A Guide to the Darknet

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Have you heard of the Darknet? What about the Deep web? Ever wondered how to gain access to this network? In the following article, we take a look at what it is and how to get there.

People will often get confused between the Darknet and the Deep web. The Deep web refers to a part of the internet that search engines don’t index. It can be secure databases, members only websites or even closed academic archives.

The dark net, on the other hand, is part of the internet inaccessible to search engines at all. It is often said that this part of the internet is 100 times larger than the surface web which you and I access through search engines like Google. A large part of the Darknet is made up of forums and normal blogs with the rest being illegal trade websites.


Accessing the darknet; The Onion Router (Tor Browser)

The basic idea of accessing the Darknet is privacy and anonymity. This is achieved by using the Tor network accessed using Tor browser. The browser can be installed in either Windows or Linux (recommended) operating systems. It is important to note that the browser is a prerequisite to access the Tor network.

In the network, requests are bounced through several computers making it impossible to track who is viewing a particular page at a given time.

Tor browser is free to download from the Tor official website.


Navigating through the Darknet

The one thing one notices after installing Tor browser is the fact that there seem to be no extra features on the browser to distinguish it from others. To access the darknet, one needs to first find directories that index sites within the tor network.

Sites within the Darknet have a .onion extension instead of the normal .com or .co.ke. The sites’ web addresses are also not readable. They are random strings. An example is http://3g2upl4pq6kufc4m.onion/ which is the web address for DuckDuckGo’s search engine on the Tor network. This link cannot be accessed through normal browsers like Chrome.  Other directories include Candle and Not Evil among others.

One has to spend time on the darknet to get to know your way around. There is a treasure trove of information on this vast part of our internet that ranges from history, hacking forums, movies etc. That said, there are multiple sites selling all kind of illegal stuff from stolen credit cards, guns, and drugs. It is important to take care when downloading anything from the darknet. This is to prevent oneself from downloading malware and losing data.


This post is meant for educational purposes only.




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Melissa Daniels
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