What we access on the internet is just 3-4% of the entire World Wide Web and it is known as Surface web. You read that right. Yes! There is much more stuff available on the internet which we cannot access or look up using Google or Bing. So, where can we find this other 96-97% of hidden content on the internet? The answer is Deep web/Dark web.
Deep web and Dark web are two different things, the Dark web is a part of the Deep web and accounts for a small portion of what’s available in it. This article briefly explains you what these both things are and how to access this hidden content on the internet.
Deep web: It is a part of the web which we cannot access using our regular browsers. The Deep web is enormous, and it is estimated that the content available in the Deep web is approximately 1000-5000 times the content available inSurface web. The uses of Deep web can be categorized into two things, one being Obscurity and the other is Authentication.
- Obscurity is nothing but the inability to locate an URL using Google or Bing, by adding a suitable robots.txt file to a website prevents it from popping up on the results page when you look it up using regular search engines. This makes the website accessible in the Deep web and not anywhere else.
- Authentication means you need valid login credentials in order to access a website. Although the sites such as Netflix and Facebook ask its users for valid login details, the sites available in the Deep web use much more sophisticated process and makes sure its IP address is hidden.
Dark web: Most of the netizens are aware of this term as it is widely used in movies and tv shows when they need to refer to some illegal activity on the internet. The Dark web contains corporate data, weapons & drugs selling sites, child pornography, assassins you can hire, illegal trades, and much more prohibited stuff. But you can use the Dark web for some good things too like joining a community which match your interests, it has to be legal though. Journalists use the Dark web in most countries to publish information to the public without getting caught and it is a great place for whistle blowers (people who leak data without the authorization of the governments or companies).
Similar to the Deep web, you cannot access Dark web using regular browsers and it requires a special browser called TOR (The Onion Router).
The Onion Router Network(TOR): There are several other networks, but none has as much as users as the TOR network has. TOR network requires a TOR browser and it allows users to access encrypted pages which end with (.onion). Anonymity is the biggest advantage of using a TOR browser and you can also use it to access general stuff like Facebook and YouTube. The browsing activity and the IP address of the user is encrypted through a series of volunteer-operated servers called nodes.
If you are very eager to access deep/dark web, watch some videos on YouTube and learn more about how to safely access it. As there are numerous cases of people getting their computers hacked and cases of identity theft.
Some interesting articles about Dark web and the TOR