Did you know there are three layers to the internet? We unpack what goes into them, with specific focus on the deep web and dark web.
The internet is seemingly endless and nobody knows its exact size for sure. While it offers you the benefit of connecting with others around the world, it can also be a dangerous neighbourhood to explore unprotected.
In this article, we take a look at the deep web and the dark web, and the key differences between the two. Once you have a clear idea of the dangers out there, you’ll be better prepared to avoid related cyberthreats.
Want to safely browse the internet? Then a data-monitoring tool like DigiGuard will help to keep your personal information safe.
The three layers of internet
To understand the deep and dark web, you first need to understand the surface web. Google, social media, apps, web pages, videos, music, images – what most people know as the internet or World Wide Web is the surface layer.
This surface web makes up only about 5% of the entire web. Simply put, it consists of everything that can be found by a regular search engine like Google, Bing or Yahoo.
The rest of the internet constitutes a virtually endless patchwork of hidden (and often malicious) information. This world hidden beneath the surface is what’s known as the deep web. And within the deep web lives the dark web.
What is the deep web?
The sheer magnitude of the deep web is astounding. In essence, the deep web is hidden data that makes the surface web possible. It includes all the data hidden behind paywalls, passwords and databases, away from search engine crawlers.
The deep web is also a vast open-source environment, which means its codes can be viewed by anyone. It typically contains password-protected or dynamic pages and encrypted networks.
Now, let’s dig even deeper…
What is the dark web?
The dark web forms part of the larger deep web. It’s made up of content that is not indexed by search engines. The dark web is the deepest layer of the deep web. Let that sink in for a moment.
It works on encrypted connections and allows users to bypass censorship and remain anonymous in their activities and engagements.
Amongst those who know how to use it, the dark web enables anonymous communication on the internet. However, accessing the dark web is not possible with the use of regular browsers. It requires specialised software, like Tor or I2P to access.
Using the dark web, faceless surfers can hide their identity and perform malicious actions without consequence or fear of prosecution from authorities.
Now here’s a shocking fact: approximately 2.5 million users access the dark web every day.
They connect to this underground space using specialised technology like the Tor Network – also known as The Onion Router.
Key differences between the deep web and dark web
The deep web and dark web harbour a massive source of data content and communication that often goes undetected and untraced. Traditional search engines offer no visibility into these channels, making them a prime market for bad actors looking to share or sell proprietary or personal information.
Here’s a summary of the key differences between the two layers:
- The largest portion of the internet (95% of the internet hidden beneath the surface)
- A space only accessible with specialised software like Tor or I2P
- Lives within the deep web
- Hosted on darknets
- Encrypted: Only accessible using certain passwords
- Used predominantly for illegal data sharing
Digimune can help protect you from dark web threats
Without protection in place when searching the surface web, it is extremely likely that you will encounter a cyberattack at some point. With so many cyberattacks aimed at both individuals and businesses, it’s not a case of if you’ll get targeted, but when.
Digimune is a cloud-based service that provides next-generation digital risk protection. We safeguard families and businesses from digital threats across all publicly available platforms. AI-powered and backed by world-leading antivirus authority Norton, we offer comprehensive cyber protection for individuals, families, and businesses.
Want to speak to an expert? Connect with us for more about how we can help you curb cybercrime.