What is the Dark Web?
The dark web is the ‘invisible’ part of the internet that you can only visit using a special browser, such as Tor. Tor is an abbreviation of The Onion Router. Through the Tor browser you can surf the internet, just like with Google Chrome, for example. However, the difference is that the Tor-browser also gives you access to sites that are not available on the regular web (the surface web). This collection of sites is known as the dark web.
Safety First! Use a VPN
If you want to enter the dark web, we strongly advise you to use a VPN connection. Using a VPN will give you extra privacy and protection online. The Tor network has several vulnerabilities, and a VPN can protect your privacy and data. However, it’s better not to connect to a VPN when using a mobile live OS. You can read more about this later on our site.
How to Access the Dark Web
If you want to access the dark web, you must do so in a safe way. The dark web isn’t the same as the ‘normal’ surface internet. It comes with several unexpected pitfalls. To access the dark web, follow these steps:
- Download and install the anonymous Tor browser from their official website. https://www.torproject.org/download/
- Switch on your VPN for extra online security.
- Launch the Tor browser.
- Make sure your Tor browser doesn’t allow any scripts to run.
- Adjust the browser’s security level to “most secure”.
- Go to the dark web website you want to visit. You could, for example, visit The Hidden Wiki (link only works in the Tor browser). This is a page with links to other dark web websites.
You may have heard that using the Tor network (with a good VPN for added security) is not the only way to access the dark web, which is true. However, it is in fact the only way that’s more or less safe. Nowadays, users can also reach some dark web pages via their standard browser (such as Google Chrome) through another tool developed by Tor: Tor2web. However, even Tor itself indicated this is far more dangerous than using the Tor browser to do so. After all, this way of accessing the dark web makes it far easier for cybercriminals to find out your identity or even infect your PC with hardware. As such, we stress that the use of the Tor browser to access the dark web is really important!
Is the Dark Web Legal?
In one word: yes. The dark web is legal in most parts of the world. Using the Tor browser is also completely legal. However, if you use the dark web to violate the law, you’re still partaking in illegal activities. We’d strongly advise all our readers to be sensible and avoid illegal activities on the dark web (and beyond) at all times.
The Complete Step-by-Step Plan to Safely Browse the Dark Web
The dark web can be quite a dangerous place if you do not take the right precautions. You can stay relatively safe with a good antivirus and a decent VPN. However, if you want to be completely anonymous and protect your device you will need a little bit more than that. Below you will find 15 steps that can help you visit the dark web safely. However, do keep in mind that things change quickly and hackers get smarter every day.
1.Make sure you’ve got basics down
2.Use a mobile live OS (optional)
3.Use a VPN to encrypt your internet traffic
4.Download Tor from its official website
5.Take security precautions
6.Change the Security Level and Forbid scripts in the Tor browser
7.Check if there’s not an IP-, DNS-, or WebRTC leak
8.Be aware of common dark web myths
9.Use additional anonymous services
10.Avoid logins, subscriptions, and payments
11.Know where you’re going
13.Close everything when you’re done
14.Realize that you are never 100% safe
15.Consult online guides, blogs, search engines, chat sites, etc.