Websites sometimes are not accessible. It can be that the server the website is hosted on is currently down, that the webmaster accidentally or willingly deleted data on the website or that the user's computer and Internet connection currently cannot establish a connection to the desired website.
While it may be out of reach to fix the problem, it is usually possible to access the information through caches. All major web search engines maintain caches of websites in their index which they make partially or fully available to Internet users.
Google Search for instance displays a "Cached" link next to websites it has cached in its search results. A click on that link opens the page on Google at the time of the last indexation. This indicates that there may be differences in contents between the actual website and the cached copy of the search engine.
Firefox CacheMachine is a handy extension that adds options to open cached copies of links. Supported are the caches of Google, Bing and Yahoo at this point in time.
The extension adds an entry to the right-click context menu of links.
The cached copy of a website is loaded in a new tab if it is available. An error is displayed if no cached copy of the web page is offered by the selected search engine.
CacheMachine can be helpful in numerous situations. From accessing "older" information on a page, to retrieving information if a page or website is down and displaying information that are otherwise only accessible to registered users.
The Firefox extension is compatible with all Firefox 3 and 4 versions. It can be directly installed at the Firefox Add-on repository at Mozilla.com.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.