Both VPN and the dark web can be used to navigate around censorship, whether corporate or government. However, reliable VPN services don’t force users to browse at a snail’s pace to get secure online. Unlike Tor, however, it cannot be used to access the public internet.
You must use tools like Tor to hide your identity and get to the dark web. The Tor browser works just like other browsers, except that the content is not indexed, which makes it a little harder to find things. To get to an address on the dark web, you’ll need to have links made up of numbers and letters, with a .onion extension at the end. There are many different ways to access the dark web, but navigating it can be tricky and dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. A VPN will give you an extra layer of protection and anonymity, making it much safer to explore the dark web.
Dark Deep Web
Given its anonymous nature, the dark web is also used for illicit and even illegal purposes. These include the buying and selling of illegal drugs, weapons, passwords, and stolen identities, as well as the trading of illegal pornography and other potentially harmful materials. Several sites hosting illegal material have been discovered by government agencies and shut down in recent years, including Silk Road, AlphaBay, and Hansa. The dark web’s anonymity has also led to cybersecurity threats and various data breaches over the last few decades. The deep web is the second layer of the internet, which is not indexed by search engines. Websites and pages in the deep web might include password-protected content, private forums, and personalized resources.
By some estimates, the web contains 500 times more content than what Google returns in search results. When you access the dark web, you’re not surfing the interconnected servers you regularly interact with. Instead, everything stays internal on the Tor network, which provides security and privacy to everyone equally. You probably check your email and your credit card statements online without worry.
Tor Over VPN vs. VPN Over Tor: What You Need to Know
Most of the content on the web is located on the deep web and not the Surface Web. According to the International Business Times, the deep web is from 5 to 500,000 times the size of the Surface Web. A blockchain is a digitally distributed, decentralized, public ledger that exists across a network. It is most noteworthy in its use with cryptocurrencies and NFTs. The dark web and the deep web are also often erroneously used interchangeably. The deep web is what lies underground and isn’t just the content that is considered dark.
And while it’s based on the Mozilla Firefox browser, Tor is not as well maintained and has page rendering issues. Notorious ransomware perpetrators NetWalkers used a hidden service on the dark web. For that reason, there are some advantages to the deep web.
How to access the dark web safely: final thoughts
Websites that exist purely on the deep web have different access, so there’s a level of privacy for the website hosts that isn’t possible on the regular internet. If your website is only accessible through the deep net, tracking down the physical location of your servers is much harder than it would be for a regular website. VPNs are also used for accessing geolocked content hosted by streaming services. The best options are paid-for and subscription-based, asmany free optionswill either throttle your speed or collect your data. There are many legitimate uses for dark web services and communication. ZDNET’s recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping.
- When you visit dark web sites, you’re connecting to websites on darknets, which are specifically designed for anonymity.
- The term “Dark Web” was officially coined on 20th March 2000.
- The Tor Browser is a web browser that anonymizes your web traffic using the Tor network, making it easier to protect your identity online.
- As the threat of identity theft is ever present, concerns about the dark web are certainly founded.
- You can even organize decentralized communication networks to share benign memes if you want—though it’s probably easier to just use WhatsApp or Discord.
This can be anything from secure academic archives, library databases, members only websites and all the way up to the Darknet which I’ll talk about shortly. While the intent of masking data origin is similar, Tor makes use of a decentralized network of user-operated nodes. VPN services, on the other hand, provides users with networks of privately-run secure servers operating under strict guidelines and standards. Now you have a Tor browser and you can access the dark web safely on your iPhone. URLs of darknet websites are known as “Tor Hidden Services” and can be identified from regular websites.
It actually provides individuals with privacy and anonymity that traditional websites don’t offer to individuals. For instance, people can go on the dark web and post their thoughts about political activity without any fear of being reprimanded by government officials and other groups. DuckDuckGo is a search engine just like Google and Safari. However, DuckDuckGo doesn’t keep track of your usage and also shows .onion websites in its results. Would you like to know more about this search engine and how it helps to keep you anonymous while browsing?