dark web vs deep web
PUREVPNSecurityDifference Between the Dark Web & the Deep Web 

Does the dark and deep web sound mysterious to you? Well, they are mystery games, but they are not the same. We will tell you in detail how they are different.

Before we go deep into the difference, let’s be good at web layers. There are two layers of the web: one is a surface web, and the other one is the deep web. Let’s find out more about them.

dark web vs deep web

What is a Surface layer? 

The surface layer covers only 4% of the entire web. It is part of the internet available for everyone via Google, Yahoo, and other search engines. All the content on the surface layer is visible and accessible to everyone. Common examples of surface layer content are google images, maps, YouTube videos, etc. 

What is the Deep web? 

The deep web covers 96% of the web. The simplest definition of the deep web is whether it’s a web page, documentation site, or video unavailable to the public and can only be accessed with a specific URL, portal, password, or software. This layer is further divided into 6% dark web area. 

It is a common misconception that the deep web is illegal, whereas many government organizations, authorities, and channels use this technology to hide their confidential data. Whenever we provide our credentials to log in to a webpage of blogs and websites and when mailing engines, we enter from surface web to deep web as that part of the web is only accessible from our credentials. A common example is our mailbox; it is private. 

What is the dark web?

The dark web is 6% of the deep web layer. The dark web is not the secure layer. Instead, it is a hidden layer of the deep web and is mostly used for illegal activities like cyber crimes, theft, smuggling, and terrorism.

What Is the Difference Between the Deep Web and the Dark Web?

Now that we have a concept about the layers, it’s time to see the difference between the deep and dark web. The dark web is a part of the deep web. However, not all of the deep web is part of the dark web. If you want to remember the concept, it’s as simple as “private” for the deep layer and “secret” for the dark layer. 

One of the major differences between the deep web and the dark web is the activities going on. The deep web has some good reasons to hide data from the public, whereas the dark web has mostly activities in which people are mostly engaged, and they want to hide their activities and identify from everyone. 

Deep vs Dark web 

Deep webDark web 
Normal use: The most casual use case of the deep web is user login’s web page access for social media platforms or any banking service logins. Normal use: Mostly Journalists use the dark web to get details about what activities are going on in the dark web. They are not involved in any activity but they are just in the dark world to see the activities for their research work. 
Security purpose: Most of the payment processing APIs use the deep web to make the accessibility of payment pages secure for the buyers. Security Purpose: Some people use the dark web to speak the truth, and use the freedom to speak whatever news they have without the threat of getting hurt. 
Safety: Developers hide some pages from the viewers for their backend services with deep web technology. This includes website privacy, security, and other web pages. Safety: Most organizations rely on the dark web to hide their identity and provide safety to the organization and its employees. 

Risks of Accessing the Deep Web vs. Dark Web 

Accessing the deep or dark web could be better; why? Imagine you are on a famous criminal street where you have heard that many crimes usually happen. Suddenly while exploring the street, some government official approaches you and starts investigating as they will think you are there to do criminal activity, but the reality is the opposite. 

This is the same with the deep and the dark web. When talking about the deep web, it is safer until you plan to intrude into someone else’s privacy. But when discussing the dark web, even going for legitimate business can put you at risk. 

How to Safely Access the Deep Web and Dark Web

We have consumed the deep web each time we log in to our accounts. However, many web pages are not easily accessible, especially if you want to access the dark web. For accessing blocked connections of the deep and dark web, you will need encryption software or VPNs. 

A good VPN like PureVPN establishes a strong connection and hides your identity to make browsing secure since the risk of dark web access is high, as most people use it for criminal activity. You will need Tor as a web browser to access the content on the dark web.  

Steps to access the deep and dark web using a VPN 

These are basic steps that you need to follow to access the content.

  1. Download a VPN. 
  2. Open your VPN and make sure you have disabled all the unnecessary software running on your device. 
  3. Now open the Tor browser. 
  4. Go to the website, and you will notice that the extension will end on “.onion” rather than “.com” or “.net,” etc. 


The deep web is different from the dark web. The major difference is the authority and organization. While the deep web is a legal system providing certain barriers to people’s privacy and security, the dark web is a hidden and unsecured network area. Being on the internet can compromise your security; you must use a barrier to keep yourself safe, whether on the deep or dark web.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is it illegal to be on the deep web?

No, not all parts of the deep web are illegal. The deep web is designed to protect user identity and provide security. However, some parts of the dark web where criminal activities occur are illegal.

Is the deep web deeper than the dark web?

No, although the darknet is a part of the deep web. Darknet is deeper, and it is only accessible through special techniques. It’s inaccessible to surface net users.

Can the dark web hurt you?

If you are not using the dark web with precautions, you might get hurt by hackers by providing them with your personal information. You might also be involved in any criminal activity without any intention. 

Can police track you on the dark web?

Yes, some law agencies can track your IP address if you are not using any masking IP address.

Who is the owner of the dark web?

The owner of the dark web is Ross William Ulbricht. He created the Silk Road, named the darknet market, and is imprisoned for selling narcotic and illegal products.


Marrium Akhtar


June 20, 2023


11 months ago

Marrium is a dedicated digital Marketer and an SEO enthusiast who is skilled in cracking SEO codes. Other than work, she loves to stream, eat, and repeat.

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