Before diving deep into how you can access the deep or darknet, let me ask you this question, “do you know what is deep and dark internet?”
For most of us, it’s just the same thing. Many people think that deep and dark are just two different words for the same web. Well, that can’t be far from the truth.
What is the deep web?
The deep web is the internet that isn’t exposed or available to everyday users. It is the amount of interest that is hidden from the regular eyes of internet users. This enormous amount of data is not indexed by Google or other mainstream search engines.
This data also includes outdated or irrelevant data that isn’t useful to many people anymore. But this data also holds very important files such as banking transactions, sensitive information and so on.
Your everyday search engines won’t give you access
You can’t access this data by using Google, Yahoo or other mainstream search engines. There are specially designed browsers to access this level of the internet. Tools such as deeper web, the www virtual library, and ice rocket are some of the browsers used to browse what was originally indexed and not filtered out by the search engines that we use every day.
It is not what you think
While many people think that the deep web has some alien-related information, highly classified files and even the formula of Coca-cola; it is nothing like that. While it is true that it holds too much information, most of it is usually academic journals, cases, and other theoretical information that isn’t much useful or relevant to your everyday use.
What is the dark web?
Now comes the part that is somewhat scary for most of us. You see deep web holds a much larger amount of information that our usual internet can ever hold, but it’s almost safer information. There is nothing illegal or much immoral about that. But when it comes to the darknet, there are wide ranges of information that is not only immoral but illegal as well.
So what makes darknet “the darknet?”
Well, the darknet isn’t as big as deep or our regular internet. It is comparatively a smaller portion of the internet that is hidden from us on purpose. This is the level of the internet which many of us might never want to explore. Yes, this is where there is a market for illegal goods, stolen credit card numbers, classified information, and restricted content.
But the dark internet isn’t just used for the above-mentioned trade-offs. It is also a hot place for the journalists and whistle-blowers to hang out and share the classified tips and information. One can also use dark internet to access some hidden blog forums, private game rooms, and chat boxes.
There is a reason why it’s so popular
But there is a reason why dark internet has gained and is still gaining so much popularity. It’s due to the “anonymity” factor that lures many people towards it. When you’re on dark internet, you’re anonymous. You’re safe from Governments, corporations, and other agencies’ jurisdictions.
Many people use dark browsers to express their opinions which they can’t on any other mainstream or regular search engine. People like Julian Assange & Edward Snowden are among the names that have used dark internet to speak against the Government policies.
But it isn’t easy to access dark internet. You need to have a specialized tool to be able to access it. The most popular tool nowadays is called “TOR”
Well, most of the websites on the dark web have URLs with “.onion” rather than “.com, .org” or other domains. This means that you will only be able to access these websites if you’re accessing them through “The Onion Router” which is shortly known as TOR.
How does Tor do it?
TOR is a network of volunteer relays spread all over the world. Just like other servers, the data on the dark web is also spread in many servers around the world. What Tor does is, it encrypts your data (and identity) multiple times (3 to be specific) and sends it over to 3 servers located at multiple locations globally.
No one server is aware of the exact route/pattern of your data and only sends forward your data after decrypting one layer. This way, your identity becomes anonymous when followed through the network.
How to get TOR?
If you are looking to browse TOR on your computer or laptop, you can get the TOR Browser from their website. But if you want to use it on your iPhone or iPad, the “TOR Browser Private Web” by Jetty Apps is specifically designed for iOS.
It is already configured for your ease and you can simply start using it as soon as you download it. No need to go through long manuals. Once you connect to it, your browser will show you a screen saying that “TOR Browser is configured,” now you can go on browsing the hidden internet.
You still won’t be able to access .onion sites unless…
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to you, right? After all, a market that involves anonymous trading shouldn’t be easy to reach. While you may be able to access some hidden documents, game rooms and other activities, you still won’t be able to access pure .onion websites.
The reasons behind this are because you will still be using the regular search engines like google or DuckDuck go or bing. While these search engines will now start to show you the otherwise hidden files (that were originally indexed) they won’t take you to the .onion websites.
How to access them then?
To access purely .onion websites, you will need a specific search engine. There are search engines like onion.city or onion.to that can give you access to these websites.
Now let’s talk about some safety precautions
Now that you are aware of the difference between deep and dark web, how TOR works and how can you access hidden websites; it is high time that I should tell you about some safety measures to keep in mind when browsing the darknet.
They do know you’re using it
While your Government may not be able to locate your exact location, they can still know (through your ISP) that you are connected to a Tor network. It is enough reason for them to search your servers and data. Always make sure that you are not using or giving away your original identity on the dark web. Never leave a pattern.
Don’t fall victim to phishing schemes
When using the TOR browser to connect to the Tor network and surfing the dark web, you have to make sure that you don’t get too much interested in something. What I mean is don’t give your original email i.d, or contact number on any of these websites.
Especially those that seem shady. Most of these websites aren’t secured by SSL protection and giving your personal information on these websites can cause you big troubles.
So, now you know all about it. You can share this information with your friends, colleagues, and everyone who wants to browse the dark or deep web.