• Well if you are a tech enthusiast, you must have come across these words just like I have a lot of times! But I had never looked so deeply into finding out the differences as I thought deep web and darknet are the same, but it’s not. So, let’s understand the difference between Surface Web, Deep Web, Dark Web and Darknet. Also understand what darknet browsers are needed to enter darkweb and darknet.


What is Surface Web?

  • Let me tell you one thing, if you are reading this blog then you are exploring the surface part of the web. The websites, webpages and information that you find using web search engine like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. only portray that you are exploring just the surface of the web. Search Engines use the crawling process to index the webpages. Thus, the general public access only surface web. Now, let’s go little deeper.


Did you know?

  • 4% of the content is only available for the general public in the entire ocean of the web.


What is Deep Web?

  • The content that you cannot find using the search engine is termed as deep web. For example- If you search for something specific in the search engine it will give you many links and you will only find the content that you are looking for after clicking those links. Every website has its own search box. Thus the search engine’s search is limited to navigate the website. It won’t give you the links that are deep inside the website even if your search is specific. You have to go through different websites to find the particular link.
  • In simple terms, there are places in web that cannot be accessed by search engines but can be accessed if you have an address.

Did you know?

  •  96% of the content is available in the entire ocean of web.


What is Dark Web?

  • The data that are purposefully unrevealed and is not attainable through any standard web browsers is termed as dark web. Dark Web is mostly used for illegal and nefarious activities. The content inside Dark Web is usually found using the Tor network.

Did you know?

  • Have you heard of the Silk Road? It is an online black market, infamous for selling and purchasing illegal drugs. In October 2013, FBI shutdown the website and arrested the owner but still in November 2013 Silk Road 2.0 came online. It was shutdown again by the FBI in 2014.


What is Darknet?

  • A different network that is encrypted and is created upon the existing internet is Darknet. It can only be accessed by using some specific configuration of the tools and software.

Darknet browsers:

  • Some of the popular darknet browsers are Freenet, Tor, GNUnet, I2P, OneSwarm, RetroShare, etc.
  • Two types- i. Friend-to-friend networks (used for sharing files using peer-to-peer connection) ii. Privacy networks (such as Tor). Darknet is mainly used for doing illegal activities- computer crime, Purchase or sell illegal goods and services, news leaks, mass surveillance, pirated movies, child pornography, etc.

Difference between Surface Web, Deep Web, Dark Web and Darknet

  Surface Web Deep Web Dark Web Darknet
Description Content that search engine can find. Content that search engine cannot find. Content that are hidden intentionally.

Known as Visible Web, Indexed Web, Indexable Web, Lightnet Invisible Web, Hidden Web, Deep Net

Underbelly of Internet
Constitutes Web Web Web Network
Contents Legal Legal + Illegal Illegal Illegal
Information Found 4% 96%

Browser Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, etc.

Tor Browser Freenet, Tor, GNUnet, I2P, OneSwarm, RetroShare


Note: Dark Web and Darknet are not the same.


Did you know?

  • Tor Browser is not totally secure and has vulnerabilities through which attackers may be able to find who is using a Tor Browser. Maximizing the Tor Browser can reveal the window and screen size.
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