While using the dark web may seem suspect on the surface, it is perfectly legal, and there are many legitimate uses of Tor and anonymous browsing. Anytime you’re in the company of illegal drugs, illegal content, and other sordid online activities, you could risk landing in legal trouble. All the dark web websites we’ve listed in this article will not be of much use to you unless you know how to access and use the dark web. So, before accessing the dark web, be sure you know how to do so safely and anonymously. And don’t forget to turn on your VPN before you launch Tor. That’s why family identity theft protection and financial fraud protection are key security layers needed to keep your life safe and secure.
This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Nicole Levine, MFA. Nicole Levine is a Technology Writer and Editor for wikiHow. She has more than 20 years of experience creating technical documentation and leading support teams at major web hosting and software companies. Nicole also holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Portland State University and teaches composition, fiction-writing, and zine-making at various institutions. None, as long as you don’t do anything illegal like buying or selling illicit items. Make sure you do not make any contact with ANYONE on the deep web so you do not have this issue. Have a VPN and antivirus protection software on hand so you can keep yourself safe from hacks.
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Alternatively, users can connect in opennet mode, which automatically assigns peers on the network. Unlike darknet mode, opennet uses a handful of centralized servers in addition to the decentralized peer-to-peer network. For built-in Tor over VPN functionality, NordVPN operates specialized servers that automatically route you through the Tor network. You don’t even need to use Tor Browser, but keep in mind other browsers can still pass identifying information through the network. Alternatively, there’s IPVanish who claim to be the world’s number one VPN for Torand come highly recommended, you can save 60% on the annual plan here.
The Surface Web is easily accessible since it’s indexed by search engines and you can simply type in what you want to find and voila. However, you’ve probably heard about the recent Facebook scandals claiming that Facebook was tracking its users and the websites they were visiting. Publicly accessible, free internet services are within the deep web category. Banking websites, for example, require users to check-in before they can read their account statements. Even email services like Gmail are part of the deep web because search engines cannot access the platform’s data.
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Like encryption and even weapons, powerful tools often have dual purposes in this way, and are not intrinsically good or bad themselves. In fact, the internet has always been driven as much by a desire for secrecy as a desire for transparency. In 2001 he published a paper on the deep web that is still regularly cited today. “The deep web is currently 400 to 550 times larger than the commonly defined world wide web,” he wrote. “The deep web is the fastest growing category of new information on the internet … The value of deep web content is immeasurable … internet searches are searching only 0.03% … of the pages available.” There are also many legitimate websites populating the dark web.
- We strive to eventually have every article on the site fact checked.
- Your email inbox, online banking and Google Drive folders are undiscoverable via a web browser.
- The dark web has no shortage of scams, phishing sites, and malware designed to trick newbies.
- In fact, the dark web is only accessible by using specialized browsers like the Tor Browser.
- While the terms, “deep web” and “dark we” are often used interchangeabley, they are not the same.
There are a lot of dangerous places on the dark web, so always make sure you know exactly what you’re doing and that your actions don’t harm anyone (including yourself and your devices!). The anonymity offered by these browsers makes activity on the dark web virtually untraceable. As a result, the dark web has become a hotbed for illicit activity.
What’s in this article?
Surfshark Search Ad-free and completely private web searches to avoid tracking. Surfshark Antivirus Lightweight yet powerful security to protect your devices from harm. The Deep Web is vast, thousands of times larger than the “Surface Web” i.e. the searchable web that we all know and love. A journalist by the name of Yuval Orr is our tour guide throughout this exploration into the depths of Darknet.
How To Access Dark Web
Users of the dark web refer to the regular web as Clearnet due to its unencrypted nature. The Tor dark web or onionland uses the traffic anonymization technique of onion routing under the network’s top-level domain suffix .onion. For the part of the Internet not accessible by traditional web search engines, see Deep web.