How to Get on The Dark Web Safely

  • By Greg Brown
  • Published: May 19, 2023
  • Last Updated: May 22, 2023

Dark Web access

Inquisitive minds are curious and seek out new knowledge, asking questions that will receive detailed answers. Anyone who considers themselves inquisitive should avoid the “Dark Web” or approach with extreme caution.

The Internet is more complex by the hour, with nearly two billion websites and growing, the average user accesses only about ten percent of this massive resource. 

Three layers: 

  1. The Surface Web or Open Web consists of sites indexed by Google, Bing, Firefox, and others. Sites on the surface web are, for the most part, legitimate, well-intentioned businesses and informational. The Surface web is just the small tip of an enormous iceberg, making up 5% of the total Internet.
  2. Deep Web is legitimate content not indexed by the search engines, such as bank account pages. Sites requiring registration are part of this group, including web forums and email accounts.
  3. Appropriately at the bottom of this list lies the Dark Web. Traditional search engines do not index sites on the Dark Web and cannot be accessed by standard browsers.

Dark Web: Quick Oerview

Kaspersky describes the Dark Web or darknet as “an overlay to the Internet, used for keeping activity anonymous and private, which is helpful in legal and illegal applications. While some use it to evade government censorship, it has also been known to be utilized for highly illegal activity.”

The above description is accurate, but unfortunately, it is a casual oversimplification of a dangerous area of the Internet. Exploring the Dark Web is not recommended for average users and young people. Venturing into this area exposes users to malware, hacking, and extreme scams. Users may also confront any number of law enforcement surveillance efforts.

How to Get On The Dark Web

Visiting the Dark Web is not in itself illegal. However, it is unlawful to access sites to view child abuse and pornography, promote terrorism, or sell illegal weapons. The Dark Web abounds with these types of websites.

The Dark Web is beneficial to people of the world where free speech and the Internet are banned in countries such as China, Iran, and North Korea. Anonymous activity and privacy is the key to keeping their fight alive. Others may use the Dark Web to reduce their risk of falling victim to crime or stalking. 

How To Access the Dark Web With the TOR Browser

safely access dark web

Sites on the Dark Web are safely accessed by using dedicated software. The most popular package is the TOR Browser. The TOR Browser uses complex algorithms to anonymize a site’s IP address. It is imperative to download the browser from the TOR Projects dedicated site and no other. There are thousands of fake TOR websites loaded with malware for the unwitting.

With over 2.5 million people using the software, TOR is not the DARK WEB. Instead, it is a viable means of finding and browsing without being identified. Trackers and browsing habits are blocked; cookies are automatically deleted on exit.

Websites on the Dark Web bear the .onion extension rather than the top-level domains of .com, .net, .org, and so on. 

Onion Routing was developed by Naval Intelligence in 1996 to create anonymous communication over a computer network. TOR requests and messages are wrapped in multiple layers of encryption and sent through a specific internet routing mechanism on the dedicated TOR network. Layers of encryption are taken off at each step (hence the onion metaphor) as the message reaches its intended target. 

The TOR Project, a 501 (C) (3) non-profit, describes its browser as a way to “circumvent censorship.”

Safely Accessing the Dark Web

Deep web browsers are similar to Google and Edge, with access differences.

What are the Risks of Darknet?

Thousands of illegal hotspots and websites on the Dark Web are used to conduct illicit transactions for stolen and counterfeit data, credit card details, weapons, and much more. The Dark Web hosts an enormous number of websites catering to all types of deviant persons accessing child pornography and similar behavior. Experts believe tens of thousands access these sites on a regular basis. 

Silk Road, One of the most notorious Dark Web marketplaces, operated uncontested from about 2011 to 2013. It is believed that over 100,000 buyers daily conducted transactions for everything from drugs to hit men for hire. Ross Ulbricht, Silk Road’s founder, was convicted and is now imprisoned for the rest of his life. 

Damian Williams, the US Attorney for the District of New York, relentlessly pursued and captured James Zhong for bitcoin laundering through the Silk Road marketplace. The government’s seizure of assets from Mr. Zhong totaled nearly $1.57 billion in today’s money.

Privacy Affairs conducted an amazing investigation into products and prices from vendors on the Dark Web. These products include everything from stolen credit card data to hacked Facebook accounts, and email database dumps. High-quality malware installs are broken down into Europe, USA high and low quality, with global quality numbers. The 2022 Dark Web Product Price Index is startling to say the least especially; how “Matter of Fact” the products are available.

How to Get On The Dark Web on Your Mobile Phone

For those who love danger with unrelenting curiosity, there are ways to access the Dark web with an iPhone and Android. For your iPhone, use the TOR Browser: Onion TOR VPN. As the name suggests, the TOR Browser is combined with a VPN for ultimate safety. The app is designed to funnel all traffic through the TOR network.

Google Play gives Android users the official TOR Browser. The app touts itself as a robust online tool for privacy and freedom.

Be Wary of Accessing the Dark Web

The Internet is an excellent resource and playground for those willing to access the parts which make them a stronger, more complete person. Every form of disease, such as Diabetes or Cancer has a support group that will make a difference in their lives. It only takes a minute to search. Accessing the Dark Web without the TOR Browser can bring down any personal device for unwitting users, even those looking for help or support. Getting on the Dark Web safely is easy; staying that way is next to impossible.

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