What Is The Deep Web?
You have probably heard of the deep web around the internet, on television, and maybe even in the news. Do you know what it is though? Probably not. The concept of the deep web isn’t as mysterious as it seems; however, the contents can be. Let’s take a look at what the deep web is.
The basic internet is what we use every day. We access it by putting in simple web addresses. This part of the internet is incredibly easy to access. This is because it is the indexed part of the World Wide Web. These websites are found by search engines following links around the internet.
Normal websites that you visit are part of what we commonly refer to as the World Wide Web or WWW. However, for a discussion on the deep web, a better name would be the surface web. The surface web refers to the websites that you see on the surface of the internet. Those that are easy to find.
Now there are plenty of parts of websites that search engines can’t find, despite the fact that they are getting smarter and smarter. For example, a search engine can’t access closed databases, use other search engines, navigate libraries, or find websites that have no external links.
Want some examples of deep web content that a search engine can’t find? Take a look.
- City, County, or State court record databases
- Other legal documents
- Scientific reports (sometimes)
- Medical licensing databases
- Medical records
- Pricing and scheduling databases not shared with search engines
- Other governmental databases
- Login areas
But this is only a small portion of what is on the deep web. The deep web also contains websites where people are a little more concerned with their identity go to converse. This doesn’t mean illegal activity necessary. Some obscure book clubs can be found on the deep web.
When most people think of the deep web they are actually thinking of the dark web. There is a notable difference between the deep web and the dark web. Unlike, the deep web, the dark web isn’t just unindexed, it requires special tools to access. These tools can be downloaded by anyone but not everyone will know how to use them properly.
The most notable dark web browser is Tor. It is an anonymous browser with the side benefit of being able to connect to the dark web.
Most of the illegal activity that gets associated with the deep web is actually in the dark web. You can find content that might not be considered appropriate for all audiences along with guides on how to perform illegal acts. Along with that you can find illegal goods for sale.
A lot of people believe that the dark web is a safe place that is completely anonymous. This belief is not true. The dark web uses nodes to create safe access to different locations. This allows the nodes to see what you are doing and to potentially inject malware into your computer. And those are the parts of the dark web controlled by the hackers and computer experts. The NSA and other government agencies still have tools for tracking dark web communication and movement. This includes taking dark web hardware in order to track the users who have accessed it.
The distinction between the dark web and the deep web is slightly more blurred than that. The dark web is actually a small part of the overall deep web which is the majority of the internet. Everyday websites that you find on the surface web are only a small portion of the World Wide Web. Estimates put the deep web as making up well over 95% of the internet.
If you are interested in the internet there is typically no harm to exploring the deep web. However, it is always prudent to be safe when doing so. Unless you are experienced in computers and networks, then it is probably best that you keep away from the dark web. It is a place where you are likely to get in trouble in more than one way. Most of the content on the dark web is not legal in the United States or many of the other major countries in the world.