What is Really the Dark Web?

Last Updated on May 17, 2023

The websites you visit on a daily basis are only a small portion of the entire internet. The deep web exists beyond the “surface web,” and the dark web exists within the deep web. The dark web is a section of the internet that is hidden from search engines and can only be accessed through Tor, an anonymizing browser. Because dark web pages don’t show up when you search for them in a search engine, you’ll need to know the website’s specific address.

This section of the internet is often referred to as “hazardous.” The dark web, according to popular belief, is where all kinds of nefarious things happen, from peddling illegal substances to hiring hitmen. While there are certain hazards on it, it also houses more than simply illegal markets.

Journalists and whistleblowers can use the dark web to communicate anonymously. Citizens in nations with severe internet regulations can utilise it to communicate freely.

Find out what the dark web is, what it is used for and how you can access it.

Definition of “the dark web”

The dark web refers to content that isn’t indexed by search engines and can only be accessed with specific software or authorization. The darknet is a section of the internet that is only accessible to certain browsers or through specific network setups. The dark internet was created to guarantee anonymity by encrypting communications and routing online material through several web servers. That’s where the “dark” aspect comes in: accessing the dark web requires special software that keeps your identity hidden.

While the dark web is frequently portrayed as a chaotic haven for illegal activity, this isn’t always the case. It is essentially an anonymous online environment that can be exploited or enjoyed.

Read: All You Need To Know About Cryptocurrency

Surface web vs Deep web vs Dark web

To completely comprehend the dark web, we must first comprehend its language. The surface web, deep web, and dark web are three areas of the internet that are frequently mentioned.

Surface web

The surface web, together with the deep web, is the section of the internet that the majority of us use on a daily basis. It can be accessed using standard browsers like Google Chrome, Safari, or Firefox. This article is a part of it: as long as you have an internet connection and a browser, you can view it from anywhere and at any time.

The “normal web” also includes websites such as those of online merchants and corporations. When you visit a website, though, you don’t get to see everything it has to offer. Only the surface will be visible.

The deep web

The term “deep web” refers to the portion of the internet that is accessible only through a secure connection. The deep web is mostly made up of pages and databases that are specifically intended for a certain set of people within a company.

This section of the internet may contain your work database. You’ll need to know the specific site address to gain access (otherwise known as a URL). In some circumstances, you’ll also require a password.

The majority of us will not have access to this URL or the required login credentials, and this material will not be found in search engines. In other words, a standard Google search will not return results from the deep web.

The deep web is by far the most important section of the internet, accounting for between 90 and 95% of the whole internet. Private data and pages of enterprises, universities, libraries, hospitals, governments, international organisations, and so on are examples of deep web pages.

The dark web

This collection of sites, also known as the “darknet,” refers to the unregulated portion of the internet. The dark web is not controlled or regulated by any organisation, business, or government. This is precisely why it is frequently connected with criminal activity.

The name “deep web” is sometimes used to describe this area of the internet, however, it isn’t correct. True, the black web is a subset of the deep web, but it is a separate sector of the internet.

As previously stated, conventional browsers can reach the deep web if you know the right URL. The dark web, however, is not like that. A standard browser, such as Google Chrome or Edge, will not allow you to access it.

How to access the dark web safely

The Tor network is the safest way to access the dark web. Connect to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) first, then utilise Tor in a Tor-over-VPN setup for extra security. Many internet service providers (ISPs) and governments may be suspicious of Tor users, so utilising a VPN to disguise your online activities and prevent others from knowing you’re using Tor is a good idea.

Connect to a reliable and safe VPN.
With a reliable VPN like Avast SecureLine VPN, you can hide your IP address and encrypt your internet connection. A VPN and Tor are not the same thing, even if they both provide encryption. Your ISP and others will be unaware that you are downloading and using Tor Browser if you use a VPN.

Download and install Tor Browser.
Tor Browser is a free browser that uses the Tor network to encrypt your data. Because unlicensed third-party downloads may come packed with malware, download Tor Browser from the official Tor Project website.

Browse it with Tor Browser.
Tor Browser gives you access to the dark web’s.onion domains. Because the dark web is mostly uncontrolled, you should never access one without first verifying its legitimacy.

Protect your identity.

Although the dark web isn’t necessarily dangerous, there are numerous scams. Use encrypted and anonymous email addresses for conversing or making purchases on it, and pay with an anonymous cryptocurrency wallet.

Install robust security software before surfing the dark web to keep your device safe.

Is It Illegal to Access the Dark Web?

Accessing the dark web is permitted in some countries but not others. Visiting it is lawful in the United States, yet using Tor without the protection of a VPN may attract suspicion from your ISP and the government. While browsing the dark web is permissible, using it to participate in illicit conduct is not.

The dark web’s principal function is anonymous browsing. Although some users utilise anonymity for illicit purposes, activists and whistleblowers rely on it’s privacy guarantees. Dark web domains can be extremely useful for those who live in countries where free speech is restricted or prohibited and want to share information or organise without fear of being prosecuted.

Is the dark web therefore illegal? No, not on its own — but depending on where you are, accessing it might be. Before browsing it, utilising Tor, or using a VPN, double-check your local regulations.

Before you go…

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