Dark Web vs. Deep Web: Beginner Guide


Significant misunderstanding has been prevalent in the mind of the users about deep web and the dark web, and surprisingly most of the users consider both of them to be alike. To avoid such confusions, many a times,the publications put forth a disclaimer requesting readers to concentrate on the single portion of the web and not deviate themselves to the other portion. However, this always does not seem to work. Hence, in order to clear the confusion once and for all, we have brought forth a guide for you to refer and gain understanding on how both the webs are different from each other.


While we discuss dark web vs deep web, one of the biggest differences between both of them can be spotted in the meaning itself. The deep web is the portion of the internet which is kept hidden from the conventional search engine by using encryption. On the other hand, the dark web is that portion of the web which is kept intentionally hidden using masked IP addresses and can only be accessed using the special browser means deep web browsers. The key take away from this difference between webs is, the dark web is a part of the deep web and deep web comprises the major portion of the internet.

Composition on the Internet

For users who discuss or consider purchasing drugs, weapons, child pornography, or other illicit items or services on the internet, they are probably referring to the dark web. While the deep web captures the major portion of the web, it is only 0.01% out of which can be attributed to the dark web. Hence, it is not compulsory that content available on the deep web is an illegal one. It can be a restricted content as well which is kept hidden from the local users to maintain its privacy and confidentiality.

Information available on the Web

While discussing dark web vs deep web, one should not miss talking about the information available on both these webs. The dark web is the house of majority of illegal activities which takes place in a controlled way. Some of the illicit activities which form part of the dark web include online darknet markets of drugs and other addictive materials, illegal or restricted items like armories, weapon etc. This is not all; the dark web also provides products and services relating to child pornography, copyright infringement, money laundering, credit card fraudulent activities etc. Now if we talk about information available on the deep web, it majorly comprises of research and development material, restricted government information etc. Such information is not available for access to general public, as it can hamper the confidentiality and privacy of information and might lead to malicious activities.

Purpose of Creating the Web

The purpose of creating the web is entirely different from one other. The deep web is majorly created to store information which should not have access to everyone. Like bank account holders would not like to share their account information with others, hence the information which is kept hidden from the general public for the welfare of a single person or an entire community shall be presumed to be a part of the deep web. On the other hand, the dark web comprises of information or products which are illegal and is totality harmful to the society. So no matter how or why a person gets access to the dark web, the content stored on it is illegal and can cause harm to the society.

Chargeability on the Web

Again dark web vs deep web can be compared on the basis of their chargeability. The information available on the deep web is just restricted and can be accessed by users by making use of the special browsers or search engines. However, for people willing to access the darknet and make use of it, they shall have to spend money to avail the services. Once you have used the software to log on to the darknet, the very next step relating to the purchase of goods and services will require you to spend money. Hence, no matter if you are willing to purchase guns, or looking forward to availing the services of child pornography, all of it is available at hefty prices.

Size of the Web

By now, it must be understandable for users that deep web comprises of 96% of the web. Hence, it is almost impossible to estimate or measure its size. All one can say is that the majority portion of the web is deep web and all of it is hidden from the users. As per studies conducted years ago, it was estimated that the deep web is bigger than dark web by almost 400 to 500 times, but with internet database growing vastly it has become difficult to come up with the exact estimate of size. Now, if we talk about the size of the dark web it is directly related to the size of the deep web. Hence, we can simply say that what so ever is the size of the deep web, the dark web comprises of only 0.1% of it.


While we discuss dark web vs deep web,they both differ in the way of their accessibility like dark web can be accessed only through TOR i.e. “The Onion Router” and that is because of the way and specifications with which network is set. On the contrary deep web requires the user to make use of special browsers those can help them to access this hidden portion of the internet.

Content on the Web

The dark web vs deep web comparison cannot end without comparing the content on the internet for both the webs. While going through the deep web, you might come across every type of content that is harmless or the causal one which has to be kept restricted and private from the usual people. However, while you are scrolling through the dark web, you shall come across only content that is harmful and illegal to access. Hence, one should stay prepared for coming across frightening or disturbing facts, videos, and pictures which otherwise is not available on the deep web.

The facts mentioned above very well clarify facts about dark web vs deep web. There is a thin line of difference between both of them which makes each one different from each other. However, it won’t be wrong to say that while deep web comprises the major portion of the web, dark web forms the smallest part of the deep web which remains hiddenfrom the access of the casual users.


  1. Very informative and concise article. I must add darkweb is a very dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.


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