Best Internet Archive Wayback Machine Alternatives
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One of the most useful kinds of tools on the internet that is regularly used to record websites and information in a way that cannot be used to spread false information through edits are Archive Websites.
They are widely used to save archives of webpages, such that even if the original web page is changed, the Archive provides the saved version of the webpages.
They work by taking snapshots of websites throughout the web using crawlers.
However, not all web pages are available due to privately owned servers and other limitations. Due to its service as a tool for storing information that could be otherwise removed, the most popular archiving site, The Wayback Machine [Archive.org], has faced a large amount of censorship and legal troubles.
In 2019, The Wayback Machine has been blocked by either the government itself or private companies in the UK, Russia, and China. Moreover, considering how useful it is for saving vast amounts of otherwise censored or removed data, such as the recent discord phishing scandal, it is likely that other governments and companies may take action against it.
BEST WAYBACK MACHINE ALTERNATIVES
Here are some Alternatives to the Wayback machine, listed in no particular order.
Archive.is functions very similarly to The Wayback Machine. It takes multiple screenshots of a user-submitted link and saves the webpage as it was on the submitted. One unique feature of archive.is is a link arranged in the following format:
Can be used to directly search for saved webpages rather than having to search for saves per date using a link. A date can also be added into the link to search for the available saved version from the specific date.
Archive.is runs on Apache Hadoop and Apache Accumulo. The saved textual content is duplicated and saved three times in servers across different data centres and the image-based content is duplicated and saved two times. The data is stored on HDPS, and the data centres of Archive .is are all present in Europe.
Unlike archive.org, archive.is uses data from both crawlers and screenshots. which results in a much higher rate of success in archiving web pages since some of the webpages have broken stylesheets. It allows the user to download pictures from the webpage archive as a zip file. Achive.is also crawls pages daily, unlike Archive.org (Wayback Machine).
However, even with the technical advantages, Archive.is has a more basic interface, which may be the reason it isn’t as popular. However, it is the closest alternative to The Wayback Machine present.
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Screenshots.com, unlike Archive.is and archive.org, uses the DomainTools API. Though this means that the user has to buy a DomainTools membership in order to use it, it also contains data derived from other DomainTools utilities that can offer much more detailed insights into the archived web pages, such as the date of registration of the domain, the data compiled using WHOIS database, and the number of times the ownership was changed.
Unlike archive.org, Screenshots.com uses the WHOIS database to find the respective domain requested and simply takes screenshots of it. This means that it does not archive the source code, it only captures how the webpage looks, along with ads. The screenshots taken are connected to the WHOIS lookup.
Usually, only the homepage is captured. Compared to Archive.is, Screenshots.com is much more user-friendly and has a clean, easily understandable interface. However, it is noticeably less popular, since it only contains archives of over 250 million webpages, while archive.org
has over 435 billion.
Screenshots.com might not be as useful as The Wayback Machine when it comes to saving webpages through crawlers and preserving the source code and image data, however, due to it being connected to DomainTools, gives a more substantial amount of information about the selected domain.
Update: Screenshots.com is no longer free
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Stillio.com is a newer archiving website, which allows users to make their archives of websites they select and store the archives in a cloud. Unlike Archive.is and Archive.org, Stillio makes separate screenshots according to the user’s request, and the screenshots can be downloaded and shared.
Multiple URLs can be added per account, and if you give a specific time, Stillio will capture screenshots at the same time every day for every provided URL. They are then grouped according to which domain they belong to. It also allows the user to specify the server from which the screenshots need to be taken.
Some functions allow the user to specify whether a particular element in the webpage should be excluded.
Stillio has a smooth and straightforward interface and allows users to create their own API tokens, and even connect Stillio to as a third party application to other services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and Webhook. The website also offers information about how the site performs in search engine results, as well as services related to brand management, like tracking trends between competitor webpages.
Also, unlike Archive .is and archive.org, to use the website, the user has to make an account, with a subscription. The plans include. There is also a free trial option that has limited functionality and lasts for 14 days. The other subscription plans include $29 per month for five separate web pages, $79 for 25 webpages, $199 for 100 webpages, and $299 for infinite webpages, as well as support for any number of other cloud storage options.
Functionally, Stillio is a more decentralised version of Screenshots.com and a cloud storage function like Mega or Google Drive. However, it does not offer the amount of information about the selected domain that Screenshots.com does.
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Blitapp.com is a website that is very similar to Stillio. It takes periodic screenshots of web pages according to the times specified by the user. However, it can send screenshots to multiple people at times and provides a fully searchable interface along with time-slots and thumbnails.
However, Blit isn’t free either. It has a free trial option for one week, but the further subscription options are divided based on the number of screenshots taken per month. There are four: $5 per month for 300 screenshots, $10 per month for 800 screenshots, $30 per month for 3000 screenshots, and $50 per month for 6000 screenshots.
Websites such as Blit and Stillio are used for QA (Quality Assurance) tests for websites and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) for online products. They can also be used for monitoring job listings every day at multiple times, tracking the company social media pages for advertising, and for analysing the market competition.
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5. Fagan Finder
While it may look primitive, Fagan Finder has consistently been one of the most useful tools for searching the internet. It is a search engine that includes over 110 tools, some of which can be used to Archive and search older archives of webpages.
The essential tools can be found at the URL info page: When a link is searched through the URL info bar, the entirety of its history and information available about it can be found. This includes the data stored on Amazons Alexa Internet, WhoIs Source, Global Whois and
Fagan Finder is also able to find cached information from Wayback Machine, Open Search, Spurl, and GigaBlast. Using the other tools available, such as Watch That Page, Change Detection, Change Notes, and Track Engine. Fagan Finder can track IP addresses visiting the URL, SEO history, and other user statistics for the given webpage link.
Fagan Finder is completely free. While the UI is basic and can seem daunting at times, it is one of the most advanced tools for analysing and archiving the internet available.
While the above tools are available for any user. The following tools are designed to be used by establishments such as libraries and public institutions such as news channels to archive their data, such that they can be cited and used freely.
Archive-It is a subscription-based public service focused archiving service that preserves archives of digital content. However, it isn’t available to all public users and is mainly used to archive digital content rather than web pages, screenshots and source code. It is an international organisation, and content can be archived on it by becoming a partner of the site.
Archive-it is affiliated with the Internet Archive and is partnered with over 400 organisations, such as universities, news channels, State archives such as the Library of Congress, Historical Societies, Museums, Art Libraries, and Public Libraries.
It also conducts several non-profit events around the world, such as the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC) General Assembly and Web Archiving Conference in Croatia, and the International Conference on the Arts in Society in Portugal.
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Webcite was a part of the International Internet Preservation Consortium, providing on-demand archiving services for scientific journals and news sources. This was done to preserve the content of the citations in case they were removed or unavailable.
Using the service, a Webcite enhanced link can be created, which includes both the link to the original material, as well as a link to the archived version. A regular citation link including archived link:
Plunkett, John. “Sorrell accuses Murdoch of panic buying”, The Guardian, October
Archived at http://www.webcitation.org/5Kt3PxfFl on December 4th, 2006.
A citation that uses a Webcite enhanced link: Plunkett, John. “Sorrell accuses Murdoch of panic buying”, The Guardian, October
Archived URL: http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=media.guardian.co.uk/site/story/0,14173,160185
Currently, Webcite isn’t accepting any on-demand requests for archive webpages. However, there are still ways for academic bloggers or journals to archive their content.
- They can fulfil this form and wait for a response:
- However, this is only for publishers, editors, and libraries.
Other than sites such as those above, specific software can be used to create private versions of the Wayback Machine. This is done to preserve permanent private archives of webpages, which are used internally in companies for citing in case of court cases, possible copyright infringement, and for tracking their social media pages.
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Softwares used for this purpose include the following:
Pagefreezer archives and monitors the entirety of a site’s function, including corporate chat conversations. The archived data can be presented in corporate audits and legal cases as legitimate evidence.
Smarsh, previously called Actiance, is an archiving service that is focused on archiving and monitoring corporate communication channels. It allows for governing communication channels such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, and preventing violations from being archived.
It also allows the construction of a communication suite, that incorporates several platforms within it.
Such platforms are also usually used by government offices and financial establishments for archiving records. These are generally required to be made by law, for transparency, government accountability through regulations.
While there are sites like archive.is and The Wayback Machine, most corporations and offices tend to have specific standards for what content needs to be archived, such as source code, pictures, and pdf files. A private archiving site is also more secure than a public archive site.
So far, we have discussed Best Wayback Machine Alternatives. If you are in search of an excellent alternative site, this article is one for you.
In conclusion, though The Wayback Machine is well made and very reliable, its history suggests that legal issues and possible corruption will only increase in magnitude as the internet gets more extensive and more important across the world.
Therefore, it would be a good idea to keep archives of webpages and other data safe by preserving them in alternate archive sites.
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