What is the Dark Web?

Dark Web is a part or division of the Deep web which is intentionally hidden from normal search engines. All its data is encrypted. To access its data, you need special software, configurations, or authorization. It uses masked IP addresses that are accessible only with a specific web browser. For example, Tor, I2P, etc.

In this tutorial, you will learn:

How to access the Dark Web?

Now that you have Tor, you can access the dark web. Darknet websites are also known as Tor hidden services, and you can see the difference between normal websites by their URLs. Instead of ".com" or. "Net", dark web addresses can be separated by the top-level domain, ". Onion ".

In this example, we will try to open this link in both ways using Google and Tor browser.

Step 1) Install Tor from this link: http://zqktlwi4fecvo6ri.onion/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

Step 2)Here, we are trying to open this link using a regular Google Browser. Below given image shows that it is not accessible.

Step 3) Now, we will open the same link in the Tor browser and do the same.

You can see that the hidden wiki link is now open, a part of the dark web.

However, these .onion websites are never displayed in Google search results. You cannot just Google and hope to land on the dark website.

Step 4) Use a Virtual Private Network service:

Virtual Private Networks are servers that help you to connect through to access the web. VPN software helps to mask your origin and may imitate locations from many other places in the world. However, TOR masks your identity. It hides your location.

Best VPN for Dark Web:

Although there are many VPNs available, you might as well sign up with one of the best: Express VPN. This VPN is recommended when you are surfing the Dark Web. This adds an extra level of security to your data. It also hides your location. With Express VPN, you can stay safe when browsing the Dark Web.

Here are steps to access a hidden site on dark web:

Step1) Go to https://www.expressvpn.com/

Then click on the "Get ExpressVPN" button.

Step 2) ExpressVPN offers three plans: 1) 1 month, 2) 12 months, and 3) 6 months.

Choose 1 Month plan.

Step 3) Enter the following details.

  1. Email address.
  2. Credit card details.
  3. Click on the "Join Now" button.

Step 4) ExpressVPN will display a system-generated password.

Click on the "Continue with this password" button.

Step 5) Click on the download button.

Then copy the activation code.

Step 6) Enter the following details.

Your ExpressVPN activation code.

Click on the "Continue" button.

Step 7) Visit https://tv.youtube.com/

The following error will be displayed in your browser.

What is on the Dark Web?

The darknet web operates with a high degree of privacy as it hosts safe activities and content and criminal ones. For example, a dark web website might offer complex riddles. Another might be a type of book club that makes eBooks more professional. It also offers a forum for people who believe their freedom of speech is threatened. However, the dark web is best known for dark content, which is illegal and sometimes disturbing.

Here is a sample of illegal things you can find on the dark web.

  • Stolen information: When there has been a data breach, there is a chance they accessed information. Information like Social Security numbers to a bank card is available for sale on the dark web. You can also purchase stuff like log-in password information for paid software, hacked Netflix accounts, and more. However, it is strictly illegal and can get you into legal trouble.
  • Illicit substances: Illegal drugs are peddled on the dark web. You can also find toxic chemicals that can cause other types of damage.
  • Dangerous items and services: It can get ugly fast. Things like murderers-for-hire, abuse speeches, human trafficking, guns, etc., for sale can be found on the dark web.

Dark Web Search Engine:

Dark search engines exist, but you will not find specific data even with the best search engine's help. For example, even one of the best search engines, called Grams, returns to provide mostly repetitive and often irrelevant results to the query.

Link lists like the Hidden Wiki are the best example of this. Still, even indices also return high numbers of timed-out connections and also provide 404 errors. Some useful darknet search engines that indicate .onion sites include NotEvil, Candle, Ahmia, and Torch.

Dark Web Sites

Dark web sites are looking the same as any other website available on the Internet. However, when you see them closely, you will find the differences like name structure.

Instead of ending in .com or .co, darknet websites end up with .onion extension. According to Wikipedia, that's "the main use of top-level domain suffix designating an unidentified hidden service reachable using the Tor network," Wikipedia. However, browsers with proper proxy can reach these darknet websites; with a normal browser, you can't reach there.

The second major difference is a scrambled naming structure that creates URLs that are difficult to remember. For example, an eCommerce website, Dream Market, goes by the hidden address of "eajwlvm3z2lcca76.onion."

Scammers set up numerous darknet websites, so they constantly move around to avoid their identity.

Even commercial websites that may have existed for years can suddenly not available if the owners decide to escape with the escrow money they are holding on behalf of customers.

Here are some examples of Darknet websites:

  • The Hidden Wiki
  • Mail2Tor
  • SoylentNews
  • TorLinks
  • Galaxy3

Commerce on the Dark Web

The dark web has prospered with the help of various bitcoin wallets. It helps two parties to carry out the trusted transaction without recognizing each other. Almost all dark websites conduct transactions in bitcoin or some variant, but that does not mean it is safe to do business there.

In fact, Darknet commerce sites have the same features as any e-retail operation. This site offers normal functionalities like ratings/reviews, shopping carts, and forums.

However, another major difference between darknet commerce site and regular commerce site is quality control. As both buyers and sellers are anonymous, the credibility of any rating system is surely ambiguous. In this type of website, ratings are easily manipulated. Even sellers with good track records can suddenly disappear with their customers' crypto-coins to set up shop later under a different alias.

Most e-commerce service providers offer escrow service that holds the customer funds until the product is delivered. However, at the time of the dispute, you should not expect any smooth refund process. Every communication you have to do in the dark web is encrypted, so simple transactions also need a PGP key.

Moreover, the completion of a transaction is no guarantee that the goods will arrive. Most items ordered from the darknet websites may need to cross international borders. It is also checked by customs officials, which may crackdown on suspicious parcels. The dark web news site DeepDot is always full of stories of buyers who have been arrested or jailed for attempting illegal purchases.

Dark Web Email

Now that you are ready to go, you need to sign up for an untraceable email address. A known email service provider like Gmail or Outlook are certainly out of the question. To do this, you need an email address to register for many .onion websites.

Here are a few email service providers available on the Dark web:

Why does the Dark Web exist?

The darknet world operates on the principle of total privacy. So taking precautions like using a VPN, your system cannot be tracked or traced. For some people, privacy is a big concern on the Internet. They want to take control over personal information.

Freedom of speech is also an issue. Some people would argue for privacy and anonymity based on the First Amendment. That is one reason why law-abiding people value the privacy of Tor and other dark web browsers. Anonymity can have positive effects, like being able to express views that are unpopular but not illegal.

Why is the Dark Web hidden?

In the case of the deep web personal records, government documents are not meant for public view in the first place. Those should be kept safe. However, they are mostly connected to the Internet since much of that information forms an ecosystem for surface web applications.

On the other hand, Dark Web is mostly run on private server networks that allow communication only via specific means. This provides you a high degree of anonymity and makes it difficult for authorities to shut down.

FAQ

❓ What is Tor Project?

Tor is an anonymous browsing network. It uses the Onion routing method. In this method, messages and communications are encapsulated in encryption layers, like onion layers, which are hard to detect. It is a special kind of browser that provides individuals with the ability to communicate anonymously.

The Tor browser can run on your computer device, keeping you safe on the Internet. It also protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network.

It prevents other people from accessing your Internet connection and also prevents websites from knowing about your physical location.

Tor directs Internet traffic consisting of more than seven thousand relays. This helps you hide a user's location and stops anyone from conducting traffic analysis or network surveillance.

⚡ Can you be tracked on Tor?

Using the Tor network makes your identity difficult to be tracked, but not impossible. Therefore, it is safer to use dedicated VPN service provider tools.

🏅 Who uses Tor?

Tor browser is useful for anyone who wants to keep their Internet activities out of the hands of ISPs, advertisers, and websites. That includes people looking to hide their IP address, go beyond the censorship restrictions in their country, or anyone else who does not want to disclose their identity.