Brave browser now automatically points to Wayback Machine on 404

The Brave web browser can now automatically detect when a webpage is unavailable and will offer to search the Wayback Machine for a backup, the Internet Archive has announced. Although the 404 error code is the most well known, the announcement notes that the feature also works for 408, 410, 451, 500, 502, 503, 504, 509, 520, 521, 523, 524, 525, and 526 errors.

If you visit a missing page (such as this one) using Brave then the browser will generate a notification that reads “Sorry, that page is missing. Do you want to check if a saved version is available on the Wayback Machine?” Clicking the prompt takes you to an archived version of the page, where you can then scroll through different snapshots of the page taken over time. It makes it easier to find information that’s disappeared from the internet, regardless of whether it’s been deliberately removed or has just disappeared by accident.

The browser will generate a notification when it detects a 404 error code.
Screenshot by Jon Porter / The Verge

Although there’s no guarantee that a missing page has been archived, the Internet Archive notes that the Wayback Machine has archived over 900 billion URLs and more than 400 billion web pages over its 23 year history.

If you want to give the feature a try, then it’s available now as part of the desktop version of Brave version 1.4. Specifically, we’ve verified that it’s working on version 1.4.95 of the browser. Alternatively, if you want to enable similar functionality for your existing browser, then the Internet Archive also has extensions available for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.

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