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Into the dark: 3 myths about the Darknet

Into the dark: 3 myths about the Darknet

First of all: No, the Darknet (respectively Dark Web) isn’t called Darknet because a light bulb burned out. The Darknet is a part of the Deep Web and both Webs describe networks and websites which are not indexed by search engines like Google or Bing. And actually this isn’t illegal. These can be private networks or dynamic websites which are just created as soon as an user requests them.

1st myth: The Darknet is the same like the Deep Web

Surface Web

Let’s start at the beginning with the so called Surface Web. Most of you already do know the Surface Web. It contains all websites or sources which are indexed by typical search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo. How does such a search work? Google explains it in an interactive story.

Deep Web

Let’s dig a little bit deeper into the happenings. The Surface Web is about all the stuff, a search engine can find. Contrary the Deep Web contains all the websites and resources, a search engine cannot find. These can be i.e. intranets or governmental websites (i.e. the website of the European Union) where you can search for special topics or forms. On such pages an internal search function is used and not a search engine like Google & Co. Not all of these subpages can be found on Google, Bing or Yahoo or other external search engines. Actually, most of the Deep Web contains academically content which are handled by universities. Also by using the search function in a public library you’re already scratching the surface of the Deep Web.


Lights off – now it becomes dark (well, or maybe not…). The Darknet is a small part of the Deep Web which is hidden intentionally and which isn’t accessible by standard web browsers. To access the Darknet so called onion networks are being used. By accessing the normal internet, computers are accessing central servers which display the website itself. The Darknet doesn’t contain such central servers. Moreover single users pool together and build their own network.
In an onion network the direct linking of sender and destination doesn’t work. Instead data will be moved through a lot of relays. These relay mostly do not know the sender who wants to open a website nor do they know the destination/website. The Tor browser (The Onion Routing) is one of the better known browsers to open websites within the onion networks. There are other networks, i.e. I2P, and Freenet (which doesn’t have anything to do with the internet provider), too. Also popular services are offering their services here. I.e. Facebook is represented by the address facebookcorewwwi.onion and the German mail provider is offering its services as well.

Easily explained: #SurfaceWeb vs #DeepWeb vs #Darknet / via #Avira


2nd myth: Criminal ploys are just happening within the Darknet

Because of the latest happenings in Munich, German and international news sites (i.e. N24) jumped on the topic „Darknet“. They’re reporting that the Darknet is just used for criminal activities – which is nonsense. Stolen data, terrorist pages as well as child porn (without a link…) you also can find on the normal Web – without any fancy encryption software required. Accordingly, to reports of IWF (Internet Watch Foundation) especially the last topic is increasing a lot. Every year more and more pages are being reported by the foundation.

Criminal ploys are just happening within the #Darknet = #nonsense! / via #Avira


3rd myth: The Darknet is huge!

No, it’s not. The Darknet is tiny – compared to the remaining Web. While more than one billion websites are known within the normal Web the Darknet contains a lot less of them. According to about 75% of these websites are inactive. An article published by Forbes in June 2015 tells about 30,000 websites within the onion network – dependent on the type of measurement. Tor even offers statistics about the number of website themselves and talks about 50,000 websites. Compared the normal Web (Surface Web) this really just a tiny number.

The #Darknet is more like a niche of the internet. #SurfaceWeb / #DeepWeb > #Darknet / via #Avira


As you can see not all the information you can find are correct. 😉 What myths about the Darknet do you know in addition?

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Hey, I'm Istvan and the Social Media Manager @Avira. Find all of my blog articles here and I hope you enjoy & share them. Stay up-to-date and connect with Avira on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Follow this blog with Bloglovin.