Indeed, at one point or the other in our respective exploration of the internet, we must have heard in videos or read in blogs the term “dark web,” right? The concept of the dark web isn’t a new idea, and more often than we realize, we actually come across some elements of it, but because we haven’t been familiar with it, we often ignore or fail to pay attention to it. In this light, let’s now delve into the details of the dark web, as well as what we need to access it.
What is the Dark Web?
By now, you’ve most likely heard about or accessed websites like Shopify, Wikihow, Forbes, Wikipedia, YouTube, and Facebook, to mention but a few. But beyond these popular websites are some hidden sites that are not readily accessible by the general public. Are you surprised to hear that? Don’t be! The dark web, or darknet, is a general term for a collection of websites on an encrypted network with hidden IP addresses – all of which gives users strong anonymity protection. Because they are not indexed by traditional search engines, you can only access them with special anonymity browsers, such as I2P, Freenet, and the most common, The Onion Router (TOR) bundle.
How to Access the Dark Web successfully in 2019
Typically, there are many sources one can use to access the dark web, but one of the most reliable in 2019 is the Tor browser. The browser is an encrypted network of volunteer relays around the world through which users’ internet connections are routed. The essence of these relays is to make Tor anonymous so that no one might be able to trace it. But on the downside, these relays slow down connections. And this is because rather than accessing the server of the website you want to go to first, you first have to go through the relays, which are often purposely scattered around the globe. Also, since the system is decentralized, not all the relays have the same CPU, meaning that while some are fast and powerful, others might operate at a snail’s pace. The easiest way to browse dark net web pages is to download and install the Tor browser bundle. So if you don’t have a Tor browser yet and you want to access the darknet markets, you need to ensure that you download one first. Unlike the .com, .net, and. org you have in the surface web websites, the websites here have more complicated URLs, most of which end with the suffix .onion. More often than not, websites will often change their URLs in order to evade detection and DDoS attacks. When you’re on the dark Web, ISPs – and by extension, the government – might not be able to view your activity, but they will know you are on the Tor Network. This alone is enough to raise eyebrows in some countries. That’s why we recommend accessing Tor using a VPN. That way, your internet traffic is routed through the VPN before going through the Tor Network and finally reaching its destination. With this method, your ISP only sees the encrypted VPN traffic, and won’t know you’re on the Tor network. The major concern with using Tor over a VPN is that it requires you to trust your VPN provider, as the provider may see that you are using Tor. To mitigate this issue, use a VPN that does not log your activities, and connect to your VPN before opening the Tor browser.
Steps to Access the Dark Web
Team up with an excellent VPN service provider
Like it or not, but your anonymity and safety on the darknet is only as strong as the VPN network you’re tethered to. This is why we always recommend that users should be careful about their choice of VON service when accessing the ark web because just a slight misappropriation or loophole from a VPN service is enough to jeopardize all that you aim to do on the Dark web. So to be on the safest path, always go for a VPN service that doesn’t keep logs, has no DNS leaks, is fast, is compatible with Tor, and which (preferably) accepts Bitcoin as payment. Although you may find it challenging at first securing VPN platforms like these; trust me it’s always worth every bit of your effort in the end. What the VPN services do in essence is to fake your location, making it appear as though you’re accessing the darknet from a different location.
Download and install the Tor browser bundle
It is true the saying that there’s no accessing the dark web without a Tor browser. But before you go ahead to download a Tor bundle though, ensure that your VPN is running in the background. Furthermore, it is also crucial that you download Tor from the official Tor project website.
Start browsing .onion websites
Typically, once you open Tor on your PC, you’ll most likely be directed to the search engine DuckDuckGo. While DuckDuckGo is designed to provide extra privacy and encryption while searching the web, you shouldn’t confuse it for the dark web’s version of Google because in reality, DuckDuckGo searches the clear web just like an ordinary web browser or search engine. That means if you do a keyword search, you’re results are going to be basically the same as what you would find on the regular internet.
Fortunately, there are dark Web search engines that will bring you to .onion sites. These include:
Welcome to Dark Web
Just make sure to always turn on your VPN before opening Tor and starting a web surfing session.
Uday Tank has been working with writing challenged clients for several years. His educational background in family science and journalism has given him a broad base from which to approach many topics. He especially enjoys writing content after researching and analyzing different resources whether they are books, articles or online stuff.