When Google Reader shut down in 2013, internet users across the Web were dismayed by its closing and began desperate hunts for a replacement. Since then, numerous Web-based RSS readers have debuted in the hopes of capturing the same passion Google Reader did. With more content available on the Web than ever before, managing it all so you can read it is equivalent to moving mountains. That’s where RSS feed readers become so helpful. Let’s take a look at some of the web-based RSS readers you should be using today.
Feedly is likely the best known of all Google Reader replacements and for good reason. Feedly is more than just an RSS reader, as it can import online newspapers, blogs, tweets, YouTube videos, and Google Alerts, as well as standard RSS feeds. Setting up Feedly is as easy as signing up, then entering or selecting the right sources you want to start with. Feedly’s AI assistant “Leo” will help filter what you read by understanding your likes and dislikes and prioritizing topics and articles that will likely matter most to you.
Feedly is free to use, but for more features, it requires a small investment each month. Feedly feels very clean and lends itself to a proper reading experience without too much going on in the background. Along with its website, there are apps for iOS, Android and a variety of apps that sync with Feedly on all platforms, including both Windows and macOS.
When it comes to consuming info quickly, Inoreader is an easy recommendation. Similar to Feedly, Inoreader can do more than just pull in RSS feeds. It adds blogs, podcast subscriptions, Twitter searches, Facebook pages and even email newsletters. Where Inoreader really stands out is its ability to create automation to help optimize your workflow. Adding “rules” will help the application provide you with push notifications or mark content as read as you are scrolling through your feeds.
Another strong tool in Inoreader’s favor is the ability to monitor keywords so all posts monitoring that keyword can be delivered in your newsfeed. It’s an incredibly useful option if you want to track something across the Web without constantly visiting multiple sites. Setting up Inoreader allows you to choose a topic of interest like top news, technology, lifestyle, etc. and then choose from a selection of hand-picked popular websites. Inoreader is free for up to 150 subscriptions and then charges per year for more.
NewsBlur is a fantastically-organized online RSS reader that ensures you can filter out any content you don’t want to read. With real-time RSS delivery, as well as allowing you to view the articles as they were meant to be seen, NewsBlur has a well-deserved place on this list.
The best features, like searching feeds or saving stories, as well as having the ability to create custom RSS folders, unlock with a small yearly subscription. The free version limits you to just 64 sites but included in that are Twitter & YouTube feeds that can be read alongside websites and blogs.
Want to add email newsletters to your RSS feed? That’s available for all users. NewsBlur’s ability to “train” your feed over time so it learns what authors and categories you like is invaluable to curating a more perfect reading experience. To really get the most out of NewsBlur, you will need the premium subscription, but you can always add it to third-party apps for more versatility.
Feeder is a sharp-looking RSS reader that is definitely worth keeping an eye on. Like most of its competitors, the best aspects require a “Pro” subscription, but it’s definitely not a requirement. These are summed up by its easy reading experience. Reading on the Web requires a Chrome or Safari extension but feels completely native to the browser. With notifications, you won’t miss new articles coming in.
Add in some advanced filters, and you can weed out the noise so you are only discovering news you want to read. Arranging your content choices is easy with the ability to sort, label and share. Saving all of your favorites for reading later isn’t exclusive to Feeder, but it does so in a way that, again, feels completely native. Likewise, folders and collections help keep everything organized for quickly parsing through your news as it arrives.
If you are technically inclined and are looking for a self-hosted solution, FreshRSS is one of the best self-hosted RSS reader apps out there. It is easy to install (works on a typical Apache or Nginx system). It is also fast, yet light on system resources, allowing you to manage 100K articles without any issue.
The best thing about FreshRSS is that it is fully responsive so you can read it on your mobile browser without any issue. This will save you from installing more apps on your phone.
The above are among the best in terms of features, pricing and, most importantly, reliability. Feedly is the most popular, while FreshRSS is one of the more reliable for self-hosted solutions.
If you are looking for a Windows desktop RSS reader, check out some of the best options here.