Dark Web Overview

The internet is not what we see it to be. There are billions of data which the internet houses. These data oftentimes are housed either in the open or surface web which we all are aware of or the two hidden web which might be deep web or dark web. 

Just as the surface web is known by everyone using the internet space, the deep web and dark web is hidden. The deep and dark web often portrays danger; which means it’s a place where most of the illegal and illicit kinds of stuff are done on the internet.

Be that as it may, popular sites such as Facebook and the CIA are known to house sites on the dark web. These sites are often called the onion version. To access the onion site, you need to use a browser called the “Tor browser”. 

The onion often is a router (network) which is used to run encryption on your online data each time you access the internet. When this happens, it will be very difficult for your identity to be tracked on the network. So using a Tor browser will, however, offer protection while enhancing your privacy in the highest other.

One common discussion about dark web is onion site; these onion sites are not searchable on any browser or the Google. Example of such is; regular site with www.wired.co.uk will be normal on actual internet protocol address through DNS. When you try using the Tor browser to access a surface site (a website under the surface wee), it provides highest security and privacy; what this means is that Tor browser pops your IP address in to cloud the “onion space” and eventually pop out while having your location and identity hidden.

This means that when you use a Tor browser on an onion site, that you are on a higher level of security. Also, end-to-end encryption of messages, online data, and other forms are done on the Tor browser. 

Because of the top security of onion sites, top governmental and private organizations such as Facebook, New York, and the CIA often make use of it’s the version of their organizations. Not only does the onion site offer privacy and encryption, but it also offers two more extra features such as ensuring that you are anonymous on the internet service provider network. 

This means that you can access any site without showing on the ISP network. For instance, when you try connecting to a site such as ‘facebookcorewwwi.onion’; this will connect you to the Facebook official site, which is a result of the onion address which means no certificate authority censorship or domain name system. 

 

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Here are the main reasons why you must use a VPN:

  • Your activities are hidden from your ISP, the government, and from the apps you are using.
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  • Geographically restricted content like Netflix and Hulu can be unblocked.

A VPN works be replacing your ISP-assigned IP address and creating an encrypted tunnel. We recommend the no log service offered by IPVanish. It works well on a Firestick and offers the fastest possible speeds.

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Dark Web Versus Deep Web: Any Difference? 

Both terms are often interwoven. Be that as it may, both are different from each other. To make it more clear and easy for you to understand; 

When we talk about deep web, it is referring to anything or stuff not indexed on the internet, and can be accessed by search engines; search engines here are Google or Bing. 

Deep web often is things that are behind a paywall or might require you to enter your credentials or information. To put it short, the deep web also includes web content that has been blocked and can’t be indexed by web crawlers. 

You might be wondering what makes up the deep web, the contents of deep web include; membership site, fee-based content, medical records, confidential corporate web pages, and government data. A recent survey suggests that 96% or 99% of the internet data are on the deep web.  

What this means is that only a small portion of the internet data is available on the surface or clear web which can be accessed on a standard web browser. However, the dark web is a part of the deep web that is often hidden (intentionally). The dark web requires a special type of browser before accessing its content. 

The special type of browser we are talking about here it the Tor browser. Much information about the percentage of dark web on the internet is not well known, however, a recent study suggests it at 5% of the whole internet. 

As often, the dark web is used for illegal and illicit activities but it is also used to source for research and other important things. 

 

How to Get to Dark Web?

The only and easy way to Dark Web is via the Tor browser. The Tor Browser is a browser that is used to access Dark Web or deep web websites as well. On the Tor browser, the user internet network is encrypted and routed. 

The safest and most convenient way to access Dark Web sites is downloading and installing Tor Browser on your device.

However, after you must have downloaded and installed the Tor browser, you also are required to install a VPN. 

This is to ensure that your internet traffics is routed via the virtual private network before reaching the Tor network and arriving at the final destination. When this happens, the internet service provider network will only see that your network is encrypted and appear on the network as private.

Steps on How to Get to Dark Web

 

Using a VPN

It is recommended to use a VPN with a zero log policy and with leak protection policy. We recommend using IPVANISH VPN. All you have to do is run your VPN app and choose the location of your choice and click on connect. When this is done, your IP address will change to that chosen location of yours.

 

Downloading and Installing Tor Browser

tor logo

We recommend downloading and installing the Tor browser from the official Tor site. However, before you do do, ensure that your CyberGhost VPN is actively running on your device. Once done, you will be prompted to connect your VPN via the Tor browser (this is after you must have installed the Tor Browser).

 

Start Accessing Dark Web .onion Websites

Install Duck Duck Go

Launch your Tor browser on your computer. When it is running, you will be redirected to DuckDuckGo. The DuckDuckGo is a search engine on Dark Web which provides encryption and top-notch security while you are accessing Dark Web sites. However, you should be careful while on Dark Web sites and mind the type of pieces of information you are giving out.

 

Services and Dark Web Tools That Pose a Risk

Below are the lists of identified service or tools that often present the Dark Web as a risk:

  • Phishing
  • Trade secrets or intellectual threats
  • Refunds
  • Financial data
  • Access to the virus such as Trojans, (RATS), keylogging, and exploitative measures
  • Support services like tutorials
  • Customer data
  • Espionage such as customization, targeting, and services

 Also, according to a report, there are other three risks. They include:

Defrauding the Enterprise

  • This often is internet protocol theft and espionage which leads to a financial loss or impairing a company from competing. 
  • Disruption of the enterprise: This is a malware or DDoS attacks which often impede the smooth running of the business.
  • Devaluation of the enterprise; which is causing damage to reputations, enhancing competitors to take over or undermining business trust.

 

What Browser for the Dark Web?

On the dark web, everything seems to be in chaos; everyone on the dark web seems to be a victim or suspect; this is because everyone is under anonymity and no one is willing to give out their information as well.

For you to safely and protectively access the dark web, it is recommended to use the Tor browser. As of writing this article, the Tor browser is the only browser that offers higher security and anonymity on the dark web. 

What Tor browser does is to route and encrypts your web page via a set of proxy servers, thereby ensuring that your internet protocol address is hidden and cannot be seen by anyone on the internet. The Tor browser works perfectly well and the results it gives are awesome, but it has one downside which is it is slow and often unreliable.

 

Search Engines on the Dark Web

One would ask if the dark web has search engines. Yes, the dark web has got search engines. However, there are some landscape issues on dark web search engines and some issues of timeout connections and often error messages.

The search engine experience on dark web reminisces that of a search engine in the late ’90s. the best search engine on the dark web which is Gram often gives irrelevant answers to a query.

Another search engine on the dark web known as  Hidden Wiki often take lots of time to load and ends up giving the error message.

 

Dark Web Websites

Websites on the dark web often have a special feature; the normal website we see on other sites often ends with .co, or .com, however, in the dark web, websites end with .onion. 

This a special domain suffix meaning that the network is hidden and can only be reached using the Tor network. Another feature of the dark web site is its scrambled nature. Dark web websites don’t have easy to remember names. For instance, Dream Market which is famous eCommerce sites has its domain name as “eajwlvm3z2lcca76.onion.”

For your information, you should know that dark web sites are made by scammers or hackers. Government law enforcement agencies are fighting and clamping down most dark web sites such as the ones selling and dealing with illegal and illicit goods. 

To be certain, cybercops in 2017 shut down AlphaBay, which is the largest and most popular site on the dark web. However, the Tor network is anonymous, and often leads to DDoS vulnerability and many sites on dark web changes domain names; this is to avoid DDoS. 

However, most site materials on the dark web are outdated and often vary widely.

 

Dark Web Commerce

The secret to the dark web is related to its compatibility with bitcoin. Bitcoin is a platform; a cryptocurrency platform that allows two end-users to engage a transaction anonymously. Recent research suggests that bitcoin has been and continues to play a big role in the growth and sustenance of the dark web.

Many eCommerce sites on the dark web use bitcoin as a medium of payment. Not the only bitcoin any cryptocurrency such as Etherium or Litecoin (lots of other coins) are used. Be that as it may, using cryptocurrency does not mean that transacting business on the dark web is safest. The high rate of anonymity on the dark web makes it susceptible to hackers and scammers.

 

Accessing the Dark Web: Is It Illegal?

Dark Web is often seen as being a danger den. However, it should be noted that not everything on Dark Web is illegal. The Tor browser is privacy and hidden communication channel services as a means and medium where people can share and air their thoughts and criticize a bad government. 

For anyone who plans to learn more about the cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and other altcoins, Dark Web has got tones for you.

There are millions of sites on the Dark Web which you would not easily find on the surface web. Examples of such include but not limited to political news, Pirate Bay (a torrent website), Facebook, hard-to-find books, whistleblower Dark Web site, and steam tunnels

All of the above mentioned Dark Web websites are all in Dark Web. 

There are also eCommerce and legal companies Dark Web which offers legit service as well. However, using Dark Web is legal but depends on your intention. So the use of Dark Web site; its legal status will depend on one’s purpose of wanting to use Dark Web sites.

 

Good Uses of Dark Web

It allows you to access the internet without censorship in countries with internet censorship. Many countries such as Cuba, China, Russia, Turkey, and Qatar have censorship issues. So using Dark Web allows one to anonymously enjoy sharing of pieces of information.

 

Monitor power abuse:

Dark Web gives trained political activists and journalists to find information and stories from the inner government and anonymously share it. Whistleblower sites on Dark Web allow journalists to write about abuse of power by government officials.

 

Dark Web allows you to purchase restricted goods anonymously:

Some goods may be free to use a particular country and restricted in a different country. Using Dark Web will allow you to purchase goods.

 

Buying legal goods:

Dark Web allows you to buy goods that are legal anonymously. This might be because the buyer wants to remain hidden from the seller.

 

Surfing the net anonymously:

Dark Web allows you to find any information on the internet while having your identity hidden on the internet service provider network.

 

Final thought

The three types of the web we have are the surface web, the deep web, and the Dark Web. The surface web is the one we often access and has a search engine such as Google and Bing. The Dark Web is a hidden part of the internet. The Dark Web is often seen as a danger prone zone but however, there are important and legal things one can do in Dark Web as well.

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