Short Bytes: The internet is vast, yet an enormous chunk of it is still untouched by the ordinary world. We address that part by the names Deep Web, Darknet, and Dark Web. Darknet is a type of network not accessible using normal modes. Deep Web – which includes dark web as a subset – is the part of the world wide web not indexed by the search engines like Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo.For most of us, the web is limited to ten twenty or maybe fifty websites. Most of this limited collection is in the form of Google sites and services. In reality, the internet is enormous, and it has around one billion websites existing on servers around the globe.
Even with those billion websites, the web isn’t complete. Many believe the world wide web we see is only the tip of an iceberg. Two terms Darknet and Deep Web, in some sense, justify the presence of this hidden web about which most people are unaware. And those who know about the darknet often confuse it with deep web. Whereas, both are completely separate.
Over the centuries, when the technology became advanced, humans built machines capable of diving to the depths of the oceans. That’s how we were able to discover the remains of RMS Titanic. The search engine crawlers do the same work as done by the explorer submarines. They dive into the internet and take a note of whatever they find.
We might have found Titanic, but there is a lot to discover in the bottomless oceans. Similar is the case of the search engine crawlers, they haven’t identified various parts of the World Wide Web, and we call it the Deep Web.
For instance, the search engines won’t be able to access the servers and websites hosting data about some government-led secret alien mission. But the deep web isn’t as mysterious as it sounds. A private network, tagged as deep web, can be right next to your house. It’s just the internet that isn’t within reach of standard search engine crawlers. For instance, the network maintained by some paid streaming service. It is a type of deep web or hidden web. Obviously, the search engines won’t be opting for a monthly subscription to index the catalog of such websites.
Contrary to deep web, Darknet is better known to the people. It is an encrypted network built on top of the existing internet, and specific software or tools are required to access the darknet. It is possible, conventional protocols used on the internet might not work on the darknet.
Darknet provides anonymity to the users. One such darknet is Tor or The Onion Router. You require the Tor browser to enter into the Tor’s network.
Tor can be used to visit everyday internet websites, but it also has numerous hidden websites and services which we can’t be accessed on the regular internet. Tor powers them using its protocol known as Tor Hidden Service Protocol. And the websites limited to the Tor network have a special .onion address. Due to this, Tor’s darknet is also known as onionland.
Friend-to-Friend (F2F) networks are another kind of darknet. In this case, two familiar people communicate with each other directly over the internet. They might want to share some file over a P2P connection. Such networks, not accessible by other people, can be encrypted or password protected. So, only the concerned people have the access.
Increasing the confusion…..
There is another thing you would like to be aware of, the dark web. You can think of the dark web as a subset of the deep web. You need to understand the distinction between deep web and darknet, and the fact that the internet and WWW (World Wide Web) aren’t the same things.
The darknet is a network, and the deep web constitutes the chunk of the World Wide Web that is beyond the reach of the search engines. So, we can decipher dark web as the World Wide Web of the darknets like Tor, Freenet, etc. That is, the services and websites running on the darknet is the dark web.
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