Understanding the Darknet
A lot of people are puzzled about what the darknet is exactly. First of all, it can be confused with the deep web, that part of the Internet which cannot be reached by search engines. Experts say the deep web is multiple times larger than the surface web (the Internet as we know it).
The dark web (or dark net) makes up a small portion 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, 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. Using a service called Tor (or TOR), an acronym for The Onion Router, is the most common way to do. 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 even works for surfing the surface web anonymously, offering the user additional protection against threats, such as corporate data theft, government spying, hacking, and the rest. It also allows you visit websites anonymously published on the Tor network, could not be accessed by anyone not using Tor. This is undeniably one of the biggest as well as most popular parts of the darknet. Tor website addresses don’t look anything like the usual URLs – they include seemingly random 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. No one will be able to see what you are doing exactly with your onion router, but surveillance entities would know that you are on Tor to do something. 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. When a VPN is used to connect to Tor, this problem automatically ceases to exist because then, nobody would even know that the person is using Tor.What You Should Know About Resources This Year