Difference between Dark and Deep Web

Have you ever wondered what do Dark Web and Deep Web mean? To newbies, both the terms might seem to be synonyms, but in reality, they are far from being that. While both the terms are used to define the hidden aspects of the internet and have some overlapping between them, there are many key differences between the two. Let us begin by understanding both terms.

Deep Web

Deep Web refers to all the web content on the Internet that is not indexed by any of the search engines. As per the definition provided by Dictionary.com, Deep Web is “the portion of the internet which is hidden and not shown from conventional search engines, as by encryption; the aggregate of unindexed websites”.

Search engines will not return the web content of Deep Web in search results. In order to access these pages, you must have the URL of their web pages or clickable links. The deep web is mostly used for legitimate purposes that require the masking of data/information from the general public. The Deep Web contains data related to banking, finance, medicine, sciences, sensitive information, and any other data that can fall into the wrong hands if not access-controlled through authorized channels.

Dark Web

Dark Web, much like Deep Web is not accessible directly. It is in fact, harder to access as the Dark Web is intentionally hidden from search engines using encryption and masked IP addresses. Dark Web can not be accessed through normal web browsers such as Google and Bing. There are specialized web browsers such as Tor Network that are used to access the dark web. Dark Web differentiates from the Deep Web in the sense that the Dark Web is used mainly for illegal activities such as drug trades, weapons trades, nudity and pornography, child abuse, racism and violent content, and other such degenerate things.

Dark Web is also responsible for numerous scams where unwitting users are duped of money on false pretexts. With no accountability or oversight, the Dark Web is a dangerous place where criminals can easily collaborate.

Use of Dark Web

Although the Dark Web is primarily used for shady undertakings and illegal deals, there are other genuine uses as well. It is used by journalists to maintain the anonymity of their sources. Many users use it to protect their right to privacy from governmental institutions. The well-known Tor browser was developed by the US Department of Defence (DoD). It is now run by volunteers as a non-profit and is still funded by the DoD.

Dangers of using the Dark Web

For non-technical users, Dark Web is a very dangerous place as your curiosity can land you in unwanted trouble. It would be foolish to snoop around the Dark Web without having safety precautions in place. What makes Dark Web so dangerous is the data dumps available there. There are literally gigabytes of stolen personal and financial credentials of users which can be accessed by hackers for cybercrime.

Difference between Dark Web and Deep Web

Both Deep Web and Dark Web are often used interchangeably with people thinking both to be more or less similar.

This is highly inaccurate because Deep Web is simply the collection of non-indexed web pages while the Dark Web is the mountain of both non-indexed web pages and web pages involved in illegal transactions.

The image shown above is a metaphorical representation of the difference between the Dark Web and the Deep Web. The web pages on the Deep Web are not indexed either because they are irrelevant or the search engines fail to crawl and index them.

In contrast, the Dark Web is created to keep it hidden from the public eye as it is a conduit for shady business.

Let us summarize the differences in a tabular format:



It is an intentionally hidden subset of the Deep Web. It is the hidden portion of the world wide web and is generally not shown on conventional search engine result pages.
A Tor Project or any other web browser with similar capabilities is required to access the Dark Web. To access the Deep Web, all you need is login details, encryption, or specialized software to access the web pages.
It is an unmeasurable subset of the Deep Web. The Deep Web is much larger than the surface web.
Dark Web is mostly used for illegal and underground activities that need to be protected from the eyes of governments and institutions. Deep Web is mostly used for legal activities that require authorization or anonymity.
To access the Dark Web, you need to exercise a lot of caution and take all relevant precautions. The Deep Web can be accessed using a VPN.


It is best to avoid the Dark Web for as long as you can. If in case there is still a pressing need to switch over to the dark side, you should take certain precautions such as using privacy encrypted browsers (Tor), avoid sharing your personal information, don’t make purchases for any product or service, and do not download malicious software.

Moreover, should consult IT security companies in Singapore for advice on accessing the Dark Web.

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