Deep Web vs Dark Web: What’s the Difference?

Deep Web vs Dark Web

You’ve probably heard such terms as “deep web” and “dark web.” Maybe you even thought that they referred to the same thing.  The fact is that the deep and dark webs are entirely different entities. Here’s more about what sets them apart. 

The Deep Web

The deep web includes a vast portion of the internet that is not indexed by standard search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo, which only index the surface web. The deep web includes websites and databases that are not easily accessible to the general public. There are different reasons why. Some pages are not indexed, meaning they cannot be found through traditional search engine queries. Others may be behind paywalls or restricted to specific users with login credentials or direct links.

You’ll find a wide range of content and resources within the deep web that are not readily available on the surface web. Examples include medical records, membership websites, fee-based content, paywalled publications, and academic journals. The deep web serves various purposes, such as accessing paid subscriptions like streaming services, logging into online accounts, and making secure online payments.

The Dark Web

The dark web represents a smaller subset of the deep web. It contains anonymous and encrypted communication channels. Unlike the deep web, which can be accessed through standard browsers, the dark web requires special tools like the Tor browser and a VPN (Virtual Private Network). These tools provide users with anonymity while accessing the dark web.

The dark web is infamous for its association with illegal activities and illicit content. It is home to sites that deal with stolen data, such as passwords, credit card numbers, and social security numbers. Drug trafficking websites, forged documents, and whistleblowing platforms are also prevalent. Yet, in some instances, the dark web can provide benefits. For example, citizens living under oppressive regimes often turn to the dark web to freely voice their opinions.

Deep Web vs Dark Web vs Surface Web Size

When it comes to the size of the deep web vs dark web, the deep web, first of all, dwarfs the surface web that we interact with every day.  According to estimates, the surface web constitutes a mere 5% of the entire internet, while the deep web accounts for the remaining 95%. In terms of data, the deep web hosts around 7,500 terabytes, whereas the surface web hosts only 19 terabytes. It is estimated that the deep web contains a staggering 550 billion individual documents, whereas the surface web houses just one billion. In contrast, the dark web represents only a fraction of the deep web, approximately 0.01%.

Protecting yourself and your organization while accessing the surface web and deep web is a critical part of any cybersecurity strategy.  Our expert team at BSC Solutions Group is here to help with a broad range of cybersecurity solutions and servicesContact us for a consultation today.