What will you find on the Dark Web?

The Internet is full of content and information but some parts are hidden. There is the normal web that most people know and use every day, which is easily accessible and indexed by search engines. And then there is the ” dark web ,” hidden websites that don’t appear when you Google and cannot be accessed without special software.

What are Darknets

The “dark web” is a subset of the so-called ” deep web “. The deep web is just the part of the web that search engines cannot access.  You won’t find these websites when you use a search engine like Google or Bing, but they are otherwise normal websites. The “dark web” is a smaller part of the deep web that cannot be accessed without special software.

The dark web exists on dark networks, which are ” overlapping networks .” They are built on top of the normal internet network, but require special software to access, so they are not normally visible or accessible to unaware people.

For example, the free software   Tor   hides a dark web. Although you can use Tor to anonymize your web browsing activity on normal web sites, Tor also offers  sites .onion or “Tor hidden services”  . These are special websites that can only be accessed through Tor . They use Tor’s anonymity to hide themselves, hiding where the server is, assuming the server is configured correctly.  Only people connected to Tor can see them , so they are usually not accessible and it is difficult for anyone to track who visits them.

Related:  How to Browse Anonymously with Tor

In theory, it should be almost impossible or very difficult to track down these servers and see who visits them. In practice, Tor has had some security flaws and hidden Tor services are sometimes misconfigured and can expose the actual location to authorities.

Tor’s “Dark Web” is the most popular darknet, so we’re focusing on it here. But there are other dark networks designed for other purposes, such as file-sharing networks designed for the secret sharing of pirated software and multimedia files.

What will you find on the Dark Web?

Dark networks hide websites that do not want to be on the normal Internet, where they can be tracked and monitored 24 hours a day. These websites comprise what is known as the dark web.

The dark web provides anonymity , both for the people who visit the websites and for the websites themselves. Political dissidents in an oppressive country could use the dark web to communicate and organize. Whistleblowers can leak secrets on the dark web using sites like The New Yorker’s Strongbox, reducing the risk of being tracked. Even Facebook offers part of its website as a hidden Tor service, making it safer for people in countries where Facebook may be blocked or monitored.

However, this anonymity also allows the presence of other types of websites that, otherwise, would not exist on the normal web. You will find websites that sell stolen credit cards, lists of social security numbers, forged documents, counterfeit coins, guns, and drugs. You will also find gambling websites and directories of criminal services, including people who advertise themselves as murderers. Payment for such services is generally made using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

One of the best-known examples of a dark website was Silk Road , a huge black market website where drugs were offered for sale , payments were made in Bitcoin, and drugs were mailed to buyers via the postal system.

It’s worth noting that not everything you see on the dark web is legitimate ; most may not be, especially the more extreme listings. Are the criminal services and products being advertised real or are they just there to scam people out of their money? Perhaps some of them are traps set by the authorities to catch people trying to hire killers, buy weapons, or acquire counterfeit coins.

There are a lot of nasty things on the dark web . We are not exaggerating on this point. Look for lists of hidden Tor services, that is, lists of .onion sites , and you will quickly see that most of them are from fraudulent activities.

You probably don’t want to visit the Dark Web

So when should you visit the dark web and why ? Well … you probably never have to visit it.

If you are in a country that is oppressive of fundamental rights and you want to access social networks or news websites that are blocked or censored by the government of your country, the Dark Web may be useful for you. If you are a whistleblower and need to leak documents to the media while maintaining your anonymity, this could also be another good reason to visit the seediest part of the web.

But we don’t recommend clicking and browsing the dark web without good reason. There are a lot of nasty things on the dark web and a fair amount of what you’ll find will be scams.

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