The dark web is a part of the internet that is intentionally hidden, and it is not accessible via regular browsers (unless you do a lot of tweaking). The design of the network is meant to ensure the anonymity of everyone, something that can’t be achieved over the regular internet (surface web).
Due to this anonymity and hidden nature, the dark web is usually associated with criminal activities and all types of shady businesses. However, everything is not all ‘dark’ there, and there are some websites on the dark web worth visiting. In this article, we’ll tell you what to expect and how to access this hidden part of the internet – safely.
Deep Web vs. Dark Web
These two are often confused, and it’s important to understand the difference. The deep web is any part of the internet that has not been indexed by search engines, and therefore can’t be accessed by searching on Google or other search engines. This includes content that is behind a paywall or requires credentials such as your emails, membership webpages, medical records, etc. This part makes up about 96% of the entire internet, according to experts – the surface web is just a tiny part.
On the other hand, it is a subset of the deep web in that it can’t be crawled, but this part requires a special browser to access. It contains websites similar to the ones on the surface web, although the naming system is different. its sites end with a .onion suffix, and they usually have a longer name that, in most cases, doesn’t make sense.
What Happens on the Dark Web?
It’s not possible to clearly describe everything that happens on the dark web, although one can describe it as “everything.” The first thing about the dark web is that you need to get URLs for the specific sites you want to access. These sites usually come and go, but there’s always a replacement. Some of the most famous and popular ones are usually taken down by authorities, although this isn’t as easy as for regular sites.
Most of the stories that go around about it such as online hitmen or red rooms are usually fiction. And although such sites exist, they are most used to con people – and so do most commercial websites on the dark web. That said, there are still websites that sell weapons, drugs, fake currency, bank accounts, PayPal accounts, Netflix accounts, etc. There are also malware and botnet codes and tutorials, hackers for hire, etc. You can also find websites with some of the darkest
confessions that can make you lose faith in humanity. However, there’s still a legal side of the dark web. It is used as a channel for covert communications by intelligence agencies and for purposes such as whistle-blowing as well as other regular activities such as chatting. The likes of ProPublica, Facebook, and even the CIA have a version of their sites on the dark web!
How to Access the Dark Web
Accessing to it is super easy, and all you need to do is download the Tor Browser. This browser will then connect you to the network of proxy servers set up by volunteers across the world, and you will be able to access the dark web.
However, Google doesn’t operate on the dark web, and so you will need to use DuckDuckGo, the main dark web search engine. To browse safely, you can go to TheHiddenWiki (http://wikitjerrta4qgz4.onion on the dark web) and get links for websites in the category that you desire. This way, you will know the type of website you are visiting, and so you will be able to tread carefully.