Accessing The Dark Web
You can’t search for your personal bank account on Google. You can only go to the main banking page and then log in. The deep web is also a space for journalists and whistleblowers to share sensitive information anonymously.
Sure, we understand that there are websites that are hard to find because they’re unlisted. But we imagine these sites mostly to be blogs and business websites that are too small or undeveloped to see the light of search engines. But there’s a whole other world of websites that you can’t find through Google. These are websites that—for reasons both legal and illegal—exist in a world that’s intentionally hard to find. The dark web is intentionally hidden and requires specific technologies — like the Tor browser and the Invisible Internet Project network — to gain access.
Steps to access TOR:
Hackers can steal your data without a hoodie, dark rooms, and green lines of code splashed on the computer screen. It’s enough to share your details by mistake, click on the wrong link, or sign-up with your regular name. Even if you use the Tor browser, your traffic can still be traced back to you by anyone with sufficient time, resources, and know-how, especially in case of an IP leak.
The Dark Web is often confused with the Deep Web, a far larger part of the internet consisting of information that isn’t available to the public or indexed by search engines. With its strict zero-logs policy, none of your data is ever recorded to PIA’s servers. That means it can’t be seen by anyone even if the government requests it. PIA also has an automatic kill switch feature, which instantly shuts off your internet if you lose contact with the VPN server. This ensures that you won’t be exposed as a Dark Web user even if the connection drops.
How the Deep Web Is Different From Traditional Internet
Researchers from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other groups continued its development and launched the Tor project in 2006 as a tool for journalists, activists, and whistleblowers. The WWW Virtual Library– The original index of the web, but more of a directory than a search engine. Another vital precaution is to ensure that your .onion URLs are correct. Onion URLs generally contain a string of seemingly random letters and numbers. Once you are certain that you have the correct URL, save it in an encrypted note—the Tor browser will not cache it for later. Otherwise, there’s a good chance of falling victim to a phishing scam like this fake bitcoin mixer.
A good example of one is the shutdown of the popular hacking forum Raidforums in April 2021. There are many good and legitimate reasons to step into the dark web, but you should always do so with caution. For instance, did you know you can unknowingly break the law while browsing the internet? Similar to the surface web, the dark web can contain malware.
Research the sites you plan to make purchases through ahead of time. For additional security, set Tor’s security level to “Safest”. To do this, simply click the shield button at the top right corner of the browser. Once it’s finished installing, you’ll have a couple of options for how to proceed. A local server will provide you with the fastest connection. The dark web gives people living in countries under heavy censorship a chance to communicate openly without risk of exposure.
Tor browsers create encrypted entry points and pathways for the user, allowing their dark web searches and actions to be anonymous. The dark web has often been confused with the deep web, the parts of the web not indexed by search engines. The term dark web first emerged in 2009; however, it is unknown when the actual dark web first emerged. Many internet users only use the surface web, data that can be accessed by a typical web browser.
In Summary — Best VPNs for Secure Access to the Dark Web
Items you would not be able to simply access by clicking on a link from a search engine. The deep web constitutes over 90% of online content and is inaccessible via search engines. While the surface web may represent most of what the average user sees, there are many more layers of hidden content to be found on the dark web. Using a special browser known as The Onion Router , users can explore these hidden sites and engage in both legal and illicit activities under the cover of an anonymous IP address.
- But there’s a whole other world of websites that you can’t find through Google.
- Aranza studies at DePaul University in Chicago and majors in marketing with a concentration in digital marketing.
- You can access the dark web by installing specific, anonymous browsers, such as TOR.
- Although not everything on the dark net is illegal, it’s where you’ll find many of the internet’s black markets, hacker forums, malware vendors, and other illicit activity.
Bitcoin is one of the main cryptocurrencies used in dark web marketplaces due to the flexibility and relative anonymity of the currency. With Bitcoin, people can hide their intentions as well as their identity. A common approach was to use a digital currency exchanger service which converted Bitcoin into an online game currency that will later be converted back into fiat currency.
The difference is the order in which your internet traffic travels. Tor over VPN directs your traffic through the VPN server before going through Tor’s network — while VPN over Tor directs your traffic through Tor’s browser first. For example — cloud services like OneDrive, banking, or streaming apps.
Because the dark web shields the identities of both users and website owners, there is little accountability. If a user or website you trust turns out to be malevolent and attacks you, there won’t be much that can help you. On the other hand, it can be safer for whistleblowers, journalists or dissidents whose communications are being monitored by governments or other organizations. It depends on who you are, what you’re doing, and how tech-savvy you are. Most internet users who delve into the dark web will use this option.
However, even the dark web is just a small part of a much larger animal – the deep web. Although no one knows your identity when using TOR, some people like to add an additional layer of protection and connect to TOR via a Virtual Private Network . The reason for that is that even though you’re anonymous, you can still be identified as using TOR for “something”.