Deepnet, darknet and deep web

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Deepnet, darknet and deep web are three terms that nearly mean the same thing. We’ll look at the definition of these terms, the origins and some examples of their use in sentences.

Websites that are not indexed by search engines are said to exist on the deepnet. Websites on the deepnet may be on an intranet designed only for use inside a company or a private website meant only to be viewed by a group of family or friends.

Websites on the darknet are websites that are hidden from not only the general public but also from law enforcement. Websites on the darknet are anonymous, protected by various programs to make sure that networks and IP addresses are not discoverable. Most darknet websites require special programs and passwords or invitations to view them. The darknet is most often used for illegal file sharing and other illegal activities such as child pornography and drugs. However, the darknet may also serve as a place for political dissidents in totalitarian countries to communicate. The darknet was named in the 1970s to designate websites that were isolated from ARPANET. ARPANET evolved into the internet that we use today. The terms deepnet and darknet are often used interchangeably, but deepnet websites are simply websites that are not indexed by search engines and darknet websites are actively hidden from internet users.

Deep web is another term that usually refers to the darknet, but may also refer to the deepnet. The term is sometimes rendered as one word, deepweb. Deepnet, darknet and deep web are sometimes seen capitalized, but as time goes on, capitalization seems to be falling to the wayside.


Using a machine learning system, Shakarian and his team are able to monitor both darknet and deepnet websites for traffic related to potential hacks, giving software developers a heads-up so they know what they need to protect against. (Arizona State University Newspaper)

Violent extremists could increasingly branch out into cyberwarfare thanks to the availability of hacking services on the darknet, EU police have warned. (Newsweek Magazine)

Leia Turner, 29, a full-time mother from Woking, Surrey, was bullied by trolls on a local Facebook group saying they’d sold a photo of her daughter Lexi, who has spina bifida, to the ‘deep web’. (The Daily Mail)