Deep Web, Dark Web: What's the Difference?

Tiversa has accumulated an expertise in the Deep Web. Many ask Deep Web, Dark Web: What's the Difference? Tiversa has taken the time to explain the differences between the Dark Web and the Deep Web.

​Key differences between the Dark Web and the Deep Web

When it comes to understanding the Dark Web and Deep Web, nobody wants to be left in the dark. Since there's a fine line between the two, it's important to understand how they work when it comes to harvesting information. With this being said, Tiversa has taken a look at the differences between the Dark Web and the Deep Web.

Surface Web

Before we explain the difference between the Deep Web and the Dark Web, it's important to understand what the Surface Web is. The Surface Web is essentially anything that's indexed by search engines such as Yahoo, Bing, or Google. For example, click around on a traditional news site and click on the links to new pages. The links you just clicked on serve as a sample path that web crawlers take in order to provide the data to search engines, which allows them to locate the accessible pages on the internet. Web crawlers are also known as Web spiders or automatic indexers; they essentially download a copy of each webpage they visit to allow a later review of those pages and improve the completeness of search engines by expanding their index. Any hyperlinks you may have clicked on will show you the content that people typically enjoy, but you'll miss out on a lot of content that isn't as popular.

The Deep Web

The Deep Web is essentially anything that a search engine can't find. Although there are numerous reasons why a search engine can't find certain information, we're going to explain the most common issue. Try this experiment for yourself: start out on a website homepage with a topic in mind. This time, instead of clicking on links, use the search bar contained on the webpage to locate a specific page of information. Now go back to the original homepage but don't utilize the search bar and see if you can reach your previous destination by simply clicking links. You may discover that you often can't find results or content on that website without a search box, which is a great example of how the Deep Web works.

The Deep Web also refers to content that exists on the web, but may only be accessible to users who hold the necessary credentials or authentication, such as a username and password. Therefore, things like online banking, webmail, paid websites, forums and online service subscriptions are technically included in the Deep Web.

The Dark Web

The Dark Web is classified as part of the Deep Web. It's intentionally hidden and it remains inaccessible through a standard web browser. However, many have discovered content on the Dark Web through the TOR network. If you're curious as to what the TOR network is, it's an anonymous network that is only accessed from a special browser that's referred to as a TOR browser. Due to the anonymity on the TOR network, this portion of the Dark Web is widely associated with illicit activity.

 “Cyber criminals and other bad actors are increasingly utilizing the Dark Web to expose, sell, obtain and exploit personally identifiable information (PII), financial information, sensitive company data and government secrets. The use of the Dark Web in this manner creates cybersecurity concerns which Tiversa works to address.”

Eric G.
Cyber Forensic Analyst


Considering the information above, the Deep Web and the Dark Web aren't nearly as scary as they seem. Since the media can oftentimes misrepresent the Dark Web and the Deep Web, you now have a solid understanding that both are much like the surface web (in their own way).

Source: Tiversa