I have always been interested in computing history and networking and how it came to be. In early 2000's I started noticing a increase of historically significant web sites disappearing, and it was alarming, since these sites are an important part of our culture. So around 2011 I started in earnest a long-term project with the goal of preserving as much as possible web sites that are disappearing and primarily focus on archiving content that may disappear, and then later build a system, where archived web sites can be browsed and searched as if they were still online. As I have developed the project further, I place a special emphasis on preserving the look and feel of the Internet as close as possible to original as it would have been experienced. The project's aim is to preserve the user experience of visiting web sites historically accurate, and provide a guide for future generations. It is a service that can be freely used by computing history museums and institutions demonstrating the early Internet, and by individual vintage computer enthusiasts. It allows users and interested parties to browse the Internet with classic web browsers, and experience the early Internet as it was in the late 90's. That is what PROTONET is, and the service continues to grow, as more resources are brought in thanks to the several people that work hard contributing content and fixing broken links.
PROTONET isn't meant to be an extensive archive. It's purpose is mainly to focus on quality of the user experience and present the archived content as it was with accuracy. Over time the the archive has grown as we've reconstructed and recovered files from a plethora of sources, and we've worked tirelessly to restore website functionality including dynamic content such as search engines, guest books and visitor counters. Emphasis has also been given to finding and restoring rare downloads, and they have been made available along with the pages that link to them. FTP sites that no longer exist are made available through the service and are free to use.
The project is no minor undertaking, however we remain committed to bringing these web sites back and restore them to their former glory. You will be able to again experience web sites that have not seen the light of day on this side of the millennium.