Most often, dark web writers and users use the deep web and dark web interchangeably. This common mistake has sent the wrong perception that these two are mere synonymous Unfortunately, they are absolutely different though they have something in common.
The dark web is popularly known as a location on the internet that keeps users anonymous and hide websites and its activities from the reach of search engines. This definition is true to a certain degree. Others attempt to point out the difference between deep web and the dark web by saying “dark web is the subset of deep web”, and this is also true. This article will attempt to explain the difference between these two popular words used interchangeably.
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The word “deep web” was coined by Michael K. Bergman in 2001 as a search indexing term. Since 2009, it has become very famous following the news surrounding the use of dark web for illegal stuffs, being used synonymously with dark web. The deep web is part of the World Wide Web whose contents are not indexed by the normal search engine and hidden from the surface web.
Deep Web contents are hidden behind the HTTP forms. To access these contents, users mostly enter the direct URL to the content or IP address, and others also prefer to access them by entering passwords and other security methods. Deep Web contents include online banking, webmail, restricted access social media pages and profiles, contents that users can only access after making payments, and forums that can be accessed after going through registration.
The Deep Web is hidden from Google, and cannot be accessed unless a registration is made. Social media and online magazines and newspapers that need subscription and registration to access are hidden in the deep web.
Dark web is defined as the World Wide Web that exists on the internet. It uses the internet but requires a special software or authorization or configuration to access. The dark web cannot be accessed using the normal internet browsers. Contents found on the dark web can only be accessed by using The Onion Router (TOR) and the Invisible Internet Project (I2P).
The TOR and the I2P play different roles to access the dark web. The TOR ensures an anonymous access of the internet whiles the I2P ensures the anonymous hosting of websites. Due to the layered encryption system, the location of users cannot be tracked.
Due to the nature of the dark web, a lot of criminals have taken advantage to conduct trade while staying anonymous. The dark web has hosted websites that facilitate trades of goods and services ranging from drugs, arms, stolen credit card sales and hacking services. Also, the dark web facilitate legit trade and services as journalists take advantage of the nature to interview individuals from countries where their communications are monitored. BBC recently launched its dark web version to ensure that readers from restricted countries can get access to information.
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Though the deep web and the dark web are different, they have a common function of keeping contents from the surface web, or from being indexed by the normal search engines such as Google and Bing. Deep web is a general term that comprises of the dark web and contents that requires registration to access. This means it is not necessarily about the news related to the buying and selling of drugs on the dark web, neither does it rotate around using TOR to access all contents.
A part of the deep web can be accessed by just entering a direct link, while another part can be accessed by using a special software or configuration.
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