The Internet never forgets? That's true, because with the Wayback Machine you can also find websites that have long been shut down. We will explain to you how the Internet Archive works.

The first website went into operation more than 30 years ago, and billions of websites have since been added. These are constantly changing, being updated or even taken off the internet completely.

If you want to access an earlier version of a website or one that no longer exists, you can do this using the Wayback Machine. Because here you can search for old websites like in an archive.

How does the Wayback Machine work?

The Wayback Machine website lets you explore “more than 866 billion stored web pages” over the years. For your search you need either the URL of the page you want to track. You can also enter words in the search that are related to the URL of a website.

If you enter something in the search, the archive will spit out a calendar, among other things. Here you can see when and on which days recordings from the website were taken for the Internet Archive.

You can click on these and see the current status of the website at that time. You can also jump back and forth between years. A chart on a timeline also shows you how often the corresponding page was recorded in a year.

View changes on a website

But the Wayback Machine didn't just record websites at specific points in time. Here you can also see the changes that have been made to the respective websites.

To do this, you have to select two different times in a calendar. If you then click on “Compare”, the Wayback Machine compares the status of the page at the respective points in time.

You can then scroll through both pages, which are displayed side by side. The page will then mark the changes in blue and yellow.

Wayback Machine also allows for gimmicks

The Wayback Machine can be important for researchers, for example, if they want to examine the reporting of a particular historical event. But the Internet Archive can also be helpful for gimmicks.

For example, if you look at the website in the Internet Archive, you will find an amazing story. Today the website is home to the streaming service of the same name.

But if you go further back in time with the help of the Wayback Machine, you will find a woman's private website – cat content included.

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