Up until yesterday, Webrecorder.io offered users that were not logged in to the site the same powerful web capturing service as logged in users. Anyone, without having to sign up for an account, was able to capture web pages and download the result as a WARC file. This service is now discontinued. Webrecorder.io can still be used free of charge, but users will have to sign up for an account and log in as registered users to perform captures and download WARC files.

For all users who need a way to do web archiving without having to log in to a service, we recommend using the new Webrecorder Desktop application. Webrecorder Desktop will work on your own computer or laptop, doesn’t require the creation of a user account, and stores all data on your local disk. Webrecorder Desktop also has a feature to only start capturing after navigating past some pages, for instance a social media log in, to ensure that credentials do not accidentally become part of a WARC file.

We do realize that some used the anonymous capturing service out of convenience. For a small one-time capture that was meant to be immediately downloaded and looked at with another tool such as Webrecorder Player, logging in was a step that could easily be skipped. We hope that the desktop application, which integrates capturing and browsing, will provide an improved workflow for such use cases.

Anonymous capturing traffic on Webrecorder.io has been quite high, which proved to be financially costly and was affecting site performance for regular users with accounts that had to share the same infrastructure. By removing the anonymous capturing service we are reallocating resources and hope to improve performance and speed for logged in users. Additionally, by providing a fully decentralized version of Webrecorder for the desktop we are better supporting users who for privacy reasons would prefer not to store their content on Webrecorder.io, which uses a major cloud computing service provider, or have a workflow that cannot currently be served by Webrecorder.io.

Users who deploy Webrecorder hosted service on their own (via Docker deployment) can choose to enable or disable anonymous mode via a configuration option also.