What Exactly is Dark Web, the Full Story?

Dark web story

We know everything about the Internet! If that’s what you think, then you might be wrong. Well, yes, and we are going to tell you everything about the story of the hidden part of the Internet called the dark web in this article.

What is the Story of the Dark Web?  

The United States Department of Defense originally used this idea of communicating anonymously. However, it began in 2000 with the release of Freenet, it was a thesis project of University of Edinburgh student Ian Clarke, who set out to create a “Distributed Decentralized Information Storage and Retrieval System.” HE created a new way to communicate and send files anonymously.

This groundwork was the basis for the Tor Project, which released a browser in 2008, and with this creation, users were now able to browse the Internet completely anonymously. And also explore the sites that were part of the dark web. However, the dark web has now become a hub for users who wish to remain anonymous.  

Three Layers of the Internet

The Internet is a network of millions of servers, web pages, and databases that run continuously. The most common example explaining to you is that there are three layers that the Internet: Surface web, Deep web, and Dark web. Each one is different from the others. We will explain all three types to you and the full story of the dark web.

Surface Web

The surface web is like the tiny tip of an iceberg that is visible, which means that it is the only easily accessed and most used side of the Internet. It includes search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing and all the websites, databases, and other online resources that are indexed by these search engines. Now, all the information you get there can easily be accessed by the users.

All the information on these websites can be accessed through standard web search engines like Firefox, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer. These visible sites are labeled with registry operators such as “.com” and “.org.” These websites are easily found because the accessible search engines can index the web through visible links. This process is called “crawling.” It means the crawlers follow those links to different sites and index them for future reference.

Deep Web

The deep web is the part of the Internet that is below the surface or open web and has 90% of all the websites. It also includes the web pages that are not indexed by the search engines. This portion of the Internet also includes private databases, streaming libraries, email archives, financial information, social media accounts, journals, and other content that are hidden from the public for various reasons, particularly to secure the information not meant for public viewing.

Moreover, these deep websites require a particular password to access the private site you are trying to enter. This deep web includes both legal and illegal content and also includes the portion known as the dark web. However, most people use both terms interchangeably, but a large part of the deep web is legal and safe. Some of the largest deep web components include:

  • Intranets: These are the internal networks used by businesses, governments, and learning institutions to communicate and manage aspects privately.    
  • Databases: They can be protected privately or publicly and are only searchable within the database.

If you are curious to access the deep web, you will be shocked to know that you are using it on a daily basis through your social media accounts and in online banking especially. These pages are hidden for different reasons and do not threaten your computer or safety. Furthermore, some of these hidden files include:

  • Legal files
  • HIPAA-sensitive information like medical documentation
  • Private enterprise databases
  • Email and social messaging accounts
  • Financial accounts like banking and retirement

While most of the content on the deep web is harmless, users can access dangerous content by navigating through pathways that could lead them to violent content and piracy sites. This reason is enough for the users to be cautious when they are using browsers. You are more likely to find dangerous content at the end of the deep web. This is where Tor websites are located in the “dark web” that can only be accessed by an anonymous browser.

Diving Deeper into the Dark Web Story

The story of the dark web is not very detailed as it is a small portion of the deep web which is not indexed and can only be accessed through special web browsers. When people go online, their devices have unique IP addresses, allowing their internet activity to be tracked. The ‘Dark Web’ uses advanced systems, such as Tor, to anonymize users’ IP addresses, making it difficult to trace their visited websites. Tor, used by around 2.5 million people daily, enables browsing the Dark Web while maintaining user anonymity. The dark web is often associated with illegal activities and has known sites for trading where users can sell and purchase illicit goods. It also has several layers of anonymity, making it difficult to access. Moreover, these layers include

  • The dark web cannot be accessed through conventional and common web browsers.
  • Surface web engines don’t index dark net sites.
  • A randomized network creates virtual traffic tunnels.       

The dark web is now associated with criminals and illegal activities and sites where illegal goods and services can be sold and purchased. However, some of the legal parties also use the dark web.

Some of the Illegal Dark Web Uses

Because of its anonymous nature, the story of the dark web is that it is also used for illicit and illegal activities, which include buying and selling illegal drugs, weapons, passwords, and even stolen identities. Moreover, these dark web sites also trade pornographic and other harmful materials.

Some of those harmful sites were discovered by government agencies and were shut down in recent years, including Silk Road, AlphaBay, and Hansa. Moreover, the anonymity of the dark web has also led to cybersecurity threats and various data breaches that have happened in a few decades.

The dark web is known for hosting both legal and illegal activities, emphasizing privacy and anonymity. It features:

  • Privacy and Anonymity: Core values of the dark web allow users to operate with a high level of secrecy.
  • Illicit Substances: Sale of illegal and prescription drugs, including toxic chemicals. Illegal drugs and toxic chemicals are available.
  • Stolen Information: It is a market for personal data, including social security and bank card numbers, that is often sold.
  • Dangerous Services: Counterfeit goods, mercenaries for Hire, child pornography, and human trafficking services are offered.
  • Weapons: Purchase of various weapons, including explosives, can be purchased.
  • Illegal Services: Advertisements for hitmen, deadly poisons, and fake university certificates.
  • Malware and Viruses: Distribution of computer viruses and malware are commonly found.
  • Scams: Some services, like Hitmen for Hire, may be scams designed to defraud users.
  • Government Monitoring: Visiting dark websites can lead to government scrutiny and potential legal consequences.
  • Unverified Content: Reports of dark web activities may include hoaxes and misinformation.
  • Social Network: The Dark Web Social Network provides an anonymous platform for users.
  • Terrorism: Terrorist groups use the dark web for communication, guidance, and funding.
  • Illegal Pornography: Child pornography, revenge porn, and other explicit content circulate.
  • Financing and Fraud: Carding, fraud, counterfeiting, and phishing scams thrive.
  • Hacking Services: Cybercriminals offer hacking services and may target financial institutions.
  • Bitcoin Services: Dark web transactions often involve Bitcoin for anonymity.

The dark web exists for privacy and anonymity, facilitating legal activities like whistleblowing and secure communication for those at risk.

Some of the Legal Dark Web Uses

Here are some of the legal dark web uses. It is not illegal to access it, but it has some terms and conditions:

  • The dark web is not inherently illegal; exploration itself is not a crime.
  • It serves as a secure space for privacy-conscious individuals.
  • Used by those under strict government control to access global news and acquire supplies.
  • Journalists and whistleblowers use it for discreet communication.
  • Legitimate uses include anonymous internet usage, obtaining items not easily accessible, and purchasing legal goods privately.
  • Also used for sharing information in countries with internet censorship.
  • While it has constructive purposes, the dark web can be misused for illegal activities.

Accessing the Dark Web Securely Follow these Key Steps:

It is not rocket science to use the dark web. However, you will have to take some safety measures:

1. Install Tor Browser:

  • Avoid using default browsers for deep web searches.
  • Download the Tor browser from its official website to ensure security.
  • Keep the browser up-to-date for protection against vulnerabilities.

2. Use a VPN:

  • Employ a VPN for enhanced dark web safety.
  • Encrypt your web traffic to remain hidden from potential monitoring.
  • Even with Tor, use a reputable VPN like ExpressVPN to add an extra layer of security.

Best Dark Web VPNs:

     Express VPN    Surfshark    NordVPN  
  .onion website for anonymous sign-up.    3,200 servers in 100 countries.    Unique Tor over VPN servers and DoubleVPN option.  
  Strict no-logs policy, high encryption, and Bitcoin payments.    Strict no-logs policy, advanced features, and cryptocurrency payments.    Strong encryption, no-logs policy, and Bitcoin payments.
  User-friendly interface, fast speeds, and wide OS compatibility.    24/7 live chat support and a kill switch for added security.    24/7 customer support and a 30-day money-back guarantee.  

1.  Install TAILS:

  • Debian-based Linux for the dark web.
  • Clears user activity, no cookie or file saving without consent.
  • Pre-installed Tor Browser and productivity tools.

2.  Take Extra Security Precautions:

  • Close unnecessary apps, stop extra services, and cover your webcam.
  • Minimize attack areas to reduce vulnerability.

3.  Use Cryptocurrencies for Transactions:

  • Utilize cryptocurrencies for dark web transactions.
  • Avoid credit and debit cards for purchases.
  • Consider privacy-focused coins like Zcash and Monero.

4. Know Where You’ll Visit:

  • Utilize darknet directories for secure searches.
  • Stick to known directories to avoid unwanted areas.
  • Exercise caution, and close suspicious websites promptly.

5. Close Everything Once Done:

  • Thoroughly close browser windows and related content.
  • Shut down and reboot for TAILS users; restart the computer for others.
  • Ensure complete disconnection for optimum dark web safety.

Here are some additional tips to enhance your dark web security beyond the basics of VPN and Tor Browser usage

  • Adjust Tor’s security settings: Utilize Tor’s built-in security slider to customize your security levels. Opt for the safest setting to automatically disable JavaScript on all websites, though be aware that some images and symbols may not load.
  • Rescale or minimize Tor window: Be mindful of potential tracking based on your active window dimensions. Minimize your Tor window to mitigate this risk and maintain a lower profile.
  • Shut down Tails: After your dark web browsing session, ensure you don’t overlook the importance of closing Tails. This step is crucial as shutting down Tails results in the operating system wiping itself from the installed thumb drive, adding an extra layer of security.


Q. What are the dangers of the dark web?

Some of the horrendous dangers of the dark web are malware, scams, drugs, pornography, theft, hackers, illegal activities, legal consequences, and ransomware.

Q. Should I be worried if my information is on the dark web?

If your data is on the dark web by any means, you should get it removed as soon as possible, as it is not safe to have your information in the hands of a cybercriminal who can commit any criminal activity with it.

Q. What technology provides secure access to websites?

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a security layer that provides a safe communication process between a web browser and a web server.

Q. What is the deepest, darkest web?

The deep web is that section of the Internet that web crawlers cannot index. However, the dark web is a subsegment of the deep web that can only be accessed with special tools, such as the Tor browser, and can be known as the darkest side of the Internet.


The story of the dark web is that it is a site that is not for public viewing. It’s only 6% of the Internet; however, the Tor browser is used by 2.5 million people from all around the world. Furthermore, accessing the dark web isn’t typically illegal, but it can attract police attention due to its association with illegal activities. While browsing is legal, buying illicit items is against the law. Governments monitor the dark web, known for criminal activities like drug trade and arms deals, and terrorists use it for communication. Responsible and secure access can be achieved by following safety tips, as offensive material is easily accessible.