What is the Dark Web and How to Access It?

A search using a search engine such as Google or Bing usually returns several million pages for each keyword entered, like “Where I can find a cheap essay writing service?” or “How to reduce stress at work?” This part of the Web is just what’s visible. But on countless Web sites, there is an Internet beyond the capabilities of search engines and regular browsing. This is the Darknet, Dark Web, Deep Net, Deep Web, Invisible Web, or Hidden Web. 

What is the Dark Web?

Dark Web
Dark Web

The Dark Web is websites inaccessible to standard search engines. This includes websites whose robots.txt is configured so that Google and other search engines do not index them on the Internet to exclude them from searches. These can be private personal websites, intranets, etc. In short, it is a part of the Internet that is not indexed and, therefore, not searchable.

The Dark Web is much more than just preventing search engines from indexing it. Darknet websites are anonymous, meaning you can’t tell who the website owners are when you visit such Darknet sites. The owners of non-indexed websites can still be traced by looking at who purchased the domain name, etc. D. Darknet websites are sites that use the Tor (onion router) network.

The basis of the Tor network is to include so many nodes that the source cannot trace where the data is going or where it is coming from.

Darknet is a part of the Internet that hosts anonymous websites that may or may not offer legal content.

Regular browsers cannot open Darknet sites with .onion top-level domains because these are not standard domain names but a sequence of random characters followed by .onion. These domain names are created by Onion when you host your anonymous websites on the Onion or Tor network.

Thus, the DNS servers have no idea what they are, and you will get a “site not found” error if you try to access one of the darknet sites. Only the Onion servers know how to resolve these domain names. You will need a Tor browser to view these websites. 

Who uses the Dark Web? Is it dangerous?

It could just be a group of friends who want to find something forbidden, but you can also meet a killer offering his services. It could be journalists who wish to work without the possibility of going to jail for telling the truth, or it could be people selling drugs and weed.

Some whistleblowers disclose information without fear of being caught, and there are Web sites that show child abuse.

Criminals abuse most of the Darknet. That’s because it offers almost complete anonymity. That’s why Darknet is considered dangerous.

And there are often links that don’t tell you where they lead unless you access them from trusted Darknet directories. There is a possibility that you click on a link to some discussion, and you end up on a page of hired killers. And if something goes wrong, there are police knocking on your door.

Why can’t the government ban the Dark Web?

The U.S. military base created the TOR network to communicate anonymously. They still dump government files – closed to the general public – on the Darknet. There are anonymous intranets where these files are stored, and people with passwords can access these files. Because the federal and other governments use the Darknet, they don’t feel they can order TOR to shut it down.

Dark Web
Dark Web

How can I access the Dark Web?

To access the Darknet, you need two things:

  • A browser that can allow .onion websites;
  • A URL or directory containing the URLs of various websites or classes of websites, so you know what to type into your browser’s address bar.
  • Remember that you can only open a link using TOR. The TOR directory or library contains links categorized by language and category of what they represent. For example, Mail/SMS, Forums, Discussion Boards, etc. They are relatively safer than other directories.

How do I stay safe on the Dark Web?

  • Use TOR for anonymity (mandatory);
  • Although TOR is a bit slow as it needs to go through n nodes, use a VPN for more anonymity;
  • Disable running scripts in the TOR settings (click the button before the address bar). This is because most sites on the Darknet are criminal. If you get on one of them, they may want to track you down. And scripts created using JavaScript can be dangerous if they manage to save something on your computer.
  • Think twice before clicking any link from the directory dumps, as the links may differ from what is specified. The safest Darknet directory is the TOR library, and it is best to start there.
  • DO NOT DOWNLOAD ANYTHING TO YOUR COMPUTER. No BitTorrents or downloads, as they can give away your real IP address when you save data on your computer. 

Darknet is a dangerous part of the Internet, if your curiosity won and you still want to see the inside of what it is, be very careful and follow all the rules you learned from this article. 

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