The dark web consists of both smaller P2P (peer-to-peer) networks and larger networks, like Tor. The internet—and the devices we use to access it—are more interconnected than ever. In the real world, there are ways to remain anonymous and secretive by, say, paying with cash rather than a credit card. The Tor browser protects you by routing your traffic through various different IP locations (and you’ll probably notice your web connection slows down a lot as a result).
Because the dark web makes it difficult to trace the criminal, they can often get away with their scam. Even if you are using the dark web to bypass censorship or gain online privacy, some threats are lurking there. Knowing the risks can help you stay prepared for threats. Whistleblowers, journalists, and activists may use the dark web to share leaked data. Exposing a company or government on Tor can make it harder for people to track who leaked the information. For example, Edward Snowden used the dark web to send information to journalists and whistleblow the National Security Agency.
The best browsers for privacy
Both the owners and users of the dark web are anonymous. Although not everything on the dark net is illegal, it’s where you’ll find many of the internet’s black markets, hacker forums, malware vendors, and other illicit activity. With ClearVPN, you can browse the internet in private, without the risks and hassles of the dark web. The app lets you freely access your favorite content no matter your location, safely visit any resources , and protect your personal data by hiding your actual IP address. Content that is purposefully kept hidden on the internet is known as the dark web or dark net.
The Hidden Wiki has been around for several years, and seems like a reasonably safe place to set you loose. It is designed for anonymous web browsing, and has various features that help achieve this. You can access the Dark web safely, but just diving in blindly is a bad idea.
It treats privacy seriously, so even if you are not using that URL, all their network traffic is run through Tor by default. Knowing that there are tons of things you can buy here, you’ll probably know you have to pay for it as well. This site is sort of like a digital wallet and allows you to transact in Bitcoins.
- However, your connection to Tor is not pretty private since your Internet Service Provider can see it.
- These attacks have led to the formation of other cybercriminal groups as well as Cyber Extortion.
- That’s where the “dark” part comes in — accessing the dark web requires the use of specific software that keeps you anonymous.
- For the greatest level of security, avoid changing the size of your browser window.
- You can’t visit the Tor network using regular web browsers that work with regular internet protocols.
Surfshark Search Ad-free and completely private web searches to avoid tracking. Hi David, I think a standard VPN running on your desktop should offer plenty of protection in most cases. There’s no one size fits all with privacy solutions as it really depends on your own needs and situation.
Private Internet Access — MACE Feature to Protect You From Ads and Malware on the Dark Web
They all come with 256-bit AES encryption, kill switches , leak protection, and no-logs policies (ExpressVPN’s no-logs policy has even been independently audited). ExpressVPN provides high-end security features that are ideal for surfing the dark web. Its free plan comes with up to 1 GB of storage, 150 messages per day, and 1 email address. The Mail Plus plan adds up to 15 GB of storage, unlimited messages, and 10 email addresses. Proton Unlimited includes up to 500 GB of storage, 15 email addresses, and access to a Proton VPN account.
There is a better alternative to using the dark web for privacy. Both can be used to navigate around censorship, whether corporate or government. But good VPN services don’t force you to browse at a snail’s pace to achieve online security.
Most dark web websites have an .onion extension in the URL. These URLs are often very strange combinations of letters and numbers. For this reason many people use the Hidden Wiki or the DuckDuckGo search engine to browse the dark web. Mac, Linux, or Android users should be careful when downloading the Tor browser, because it’s a prime target for hackers. Fake versions of the Tor browser have been created to either breach users before they even access the dark web or monitor the behavior of a user while on the dark web.
Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form. The image above is a generalization of the Dark Web, where anything and everything horrible and illegal takes place. A significant amount of nefarious activity takes place there, but this holds true for the Surface and Deep Webs as well. Joseph Cox wrote about this a few years ago in his article, “The Dark Web as You Know It Is a Myth,” and I agree with it word for word.
How To Find Dark Web
Visit the Deep Web if you’re interested, but don’t let kids anywhere near it. Regardless of being a business, parent, or any other user of the web, you’ll want to take precautions to keep your information and private life off the dark web. With many Tor-based sites being overtaken by police authorities across the globe, there is a clear danger of becoming government target for simply visiting a dark website. Understanding that the nature of the internet meant a lack of privacy, an early version of Tor was created to hide spy communications. Eventually, the framework was repurposed and has since been made public in the form of the browser we know today.
I recommend using an antivirus when you use Tor because there are many malicious sites out there. My favorite antivirus is Norton 360 because it can detect and remove the newest and most advanced types of malware, and it includes dark web monitoring and ransomware protection. It can be difficult to find what you’re looking for on the dark web because it isn’t equipped with a search index like Bing or Google. You need to know where you want to go and have specific links ready, otherwise you’ll find yourself someplace you don’t want to be. There are directory sites that can help you navigate the dark web, such as The Hidden Wiki and TorLinks. By protecting confidential data behind encryption and authentication systems, site owners can keep users’ data safe.