There have been many changes on the Internet over the past decades. But not everyone knows that the global network also has a downside that is not visible to the average user. This dark surface of the web is called the Darknet, which literally means "dark web". What is the "darknet"? And can anyone get there?
Darknet: general information
Usually, the term "darknet" refers to a special private network that operates in a secure mode. A connection over such a network is established only between trusted users. In communication, they often refer to themselves as "friends."
In this closed part of the network, non-standard ports and protocols are widely used. The main feature of this segment is complete anonymity of communication and file exchange.
The darknet is used most often in cases where it is required to hide any information from prying eyes. It is believed that this segment of the network is actively engaged in illegal activities that are beyond the control of governments. The Darknet has become part of non-profit networks associated with "underground" technologies.
There is no consensus among netizens in the use of terminology. Most of them associate the darknet with the Deep Web and Dark Web. These concepts are often put in one row and used as synonyms. However, each of the described Internet technologies has its own interpretation.
The Deep Web is understood as the many web pages that a regular search engine cannot crawl. Typically, these pages are created by querying various online databases.
The Dark Web is called the "dark web". It is assumed that this network is represented by fragments where special software is required, which can be found in the public domain. However, all the data of the "dark web" refers to the general, global network.
Information on the dark web is hidden under the cover of special software. It is protected by encryption to guarantee a certain degree of anonymity. It uses domains and protocols that an ordinary Internet user will never accidentally come across.
From the history of the darknet
The "dark Internet" began to take shape half a century ago. For security reasons, it was isolated from the Arpanet network, which became the basis of the modern Internet. The foundation of the global public network has been built by American military experts since 1969. The "dark" part of the future Internet was required to collect the data that Arpanet needed; anonymity was ensured there.
The closed segment of the network began to gain high popularity since 2002. It was assumed that there will be open access for individual users who will be able to freely exchange files and information. For the operation of the segment, high-capacity channels were created.
Using the Darknet
Why is the average user seeking access to the "dark side" of the web? Researchers believe that in this way people want to ensure their privacy and avoid possible political repression. The private segment can be used by those who distribute copyrighted documents. Some people are thinking about using closed communication channels to commit unseemly actions in the field of information technology. For this reason, the darknet is very attractive to dubious individuals and criminal structures.
Those who are not familiar with the concept of the "dark Internet" believe that it is the focus of everything that is forbidden and illegal. It is believed that it is in this part of the network that the most important crimes are being prepared:
- drug trade;
- slave trade;
- illegal sale of human organs.
There is information that on the darknet, if you wish, you can find online stores selling all types of weapons and fake documents.
The main feature of the darknet is that no government in the world is able to control such activities, since this segment of the Internet is represented by non-indexable sites. No search engine can find them. You cannot find such resources using a regular browser.
How to get into the darknet
To begin with, you should recall the features of the regular Internet. It is represented by many pages that can be easily indexed by search engines. In the open part of the global "web" you can find social networks, resources for remote work, platforms for buying and selling anything.
But when it comes to the "dark internet," the situation changes dramatically. This closed segment of the network is accessible through special services. One of them is the Tor browser. This software can open sites that end in.onion (translated from English - "bow").
Standard link directories usually serve as a guide to the onion country. It cannot be otherwise, because traditional search engines do not work in this part of the network. But even with the help of the “onion” browser, it will be impossible to find something by means of ordinary search engines in the closed segment. Information for accessing the "dark side" of the network is stored in forums where registration is required. In some cases, an adventurer will have to perform testing and give his hard-earned bitcoins for access to information.
But here, too, surprises await the user. The Darkenet is a wandering swamp and quicksand. Information is in constant flux here. Individual sites present in catalogs may no longer exist at the time of access to them. The catalogs themselves also move from time to time, change their addresses.
Even a cursory glance through the catalogs reveals that a lot of “dirty” information is being placed on the “dark Internet”. Here you can find:
- offers to buy fake documents;
- hacker hideouts;
- outlets to arms dealers;
- resources for the distribution of pornography;
- proposals for illegal purchase of currency.
It should be remembered that many links to such resources are used by scammers who seek to extract money from gullible newcomers who plunged into the depths of the darknet for the first time.
Researchers believe that the positive side of the darknet is the fact that everyone here can freely express their thoughts without fear of political persecution. According to some reports, dissidents from many countries of the world find refuge in this segment. They keep their blogs where they exchange ideas and thoughts. On open Internet sites, politicians persecuted by the authorities cannot do this: they will inevitably face persecution.
Think carefully before surfing the dark side of the web. The main question is: why do you need this? Are you looking for resources that are prohibited on the "surface"? Then be prepared that your activity will not go unnoticed by the competent authorities that monitor the security of the network. It should be remembered that absolutely complete anonymity, even in the closed segment of the Internet, is not guaranteed to anyone. Proof of this is the periodic exposure of those who, using the darknet, were engaged in fraud, blackmail and other unseemly, if not simply criminal, cases.
If you intend to master the darknet just to satisfy your own curiosity, then you may well be disappointed. Browsing the "dark internet" is very, very boring for no purpose whatsoever. The most important, classified materials are not laid out for public viewing here either. They are available only to a narrow circle of people who trust only each other and do not let curious strangers into their closed world.