updated 3/30/2005 1:22:42 PM ET 2005-03-30T18:22:42

If Google or Yahoo searches aren't your idea of conquering the Web's vastness in an efficient manner, Forbes.com's "Best of The Web's" directory will deliver the highly relevant results you are seeking.

Our editors continue to uncover the most interesting and useful sites in scores of well-defined categories, from Tax Planning to Vacation Rentals to the best Web Browsers and Parenting Blogs. You'll find more than 3,000 sites reviewed here, each selected according to five criteria: Content, Design, Speed, Navigation and Customization. Looking for only the best of the best? Our Forbes Favorites are clearly marked at the beginning of each category.

Socking it to spyware
Think e-mail spam is bad? Then you haven't been hit with spyware. In fact, there are probably electronic parasites feeding on your computer right now. Click here to find out what to do from Forbes.com.

Sitelines: Out, out, damn bots!
After a rollercoaster decade that created, lost and created again billions in wealth, the Internet is finally fulfilling many of its original visions. Unfortunately, not all of those riding the Web boom are in it to enrich lives or improve your Internet experience. Click here to find out more from Forbes.com.

Finding your mobile mojo
These days you can tell a lot about a person from his or her cell phone and the ring tones it plays. For those who live on the cutting edge, click here for a rundown of the latest and greatest in cell phones from Forbes.com.

Web browsers
Firms like Microsoft and AOL make their browsers free and chock full of bells and whistles. However, the barriers to entry in the browser market are low and other more nimble players have developed alternatives that are now superior in many ways to market leading browsers like Internet Explorer, which controls 90 percent of the market. Click here to find browsers that scan and load Web pages faster, offer plenty of perks and tend to keep you safer from viruses and spyware than most of the big boys.

Search engines
Each year the World Wide Web gets wider. Luckily, the search engines that comb it for relevant sites and answers to our queries are getting better. Click here to find out more.

Of all the major Internet activities tracked since March 2000, online banking has grown the fastest. Banks see online banking as a value-added customer service, and are taking great pains to create user experiences that reinforce customer trust and a recognition of what every online customer wants: convenience and speed at low cost. Click here to find out more from Forbes.com.

Tax planning
Let's face it -- nobody likes paying taxes. But at least now, thanks to the Web, there is an abundance of resources within reach for helping you cope with tax day. The best not only interpret what's required, they spell out the implications, warn about consequences, and suggest, in the finest American tradition, financial moves to minimize the damage. Click here to find out more from Forbes.com.

Company documents
There's a mix of subscription sites and free sites providing public company documents to the investing public. Before paying a fee, check the Securities and Exchange Commission's Web site. Click here to view the pay sites that will save you time by organizing the documents in more usable ways.

College planning
College planning can be overwhelming and nerve-wracking, from calculating costs and setting up savings accounts to finding the right school among the thousands out there. Thankfully you can use the Web to narrow your search, hunt for funding and generally lower your anxiety. You can even take virtual campus tours and apply for scholarships and financial aid online. Keep in mind that some services, like test prep and essay polishing, come with an added fee. Click here to find out more from Forbes.com.

Vacation rentals
Luxury hotels can be nice, but sometimes we'd all prefer the comforts of home -- a porch, a well-stocked kitchen and a little privacy -- when we vacation. Whether you're interested in an elegant beachfront villa or a quaint alpine cottage, online is the place to be. These sites are packed with lush photos, tips on local attractions, maps of the surrounding area, and even help finding maid or cook service. Click here to find out more from Forbes.com.

Parenting blogs
These days, it seems like everyone has a blog. Parents, both new and experienced, are using these diaristic sites to share news and tribulations with the rest of the world -- not to mention save their sanity in days filled with tantrums and Blue's Clues videos. Others, which feature links and commentary on current events, provide less personal experience but just as much service. Check out Forbes.com’s selection, which imparts a little of both, from a hip urban stay-at-home dad to an adoptive parent to the mother of an autistic child.

Legendary St. Louis slugger Rogers Hornsby once said "People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." If only he'd had the Internet. Click here to see Forbes.com’s best baseball sites.

The Web has become a tool few gardeners can live without. Not only will you find an endless array of catalog and nursery sites, but gardening mavens will find a profusion of plant databases, garden plans, video tutorials and online design tools. Click here for happy digging from Forbes.com.

You'll find lots of luscious artisanal chocolate to ogle over on the Web. Sophisticated French and British sites boast white-glove service and mahogany boxes, while U.S. master chocolatiers like Scharffen Berger round out its scrumptious offerings with things like chocolate lip balm and in-depth white papers on the art of chocolate-making. Click here to find out more from Forbes.com.

Casual apparel
Shopping the Web for casual apparel has become a convenient and interactive experience, thanks to sites that offer virtual models, zoomable images, streaming video fashion shows and live online customer service chats. Gift finders do the shopping for you with pre-selected gifts by recipient, lifestyle or price. Even better, become a fashion guru with the help of fabric glossaries and care tips. Click here to find out more from Forbes.com.

Meditation and yoga
While the Web isn't the ideal medium for practicing poses -- only a qualified instructor can spot a slouchy Downward Dog -- it can be useful for newcomers to learn more about the therapeutic benefits and buy the latest in yoga wear. Seasoned yogis have ample access to yoga and meditation literature, and can connect with other likeminded devotees. Click here to find out more from Forbes.com.

Diet and nutrition
Looking to shed a few pounds this year? Online diet sites can't give you the will power, but they do offer valuable information on what to eat, what not to eat and how to work those pounds off. Find out more Forbes.com.

Museum shops
Got a mother-in-law who loves Monet? Or a young dinosaur expert in the family in need of a fresh science project idea? Museum stores are brimming with artful and educational gifts, whether it's a silk water lilies scarf or a T-Rex skeleton excavation kit. Find out where to shop from Forbes.com.

Special needs resources
Because special education programs and procedures vary from state to state, pursuing the services to which a child is entitled can easily become all-consuming. Your best bet is to visit Web sites like those reviewed here by Forbes.com, which focus on educating parents about how their children learn and then directing them to relevant experts and advocates at the local level.

From luxury houseboats to jet skis, you'll find watercraft that suits every seafaring passion here. On the Yacht World site, we found some 83,000 vessels alone. And before you begin perusing all those classifieds, you can avail yourself of sophisticated tools such as step-by-step boating primers, streaming video boat reviews and even online personal shoppers. Then click on buyer service sections for help assessing prices or getting a loan for that coveted cruiser. Click here to find out more form Forbes.com.

© 2012 Forbes.com


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