Here’s What You Need To Know About The Deep Web Vs The Dark Web

Disclaimer: This article is meant for educational purposes only, and we do not support or endorse any activity on the darknet and its related functionality.

What if I told you that there are places on the internet that Google simply can’t access? In fact, some websites can only be accessed using specific software and internet browsers. So, if you’re anything like us, you should be slightly alarmed by this — especially due to the content which dominates the deep web. Without further ado, let’s dive in!

Let’s start with the basics.

Deep web vs dark web: What’s the difference?

Oftentimes, you hear the terms “deep web” and “dark web” used interchangeably, but they are not the same. The deep web refers to any pages, websites, folders, or content on the internet that isn’t indexed or accessible through traditional search engines and website crawlers.

Picture the deep web this way: A boat that is sailing merrily on a trip around the ocean is on the surface of the sea. So now, let’s say we’re dropping an anchor. The said anchor can only go so far down due to the massive depth of the ocean. In our analogy, that massive and vast depth of the ocean, underneath the ship and the anchor, is the deep web. The surface of the internet is only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.


Similar to the depths of the ocean, the deep web is an infinite space on the internet. The darknet is also located there, but it requires specific software and browsers to access its hidden content. It’s nearly impossible to truly locate someone via the deep web. However, take note — the FBI has successfully caught many criminals on the darknet and shut down a lot of illegal operations.

Image credit by Ranjithsiji / CC BY-SA

So how can you access the dark web?

One way to access the dark web is using a Tor browser. Tor is a web browser much like the ones we use daily such as Chrome, Safari, or Firefox. So many people use Tor daily while browsing the surface web (normal internet).

Image credit by Jeppson99 / CC BY-SA

However, the difference between standard browsers and Tor browser is that Tor doesn’t stick to one IP address. It also doesn’t have a direct route to your computer through the internet. Instead, it uses deep paths of random servers that are fully encrypted. 

Is the darknet illegal?

The use of Tor (The Onion Router) as a normal web browser isn’t illegal. However, engaging in or eliciting illegal services on the darknet is illegal and carries extreme consequences. Darknet is home to many websites that promote criminal activities, such as selling drugs, weapons, firearms, prescription medication, web hacking, materials of hate speech, fraudulent services, and many more. Hence, it’s a dangerous place to spend time in.

Not everything on the darknet is illegal and dangerous though. You may find interesting blogs, chats, forums, and educational information on any topic that you would normally find when exploring the surface web. However, it’s probably best to stick to the websites accessible through regular web surfing.

The darknet is real, highly active, and more dangerous than people think. So stay safe, be aware, and educate others about the dangers of the internet. What’s more, if you suspect someone is diving too deep online, make sure you help them to prevent a potential disaster from occurring.

Featured image via geralt on Pixabay

Originally written by Dave Nilsson, founder of The Converted Click, a specialist SEO company based in London, Uk.

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