t let you know if your jobs fail or never start. For that, you can use Cronitor (from the same creators), which is a cron monitoring tool that tells you when something has gone wrong. Cronitor integrates seamlessly (no code necessary) with Crontab Guru, and it is available for a monthly subscription fee: $49/month (startup), $99/month (team), $249/month (business). There is also an enterprise package and a free trial offer.
Yes, you already spend waste too much time on Reddit. But hopefully some of that time is in the SysAdmin subreddit, which features advice, reviews, rants, polls, jokes…you name it! Of course, you don’t have to be a SysAdmin to browse and post — you can be any kind of IT pro, or someone who is thinking about entering the field.
As we all know, Reddit is free. However, you can purchase a monthly or yearly subscription if you want access to members-only communities, and to turn off sidebar ads. You can also buy coins to recognize the insightful (or just hilarious) contributions of your fellow Redditors.
And by the way: if you’re journeying across the Redditsphere, please visit reddit.com/r/Devolutions and say hello!
Why Google? Because Google is the best friend of every IT pro who has Jedi Search Powers (like these). There are some folks who say that Google could eventually lose its search mojo due to the evolution of popular consumer tech products. But even if that happens, it’s going to be a long, long time from now.
What Do You Have Bookmarked?
What sites are essential to you as an IT pro? Please comment below, so that we can all check them out and add to our list of resources.