It’s said, it’s talked about, it’s commented… that more than 90% of the Internet remains hidden and that in that hidden part you can get with a single click all kinds of products and services of dubious legality that would be unthinkable on conventional websites.
Although some of the many things that are said may be true, there are some others that are fantasies generated by ignorance. Let’s therefore specify some concepts to better understand what these disturbing terms mean.
WHAT IS CLEAR WEB OR SURFACE WEB?
It is the web that we all know and that we can access using any web browser, that is, the World Wide Web. In this network we are all easily trackable through our public IP address and in it we find all those pages and services such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and all indexed pages. It is estimated that the Clear Web accounts for only 4% of the total network.
WHAT IS THE DEEP WEB?
It’s the opposite. This is all content that is not accessible through standard search engines and that would account for approximately 96% of the entire network. But the fact that it is not accessible by the usual search engines does not mean that everything is illegal content and that it is not indexed, it does not mean that it is intentionally hidden.
Much of the Deep Web is made up of perfectly normal, accessible pages that simply can’t be indexed by search engine spiders. These can be pages with paywall or sites with a “Disallow” in their robots.txt, dynamic websites that are generated when consulting a database or simply files saved in services such as Dropbox.
We therefore conclude that the Deep Web is not illegal in itself and in its entirety. The vast majority of their content is simply not indexable by search engines. Only a small part of the Deep Web can be found with illegal content and that part is called the Dark Web.
WHAT IS THE DARK WEB?
The Dark Web is just one fragment that accounts for only 6% of the total. There, yes, you can find content intentionally hidden from search engines. Masked IP addresses are used for this purpose and it is only accessible with a special web browser. These pages, which are typically used by domains. onion or .i2p, are only accessible through this special software.
The Dark Web. therefore. it’s part of the Deep Web, but they’re different things. If the Deep Web were one city, the Dark Web would be multiple neighborhoods. The Dark Web is the content that you can find on different Dark Nets, which are each of the networks that can only be accessed with specific programs.
Dark Nets are a series of networks that, due to their nature and their ability to remain anonymous, have caused many users to take advantage of this to exchange non-legal content or services.
Each Dark Net has its own method of entry. TOR is the most popular, but there is also FREENET, I2P or ZERONET. Each of these is a DARK NET.
About the Darknet, it is said that since it needs special software to navigate it, it is impossible to index. But that’s not entirely true either. It’s one thing for conventional search engines like Google not to do it, and another for it not to be able to do it.
There are search engines like Onion City capable of indexing thousands of .onion pages. And it’s not the only one, because other search engines hosted on Tor such as Not Evil or Torch also do the same.
- To better understand this global structure, the iceberg simile is used.
- The part that can be seen on the surface is made up of indexable websites and accounts for 4% of the total.
- All the rest is made up of non-indexable websites and accounts for the remaining 96%.
- Of that 96%, only 6% is made up of the Dark Web, which is accessible through Dark Nets.
- The security services of the different states, of course, are aware of this structure and are present to monitor and intervene.
- In fact, there are multiple cases of arrests and closure of illegal websites.
- In our country, the Ministry of the Interior, compiling the data recorded by all the Police Forces relating to cybercrime, prepares a study on this subject every year.