If you’ve ever used a “free” tool to convert a file from one format to another, edit a PDF, or trim a video, you’re keenly aware that the sites that house these tools generally resemble the internet equivalent of a dodgy neighborhood.
There’s hope, though: A great, free site called TinyWow has dozens and dozens of tools for working with PDFs, images, videos, and files. Unlike most other sites of its kind, it’s devoid of pop-ups, unwanted downloads, ads disguised as buttons, and other, less obvious annoyances.
For instance, one popular file conversion site I visited initially spawned 25 connections to third-party ad services, including two connections to sites ending in .ru, which means they’re located in Russia. And the longer I stayed on the page, the more connections it established. After a few minutes, it was up to 30.
Anyway, free isn’t always free is what I’m saying. Your data could be sold, you could be targeted for ads, and what happens to the files you upload in order to be converted? Are they deleted? Held forever? Sent somewhere else you don’t even know about?
TinyWow is like a one-stop shop for quick conversion jobs, but there are other powerful tools there as well for PDF editing, removing backgrounds from images, trimming videos, making memes, generating QR codes, and the like.
The section for working with PDFs alone has a whopping 43 tools in it, including super helpful ones like splitting PDFs, merging PDFs, rearranging the order of pages in a PDF, and adding a watermark to a PDF.
The image and video sections have 50+ tools each in them as well. The tools work well and the interfaces aren’t overrun with junk, which is a huge plus.
Perhaps more importantly, the people behind TinyWow don’t seem to be too interested in hoovering up your data and selling it to the highest bidder.
Here’s a snippet from the site’s privacy page:
TinyWow is free. We currently run one ad on each page. This is the only way that the site is monetized. That’s good enough for us for now. Why offer these tools for free? We operate two tech websites: Alphr & TechJunkie. We thought our users might find these tools helpful. For now, utilizing our existing infrastructure we are able to operate these tools at minimal additional cost. Building this and watching the growth has been fun, so we’re going to keep building free stuff.
We take your privacy seriously. Whenever you upload a file to our servers for processing, we delete the file 1 hour after the processing of that file is complete. If you were to use that same file again in a different tool, that 15-minute window would re-start. New files created from the originally uploaded file also are subject to the same 1 hour deletion time. If those files are used again in another tool, the 15-minute deletion window is reset.
The files sent to TinyWow are uploaded via HTTPS. We do not sell information on our users or the documents, videos, images, or other file types that may be uploaded when using one of our tools.
So there you have it: ad-supported, yes, but extremely helpful, no cost to use, no account required, and respectful of its users’ privacy. We need way more websites like that.