What is the difference between Deep Web and Dark Web?

Deep Web vs Dark Web

The regular users of the internet considering that the internet just comprises of regular search engines, e-commerce portals, social media websites, movie/music streaming sites, etc. However, these websites are just a small part of the vast internet and there is another huge part of the internet that is kept hidden from the general users due to a plethora of reasons. These are majorly confidential and are beyond the imagination of common people.

To explain this hidden part of the internet, two technical terms – “deep web” and “dark web” are used. These two terms are too technical that people might get confused between them finding it hard to differentiate between them. To help people understand what each one of these means, and how they differ from each other, we’ve brought the key differentiating factors of deep web vs dark web highlighted below.


To understand the basics of deep web vs dark web, the first thing one should know is their meaning. The deep web is a part of the internet that consists of the aggregate of de-indexed websites and is hidden from conventional search engines.

On the contrary, the dark web is the part of the internet that is intentionally hidden from search engines through the masked IP addresses. These dark web sites contain illegal content that is framed to cater to the needs of a specific segment of the society. While the internet is all about hyperlinks connected to webpages, the dark web only consists of the URLs that are not connected in any way.


When people talk about the hidden content available on the internet, i.e. drugs, child pornography, weapons or any illicit item, then you can call it as the dark web. It is also termed as the darknet and can only be accessed using The Onion Router or I2P. These maintain the anonymity of the users and site owners. The dark web is majorly used by criminals such that they remain untraceable in the online world.

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On the contrary, the deep web is something vast and accounts for approx. 95% of the internet. The users can have access to this part of the internet by making use of special browsers.


The users might think that accessing the dark web or the deep web is a simple thing to do, but it’s not the fact, especially when we talk about the dark web. The deep web can be accessed easily as compared to the dark web. The dark web is majorly based on private networks that might be carrying out illegitimate activities. The content on the dark web can only be found using the TOR browser. This content is impossible to be accessed from normal browsers like Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, etc.

On the contrary for accessing the deep web, you don’t require any additional software. Just the use of special browsers can give you accessibility to the deep web. Although deep web content cannot be found on conventional search engines, you can find the content by searching inside a deep website. Click here to get detailed information on how to access the deep web.


Another point of difference on deep web vs dark web is the purpose they are used on the internet. The basic purpose of the dark web is to facilitate prohibited proceedings or things over the internet i.e. activities that are not legal online. The anonymity of the creator of such web pages is well maintained to ensure that the dark website owners do not get caught up by the cyber investigation teams.

On the contrary, if we talk about deep web, it majorly comprises of a section that is kept hidden from users and only appears on special request. The basic intention here is to maintain the privacy of data and to ensure that it gets displayed only in front of the selected users.

Insider Content

The scope of content available on both forms of the web is entirely different from each other. While the dark web is filled with illegal activities, the deep web has content which the creator does not want the normal users to be able to access easily. The dark web is full of content that is not allowed on the internet and might become the reason to harm people. The activities on the dark web are undertaken anonymously such that no suspicion can be raised on people behind it.

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On the contrary, the deep web also remains hidden from search engines but there is barely any illegal activity taking place here. The main intent here is to prevent users to come across the content accidentally unless they are searching for it. This is the only reason the information on the deep web is maintained as a secret.

Type of Information

Another critical point of difference can be the type of information supplied using it. The dark web majorly focuses on carrying out illegal activities. Some activities performed using the dark web include marketplaces for products like drugs or other addictives, sale of restricted items like weapons and armories, money laundering, child pornography, copyright infringement, credit card fraud, identity theft, etc.

Now, if we talk about the deep web, it majorly contains research material, government information and other similar things that are not open to the public unless they search for it specifically using special browsers.

The Bottom Line

Dark web is a smaller part of the deep web that is the home for most of the illegal activities that are taking place on the web. Deep web is a bit cleaner part of the internet that constitutes of 95% of the internet which you can’t see using your regular search engines. You require special browsers and search engines to access the websites present on the deep web. It is recommended to use Tor while accessing the website on the dark web to maintain total privacy and anonymity.