The Deep Web vs. The Dark Web

The Deep Web

The deep web is commonly known as the invisible web or the hidden web. The deep web is surprisingly large taking up 90% of the internet which is estimated to be 7.5 petabytes which most of that is made up of innocent content such as emails, logins, and subscription websites; generally, anything that requires a login will be stored on the deep web. 

The deep web contains over 90% of the information on the internet but is not able to be accessed by surface web users.

How does it work?

In simple terms, the Deep Web is like an early version of the Internet.  The file and wiki structure, which are artifacts of early versions of the Web, are common there.

The Deep Web is also slow. Several sites on the Tor network (by far, the most popular network on the Deep Web) take a long time to load and have performance issues, such as slow or timed-out connections.

This is because it lacks the sophisticated infrastructure regularly employed by large tech companies, such as Google and Facebook, to speed algorithmic processing and return quick results. Instead, the Deep Web employs a network of relay computers that randomize IP addresses.

Dark Web

There is a very small percentage of the deep web where secret, and sometimes nefarious, activity is taking place, often referred to as the “dark web” or the “darknet” a place known for criminals being present. The dark web is estimated to take up around 6% of the internet.

The dark web is comprised of many different services such as

  • Botnets
  • Fraud Services
  • Hoaxed Content
  • Scams and phishing
  • Illegal Pornography
  • Terrorism
  • Puzzles (Leaving clues anonymously)
  • Drug trafficking
  • Stolen credit card information
  • Other illegal activities

Access

To get into the dark web you will need a VPN (Virtual Private Network). The VPN masks your computers physical IP address by using a different IP address in another location and helps avoid networks that might block Tor exit and entrance nodes. ISP’s are tracking Tor usage and giving the data to law enforcement. If you are using Tor it is assumed you are accessing the Dark Web for illegal purposes. A VPN will prevent ISP’s from seeing that you are using Tor.

Tor may not be the only way to access the deep web, but it’s certainly the easiest to learn. Originally developed with help from the U.S. Navy to allow people to read the internet anonymously, You will then have to understand the onion network. A [dot]onion address is a special domain suffix for anonymous websites, and [dot]onion website links are not what your typical links would look like, instead they are just a bunch of random letters and numbers such as this one, http://scihub22266oqcxt.onion/. Now, if you were to copy that into your normal browsers such as chrome or firefox it would not work, but if you were to copy and paste that link into the onion browser it would take you to the website which is why it needs a program like Tor. Lastly, you will want to close all your internet related programs and start up your VPN then you should be good to go, but be warned the Deep Web is a pretty boring place.

VPN’s

All VPN’s listed here are high speed, do not log traffic, a 7-day money-back guarantee, and have the highest encryption available.

  • IPVanish is a top rated service that costs $77.99 annually which is 46% off the regular price. They also have 3 months and 1-month options.
  • NordVPN is a highly rated service that costs $69.00 annually which is 52% off the regular price. 6 month and 1-month plans are also available.
  • PUREVPN is also highly rated and has the highest bandwidth of the three services listed. The plan options are 2 years for $2.91 a month, 6 months for $8.95 a month, and month-by-month for $11.95

Other Things to Consider

  • Don’t use your real name if you sign up for anything
  • Use an email address that is specifically for the Dark Web, and don’t use your real name when creating this email address
  • Never use this special email address for personal or business correspondence
  • Website security is far from a top priority, hence the fake name and special email address
  • Don’t post images because the metadata in the image could have your coordinates, name, and camera type
  • The majority of the Dark Web is hacker forums and Bitcoin mining
  • Hugs not drugs