Darknet: A journey to the depth of hidden internet

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Darknet (also called Deep net, Deep web, the hidden web) occupies almost all of the internet and yet most of us haven’t heard of it, let alone visited there. The internet we often use is just the tip of the iceberg. If all the content of YouTube, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram, etc. amount to only 4% of the total content on the internet, you can imagine just how big the darknet really is.

World Wide Web (WWW) composition in percentage, the surface Web is merely 4% of the total WWW content while 96% adhere to the Deep Web hidden from the common users of Internet.
World Wide Web (WWW) composition in percentage, the surface Web is merely 4% of the total WWW content while 96% adhere to the Deep Web hidden from the common users of Internet.

Essentially the internet is divided into two types on the basis of whether it can be indexed by regular search engines or not (i.e. whether it can be found through google search or not). The one we all are familiar with and use on a daily basis is called the clearnet. It includes websites like Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and all the other sites you use. Darknet on the other hand consists of websites that cannot be indexed on Google search. Darknet is the most illegal place you can find on the internet (more illegal than torrent sites, which are found on the clearnet). It mostly is an internet marketplace where you can buy drugs, stolen credit cards, guns, fake currency bills and so on. But it didn’t start out that way; darknet was and still is a means to transfer information with maximum security and anonymity. But today, it is a operation base for many cyber criminals. This is the place where you can find real hackers, terrorists and drug dealers. So, if you still want to reach the darknet, continue reading.

The Onion Router (Tor) has been providing web anonymity for years now.
The Onion Router (Tor) has been providing web anonymity for years now.

Darknet can only be accessed by using specific anonymity softwares and browser plugins, most commonly using Tor. Tor (The onion router) is an open source software with is used to navigate the darknet. It conceals your device’s identity and you can anonymously access the darknet using browser plugins. For smartphones, the orbot app does the same. Firefox supports tor plugin but chrome doesn’t.

The websites of darknet do not have the usual urls. They are somewhat like sjhgnskjhalsndfud.onion (not a real domain name). So, it is hard to navigate the darknet. Also the urls change frequently so it’s nearly impossible to track down using normal means. The first place to go after you’ve setup your browser to support darknet is the hidden wiki. Once you’re there, the rest of the navigation is easy. There are few search engines on the darknet which index the .onion websites (tor search, TORCH, duckduckgo, etc.) thehiddenwiki.org gives you all the .onion urls you might need. Also, an important fact DISABLE JAVASCRIPT on your browser before going to darknet.

The Hidden Wiki Logo                    Duck Duck Go Anonymity Browser                           Silk Road - Anonymous marketplace

There are a few not so dangerous places on the darknet too. Torchan for example is a discussion forum on the darknet. Facebook is also available on the darknet. The url facebookcorewwi.onion is used to open facebook anonymously and facebook is the only legal website on the darknet.

Silk road (now taken down) was the biggest marketplace on the internet, famous for buying and selling illegal goods online. It’s co-creator is now serving a life sentence. But still if you want to go shopping on the darknet, just have enough bitcoins in your bitcoin wallet and you are good to go.

Share us your views on Darknet – do this hidden web provides and promotes anonymity for good or there is something hidden?

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