Deep web, dark web, darknet and surface web — what is the difference?

What associations arise when you hear about the “deep web” or “deep web”? That hackers are sitting there, and it’s better for a mere mortal not to climb there? Then you will probably be surprised to learn that… you use the deep web every day.

The fact is that the term deep web is very often confused with the similar-sounding dark web (dark web) and darknet (dark, shadow network). So often that the “Deep Web” was called a documentary about activity in shadow networks. Let’s try to understand all these varieties of the web and their many names.

Deep web and surface web

For clarity, let’s imagine the Internet as one big city. As in any large city, it has public spaces open to everyone — streets, boulevards, parks. They are mapped, a car or bicycle can drive along them to take a panorama, so any resident can easily find the right house or monument and, if desired, view it on Google or Yandex maps.

On the Internet, such “public” places are called surface web (visible network). These are web pages, documents, media files, web applications and other materials that are quietly indexed by search bots – digital analogues of the machines of cartographers. As a result, all this can be Googled and viewed by any user — for free, without registration and without installing any special programs.

In addition to public, there are private, private zones in the city, where it is impossible to get to without a pass, ticket or invitation. These can be business centers, closed clubs, cinemas, houses and apartments of residents, courtyards. It will not be possible to see what is happening in them on the map. The Network also has a lot of similar places that do not look Yandex from Google, all together, are called the deep web (deep web, deep web, invisible web). This primarily includes all the pages on the Internet that you can’t just take and open — because there is no way for a cartographer bot to get there.

Does the site require you to enter a captcha? The search bot will not be able to do this — at least, the essence of the captcha is just that it could not. Is the article available only by subscription? The bot has neither an account nor money to pay for a subscription and, accordingly, index this article. Can’t read the document if you don’t know the password? The bot does not know this password.

If you can still open something, but you can’t find it, then this is also deep web. Have you noted in your Facebook profile that you want to hide it from search engines? Even if the search bot somehow gets to him, he will have to ignore it. The search engine will not be able to process the content that is generated right at the moment of opening the page and depends on who exactly opens it. For example, personalized offers on the website of an online store – to see them, you need to be a user with certain digital habits, and they will not be shown to the bot.

Finally, the deep web includes all content to which there is not a single link from the visible network. Search bot just doesn’t recognize the existence of such content to, he finds new pages by following links already indexed, the car, Google maps can’t get into the inner courtyard, where there is no entry.

As you can see, the main part of the deep web is a lot of harmless and even useful web pages and documents that most of us use. And there is nothing wrong with the fact that they are hidden from outsiders. Quite the opposite.