I remembered the first time I got to know about a thing called ‘Dark Web‘. I just wondering about the Dark Web, what is that, is that buried under the internet? What is in that? Why cannot just use it like Youtube? Why is no one talking about that? Is that dangerous? Is that illegal?
I am sure you are also wondering like me about Dark Web. Out of curiosity, you are here means you wanted to know about Dark Web. We are going to talk about Dark Web here.
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Disclaimer: This is just for educational purposes and I am not promoting or encouraging you to use Dark Web. Dark Web is indeed dangerous, like really dangerous for you, for your family, and for your nation. If you know nothing about hacking and the science behind networking, don’t even think about going into the Dark Web.
What is the Dark Web?
Before directly understanding the Dark Web, you need to know about Deep Web. So, what is basically a Deep Web?
The internet that we are using in the form of Google, Facebook, Youtube, e-commerce, Online Banking, Flight booking, etc. constitutes approximately 5% of the total web. All these things are already indexed on Search Engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
Index here means Search Engines can crawl these websites and allow the public to access these indexed Websites. Google only knows about 0.003% of the whole internet! Where is the rest and what is in that? You can read more stuff.
Now, it seems like a Blackhole to me!
1. Surface Web
When you search for any query on Google, Google’s spider bots or say robots using sophisticated Algorithms start fetching for the keyword you entered by crawling on different websites (indexed) over the web.
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The most relevant website is shown to you in the first place on the result page and then other results are arranged in Descending order considering the relevancy of the website with the searched keyword. These spider bots read the metadata of the webpage. Metadata tells spider bots about the webpage, whether to index or not, and other information that helps Search Engines.
What we are using is called Surface Web, a tip of the iceberg.
2. Deep Web
Now the Deep Web, or Invisible Web, is also a part of the Web we are using but those Websites’ data including Text documents, Images, Videos etc. are not indexed on any Search Engine, be it on Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. That means you cannot get the result from the Deep Web because Websites are not indexed anywhere.
The Deep Web’s websites contain sensitive information which can be dangerous for the nation’s security. It may have data from Government organizations, educational institutions, and Research papers. Deep Web also has your data that you wanted to keep it private like Photos on Facebook, photos, and data on your Google Drive, your debit card details you entered on Amazon while shopping online, your bank’s database, and your Whatsapp chats, and whatnot.
Basically, Deep Web or Invisible Web has sensitive, private data protected by passwords/passkeys and leaking that data by any organization/person can be a breach of trust, violation of Policies, and delinquency of human rights and even put the nation’s security at stake.
3. Dark Web
First thing first, Dark Web is a subnet of the Deep Web. While Deep Web includes private, Government data and other sensitive data which is not illegal in any way but, Dark Web provides data and services which are definitely illegal in any country.
Under Dark Web, there is the open commercialization of Drugs, Ammunition, Fake IDs, Fake Passports, Pornography, Human & Child trafficking, Services like owner killing, etc. For payments, you cannot use a VISA or Master Card here. Bitcoin is the default currency of the Dark Web. If you are using Bitcoins to pay, make sure they safety. Bitcoin Hardware wallet can secure your cryptocurrency portfolio.
Along with all these horrible things, you will find blogs on the Dark Web that are writing the truth about Government intentions which are otherwise not possible to expose on the Surface Web because it is definitely going to threaten the identity of the person behind the blog.
There is Wikipedia kinda site on the Dark Web called The Hidden Wiki which provides you information just like Wikipedia but the information is censored. To give you a chill in the spine, the censored information includes, Contract Killing, Bomb Making, Contraband Chemicals, Human experiments, Cyber Attacks, Links to Dark web websites offering Grisly images, Child Pornography. The Hidden Wiki was founded in October 2011 and it is a prominent site offering illegal content. You can know more here.
Deep Dark Web Explained: Infographic
How to Access the Dark Web?
Dark Web is not something we can access like we used to access Surface Web. Usually, we just connect to the internet, open Chrome or any other browser, enter the URL and it is done. But for accessing Dark Web, you need to understand it. Dark Web is all about illegal content and services. If you don’t know anything about the Hacking and technicalities behind networking, don’t even try to think about Dark Web.
The other day, I was exploring Reddit and found a thread discussing Dark Web. There is a line in the thread that gave me almost an exact idea about the Dark Web and that line was, “Before entering into the Dark Web, make sure you cover the Webcam of your laptop with black duct tape or anything. Who knows, someone at the other end seeing you without your knowledge”.
You cannot access Dark Web using Google Chrome, Mozilla or any other Web Browser. You have to use something that ensures your privacy over the network.
VPN for Dark Web
For using Dark Web, you need 2 things primarily. One is a VPN. You can get PureVPN or IPVanish. VPNs are anyway required even for accessing Surface Web. VPN encrypts the connection and no one can trace you and your online activity. So get a VPN first. If you want to try Free VPN, try at your own risk.
NordVPN is a VPN that has a dedicated service called ‘Onion Over VPN’ that consists of servers optimized for Tor Browser and for accessing the deep web (see NordVPN screenshot below showing you Onion Over VPN). Get NordVPN first only then proceed towards Dark Web. To know more about VPN, see here.
The other thing you need is the Tor Browser. Tor stands on ‘The Onion Router’ and that is why some people call it Onion Browser. You can download Tor for free. Keep that in mind, the Tor browser is not a part of the Dark Web. It is a way to access the internet with the utmost privacy.
You can access the website of Surface Web as well on the Tor browser. But for that, you need a web address followed by .onion TLD (top-level domain). Any web address of the Dark Web website looks like kpz7ki2vgwt35.onion. Like dot com (facebook.com, Google.com) is TLD of websites we are using on Surface Web, likewise, .onion is TLD for accessing Dark Web Websites. You cannot access the .onion web URL on Google Chrome or .com URL on the Tor browser.
How to Access Dark Web: Step-by-Step
Note: We don’t recommend you to access the dark web unless you are aware of the risks involved in it. If you don’t have any idea about the Dark web, back off. Don’t enter Dark Web. You will be responsible for any consequences.
1. First of all, go to Tor Project and download the Tor Browser. Yes, it is absolutely free.
2. Once you download it, install it like any other application. After installation gets completed, you will see ‘Run Tor Browser Bundle’, do not open through it. Just uncheck the button and done.
3. Now you will see a folder on your desktop named ‘Tor Browser’. Open it and double-click on ‘Start Tor Browser’.
4. Now, you will see a dialog box appear where it will ask you to connect to Tor Network. Tor is a highly secure network with layers of encryption.
A connection through a Tor Network goes through the series of the network just like a layer of Onion. It gets connected to one network and then decrypts it then is connected to another network. This way, it is almost impossible to track the activity of the user who is using the Tor Network. With every new Window of Tor Browser (they call it New Identification) you will be assigned a new IP Address which definitely ensures security.
5. Once you get connected to Tor Network, you are now ready to enter into the Dark Web. All you require is Web addresses of dark web websites which are followed by .onion TLDs.
One thing you should know is that the speed of the internet on Tor Network is way too slow because your connection request goes through a series of other networks before finally reached to the server and then back to you.
Accessing Dark Web: Final Words
So that is how you can access the Dark Web. But as I told you earlier, Dark Web is a nasty place to be and you will find yourself in big trouble if you are not aware of these things. Hacking is so easy and in no time, your system will be hacked by a person sitting in another corner of the earth. You cannot track them because of the high-level encrypted connections of the Tor Network.
Keep that in mind, Tor Network ensures the privacy of the user but one can easily find that the person is using Tor Network. Tor Network doesn’t hide you on the network. When we have legal and working apps for tracking iPhone and Android like XNSpy, we can’t even imagine the kind of tracking that can happen on the Dark Web.
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So, that’s all about the Dark web and how to access dark web. The Internet is not limited to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube. There is a never-ending mine of knowledge and more important stuff on the internet. The Web is vast and what we are using is merely a part of the internet. Phew!!!
Do you have anything else to share about the Dark Web or Dark Internet? Let us know in the comment section below.