What is the dark web and how do you get on the dark web? Find out how to do it by reading the article, what you may find yourself and what the risks are.
All of us are used to connecting the web to search engines, however they are not quite the same thing. Browsers such as Google's Chrome,in fact, are programs that scan the network in search of documents, pages, websites and platforms, organizing all this information within databases, located on physical servers. When you search with Google or Firefox, browsers show a set of relevant results, but the resources offered represent only a small part of the web.
In reality, the internet is much larger than we can imagine, since many areas of the network are not even analyzed by browsers, as they are judged not relevant, insecure, or because they operate with different protocols than those adopted internationally. A large part of the internet is called the Deep Web, where you can find content and resources that search engines like Google do not index, so they remain almost invisible.
Still, it is a huge amount of information, which according to some estimates would be hundreds of times larger than the traditional web. Inside there are normal websites but also portals associated with illegal and illegal activities,linked for example to drug trafficking (an example was the Silk Road portal, a marketplace for the sale of illegal drugs closed in 2013 by the FBI), the sharing of child pornography images,the sale of weapons, computer scams, in addition to real international hacking actions. This part of the network is often called Dark Web,a sublevel of the Deep Web.
How do you get on the dark web?
To browse the internet just open a browser such as Google Chrome, Safari or Mozilla Firefox, performing a search by entering a keyword, a question, or directly the URL address of a website to be reached. These rules, however, do not apply to the Deep Web,since browsers do not work in this dark area of the network, so to enter you have to install a specific program on your PC or mobile device.
The most used browser in the world to navigate the Deep Web is TOR, a modified version of the famous Firefox software, whose acronym stands for The Onion Router. It is a program that allows not only to visit the deep Web, but above all to hide your data while browsing, such as the IP address of the PC. In this way it is possible to explore the Deep Web and browse anonymously, however the use of TOR does not completely protect against the risks of this area of the internet.
In fact, in the Deep Web not only curious people act, but also scammers, experienced hackers,criminal companies and real criminals, ready to deceive inexperienced users with illicit actions, such as phishing bank data, duplicating digital identity and theft of sensitive information. To enter the invisible web it is important to maintain the utmost caution, being assisted if possible by an expert in the field, or avoiding any contact with other users present in the deep network.
How do you get on the dark web from pc?
The most common way to navigate the Deep Web is through TOR, a program that allows you to enter anonymously, using routers made available by a series of volunteers, an operation that allows you to browse incognito. The first thing to do then is to download TOR on the PC, a free and open source software available on the official website Torproject.org, where you can find a version in Italian.
On the portal just select your operating system,choosing between Windows, Mac OS and Linux, save the file.exe on your computer and start the installation wizard. The process takes just a few minutes, so after a few moments you can launch your browser and start the adventure within the Deep Web. Once installed, you just have to click on the software icon, selecting connect to finally navigate the deep Web.
The operation of TOR is quite simple, in fact it is quite similar to that of a traditional web browsing program. To facilitate the operation you can use a search engine, such as Torch or Repository, which allow like Google to quickly find websites and portals, even when you do not know their digital coordinates. Obviously these search engines do not show the whole Deep Web, but they represent an adequate solution to navigate safely.
How it works and how to use TOR
TOR is an open source browser developed from the Mozilla Firefox program, a software that allows you to browse the Deep Web anonymously. Once installed in your PC, or in a mobile device through the app for Android and iOS, the browser uses a series of routers to mask the IP,avoiding tracking. To find the sites present in the Deep Web TOR uses strong encryption codes, which allow access to the top-level .onion domains.
Using TOR Browser to navigate the Deep Web is quite simple, in fact just start the program, click on Connect and perform some settings, for example by configuring the country from which you want to start the tracking signal. After that you can access the network as it happens with Google, however if you do not know the coordinates of the platforms it can be difficult to navigate the deep web.
For this reason it is possible to use search engines that simplify this operation, including Torch, where almost 480 thousand .onion websites are indexed. A valid alternative is to use DuckDuckGo in the Onion version, or Not Evil,two search engines specific to the Deep Web. Another solution is to consult the directories, portals that offer lists of websites to facilitate deep web browsing, using for example the famous Hidden Wiki, Parazite Links, TorLinks, HD Wiki or OnionDir.
What are the risks of the Deep Web?
TOR is a fairly secure browser to enter and browse the Deep Web, however it does not allow you to avoid any risk, since over the last few years some problems have been encountered. First of all, it is a network run by unknown people, almost always volunteers who want to keep the Deep Web free and unrestantiated, so in practice you use an anonymous third-party system, an aspect not as reassuring and reliable as it may seem.
The TOR network process also allows the signal transition nodes to know some positions,including the previous one and the next one, except for the final output node. This means that TOR operators can see their IP and geographical location while browsing, but not the exit point from the Deep Web, unless they visit websites without HTTPS protocol, effectively limiting anonymity to external users.
Another criticality of the Deep Web and the TOR network lies in hacker attacks,in fact in the same way as with traditional systems it is possible to find infected programs, viruses and malicious scripts, capable of stealing sensitive information and personal data. Finally, it must be considered that it is an extremely slow and heavy browser, due to the IP obscuration system through a continuous procedure of rebounding the signal between the nodes.
How to navigate the Deep Web with TOR + VPN
An effective solution to increase the level of security when browsing the Deep Web, isto use TOR together with a VPN (Virtual Private Network), or a virtual private network. In this way it is possible to connect to a VPN, subsequently activating TOR to access the Deep Web, opening the search browser within your PC without disconnecting the VPN. Some private networks already offer integration with TOR, otherwise you just have to download the software separately.
This allows you to achieve a double level of security, since both TOR and VPN hide their IP and geographical location from external users and websites, offering two perfectly integrated systems of anonymity. Such a configuration is slightly more complex, however it allows a safer deep web navigation, especially when it comes to communicating sensitive data and personal information. The only disadvantage is that your internet service provider and government authorities can see that you are using TOR, while your activity and browsing remain hidden.