MOREnet Blogs

It can be so confusing. You think you are surfing the web, but what web are you on? This is an attempt to help clear up some of these terms.

Surface Web

This is what you are most familiar with. By using your browser and sites like Google or Bing, you are searching for anything that can be indexed. Search engines will identify websites you are interested in and provide links to those and similar content.

Deep Web

The deep web contains anything that a search engine can’t find. Most webpages have links that will navigate to various content. To find more content, you will need to use a search box. Search boxes allow you to search for data stored in the website’s internal database. The search engines cannot index the pages behind the website search box.

Dark Web

This is a small section within the deep web. The content here is intentionally hidden and is a bit more difficult to access. It is not accessible through a standard web browser and is known for being an area used for illicit activities. This is attractive to criminals due to the anonymity associated with it.


Known as the underbelly of the Internet. The Darknet is an encrypted network and can only be accessed with specific tools and browsers. Darknet is primarily used for illegal activities like Internet crime, selling/purchasing illegal goods, pirated movies and child pornography.

Shadow Web

Fictional. There is no evidence of Shadow Web, which many claim to be deeper that the Dark Web and rumored to show unsettling videos, such as live murders, in return for payment.

Only four percent of the content is available on the web using the surface web versus 96 percent using the deep web.

Categories: Cyber Security

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