From the advent of sweet gaming sites to crucial music "sharing" apps, the early 2000s was undoubtedly the golden age of the Internet. The most legit sites looked like they'd been cobbled together ad hoc, and we loved it. For the first time, pretty much everyone had Internet in their homes and schools and we could do literally anything we wanted at any time. It was like the Wild West back then, and I miss those days.
The Internet's still pretty cool—the legit sites are just a lot more formal and bogged down with advertisements. These sites, however, will make you nostalgic AF for the good old days.
1. Ask Jeeves
Remember this search engine? Supposedly, you could type in any question and it would give you an answer. Basically it was a less powerful, more gimmicky Google. Unfortunately, Jeeves isn't around anymore to answer your pressing questions, but its descendant Ask.com is.
Ah, the early 2000s go-to for music sharing (read: stealing). LimeWire wasn't technically a website—it was a client program—but you needed to use the Internet to download it and the audio that came with it, so close enough in my book.
The very first song I ever downloaded was Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir," thanks to LimeWire. Sure, it took like 15 hours to get a single track on dialup, but it was free and 12-year-old me definitely didn't have any money.
LimeWire was forced to shut down its free peer-to-peer file sharing after a federal court case in 2010. Ah, I miss those Wild West days of free Internet music.
Was there a single preteen who didn't explore the fantastical world of Neopia? I'm referring of course to the magical world where you raised your Neopets, virtual pets you could care for, customize and play with. There was even a Neopets economy and stock market. So awesome. Surprisingly, Neopets is still around, so if you need a nostalgic way to waste time, take a journey down memory lane in the land of Neopia.
4. Homestar Runner
Homestar Runner was—and still is—a flash animation web series. If you were a fan of the series in the early 2000s, you probably remember the awesome and often hilarious interactive animation style. You might even remember the site's series Strong Bad Email most of all. If you're feeling nostalgic, you can check out the old school Homestar Runner site.
Like LimeWire, Kazaa wasn't technically a website, but it was a file sharing web app. If you weren't stealing music with Limewire or Napster, you were most certainly stealing it with Kazaa. Like its sister file sharing apps, Kazaa was squashed by legal troubles in the mid-2000s. It's no longer around.
If you had a middle school computer class in the early 2000s, chances are you spent most of class trying to hide your open AddictingGames tab from your teacher. It used to be so awesome with games like Bloons and Bubble Spinner, but now Nickelodeon owns the site and it's pretty much an advertisement hub. RIP AG.
Do you remember the anxiety caused by having to select your top friends? Do you remember how infuriating it was to get a message notification and find out it was from fkn Tom? Ah, the good old days of social networking.
8. eBaum's World
If that homepage doesn't inspire some serious nostalgia, you just didn't know what was up on the Internet in 2001. eBaum's world was pretty much the reddit of the early-mid 2000s—you could get your fix of crazy videos, humor, games, pics, you name it—and boy, did I waste a lot of time on eBaum's World.
Founded by boy genius and Matt Damon lookalike Emerson Spartz, MuggleNet was basically everyone's go-to Harry Potter fan website at the height of the HP boom in the early 2000s. MuggleNet is still up and running, and it's still churning out awesome Harry Potter content.
Essentially like AddictingGames but way cooler, Newgrounds had some awesome games, videos and forums. If you were cool, you totally spent your lunch period with your friends gaming on Newgrounds. Or maybe we weren't the cool ones... Anyway, Newgrounds is still around, and it's still pretty awesome.
In the early 2000s, Slashdot was every geek's primary source for science and tech news. Slashdot is still kicking, but they've expanded their news repertoire a bit.
I'll be honest—I never used Xanga and I have no idea what it is, but nearly everyone in the office insisted I put it in this list. According to my wonderful coworker Paige Moomey, Xanga was "basically blogs before blogs were really a thing. Everyone from my middle/high school had one. We wrote personal things on our Xangas and commented on each other's." Sounds pretty cool, maybe I should've messed around with it back in the day. Xanga is still around, but it's much different and apparently far less popular.
13. Habbo Hotel
Habbo Hotel was a social networking/gaming site aimed at teens, which makes it sound like a very, very dark corner of the Internet, but it was fun AF. You could play sweet games in your room, visit other user designed rooms and even furnish your own. It was the OG RPG in my book. The site is still around, but it's been rebranded to just "Habbo."