Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

(There's no such thing as stupid questions, just frequently asked questions 😊)


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 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.


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 distributes sites buy from Arc's CDN.

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.


Arc never 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. Cellular bandwidth is never used.


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.


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 reasons, you may not change the colors, size, position or content of the widget.

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!


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


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 blue 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.


Yes. You may run both ads and Arc simultaneously on your site(s), so long as the advertisments don't violate any of our other policies. E.g., they don't contain adult content.


  1. Arc's widget starts Arc's 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

    • The response headers include valid, unexpired cache headers, like Cache-Control or Expires, and

    • 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.


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.


Images

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

Video

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

Audio

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

Documents

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

Other

swf

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


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

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


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


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 on Google's secure Cloud (GCP), and the domain that serves Arc's widget, arc.io, is safeguarded against domain hijacking.