When you start to learn more about the internet, you begin to hear certain phrases tossed around that may confuse you. Isn’t using the internet as simple as typing something in on Google? What are all these terms being thrown around? This is especially true for phrases like “surface web” and “deep web” that you might have heard before but do not understand.

Don’t worry! Let’s break down the terms in order to properly explain to you what the Deep Web is…and why it may not be what it appears!

Deep Web vs. Surface Web vs. Dark Web

The first thing to understand is that the internet is essentially broken down into three parts. There is the surface or visible web, the deep or invisible web, and the dark web. The surface web is what you use every single day, and the dark web is probably what you think of when you think of black markets and shady deals. The deep web lies somewhere in between those two.

The surface web is what you think of when you think about the internet. You might type in a search on your preferred engine and immediately get thousands of results you can sort through. This also includes social media and the sites you visit each and every day. Believe it or not, the internet does not stop there! In fact, the surface web is the smallest part of the internet – literally only breaking the surface.

The deep web is the level below the surface. The most important thing to understand about the deep web is that it cannot be accessed by standard search engines. You must know the websites directly, most of which are encrypted or password-protected to ensure that only those who are allowed to enter are viewing the site. The deep web can be accessed by The Deep Searches – it also allows you anonymity. It is estimated that the deep web is nearly 500 times larger than the surface internet!

Finally, the dark web is the most hidden part of the internet. It can only be accessed by special software or invitation, making it the most private and untraceable part of the internet. It is true that the dark web is more frequently used for illegal activities, simply because the chances of getting caught are so much smaller operating on untraceable software. That is the difference between the three parts of the internet; now let’s get into the deep web!

Advantages of the Deep Web

People tend to confuse the deep web with the dark web, automatically assuming that it is a place to conduct illegal or harmful activities. This is not really true; yes, crime occurs all over the internet, and that includes the deep web. But many people and companies use the deep web to provide themselves privacy or protect their data. Unlike the surface web, the deep web does not collect your cookies or track your online activity.

Many different figures, from the average citizen to government employees with high clearance, use and enjoy the deep web. Being provided online privacy is unique in today’s age, and companies with customer data to protect usually do so on the deep web. The best part is that it may seem difficult to navigate, but it really isn’t!

Sure, the deep web might not automatically complete your searches or offer recommendations like the surface web, but it keeps your data protected and your activity completely private. As long as you have a private search engine like the one described above and know the websites you are looking for, navigating it is a piece of cake!

Brandon Muniz
Brandon Muniz is a highly-regarded journalist who has written extensively for a variety of influential finance and business publications. He is often asked for his commentary on trade issues of the day, and his expertise is second-to-none. He has won numerous awards for his professional insight into business matters.