“Deep Web.” The very name is mysterious, evoking images of a dark and murky place few people understand and even fewer people visit. Huge and anonymous, the Deep Web is that part of the Internet ideal for people who’d like to stay off the “grid” and maintain a high level of security.
But the Deep Web is also a vitally important part of the larger Internet. Here are four insights to help gain an understanding of this largely invisible realm.
- The Deep Web is massive. A normal search via the most common browsers reveals only .03 percent of what’s on the Internet, commonly called the “Surface Web.” Imagine this: you’re dragging a net across the surface of the ocean. You’ll catch a lot of information, but even more will be missed. In essence, traditional search engines cannot even see or retrieve information from the Deep Web, where pages are dynamically created via a very specific search.
- To access the Deep Web you need a Deep Web browser, and the most popular is Tor. When searching with Tor nothing you do can be monitored, your location cannot be traced and your browsing habits are completely hidden.
- By it’s very nature based on anonymity, the Deep Web fosters a good deal of illegal activity. As such, it’s closely monitored by domestic and international government security forces. From drug dealing to hiring a hit man to the acquisition and selling of stolen material including credit card numbers, a host of unsavory elements frequent this space.
- Deep Web resources are essentially classified into specific categories. For instance, dynamic pages are returned in response to a submitted query or accessed only through a form; contextual pages with content that varies for different access, such as IP addresses or a previous navigation sequence; and unlinked content, which are pages not to linked to by other pages (often referred to as backlinks or inlinks.)