The Internet Archive, also known as The Wayback Machine, suffered an outage around midnight east coast time on August 25th. Disappointed fans around the world who were unable to access the site expressed their patient concern as well as thanks for the website.
Updated: Networking Hardware Failure
The problem affecting the Internet Archive was equipment failure related to networking hardware.
Jason Scott, an archivist who works for the Internet Archive tweeted the reason:
“A core piece of Internet archive networking equipment has failed and a replacement is being sourced right now.”
Internet Archive Down
The site displayed a message saying that the site was down.
A check of the headers via the Webconfs.com website showed that the website sends to a browser indicated that the site was sending a 503 Service Temporarily Unavailable Error Response.
This error message code is typically sent when the server is taken down for maintenance or because the server is overloaded and is unable to respond with a webpage.
Screenshot of Error Message from Internet Archive Home Page
The Internet Archive posted a tweet shortly after midnight to alert the public that the website was down.
The tweet didn’t offer any information about what was wrong, only that they were working to bring the site back up.
Here is the tweet:
We are working to resolve the outage affecting https://t.co/rvOhn0c6zM & @waybackmachine.
— Internet Archive (@internetarchive) August 25, 2022
Wayback Machine Fans World Wide Express Concern
Many people were inconvenienced but those posting comments were more concerned than upset, with many simply posting messages of gratitude.
IsItDownRightNow had over 300 comments expressing concern.
Some people were students who needed the site for their research.
Another was a Grateful Dead fan who posted that their attempts to stream archived Grateful Dead concerts were unsuccessful.
Comments poured into Twitter as well.
No listening to Grateful Dead today. RIP
— Hakkı Bluoyd (@hakki_bluoyd) August 25, 2022
Thanks, I've been cut off in the middle of a critical moment in a book! I'll be watching for the update that service is restored, hopefully soon.
— Miss Maryo (@MeNotBornToday) August 25, 2022
Ah, I thought it was my connection. Please come back soon 🙏🤍
— Bite-sized reminders and such. (@minireminders) August 25, 2022
thanks for the update! We are so used to using the archive and it being there always.. checked the internet connection several times before checking here. hope that issues are resolved soon, with best regards and big thanks for your services to the world community
— Mir Titles (@MirTitles) August 25, 2022
What Can Be Wrong?
There was some speculation that the site might be down due to multiple lawsuits filed by publishers that object to the free distribution of books.
But the error message provided by the website seems to indicate that there’s a problem at the server level, the cause of which can be a myriad of issues.
This article will be updated when more information is available.