What Is the Darknet?
People are often perplexed about what really the darknet is. First, it is at times confused with the deep web, a term that refers to parts of the Internet that search engines couldn’t index. The deep web, according to experts, is several times bigger than the surface web (mainstream Internet).
The dark web (or dark net) composes a small percentage 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.
Accessing the hidden web, on the other hand, is astonishingly easy. The most common way of doing it is through a service known as 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 can even be used to surf the surface web in private, providing the user added protection against all possible threats, from hacking to government spying to corporate data theft. It also enables you visit websites that are published anonymously on the Tor network, which are inaccessible to anyone not using Tor. Without a doubt, this is one of the biggest and most popular portions of the darknet. Tor website addresses are very different from common URLs in that they include arbitrary-looking character strings and end with .onion.
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Another privacy network known as I2P (the Invisible Internet Project) is increasing in popularity. Tor still has plenty of users, but there appears to be a shift to I2P which provides a lot of improvements, including file storage and sharing plug-ins and integrated secure email, along with blogging and chat among many other integrated social features. Many Tor users also like to add an extra layer of protection by using 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. There were rumors in 2014 about the NSA 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. Connecting to Tor with a VPN erases this problem because in the first place, nobody would know that the person is even using Tor.Case Study: My Experience With Resources