Legal cases, patent registration, copyright issues, and progress are some of the reasons why the ability to travel back in internet-time is important. In 1996, Brewster Kahle and Bruce Gilliat (founders of Alexa, currently owned by Amazon) developed a program that would go on to set the stage for archiving web pages.
However, it was not until 2001 that the Wayback Machine was launched. The Wayback Machine is a digital archive for internet content. Since its inception in 2001, it has stored billions of snapshots of web pages in thousands of terabytes. This information is accessible on the internet six months after being archived.
You can do so by visiting their official site and pasting the URL to whichever page you want to travel in time too. Let’s say you want to view google history then search Wayback machine google.
The content stored in the Wayback machine is collected using a web-crawling or spidering software. This software derives and identifies domains from Alexa, and follows a series of rules to retrieve and collect content. This is then captured and stored as web pages. It’s very easy to operate also you can use Wayback machine search.
Does not record everything
The rules of spidering content on a web page are defined by the page’s robot.txt file. Some page domains allow crawling, others do not. In a case where the page domain does not permit, the Wayback machine records “no crawl” as its snapshot in its archives.
The content that is captured by the Wayback machine is extracted from the server storage, usually HTML files. For this reason, the content captured is not as a user would see it on a browser.
Crawling may not be able to capture all images, software codes, and other files. This is because the Wayback machine captures web pages by following hyperlinks to other content in the same domain. Hyperlinks to other content in a different domain are not indexed.
Wayback Machine Alternatives
There are two types of Wayback Machine alternative sites similar in functionality to the Wayback Machine. The first type allows you to access past web pages, just like the Wayback Machine. They include; archive.is and screenshot.com among others. The second alternative allows one to create their own private “Wayback machine”, used for specific purposes.
As its name suggests, ScreenShots works by taking snapshots of websites and saving them to their database. All the details that you are looking for on a particular domain are provided for in the snapshot. The code and destination links, among other things, are inaccessible. It has a great interface, allowing you to zoom and focus on the details properly.
- Uses DomainTools API
- Links the thumbnails’ links to Whois Lookup
- Gives detailed results
This is arguably the best alternative to the Wayback Machine. What sets it apart from others is that it allows you to access both the content and the screenshots of any webpage.
Archive.is is famous for its easy and user-friendly navigation. It also has the option to share the screenshots. On top of that, if you need the information for reference at a later date, you can download the report.
- Good for crawling images off a domain.
- The original HTML can be downloaded.
- Both screenshots and web pages.
Itools is slightly different from the others on this list because you cannot access the archives from its homepage. You will have to click on the “internet” tab, then on “website”.
Just like the Wayback machine, this uses the Alexa database. It can be used as an important tool in learning about your competition as it tells a domain’s popularity and traffic.
- Used to boost businesses
- Shows all relevant information on a domain.
With the free sign up, you can compare email campaigns, social media activity, and screenshots.
- Compares and tracks your competition.
- Free sign up to access basic data.
- Detailed information.
WebCite archive allows you to archive a single URL instantly with WebCite®, You can archive a stable version of a Web page (including Blogs, Wiki, PDF and other documents).
This site archive all the web page data, including any images and/or media. If the website already saved in the database, then it creates a link to the already archived copy. After the process, the confirmation email and archive details will be sent to you.
Technically, this second group does not qualify as an alternative to the Wayback Machine. It only allows you to look into the past after you can configure it to start tracking your website. For specific usage, this is a better alternative to the Wayback machine as it gives you complete control. It’s used to keep track of a competitor’s domain, you never have to worry about take-down requests. Tough these are paid.
This Group includes:
PageFreezer is a SaaS-based service maintained by PageFreezer Software, Inc in Canada. This SaaS-Based Service lets you create your website a web archive file and for the blog and social media. It automatically collects your data without doing any manual work or scheduling time to collect it yourself. They store data on their own servers which is capable of long-term storage.
Actiance is the leader in communications compliance, archiving, and analytics. Banks use their services too. It creates your website’s web archive file efficiently.
These are some of the best Wayback machine alternatives which we came up with. Do you have any other suggestions, let us know in the comment section.