In recent times, there has been enhancements in the percentage of people visiting the Dark Web. It is mainly because of its secretive nature. Most people don't know about the dangers and simply surf it without any knowledge. In this article, we will discuss briefly about what Deep Web and Dark Web are in reality. We will discuss how they differ from each other. We will also discuss whether it is illegal to visit the dark web.
To understand the dark and the deep web, you should know about the Levels of the Internet because they both are part of it. The internet can be broadly classified into three major levels − the Surface Web, the Deep Web, and the Dark Web.
You might have heard about the Search Engine crawlers. If not, let me quickly explain it. Crawlers are searching bots that collect information on the website and index it on the search engines. So, whenever you search for something on the Internet, the results which are shown are the work of the crawlers. All search engines have their own crawlers. They play an essential role in the classification of the websites into the three levels of the internet. Let's discuss different levels briefly.
The surface web is the transparent level of the Internet. Any website which the general public can access without any permissions or passwords comes under the surface web. Basically, the websites which get indexed by the search engine crawlers are surface-level websites. For example, if you came to this blog post by searching the web, then this blog is successfully crawled, and hence it is on the surface web.
According to Wikipedia, the surface web covers only 10% of the whole Internet. While some other sources claim that it is only about 3-4%.
The deep web, as the name suggests, is the hidden part of the Internet world. The websites or webpages which are forbidden to get indexed by the crawlers or the newly created websites which are still not in the range of crawlers come under the deep web.
Think about your social media accounts as you see them. Your account can be accessed only with the help of the user id and password that you have set. You don't want anyone else to get access to it and make changes. So, in order to protect your privacy, these pages are restricted to get indexed by the crawlers, and hence they are hidden from the Internet world. Similarly, there are various government secret files that can't be made public, so they too come under the deep web.
When you log in to your Netflix account, you are using the deep web and similarly with other subscription sites. You can easily reach to deep web using common browsers. So, it is clear that accessing the deep web is not necessarily illegal. In fact, looking at the current trends, people spend more time on the deep web than the surface web.
Till now, we know that the surface web is anything that a search engine can reach to and the deep web is anything that the search engine can't reach. Now let's discuss the dark web. It is technically the part of the deep web but is deeper. It is mostly used for carrying out illegal activities.
Dark Web is inaccessible by the common browsers we use. That is because the user has to be totally anonymous while entering the dark web. Therefore, the special The Onion Router (Tor) Browser is used to get access to the dark web. Tor browser is developed for masking the identity of the user as they can't be tracked by their Internet Protocol (IP) address.
It is worth noting that whenever you access any website on the World Wide Web, you can be tracked by your IP address.
Dark Web is known as the paradise for hackers and criminals. It is full of malicious activities. It is mostly famous for the following −
Marijuana and other illegal drugs seller
Stolen Credit Card Numbers
Fake College Degrees
Unregistered fire weapons and ammunition
Selling of Uranium and other banned substances
Hacked Government Data
Video footage and recipes on how to prepare human meat.
Few rare or banned books
While going through the list, you might have noticed that almost everything the dark web contains is illegal. You should never visit it out of curiosity, or you might land yourself in deep trouble. Though technically, it is not illegal just to visit there, trading there is obviously dangerous and unlawful. Out of billions of Internet users, only 3% use the dark web.