As a habitual internet user, you would be exploring a large number of sites using the common search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo and a few others. It takes less than a minute to type in your search keyword and look out for the results in the search engine.
But, you might be unaware of the fact that besides these search results, there are hundreds of thousands of other webpages which remain uncrawlable by the Google or other search engines. These web pages comprise of what we call as ‘Deep Web’ or Deepweb sites.
Deep Web: Definition
Deep Web or the ‘hidden web’ is that part of the internet or those webpages which are not indexed or not accessed by the search engines such as Google or Yahoo. These include websites, web pages or local networks or any other communities or content which may be intentionally or unintentionally kept inaccessible.
Everything right from your password protected data to the non- permanent URLs remains unindexed. It may also include the private chat on Facebook or Twitter, your GMAIL inbox, online banking transactions and statements, your data stored in the private cloud or anything that you can use for only your research.
Decoding the Deep Web
Let’s Decode the Deep Web by taking a simple example:
Consider the internet as an enormous glacier, most part of which lies inside the ocean. The upper surface of the glacier which lies above the ocean is called as ‘ surface web’.
- The surface web has all the information and webpages that can be accessed and crawled by the search engines. This includes sites like WikiPedia, news and magazines and Reddit. It constitutes only 4% of the internet. This percentage is what the Google tracks.
- Just below the surface of the water, the ‘Deep Web‘ layer lies which is inaccessible to these search engines. It includes information such as the government records, academic journals, online banking system, all login pages, private chats, legal documents and password protected webpages.
- Deep inside the ocean is the ‘Dark Web’. The Dark Webis that part of the internet that cannot be traced or accessed by any means using the standard search engine. All the illicit sites including darknet markets deals in drugs, armoury, child trafficking or pornography are parts of the dark web.
Pros and Cons of the Deep web:
- Anonymity: It is not always bad to be anonymous. We need access to some sites that are banned by the government. For instance, you are located in UAE and want to access Skype, you can do that by using the search engines such as Tor or using your VPS network.
- Security: Your password and personal data should be kept secured and in some cases your identity should be kept private; Deep web works well here.
- Knowledge: The deep web has got the plethora of resources about the research, academic journals, government reports or various useful source of information.
- Child Pornograpy and trafficking
- Illicit weapons and armoury
- Terrorist activities
To conclude, I would say that Deep web is a benign place with hidden databases and all useful information. But sometimes, it may turn out to be a cruel place for the users if it is not used cautiously. Thus, I would always advise you to stay safe and attentive while surfing the internet!!
If you have something to share about the Deep web, share with us in the comments.