Deep web vs. dark web: Are they different?

Most people visit the same few websites every day. These may include social media platforms, news sites, popular blogs or online stores. Usually, it is possible to trace an internet user's every online move. This data is invaluable to advertisers, law enforcement agencies and other entities that have an interest in your private information.

But there are parts of the internet that are largely hidden to prying eyes: The deep web, and the dark web. The deep web and the dark web are two ways to access the internet away from prying eyes. It is still possible to track users' information through these hidden areas of the internet, though very difficult. The deep web and the dark web have their similarities, but they are also very different.

What is the deep web?

The deep web is a little-known part of the internet that is not accessible to search engines and remains hidden from most internet users. This is called the deep web. The term refers to all of the data that is hidden behind firewalls. This data can include databases, intranets, archives and password-protected information. To understand how big the deep web is, consider this fact: There are approximately 4 billion surface websites that are accessible to most internet users. By comparison, the deep web is estimated to contain 400 to 500 times more than that.

What is the dark web?

The terms "deep web" and "dark web" are often used interchangeably, but the terms actually have different definitions. The dark web is a subset of the deep web. The dark web is smaller than the deep web; it contains all of the anonymously hosted websites found within the deep web. It is only possible to access them with special software that disguises your IP address, since they are otherwise hidden from search engines. The secrecy of the dark web has made it a hub for cybercrimes like identity theft, drug dealing and online scams. It is still possible to track criminal activity on the dark web, despite its ostensible anonymity.

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