Everything you need to know about the deep web

Everything you need to know about the deep web

13 October 2020

The term deep web has enjoyed numerous headlines in the previous years, thus the chance that you have heard this popular term is very high. If you don’t know what that means, we are here to help you understand it better. The first thing you need to know is that the webspace is classified into three different parts: surface web, dark web, and deep web.

Surface web

This part makes up only 4% of the Internet and can be easily accessed by anyone through search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. For instance, Facebook is a part of the surface web and can be accessed through normal web browsers such as Chrome, Opera, Safari etc.

Deep web

This part makes up 96% of the entire webspace, but it’s not accessible to everyone. For instance, there are confidential websites or links that only some individuals can access such as banking websites, payment links, or some confidential information of investigating agencies like FBI, CIA, etc. These are available only through direct links through normal web browsers.

Dark web

This part is a subset of the deep web and users can search anything on the Internet but anonymously. The dark web was created to give private space on the Internet to the users, but they mainly use it for illegal activities such as drugs, weapons, false documentation, child pornography, etc. These things can’t be accessed through a normal web browser like Google.

The Deep web is also known as the Hidden Web, Deep Net, or Invisible Web. It contains content that standard search engines can’t index. This term was coined by the computer scientist Mike Bergman almost 20 years ago. The deep web is one of the most misunderstood terms nowadays. Even though the media portrays it as something really bad, the reality is different. To simplify, it’s a part of the Internet that isn’t indexed and it’s called the deep web because it can’t be found on the surface web.

The deep web can be accessed only through certain anonymity tools and services, like the TOR browser (The Onion Routing). It’s unknown how many deep web pages currently exist and it’s not possible to determine how many there are because of the hidden nature of some dark web parts.

Many people use the deep web to buy or sell drugs and other illegal items from untraceable websites. Others use it just to anonymously set up websites that can’t be traced back to a physical location, including people who want or need to protect their identity from any surveillance, such as whistleblowers and journalists. Dissidents in restrictive regimes usually use it in order to remain anonymous and let the rest of the world know what’s happening in their country.

The deep and dark web have been carefully monitored after Ross Ulbricht was charged and convicted for creating and operating Silk Road, which was one of the dark web’s largest and most popular underground marketplaces. The FBI brought down Silk Road and arrested Ulbricht in 2013, who is still in prison.

Difference between deep web & dark web

The deep web contains information in private databases that can be accessed through the Internet but can’t be indexed by search engines. For instance, government agencies, universities, and other organizations have private information databases that weren’t created for the general public.

Unlike the deep web, the dark web is a collection of websites that can be publicly accessed, but the IP addresses of the servers that run them are hidden. Despite the fact that any Internet user can visit dark web sites, it’s very hard to find out who is behind them and can’t be accessed through search engines. Their identity is completely hidden with the help of the TOR encryption tool.

In fact, the dark web is a part of the deep web. But the deep web also includes all user databases, registration-required web forums, online payments, webmail pages, etc. Almost 90% of the online content is blocked from Google’s view because it requires a username and password to access.

To sum up, the deep web can be accessed with any web browser, but it can’t be indexed by search engines, while the dark web can be accessed without special browsers or software configurations like Tor.

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