Did you know that you only have access to a tiny part of the Internet? It is estimated that only 10% of content is accessible to the general public via the Clean Web. The other 90% is part of what is called the Deep Web. It brings together private sites not indexed by traditional search engines including the Dark Web which represents a tiny part of the Deep Web.
In the common imagination, the Dark Web is a very dark part of the internet that contains illegal black market sites. We often tend to associate it with e-commerce platforms that sell illegal goods such as drugs, weapons and other false documents. This is partly true, but not only. Indeed, some people simply want not to be referenced on the classic net.
Discover in this article what the Dark Web really is and how some Internet users manage to access it without taking any risks in 2022. With our tutorial below, you will be able to connect to the Darkweb in a few clicks. Indeed, there are solutions for the general public that allow you to access this hidden web interface.
Dark Web, Deep Web and Darknet: do not confuse anymore
The Dark Web is often confused with the Darknet or the Deep Web, yet these erroneously associated terms define very different things.
The Deep Web is the invisible part of the web. These are the contents that are not indexed by indexing robots. Examples include databases, non-public parts of banking sites or storage files.
The Darknet is a set of internet sub-networks that are not accessible via traditional search engines but using specific techniques. There are several tools to access it such as Freenet, I2P or Tor, the most famous Darknet network. Tor stands for “The Onion Router” or the onion router in reference to its layers of protection. It gives access to hidden services including part of the Dark Web, which is why it is often associated with the Dark Web.
The Dark Web , also known as the underground web, contains hidden and largely illicit content found only on the Darknet. But despite its “dark” label, not all content is related to cybercrime. Originally, the Tor project was created by US Navy laboratories to guarantee the confidentiality of their exchanges.
Today, Tor circumvents censorship and promotes freedom of expression for dissidents and political refugees. The Tor network, however, is a network that is not completely anonymous. Indeed, some FBI agents have already managed to go up the chain to find people who had used the Tor network. It must therefore be coupled with another software (such as a VPN) to become 100% anonymous on the dark web.
Is the Dark Web legal?
While the Dark Web is often a mysterious place that is associated with illicit activities and cyber crimes, browsing this network is not illegal. Some journalists and political dissidents go there to communicate and inform without endangering their safety. Since the deep web runs on a different communication protocol, it greatly enhances anonymity. It is for this reason that many Internet users wishing to preserve their identity turn to this network.
That said, this anonymity is a double-edged sword. Indeed, malicious people will necessarily feel more protected while browsing the Dark Web and they will be more likely to engage in illegal activities. It is true that there are more illegal platforms and sites there than on the Internet as we know it.
Access the Dark Web in 3 steps
As we have explained, the Dark Web is therefore only accessible using specific tools. Since this place is unregulated, it has many risks and there are some important rules to know before going there. If you intend to browse there anonymously, you will necessarily have to go through a VPN. The latter deletes all your logs: neither your ISP, nor the VPN, nor anyone else will be able to see what you are doing there. It’s more secure and faster than Tor.
1. Use a VPN
Even if Darknet networks integrate anonymity functions, it is essential to protect yourself upstream, even before you access the Dark Web. To do this, you will need to equip your connected device with a Virtual Private Network (VPN) . By encrypting your data, VPNs are the best way to hide your online activity.
Thus, your internet service provider will not be able to know that you are going to the dark web. It also won’t be able to see if you’re using Tor. Since some VPNs don’t keep any logs, no one will know what you did on the dark web. It’s the best way to hide and have no risk of being watched. Be careful, you have to choose a good reliable VPN, like ExpressVPN. The latter is the world leader.
In addition to encryption, VPNs allow you to hide your source IP address. The IP address assigned to you will be that of the VPN server you are connected to. Quality providers like ExpressVPN have thousands of IP addresses that guarantee the anonymity of its users. Its no-logs policy guaranteed by the jurisdiction of the British Virgin Islands is also essential to ensure the security of its data.
2. Download specific software
Since Dark Web pages are not indexed by the usual search engines like Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari, it is necessary to download software that allows you to access this small part of the Deep Web. It’s a much lighter solution than downloading Tor itself. It’s the same level of security and it’s above all much faster.
The best known network for going to the Dark Web is Tor and accessing Tor requires downloading Tor Browser . This browser similar to Mozilla Firefox will allow you to access sites containing the .onion extension , specific to Tor and to hidden versions of certain sites. Remember that the use of Tor Browser is not illegal, it is the illicit activities carried out on this network that are. You can very well go there to find out what is happening on the hidden side of the web.
3. Accessing the Dark Web via Tor Browser
To access hidden .onion sites , it is necessary to use link directories such as The Hidden Wiki, a directory listing .onion sites, or Torlinks. By browsing the web, you will be able to find dozens of links to directories or forums. The latter can also identify URLs with links to sites.
You will then find a whole bunch of more or less legal services on the dark web. Our tutorial ends there, it was mainly about explaining how to access the dark web. On the other hand, we advise you not to use dubious platforms on the dark web to obtain anything. That said, it’s still interesting to take a tour for general culture.
In any case, to avoid risking anything on the dark web, we strongly advise you to use a VPN. Once you have activated the latter (and therefore runs in the background), you can open the Tor Browser browser. Then you will have access to the hidden universe of the darknet.