• October 1, 2017

The Surface-Web…

The Deep-Web…

The Dark-Web…


What does it all mean?


Written by Darren L. Epstein, all rights reserved.  Copyright © 2019 / (DO NOT COPY)

Differences of a Surface Web Search vs. a Deep Web Search

The Surface Web is what you and I search each and every day, but there is much more than the news sites, and surface the World-Wide-Web is showing us.  Let’s get down to it and figure out what these hackers or interesting peeps are talking about when they talk about the Dark-web, the web-archive and how to you access it and should you.

The Deep-Web is anything that a search engine can’t find:

The Deep-Web is easier to explain as an example, if you wanted to locate a hotel and rates you wouldn’t search Google.  You need to go deeper into the web, known as the Deep-Web.  You would use a specific site, like Priceline, Tripadvisor, or alike to gather your information.  A search engine can only produce links to press, however sites like Priceline, Tripadvisor, kayak…as examples use search boxes to filter results.  Investigative tools and utilities also use search boxes to filter out data.  So the big difference here is that there is a SEARCH BOX at the website assisting to filter data.

Other examples would be specific search websites, like Court Records, Property Records, etc.  Google can’t find the pages behind these websites Most of the content located in the Deep-Web exists in these websites that require a search utility and it’s not illicit.  The data is there, but you physically can’t search and don’t know where to search for that information that is open and available.  So various investigative tools might assist with a social media investigation by allowing investigators to access the “Deep-Web” by allowing us to enter in keywords with filtering.


If you go a little deeper, you’ll find the Dark Web.

The Dark-Web is a small portion of the Deep Web that has been intentionally hidden and is inaccessible through standard browsers.

It can ONLY be accessed using a special browser.  The most famous content residing on the Dark Web is found in the TOR network. The TOR network is an anonymous network, an implementation of onion routing, which encrypts and then randomly bounces communications through a network of relays.  This is the portion of the Internet most widely known for illicit activities because of the anonymity associated.  You have all heard of an IP address and that IP address is a breadcrumb to your ISP (Internet Service Provider).  Normal investigative means allows investigators to track that down and with the assistance of an attorney you can serve process on the ISP to obtain the name and address to the IP address that ISP issued to that customer.  HOWEVER, using the Dark-Web hides that original IP address by randomly bouncing your communication.


Did someone remove something trying to hide their tracks…it’s time to hit the web archive.

The Web Archive stores billions of web pages since 1996…last checked close to 470 billion. In 2014 the Web Archive had over nine petabytes of data.  The Web Archive can help with investigations, research, or to just go back in time and get a good laugh at an old websites technology.   Example:  If you want to see someone’s Facebook account but they recently made it inactive.  Just use the web archive to locate the webpage months or years prior.  The saying, whatever you upload to the web is always in the web has new meaning when you visit and understand what the Web Archive can do for you.

Written by Darren L. Epstein, all rights reserved.  Copyright © 2019 / (DO NOT COPY)

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