The Simtel archive has had significant ties to the history of FreeBSD, as archive distributor Walnut Creek CDROM helped fund FreeBSD development and hosted the main Simtel archive on FreeBSD servers. The original website and long-time primary mirrors were located at www.cdrom.com, www.simtel.net, and oak.oakland.edu at Oakland University. In July 1998, the Simtel FTP server set a record for overall traffic with a total transfer amount of 417 GB of data in one day. , In May 1999, the Simtel FTP server surpassed its own record by transferring, in one day, a total of 873 GB.
Over time, the SIMTEL20 archive added software for other operating systems, user groups and various programming languages, including the Ada Software Repository, the CP/M User's Group, PC/Blue, SIG/M(icros), and the Unix/C collections. In 1991, Walnut Creek CDROM was founded by Robert A. Bruce, which helped distribute the Simtel archive on CD-ROM discs for those not wishing to access the archive online.
In 1993, the SIMTEL20 archive at White Sands Missile Range was shut down due to budget constraints. From 1993 on, the Walnut Creek CDROM FTP server and (later on) website became the focal point for online Simtel access. Due to a mirror licensing dispute situation with Coast to Coast Telecommunications in 1995 (now Allegiance Telecom, part of XO Communications), archive maintainer Keith Petersen left his employment with CCT and moved on to Walnut Creek CDROM. In October 1999, Walnut Creek CDROM was purchased by Digital River for $1.0 million USD and 143,885 shares of common stock. Mr. Petersen contracted with Digital River, along with small business owner and son Kurt Petersen of Petersen Business Management, to manage the Simtel collections and continued to do so until January 15, 2001.