Many popular publications at times have claimed that the dark web is a myth but is it really a myth, or is the dark web real and exists beneath the deepest part of the deep web? If you have similar doubts, then you have reached the right web page on the internet.
In this article, I will share a thorough insight into this question and try to clear all your doubts regarding the dark web. So, without any further ado, let’s get started-
Is the dark web real?
If looking for a straight answer, then yes, the dark web is real, and it exists.
What is the dark web?
The dark web is nothing but a set of web pages that do not get indexed purposely. Furthermore, web pages on the dark web are encrypted by a routing technology that routes the data through a large number of intermediate web servers. It makes it nearly impossible to track down the real identity of the user and offers complete anonymity.
This transferred data can only be decrypted by matching the nodes in the subsequent order, and this sequence changes every time you refresh the webpage. This complex framework makes it impossible to decipher the data layer by layer, and as a result, it becomes impossible to track users’ geolocation and IP address.
However, the web pages on the dark web are not accessible with regular web browsers. You need to install specific web browsers that are configured to decrypt routing technology. Some of the popular web browsers that you can use to access the dark web are Tor Browser, I2P, Subgraph OS, Waterfox, etc. Always use VPN service while accessing dark or deep web.
What type of content is available on the dark web?
Since the dark web provides utmost anonymity to both website creators and users, it is widely used by people who are involved in illegal activities. On the dark web, you can find plenty of marketplaces selling compromised data, government secret information, illegal drugs, counterfeit money, counterfeit documents, and other types of data and illegal stuff.
Furthermore, you can find multiple forums and chat platforms where you can connect with other darknet users and communicate with them. You might be thinking about what’s wrong with the forums and why these forums are not available on the surface web. Well, that is because forums on the dark web are weird. The dark web contains multiple web forums about hackings, conspiracy theories, secret human researches, human experiments, and even cannibalism.
However, the scariest thing that claimed to be found on the dark web is the red room or the torture rooms. Now, I am really skeptical about red rooms, but many people on the internet have claimed that they have been to the red room. Besides that, there are plenty of websites that claim to sell illegal weapons and ammunition, and you can even offer services to hire assassins or hitmen.
The thing to understand is that most of these websites that sell such services cannot be trusted. A big majority of them are there just for running Bitcoin scams. However, that is not the case with marketplaces. On the marketplaces, you can see seller ratings to understand if the seller is genuine or completely fake.
How the dark web came into existence?
Given the name of the darkest place on the internet, you would be surprised to know that the dark web was created and funded by the US government. The prototype of the dark web was conceived by the researchers of the US Naval Research Lab.
Initially, the dark web was designed to offer anonymity and privacy to spies and other US-based secret organizations so that they can send and receive information without worrying about the surveillance.
However, the biggest issue with the prototype was that since the network has a limited number of users, it was easy to track the origin and the end of a connection. Due to that, they decided to release it openly for the general public, and it went live in 2002.
When people got to know about the anonymity and strong encryption of this network, they joined it, and the dark web started growing. Due to such characteristics, it becomes famous among people involved in illicit activities, and right now, almost 80% of the dark web is all about these illegal things.
This network was initially called the Tor Network, but when illegal activities became prominent, it became popular with names like the dark web or the darknet.
Who uses the dark web?
Due to the anonymity it offers, the dark web is being used by users across the globe. Almost 40% of the dark web users are either criminals, hackers, or the ones who are somehow involved in illegal activities.
They use the dark web because it offers them complete anonymity, and they can easily buy or sell illegal stuff from the dark web. The dark web marketplaces are the easiest and reliable places to procure drugs, hacked data of social media accounts, bank accounts, and credit cards, counterfeit money, and other illegal stuff.
Back then, there was a very popular illegal marketplace named Silk Road, which was very popular for buying hacked data and illicit drugs. However, it was shut down by the US government in 2013, and its founder was sentenced to life in imprisonment without any parole.
But soon after that, Silk Road 2.0 came into existence, and that too was taken down. Right now, Silk Road 3.1 is functioning, and that tells that no one can take down something available on the dark web. If the government shuts down a website, the alternative will appear, and that is how the dark web works. The rest dark web users are primarily people who want some privacy and anonymity from the world, while some are just curious folks like you. However, some other people like politicians, journalists, activists, whistleblowers, and others also use the dark web. They primarily use the dark web to communicate and share files secretly.