What is the Deep Web and How to Access it?
The World Wide Web is sometimes described as an iceberg. Only 2% of the internet that is being indexed by search engines is part of the so-called surface web, and this is the top of the iceberg.
Surface web vs. Deep web vs. Dark web
The rest of the internet is called the deep net and its pages are not indexed. There is also an area of the internet called the dark web. The deep web and the dark web are not the same thing and there is a misconception that the deep web is a place for all things illegal.
HOW SEARCH ENGINES WORK?
First of all, when you type in something in the search bar, search engines do not search the internet in real-time. If we were to rely on live searches, searching for even the simplest terms will take forever because there are billions of pages on the internet. What the search engines do instead is, they use programs called web crawlers. Those crawlers, or sometimes called spiders or spider bots, are constantly browsing pages on the internet and collecting information from every hyperlink they visit. The hyperlinks and the information on them are then added to their own databases. When you enter a search term, the search engine is not performing a live search on the internet, but instead, it is searching through ought its own databases. The results that you see are ordered in the most relevant way, according to the search engine algorithms.
WHAT IS THE DEEP WEB?
As we said already, we can only access 2% of the internet through search engines. But we use the rest 98% daily. The deep web is just the term describing web pages that are hidden behind registration and login forms and even paywalls. All private social media profiles, our e-mail, our online banking, and private forums are all examples of the deep web.
There is an important thing to note about the deep web. All the pages listed above are accessible via some kind of security. We access our own Facebook profile every day. Using your own username and password to access part of the deep web is legal. However, database developers are also humans, mistakes happen. There are vulnerabilities in every software product and sometimes you might stumble upon one. The right thing to do, when you accidentally access content that is not intended for public use, is to report to the company that provides the content. There were numerous cases with big and small companies where such vulnerabilities were discovered and they were fixed in a timely or not so timely manner.
There is also another kind of web pages that are not being indexed by the search engines but are legally accessed by the public. These parts of the internet are pages that are no longer accessible. For one reason or the other, websites cease to exist and are considered a part of the deep web. The only way to access such archived pages is through the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.
Understanding how the search engines work in connection to deep web pages can help boost the SЕО of a blog or a website. Since the crawlers browse the internet and follow every hyperlink they find, pages that are not linked by other pages, or any other wеб pages without backlinks, are less likely to be discovered by the search engines.
WHAT IS THE DARK WEB?
In order to use the surface web and the bigger part of the deep web, you will only need a browser and an internet connection. The dark web, which is part of the deep web, is also not being indexed by the search engines. To access its pages, you will need a special web browser called Tor. It is worth noting that, contrary to popular belief, accessing the dark web is not considered illegal by itself. The dark web is built in a way that lets its users remain anonymous and this anonymity is giving ill-intended people the ability to do commit illegal actions.
Another piece of curious information is that the Tor browser was actually invented by the US Navy to protect U.S. intelligence communications online. Today, the majority of the funding for the Tor Project comes from the U.S. government. The reason why the use of Tor is not considered illegal by itself is that such tools are being used for good causes also. Whistleblowers, human rights activists, and victims of abuse can all be vocal thanks to the Tor browser.