Layers of the Web - Surface, Deep, and Dark

The Internet is a very electric place. Everywhere you look, people can be observed sharing their achievements on LinkedIn, game geeks carrying a full-on discussion about their favourite game on forums like Reddit and 4chan, a government employee logging into their organization's private website, and assassins and hitmen being advertised for hire.

Through everyday Google surfing, we must understand that we are barely touching the surface of the Internet. So vast it is, that there is layered architecture dedicated to it. Some reach out to the unknown, out of curiosity, while some do not.

Describing the Internet Architecture

Surface Web

Imagine the websites that you have referred to for your due assignment. There may be many that you have visited, so as to compile information. All of these websites were advertised and were publicly accessible to you and are just a Google search away. This is what is defined as the Surface Web. 

All that you see on the Internet, which is indexed on Google and other search engines, that is available for public consumption is termed under Surface Web. From this, we can understand that we are barely touching the surface of the Internet.

Deep Web

The deep web consists of web pages and content that are hidden and unindexed. Such content cannot be located using traditional web browsers and search engines. The deep web covers practically the whole World Wide Web and has an unimaginable size. Basic search engine crawling is not possible on the deep web. It consists of information relating to numerous organisations as well as official government or federal databases. 

This term can likely be related to a website offering banking services. To gain access, you need to have valid credentials, that are in turn verified and are used to prevent or allow access. Gone are the days, with website logins, required a simple username and password mechanism to establish trust. New mechanisms that are used for the verification process include OTP, Captcha, and predefined question/answer. 

Accessing websites on the deep web involves the usage of selective keywords. They are designed so, to prevent web crawlers from indexing them. These websites are obscure, confidential, and wholly require an authenticated user to access the data stored within them. It can be accessed using search engines such as TOR Browser and the WWW Virtual Library. 

Dark Web

The darknet is a deeper layer, and it is the subset of the deep web that enables anyone to navigate anonymously without being traced. This is where things get interesting, it is the place where the most mundane things happen. It is the hotspot of all illegal activities, that is sadly not controlled or monitored. Drug re-examination trade leaked confidential data of 'x' person, yes, you have got it all here. You may be wondering if your data is being traded like right now, with shady people, maybe!

Websites on the dark web use complex URLs that are hard to remember, unlike everyday domain names like or, though the website is informally known by another name, for example, Silk Road

It is also the place, where you find the most surprising things ever, such as hacked Netflix accounts, versions of books that are not available easily, and even copies of unreleased movies. The dark web in particular is accessible to the public, by using the Tor browser, which was developed as an open-source project.


Note: Though not everything on the Internet is hands-off to the public, it is certainly wise to browse with caution and treat the Internet as the good old valuable resource it is.
We hope this helps. If any suggestions or doubts you can add a comment and we will reply as soon as possible.

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