Surface Web vs. Dark Web Access And Differences Explained

Surface web is transparent and that can be easily accessed using a Chrome, Edge, Firefox. Dark web is the second layer of the internet and invisible.



The Internet has opened the door to immense possibilities for us. It is completely changing our daily life and taking us to a different world. Now we don't have to be limited to dial-up.

Many of us have come to regard access to a stable Internet connection as an important aspect of daily life and a right. We pay bills online, check bank statements online, communicate via email and maintain a social media presence.

Similarly, most of us have started depending on the web for work and entertainment. Also, we have started to get used to the trend of searching for information through search engines. But search engines like Google, DuckDuckGo, Brave, Bing, etc. have not only made the internet popular.

The area of the internet that we access every day is called the surface web. Apart from this, we also have the 'Deep' (deep) and 'Dark' (dark) web. It is important to know the difference between the two in this age of the internet.

Difference between surface and dark web

Surface internet is the first layer of the internet which is transparent and can be easily accessed using a browser like Safari, Chrome, Edge or Firefox. The deep or dark web is the second layer of the internet. This web is invisible to ordinary people.

Websites and pages on this web contain password-protected content, private forums, and personal resources. Search engine browsers do not display pages on this web. So you have to find the real and correct link to access any website here.

This web may contain records to access intranets or corporate resources. Special software is required to gain access to the dark web. To stay safe in this, first, you need to install a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Along with this, you need to use a privacy-focused browser like the Tor network to connect to the dark web through nodes and proxy servers. By using it, you are more secure and you can anonymize your traffic. Also, the Tor browser is able to access the domains with '.onion' (dot onion) used on this web.

The use of VPN on the dark web is mainly used to reduce the online footprint as much as possible and to hide the location.

Is the dark web only for criminals?

When discussing the dark web online, it is often depicted as a criminal market or a web used by people declared criminals by law. Drugs, weapons, stolen IPs, and data are often bought and sold from the dark web. In which the seller is giving various offers on hundreds of terabytes of information.

Merchants on the web make money from stolen credit cards, credentials, and intellectual property of companies that have been compromised during cyber attacks.

According to Kela's 2022 Thread Intelligence Report, 48 percent of organizations say they have no clear evidence of cybercrime. However, they are all worried about the threat posed by cybercrime.

Apart from criminal activities, many organizations and individuals use the dark web. Many have also used the dark web legitimately for various services and communication. For example important services for individuals in countries with strict government surveillance and control,

Tools used to combat strict censorship, email, and drop boxes that require more privacy can be taken. Apart from these, some media also use the dark web to maintain their online presence.

Similarly, other websites use this web even when the ISP is banned by the government. Protesters civil rights groups, journalists, lawyers, and other groups are using it, despite the questionable reputation of this type of web.

Should we be careful on the dark web?

Unless you know exactly where to go to access a legitimate website, you need to be aware of some of the risks you are taking. 

These topics include:

Illegal market

If you venture into an underground market on the dark web, you'll find drugs, weapons, forged documents, stolen information, and malware for sale.

Cryptocurrency is used when buying any kind of goods or services from there. Even if you buy something from there using cryptocurrency, there is no guarantee that you will not be tracked.


Even if you try to buy some goods illegally on this kind of web, they may be fake. In general, the sellers here don't seem to be the ones peddling such lies.

View content of an extreme nature

Extreme or offensive content on the web should be searched for on your own. If you do anything like that, you may be arrested by the police. One thing to keep in mind is that downloading such content is often considered illegal.


Similar to the surface web, this web also contains various malware. Which is used to damage your device or steal the information on it?

Along with malware, you can also become a victim of phishing attacks on the web.

How to access the dark web?

If you want to get access to this web then you have to do these things first. Invest in a VPN

A VPN hides your location. It also breaks down the online 'breadcrumbs' (waves of evidence and footprints) that trace you back. When working online using VPN, all those activities are encrypted. 

Which helps you protect against eavesdropping and ‘man-in-the-middle’ (MITM) attacks?

By using VPN you can change your location. Also, VPNs use a collection of servers and relays to make tracing your IP difficult. If you want to access the web, it is much safer to use paid VPNs than free ones.

Tor Browser

This browser works to hide online footprints and open restricted websites. Also, this browser also prevents the creation of profiles based on your browsing.

Tor Browser uses several layers of encryption to further hide your identity. Also, this browser has cooperated with the DuckDuckGo search engine to not save your search history or queries and logins.

To make your internet activity even more secure, you can go to the settings and select the 'Safer' or 'Safest' option. From you can also block the functionality of potentially dangerous websites.

Worldwide d many volunteers have operated tor networks. Which maintain proxy servers are used to protect your identity?

VPN and Tor should be used together when using the dark web. For more security, it is highly recommended to connect to Tor through a VPN. If you are worried about malware etc. then you can use Virtual Machine (VM).

You can download Tor Browser on Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android.

(Click here to download this browser)


To gain access to various websites or pages on the dark web, you need to know their web address. These websites tend to use '.onion' domain names, many of which contain long names, and random combinations of letters and numbers.

There are many '.onion' links and websites hosting directories on the internet. But you should always be careful because some links will take you to trading sites like cryptocurrency mixers, drug dealers, and fake passport makers.

Apart from this, some of them lead to non-commercial and non-legal pages. These may include training workshops, forums, and personal blogs on various topics.

This type of web also has legitimate sites like Defcon, ProPublica, and CIA. Also, various libraries and open-source software can be found in it.

Is it legal or illegal to use the dark web?

In most countries, it is legal to use sources on the dark web. But what should be remembered is that doing criminal activities using this web is illegal or against the law.

If you are not secure enough while visiting websites on the dark web, you may end up in police custody. Even if there is no evidence of illegal activity or purchases, you may be under investigation or investigation.

Is the dark web completely private and secure?

The simple answer to this question is no. Strong encryption, VPNs, proxy servers, and hidden web addresses all contribute to a more anonymous experience on the web. 

There is no single system that we have access to or that is completely private and secure. Hiding your identity does not mean that you are completely protected from the possibility of tracking on the web. 

Doing so may also mean falling into the circle of illegal activities. In which risks are mixed. However, while using this web, things like your privacy and possible surveillance are things that depend on us.

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