What is darkweb?
Dark Web or Dark Net is a subset of the Deep Web where there are sites that sell drugs, hacking software, counterfeit money and more. We explain this further down the article if you are not up to speed.
If you are looking to access hidden marketplace’s or darknet websites (with a .onion domain) then dark web access is done using the TOR network with the TOR browser bundle. TOR is the most widely used dark web browser.
The Dark Web is a term that refers specifically to a collection of websites that exist on an encrypted network and cannot be found by using traditional search engines or visited by using traditional browsers.
Almost all sites on the so-called Dark Web hide their identity using the encrypt tool. You may know Tor for its ability to hide your identity and activity. You can use Tor to spoof your location so it appears you’re in a different country to where you’re really located, making it much like using a vpn.
When a website is run through Tor it has much the same effect.
Indeed, it multiplies the effect. To visit a site on the Dark Web that is using Tor encryption, the web user needs to be using Tor. Just as the end user’s IP address is bounced through several layers of encryption to appear to be at another IP address on the Tor network, so is that of the website.
There are several layers of magnitude more secrecy than the already secret act of using Tor to visit a website on the open internet for both parties.
Thus, sites on the Dark Web can be visited by anyone, but it is very difficult to work out who is behind the sites. And it can be dangerous if you slip up and your identity is discovered.
How to reach and what is tor ?
Tor is an anonymity network that hides your identity as you browse the web, share content and engage in other online activities. It encrypts any data sent from your computer, so that no one can see who or where you are, even when you’re logged into a website. Tor is an acronym for The Onion Router, and it was created by the US Naval Research Laboratory in the mid-Nineties.
What’s it got to do with onions?
It’s all layers. The data from your computer is sent through a series of ‘nodes’ (other computers, also known as ‘relays’) run by millions of volunteers around the world, building up layers of encryption like the layers of an onion. Tor gives you a different IP address every time you send or request data, disguising your real one and making it nearly impossible for prying eyes to know where the data originated.
How do I use Tor?
The easiest way to use Tor is through its dedicated browser, which is available for Windows, MacOS and Linux (it can be run from a USB stick if you don’t want to install it on your computer). The Tor browser is based on Firefox, but disables plugins that could compromise your privacy and security.
It won’t clash with other software you have installed, but you may need to configure your antivirus program or firewall to allow it access to the internet.
How to connect Tor
The first time you use Tor you’ll be faced with a pop-up asking you to connect or configure the Tor network.
The majority of people will be able to click Connect, but if you’re on a censored or proxied internet connection you’ll need to configure your local proxy settings. If that’s something you need to do, the Tor Project hasplenty of manuals on the nitty gritty of configurations.
The Tor window will look like a normal browser window, but you can now use it to access sites with a .onion suffix. Coming across these sites isn’t a matter of searching Google.
The Hidden Wiki is one of the better-known resources for traversing the dark web, where you will find links to sites across various categories. Another useful resource is the onions. Obviously, be aware that both of these contain NSFW material.
If you’re particularly keen on maintaining anonymity, The Tor Project includes a number of warnings about what not to do when browsing the dark web. We would advise you to be extremely careful when using Tor. If you’re worried about privacy and online tracking, there are easier ways to take steps to protect your data. From anonymous search engines such as DuckDuckGo and Oscobo to plugins such as Ghostery, there are simple ways to block trackers used by ad networks.