Archive.org is the time machine of the internet. You can find on it any web page ever published since 1996. Think Google but you can go back to any point in history of every result. You can also be part of the time machine or contributing to it. This article invites you to try The Internet Archive and contribute by saving pages you love to be a history everyone can read. Believe me it is fun!
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What Is Archive.org?
Go to www.archive.org it is the Internet Archive. It currently holds 400 billions web pages according to Wikipedia as well as three millions movies, four hundreds thousands of computer programs, and seven millions audio files. Yes Internet Archive is not only a search engine, but also a giant storage of digital files. The point in this article is that Wayback Machine, the time machine within Internet Archive, can bring us back to a point in history for any web page ever published. That means it can reveal dead websites too. You can imagine how much benefits you can get from using it correctly, say, for historical or even crime proving purposes.
Wikipedia Uses Archive.org
Ever read Wikipedia’s references? You might saw links that followed by words “archived from the original” and if you follow the link you’ll find the web page in a point in history. If you look closer, actually archived web pages there are in the Internet Archive. Check for example references on Ubuntu. That’s an excellent example how Internet Archive benefits us.
Type the address of website you like in www.archive.org. Then you will see history of that website saved within Internet Archive. For example, if you enter the address ubuntu.com you can see history of Ubuntu website from time to time since first introduction 2004. Try other websites too!
1) Go to Internet Archive.
2) Search for ubuntu.com like below. This is an example. You can type any other web URL address.
3) You see full history of ubuntu.com web page shown as a calendar. There are blue and green bubbles showing when the time Internet Archive saved them.
4) Pick one history point available among the colored bubbles. You can also see the Internet Archive’s URL address of that page. Feels familiar? Yes, it is how Wikipedia gets its archived references.
5) You see ubuntu.com website in that point of history. Here is Ubuntu website in 2006 as is without any alteration saved perfectly by Internet Archive.
You can do searching above without visiting archive.org. Visit a website and click the button to see its history or last archived instantly from the Internet Archive. Very convenient, right? See last section to get that button on your web browser.
Is A Web Page Archived?
You can see whether a webpage you visit is already archived or not. Also, you can see whether the archive is up to date. Later on, you can contribute to the internet history by helping save web pages to Internet Archive! To check a web page, click the button and let it loads a bit to see last archived date.
Everyone can archive webpages to the Internet Archive! Visit a webpage and click Archive Page button and it archived instantly. As a result, now everybody can visit the webpage’s history on the Internet Archive. You can share the URL address to your friends. You can repeat this process to any other web page. Pretty interesting, right?
Actually it is an addon called Save To The Wayback Machine. that can be installed to Mozilla Firefox. Go to the addon page and click install there and voila you got the button we discuss above. Following picture is the screenshot of addons installed on my web browser and the emphasized one is the Save To. That’s all. Finally, I hope you find fun learning internet history!