Which is bigger? the web or the non-web internet?

“Deep web” and “dark web” are not the same thing. My students’ grades, for instance, are part of the deep web: Some random person with Internet access can’t access them. But with the right password, I can, and I can do it through a perfectly ordinary web browser. Likewise, my Gmail messages, my bank statements, the moderator tools here, etc. There’s a lot of Deep Web out there.

The “dark web” is things that are kept not only private, but hidden, usually because they’re illegal, and they usually do require special software like tor to access.

Usenet still exists, strangely enough.

According to the wiki it currently handles 100 terabytes of traffic and 170 million posts daily, up considerably from last year.

Right- what is the defining characteristic between WWW and Internet anyway? Like @Senegoid says, you could set up HTTPS transfers without an actual “Web site” being involved (although why would you want to? There are plenty of other, often better ways to do B2B data transfers.) That wouldn’t be considered part of the WWW by most people’s standards, as you probably can’t go to the site and browse it.

Similarly, how does a back-end database feeding a web site through a firewall count? Or a load balancer distributing to web servers? Are those part of the WWW or even internet?

What about online games? World of Warcraft/Fortnight/League of Legends used a bunch of bandwidth and I wouldn’t consider them part of the WWW.


Call me an old fogey, but I still use Usenet. I’m down to only one newsgroup (occasionally a second one) and there’s only about 8 or so people who still post to it, but it’s still active.

Companies like Sandvine (an ISP content analytics platform) provide Global Internet Reports every year. I believe at one point maybe a decade ago, Bittorrent exceeded 50% of all internet traffic which would have made the non-web portion bigger. With the rise of streaming, BT traffic appears to be around the 20% mark. The only other major non-web traffic source that might contend would be the rise of Zoom style video streaming but that appears to be about 10% of internet traffic right now.

Online gaming would also be an example of major non web internet traffic but from a bandwidth perspective, it is miniscule compared to video streaming.

Yeah, online gaming is extremely low bandwidth. It needs “speed” in the sense of low latency, but latency and bandwidth are not always related.

And Zoom is another example of how the borders are fuzzy. When I use Zoom, it’s through the Zoom application. And it’s possible that, on any given call, everyone else on the call is also using the Zoom application. In that case, it’s definitely not “the Web”. But it’s also possible to join a Zoom call by clicking on a link on a webpage and viewing the video in a web browser window. If one person joins the call that way, is the entire call now “on the Web”? What if that’s how everyone in the call joined? Or if it’s Google Meet instead, which doesn’t even have a standalone application, and is always in a web browser?

Very fuzzy. Zoom does lots of work on port 443, so web. Then once the meeting starts, there is lots of traffic on 8801 for video and stuff, so not web. Unless connections on 8801 don’t work, then it falls back to 443 for video, so web again.

So, if I run zoom from home where I allow all outgoing traffic it isn’t web, but if I run it from my kids school, where outgoing traffic is locked down, it is web?

Wow. These answers are all very interesting. Thanks, everyone.