The Dark Web is incorporated into your Internet, and is unspeakably vast. Otherwise called the World Wide Web, it has been referred to as a river, a super highway and even a series of tubes.
Much of what we see on the net makes it seem like a very huge information depot. Yet, all we see is no more than a small link in a very long chain. It sounds funny, but pretty much all we do or know whats on the web is no more than a mere scratch on the surface of its offerings.
What is the dark-web?
The greater part of the internet is made up of underground websites and hidden content. This hidden content is called the Dark Web or the Dark Net.
Everything we can find using search engines is called the visible or surface web. It is no more than 4% of the entire Net. This part of the internet is under constant surveillance by the government. The remaining 96% of the internet is the darkened web and it is very difficult to keep track of.
The main feature of the dark web is its anonymity. Its overlay networks that are used to make communications. They even confuse both the source and destination of internet traffic and this is what lends it the name. Basically it lets you do just about anything without leaving a trail.
How does it work?
When using the surface web, much of what you do is direct. This makes it easier to track downloaded information, it’s source and destination – your location.
The dark net or web is a much harder nut to crack. Nothing on it can be accessed directly. This is because data is not held on any single page, but in databases, which are more difficult for search engines to index.
Sharing of files on this internal highway is done through any number of on-line computers that hold the information you need. This is called peer-to-peer networking.
How can you access it?
Most of the normal browsers that are in use on computers cannot access the dark web. It uses a complete and fundamentally different network addressing system than the web browsers most of us know and use.
In order to access this dark-side of the web, you need to get the appropriate software. Dedicated browsers like Tor, I2P and Freenet can get you some access to the dark web. Tor particularly is the most common.
You also need to fortify yourself with a trustworthy antivirus. This is because even though browsers like Tor can protect you from eavesdropping and surveillance, they won’t protect you from malicious software. So, you need to be careful.
Do you want to visit the dark web?
It’s not illegal to use the dark web. Popular individuals like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange used it in the past.
However, due to its anonymity, this is a hotbed for various kinds of illegal enterprise. It is reputed to host sites that host child pornography, sale of hard drugs, firearms and stolen credit card numbers.
One of the most infamous cases linked to the dark web is that of the Silk Road, the first modern online black market. The website was shut down and the owner busted in 2013. He is currently serving a life sentence in prison.
With all of this in mind, feel free to indulge your curiosity. Just be sure to stay out of trouble.