For some time now, the media has talked more and more about the so-called Deep Web or Dark Web. It is almost always done to link it to criminal activities that take place deep in the network, and very rarely do they stop to explain what that Dark Web really is. An example of this is that they call it the Deep Web, a misnomer in most cases.
That is why today we are going to try to explain to you in a simple and understandable way what exactly the Dark Web is, and what is its difference from the Deep Web. And if you are curious, we will also tell you how to download and use a specially created browser to navigate in it.
What exactly is the Dark Web?
To understand what the Dark Web is, you have to understand four different concepts: Clearnet, Deep web, Dark web, and Darknet. The easiest to understand is the Clearnet, which is the Internet as you know it, the pages that you find on Google and other search engines and that you can access directly from them. For example, Engadget is a Clearnet page, because if you google it you will find it quickly, and if you enter its web address you have no problems entering.
Imagine, for example, a page that you access by typing a conventional web address, but whose content you cannot access if you do not pay a certain fee or monthly payment. That is Deep Web. So is the page that is generated when you are using a travel search engine. It is a unique website configured with the data you have entered, and which cannot be accessed directly.
If the Deep Web is 90% of the Internet, the Dark Web would occupy only 0.1% of it. It is a portion of the Internet intentionally hidden from search engines, with masked IP addresses and accessible only with a special web browser. The Dark Web is therefore part of the Deep Web, but they are different things. For example, if the Deep Web were a city, the Dark Web would be several neighborhoods. They are part of the city, but they are not the city.
The Dark Web is the content that you can find in different Darknets, which are each of the networks that you can only access with specific programs. The most popular is TOR, but you also have Freenet, I2P or ZeroNet. Each of these is a Darknet, but when we refer to all of them in general we use the term Dark Web.
The Dark Web is usually defined as a non-indexable area by conventional search engines, which means that you cannot find its pages in Google, Bing and other search engines. But there are some exceptions. For example, search engines have been created for Darknets like the TOR network, and we have some search engines like DuckDuckGo that are also working on including this type of content.
In Engadget you have a broader explanation of these concepts so that you understand them. It is also important to make clear that the Dark Web is not bad by definition, that many of its myths are false, and that it has a lot of pages with constructive content . In addition, the Dark Web serves as a shelter for persecuted activists in countries that are especially fierce with freedom of expression, and helps others to bypass local censorship to access information.
How to enter the Dark Web
Each Darknet has its own input method, but considering that TOR is the most popular on the Dark Web, this is where we are going to teach you how to enter. The first thing you have to do is go to the Tor Browser page, and click on the icon of your operating system to download it. It is a Firefox-based browser specially created to enter TOR without having to configure anything. You just open it and it connects automatically.
Choose the destination folder and install it, then run the browser. You will see that it does not open automatically, but first it shows you a window that tells you that you can connect or configure the connection. Click on the Connect button, and when the connection process is complete Tor Browser will open and you will be able to navigate both the Clearnet and the Tor network with it. It comes with the DuckDuckGo search engine configured to also find .onion pages, the domain of the websites of this Darknet.
A good starting point is to search for “The Hidden Wiki” and enter the first result even if it is a .com page. In it you will see a large number of .onion pages and their description in English ordered by theme. From there, you only have to go visiting the different pages and browsing their content.
It is normal for pages on the TOR network to load extremely slow, something that is due to the anonymization encryption of the network itself. That is precisely why you will also notice that most of them seem to be taken from two decades ago, since they are usually created in simple HTML and without too many frills.
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