The Internet Archive Wayback Machine, at, is what could be perceived as a way to access a complete backup of the entire Internet. Unveiled in October 2001, the Wayback Machine appears to the end user as a simple form field with a "Take me Back" button. Upon entering an URL and pressing "Take me Back", the user is presented with a list of sites, all catalogued by the Internet Archive.

The Wayback Machine combs the entire Internet archive - from 1996 until now. It's not perfect - for example, a search for turns up irrelevant results - but for the most part, it will turn up multiple copies of the site sorted by date. CGI forms and complicated Java tricks like what the early incarnations of used won't work. Also, it will not catalog everything; access to a particular site can be disabled by our good text file robots.txt. Unfortunately, E2 has a rather restrictive robots.txt file; it's not in the Archive.

The Wayback Machine does not discriminate based on content - everything from porn fetish sites to encyclopedias to warez sites can be found in the Internet Archive. Based on this, the Wayback Machine has won numerous awards from censorware vendors, in the form of blacklisting the entire Internet Archive. The fact that it can be used to bypass censorware certainly doesn't help any. Oddly enough, the Archive is slower on porn and hentai sites than on heavy graphical sites, offering proof of a conservative conspiracy

All in all, the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine is a godsend to those who would like to see what the Web was like back in the days of yore. It is a means of access to see how the Web has evolved from 1996, through the dotcom boom and its subsequent crash, until now. It holds well over 100 terabytes of data to search through, which is pretty close to a backup of the Internet.