Unfurlr – Decipher Tiny URLs Fast And Easy

  • Idea
  • Design
  • Utility
  • Price
  • Usability
  • User Ratings (4 Votes)
    Your Rating:

Unfurlr performs a useful service, and performs it at no cost to the user. It does not gather personal information or blast you with ads. The only problem is that it may give you information you do not know how to use. So, what’s not to like?


We don’t know about you, but we like to know where we’re going when we click a link, particularly if we are on our work computers.  Most URLs give you some idea of the type of site they are, but what about “tiny urls”, those truncated URLs that often take you to a product page or some other specific information?

Are they safe to click on or will they pull up something you DO NOT want on your screen just as your boss walks into the room?  Unfurlr is the answer:  paste the tiny link into Unfurlr’s search box and learn not only the name of the linked page, but also the reputation of the site.

Idea 10/10

Tiny urls are used both to avoid putting extra-long URLs in emails or other places where people will want to copy and paste them and to disguise links to websites the user of the tiny URL wants you to click on, but believes you wouldn’t if you saw the true URL.  Unfurlr puts you back in command.  Instead of clicking on a url that gives no indication where it will send you, paste it into Unfurlr and find out where you are going before it is too late to choose not to go.

Design 10/10

Unfurlr review

Unfurlr’s design is simple and effective.  There is a large search bar.  Above the bar it says “Check this URL” and under the bar is a button that says “Check It”.

Utility 8/10

Once you enter the tiny url and click “Check It” you are taken to the results page.  The results page first shows a highlighted box giving the full URL of the site you searched.  Our suggestion is if that URL includes the letters “xxx” you do not click it at work.  To test Unfurlr, we used tinyurl.com to create a short link to an Amazon Kindle product page.  Unfurlr not only gave us back the original URL, it told us that the page was for Kindle e-readers from Amazon.  It also gave an analysis of a variety of domains we knew belonged to Amazon and rated them for privacy, child safety, trustworthiness and vendor reliability.  For each category it rated both reputation and confidence.

Unfortunately, it didn’t define those terms or give any indication how the ratings were derived.  Finally there are a few other things on the results page that were gobbledygook to us, but which we recognized as things people more knowledgeable about computers and the internet might find useful.  Does “User Agent Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; Trident/4.0; GTB7.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)” give you any useful information?  If it does, you know more about computers than we do!   We rate the utility of results as either 12/10, because it gives far more information than it needed, or, if you consider that a problem, knock off two points and give it 8/10.

Price 10/10

Unfurlr mobile

Unfurlr is free; you can’t get a better price than that.  There is no registration or sign-in required.  Many free services on the internet are there to upsell you, however, we could not find any way to spend money on this site.  It truly is free.  Unfurlr is a service of Mail Chimp, and while we’re sure the Mail Chimp people would love for you to use their service if you need a mailing list, there is no request on Unfurlr that you do so.

Usability 10/10

Unfurlr performs a useful service, and performs it at no cost to the user.  It does not gather personal information or blast you with ads.  The only problem is that it may give you information you do not know how to use.  So, what’s not to like?

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