Dark Net, TOR and Onion Browsers
With the rise and media coverage of Bitcoin, Tor, Silk Road and the Dark Net, we wanted to share and clarify some truths of the internet and what the dark net really is.
The Internet, The Clear Net, The Clear Web, The Surface Web
Many of the people who’ve researched the dark net now call standard internet “The Clear Net”. This is because everyone can access the content from any computer that has an internet connection. You can access the public information from browsers like Safari, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, etc., but it’s pretty easy to track who you are, where you are, and what you’re doing whilst browsing. All the content on the clear net can be found by search engines. This is the internet most people use everyday.
The Deep Web, The Deep Net
Many people are getting this term confused and claiming the Deep Net/Web is another name for the Dark Net/Web, but this is not the case. The deep net is related to the ”clear net”, but it is the password protected area of the standard internet. For example, if you’re on the clear net, you may be searching on Amazon for your favorite product, but once you log in and access private information on their site, like your payment details, address, etc., you’re now accessing the Deep Net. It’s just the protected content on the internet which is not for the general public to see. It ranges from accessing your free forum account to government information stored on secure servers to bank details and passwords.
TOR & Onion Browsers
The gateway to the Dark Net for most is Tor and other onion browsers which allow anonymous browsing by masking your IP address through a string of computers, thus hiding you behind layers of digital anonymity, just like the layers of an onion. Tor is free. Each ”layer” is going to make you harder to track because the only information each ”layer” has is where the connection came from and where the connection is going. No single layer knows the complete route from the user to the content they’re viewing which makes it very difficult and time consuming to track people, but not impossible. TOR has become the main browser on the Dark Net, although it was originally created for anonymous internet browsing, but giving people near untraceable anonymity online is going to attract bad people. Enter Dark Net…
The Dark Net, The Dark Web, The Shadow Net, The Shadow Web
This is where the underworld operates. The Dark Net is where you will find illegal content that is not allowed on the clear net and not visible on your typical internet browser like Google Chrome. You can find everything from drugs to weapons to suicide forums and more gruesome content we’re not going to discuss. There has been a lot of speculation around the Dark Net and whether some of the rumors that exist are true, but there are definitely plenty of shady operations going on there. One example is the Silk Road. An online marketplace where people could buy and sell anonymously using the digital currency of Bitcoin. The Silk Road has been shut down multiple times, but keeps coming back to life. The online marketplace has generated over a billion dollars in revenue.
Ironically it’s been called a very “safe” place to shop for drugs due to each seller having a customer feedback score. Furthermore, it’s typically not somewhere you’re going to get your money stolen either, this is because each transaction has three “keys” which represent the people involved. The buyer, the seller, and the service allowing and approving the transaction. It takes two keys for the seller to have their money released to them, so if the company or the buyer do not release the money, the seller can’t steal from you.
This article is for informational purposes only and we do not advise trying to access the Dark Web’s content.
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