Whether you are after some shopping or Amazon or an educational article on Wikipedia, chances are you can find such websites even if you cannot remember the exact address. Simply write what you are after in your favorite search engine and you will get there in no time. But then, not every website in the world can be accessed this way. This is when the deep web kicks in…
The concept of deep web
The deep web is also part of the Internet. However, websites in this category are not really found through search engines. They are simply not indexed, so they cannot be accessed by simply searching for them.
The deep web may sound a bit dangerous – it feels like an underworld part of the Internet you are familiar with. But then, there are lots of companies using it. Regular websites are hosted in this category as well, whether it comes to private email platforms, databases and so on.
In fact, to help you understand this concept, even your cloud files are hosted on the deep web, as they can only be accessed with a username and a password.
The deep web is also the category that hosts the dark web. This is where lots of websites are hidden and hardly accessible – some of them are fully encrypted and cannot be accessed with your regular browser even if you actually know their addresses. They are normally accessed through the Tor.
Disclosing .onion websites in the Tor
Websites under the Tor network have the .onion extension. They can only be accessed with Tor. Try to reach such a website with a regular browser (be it a smartphone browser or a classic computer browser) and you will get an error. Furthermore, some webmasters will also change their URLs on a regular basis in order to keep private.
Tor is built to ensure complete anonymity. Forget about the private mode of your browser – it is not going to help. You might keep a few websites away from your kids or partner, but this is it. Internet service providers know when you use Tor to browse – chances are your government knows it as well.
Tor is not really illegal – at least not in the free world. The same rule applies to .onion websites – many of them available through The Hidden Wiki. But then, you can still attract some attention by making it crystal clear – you want anonymity and you hide your activities, even if you are not doing anything illegal.
Furthermore, all the nodes helping traffic through Tor are run by volunteers. While the encryption is extremely strong, it is not perfect. From this point of view, it pays off using a VPN when about to rely on the deep web and explore .onion websites.
As a short final conclusion, the deep web is definitely an interesting world that will give you access to a new category of websites. Exploring it is safe as long as you use common sense, while anonymity will never be an issue.