Difference between Deep Web and Dark Web

When we surf the Internet, the webpages that we see and the contents that we download generally come from the "surface web". This is the part of the world wide web that is accessible to all with an Internet connection. The Surface Web is huge, but in reality, it covers only 10% of the whole Internet.

Beside the Surface Web that is transparent and accessible to all, there are two more levels of the Internet that remain hidden in the background. These two are known as the Deep Web and the Dark Web.

The deep web contains the web content that is not accessible to search engines. For example, banking information, government confidential data, data present on clouds, etc. Data on a deep web can be accessed only after proper authentication.

Dark Web is the web where the website owners are anonymous. Dark Web is often used for illegal activities. Dark web cannot be accessed via normal browsers/search engines. One would need to have specialized software to access the dark web.

Read through this article to find out more about Deep Web and Dark Web and how the two are different from each other.

What is Deep Web?

Deep Web is the Web that search engines cannot access, such as confidential government data, financial data, cloud data, and so on. These are sensitive and private information that should be kept out of the public eye.

Deep Web is used to allow a specified set of individuals the access to a given resource. Users on the Deep Web do, in fact, bury the data on purpose.

The Deep Web is a part of the Internet that is not indexed by regular online search engines. The "surface web," on the other hand, is open to anybody with an Internet connection. Michael K. Bergman, a computer scientist, is credited with coining the word in 2001 as a search-indexing term.

The Deep Web includes many common uses such as webmail, online banking, private or otherwise restricted access to social-media pages and profiles, some web forums that require registration for viewing the content, and services that users must pay for and are protected by paywalls, such as video on demand and some online magazines. The deep Web's material can be found and accessed using a direct URL or IP address, but getting past public-website pages may need a password or other security access.

What is Dark Web?

The Dark Web is a part of the World Wide Web that resides on darknets, which are Internet-based overlay networks that require special software, settings, or authorization to access. Private computer networks can interact and do business anonymously on the Dark Web without revealing identifying information like a user's location.

The Dark Web refers to encrypted online material that is not searchable by traditional search engines. Although the darknet provides anonymity, a service was created that allowed users to host websites on the darknet while remaining anonymous. This attracts those who engage in criminal activities in order to sell goods without being detected. A website dubbed the Silk Road, which existed on the darknet as TOR, was used to sell drugs and was taken down by the FBI.

Due to the multilayer encryption mechanism, darknet users' identities and whereabouts remain anonymous and cannot be monitored. Users' data is routed through a large number of intermediary servers using darknet encryption technology, which conceals users' identities and ensures anonymity.

Difference between Deep Web and Dark Web

The following table highlights the important differences between the Deep Web and Dark Web.

KeyDeep WebDark Web
ConceptThe deep web is that part of the world wide web where the contents cannot be indexed by search engines.The dark web is that part of the world wide web where the data resides on the darknet. One needs to have specialized software, configurations or authorization access to access the data on the Dark Web.
UsageThe deep web is used by organizations like banks, corporates, etc.The dark web is a hub of illegal activities. All kinds of criminals remain active on the dark web.
IndexingThe contents of Deep Web are not indexed by a search engine.The contents of Dark Web are accessible on personal networks/peer to peer configurations, with special authorization access.
RegulationWebsites are invisible to the world as public access is not enabled.Dark Web is not regulated and the IP addresses remain hidden.
AccessOne can access the contents of Deep Web with a valid username/password or other such authentication mechanisms.One needs to have a specific set of software to access the contents of Dark Web.


The deep web is the hidden part of the Internet world. It contains the websites and webpages which are forbidden to get indexed by the search engines or it may contain newly created websites which are still not in the range of the search engines.

Dark Web is inaccessible by the common browsers that we use because they can track the IP address. One needs to have a special browser like "Tor" which allows the users to remain totally anonymous while entering the dark web. Dark Web is the den of hackers and criminals, and almost everything that it contains is illegal.