Why does this site exist? Background-story, FAQs and release notes.
util.host is my kitchen sink for stuff I want to try out. Or for things I want to have, but is not available on the web for free, or in a way I don't like. So it's becoming a Sammelsurium on tools that uses assorted free APIs, libraries and Github projects. Everything I use is usually listed in the footer of the page or in the release notes.
One goal is to build everything without cookies and without external dependencies that could be tracked down to a single user. I sometimes make exceptions if there is no other possibility. For example the map-tiles on /map are coming direct from the api-vendor.
All the tools are ad-free and should stay free. There is also no user-facing tracking and no logging of data on user-basis.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: There are a lot of sites that have the same stuff? Why is util.host different?
A: Often this sites have a lot of ads, popups, modals, cookie-banners on it. It needs some time to click away everything until you get what you were usually looking for. And if you come back you have to do it again. In the worst case you get to a page with a paywall and not even get the information you need.
Q: I start every search on Google and often they have already the answer for me. Why do I need util.host?
A: I always liked the idea of Google, to make all the information of the world accessible. But in the last years this motto got some scratches. We all remember the industries that got already destroyed by Google. And we all saw the bad things they have already done with their power. I believe now, it is not the best idea to lay the data of the worlds in the hands of a single private company. I am still using a lot of service of the big tech companies, but always looking for (good enough) alternatives.
util.host minimizes the processing of user-related data as much as possible and never stores user-related data. All used cookies are 1st-party session cookies that are needed for better security (for example: captcha handling) or user interface improvements (for example: saving your favorite timezone). Utils that work with IP-addresses or locations (for example: /ip and /locate-me) will never store the address or location. There is no user-tracking across websites at all (eg.: retargeting or remarketing) and on-site analytics is only server-side in a completly anonymous way (no ip tracking). For utilities that uses resources from external websites (for example: /docus, /series, /movies, /latlng, /mixtape, ...) I minimize the data this sites see from you, by routing the requests through the util.host server if possible.