The dark web remains a small, hidden part of the Internet with strong ties to illegal activity and should be approached with caution.
When it comes to the Internet, most of us stay superficial. The vast majority of what we know and use daily is the “surface web,” which includes all sites that can be easily accessed through a search engine like Google or Bing. But beyond the surface of the Web, there exists a much larger and mysterious realm known as the “deep web.” Within this deep web lies an even more secretive and controversial corner of the Internet known as the “dark web.”
So what exactly is the dark web? To understand this, it is helpful to first understand the difference between the surface web and the deep web. The surface web is the part of the Internet that is readily available to the public. It’s the part of the Internet that we are all familiar with and use daily. The deep web, on the other hand, is the part of the Internet that is not indexed by search engines. The deep web is not necessarily nefarious, but it is also not easily accessible to the public.
The dark web is completely different. It is a small part of the deep web that is deliberately hidden and can only be accessed using special software such as Tor Browser. The dark net is often associated with illegal activities and has gained a reputation for being a kind of digital Wild West.
What is the dark web?
The dark web is a collection of websites and services that exist on an encrypted network, accessible only through special software such as Tor Browser. These websites and services are generally anonymous and operate beyond the reach of law enforcement and government oversight.
The dark web is often associated with illegal activities such as drug trafficking, illegal firearm sales, and hacking services. However, not all activity on the dark web is illegal. For example, journalists and activists have used the dark web to communicate and share information without fear of government surveillance. Additionally, some people use the dark web to purchase legal goods and services anonymously.
It is also important to understand that the dark web is not synonymous with the deep web. As mentioned above, the deep web includes any part of the Internet that is not indexed by search engines and is not necessarily nefarious. For example, online bank accounts, email accounts, and password-protected websites are part of the deep web. The dark web is a small part of the deep web that is deliberately hidden and often associated with illegal activities.
The dark web is also not the same thing as the “darknet“. Which is a network of private connections that exists within the Internet. These connections are often used by organizations and individuals to communicate and share information securely and privately.
Furthermore, the dark web is not a physical location or a single entity. The dark web is a collection of websites and services that exist on an encrypted network. Accessible only through special software such as Tor Browser.
In other words, the dark web is not the entire deep web, it is not a physical location, it is not a single entity, and not all activity on the dark web is illegal. It is a small, hidden part of the Internet that is associated with illegal activities, but also serves as a tool for journalists, activists, and others seeking anonymity and privacy.
How do you (safely) enter the dark web?
Before you even think about connecting to the dark web, you must connect to a reliable and secure VPN. This is done so that you can reliably hide your IP address and encrypt your Internet connection. Although they both provide encryption, VPN and Tor are not the same thing.
After connecting to a VPN, the first step to accessing the dark net is to download and install special software, such as Tor Browser. This browser routes your Internet connection through a network of servers. Making it difficult for anyone to track your activity to you. After installing the Tor Browser, you can access websites on the dark web by entering their specific .onion address.
Dark web addresses, also known as onion URLs, are different from regular website addresses (URLs) because they end with “.onion” instead of “.com” or “.org”. These addresses are not indexed by search engines commonly and, therefore, cannot be found through an ordinary Internet search.
There are a few ways to find dark web addresses:
- Dark web directories: Some directories list dark web sites, such as The Hidden Wiki or the DarkWebLinks website. These directories can be found through a search engine, but be aware that not all links in these directories are safe to use.
- Social networks: Some dark net users share onion URLs on social media platforms such as Twitter or Reddit. However, these links may not be verified and may lead to illegal or dangerous websites.
- Referrals: Some users may share dark web addresses directly with each other through personal referrals. This may be a safer option than finding links in an unverified directory or social media post. As long as you trust the person sharing the link.
It’s important to note that not all dark websites are illegal. But many are, and it’s easy to accidentally stumble upon illegal sites. Therefore, it is important to be cautious when accessing the dark web and only visit sites that are recommended by a trusted source.
Additionally, it is important to have a good antivirus and antimalware installed on your computer before accessing the dark web, as many dark websites may contain harmful software.
Is the dark net safe? It’s cool?
Simply put, the dark web is not a safe place. It is a breeding ground for illegal activities and a haven for cybercriminals. The anonymity of the dark web makes it easier for bad actors to operate without fear of being caught. Additionally, it’s difficult to know who you’re dealing with on the dark net. Which makes it easier to fall victim to scams.
To recap, the dark net can only be accessed through special software and is often associated with illegal activities. While not all activity on the dark net is illegal – and it is not illegal to access the dark net. It is not a safe place and accessing it without a specific purpose and caution is not recommended. Additionally, many of the activities that occur on the dark web are illegal. And law enforcement agencies are actively monitoring the dark web to identify and prosecute those who engage in criminal activity.
It’s also worth noting that the dark net isn’t the only place where illegal internet activity takes place. Many cyber criminals operate on the surface web and also on the deep web. However, the dark net offers a higher degree of anonymity and is therefore a more attractive option for those who wish to engage in illegal activities.
The dark web is a small, hidden part of the Internet with strong ties to illegal activity and should be approached with caution. It’s important to be aware of the risks and understand that just because something is on the dark Net doesn’t mean it’s legal. Make sure you protect yourself by staying informed. Using cybersecurity products and services and avoiding accessing the dark net unless you have a specific, legitimate reason to do so.