I rischi del deep web

Deep web: what it is, how it works and why it’s dangerous

In a internet-addicted world, you must have heard about the deep web.

Maybe, you found yourself talking to who doesn’t really know anything about it, or with who doesn’t even see the difference between dark web and deep web, or that isn’t aware of the existence of a difference between them.


Usually, when we think about the deep web, we imagine a virtual place where it’s possible to carry out activities and actions anonimously and without being punished, almost like we’re in an action and spy film.

The truth is that it is just a non-indexed part of the web, with different rules and further risks compared to the classic web, but that doesn”t always require designed tools to navigate inside of it.

First things first, though, and let’s understand better what we’re talking about, because the doubts are a lot, and there are even more things we need to clear up.

Here then, that we created a mini-guide about the deep web, with the goal to make our explanation as much complete as we can, clarifying what it’s about, how can we access and what are its features.

Deep web: what it is

First of all, by analisying the word, we’re talking about “underwater web” or “profound web” in order to mean that set of information resources that are in the World Wide Web or non-indexed www from the normal search engines.

Usually, in order to make the idea of the structure of the web more immediate and, especially, the quantity of data that are in the deep web, it’s used the image of an iceberg: in this, the uncovered part out of the water represents the indexed web pages by the search engines and it’s known as surface web, while the other very big part is the one under the surface of the water, drowned, and it represents the deep web.

In 2000, Bright Planet has estimated that the web is composed by more than 18 millions of GB and by 550 billions of documents, but just 2 billions of them are indexed by Google, which is basically lesss than 1%. To this, just add the fact that there aren’t any metrics and technologies to measure how really wide the deep web is, and it suddenly becomes evident that it’s a really significant phenomenon.

Every one of us is used to connect internet to thje search engines, like Google or Firefox, nevertheless, it’s not the same thing, because the latters are programs that examine the net in order to find documents, web sites, pages and platforms and by organising those results inside databases, that are in physical servers.

We all know that, when we do a reasearch on Google or Firefox, the results proposed by these are just a small part of the web, of which many areas aren’t even considered by the browsers, because they consider them not related or unsafe, or because they have different protocols compared to the ones adopted internationally.

This part of information and contents of the net that stay invisible because they’re not indexed constitute the deep web.


The incredibile wide amount of contents, documents and information available on the deep web are labeled under precise cathegories, such as:

  • dinamic contents, which means those dinamic wb pages the content of which is generated with the server and that can be retrieved only by filling a form or as an answer of a particular request;
  • non-related pages, those web pages that aren’t related to others; if the access isn’t stopped by the security settings, the search engine indexes the parent directory of the site, which contains the visible pages and everything that’s on the hosting server;
  • pages with restricted access,which means those sites that require a log in or limitate the access to their pages, so that the search engines can’t find them;
  • script, that are reachable only by link in JavaScript or Flash, that require particular accessing procedures;
  • contents without texts, such as multimedia file, documents that aren’t written with the HTML code, Usenet archieves, not related to text-tags; some search engines like Google, for example, are capable of tracing back those kind of files anyway;
  • illegal contents, forced out from the normal search engines, like pedopornographical sites, snuff, selling and producing drugs, selling and producing illegal weapons, sites that are under governative censure, warez sites and malwares;
  • special softwares, like Tor, I2P or other darknet softwares, that consent the access to intentionally hidden contents and accessible only with dedicated softwares.

How to access

If it’s enough to use browsers like Google, Safari or Firefox to navigate on the web, this situation doesn’t work for the deep web, specially when you get into the dark web.

In this case, in fact, the browsers don’t work, so it is necessary to instal on the PC or on the mobile device a specific program.

For sure, the most used browser, particularly in the deep web, is Tor, which is an acronym for The Onion Router, and that’s just a modified version of the Firefox software.

Tor is a program through which it’s possible to visit the deep web and to hide your data during the navigation, especially the IP address of the PC, so to navigate anonimously.

Tor, though, it’s not sufficient to be safe in this dark zone of the web: indeed, it’s an undergrowth of scammers, hidden societies, criminals, expert hackers, that aim to trick the most non-expert users with illicit actions, such as phishing of bank details, digital identity duplications and sensitive data thefts.

Deep and dark web: what’s the difference

The two terms get confused very often, and used as synonyms, nevertheless, going back to the image of the iceberg, deep and dark web are located in a very different position just because they are nothing alike.

As we’ve already mentioned, the deep web is the non-indexed part of World Wide Web by the classic search engines and this includes new sites that aren’t indexed yet, web pages with dinamic content, private business sites and web softwares.

The dark web, instead, is a subset of the deep web, to which you can’t access though a simple internet connection, but it requires the use of particular softwares, because its content are on nets surposed to the internet, known as the darknet.

Among the most common darknets, there are Tor, I2P and Freenet and it’s possible to acces to them though specific softwares that create a connection between darknet and internet.

The most know point of access is always Tor, that gives access to the the Tor net, guarantees the anonymity to the user and it permits to navigate on the World Wide Web.

Inside of it there are normal web sites, but also websites linked to illicit and illegal activities, that deal with electronic commerce of criminal activities, such as drug smuggling, the sharing of pedopornographic images, the sale of weapons, international hacking,

An example has been the Silk Road website, which was a site of the Tore net, closed by the FBI in 2013, and that consisted in a real markeplace for the sale of illegal drugs,

We have to remember that the deep and the dark web aren’t places where you can wander around as short-sighted; it’s important to know how to move and how to avoid potential traps.

That’s why, in order to get into this zone of the web, it is necessary to be careful: if you want to snoop around, we suggest you to do it with someone that’s really competent in this matter, or to avoid contacts with other users,

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