Top 10 Websites to Expand Any Short URL

Twitter will shorten the long URLs automatically by bit.ly, so that you can tweet more words and track how many times your links are clicked. Besides bit.ly, there are more than 200 websites which also offer short URL services.

When the URL is shortened, you won’t know where it will be redirected until you click it. So, you may be in risk if there is virus or shit. The risk will be reduced if you can preview the original URL before visiting it.

Another reason to expand the short URL is that some short URL services are blocked in some countries, and you are not able to access the short URL page directly.

Luckily, there are some services for you to expand the short URL, and among those URL expanding services, below 10 should be the best and their services are all free.

1. LongURL

LongURL will display the page review as well as the conversations of the original URL.

You can install the LongURL Mobile Expander to your Firefox as an extension or a Greasemonkey script. When you move the cursor over the short URL, you will see the original URL and the page title. LongURL also offers API for web developers.

2.ExpandMyURL

With ExpandMyURL, you are able to drag the ExpandMyUrl bookmarklet to your bookmarks toolbar. When you click the bookmarklet button in whatever page with short URLs, the short URLs will be green and redirected to ExpandMyURL homepage, from which you can see what the original links are.

3. Expandurl

Besides to expand short URL, Expandurl also offers the page preview of the original URL. There is no bookmarklet, but API for web developers.

4. Long URL Please

It is not available to expand short URLs on the webpage of Long URL Please, but you are able to use the API, to install the Firefox extension or to drag the bookmarklet to your bookmarks toolbar. The expanded URL will be displayed in the status bar.

5. PrevURL

PrevURL expands the short URL and displays the page preview of the original URL, but sometimes the preview is not workable. You are able to install the search plugin for Firefox or Internet Explorer, when you put the short URL in the search box and click the search button, you can see the expanding result in the PrevURL webpage.

6. Realurl

You can expand the short URL in Realurl homepage, or to use the API.

Realurl also shows the latest pictures on Twitter and the most shared YouTube videos.

7. Sucuri

You are only able to expand the short URL on the Sucuri website, no API or plugins, but it offers safe browsing checking service from Google and Site Advisor.

8. Unhid

You are able to drag the Unhid Bookmarklet to your Bookmarks Toolbar, when you click on the short URL in any page, you can choose to visit the Unhid homepage or the original page directly.

9. Untiny

Untiny offers API as well as plugins, you can install the Firefox Search Engine or the Untiny Greasemonkey script, which will expand all the short URLs in the page you search.

10. Untr.im

Untr.im is so simple that you only can expand a short URL from its homepage, but it will show the header of the original URL page.

Among the above 10 services, my favorite is LongURL, which one is your favorite? Or do you have any other websites to expand short URLs? Share with us by adding a comment.

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11 Comments

  1. Posted November 18, 2009 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    Interesting list.

    I have actually never thought about expanding short urls, but it’s probably a wise thing to do before clicking :-)

    Jens
    .-= Jens P. Berget´s last blog ..It’s Never Too Late To Tweet =-.

  2. Young
    Posted November 18, 2009 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    @Jens P. Berget Not everybody uses those services. For me, I mainly expand the URLs which websites are blocked by the government.

  3. Dynasty Web
    Posted November 18, 2009 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    Can these expanded url websites translate any shorten url? The reason I ask is because, there are so many different shorten url websites. Thanks.

    Dynasty Web Drive More Traffic To Your Site
    .-= Dynasty Web´s last blog ..Top 10 ways to draw more clicks to ads =-.

  4. Posted November 19, 2009 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    Great post, Young!

    It’s something I never really considered…mind you, I don’t tend to click on very many links in Twitter.

    It never fails though that the neer-do-wells always find a way to take advantage of people.
    .-= Rod Macbeth´s last blog ..My Resignation As An Adult =-.

  5. Young
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 1:26 am | Permalink

    @Dynasty Web : Haha, you asked a great question. As a matter of fact, there are more than 200 short url services, and I haven’t checked out them all. But only a few short url services (such as bit.ly, su.pr, tinyurl, etc) are popular, and Untiny said it supported 224 tiny services, so I am sure any short url will be expanded. :-)

    @Rod Macbeth : I think only a few people will click the links in Twitter. :-)

  6. Alex
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Hi thanks for showcasing our site, expandmyurl started off as a personal project because we were worried about the lack of transparency that shortURLs give and the potential problems caused by the explosion in popularity of services like twitter.

    So we thought if we find this problem exists others must too, and so expandmyurl.com was born!

    Interesting question about whether all services are expanded, in reality there are only a few ways of redirecting URLs so all shorteners can be treated the same and as has been mention something like 98% of all urls are shortened by about 4/5 different url shorteners.

    One thing we’re quite proud of at expandmyurl is our ability to expand shortURLs even when multiple shortURLs are chained together like this url http://digg.com/u1dwX (safe but hides lots of shortURLs inside it). Check it out.

    But once again, a really impressive article.

  7. Young
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    @Alex Thanks for your comments especially the explanation on the question whether all short urls can be expanded. And yes, ExpandMyURL dose well on multiple short urls, since not all of the services mentioned in the post can expand the url http://digg.com/u1dwX.

  8. Oleg
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Great article Young!
    Petty it doesn’t feature our tool URL Sniffer.
    We launched it recently.
    Check it out here: http://urlsniffer.info
    It’s a widget/bookmarklet that automatically expands all the shortened URLs on a page and replaces them with destination links so you can see them – all at once.
    There is nothing to download, just bookmark the bookmarklet and off you go.
    There is an interactive demo of the widget on the home page.

  9. Jennifer Lindsay
    Posted April 17, 2010 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    It is very interesting to see how everyone is *now* concerned with these shortened links, especially after sites such as apache.org got hacked because of a tiny URL.

    Since the introduction of social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, URL shortening services have become widely popular. Unfortunately, miscreants have capitalized on the services to obfuscate their own malicious URLs. The next step to prevent such abuse is to pre-analyze shortened URLs to make sure they are legitimate.

    I have noticed that one effort is being made along this direction. Besides its own shortening service, the guys at http://long-shore.com offer an analyzer that goes deeper than a simple “preview”. I highly recommend trying it out and seeing what they have to offer.

  10. Nackasha
    Posted September 30, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Hello findhiddenurl.com does similar thing as well. I just found it and i am currenlty using it. Once i googled for finding hidden url, i got it. I just found out there are other websites that do the same :)

  11. CheckShortURL
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    There is also CheckShortURL, a service we have developped : it expands the long URL from a short link before you visit. It provides several information (as meta data), it checks if the long URL is on Google and/or Twitter, and if the link is safe. It also gives a snapshot of the distant website. And there will be some other features with the next version.
     
    http://checkshorturl.com