Do you know: There is a vast section of the Internet which is hidden and not accessible through regular search engines and web browsers.
This part of the Internet is known as the Deep Web, and it is about 500 times the size of the Web that we know.
What is DEEP WEB?
Deep Web is referred to the data which are not indexed by any standard search engine such as Google or Yahoo.
The ‘Deep Web’ refers to all web pages that search engines cannot find, such as user databases, registration-required web forums, webmail pages, and pages behind paywalls.
Then, there’s the Dark Web or Dark Net – a specific part of that hidden Deep Web.
Deep Web and Dark Web are the intriguing topics for the Netizens all around. But when you hear the term ‘Deep Web’ or ‘Dark Web,’ you usually categorize them into one.
If yes, then you are wrong.
What is DARK WEB?
Dark Web is where you can operate without being tracked, maintaining total anonymity.
The Dark Web is much smaller than the Deep Web and is made up of all different kinds of websites that sell drugs, weapons and even hire assassins.
These are hidden networks avoiding their presence on the Surface Web, and its URLs are tailed up with .onion.
These [websitename].onion domains are not indexed by regular search engines, so you can only access Dark Web with special software — called ‘The Onion Browser,’ referred to as TOR.
TOR is free, and anyone can download it.
Many of us heard about the Dark Web when the largest online underground marketplace Silk Road was taken down following an investigation by United States federal authorities.
But, what if, you can still be able to dig the Darknet contents with your regular browsers, without the need of TOR?
Here’s How to Surf & Search the Deep Web without TOR
Solution:Deep Web Search Engines
Search engines like Google are incredibly powerful, but they can’t crawl and index the vast amount of data that is not hyperlinked or accessed via public DNS services.
However, there are Deep Web Search Engines that crawl over the TOR network and bring the same result to your regular browser.
Some of such Dark Web Search Engines are:
Here are some Deep Web Search Engines:
These Deep Web search engines talks to the onion service via Tor and relays, resolve the .onion links and then deliver the final output to your regular browser on the ordinary World Wide Web.
However, there is one consequence of browsing Deep or Dark Web on a regular browser. Working this way will make these .onion search results visible to you, me, and also, for Google.
Moreover, tracker-less search engines are also popular in the TOR culture – like Disconnect, DDG, IXQuick – which ensures your privacy searches.
Importance of TOR
It is worth noting that mere access via TOR is not considered as an illegal practice but can arouse suspicion with the law.
TOR has long been used by Journalists, Researchers, or Thrill seekers in heavily censored countries in order to hide their web browsing habits and physical location, crawl the Deep Web and exchange information anonymously.
However, one of the main reasons behind the rise of TOR is NSA’s Surveillance Programs.
After the Assange-Snowden revelations in the past years, public fears about their privacy getting compromised over the Internet.
The reliability of the Internet had been lost that demanded the Ciphers come into action to thwart the Federal Agency’s efforts. So comes the need of TOR.
With the help of TOR, the web users could roam around the Internet beyond any fear, keeping themselves and their real identities are hidden from federal and intelligent agencies.
This is why TOR is being one of the favourite targets of federal agencies.
Since Tor has long been a target of the government intelligence agencies, most online users do not feel safe to use Tor anymore.
To known how easy it is for government agencies to unmask Tor users, you can read these articles:
- How Spies Could Unmask Tor Users without Cracking Encryption
- How Hacking Team and FBI planned to Unmask A Tor User
Who lurks in the ‘Dark Web’?
According to the recent survey conducted by researchers Daniel Moore and Thomas Rid (in their book Cryptopolitik and the Darknet), it is found that 57% of the Dark Web is occupied by unauthorized contents like Pornography, Illicit Finances, Drug Hub, Weapon Trafficking, counterfeit currency flow and many more.
The netizens had given the shade of illegalities to Dark Web. This is why today Dark Web is being defined as something that is illegal instead of a ‘Pool of Information.’
However, there are countless reasons to use Dark Web. But, ultimately, it depends on the surfer what to surf?
Sidelining Darkweb for criminal offences often grey out the legitimate purposes inside Dark Web.
In the end, I just want to say:
Knowledge is Free! Happy Surfing!
Rakesh Krishnan is a Trainee Security and Technology Writer at The Hacker News (THN). He is a Security Evangelist, Passionate about Information Security and Penetration Testing. His Special Field of Interests includes Espionage, Bitcoin Dark Web and much more.
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