What is the Dark Web?
The dark web, also known as darknet or dark net, is an overlay network within the Internet accessed with a selection of specific software and configurations. The darknets consist of big networks such as I2P, Tor, Freenet operated by public organizations and individuals. Think of it as an online content that cannot be reached by conventional search engines and URLs.
Dark Web: What was it created for?
Initially intended to fight digital censorship and defend digital rights amidst surveillance scandals, the dark web soon became synonymous with a hub of illegal activities. Many consider it a modern-day digital Port Royal. Unfortunately, the Caribbean romanticism and fervent sea shanties are not exactly what the dark web is known for – it has a reputation of a “score drugs, buy an unregistered firearm, order a hit on someone and all kinds of messed up criminal activities” type of place, thanks to the popular darknet markets such as Silk Road and many others.
What are the use cases of Onion Websites?
Obviously, there are less harmful ways to browse the dark web, like exchanging information and pirated software, filesharing, whistleblowing and many more. Not that these kinds of actions are an indicator of decent behavior, but it’s still not as bad as paying a hitman in crypto to kill somebody. Besides the darknet markets and forums, the contents of the dark web are truly disturbing – botnets, ransomware, illegal porn, terrorist footage and all kinds of f-ed up stuff. Well, it all depends on the end-user and his moral decency and law-abidingness. You can use the dark web for a good cause as well. The dark web resources and forums can be used to protect valuable dissidents in heavily censored countries. Tor can be utilized for journalists to safely communicate with whistleblowers without putting them in danger. A few years ago, companies like Facebook, BBC and even Pornhub launched their darknet mirrors which could help access their websites in countries like China, Iran and Russia.
What’s the Difference Between the Dark Web and the Deep Web?
You may have heard the term deep web somewhere on the Internet or in the news, or maybe you’re a Death Grips fan, but what is it? The deep web is part of the World Wide Web, just not visible to most users. Deep web pages cannot be reached by search engines like Google, Yahoo, but can be reached by URL, unlike dark web pages that require specific software to access the intended website. Deep web pages mostly consist of private data, bank data, cloud data and something you wouldn’t want to show up in a Google search.
The darknet pages cannot be reached through your ordinary browsers like Chrome, Opera, or Safari, you’ll need a specialized darknet-oriented anonymous browser. The most popular browser for the darknet is Tor.
It utilizes a proxy server or multiple proxies to make your IP invisible to anyone, thus the lackluster speed when browsing the darknet. You’ll also find quite the unusual URL for the darknet websites as most of them consist of symbol gibberish with the .onion suffix instead of the usual .com or .net.
Do I Need a VPN Service to Browse the Dark Web?
Browsing the deep waters of the darknet without the proper protection may be too dangerous and irresponsible for an ordinary user. That’s why it’s necessary to connect to a secure VPN server prior to opening any dark web link. We understand the concept of curiosity, but it’s not an excuse to neglect your privacy. VPN is essential if you want to hide the fact of you using the Tor browser or any alternative from your Internet Service Provider, as they may find this fact suspicious. A VPN client encrypts your traffic and sends it through a secure tunnel without keeping any logs of your activity.
How Can I Browse the Dark web?
Now, let’s get to the actual algorithm:
- Subscribe to ZoogVPN or any preferred VPN service (optional)
- Download the client and launch it
- Choose one of the available servers and press ‘Connect’
- Download Tor ONLY from the official website of the Tor Project. Install it
- You can browse the dark web using Tor
Disclaimer: beware of suspicious links and never open the websites with anything that may seem illegal, even out of curiosity. While the actual process of browsing the dark web is legal in most countries, certain websites can get you in a lot of trouble, let alone buying drugs or weapons. We also strongly advise you to keep your personal information and your crypto wallet information secure and never share it with anyone. The dark web is a dangerous place with a lot of grifters. Avoid free VPN extensions and apps as some of them have been caught red-handed selling their users’ personal data. Stay safe at all times!
Where do I Find the Best Tor Websites?
If you’re already browsing from your Tor browser, then you should definitely check out these portals:
- DuckDuckGo – more private Google alternative
- Torch – another search engine
- The Hidden Wiki – think of it as a dark web navigator, but be extremely cautious as some of the listed websites may be dangerous and explicit
- Facebook – you know what it is
- Hidden answers – darknet Quora of sorts
- Proton Mail – secure alternative to Gmail and Yahoo Mail
- ProPublica – transparent news network
- CIA – believe it or not, but Central Intelligence Agency has its own dark web mirror
- SecureDrop – secure website for whistleblowers to share information anonymously
Who we are:
We hope this article was helpful! If you want to step up the level of your protection and want zero compromises when it comes to the quality and availability of the service – ZoogVPN is your best bet. We offer premium features for the most affordable prices. Subscribe to our service and we will keep your personal information safe and sound.