The Surface Web

Surface Web – Essentially the visible web, that is, the Web as is it is generally thought of: static websites (though many connect to Deep Web databases, such as Example of Surface Web pages may include Google, Facebook, YouTube, the New York Times, and other websites. Iffat & Sami provide an adequate working definition of the Surface Web:

Surface Web is made up of static and fixed pages, whereas Deep Web is made up of dynamic pages. Static pages do not depend on a database for their content. They reside on a server waiting to be retrieved, and are basically html files whose content never changes. Any changes are made directly to the html code and the new version of the page is uploaded to the server (Iffat & Sami, 1)

A visual aid in understanding the Web. Source:

Thus, any reference to Surface Web will be referring to common websites, that is, sites whose domains end in .com, .org, .net, or similar variations, and whose content does not require any special configuration to access.

A common image used to convey the meaning of Surface versus Deep Web is that of an iceberg: The visible portion of the iceberg represents a very small part of the whole (the whole in this case being the whole of the Internet, surface and deep web).The following pages will explain the Invisible Web (for our purposes, we’ll call this the Deep Web) further.

Next, The Dark Web


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