Browse the web like you would have done 20 years ago

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 4, 2015

I'm not sure why anyone would want to go back to the early days of the Internet, but if you do, you can relive that past even more accurately by using an old web browser on top of it.

Probably the best option to check out how a website looked ten or twenty years ago is to head over to the Internet Archive as it stores snapshots of websites in the archive.

If you wanted to know how Ghacks looked like in 2005, you'd just have to enter the address of the site to get started and pick one of the available snapshot dates afterwards.

Oldweb adds on top of that the emulation of old browsers such as Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer 4 or NSCA Mosaic so that you can embrace the past fully.

The service is swarmed by users currently and you may very well get added to a queue before the selected page is rendered in the selected browser.

The emulated browsers are not just a shell either as you can use all buttons and features they provide. You may click on the url field to open another web address, open the options, or make other changes to the browser.

Sessions are limited to 10 minutes however and if you are not finished in that time, you may need to refresh to start a new browsing session.

The service is rather slow currently which likely comes from its popularity currently and not from the fact that you are using old browser versions.

It has been designed for entertainment purposes and it serves that purpose well. While you may be able to get some insights on the Web ten or twenty years ago, it is usually faster to head over to the Internet Archive directly. Yes, those old browsers may add that special feeling to the process but that would work better if the site would not be that slow.

If you need to use older browsers, you may want to consider downloading old versions instead and using virtualization (for security) and the Internet Archive for the same experience. Mozilla offers all Firefox releases on its public FTP site for instance so that you can check out how today's web or the web in the past work in those browsers.

Now You: Is there anything that you miss from the old web?

Browse the web like you would have done 20 years ago
Article Name
Browse the web like you would have done 20 years ago
Relive the past by browsing websites with browsers that you would have used ten or more years ago.

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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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