Understanding Markets

The Darknet – An Overview

Many people are mystified about what the darknet really 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. According to experts, the deep web is hundreds of times bigger than the surface web (the Internet the public generally uses).

The dark web (or dark net) makes up a small portion of the deep web. Its contents are not reachable through search engines, but more than that, it is known as the anonymous Internet. In the dark net, both website publishers and web surfers are fully 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.

On the other hand, accessing the hidden Internet is amazingly easy. The most widely used method is by using a service called Tor (or TOR), which stands for The Onion Router. Though technically savvy users will be able to find a variety of ways to configure and use Tor, it can also be as trouble-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 allows you visit websites anonymously published on the Tor network, could not be accessed by 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 termed I2P (the Invisible Internet Project) has grown in popularity recently. 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. It was rumored in 2014 that NSA was tagging Tor users as persons of interest or extremists. 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. Using a VPN when connecting to Tor will practically erase this problem because then, nobody would even have an inkling that the person is using Tor.The Ultimate Guide to Markets