The Darknet – An Overview
Many people are mystified about what the darknet really is. First of all, it can be confused with the deep web, that part of the Internet which cannot be reached by search engines. The deep web, according to experts, is several times bigger than the surface web (mainstream Internet).
The dark web (or dark net) makes up a small portion of the deep web. Its contents could not be found by the search engines, but beyond that, it is called the anonymous Internet. In the dark net, web surfers and website publishers alike are completely anonymous. Large government agencies may be able to track people’s movements in this anonymous space, but the process is often immensely difficult, calls for a tremendous amount of resources, and isn’t always productive.
On the other hand, accessing the hidden Internet is amazingly easy. The most widely used method is by using a service called Tor (or TOR), which stands for The Onion Router. Technically savvy users may find several ways of configuring and using Tor, but for ordinary folks, it can also be as hassle-free as installing a new browser.
The Tor browser may even be used for surfing the surface web in secret, affording the user extra protection against any potential threat, from government spying to hacking to corporate data gathering. It also enables you visit websites that are published anonymously on the Tor network, which are inaccessible to anyone not using Tor. This is undeniably one of the biggest as well as most popular parts of the darknet. Tor website addresses don’t look anything like the usual URLs – they include seemingly random character strings and end with .onion.
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Another privacy network referred to as I2P (the Invisible Internet Project) is becoming more and more popular today. Tor has remained very popular, but there also seems to be a shift towards I2P, where users get such improvements as integrated secure email and file storage/sharing plug-ins, as well as integrated social features like blogging and chat. For extra protection, Tor users also like to use a virtual private network, or VPN. While no one can see you doing what you do online using an onion router, surveillance entities do see that you are using Tor. In 2014, there was talk that the NSA was tagging Tor users as extremists or persons of interest. That would be very long list with no clear evidence of its purpose, but it is understandably something everyone would like to steer clear of. When a VPN is used to connect to Tor, this problem automatically ceases to exist because then, nobody would even know that the person is using Tor.The Path To Finding Better Guides