Q: How can I start using the service? #

A: You can use a modern or old computer and any web browser that supports standard proxy servers. For more information, check out our Getting Started Guide.

Q: What do I need to use the service? #

A: The service can be used with any computer with access to the Internet. Technically speaking, you only need an operating system with TCP/IP networking, and a web browser with HTTP support. The service can be used with a wide variety of computers starting with computers made in the late 80’s, to modern day, from DOS to Windows 10. One goal of ProtoWeb has always been to reopen the Internet to classic computing hobbyists, but our focus has been to keep ProtoWeb highly accessible – this means users with modern computers are fully supported. To see which web browsers can be used with our service, see our comprehensive browser compatibility list. For more information on how to make old web browsers work on modern computers, please read the document Running Classic Web Browsers on Modern Hardware for instructions how to accomplish this.

Q: I want to use a classic web browser on a modern computer. Is that possible? #

A: You can run several classic web browsers on recent hardware. Please see Running classic web browsers documentation for more information on how to do this. The page also includes downloads to get you started.

Q: Where can I find downloads to old web browsers? #

A: Check out http://home.mcom.com/archives/ for a full archive of Netscape web browsers. If you are connected to ProtoWeb already, you can navigate to www.inode.com. At the bottom of the page you will find download links to popular web browsers!

Q: Can I obtain copies of your server software and/or file archives/websites? #

A: While we would like to be able to release the proxy/web server software as open-source, this is not likely to happen until certain internal criteria are met. For the same reasons distributing the file archives is not likely to happen as they tie in with the server software and contain source code that rely on other components of the server software and the system as a whole. This being said, anyone is free to use software mirroring tools to obtain copies of websites from ProtoWeb. We also have published as open source the software script we use to mirror sites from Archive.org and it can be obtained here. In addition, ProtoWeb Volunteers who archive and restore web sites on the service by default also have access to any files on the sites they are working on. Although the server software is not out in the public just yet, we’re hoping that this will change in the future!