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Websites on the Dark Web? Separating Fact From Fiction

Nov 10

The dark web, also known as the hidden web, is a portion of the internet that search engines cannot see and must use an anonymizing browser like Tor to access.

The Tor browser hides the websites you visit from anybody monitoring your connection. All someone monitoring your surfing habits can tell is that you're using Tor.

You may access sites that your home network has prohibited with Tor Browser, such as the dark web.

The terms 'dark web' and 'deep web', while sometimes used interchangeably, refer to two different things. The deep web is the portion of the internet that isn't indexed by a search engine like Google and is therefore not found through a search. This includes anything behind a paywall or that requires a login with username and password, as well as any content that has been deliberately hidden by its owners.

To access the dark web, you'll need Tor, an anonymizing browser that disguises your IP address. The Tor browser routes all of your website inquiries through volunteer nodes around the world, concealing your IP address and making it unidentifiable and untraceable. However, Tor works like magic; but that doesn't mean it's fast and efficient. In fact, Tor is often slow, which makes visiting dark web links challenging.

According to Michael Lewis, founder of, a popular website that lists hundreds of "onion" links to dark websites, the biggest problem with the dark web isn't the speed of Tor, but the sometimes fickle nature of vendors:

It can be tricky to figure out who is running a dark website. Scammers frequently relocate in order to avoid the fury of their victims, and even commercial sites that have been online for many months may vanish if the owners choose to cash in and flee with the money they're getting from customers.

It's worth noting that what is popular on dark web sites is material that has previously been banned on other networks. On the dark web, which caters to those in nations where internet access is censored, governments with restrictive network policies are easily bypassed.

Many of the goods and services you hear about being offered on the dark web, that makes you think it's too terrible to be true, often turns out to be unsubstantiated rumors. Still, it's best to exercise caution in this Wild West corner of the internet.