Table of Contents
The Internet is vast, and not everything can be found through popular search engines like Google or Bing. There is a significant portion of online content that remains hidden from search results, known as the invisible web. To access this hidden content, you need to use specialist search engines. In this article, we will introduce you to the top 12 services that can help you perform a deep Internet search.
What is the Invisible Web?
The term “invisible web” refers to online content that doesn’t appear in search results or web directories. Experts estimate that the invisible web is several times larger than the visible web, which is the content that can be accessed through regular search engines.
The invisible web can be divided into two categories: the deep web and the dark web.
The Deep Web
The deep web consists of content that requires some form of accreditation to access. Examples include library databases, personal records (financial, academic, health, and legal), email inboxes, cloud storage drives, and company intranets. If you have the necessary credentials, you can access this content through a regular web browser.
The Dark Web
The dark web is a subset of the deep web. To access dark web content, you need to use a specialised browser like Tor. The dark web is known for its anonymity and is often associated with illegal activities such as drug and weapon sales. However, not everything on the dark web is illegal; some websites are hidden to enable users in totalitarian regimes to access information freely.
Now that we have a better understanding of the invisible web, let’s explore the specialist search engines that can help us delve into its depths.
Pipl is known as the world’s largest people search engine. Unlike Google, Pipl can interact with searchable databases, member directories, court records, and other deep Internet search content to offer you a detailed snapshot of a person. You can also use Pipl to perform a deep search of yourself and see what information is available.
The Wayback Machine
The Wayback Machine is a unique search engine that stores copies of more than 361 billion web pages. It allows you to search for content that is no longer available on the visible web. Additionally, the Wayback Machine is a valuable resource for viewing old versions of websites and tracking their historical changes.
The WWW Virtual Library
The WWW Virtual Library is the oldest catalogue on the web, established by Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, in 1991. This catalogue is compiled by volunteers who meticulously curate links to deep web content across various categories. It provides a high-quality index of valuable resources on the invisible web.
DuckDuckGo is widely recognised as one of the best private search engines for the visible web. It also offers an onion site that allows you to explore the dark web. By combining the regular DuckDuckGo engine with the Onion version, you can perform an entire web search, including results from the deep web and the dark web.
USA.gov is a comprehensive portal that provides access to public material from federal agencies, state and local governments, and tribal governments. It covers a wide range of topics, including government jobs, loans, grants, taxes, and much more. Most of the information available on USA.gov is not indexed by popular search engines like Google.
Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
The Directory of Open Access Journals is a search engine specifically designed for accessing academic papers. It provides free access to over 19,000 journals and more than 8.9 million articles across all subjects. While Google Scholar can also provide access to some of this information, the DOAJ is considered a superior research tool.
SearX is a unique dark web search engine that also retrieves data from the visible web. To access SearX, you need to use a dark web browser like Tor and paste the provided URL into the address bar. This search engine pulls data from different sources, offering a vast array of search possibilities.
Elephind is a specialised search engine that aims to provide a single portal to all the historical newspapers of the world. It is particularly useful for researchers, including family historians, genealogists, and students. Many of the newspapers available on Elephind are exclusively part of the deep web and cannot be found through popular search engines like Google.
Torch is one of the oldest and most reputable deep web search engines. It prides itself on not censoring search results and scours the deep web daily, looking for new publicly available Onion websites on the Tor network. Torch currently indexes over a million documents, making it a valuable resource for deep web research.
Ahmia is a dark web search engine that is unique because it is accessible on the regular web. However, keep in mind that any links or results you find on Ahmia will not be accessible unless you have the Tor browser installed. Ahmia offers a glimpse into the dark web without exposing you to the associated risks.
WorldCat is a deep Internet search engine that provides access to over two billion indexed items from libraries worldwide. It offers links that are typically only available through database searches, making it an invaluable resource for finding books and other materials in libraries near you.
Project Gutenberg is a renowned platform that offers over 60,000 free e-books for download. It provides e-books in various formats and also suggests similar books for readers to explore. If you’re looking for copyright-free e-books, Project Gutenberg is one of the best sites to visit.
In conclusion, the invisible web contains a vast amount of valuable information that cannot be accessed through popular search engines. By utilising specialist search engines like the ones mentioned in this article, you can unlock the hidden depths of the Internet and discover a wealth of resources and knowledge.
To learn more about the invisible web and explore the dark web further, there are numerous other dedicated search engines available.