5 Useful URL Expanders To See Through Short URLs

URL shortening is a technique that is used to convert a long URL into a smaller one. This shortened URL does not provide any hint about the content of link as it is mostly an abrupt combination of alphabets. It is natural to feel hesitation while clicking on a short URL as there always exists a threat of spam, phishing or malware content.

Although URL shortening has been misused by so many spammers for malicious purposes, it has been widespread because of services like Twitter which take a very limited 140 characters of post length. While Twitter uses its own URL shortener with the domain t.co, Google has also started the URL shortening service goo.gl.

Get rid of this threat today by choosing any of the listed URL expanders and know the full length URL behind the shorter ones.

1- Where Does This Link Go

Where does this link go

A really clean URL revealing service that is solely dedicated to expand short URLs. Although it is one of the most popular services but it does not tell any details about the expanded URL.

Go to Where Does This Link Go –> Enter shortened URL –> Expand

2- Clybs

Clybs URL Expander

Clybs does not only expand a short URL but it can also identify spam, malware or any phishing content that is suspected to be undesirable. It detects spam by retrieving the IP address of a site and check if it is present in the DNS- based Blackhole List or not. This tool supports short URLs created using commonly used URL shortening services like Bit.ly, TinyUrl, goo.gl and others. The best thing about Clybs is that it also shows the article title, a brief description of the content, the IP address, PageRank, number of redirects, server location and content type that makes it easier for anyone to decide if he/she should click the link or not.

3- Know URL

 Know URL Expander

Know Url supports almost all the URL shortening services including bit.ly, tr.im, tinyurl and many more. Know URL also offers a mobile version, Google Chrome extension and  a toolbar to help you find the original links behind the shortened URL. It does not identify or tell you anything about the content of expanded URL. However you can always scan suspicious links for viruses and malware.

You can easily scan links online by clicking  ‘Virus Scan Link’ provided below the expanded URL.   Clicking on the Virus Scan Link will take you to another webpage which gives you details about the webpage. The scanning report is powered by Google.

 Know URL Google Advisory report    

4- URL X-ray

Another URL expanding service to reveal the original URL.URL X-ray offers free bookmarklet that can be installed into your browser’s bookmark toolbar. It supports Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, Internet Explorer and other browsers. Although it is claimed that the bookmarklet will  expand the link without disturbing your browsing, but it opens the link in a separate tab or window.

URL X-Ray Expander Bookmarklet

5- Check Short URL

Check short URL

Check short url is another link expander that provides information about expanded URL such as title, description, keywords and author page. It also checks if the link is alive in search engines or not. Check Short URL integrates services of  Web Of Trust , Site Advisor, Google , Sucuri , Norton  and Browser Defender to help you identify if the link is safe. It also offers a tool to customize short URLs and remember them easily.

Do you trust short URLs and click on them without verifying? If no then which method do you use to see through the short URLs?

5 thoughts on “5 Useful URL Expanders To See Through Short URLs”

  1. I don’t like the short URL concept. This is because it was mainly used for URLs which were easy to remember but the shortening services nowadays generate complex short URLs which beats the main purpose of this concept.

  2. Great article which discusses some of the best URL expanders. While I don’t trust the short URLs, I prefer to have some kind of automated way by which we can reveal the short URLs. Are there any browser extensions or plugins for this purpose?

    • Yes, Google Chrome offers several extensions for this purpose.However, i will recommend KnowURL toolbar which is not limited to any specific browser.


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