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differences and how to navigate the hidden part of the internet

23 mayo, 2021

The Internet is usually represented as an iceberg, and the vast majority of us move on the surface of it. Everything is deep and dark underneath, and it is normal that it is not known exactly what the layers underneath are: the Deep Web and the Dark Web.

Many users associate these areas of the Internet with criminal activities: selling drugs, pornography of all kinds, hiring murderers, and a long etcetera. It is true that we can come across this type of content, but there is much more. First we must know the differences and how we can access these “hidden” area.

Deep web

What is the deep web

If you are reading this article, it means that you’re exploring the surface of the internet (Clearnet). The pages and information you access using a search engine such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. they are always in this “visible” area.

That means the vast majority of users (an estimated 90%) only browse the Clearnet. Interestingly, this layer of the Internet only occupies between 4 and 10% of the total network. Now is the time to go a little deeper to learn more details.

The Internet layer that we see only represents between 4 and 10% of the total.

The Deep Web makes up that content that you cannot easily access from search engines. It must be made clear that, although it is famous for it, the Deep Web should not be associated directly with drugs or weapons. Deep Web is not synonymous with illegal activity.

The data on the Deep Web is publicly accessible, although it will require special access to reach them. Here we can find company databases (hospitals, Social Security …), private forums, folders in Dropbox, Drive, etc.

Survival kit in the "deep web"

Dark Web vs Deep Web

It is common to confuse the Deep Web and Dark Web, although they are two very different layers. If the Deep Web represents 90% of the Internet, the Dark Web would occupy only 0.1% of the total, being content that has been intentionally hidden. Own domains are used (for example .onion or .i2p) and can only be accessed through programs like Tor.

Here the image of an Internet zone is fulfilled in which to find the illegal activities described above. Obviously, this type of content is not indexed by search engines either. As we see, the Dark Web is part of the Deep Web, but they are two totally different things.

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The Dark Web only represents 0.1% of the total Internet.

The Dark Web is made up of the content that we can find in different Darknets (networks that we can only access with a specific program). TOR is the most widely used and well-known tool although, as we will see, there are other options.

Not everything is crime and drugs on the Dark Web, and there are many interesting and constructive pages on this layer of the web. If you are still interested, then we will explain how to access this hidden area of ​​the Internet.

How to access the Dark Web

The first thing we should do is go directly to the TOR website and download the version compatible with our operating system and language. One of the positive points of this browser is that you can put it directly into USB, browsing privately where and when you want.

There are other browsers to access the Darknet (Freenet, Tor, GNUnet, I2P, OneSwarm, RetroShare, etc.) but TOR is the best known option when browsing the Dark Web.

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By default, when you open TOR you can directly access DuckDuckGO, a search engine where we can find .onion pages. First of all we must access the dark web loaded with patience, since the pages tend to load very slowly.

The Hidden Wiki can be a good starting point, with a large number of linked .onion pages and their descriptions. From here we can end up browsing quite surprising pages, for better or for worse.

Before entering the Dark Web, the best thing will be to inform yourself well. If we do not really know what we are doing, it is best to stay in the Internet zone that we know and avoid possible scares.