Artistone

What Is a Dark Web?

UTC by John Caroline · 6 min read
What Is a Dark Web?
Photo: Unsplash

Dark web as the name implies can be regarded as an invisible web that is only accessible via certain specified software, configurations, or authorizations. Let’s explore all that is concerned with the dark web for a better understanding.

With the internet being more of a second world where online engagements are being operated, it serves the public in different ways and has been a tech toolkit that will keep reigning from generation to generation. The internet features diverse categories of the web to allow people to optimally utilize the internet for their online operations. Thus, there are a dark web, deep web, and open web. The aforementioned web categories feature differently and are being utilized for different specifications. As much as a lot of people have gotten acquainted with the term “Dark Web”, it’s been observed that there are various misconceptions about it. This guide will be laying major emphasis on the dark web to unveil core facts about the term.

Dark Web Definition

The dark web is that part of the internet that has its visuality restricted from conventional search engines and is only accessible via special anonymizing web browsers like Tor.

Every user of the internet has their own unique IP address that represents their identity each time they access the internet. This IP address makes an internet operator easily traceable, which makes it easy to track operators of any activity either good or bad on the internet. However, the dark web has provided limitations to this as it helps to anonymize internet activities and make them private.

With the dark web, the operator’s IP address becomes invisible and cannot be traced as it adopts a model that anonymizes a user’s true IP address. Thus, it becomes very difficult to figure out the websites visited by a device. As mentioned earlier, the dark web is accessible to anyone who is able to use its dedicated software, a popular dark web browser is known as Tor (The Onion Router).

History of the Dark Web

The evolution of the dark web started many years ago, most notable in the early 2000s. The web was invented along with Freenet, a development made by Ian Clarke to secure users against the intrusion of the government and cyber-attacks.

As explained earlier, this system allows users to freely make content or carry out activities on the internet without being tracked online and it is still in vogue till the time of writing.

In the early 2000s, the US Naval Research Laboratory scientists realized that the open internet was completely vulnerable to surveillance, hence recognizing the edge the dark web has over the open internet. The team sought to make the dark web easily accessible and came up with the TOR project in 2002. The Onion Router (TOR) is the dedicated software browser for accessing the dark web developed by the US Naval Research Laboratory. The TOR browser launched in 2008 and became one of the most common browsers used to access the dark web. The browser features a design that basically provides intelligence sources a way to communicate easily and safely, especially in hostile areas where personal safety is key.

The dark web started becoming more relevant since the crypto space started to become a hot trend in many parts of the world as there is no doubt that cryptocurrencies often provide a great deal of anonymity for people who buy and sell on the dark web.

Although the dark web has been mostly adopted by bad operators, it is often used for legal purposes as well. The accelerating use of the dark web by manipulative actors on the internet has geared regulatory concerns towards the web.

Dark Web, Deep Web, and Open Web

It is important to understand the various categories of the web, as many people are still yet to differentiate the dark web from the deep web.

Unlike the dark web which is accessible by the public through a special web browser, the deep web is extremely restricted from public access. The deep web is made up of databases that can be accessed securely via uncommon routes. A business entity can choose to operate with the deep web probably for online purchases, banking purposes, and more. The deep web will enable the company to limit the visibility of the web contents to authorized persons like employees with secured passwords.

As such, it is quite obvious that the dark web functions differently from the deep web as the former basically anonymizes a user’s internet identity making it difficult to track the true IP address of a user.

The open web on the other hand is the publicly visible part of the internet that is generally used by the public on a daily basis. Unlike the dark web and the deep web, the open web can be accessed through conventional search engines such as Google or Bing.

Is Dark Web Legal?

Dark web or its dedicated browser TOR cannot be regarded as illegal as its initiation was basically to provide an edge over the open web’s vulnerability to surveillance, which can soothe perfectly for legal operations. However, malicious actors are leveraging the discrete features of the dark web to execute their illicit activities. Thus, it becomes illegal to carry out illegal acts anonymously, such as making illegal trades, promoting terrorism, or selling illegal items such as hard drugs or weapons.

Why Use Dark Web

The dark web meets the need to anonymize one’s IP address as there could be many good reasons people would want to protect their online identity. It provides a means for people to browse the open web anonymously.

Moreso, the dark web helps people to easily access hidden services. Hidden services are online services rendered by a website where its IP address is unidentifiable, hence the information about its host, location, or content remains invisible except it is accessed through the TOR browser.

Special Considerations

It is important to note that the dark web helps the public to easily set up and access websites that offer a high degree of anonymity. Although transactions on the dark web are usually made with cryptocurrencies, that does not mean that dark webs are crypto networks. Thus, cryptocurrencies can be used outside the dark web.

Conclusion

People who want to express themselves freely without the fear of attacks can easily do this with the use of the dark web. There are lots more good use cases for dark webs which are far beyond illegal operations. The discrete nature of dark webs might aid bad operators in executing their cyber manipulations, that is not the purpose behind the initiation of the dark web.

Thus, a clear understanding of the dark web, its characteristics and benefits, as well as the tale behind its initiation should be able to clear the trending misconceptions about the dark web.

Share:

FAQ

What is a dark web?

The dark web is that part of the internet that has its visuality restricted from conventional search engines and is only accessible via special anonymizing web browsers like Tor.

Is dark web legal?

Dark web and its dedicated browser TOR cannot be regarded as illegal as its initiation was basically to provide an edge over the open web’s vulnerability to surveillance, which can soothe perfectly for legal operations.

Is it safe to use the dark web?

The dark web aids the process of protecting one’s online identity, hence it is safe to use.

What is the difference between a dark web, a deep web, and an open web?

Unlike the dark web which is accessible by the public but through a specialized web browser, the deep web is extremely restricted from public access. It is made up of databases that can be accessed securely via uncommon routes and by authorized persons. An open web is the publicly visible part of the internet that is generally used by the public on a daily basis. Unlike the dark web and the deep web, the open web can be accessed through conventional search engines such as Google or Bing.

What should I consider when using the dark web?

One should consider the fact that the dark web basically helps the public to easily set up and access websites that offer a high degree of anonymity. Hence, although the transactions made on the dark web are usually made with cryptocurrencies, that does not mean that dark webs are crypto networks. Thus, cryptocurrencies can be used outside the dark web.

guides
What Is Smooth Love Potion (SLP)? May 9th, 2022

Have you ever wished that you could earn money while doing something that you love? It is possible with a blockchain-based game ca...