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Simple Explanation About The 3 Layers Of The Web

One must compulsorily know the layers of web present and their information. Well here it is, explaining the 3 layers of the web in simplest form for easy understanding.

Table of Content:

  • Surface web
  • Dark web
  • Deep web

Surface web:

The Surface Web (also called the Visible Web, Indexed Web, Indexable Web or Lightnet) is that portion of the World Wide Web that is readily available to the general public and searchable with standard web search engines. It is the opposite of the deep web.
According to one source, as of June 14, 2015, Google’s index of the surface web contains about 14.5 billion pages.

Dark web:

The dark web is the World Wide Web content that exists on darknets, overlay networks which use the public Internet but require specific software, configurations or authorization to access. The dark web forms a small part of the deep web, the part of the Web not indexed by search engines, although sometimes the term “deep web” is mistakenly used to refer specifically to the dark web.

The darknets which constitute the dark web include small, friend-to-friend peer-to-peer networks, as well as large, popular networks like Tor, Freenet, and I2P, operated by public organizations and individuals. Users of the dark web refer to the regular web as Clearnet due to its unencrypted nature. The Tor dark web may be referred to as onionland, a reference to the network’s top level domain suffix .onion and the traffic anonymization technique of onion routing.

Deep web:

The deep web, invisible web, or hidden web are parts of the World Wide Web whose contents are not indexed by standard search engines for any reason. The content is hidden behind HTML forms. It is estimated that the deep web makes up 80% of the whole internet. The opposite term to the deep web is the surface web. The deep web includes many very common uses such as web mail and online banking but also paid for services with a paywall such as video on demand, and many more. Computer scientist Michael K. Bergman is credited with coining the term deep web in 2001 as a search indexing term.

*Definitions of the 3 web layers mention above are trust-worthy. They’re really legitimate and accurate as they’re been provided by wikipedia

Difference between Surface web, Deep web and Dark web
Image Credits: elixirofknowledge

Franklin Veaux’s Explanation:

The “deep web” is the web that exists in places that can not be accessed by search engines. It contains databases, dynamic content, some forums, sites that have never been spidered, and any other content that Google & company have not listed.

The “dark web” is any Web-like network that uses proprietary protocols or requires special software to access. There are several such networks, TOR and Freenet being the most popular.

Deep web infographic
Infographic source: WhoIsHostingThis.com

Is it legal to access Deep web ?

Yep. You can use it as the same way you use other internet browsers. Tor looks pretty much similar to mozilla firefox). Many people have started using TOR to maintain their online privacy.

Who else uses it:

  • Military
  • Police and crime units
  • Journalists
  • Whistleblowers

Due to the anonymity that TOR offers, The Deep Web has became a popular nesting ground for criminal activities such as:

  • Drugs
  • Weapons trading
  • Child pornography
  • Hiring hitman

*Though there are groups on the Deep Web claiming to offer this service, there has been no legitimate proof of their existence.

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