How to Access the Dark Web Safely in 2020
It is not unusual for you or anybody else to hear whispers of the dark web. As the name suggests, it is a place that is dangerous and hidden from the rest of the world, with only a few being able to access it. Then there rumors about it being a place for all sorts of shady dealings taking place. Due to this, people get curious to see firsthand what the dark web is all about. They end up looking for ways as to how to access the dark web. But what said people do not realize is that they could potentially expose themselves to risks.
Despite the risks, if you still want to learn how to access the dark web, then you are not alone. Although, the good news is there is actually a safe way to go about it. Without further ado, let’s take a look at how to get on the dark web.
What is the Dark Web?
First and foremost, a little about the dark web.
The dark web belongs to that part of the internet that is not indexed by any search engine of any kind. As mentioned earlier, it is assumed to be the go-to place for criminals, and it is to some extent. In 2019, a study by Dr. Michael McGuires referred to as Into the Web of Profit, showed how things have become worse than ever. Since 2016, the number of dark web listings that could affect enterprises has risen by 20%. Meanwhile, all manner of drugs, counterfeit money, credit card numbers, guns, hacked Netflix accounts, and so on are easily available.
As frightening as the dark web may seem, it does have a legitimate side. For instance, you can learn how to how to access the dark web to join social media platforms quite similar to Facebook. You can join BlackBook or a chess club, whatever floats your boat. But most importantly, it is perfect for internet users that do not want to deal with monitoring or tracking of any kind. If you are tired of being rejected your right to your privacy, then you can consider opting for the dark web.
Note: If you wish to access the links provided or any other dark web websites, you will need the Tor browser, more on this later.
Understanding the Difference between the Dark Web and the Deep Web
Now that you know about the dark web, let’s take a look at how it differs from the deep web. Yes, that is right, the two are completely different, but are often confused to be the same. Before you learn how to access the darknet, let’s learn more about the two terms.
Basically, the deep web refers to anything on the internet that is not accessible or indexed by search engines. It could also require sign-in credentials or something that has been blocked by the owners. A few examples of the deep web include corporate web pages, fee-based content, medical records, and so on. Believe it or not, 96-99% of the internet comprises of the deep web, while the remainder is what is easily accessible by any web browser, commonly referred to as the clear web.
On the other hand, the dark web is a part of the deep web. It is intentionally hidden, giving only those users access that utilize a specific browser. It is worth noting there is not much information regarding how big the dark web really is, but according to estimates, it is no more than 5% of the internet.
Remember, as ominous as the name sounds, the dark web is not solely used for illegal activities.
How to Access the Dark Web Safely
Now that you know of the dark web, and how it differs from the deep web, you can finally move on to learning how to get onto dark web. Not only is it not that complicated, but learning how to access the dark web does not requires users to be all that tech-savvy.
Use a VPN
Apart from having an up-to-date antivirus program, it is imperative you subscribe to a VPN before going any further.
Firstly, a VPN is important because it will give you the tools you need to stay safe, secure, and anonymous online, even while you access the dark web. Security features like Internet Kill Switch, Military Grade Encryption, Public Wi-Fi Security, and so on, ensure you are protected at all times. Accessing the dark web does not have to be frightening, but that does not mean you go in without taking the necessary precautions.
Secondly, you will need to stay clear of free VPNs. As tempting as free VPNs are, they will do more harm than good. If they are not charging you for their services, they are most likely going to sell your internet traffic without your consent, which is unacceptable to say the least. For this alone, there is absolutely no reason why you should even consider using a free VPN, that is unless the VPN provider guarantees that your information is not being sold and that they have a strict zero-logging policy.
Lastly, even if you have learned how to access the dark web without compromising on your safety and security, you should use a VPN at all times, even when you are not accessing the dark web. As long as you are connected to the internet, you are always at risk, but that will not be the case if you are connected to a VPN server, where your original IP is masked with a new one. This means hackers, cyber-criminals, third parties, and even your own ISP will not be able to monitor, track, or access your internet traffic.
That being said, to use a reliable VPN, here is what you need to do:
- Get the VPN subscription plan of your choice.
- Download and install the VPN on the device you wish to access the dark web.
- Connect to a VPN server.
- Browse and explore the dark web without any fears whatsoever!
As mentioned earlier, if you want to access the dark web, you will need Tor. Tor, or The Onion Router, is an open-source software program that is available to everyone completely free of cost. It is just like a browser, but unlike popular browsers, Tor is all about keeping you anonymous. How it works is that it channels your internet traffic through several hosts/IP addresses. Your searches travel through network nodes, and at every node, a part of the encryption is dismantled. Eventually, your search request lands on the website you wanted to visit in the first place. Through this process, you will stay anonymous and secure.
Of course, you may be wondering why you would need a VPN to secure yourself when Tor already takes care of that for you. Well, it is still necessary because by connecting to a VPN, you will prevent government agencies and your ISP from finding out that you have access Tor. Since your internet traffic is already encrypted, they will have no way of knowing, which in turn will save you from suspicion.
So the process of learning how to access the dark web would not be complete without downloading Tor. To do so, click here.
Access Tor Onion Sites
Once you have a VPN and Tor running, you can access Tor onion sites. These sites are no different from sites you would normally visit, but they do differ in their naming structure. These sites do not end with a .co or com, they instead end with .onion. As for what onion sites to visit, here are a couple of interesting and safe ones you could check out:
- The Hidden Wiki: http://zqktlwiuavvvqqt4ybvgvi7tyo4hjl5xgfuvpdf6otjiycgwqbym2qad.onion/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
What do People do on the Dark Web?
Now, you know how to access the dark web, but if you are still wondering why anyone would access the dark web, then you are not alone. Here are a couple of use cases that will clearly illustrate why people want to learn how to access the dark web.
The Hidden Wiki
So how do you find content on the dark web when it does not have a search engine for you to take advantage of? The answer is plain and simple: you use The Hidden Wiki.
The dark web has black markets where all kinds of goods and services can be bought and sold. These black markets are obviously not legal, which is why you should stay clear of them. The first black market of its kind on the dark web was The Silk Road, but there are a ton now.
Even though a VPN already makes this possible for you, the dark web also allows you to overcome geo-restrictions. If you are tired of being restricted access to content because of the region you reside in, then you could use the dark web. But then again, you will fare much better than by just using a VPN. It will be less complicated than accessing the dark web, and that is a fact!
Legal and Illegal Forums
The dark web is used by people that want to communicate openly and freely. There are plenty of legal and illegal forums on the dark web that allows people to speak their minds. Journalists and whistleblowers use these forums to find and leak sensitive information without blowing their cover. Then there are people that want to report a government or a company. For this reason, it should not come as a surprise that the likes of Edward Snowden and the WikiLeaks network use the dark web to spread their message freely.
All in all, this blog will have answered all your questions from “how do I access the dark web?’ to “how do I get on the dark web?” along with additional information that will surely come in handy if you care about your safety and security online. Just knowing how to access the dark web is not enough, you will need to take all the precautionary measures to avoid getting into a fix. You will need to use a reliable VPN, like Ivacy VPN, to stay secure and anonymous at all times.
The reason why Ivacy VPN is perfect for those that want to learn how to access the dark web is that it is an all-around VPN. It can be used to access the dark web, or any other site you may desire. But that is not all, it is available platforms like macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, and even Linux. It is even available on browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. So if you wanted to check out the dark web on your Android device, then all you need to do is to use Ivacy VPN for Android.