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Dark Web browsing guide for beginners:Tor & Onion links

Accessing the Dark web-Things that everyone should know about

 

If you saw the popular television series ‘House of cards’ you might be interested in knowing about Dark Web. Maybe you frantically searched about Dark Web during those time. We’re a little late to provide you this guide but its surely worth reading & practising if you’re serious about dark web exploration.

 

dark web
Image sourced from Quora

 

Before we move on,its good to understand what’s behind the dark web – the technology,infrastructure, and how it’s hidden from the internet. here are some of the technologies behind the construction of Dark Web.

 

1.Tor

 

Tor is the network of routers or relay nodes that helps users to stay anonymous by routing the internet traffic through different nodes.The destination website cannot access the exact location of you because your IP address has been masked by the Tor nodes.Each time, the user visits the site,the apparent location of his/her is changed. Tor relay nodes are provided only the IP of the next node & the previous node from which it obtained the traffic.

 

Location is an important aspect in internet which helps to track you.Normal website cookies can track accurately to your city.But specialised malware bots can access your exact address based on your searches,and your browser cache.Tor enabled browsers does not store cookie data nor allow Javascript to run. 

 

Essentially, Tor acts as the godfather of Dark Web websites.Each Dark Web server is connected to Tor relays directly so that the Clear Web(Clear Web is the normal internet that we use) search engines fail to index their URLs.

 

2.Onion Links

 

Onion Links are the Domain name extensions in the dark web.Just like .com,.us,.org,.in,.net etc which we are familiar with, .onion is the TLD of dark web.You can’t access .onion domains via Clear Web because this TLD exists only in dark web. You’ll need to use Tor network to browse .onion sites.

 

The good thing about .onion websites is that even if it implements cookies to track you, it can’t. Why? Simply because the onion site itself is hosted on Tor relays.The traffic from Tor relays to onion is coming from different locations & then it finally joins together at the destination.

 

Each onion site has a public key & private key(similar to APIs in Clear Web) & Tor network connects users to websites by following its public key.

 

Enough reading you say? Now let’s see the mandatory rules for staying totally anonymous in the Dark Web.

 

The 1st Rule: Never skip any of the rules mentioned below!!Skipping any one rule can lead to revealing your true identity & land you in hot soup!!

 

2: Never sign up on any onion website with your clear web email id & username. ie: Don’t use Gmail,Yahoo,Outlook or any email provider on the dark web.Create a dark web email id using the services which we’ll discuss later in this article.Make sure that email address doesn’t contain your name or anything that relates to you.

 

3:Keep your mind clean.Dark Web is a lure.It offers services of hackers,hitmen,chemical assassins,illegal drug sales & uncensored trolls.You can explore every part as you wish. But never get deeply involved – There’s no one to save you in dark web…

 

4:Disable Javascript & cookies in your browser.

 

5:Use a secure operating system-Never use Windows! Especially Windows 8,8.1 & 10. Windows 10 particularly because of Cortana.The information about apps you use & time of using different apps,keyboard inputs etc are logged & continuously transmitted back to MS servers.

When you use Linux make sure that you avoid Ubuntu & try some lesser known linux distros. Use Tor’s own linux distribution-Tails.

 

Softwares,Services & Setup:

 

1.Tails:

The open source live linux distribution powered by Tor network.It can be downloaded & burned to a DVD or Flash drive, and can be run through it-no need to install it in the PC.When you’re finished-just Shut down the PC & remove the DVD/Flash drive.Absolutely no traces left.You can use state-of-art cryptographic keys to encrypt & verify information on the dark web.

 

 

2.Fire.Onion:

It is the best Tor browser for Android.Install & browser dark web in complete privacy.It is recommended to use phones with LineageOS(formerly CyanogenMod) without GApps so that Google cannot track you easily.

 

3.Whonix Gateway & Workstation:

Whonix is another secure operating system which is a bit different from Tails. While tails is a single file OS. Whonix has two parts-Gateway & Workstation.Both are not standalone OS’es & can be installed only on as Virtual Machine.

 

Whonix Gateway connects to internet & acts as a virtual Tor relay node for Whonix Workstation.The workstation can access internet only using Gateway.All Whonix gateway installations have same IP address & this is the IP address available to apps installed in Workstation,hence providing ultimate security.

 

4.Sigaint:

Sigaint is the Gmail of the Dark Web.To sign up on dark web links anonymously, you need a Sigaint email address.Remember not to give your name as Sigaint username.Email ids should be like [email protected] Free email accounts have 50MB space.

 

5.The Hidden Wiki:

The Hidden Wiki is the first place to start your exploration of Dark Web.It is the collection of the most popular dark web links & services.Also includes FAQs on Dark Web.Your search for hidden .onion sites starts & ends in Hidden Wiki.

Greatest controversies that shook the Dark Web:

Silk Road

Silk Road is the name of an online illegal drug marketplace hosted in the dark web.It was notorious for selling banned drugs & unlicensed guns.Founded way back in 2011, the service was shut down by the FBI on October 2013.Soon after the takedown, Silk Road again launched the new site named Silk Road 2.0.

It was taken down on November 2014. But yet Silk Road 3.0 is online.Reports claim that Silk Road’s original server IP was leaked via a glitch in CAPTCHA system.

 

Each time Silk Road was taken down,a new admin will take over the helm but they preferred to hide themselves under the pseudonym “Dead Pirate Roberts’.The US Drug Enforcement Administration seized 11.02 btc which was worth $814.

 

Now that you’ve learned about the Dark Web, go ahead & explore it.It’ll be a weird & adventurous exploration though…All the best & don’t be trapped…

 

*Please note that the URLs of Dark Web sites are omitted purposely due to security reasons… You can easily find them once you enter dark web.

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2 Comments

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    • As I said in the post, leaving your identity in the dark web makes it easy to trace tou in the clear web,monitor your actions,and by logging your IP they can show targeted advertising (based on your searches) or send malware.
      It’s better to adopt a separate identity in the dark web.

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