From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

This article is about darknet websites. For the part of the Internet not accessible by traditional web search engines, see Deep web.

The dark web is the World Wide Web content that exists on darknetsoverlay networks that use the Internet but require specific software, configurations, or authorization to access. The dark web forms a small part of the deep web, the part of the Web not indexed by web search engines, although sometimes the term deep web is mistakenly used to refer specifically to the dark web.

The darknets which constitute the dark web include small, friend-to-friend peer-to-peer networks, as well as large, popular networks such as TorFreenetI2P, and Riffle operated by public organizations and individuals. Users of the dark web refer to the regular web as Clearnet due to its unencrypted nature. The Tor dark web or onionland uses the traffic anonymization technique of onion routing under the network’s top-level domain suffix .onion.

The deep web, invisible web, or hidden web are parts of the World Wide Web whose contents are not indexed by standard web search-engines. The opposite term to the deep web is the “surface web“, which is accessible to anyone/everyone using the Internet. Computer-scientist Michael K. Bergman is credited with coining the term deep web in 2001 as a search-indexing term.

The content of the deep web is hidden behind HTTP forms and includes many very common uses such as web mailonline banking, private or otherwise restricted access social-media pages and profiles, some web forums that require registration for viewing content, and services that users must pay for, and which are protected by paywalls, such as video on demand and some online magazines and newspapers.

The content of the deep web can be located and accessed by a direct URL or IP address, but may require a password or other security access to get past public-website pages.