[Source: This article was published in aofirs.org by Lawrence William – Uploaded by the Member of Broadreader]

Before learning about the Dark web and Deep web, let us learn first about the surface web.

What is the Surface Web?

The surface web also called the visible web, or Indexed Web is the web that we use on a day-to-day basis. We are using this web to conduct our regular activities. We are all immersed in the surface web. It is where our daily online activities take place, and what most people consider the Internet.

What is the Deep web?

The Deep Web is worldwide Web content that is not included as a part of the Surface Web. It is hidden from the outside world, so standard search engines do not index it. It is the largest expanding category of new information on the Internet. The total quantity of the deep web is 1000-2000X greater than the quantity of the Surface Web.

It is defined by Dictionary.com as “the portion of the internet which is hidden and not shown from conventional search engines, as by encryption; the aggregate of unindexed websites.”

What is the Dark Web?

The dark Web is part or division of the Deep web, that is intentionally hidden from normal search engines. All its data is encrypted. To access it, you need special software, configurations, or authorization. It uses masked IP addresses, which are accessible only with a specific web browser. For example, Tor, I2P, Freenet, etc.


  • The deep web is usually used for legit purposes that require anonymity but the dark web is sometimes used for illegal activities.
  • To access the Deep Web you require a password, and encryption whereas to access the dark web you require Tor Project or a similar browser.
  • Both the Deep and Dark Web is hidden and not shown to conventional search engines.
  • The deep Web is larger than the Surface web on the other hand Dark web size is unmeasurable.

Difference between the Deep Web and Dark Web

Deep Web Vs Dark Web

Here is the main difference between the Dark and Deep web:

Deep Web Dark Web
The deep web is the portion of the Internet that is hidden and not shown by conventional search engines. The dark web is a subset of the deep web which is intentionally hidden.
To access this, you require a password, encryption, or specialty software. To access this, you require Tor Project or a similar browser.
It is larger than the Surface web. It is a subset of the Deep Web, but its size is unmeasurable.
They are usually used for legit purposes that require anonymity. Sometimes used for illegal activities.
It includes all unindexed web pages. It only includes a subset of unindexed web pages inside the deep web.
You can access it with a VPN. Need lots of precautions to access this data.

Applications of Dark Web

Here are important applications of the Dark Web:

  • It is widely used by the internal sites of major companies, associations, and trade organizations
  • The school, college, and university intranet systems use this to access online databases
  • Password-protected secure websites with strict members-only access
  • You can access some individual accounts for social media, email, banking, and more.
  • It is also used for social media, blogging, text, and voice chat.
  • To find hidden Yahoo Answers.
  • Provide public records and certificates, and library system indexes.
  • Used for computer and technology skills classes and courses.

Applications of Deep Web

Here are important applications of the Deep Web:

  • Mainly Used for Military Purposes
  • Scientist
  • It is also used by businesspersons and policeman
  • Journalists and whistleblowers
  • Political Protesters, and Anti-Censorship Advocacy Groups
  • Residents of Oppressive Political Regimes

Why not use Deep Web?

Here are the cons/drawback of the Deep Web:

  • The deep Web search engine is slower than standard search engines.
  • Searching the Deep Web also needs a precise search string.
  • The Deep Web does not work as smoothly
  • Deep Web searches also may return sensitive personal Information from normally restricted databases.
  • It may create ethical dilemmas and leave individuals prone to fraud and help you to identify the theft.

Why use Dark Web?

Here are the pros/benefits of the Dark web

  • The dark web provides an anonymous forum for free expression for people in countries that suffer from censorship, oppression, and intimidation.
  • For businesses dealing with sensitive information, cybersecurity is paramount.

Onion Routing

Onion routing is a technique that is used for anonymous communication over a computer network. In this type of routing, messages are encapsulated in layers of encryption, analogous to layers of an onion.

Onion Routing
Onion Routing

Onion is a pseudo-top-level domain name designating an anonymous onion service. It is reachable to you only using the Tor network. It encrypts data through a series of network nodes called onion routers, where each layer “peels” one by one and uncovers the data of the destination.

Here, the sender remains anonymous. It only knows the location of the immediately preceding and following nodes. This encrypted data is transmitted through a series of network nodes known as an onion router. So when the last layer is decrypted, the message arrives at its destination.

In the entire process, the sender remains unknown and only aware of the location of the immediately preceding following nodes.

What is Tor Project?

Tor is an anonymous browsing network. It uses the Onion routing method. In this method, messages and communication are encapsulated in layers of encryption, like onion layers, so it is hard to detect. It is a special kind of browser that provides individuals the ability to communicate anonymously.


Tor project
Tor project

The Tor browser can run on your computer, which helps to keep you safe on the Internet. It also protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network.

It prevents other people from accessing your Internet connection and also prevents websites from knowing about your physical location.

Tor directs Internet traffic consisting of more than seven thousand relays. This helps you to hide a user’s location and also stops anyone from conducting traffic analysis or network surveillance.

Best practices for using the Dark web

Here are some important best practices while using the Dark web:

  • Do not visit any illegal sites.
  • Do not access any illegal material you may expose to the viruses.
  • You should not download any files or software from the dark web.
  • Do not download any files as many files in this environment contain malware.
  • Limit your search only to serious, pain-taking research, not to simple questions and basic web navigation.
  • Trust no one in the Deep Web.
  • Cover or disconnect your webcam lenses.
  • Download nothing from these sites.
  • For extra protection, disable java scripts.
  • Do not use U torrent or any other torrenting services while surfing on the dark web.