The web is one of the most mysterious things across the whole world today. Even if you visit a million websites, you will come across something new each and every time you access the internet.
The internet is known as an endless sea of knowledge and the saying is not false by any counts. There are currently over 640 million websites that you can easily access at any instance on the website. But is this the actual depth of the internet?
The simple answer – NO. The internet runs way deeper than that number. There are a number of deep web sites, links, databases, and records which are not accessible to you.
If you have been wondering about these things, you would have surely come across the terms – Surface Web, Deep Web, and the Dark Web. While most people use the latter two interchangeably, it is very important to understand the basic difference between them.
The Tip of the Iceberg – The Surface Web
The phrase ‘Tip of the Iceberg’ perfectly summarizes the Surface web. This portion of the internet comprises of the above mentioned 640 million active websites. These are the websites that you can access and use.
The Surface web became a part of the Web when Tim Berner-Lee invented the first web browser way back in 1990. No matter what search engine you use – Google, Bing, Yahoo – whatever you see, buy, read on the internet forms the basis of the Surface web. While 640 million may sound a very big number to you, it only forms about 5% of the actual web content.
The Deeper we go down – Deep Web
In comparison to the Surface web which forms about 5% of the total web, the deep web makes up about 90% of the total web content.
According to various estimates, the Deep web could be anywhere between 500 to 5000 times bigger than the surface web. To put things into perspective, you can find about 20 Terabytes of data on the surface web alongside one billion documents. But this number pales into comparison to the deep web which has about 7500 TB of data left unindexed by the search engines.
The deep web has been a part of the web since its conception. It forms everything which the surface web isn’t. Most of the things on the deep web are things that search engines will find it difficult to reach.
The stuff on the deep web is not indexed by search engines but that doesn’t mean they are inaccessible. You can still access them, but you will need a different method. Here is a step by step guide to accessing the deep web.
These unindexed files include all those things which shouldn’t be available to the general public. It could be anything – Confidential Government files, hospital records, bank databases and details and even your emails as well. Anything that is password protected and doesn’t show up on your search engine when you search for it is a part of the deep web.
There is another part of the deep web which most people overlook. This is known as the dark web.
This is where it gets darker – the Dark Web
The dark web is a very small part of the deep web. At the last count, there were less than 1000 active websites on the Dark web. However, this part of the internet community is usually associated with a number of illegal content and illicit activities.
The dark web is famous for the home of a number of websites that help users to trade drugs and weapons amongst each other illegally. You can find a number of websites on the dark web where you can hire the services of a pain killer or assassins to kill someone.
There are websites distributing child pornography which is banned in almost all the countries while you can also hire the services of hackers which can hack into almost all the websites on the web.
The Bottom Line
The web goes way down deep than you can ever imagine. Most of the people only know about the surface web and have access to them. There is no reason for anyone to go beyond the surface web as you will get all the information you need on the surface web itself.
However, there are tech enthusiasts who love to explore different parts of the internet. The deep web is a relatively safer place on the internet than the dark web. There is no provision declaring it illegal to access the deep web illegal, but you will need to exercise caution as you might be targeted by a number of spammers and hackers running their websites on the deep web.
To access the dark web, you will need the help of the TOR browser. While it is not illegal to surf to the dark web as well, you should avoid indulging in any of the multiple illegal activities on the dark web as it may lead you to trouble.