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Dark Web

Definition - What does Dark Web mean?

The dark Web is comprised of websites that are visible to the public, but their IP address details are intentionally hidden. These websites can be visited by anyone on Internet, but it is not easy to find the server details on which the corresponding site is running, and it is difficult to track the one hosting the site.

The dark Web concept is achievable with the help of anonymity tools. Some popular tools are Tor and I2P. The dark Web is popular for both black market and user protection, so it has both positive and negative aspects.

Techopedia explains Dark Web

The dark Web ensures one’s privacy by effectively hiding the server or IP details from the public. The dark Web requires special kinds of software to access. This software acts as a gateway to the dark Web. Once the user gains access, then all the dark websites and other services can be accessed in a simple way with help of browsers.

The dark Web includes a wide range of networks, from small, friend-to-friend/peer-to-peer networks to large, popular networks such as Freenet, I2P and Tor, operated by public organizations and individuals. Some of the categories of Web-based hidden services include:

  • Drugs
  • Fraud
  • Gambling
  • Chatting
  • Hacking
  • Hosting
  • Search
  • Anonymity
  • Whistleblower

Most dark websites are not directly accessible via a normal search made through a search engine; they effectively hide themselves. They are accessible only if the addresses of those sites are known to the user. Some methods which hide websites from normal searches are:

  • Private Web which requires registration
  • Contextual Web varies as per IP
  • Limited access content where access is limited to certain licensed contents
  • Scripted content which is accessible only through links generated by JavaScript or dynamically downloaded from Web servers
  • Non-HTML/text content
  • Software where data are intentionally hidden from the regular Internet and made accessible only with special software, such as Tor, I2P, or other darknet software
  • Web archives which are archived versions of Web pages, including websites which have become inaccessible, and are not indexed by search engines such as Google

The industries which operate over the dark Web are known as darknet markets; this includes black market sales of illegal products, to stay hidden from governments and law enforcement agencies. The dark Web is also used in other ways, like communication between whistleblowers and protecting users from attacks or surveillance to ensure privacy in communication. But the dark Web is mostly used in black markets as it promises total anonymity.

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