Clearnet (networking)

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Surface web in relation to Deep and Dark web

Clearnet is a term typically referring to the publicly accessible Internet, the opposite of the darknet that typically describes the encrypted, anonymous services built on the Tor Internet service, and similar.[1]

The World Wide Web is one of the most popular distributed services on the Internet, and the surface web is composed of the web pages and databases that are indexed by traditional search engines. The opposite of the surface web is the deep web, which is not indexed, but most of which is publicly accessible. It includes web portals to databases that require text searches, and interactive web sites that require more user input than simply clicking hyperlinks. Because the darknet is not publicly accessible, it is part of the deep web. Sometimes "clearnet" is used as a synonym for "surface web"—excluding both the darknet and the deep web.[2]


Without the use of anonymity services like Tor, browsers on the Clearnet are typically not anonymous; most websites routinely identify users by their IP address.[3]


  1. ^ Miller, Tessa. "How Can I Stay Anonymous with Tor?". Life Hacker. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  2. ^ "A discussion about dark net terminology". Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  3. ^ DeepDotWeb. "Clearnet vs Hidden Services – Why You Should Be Careful". DeepDotWeb. Archived from the original on 28 June 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2015.