The internet is an interconnected network of computers that enables us to share data between computers using a set of standard rules or protocols. The most widely used service of the internet is the World Wide Web that comprises of websites and web-pages. From getting information about the weather through an app on your smartphone to streaming movies online, all kinds of information exchange has been made possible by the internet. It is estimated that over 7.2 billion people use the internet and it is obvious that every person uses the internet differently.
There are 3 major parts of the internet, namely Surface web, Dark web and Deep web.
Also known as visible web or indexed web, surface web is that part of the internet that is accessible to the general public and its content can be found on a search engine. Google is said to have indexed over 45 billion web pages1 (http://www.worldwidewebsize.com/), hence all these 45 billion pages may fall under this category of the internet. Common examples of the surface web are YouTube, Google, Reddit, Facebook, etc. The general public may not need any kind of special configuration to view web pages on the surface web.
Also known as invisible web or un-indexed web, deep web unlike surface web is not indexed by search engines and needs special permissions to be accessed. It is said that the visible web is only the tip of the iceberg and 90-95% of the internet comes under deep web. Email services, financial services, web archives like the Wayback machine, dynamically generated pages, private and protected content that needs a password, databases, etc. come under the canopy of deep web.
Similar to Deep web, this part of the internet can only be accessed using special software with a specific configuration. This is the more mysterious part of the internet where the casual surfer might never enter simply because it is not accessible for everyone since it is built on top of the layer of the normal internet. Darknet often uses non-traditional protocols for communication. While accessing the surface web, the client computer directly accesses data from the server, but in dark web works by accessing data using an onion network that bounces data around several intermediate computers before reaching its destination, thus maintaining anonymity of both the client and the server.
Who is uses darknet?
Darknet was created by the US Navy in the 1970s and is still used by law and enforcement organizations, governments and military. It is also commonly used by jounalists to reach out to people who want to maintain anonymity. In China, since the surface net is so restricted, many internet users in China use the darknet to access content outside the government firewalls and stay anonymous while breaking the law of the land. Apart from maintaining anonymity, and journalism, many people who have wandered into the dark side of the internet have reported the following evils:
- Child abuse
- Destructive cults
- Drug trafficking
- Hitman services
- Real Murder, kidnapping, torture and gore videos
- Hacking services – Over 200 million Yahoo accounts were on sale on a dark website called TheRealDeal
- Arms and ammunition
- Terrorist activities.
Wondering how you would pay for illegal services? Bitcoin currency is the answer. It is cryptic and peer-to-peer.
How to access the dark web?
Accessing the dark web is fairly simple. All you need is software called TOR, which is an acronym for The Onion Router. The onion browser was built on top of Mozilla’s Firefox browser’s open source code, and a person who has used Firefox (or any other common browser) would be comfortable using Tor. The Onion Router essentially aims at maintaining anonymity and by encrypting data on several layers and sending it through multiple volunteering nodes. The ultimate node would decrypt the data and send it to the destination without revealing the source IP address. Tor addresses do not look like traditional URLs; instead they are a series of random character strings.
If you open Tor and enter this onion URL : http://dppmfxaacucguzpc.onion/ you would enter a directory of dark websites.
We do not encourage users to try out the dark net as many people have ended up with bad experiences that are hard to forget.