The Levels of the Internet Surface Web, Deep Web, and Dark Web

The internet, invented by Vinton Cerf and Bob Cahn, has evolved since its creation in the 1960s. In 1990, the World Wide Web transformed the internet into what we know today. People use it to go on social media, visit websites, use search engines, promote their business, go online shopping, and numerous other activities.

But, did you know that the main activities regular everyday people use the internet for is only contained in one level of the internet (Surface Web). There are other levels of the internet that many people don’t know about or use that enable users to access other information, sites, and services. Below, we discuss the Surface Web, Deep Web, and Dark Web.

What Are The Different Levels of the Internet?

Table of Contents

Surface Web

What Is It?

The surface web is the part of the World Wide Web commonly used by internet users. Others names the surface web goes by include the Indexed Web, Visible Web, and Clearnet. Through web browsers like Google Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and others, users can search the internet for information and visit websites. Part of the deep web is contained in the surface web.

What Is It Commonly Used For?

  • Visiting websites.
  • Using search engines like Google and Bing to lookup information.
  • Going on social media.
  • Online shopping on sites like Amazon, Walmart, and Target.
  • Using video streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and more.
  • Promoting one’s business via social media, websites, etc.
  • Reading up on the latest articles and news.

What Are The Dangers of the Surface Web?

  • Scammers
  • Trolling
  • Cyberbullying
  • Phishing
  • Hacking
  • Identity Theft
  • Lack of Data Privacy
  • Malware

Deep Web

What Is It?

The deep web is often confused with the dark web. The deep web is composed of information that cannot be crawled and indexed by search engines. It is often referred to as the Invisible Web or Hidden Web.

What Is It Commonly Used For?

  • Access information such as:
    • Private databases
    • Academic databases
    • Social media account content
    • Personal email content
    • Legal documents
    • Medical records
  • Use the TOR browser to access information and sites on the Dark Web while being anonymous. This browser is often used to view, offer, and commit illegal activities.

What Are The Dangers of the Deep Web?

Illegal and criminal activities can occur on the deep web, even though it is not all bad. Through the TOR network, people can illegally sell and buy drugs and stolen data, post politically dissident content, and share illegal pornography. People found participating in Illegal activities on the deep web can be prosecuted.

Dark Web

What Is It?

The dark web is a place where people can find private information, stay anonymous, and can search without prying eyes or intrusive advertisements. However, the dark web is most commonly associated with being host to a number of illegal activities.Even though it’s common for illegal activities to occur on this part of the web, it is not illegal to use the dark web. The dark web is also commonly called the Darknet.

What Is It Commonly Used For?

  • Search for information without being tracked.
  • Staying anonymous while searching, visiting sites, and conducting other activities.
  • Looking up private information that is not able to be indexed.
  • Sell and purchase illegal goods or services. These are often sold in dark web marketplaces.
  • Voicing one’s opinions without restrictions and censorship.

What Are The Dangers of the Dark Web?

The key dangers of the dark web are illegal selling and purchasing of goods and services. This could include the listing of drugs, firearms, personal and credit card data, pornography, hitman services, hacking services, malware, and more. These goods and services are often sold in what is known as the online black market. The most notable ones in the past, which have been since shut down, are the Silk Road and AlphaBay.

Thankfully, authorities are constantly on the lookout for new black markets, online activities, and other sites on the dark web to shut down. Any person found to be conducting illegal actions that occur on the dark web can be prosecuted.

So, as you can see, there’s much more to the internet than using search engines and shopping online. It is an intricate system of networks that includes layers yet to be discovered by everyday users.

Ehacking Staff
With more than 50 global partners, we are proud to count the world’s leading cybersecurity training provider. EH Academy is the brainchild of Ehacking, which has been involved in the field of training since the past Five years and continues to help in creating professional IT experts.

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