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How to access the dark web safely

The dark web is infamous for illegal activities and other online threats such as malware, phishing, scamming, etc. However, space is more than that as the anonymity provided can be used in various ways such as anonymous chat rooms/ emails, whistleblowing, bypassing geo-restrictions, and so many other things.

Nevertheless, the dangers associated with it can make it unsafe, so you need to take some precautions whenever you want to use the dark web. Today, we’ll give you several tips on how to access the dark web safely.

What is the dark web?

In case you are not familiar with the dark web, it is a part of the internet that is meant to provide anonymity. It is made up of volunteer servers from across the world that relay information from one server to the other, hiding a user’s identity through multiple nodes.

The dark web is however easily confused with the deep web, and most people wrongly use the two terms interchangeably. The deep web is a part of the internet that houses files that are intentionally hidden from search engine access. This includes files such as the content of your email address, medical records, legal documents, data in private databases, etc.

Since the dark web is also not accessible via regular search engines, it is a part of the deep web.

How to access the dark web safely

Use an adequate browser

There are several ways you can access the dark web. Some of the browsers you can use are I2P, Tor, Orbot, and FreeNet, among others. You don’t even have to use a special browser as you can still access it through other means, such as using NordVPN’s Onion over VPN servers. In such a case, the VPN will connect you to the Tor network, and you can then use your favorite browser.

However, the above methods all offer varying levels of anonymity. For safety, we highly recommend that you use the Tor browser. 

The browser is based on the privacy-oriented Firefox browser, and it has been configured to be highly secure and private. Even if you decide to use Onion over a VPN, it’s still highly advisable to use the Tor browser. It can be installed on Windows, OS X, Linux, and Android.

Use a VPN

The Tor network uses three nodes to provide anonymity. The first of these nodes know your traffic source, although it doesn’t know the destination. This can be quite risky in that your ISP can always see that you are connected to the Tor network, and the person who runs the server can also see your IP address and your location. 

This can be quite risky in cases where government agencies decide to do correlation (they run some of the servers), so it’s always essential to hide your real IP address with a VPN. The added encryption will also make you more secure.

Browse safely

The dark web can be quite “dark” in terms of browsing, and you do not want to stumble on content that you do not want to see or read. It’s therefore important to know where you are going. To give you a good start, here are some of the best dark web links worth checking out.

Apart from that, it’s highly advisable that you use Hidden Wiki, which is the dark web’s directory. It will give you a list of .onion websites listed in categories. This way, you’ll always know where you are going.

Wrap up

The dark web is an interesting place where you can find everything that anonymity inspires. Space can however be dangerous, and so you need to be careful while browsing. The above tips should help you stay safe whenever you are using the dark web.

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