You may have heard about this mysterious place on the internet called the ‘Deep Web’. Interest in the deep web and dark web has been on the rise in recent years, following a few high profile data leaks, references in mainstream media or the widely publicized FBI investigation into Silk Road that exposed the extent of online drug trafficking.

But what is exactly the deep web? Well it’s not actually a 'place' but rather anywhere other than the visible web that is crawled, indexed and accesed through links fetched by search engines like Google. The deep web is actually several times bigger than the indexed web, and it encompasses a lot more than the illegal or otherwise questionable activities that it is often associated with -- though there's certainly a lot of that going on too.

Let's start by clearing up some of the confusion among the different terms that tend to be thrown around while discussing the Internet's underground.

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Header image credit The Kernel