What is the Dark Web & How to Access It?
What is the Dark Web? The Dark Web, in simple terms, is a list of websites which are not indexed by search engines like Google or Yahoo. The Dark Web is part of the Deep Web. Some claim that only around 6% of the world wide web is indexed. The remaining 94% represent what is known as the Deep Web. While the Deep Web is usually accessible to all, the Dark Web is restricted and requires special software such as Tor to be accessed. Learn what the Dark Web is and how to access it safely in this tutorial.
What is the Dark Web?
The Dark web consists of web sites that are publicly visible. However, theses sites hide the IP addresses of the servers that host them make it difficult to determine who and where these websites are hosted. Most Dark Web sites use a tool called Tor to achieve anonymity. Tor encrypts the web traffic and bounces it through randomly computers around the world. Each of these computers then removes one encryption layer. The data is then passed to next hop in the network. Three hops are usually involved. This process makes it extremely difficult to match the destination of the traffic with its origin.
How to Access the Dark Web?
Any website that runs Tor can only be access by Tor users. To access the Dark Web, you need a special browser called the ‘Tor Browser’. Once you have downloaded and installed the Tor Browser, all what’s left to do is visit these web sites.
Is the Dark Web Safe?
As with any activity you might carry out online, there’s an element of risk involved. While using Tor does make your online activity less traceable, you can still get tracked down in theory. In general, it’s highly advised to use a VPN service like ExpressVPN to achieve a higher level of anonymity while browsing the Dark Web or the Internet in general.
- When using VPN, all your traffic is encrypted whether you are accessing the Dark Web or not.
- Connecting to a VPN server spoofs your IP address. Websites you visit will not be able to your real IP address. Your ISP on the other hand will not be able to track the site you are visiting.
- VPN apps can be installed on PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.
Below is a list of top VPN services you can use along side Tor.
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- Standalone Smart DNS subscription available
- Extra security features
- Extensions for Firefox and Chrome
- Split-tunneling available
Is the Dark Web Legal?
Accessing the Dark Web is totally legal. However, some dark web users do engage in illegal activities due to the fact they’re kept anonymous. Keep in mind that the same applies to the ordinary World Wide Web you access on a daily basis. Make sure you are using anti-virus software and that your PC firewall is turned on. Also, connect to a VPN server for extra privacy and security before accessing the Dark Web.