The average price per megabyte of diskdrive storage has fallen from $11.54 in 1988 to about two cents last year. Thank goodness. Because, in our opinion, most of what's being published on the Web is a waste of storage space. To help keep your memory from getting clogged,Best of The Web editors have sorted through thousands of Web pages to come up with our fall list of the top 300 sites.
In the following pages we tackle 45 different categories, ranging from venture investing and corporate trainingto jewelry and alternative medicine. How did we choose our picks? With five key criteria: content, design, navigation, speed and customization. As always, you can find many more reviews at Forbesbest.com, where there are more than 110 different categoriesand 2,200 sites rated, each with links. You may not agree with all of our picks. Tell us about it by going to Forbesbest.com/rat-ings and voicing your opinion.
Personal Finance & Careers
Life Insurance - Fewer than 2% of all policies issued in the U.S. are sold via the Web. As with auto insurance, however, buyers are increasingly using the Web for research; ultimately they will begin to get coverage the same way. Use the Web to educate yourself, not only about insurance products, but about rates and the variables that affect them. If you decide to buy a policy, don't be fooled into believing the preliminary quote you receive is what you will actually pay. Most online applications aren't thorough enough to provide an accurate quote. It'slikely you'll also be required to have your urine and blood tested before the policy is accepted.
QuickQuote www.quickquote.com - QuickQuote stands apart from other mundane insurance sites because it has flashy, moving graphics and a streaming-audio greeting. Its fast and simple application process offers a good selection of instant quotes from better-rated carriers such as CNA Life and Transamerica Occidental. Even better, QuickQuote does a side-by-side comparison of the insurers and each policy's particular features. There's a live chat roomfor customer service and you don't have to submit any personal information until you decide to apply for a policy. If you do apply, you can check its status online and even request a text-only version if your access speedis limited. Unlike some sites, QuickQuote has licensed life insurance agents available during business hours. Best: QuickQuote takes the extra steps to see your application through the entire underwriting process. Worst: Can't save preliminary quotes online, but that will change in October.
Reprinted by Permission of Forbes Magazine- September 11,2000 issue © 2000 Forbes Inc. For information on ordering Forbes reprints, please call (212) 620-2399. To subscribe to Forbes magazine,please call (800) 888-9896.