Archive the Web and Wayback Machine are similar in allowing users to access archived versions of websites. However, there are some notable differences between the two services.
One key difference is the technology and data storage methods used by each service. Wayback Machine uses periodic crawling to save copies of web pages, which are then saved on their databases and made available through its user interface. In this case, the storage network is centralized and vulnerable to censorship and other threats. In contrast, Archive the Web uses a decentralized, permanent storage network called Arweave. Arweave distributes data across a network of individual nodes, which allows for greater reliability and resistance to tampering or censorship.
Another key difference is the process by which content is saved. Archive the Web allows users to directly contribute to the archive by submitting their own web pages for preservation. In contrast, Wayback Machine primarily relies on periodic crawls to add content to its archive.
Finally, the funding mechanism for archiving content differs between the two services. Archive the Web is funded through user contributions as a one-time fee to secure storage on the Arweave network for 200+ years. In contrast, Wayback Machine is primarily funded through donations to its parent organization, the Internet Archive. This means that Archive the Web's funding model is driven by user payments, which may provide a more sustainable and long-term approach to preserving web content. In comparison, Wayback Machine's funding relies on sustained donations from individuals and organizations, which may be less reliable over the long term.