what is the dark web. It has a solid reputation as a source of danger: illegal content, hackers, data dumps, and more. But what is on the darknet might surprise you. It’s not just black market deals and identity theft.
Has this piqued your interest? Read on to find out what you’ll find on the darknet and if it’s worth visiting at all.
What is dark web ?
It is a small part of the Internet that is not indexed by search engines. You cannot access it using regular internet browsers like Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. The dark web uses a network of individual nodes and strong encryption to protect data on the network.
The strength of encryption and the difficulty of tracking online activity on the dark web make it an ideal online destination for all kinds of malicious and dangerous activities. In addition to the bad news, there are good things about the dark web (or at least the safe ones).
Some major websites also use dark web versions such as Facebook, BBC, and ProPublica. Such sites allow users to access services without censorship, protecting the user’s identity when visiting potentially limited information.
To learn more, including how to access the dark web, check out our quick guide to navigating the dark web
Dark Web Vs. Deep web
A common misconception is that the dark web is the same as the deep web. The deep web refers to everything that is not available from the search engine. While this sounds like a dark web, there is a difference. The deep web refers to hidden information such as medical records, member-only sites, sensitive data, etc.
The dark web is part of the deep web that you access through a dedicated browser, and the internet that you use every day is known as the “clean web.”
What is the dark web?
Content on the dark web covers several key areas:
- Dark web versions of pure web sites;
- Illegal or extremist content;
- dark web markets
- Hacking and other similar forums
- Secure and anonymous hosting
- Cryptocurrency related services.
- Games, social media, music, downloads and more
Each area also contains several subsections.
Darknet versions of Clear Net sites
As mentioned above, some large clean web sites also support a dark website. This is to ensure that people living in a restrictive government can still access uncensored news, social media, or other important online services.
Illegal or extremist content
Because the dark web makes it extremely difficult to track the identity of individual users and the websites it hosts, a lot of extreme content is hosted there. The range of extreme content encompasses many of the worst forms of content you can imagine (child pornography, terrorist violence, animal cruelty, and so on).
Thus, we will not be discussing the full range of illegal and extremist content on the darknet.
The most extreme forms of illegal content are blocked on private forums. But you shouldn’t be looking for something that you don’t want to find the answer to.
The darknet markets are similar to the darknet amazon, but are mainly related to the sale of illegal drugs. Darknet markets are getting a lot of government attention. The original market for the darknet, the Silk Road, is notorious. Its creator, Ross Ulbricht, is currently serving a double life sentence following the removal of the site.
Since then, there have been many more darknet markets. Every time the authorities shut down the darknet market, it leads to a string of high-profile arrests. But each time another chain of darknet markets emerges to cheer users up and keep working.
Make no mistake. Darknet marketplaces are dangerous.
Hacking Forums and Others
The dark web is attractive to all types of hackers. You’ve probably heard tales of hitmen and DDOS services. The truth is somewhere in between. There are clandestine hacker forums that sell personal data, malware, credit card details, personal details, and more.
Again, these hacking forums sound intriguing, but they are filled with people who make a living scamming and lying.
On top of that, many hacking forums are invite-only and require you to know an existing member. An existing member may need to vouch for you too.
Secure and Anonymous Hosting
Secure and anonymous hosting supports the dark web. The vast majority of websites on the darknet require complete privacy. This means looking for a website host that doesn’t care about the website’s content, is in a safe jurisdiction (with strict or non-existent data privacy laws and no extradition treaties), and won’t pass keys to servers if the authorities come. calling.
This combination allows secure and anonymous hosting providers to claim that they do not know what is on the websites and therefore cannot be held responsible.
There are some really secure and anonymous hosting services out there. Those that do exist and prove to be safe usually have thousands of clients. However, this poses another risk for dark websites and users of those services: hackers.
In early 2020, Daniel’s Hosting, the largest free web hosting provider on Its, was hacked for the second time in 16 months. The hacker disabled 7,600 dark web portals, completely removing the back end and Daniel’s Hosting database. Website hosts can move to a different location, but like the darknet markets, this can be a digital kick-ass game.
Cryptocurrency related services
Bitcoin is the currency of the darknet. Some vendors accept other smaller cryptocurrencies like Monero, but for the most part, Bitcoin rules. As a pseudo-anonymous digital currency, Bitcoin is tied to the idea of ??privacy and anonymity required for dark web services.
There are other bitcoin services as well. For example, you can find bitcoin flip services that attempt to sever the link between the history of bitcoin digital transactions and the user, further enhancing anonymity. There are also countless cryptocurrency gambling portals that can trick you, and just scammers offering to double or triple your bitcoins for free.
Games, social media, music, downloads, chats and more
It is not only gloom and gloom.
There have been many dark web social networks over the years. These services include several incarnations of TorBook (named after the Tor network), Blackbook, TapIIN, and many more. The tricky part is ensuring the anonymity of the dark social media presence. In addition, there is an ongoing problem that the site can disappear overnight, causing you to permanently block your account.
You will also find dark websites offering downloads for music, software, games, and more. Most of the content available for download is pirated material, the downloading of which is prohibited by law.
There are also dark web search engines like Torch that allow you to search for some types of dark web content. However, you won’t always get the results you expect as the dark web doesn’t index like the pure web and many websites don’t want you to find them.
Finally, you will find sites created by ordinary people to test their programming skills or just for personal interests. If that sounds like you, learn how to create your own onion site in Tor.
Is the dark web safe?
Despite everything you’ve just read, the darknet is pretty safe. If you look for trouble, you will find it. If you stick with dark websites that are well known and don’t click every link you see, you should stay safe. The Tor browser disables several trackers and scripts to increase your security, but you shouldn’t take this extra security for granted.
If you are going to explore the dark web, you need proper security. Before you access the darknet, check the best antivirus and malware scanners to remove any viruses.