Many people questions about, how to access the dark web. So, I have decided to write a content about this hidden internet world. For the millions of people using the Internet every day. Much of the information available on the Web is actually inaccessible to the general public. They are in the deeper side of the websites and unavailable for indexing by standard search engines such as Google.
By some estimates, only 4% of all information available on the web is actually accessible by the general public. But, the 96% of content is inaccessible to most of us. This part of the Internet World that is invisible to the general surfers is known as the ‘Deep Web’. All private data and confidential databases, including financial statements, medical records, emails and other confidential documents are safe from the prying eyes of the general search bot for specific reasons.
However, Deep Web also contains other content that exists on the overlay network. Such as darknets where you can enter with special software. This is exactly where the dark web comes. So, without further ado, let us take a look at what actually the dark web is. And how you can access into it.
What Is The Dark Web And How Is It Different From The Deep Web?
Although many people use the Deep Web and the Dark Web, both are synonymous. This is because the Dark Web is actually a (very small) subset of the Deep Web. It includes sensor-resistant platforms, such as Tor, Freon, and IIP (Invisible Internet Project). A large proportion of websites on the Dark Web is on the Tor platform. It has .onion as their top level domain (TLD). Meanwhile, the IIP platform has .i2p as their top-level domain name. The first lot is relatively easy to access; these are I2P-based sites that are a bit tricky.
Often called the modern Wild West, the Dark Web is a completely separate sub-system. It breaks away from the regular ‘surface web’ that you and I access every day. It has its own search engine, the most famous being ‘Village’ that looks and feels like Google. This even referred to by fans and critics as the ‘Google of the Dark Web’. Read more about scary facts about dark web and deep web.
Different Aspects of Dark Web
There are many aspects of the Dark Web. The market has the banned narcotics, psychotropic substances, AK-47 assault rifles etc. are ready for sell here. You can also find Hitman for Rent on the allegedly controversial Dark Web marketplace. The most maligned and infamous of which, Silk Road, was shut down in 2013 by US law-enforcement agencies. But, we’ll get to the details in a while.
It is ironic that US government agencies today are at the forefront of the war against the Dark Web. The Tor network was actually developed by US military researchers in the 1990s. The technology was originally intended for exclusive use by the country’s intelligence establishment. They use it to send and receive information in complete anonymity to their henchmen in various parts of the world. However, the software was eventually released to the public use too.
How to Access the Dark Web?
Accessing the dark web is a very simple process when you know how. As mentioned earlier, there are many different networks that make up the Dark Web, so the process will vary, depending on which sites you want to access. For the purpose of this article, we will take a look at how to use sites on the Tor network that hosts over 90% of the sites on the Dark Web.
To access Tor-based dark web sites, all you need is a piece of special-winding open source software called ‘Tor’. It is available for download from torproject.org. You can just download the Tor software, but then you will need to configure it exactly the way it requires. Therefore, you’d be better off downloading the Tor browser bundle, which includes a modified version of the Mozilla Firefox browser with the Vidalia control panel.
Now, all you need to do is run the .exe file to install the software on your computer. And now you are good to go. Every time you want to connect to Tor, just double click the Tor browser shortcut icon, wait a while for the network to get up and running.
Once everything is set, a browser window will automatically open for you, and you will be able to surf the web in complete anonymity. Now you can access the dark web.
Things to Remember
Remember one thing that you need to be able to use the platform of the URLs of websites on the Dark Web effectively. Since not all of those websites are indexed on specific search engines as well. If you do not have a treasure trove of dark web URLs, we suggest you to use a primitive tor-based dark web search engine called Gram (Onion Link). You can also go to aggregation sites like The Hidden Wiki which lists a lot of dark web sites. But, be careful about which links you click, because, many of them are dangerously NSFW. There are also several threads on subreddits such as r/deepweb and r/DNMsuperlist that have tons of dark web links. So, you can check them out as well.
If you want to locate Tor-based websites on all the Dark Web, you can also use a Linux distro named Tales. It is built on Debian and actually all traffic via Tor by default. The OS can be booted directly from a USB stick. So, even if something goes wrong, you’ll still need to reboot or reformat the USB drive to deal with the problem. In this way you can access the dark web.
The Controversy Surrounding the Dark Web
The Dark Web has many legitimate uses, but as mentioned earlier, it also helps criminals hide their identities while carrying out their nefarious activities. No wonder law enforcement agencies around the world have dedicated units within their cyber-crime divisions to monitor these potentially dangerous locations on the web. It often harass drug traffickers, gun runners, money launderers, terrorists and pedophiles. Huh.
As already summarized, the largest, worst, and most maligned Silk Road was that of all illegal markets operating on the Dark Web. The site, often referred to as the ‘eBay of Drugs’, was launched in 2011 by Ross William Ulbricht, who went by the pseudonym ‘Der Pirate Roberts’ on the controversial marketplace. It quickly gained popularity, and soon became a niche on the Internet for buying and selling banned narcotics. After the FBI closed the site in October 2013, some administrators revived it as Silk Road 2.0 the following month. However, even this did not last very long, with the FBI managing to close it the following year. Ulbricht was prosecuted and convicted in 2015 for his role in facilitating the functioning of the illegal market, and was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
New Dark Web Site
Funnily enough, a website called ‘Silk Road Reloaded’ sprung up on the Dark Web just hours after Silk Road 2.0 closed. Since then, a lot of marketplaces have popped up, and each with more sophisticated encryption than the other. The largest and most well-known dark web marketplace right now is ‘ay Alphabay Market’, which contains over 225, 000 listings for drugs from 150, 000. Basically, whether you want a forged passport or a few grams of crystal meth, an assault rifle or a plastic explosive, the dark web slowly builds up. But if you are looking for complete anonymity then this will definitely be the place to be. .
In fact, the Dark Web has also been a fertile playground for cyber criminals, who have often bought and sold hacked personal information. The confidential details about millions of people through multiple online marketplaces, which are known worldwide exist in the dark darkness of the wide web. Cyber-security researchers also believe that many types of malware are also regularly traded on the Dark Web. The most dangerous ransomware in recent memory, such as Carmen, Frozlock and even Abdomen 2.0 (also known as Notepetia).
Is The Dark Web Illegal?
Short answer, No and no The Dark Web is not illegal in most countries and just accessing it will not put you in jail. Once you do this, you can land in hot water based on your local law. Do not buy or sell until then, do not download any restricted imagery, and stay away from sites that illegal content, such as terrorist propaganda, human trafficking and pedophilia are hosting. However, before venturing in this direction, you would do well to check the local laws in your area. We will also advise you to take the following precautions before browsing the dark web.
Precautions You Should Take While Entering the Dark Web
First, common contrary to popular belief, Tor is not anonymous ourselves enough. If you or the bad guys will not stop from attacking you, or law enforcement, you’ll stop the track. So to protect your online anonymity, free VPN services are available to use. However, make sure that you do not keep any logs related to traffic, sessions, DNS, or metadata. Personally, my personal favorite is CyberHost, but there are many other excellent services you can subscribe to. So, expect the best VPN services on our most recent list that tickles your fans.
You may want to use either disposable email IDs or encrypted e-mail services as an additional layer of protection. Also, as mentioned earlier, do not download anything on the Dark Web until you know exactly what you are doing, or at least before opening your file on your computer on VirusTotal, do the test.
Keeping these precautions in mind, for the most part your anonymity is expected to be preserved online, but you will have the best protection ever, whether on the Dark Web or regularly, you have your own common sense. And always remember that old saying – if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Read more about best vpn for darknet and dark web sites.
The Bright Side of the Dark Web
The Dark Web has received a lot of bad press over the years. But a lot of its notoriety comes from Alarmstream Reportage, with little or no understanding by sections of the mainstream press. This is because how technology works and why many Activists, journalists, researchers and whistle-blowers really need the anonymity it provides. WikiLeaks, a site often used by whistle-blowers around the world to reveal illegal government activity. It is originally started on the Dark Web. Even Facebook launched a dark web site last year , which can only be accessed via Tor. This is because users can avoid being tracked by oppressive regimes.
Reporters Frontiers (Reporters without Borders) have described Tor as an essential ‘survival kit’ for its members. Service recommended by major human rights organizations also tend to have, such as Global Voice, Human Rights Watch and the International Broadcasting Bureau, which is the Voice of America and Radio Free run in Asia. Cyber security researchers use TOR to test firewalls and provide emergency services in case of DNS failures.
The Dark Web: Different Reach from Reality
The Dark Web is far from the fallen hellhole that some alarmist media reports have made it out to be. Sure, this is a bit of a Wild West insofar as there is too much extra-legal stuff going on. But, Tor providing anonymity is often a matter of life and death for many. For the rest of us, the hidden web is still a great resource to explore. And navigating through it can be a huge eye opener even for experienced netizens.