What is Dark Web and How to Use It?
In today’s world the millions of people who use the internet every day, most of the information available on the web is actually you get in the general public, buried deep down on websites and unavailable for indexing by standard search engines like Google. According to some estimates, just 4% of all information available on the web is actually accessible by the general public, while a remaining 96% of the content remains out of the reach for the normal people. However, the Deep Web also includes other content that exists on over the networks, like dark-web that can be used only with specialized software that has been configured specifically for the purpose. This is exactly where the Dark Web comes in it. So without any wasting time, let’s take a look at what the Dark Web is and how to use it:
What is the Dark Web?
While many people use the terms Deep Web and Dark Web interchangeably, the two are far from synonymous. That’s because the Dark Web is actually a (very small) subset of the Deep Web and includes censor-resistant platforms, like Tor, Freenet. A huge majority of websites on the Dark Web are on the Tor platform and have .onion as their top-level domain (TLD). Those on the I2P platform, meanwhile, have .i2p as their top-level domain name.
While accessing the first lot is relatively easier, it’s the I2P-based sites that are a little trickier. The Dark Web has many aspects, but most of the mystery and intrigue surrounding the platform has to do with all the news about the hidden marketplaces that are said to sell everything from AK-47 assault rifles to banned narcotics and psychotropic substances. You can also reportedly find hitmen for hire on controversial Dark Web marketplaces, the most infamous and notorious of which, Silk Road, was shut down by U.S. law-enforcement agencies in 2013, but we’ll get to the details in a while.
How To Use The Dark Web.
Accessing the Dark Web is a very simple process once you know how to. As mentioned earlier, there are multiple different networks that form the Dark Web, so the process will vary depending on which sites you’re trying to access. For the purpose of this article, we’ll take a look at how to access sites on the Tor network that hosts over 90% of the sites on the Dark Web.
1) To Access the Tor-based Dark Web sites, all you’ll need is a piece of specially-curated open source software called ‘Tor’ that you can download from torproject.org. There are two ways to go about it, though. You can download just the Tor software, but then you’ll need to configure it exactly right for it to work the way it was intended to. Hence, you’d be better off downloading the Tor Browser Bundle, which contains the Vidalia Control Panel along with a modified version of the Mozilla Firefox browser.
2) All you now need to do is run the .exe file to install the software on your computer, and you’re good to go. Every time you want to connect to Tor, just double click on the Tor Browser shortcut icon, wait a while for the network to get up and running.
3) Once everything is set, a browser window will open up for you automatically, and you will be able to surf the web in complete anonymity.
The Precautions You Should Take While Use The Dark Web
First off, contrary to popular belief, Tor itself isn’t anonymous enough, and won’t stop either the bad guys from targeting you or the law enforcement from tracking you if they thought you were a ‘Person of Interest’. So to preserve your anonymity online, you’ll also need to use a VPN service, many of which are available for free. However, make sure you pick one that doesn’t keep any logs related to traffic, session, DNS or metadata. Personally, my personal favorite is Cyberghost, but there are many other excellent services that you can subscribe to, so just hop over to our most recent list of the best VPN services to find one that tickles your fancy.
What is Dark Web and How to Use It?
So now that you have an idea about the Dark Web and how it differs from the Deep Web, do give it a go, because you’ll be surprised to know how thriving the Dark Web community. And how passionate they are about their privacy and anonymity online, and not just because they have something to hide.