Darknet vs Dark Web vs Deep Web vs Surface Web — Different Parts Of The World Wide Web

Darknet vs Dark Web vs Deep Web vs Surface Web — Different Parts Of The World Wide Web

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Darknet, Dark web, Deep web and Surface web — every tech enthusiasts had come across these terminologies without knowing its actual meaning. Sometimes even the experts get confused with these terms too.

We hope this post is going to  clear some air and help you to understand these often confused terms.

So what is the difference between Darknet, Dark Web, Deep web and Surface Web ?

In short we can say they are the different parts of  the World Wide Web (WWW) where websites have different access rights. And Darknet is the darker side of the web while Surface web is the lighter side.

Did you know only about 4% of internet is accessible by through search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo and remaining 96% of web contents only accessible with special tools and software – browsers and other protocol beyond direct links or credentials.

So guess how vast is the darker side of World Wide Web where hides online criminals, military secrets, hacker profiles, black markets like Silk Road, drugs, hitmen etc

So we will starts explain from darker side to lighter side :

Darknet vs Dark Web vs Deep Web vs Surface Web — The Difference


Darknet And Dark Web :

Darknet is an overlay network — a network built on top of the internet — which has been designed specifically for anonymity. Means darknet is meant to be hidden.  Two typical darknet types are friend-to-friend networks and privacy networks such as TorI2PFreenetDN42 etc.

Now you may confused — why I put “Darknet And Dark Web” as heading.

Actually darknet and dark web are related to each other. As we already told darknet is a network built over internet where term dark web refers to websites on a darknet. Dark web are pages on servers that cannot be accessed by a search engine (or indeed, a user) without an approprately permissioned account. Large scale illegal activity are happens in dark web.

So how we can access darknet or dark web ?

As it is restricted to ordinary browsers we need some special tools to access the darker side of the web. And the the most well-known and most-used one out there is — Tor, short for The Onion Router, which routes traffic to dark web sites through layers of encryption to allow for anonymity.

Tor encrypts the data, including the destination, multiple times and sends it through a circuit of randomly selected Tor relays. Each relay decrypts a layer of encryption to reveal only the next relay in order to pass the remaining encrypted data on. The final Tor relay decrypts the innermost layer of encryption and sends the original data to its destination without revealing, or even knowing, the source address — quite complicated, right!!! Just remember we use TOR to access dark web.

Also Dark Web sites do go down from time to time, due to their dark nature. But if you want good customer service, stay out of the dark.

Deep Web :

Now moving forward — above dark web there exists deep web. Deep web is also on the darker side of the internet because like dark web, deep web contents cannot be found or directly accessed via web search engines like Google or Bing.

As we already mentioned 96% of online content is found in the deep web and the darknet. The deep web includes many very common uses such as web mail and online banking but also paid for services with a paywall such as video on demand, and many more. Very little illegal activities are also happens in deep web.

Unlike dark web, deep web doesn’t requires TOR like special browsers. Instead requires a direct link to access, sites that are purposefully designed to keep search crawlers out.

Surface Web :

Surface web — also called the Visible Web, Indexed Web, Indexable Web or Lightnet — is that portion of the World Wide Web that is readily available to the general public and searchable with standard web search engines. It is the opposite of the deep web.

Summarized Difference Between Darknet, Dark Web, Deep Web and Surface Web :


Darknet vs Dark Web vs Deep Web vs Surface Web
Darknet/Dark Web Restricted to special browsers
Not indexed for Search Engines
Large scale illegal activity
Unmeasurable due to nature
Deep Web Accessible by password, encryption, or through gateway software
Not indexed for Search Engines
Little illegal activity outside of Dark Web
Huge in size and growing exponentially
Surface Web Accessible
Indexed for Search Engines
Little illegal activity
Relatively small in size

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