What is the Deep Web exactly? Many people are asking this question recently, as the Deep Web has seen quite a few headlines in 2013. To put it simply, the Deep Web is the part of the Internet that is hidden from view.
The Deep Web is hidden from view, because it’s not indexed by search engines such as Google or Bing. The Deep Web has received some infamy, most recently in 2013, because of it’s association to nefarious activities and it being ‘hidden’ from plain site. Websites such as the Silk Road operated under the anonymity of the Deep Web.
Accessing websites that are hidden away in the Deep Web can be done with special routing software, such as TOR. By going through the Deep Web, it makes it easier to remain anonymous while browsing the web. And the Deep Web is estimated to be 500x the size of the Surface Web. A great analogy, pictured below in the infographic by whoishostingthis.com, is of an iceberg. The top surface area is visible, which makes up 4% of the Internet. Then the bottom hidden area, which makes up the Deep Web, is 96% of the Internet.
It’s hard to talk about the Deep Web without mentioning bitcoins. Since a lot of the activities in the Deep Web are done on the black market, Bitcoin also has seen some press in 2013 thanks to the Deep Web. Going back to Silk Road, they operated their financial transactions all in bitcoins, which adds an extra layer of anonymity, although bitcoins are not completely anonymous.
This of course influenced Bitcoin, but Bitcoin is not defined by the Deep Web at all. Although the overall infographic below has some relative points of the Deep Web, Silk Road, and Bitcoin, I would say that bitcoins are not solely connected to these black market type of activities.