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The following is for informational purposes only

Who Owns the Deep Web?

The Deep Web is open to anyone by using TOR and a proxy and there's no particular (singular) owner of it. FBI has tried to shut down TOR, but it's impossible because both TOR and the Deep Web networks are a collective effort, funded by companies, organizations, and governments from all over the world.

What Is on the Deep Web?

Broadly speaking, the Deep Web stores information that shouldn't be directly reachable by the general public, for instance, personal bank accounts, received emails, or any data strictly available to a limited number of internet users who need a username and a password for gaining access to it. The Hidden Web includes:

  • Legal records and documents;
  • Businesses' private databases;
  • Web forums that require registration;
  • The sensitive data stored in your email accounts;
  • Content from academic and scientific databases;
  • The info accessed once you log in to your online banking accounts;
  • Downloading or Streaming services' data available only to approved users/members;
  • The private content from social media platforms (Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram);
  • The Dark Web is just a small part of the Deep Web (and just a 0.5% share of the whole internet), where you can find illegal online marketplaces, deep dark web forums, or anonymous chat services.

What Is the Surface Web?

How Deep Web Works

The Surface Web (alternatively known as the Indexed Web, Clearnet, Indexable Web, Lightnet, or the Visible Web) is the external part of the World Wide Web that is instantly reachable by general audiences and searchable with conventional search engines such as Bing, Google, Yahoo Search. Beneath the Surface Web hides its opposite – the Deep Web, containing all the webpages that cannot be indexed by the usual search engines, and the internet's boogeymen – The Dark Web, linked to pornography, exploitation, violence, identify theft, trafficking, hacking, and more criminal endeavors.

Who Created the Dark Web?

The Dark Web was developed by the US government for its own use, as a tool that facilitated the anonymous exchange of secret data with spies. TOR, dark net's most popular way of access is the acronym of The Onion Router and is both a network and a software that maintains anonymity on the World Wide Web. It was invented by US military researchers in the mid-1990s and eventually released to public use in 2003. Strictly related to the Dark Net and TOR is the black online marketplace called "Silk Road". Silk Road is the Amazon of the Dark Web, operated as a TOR hidden service by the American convict Ross William Ulbricht between 2011 until his arrest in 2013, facilitating anonymous and illegal selling of drugs, guns, or other illicit goods or services.

What Can You Find on the Deep Web?

The Deep Web is not just about violence or crimes (mostly found on the Darknet), but it hosts a wealth of useful information or fun activities. On the Deep Net anyone can:

  • Join a reading community or a book club;
  • Join a few social circles or private blogs;
  • Try sports gambling;
  • Learn more about local or global scientific experiments;
  • Engage in social gaming such as logging into certain websites and playing chess online with other users, with TheChess being one of them.

What Is the Deep Web Used for?

Website owners use the digital underworld to protect sensitive information that's not intended for public consumption. The "Invisible" Web makes data inaccessible to general audiences by keeping it away from being displayed in regular internet browser search results. This advanced level of cybersecurity and data privacy is frequently used for:

  • Scientific research networks;
  • Investigative reporting and journalism;
  • Video game clubs or fan clubs;
  • Public records and certificates;
  • Library system indexes;
  • Conspiracy theorist groups;
  • Information Technology (IT) skills courses and classes;
  • Blogging, Social Media, Voice and Text Chat/Messaging;
  • Yahoo Answers' Deep Web version named "Hidden Answers";
  • International online competitions (Chess, Backgammon, Computer games, Karaoke).

What Is the Purpose of the Deep Web?

The purpose of the Deep Web is to make confidential information inaccessible to "normal" search engines like Google. For instance, your online banking account information or personal emails are examples of Deep Web content that must not be exposed to the public. Therefore, this sensitive data is not indexed by search engines and it requires login credentials to protect your online privacy against cyberattacks or identity theft.

Who Benefits from the Deep Web?

Who benefits from the Deep Web?

The Deep Net's capacity to facilitate safe yet anonymous browsing and communication is particularly beneficial to certain groups, including:

  • Journalists who want to protect their sources;
  • Anti-censorship advocacy organizations;
  • Political activists, hacktivists, dissidents or protesters;
  • Military, government, or corporate whistleblowers;
  • People who live in oppressive political regimes and want to find news from the outside world;
  • Governmental agencies interested in gathering top-secret threat intelligence, or info on criminal activities, terrorism attacks, money laundering.

Best Deep Web Search Engines

A Deep Web search engine is a comprehensive search engine that finds all the secretive information untapped by the surface web's "usual (search) suspects" - Google, Bing, or Yahoo. The most popular deep web search engines that go deeper than Google's indexing abilities are:

  • Torch;
  • Grams;
  • Yippy;
  • Ahmia.fi;
  • Start Page;
  • Touchgraph;
  • TorLinks;
  • notEvil;
  • DuckDuckGo;
  • ParaZite;
  • The WWW Virtual Library;
  • Onion URL Repository;
  • Uncensored Hidden Wiki.

How to Access the Deep Web on iPhone or Android?

Android users need to download a dark web browser like TOR on their phone from the Google Play Store and then install the Orbot Tor Proxy tool. While Orbot connects your smart device to the TOR network, you can use the TOR browser just like a regular browser (Firefox, Chrome): just type in the .onion urls or links you want to visit, and that's it.

Although there is no official TOR app for iPhones, the nearest equivalent to the TOR Browser for iOS devices is the Onion Browser (available on the App Store). Alternatively, you can try the app called "Dark Browser" that can be used for both I2P and TOR networks.

How Does a VPN Protect You?

A VPN does make you untraceable since it activates an alternate IP address and encrypts the traffic. Whenever you anonymously connect to your chosen VPN server, you'll be using the new IP address provided by your VPN service. Your original IP address becomes unknown (anonymous) to both online hackers and your Internet Service Provider (ISP), guaranteeing a fair share of safe browsing and internet privacy.

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