The Internet Archive is a massive on-going project to store everything that has been on the Internet and what is being added daily. Using the Wayback Machine site, you can travel back in Internet time to see what the web looked like as far back as 1996 and let me tell you – there is a lot of data being stored—ranging in the petabytes.

Have you ever wondered how many URLs there are out there on the World Wide Web?

Well up until today, the Internet Archive has stored some 150,000,000,000 URLs and the associated data for those addresses, but that is nothing compared to what they are storing now. In an announcement today the Internet Archive has almost doubled that number of URLs to 240,000,000,000 URLs which works out to be about 5 petabytes of data.

All this data now lets the Internet Archives' Wayback Machine take you to any point from 1996 to December 2012, and as a result the Wayback Machine's database gets about 1,000 queries every second by some 500,000 people. It is numbers like this that has made the home site rank as the 250th most popular site on the Internet.

While some of the data being saved are the URLs and data of site, currently on the web the organization's army of volunteers have been scouring the web and archiving the URLs and data of sites that could be on the verge of disappearing for good. So not only do we have a current snapshot of the web to explore, but we can also visit sites that no longer exist.

Of course storing all this data requires hardware, lots of hardware, and it is only because of a recent campaign that they were able to purchase the needed hardware. The campaign was also successful because of an anonymous donor who agreed to match all the donations made during the campaign three-to-one. Even though the campaign has finished, you can still make donations to the non-profit organization to help with their future growth.

via The Next Web