The Surface Web, Deep Web, and Dark Web Explained

  • 6 min read

Have you ever heard of the Surface Web, Deep Web, and Dark Web? They are three distinct areas of the internet that you should know about. The Surface Web is the part of the internet we use every day. It’s the part that is indexed by search engines and can be reached through a regular web browser. The Deep Web is the part of the internet that is not indexed by search engines and requires special tools to access. Finally, the Dark Web is a small portion of the Deep Web that can only be accessed by using specialized software and encryption methods. In this guide, we’ll explain what each of these web areas is, how they are used, and why they are important. You’ll also learn how to access them safely and securely. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of the different types of webs and the information they contain. The information described in this article is designed to be informative, we do not recommend accessing the Dark Web.

What is the Surface Web?

The Surface Web is the part of the internet that can be accessed by using a regular web browser. It is the part that is indexed by search engines and can be reached with just a click. You can think of it as the “public internet” that most people are familiar with. It contains the majority of public information, such as news stories, information about businesses, and online product reviews. The Surface Web makes up only about 5% of the web and is what most people think of when they imagine the internet. Even though in terms of percentage it is small, the Surface Web is vast, with millions of websites and trillions of pieces of content. 

So, how do search engines find and organize all that information? The process is actually quite complicated. First, search engines like Google create an algorithm that determines what information should be included in the search results. Then, they create an index that organizes that information based on its relevancy to the user’s search. Essentially, a search engine creates a map of the internet and then places each website on that map. They then store their map and the information they gathered on a server where it can be easily accessed.

What is the Deep Web?

The Deep Web is the part of the internet that cannot be indexed by search engines. While the Surface Web is crawled and indexed by robots, the Deep Web is not. This part of the internet is primarily made up of unstructured data like databases, databases, online shopping carts, and web pages behind logins. All of this information cannot be indexed by search engines because it isn’t meant to be accessed by the general public. These databases are usually behind logins or paywalls and are used by companies to store their data or provide services. Examples of databases you may find on the Deep Web include: 

– Financial data, such as stock market information 

– Medical records and research databases 

– Government and military agency websites 

– Academic journals 

– Shopping carts and eCommerce websites 

The Deep Web makes up about 90% of the internet. It is significantly larger than the Surface Web, but can’t be accessed without special tools. 

What is the Dark Web?

The Dark Web is a small portion of the Deep Web that can only be accessed through special software and encryption methods. Because it can’t be indexed by search engines, the Dark Web is often referred to as the “hidden internet.” The Dark Web contains websites that are behind logins, but these logins are special tools like Tor or VPNs that encrypt your data. They also often require special software to be able to access the sites. The most famous example of a Dark Web site is the Silk Road, a black market that was shut down by the FBI in 2013. Silk Road was a special kind of website where buyers and sellers could trade items anonymously using cryptocurrencies. In order to access these sites, you must use special software like Tor.

How to Access the Deep Web

You can access the Deep Web by using a special tool called a web crawler. A web crawler will go through the internet indexing each website it finds and adding it to its database. These include search engines like Google and Bing but may also include special-case Deep Web crawlers.

You can also get to the Deep Web through password-only-access websites. These include healthcare websites, academic journals, and databases. Once you log in, you will be able to access the information inside. Some of them may require you to create an account first and then request a password to be able to log in.

How to Access the Dark Web

To access the Dark Web, you’ll need to use a special tool called a Tor browser and a VPN (a virtual private network). A Tor browser will allow you to access Dark Web websites by routing your traffic through different computers around the world. It will encrypt your data so that no one can see it and also employ a technique called “onion routing” to make it extremely difficult to trace your IP address. The Tor browser is a very popular tool in countries where internet censorship is common. It is also used by people who want to access websites anonymously.

Safety and Security Considerations

The internet is a vast place with tons of information and opportunities. It is also full of danger. Be aware of what you are clicking on when visiting any part of the web. Do not open any links that are sent to you by strangers as they could hold malware that is activated upon clicking the link. The same goes for downloading files; be very careful when downloading files from any part of the web. Install antivirus software to sanitize any downloads to your computer and avoid downloading files sent to you by random strangers. 

Even when accessing the Surface Web, it’s a good idea to use a VPN to protect your IP location. If you must access the dark web, which we don’t recommend, do so with extreme caution and be sure to research more about the best practices before doing so.


While the Deep Web and Dark Web are objectively more dangerous, it’s important to still practice caution when accessing the Surface Web. You can protect yourself by being careful and responsible when using the internet. Be aware of what you’re clicking on, what information you’re posting, and how you’re protecting your data.

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