The Dark Web is, by its most general and simple definition, encrypted online content that is not conditioned by common search engines such as Google or Yahoo. It is often referred to as the Darknet and is also made up of private files. Some parts of it are only accessible after paying a certain fee to the site operator. This network operates on the principle of decentralisation and is not controlled by any authority.
The Dark Web is a subset of the Deep Web that requires special access. For this access, specific proxy or authentication software is usually used. An important fact is that this kind of Internet is mostly used for illegal activities. The main feature of the Dark Web is decentralisation, where ordinary browsers such as Chrome or Safari cannot access websites.
Therefore, a browser called Tor was created on the Dark Web. There are several browsers on the Dark Web, but this one is the opaquest and most used. Tor can also be called a service that allows the user to become anonymous. This anonymity gives the user room to carry out illegal activities.
Browsers look like the regular Internet, but they operate on a different principle. This principle is more complex, with one piece of information or request passing through several users of the site, which guarantees the anonymity mentioned above. However, it should be stressed that achieving complete anonymity is impossible. There are several precautionary measures by which the user can check how anonymous his browsing is. The disadvantage of these browsers is that the search or internet connection is slower. Each request goes to more places than usual.
Tor Browser and VPN
There are similarities between the Tor browser and a VPN, but they are two different technologies and should not be confused when it comes to privacy and anonymity on the internet. A VPN connection is encrypted and goes through a server or a series of sever before it reaches the final request. This kind of encryption to/from the computer cannot be viewed by anyone, including the ISP. For this reason, using a VPN when connecting to public Wi-Fi services prevents other users or hackers from seeing what the user is viewing on the Internet. Tor protects the user from having Internet traffic to and from the computer monitored. The downside of the browser is that if another user wants to use a similar service, it can decrypt and view all of the other user’s activity or traffic.
Internet, Deep Web, and Dark Web
To better understand the Internet as a whole, it is necessary to distinguish between three terms: the Internet, the Deep Web, and the Dark Web. The last two terms are still vaguely defined. Unlike the regular Internet, which uses domains such as .com,.org,…, the Deep Web uses the .onion domain. This domain name was given mainly because of the size of this hidden Internet. Both the Deep Web and the Dark Web are often compared to onions. Inside this internet there are several layers that the user can navigate through.
The Deep Web and the Dark Web account for up to 96% of all information found in the virtual world, and only 4% of the information makes up the Internet that is accessible to ordinary users.
In general, the Internet is a system used by almost every human being and the Deep Web is the subject of the Internet, which has become independent of conventional web browsers and search engines. The name Deep Web is a determination of the size of this hidden Internet.
The Dark Web is a subset of the Deep Web and sits on top of subnetworks such as the Tor browser, I2P, and Freenet. Both hidden Internet networks are often associated with illegal, even criminal activity of varying nature and degree, including the buying, and selling of drugs, pornography, gambling, and more. The Deep Web is the part of the Internet that is also hidden and located in the first layer of this Internet. Illegal services are then performed in the deeper parts of the hidden Internet, and the Dark Web is used for these activities.