Answered By: Lauren McFall
Last Updated: Jan 18, 2023     Views: 103

The terms deep web and dark web are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. Deep Web simply refers to anything on the web that can’t be found using a standard search engine such as Google or Bing. This means anything that is password protected, or anything that is dynamically generated on the fly and doesn’t have a permanent URL — all of these things are said to comprise the deep web because they don’t exist at the surface of the web.

Library databases and other subscription services are part of the "deep web" as they cannot be accessed by anyone searching using a search engine. While there is some of the same content available for free on the Web, most of the content requires a paid subscription. The MiraCosta College Library provides access to thousands of eBooks, academic journal articles and reference sources for free to students, but we do require you to login using your SURF ID and password.

The dark web is part of — but not the same as — the deep web. Not only can you not find it through a search engine, but you cannot access it through a regular web browser either. This is the nefarious underbelly of the internet that the media refers to. The dark web is home to anonymously hosted websites that deal largely in illegal activities including drugs, extremism, illegal pornography, and weapons.

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