The Deep Web

deep web

Photo courtesy of eduncovered.com

The Deep Web which is also known as the Invisible Web, the Hidden Web, the Deep Net, or the Undernet, is the part of content on the World Wide Web that is not indexed by standard search engines. The term was first coined by Computer scientist Mike Bergman in year 2000.

According to Bergman, the Internet can be compared to dragging a net across the surface of the ocean. A great deal may be caught in the net, but there is a wealth of information that is deep and therefore missed. By this analogy, we could refer standard search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc. as the net while the ocean is the World Wide Web. The portion of the web that we normally acquire through search engines is called the surface web, while the portion that is hidden is called the deep web.

How big is the Deep Web?

The Internet is actually so large that only a measly amount of information can be retrieve by search engines. To better understand the Internet, an analogy of an iceberg has been used to represent the division between the surface web and the deep web respectively – with the surface web representing the tip of an iceberg and the larger part (deep web) hanging below. The deep web has several orders of magnitude larger than the surface web.

It is not known how huge the Deep Web really is, but it is estimated to be hundreds (or even thousands) of times bigger than the surface web. Earlier, it was estimated to be around 400 to 550 times larger than the surface web. However, since more and more data and sites are always being added, the deep web could grow exponentially at a rate that is impossible to quantify. Some of the data of the deep web aren’t necessarily hidden on purpose, some are just beyond the capacity of the current search engine technology to find and make sense of it.

The Dark Web

There is the other side of the Deep Web that is a lot more gloomy, and just as you would go deeper and deeper into the ocean, it gets darker and darker, which is the reason why this part of the web is called the Dark Web. In this part of the web, users are really trying to purposefully cover information. Most of the time, these parts of the Web are accessible only with the aid of a special internet browser software that could peel away the onion-like layers of the Dark Web. This browser maintains the privacy of both the source and the destination of data and the users who access it. For political dissenters and criminals alike, this sort of anonymity demonstrates the immense power of the Dark Web, allowing transfers of information, goods and services, whether legally or illegally.

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