What is the dark scary part of the internet? It’s the Dark Web!!! You can buy guns, fake money, assassins, hired hackers and whatever else you can think of over the Dark Web. You could even buy a lifetime Netflix subscription for a few dollars if you wanted! But that’s not all the Dark Web is about.
There are also harmless sites that you can visit like The Hidden Wiki (The dark web Wikipedia), Chess (Where you can play chess games with strangers) or BlackBook (Which is the Facebook of Dark Web!). So the Dark Web is not all “Dark”. Many regular people prefer using the Dark Web just because of the privacy it provides. And so, this article will inform you all you need to know about the Dark Web and also why you should be careful while using it. (Because it does have the guns, fake money, assassins and hired hackers as well!!!)
What is the Dark Web?
The web is not just the sites you can access using Google. In fact, that is just a teeny tiny part of the very large web. But broadly speaking, the web can be divided into 3 main parts which are Surface Web, Deep Web and Dark Web.
The Surface Web is what most people think the whole web is. It is basically the online content that can be accessed easily using search engines or by links. This can include your favorite blog posts, Facebook pages, news articles, etc. which are general information and indexed by search engines like Google or Bing.
Then we have the Deep Web, which is distinct from the Dark Web! This web cannot be indexed by search engines and you require some permission to access it. For example, login access to a site, contents of a company database, etc. are not openly available using links on the internet. And since search engines need links to crawl the web, this content is not accessible by them.
And finally, there is the Dark Web which is not just a place for criminal activity! Like the Deep Web, Dark Web also cannot be accessed using conventional search engines. In fact, you need specific browsers like Tor, which routes the web page requests through multiple proxy servers to provide complete anonymity. And all the Dark Web sites have weird domain addresses and end in .onion suffix so that they are much harder to track and only accessible by Tor.
How Do The Dark Web Sites Operate?
The Dark Web is like the dark scary part of the web that holds many secrets – both good and bad. And the only way to access the websites in this dark place is to use the anonymizing dark web browser called Tor. Tor has a 3 layer proxy node structure, like the layers of an onion (hence the onion sites!).
All of your web page requests on the Dark Web are first connected at random to one of the entry nodes, then bounced off a middle node, and then finally pushed out through an exit node. This makes your IP address unidentifiable and untraceable so you might be sitting in India but you may appear to be in a country halfway around the globe on the Dark Web! This makes Tor perfect to explore the secret Dark Web but also makes it a little unpredictable and slow due to all the onion layers.
Now let’s move on to Dark Web Sites. These look the same as any normal web site but there are some DIFFERENCES! Instead of ending in .com or .co or .org like normal websites, all the dark web sites end in .onion. This domain suffix ensures that these web sites are not accessible normally so you can only reach them using Tor. Also, the URL’s for the dark web sites are quite weird and difficult to remember because of a scrambled naming structure. For example, The Hidden Wiki is the dark web Wikipedia which has the address “http://zqktlwiuavvvqqt4ybvgvi7tyo4hjl5xgfuvpdf6otjiycgwqbym2qad.onion/wiki/index.php/Main_Page”. This is hardly easy to understand or remember which preserves the secret nature of the Dark Web!!!
Is the Dark Web Illegal?
No, the Dark Web is not illegal. At least not in most countries. However, if you live in China, the great Chinese firewall blocks all the Tor traffic. Also, countries like Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc. are also trying to restrict the Dark Web as much as possible. But it is a myth that the Dark Web is only used by criminals for illegal purposes. Tor is also frequently used by people who value their online privacy and don’t want anyone to ban their free speech. And you can only find many interesting and totally legal sites on Tor! You can find first edition books, encrypted email services, cryptocurrency, Dark Web Wikipedia and so on. There is even access to Facebook through the Tor, using the address “facebookcorewwwi.onion”!!!
So you can legally access Tor and enjoy the secrecy of the Dark Web (unless you are in China!). Although you will have to tolerate the slow speed and random access, the Dark Web is worth at least a one-time visit! Just make sure to keep your personal details hidden and you should be safe!!!