What is the Deep and Dark Web?

The dark web is the hidden collective of internet sites only accessible by a specialized web browser. It is used for keeping internet activity anonymous and private, which can be helpful in both 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 difference between the dark web and the deep web is that the deep web refers to websites and web pages that aren’t indexed by search engines, like login pages and payment portals. The dark web, by contrast, is configured on darknets, which are online networks that can be accessed only with special software and techniques. The deep web consists of any content that lives behind paywalls, authentication forms, logins, or passwords. Much of the dark and deep web content an average person accesses on the internet is part of the deep web: email, online banking accounts, private social media accounts, and subscription services. You wouldn’t want your email history available on the surface web and searchable by anyone.

How to get on the dark web?

The quickest way to access the dark web is to download and install Tor Browser, which will route your traffic through the Tor network and let you access the dark web. On Tor, you can type in any URL you’d like to visit, including .onion domains on the dark web.

How to access the dark web safely.

The safest way to get on the dark web is through the Tor network. For added safety, first connect to a VPN, then use Tor in a practice known as Tor-over-VPN. Many internet service providers (ISPs) and governments may be suspicious of Tor use, and a VPN will hide your internet activity and prevent anyone from knowing that you’re using Tor.