Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
You have questions. We have answers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
You have questions. We have answers.
What is Arc?

Arc is a two-sided marketplace. On one side of the market, websites buy a fast, low-cost peer-to-peer CDN. On the other side, websites make money by contributing bandwidth to the peer-to-peer CDN. Arc's widget provides access to both sides.

We turn bandwidth into dollars by uniting browsers into a distributed content delivery network that we rent. Think screaming-fast BitTorrent for every website that's seamless and native to the web. Websites pay Arc to make their sites faster by serving their static content (images, videos, JS, CSS, etc) from Arc's global, distributed network of browsers instead of from slower, more expensive, centralized servers.

What determines my revenue with Arc?

Revenue scales with 1) the amount and quality of bandwidth shared by your users with Arc's content exchange while on your site, and 2) how much of that bandwidth was purchased by other websites via Arc's CDN.

  • The amount of bandwidth shared by your users varies by their device type and connection. E.g. a desktop PC on an ethernet connection can typically share more bandwidth than a phone on Wi-Fi. The more bandwidth your users share while on your site, the more you earn.

  • The location of your users in relation to the users they share bandwidth with also matters. The closer your users are to the users they share content with, the more you earn.

  • How much bandwidth other sites purchase from Arc's content exchange determines your revenue. The more of your bandwidth purchased from Arc's peer-to-peer CDN, the more you earn.

In more traditional metrics, the largest drivers of total bandwidth shared are:

  1. The total time users spend on your website. The more users you have and the longer they spend on your site, the more bandwidth they'll share and the more money you earn.

  2. How long visitors spend on your site relative to the other Arc-powered websites they visit. The greater the proportion of time a user spends on your site compared to other sites with Arc, the more money you earn.

The largest driver of how much bandwidth Arc sells is how much content distribution sites buy from Arc's CDN.

Paid plans also provide a revenue boost. Pro plan subscribers get a +5% revenue share boost and Business plan subscribers get a +7% revenue share boost, which increase revenue by 5% and 7%, respectively. See Arc's plans for more details.

Keep in mind that some browser extensions -- NoScript, some adblockers, etc -- interfere with, or break, functionality that Arc requires to run. This can also also affect, or reduce, revenue with Arc. Fewer active Arc widgets means less revenue with Arc.

Does Arc impact the user experience?

The opposite: websites with Arc load faster because Arc securely retrieves content from nearby devices instead of distant datacenters.

Arc never negatively affects the user experience. Ever. This is fundamental bedrock of Arc; we can't succeed if the user experience is affected.

Arc uses only a small portion of spare bandwidth, imperceptible CPU, 300MB of browser cache, and only runs when a device is connected to Wi-Fi or Ethernet. Cellular bandwidth is never used.

Can I move, modify, or hide Arc's widget?

No. Arc's widget must remain visible and intractable in the lower left corner of your website so users can learn about Arc and, if they so desire, opt out in a consistent manner from site to site. For these same reasons, you may not change the colors, size, position, or content of the widget.

The one exception: if you use Arc in CDN-only mode, Arc's widget can optionally be hidden because your users will only download content from Arc's network, not contribute content back. Only download bandwidth is used.

If the location of Arc's widget in the lower left corner presents a critical problem, please let us know at your.friends@arc.io!

Do users need to opt in to Arc?

Just like ads online, users don't need to opt in to use Arc.

If you'd like to ask your users to explicitly opt in first, please let us know at your.friends@arc.io!

Can I run Arc on subdomains?

Absolutely. See https://portal.arc.io/installation#host-arc's-service-worker for instructions.

In short, Arc's Service Worker, arc-sw.js, must be hosted at the root of both https://your-website.com and https://subdomain.your-website.com. Then just add the same Arc widget

<script async src="https://arc.io/widget.min.js#[WIDGET-ID]"></script>

to all pages you want to monetize and accelerate, on both your-website.com and subdomain.your-website.com. And you're all set!

Once the above is configured, you can verify that the widget works on both domains by checking out https://portal.arc.io/ and looking at the Live Widgets card, which displays live widgets for every domain that your widget is on. When everything is configured correctly, you'll see both your-website.com and subdomain.your-website.com.

Is Arc a cryptominer?

No. Arc is unrelated to, and doesn't use, any cryptocurrencies or blockchains.

In fact, the opposite: Arc aspires to be the antipode of cryptominers.

  • Arc isn't surreptitious nor clandestine. We mandate that Arc’s little purple widget always remains visible in the lower left corner.

  • Arc never affects the user experience. Ever. This is fundamental bedrock of Arc; we can't succeed if the user experience is affected.

  • Users are always presented with the option to easily opt out.

How does Arc's CDN Work?
  1. Arc's widget starts a Service Worker.

  2. Arc's Service Worker waits for network requests for cacheable, static assets (like, say, https://yourwebsite.com/kitty.png) by listening for network fetch events.

    self.addEventListener('fetch', event => { /* ✨ Arc magic ✨ */ })
    
  3. A network request is determined cacheable if both:

    (a) The response headers include valid, unexpired cache headers, like Cache-Control or Expires, and

    (b) The asset is one of the supported static file types (e.g. jpg, png, js, css, mp4, etc).

  4. Once a network response is deemed cacheable, in the background, Arc's servers independently retrieve, fragment, encrypt, distribute, and securely cache a mirrored copy of that asset across Arc's peer-to-peer network.

  5. After an asset is cached, every Arc widget, on every device, watches for future requests for that asset and automatically retrieves it from Arc's peer-to-peer network instead of the more expensive, slower origin server (over WebRTC instead of HTTP).

All assets not cached or deemed uncacheable transparently fall through Arc's Service Worker unmodified and are fetched from the origin server.

Which assets does Arc's CDN cache?

Web

js, cjs, mjs, css

Images

bmp, bpg, eps, gif, ico, jpeg, jpg, pict, png, svg, svgz, tif, tiff,
ttf, webp, avif, jxl

Video

3g2, 3gp, amv, avi, drc, f4bogv, f4p, f4v, flv, gifv, m2v, m4v, mkv,
mov, mp2, mp4, mpe, mpeg, mpg, mpv, qt, webm, wmv, av1, ts, tsv, tsa,
m2t

Audio

aac, aiff, f4a, flac, m4a, m4p, mid, midi, mogg, mp3, oga, ogg, opus,
pat, ra, rm, wav, webm

Interchange

json, yaml, xml, csv, toml, ini, bson, asn1, ubj

Archives

jar, iso, tar, tgz, tbz2, tlz, gz, bz2, xz, lz, z, 7z, apk, dmg, rar,
lzma, txz, zip, zipx

Documents

doc, docx, otf, pdf, ppt, pptx, ps, xls, xlsx

Other

srt, swf

Is a filetype for your website missing above? Email us at your.friends@arc.io and let us know!

Do I have to replace my current CDN?

Nope! You can deploy Arc in front of, and in addition to, your existing CDN(s).

Arc's novel peer-to-peer CDN runs foremost in the browser. The first CDN cache lookup occurs in the browser in Arc's Service Worker. On Arc cache miss, the request falls back to the origin server, or in this case your pre-existing CDN(s).

Add Arc to your existing CDN(s) and your performance will only improve and you'll only save money.

What websites can use Arc?

At this time, Arc is appropriate for sites that meet the following criteria:

  • Safe for work (SFW), or "Facebook friendly", content.

  • Organic traffic (i.e. not just pages to AFK on).

All sites are reviewed by a real human on our onboarding team for approval.

What payout options are available?

PayPal is the only supported option for payouts at this time.

Is Arc secure?

Arc is designed with security in mind and adheres to security industry best practices.

All data cached on devices is encrypted with bank-grade 256-bit AES.

All data in transit to and from Arc's infrastructure is encrypted over HTTPS/TLS.

All data in transit across Arc's peer-to-peer network is encrypted over DTLS.

Additionally, all of Arc's hosted infrastructure runs securely on Amazon Web Services (AWS), and the domain that serves Arc's widget, arc.io, is safeguarded against domain hijacking.

Do I need to upgrade to monetize with Arc?

Nope. You can monetize your website, or websites, on Arc's Free plan.

But once you exhaust your plan's bandwidth allotment, e.g. 100GB of bandwidth on the Free plan, both your CDN and earnings will pause until the next billing month when you receive a new bandwidth allotment, e.g. a new 100GB on the Free plan.

  1. Whenever you exhaust your plan's bandwidth allotment, your Arc widget becomes paused. When paused, your revenue and CDN usage are also paused.

  2. You don't have to pay to upgrade your account. You can always just wait until the next month's fresh bandwidth allotment to unpause the widget and resume revenue and CDN usage automatically.

Of course, if you exhaust your plan's bandwidth allotment (congratulations on your popular site! 🚀), you can always upgrade your plan on the Billing page to unpause your widget and resume both earnings and CDN usage immediately.

Or, if you're already on a paid plan, you can elect to seamlessly transition to metered usage when you exhaust your plan's bandwidth allotment. When selected, the metered transition occurs automatically, your CDN usage and earnings are never paused, and your websites continue to be accelerated with Arc's unbeatable global metered rate of $0.02/GB.