Wikipedia down? Try these alternatives

Melanie Gross
May 21, 2012
Updated • Feb 19, 2014

Wikipedia in recent years has become the go-to address for Internet users when it comes to looking up information on the Internet. For many, it has replaced the paper encyclopedia almost completely, which is further fueled by encyclopedias shutting down the production of paper editions like Encyclopedia Britannica did.

It is rare to see Wikipedia go down, but it can happen. But that is not the only reason why you may want to include other encyclopedias in your online research. Maybe Wikipedia does not have an article yet on the topic that you are interested in, or the article that is available on the site is not providing you with the answers you are looking for.

Sometimes you may also need a specialized encyclopedia instead, for instance when it comes to medical research. While you usually find the topic covered on Wikipedia, you will also notice that it is usually not as thorough as it is covered on specialized sites. Please note that we have only included free alternatives in this list, so no Britannica Online for instance.

Citizendium is a much smaller site than Wikipedia is. The encyclopedia offers more than 16,000 articles at the time of writing, of which 159 have been approved by experts.  Everyone can join the site as an author, but only some will be recognized as experts in a particular field. Rules are a lot stricter when it comes to writing articles, with authors having to use real names and abide by the site's rules.

Debatepedia is a site catering to pro and contra arguments. It calls itself the Wikipedia of debates and offers an interesting approach to information that you may want to look up online.It is a great source for topics that you can debate about, and not so much for other topics. [Update: no longer available]


Encyclopedia lets you search over 100 encyclopedias and dictionaries. It is a meta search engine that is providing you with links and contents from a variety of sources.


Google Scholar, a search engine for scholarly literature. While not an encyclopedia itself, it can find articles, theses, books, abstracts or court opinions about the research topic.

google scholar

Infoplease is maintained by Pearson Education, one of the world's largest educational book distributors.  Like The Free Dictionary, Infoplease republishes articles from source such as the Columbia Encyclopedia on its site. The benefit here is that the articles are usually correct, but less often updated than articles on free to edit encyclopedias.


Scholarpedia uses the same software that Wikipedia uses to power its encyclopedia. The editorial process is much stricter though, as article updates need to be approved by experts before they are visible on the live site. While this has an impact on the availability of articles and updates, it also ensures that information are correct, and that false information or even vandalism is not a big issue.


The free Dictionary contains over 100,000 terms drawing from The Columbia Encyclopedia, the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia, the Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, and the Collins Discovery Encyclopedia. It does not offer user generated contents, nor the option to alter or modify existing items.

the free dictionary

Wikia is a wiki-hosting service that anyone can use to create Wikipedia-like sites for specific topics they are interested in. The main focus lies on popular culture, which includes video games, TV, movies, sport, fashion and current events.


This is just a small selection of available Wikipedia alternatives. If you know of another service that should be in this list, feel free to add it to the comments below.


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

  10. Anonymous said on September 28, 2023 at 8:19 am

    When will you put an end to the mess in the comments?

  11. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 9:36 am

    Ghacks comments have been broken for too long. What article did you see this comment on? Reply below. If we get to 20 different articles we should all stop using the site in protest.

    I posted this on [] so please reply if you see it on a different article.

    1. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 11:01 am

      Comment redirected me to [] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  12. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 10:48 am

    Comment redirected me to [] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  13. Mystique said on September 28, 2023 at 12:13 pm

    Article Title: Reddit enforces user activity tracking on site to push advertising revenue
    Article URL:

    No surprises here. This is just the beginning really. I cannot see a valid reason as to why anyone would continue to use the platform anymore when there are enough alternatives fill that void.

  14. justputthispostanywhere said on September 29, 2023 at 3:59 am

    I’m not sure if there is a point in commenting given that comments seem to appear under random posts now, but I’ll try… this comment is for

    My temporary “solution”, if you can call it that, is to use a VPN (Mullvad in my case) to sign up for and access Reddit via a European connection. I’m doing that with pretty much everything now, at least until the rest of the world catches up with GDPR. I don’t think GDPR is a magical privacy solution but it’s at least a first step.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.