FBI has recently arrested Ross William Ulbricht, the alleged founder of the illegal online website ‘Silk Road’ last month. Customers of Silk Road could anonymously order different kind of drugs through the website. It took a lot of time and effort for FBI to trace and shutdown this illegal online market place. The reason for that is that Silk Road operates on the Tor anonymity network which is just a part of what is known as the Deep Web. An important question here is, what is the Deep Web and what makes it distinct from the regular web. Below is the detailed guide to Deep Web:

What is Deep Web?

Deep Web is the term used for the content on the Internet that is normally not indexed by the regular search engines like Google and Bing. Most of the content available on the Deep Web is dynamic (ever-changing) and not linked to other websites. This makes it difficult for Search Engines to crawl and index them. Information available on the Deep Web can be accessed only when a direct query is posed. Databases holding information of Deep Web sites respond in real-time and provide the required information to the users.

Other side of the web

How big is the Deep Web?

Deep Web is really big, much bigger than the surface web indexed by search engines. According to one estimate Deep Web is nearly 500 times larger than the surface web. It has 7,500 terabytes of information when compared with 19 terabytes of information available on the surface web.

How to access the Deep Web?

Most of the resources available on the Deep Web are not accessible through the regular web browsers like Firefox and Chrome. Special browsers like Tor are needed to surf the hidden resources in the Deep Web. Tor software works over the Firefox browser and can be downloaded from Tor Project’s Website.

Who developed the Deep Web?

No body exactly created the Deep Web. Information made available by various databases just form the Deep Web. But the Tor software (browser) used to access it was initially developed by the US Naval Research Laboratory. Tor software is now developed by a nonprofit organization called the Tor Project.

How can we search for content on the Deep Web?

The very fact that the websites of the deep web are not indexed by regular search engines like Google and Bing makes it impossible to use them for searching it. Searching for information on the Deep Web needs specialized search engines. Some of the most popular search engines for mining the resources on the Deep Web are: Clusty, The Internet Archive, USA.gov, DeepPeep, and Complete Planet.

What Makes Deep Web and Tor Different?

Even though Internet offered a certain level of anonymity to the users earlier, it has mostly become transparent now. Spy agencies and even people with some good technical expertise can snoop on what other people are browsing on the Internet. But it is difficult to trace the browsing habits of people using the Deep Web with browsers like Tor. Tor is anonymous as the traffic is directed through a volunteer network of relays which conceals the users’ location and usage.

Is all the content available on Deep Web illegal?

No, it is some components of what is knows as Deep Web content like the Silk Route that is illegal. Deep Web consists of lot of valuable resources not indexed by the regular search engines. Precious research data from universities is available on the Deep Web freely. Its is all about what you want the Deep Web for.

What are the precautions to take while browsing the Deep Web?

Be careful regarding the websites you open on the Deep Web and the links you click. Clicking on links with illegal content can land you in trouble. Many Internet experts also advice people to disable or even cover your web camera while browsing the Deep Web.

Does Deep Web Work Similar to the normal web?

The complexity involved in digging raw information from databases and protecting the anonymity of the user makes Deep Web slower than the normal web. Many websites in the Deep Web take a long time to open. More patience is advised while browsing the Deep Web when compared with the surface or normal web.