The internet has gone through several changes since the time it first became publicly available. Today, when we perform a search on our browser, the results we see are the 500th part of the related content available on the internet, approximately. The results we receive are a part of the “Surface Web,” which is public and accessible to every user. The rest of the non-searchable or hidden content is found on the “Deep web.”
The deep web constitutes the central part of the hidden web, while a small fraction of it is the “Dark Web.” Dark Web is a platform where all confidential websites and services are found, away from daily users’ access. On the Dark Web, nobody knows anybody. That is, users and owners have no information about one another. It is a myth that the dark web is only used for illegal activities. It does have its positive sides. But this is the platform where black markets are found, sellers of banned products are present, and illicit activities can be performed.
The dark web is a tiny part of the internet that is purposefully kept hidden from the local user. Therefore, getting access to websites on the dark web requires special access tools or tricks. Dark Web contains websites where black markets are available with content usually banned or restricted from public access. Also, stolen content of users, drugs, and weapons are being sold to buyers on the dark web. Every single illegal activity is done through the dark web. This is the reason why the public avoids such websites.
Though there are multiple reasons people use the Dark Web, three reasons are widespread:
People who do not want to show their identity online use the dark web. There can be several reasons for that; they might be in danger, or online monitoring may get them in trouble. For example, journalists in countries where free media is banned use the dark web to regulate the news.
Similarly, suppose you think your device or IP address has been hacked. In that case, you can reach authorities on the dark web without your hacker noticing. This way, actions can be taken without compromising your safety.
- To access restricted services
There are several hidden services, also known as onion services, where both users’ and platform identities are kept anonymous. This means you cannot see the IP address of the users, nor can the website see your IP address. You cannot even see the content on such websites without special access and they are usually used by news services or government agencies against criminals. This way, such agencies have eyes everywhere.
- Getting access to Illicit Content
Though there are websites that contain illicit content. To access such websites, memberships are sold through private conversations. Specific login details must be entered to ensure no spy gets their access to access them. Members are continuously monitored by the administrators.
To enter the dark web, there are several steps to be followed to keep your IP address hidden:
- Get Access to Tor
Tor is a server that contains a whole network of secondary relays that routes the entire internet connection of the user. This means the connection is encrypted, so it cannot be tracked by any relay worldwide. This way, your identity remains hidden, the main reason to enter the dark web. To access Tor, the Tor Browser can be downloaded on your device.
- More Security
To add an extra layer of security, buy VPN and then use Tor. But be sure your VPN is trustworthy. This also protects your device from malware or any other virus. If you connect to a VPN, the VPN service is notified that the dark web is being used on their server. This is because Tor IPs are public, but VPN services have no idea about the sites you are accessing or your identity.
- Accessing Dark Web
Since you have installed the Tor browser and have added an extra layer of security, you can now access the dark web. The websites you access using Tor are hidden and different from your regular browser. You can check them by their address. Regular addresses of websites end with a .com or .org, but these sites end with .onion. These websites cannot be searched on the internet. There are several popular darknet websites, but they should be used with caution.
On a Final Note
This was a simple step-by-step method to access websites on the dark web. Though you need to have detailed knowledge of the platform and the websites you want to access, your anonymity depends entirely on yourself. Do not open websites that are publicly mentioned on Google searches; they might get you in trouble, and be sure to buy VPN that you can trust without your eyes closed.