What is the Dark Web | Is Dark Web Illegal? - An Introduction

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Hey Cyber Learners! Welcome to an exciting journey into the internet's hidden corners, where secrets hide and puzzles wait to be solved. Today, we're going to explore a mysterious place called the dark web. But before we dive in, let's understand what the web is all about and how it is different from the dark web.

What does the Web mean?

When we talk about the web, we're usually referring to the World Wide Web (WWW), which is a collection of websites, web pages, and other internet resources that are connected via hyperlinks and URLs. It's like a big digital spider web, linking information and people all across the globe.

What is Surface Web?

The most common thing for the majority of us is using the surface web daily. This part of the Internet can be indexed by popular search engines such as Google or Bing and can easily be reached via ordinary browsers. It is like the tip of an iceberg where you would have access to news sites, social media platforms, shopping sites, and blogs. so, when I talk about the surface web, I am talking about the normal internet that we all use in our daily lives.

What is Surface Web?

This web is mostly monitored and censored by big tech giants and governments. They are scanning these webs all day and night. so, whenever you post something illegal on websites, it immediately gets deleted by the government. You might have experienced it as a ban on social media platforms or the takedown of YouTube videos. Surface Web has strict privacy and copyright rules, if you share someone's digital assets without permission, you may get a copyright strike from the owner of that digital asset.

To host your website, you must buy a domain and hosting, which requires your original identity details like name, address, phone number, bank details for payment, etc. When users browse your website, it shows the original server IP host of your website. By using this server IP, law enforcement agencies can easily take down your website and find your location. The surface web is full of trackers and under constant surveillance by the government.

What is the Dark Web?

Now, let's step into the shadows and explore the dark web. The dark web is a mysterious part of the internet that isn't indexed by search engines (Indexing means listing websites on the internet., so anyone can search and visit them). It's a hidden network of websites and services that require special tools or software to access. You have seen some domains end with .co, .in like Facebook.com, Google.co.in, etc, these are normal domains of the surface web, which can be browsed by web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, etc. However, Dark Web sites often have URLs that end in .onion and are not easily accessible through regular browsers. For example, ax45265gryrurjh.onion.It's like the underground tunnels of the internet, where anonymity reigns supreme and .onion domains are the gateways to a hidden world.

What is the Dark Web?

Unlike the surface web, .onion websites can not be monitored and indexed by Search engines. So, the government can not actively monitor everything here. Also to host a Dark Web site, you are not required to give any personal information. Your server’s IP will stay private and anonymous.

Surface Web vs Deep Web vs Dark Web

It's important to understand the difference between the surface web, the deep web, and the dark web. We can easily access the surface web and search using traditional search engines. The deep web refers to any part of the internet that isn't indexed by search engines, including things like private databases, password-protected sites, and content behind paywalls. Think of it as your private page that only you can access, that can not be accessed on Google. The dark web is a subset of the deep web and is intentionally hidden and often associated with illicit activities.

Surface Web vs Deep Web vs Dark Web

How to Access the Dark Web?

Just typing a URL into your browser will not get you to the dark web. To visit the dark web, you’ll need special software, like Tor (The Onion Router), which allows anonymous browsing and accessing websites of the dark web. Tor makes it hard to trace anyone’s online activities because it takes your internet traffic through multiple encrypted connections.

surface web, darkweb introduction, what is darkweb

To access the dark web:

  1. Download and install the Tor browser from the official website.
  2. Open the Tor browser and connect to the Tor network.
  3. Once connected, you can browse .onion sites and explore the dark web.

For more information on Tor and its installation visit our article What is Tor | How to Use Tor Browser?

Why Dark Web is better than the Surface Web?

So, why you should use the dark web if you are not a hacker or investigator? The dark web has its advantages, some of which are listed below.

  1. Anonymity and Privacy: Unlike the Surface Web, where your every move is tracked, the dark web, accessed via platforms like Tor, prioritizes anonymity. It's a refuge for whistleblowers using services like SecureDrop to share sensitive information without fear of retribution and for individuals seeking private communication through encrypted messaging services like Signal.

  2. Freedom of Expression: In regions with strict censorship, the Dark Web becomes a sanctuary for free speech. Platforms like ZeroNet host uncensored content, enabling activists to voice their opinions without fear of suppression or surveillance.

  3. Access to Restricted Information: While mainstream search engines may hit dead ends, the Dark Web provides gateways to valuable resources. Libraries like the Imperial Library of Trantor offer access to restricted books and academic papers, and forums like Hidden Answers serve as hubs for knowledge exchange on diverse topics.

  4. Security and Anonymity in Transactions: Concerned about privacy in transactions? The Dark Web, facilitated by cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and Monero, provides a shield. Marketplaces like White House Market ensure secure, anonymous transactions, offering peace of mind for those seeking discretion in their purchases.

  5. Protection Against Cyberattacks: Surprisingly, the Dark Web can serve as a fortress against cyber threats. With encrypted traffic and anonymous interactions, it becomes a haven for businesses safeguarding their data. Tools like Darknet Monitoring alert users to potential breaches, enhancing cybersecurity in an increasingly digital world.

Dark Web Tools and Services

The dark web contains various tools and services that may be legal or illegal. While others use it for an array of reasons like privacy and security, some engage in crime deeds such as purchasing drugs, weapons, or even leaked databases.

From cryptocurrency exchanges and whistleblower platforms to privacy-focused email services and marketplaces for illicit goods and services – these are all can be found on the dark web. but that doesn't mean law enforcement is not there. Yes, they can not track you on the dark web, but they are actively present there to stop illegal activities. There are many cases in history in which they captured hacking groups. Don’t think if you are using darkweb that means you are fully anonymous. Usually, government agencies set honeypots to catch hackers on .onion websites. These are phishing websites in the form of child pornography, red rooms, or drug-selling sites. Once you fill in all your pieces of information and address there as sign-up details, you may get traced down by government agencies.

What is Honeypot?
A honeypot is a cybersecurity technique involving the creation of a decoy system to lure attackers, allowing the monitoring and analysis of their activities. It helps in studying attacker behavior and protecting real systems by diverting attention and collecting valuable threat intelligence.


Dark Web Tools and Services

Some common dark web services include...

  • Cryptocurrency exchanges facilitate anonymous transactions.
  • Whistleblower platforms offer secure channels for reporting misconduct.
  • Privacy-focused email services prioritize user anonymity.
  • Marketplaces for illegal goods and services operate clandestinely.
  • Hacking forums provide a platform for cybercriminals to exchange information.
  • Database collections store sensitive data inaccessible via regular search engines.
  • Ransomware gang websites demand payment for unlocking encrypted files.
  • Red rooms host illicit live streams of violent or explicit content.
  • Terrorist organization websites disseminate extremist propaganda and coordinate activities.
  • Drugs and weapons-selling websites enable illegal trade with anonymity.

Is the Dark Web Illegal?

Generally speaking, it depends on how you use it. the dark web itself is not illegal but it has often been associated with illegal activities due to its anonymity and lack of regulation. Although there are legitimate uses for the dark web such as anonymous communication or gaining access to censored information; nevertheless, it is also a criminal hub for cybercriminals and black market dealers, Cybersecurity experts use it to protect their organizations from the latest threats. So, stay safe while accessing the dark web.

Disclaimer: The Dark Web is a complex and sensitive environment. Technofide does not endorse any illegal activities on the Dark Web. Users are advised to educate themselves thoroughly before exploring it. We are not responsible for any actions taken by individuals on the Dark Web.


The dark web is a mysterious and often misunderstood part of the internet. While it can be a valuable tool for privacy and freedom of speech, it's also a place where illegal activities thrive. If you decide to venture into the dark web, proceed with caution and always prioritize your safety and security.

Commonly Asked Questions

Q1. How is the dark web different from the deep web?

Ans.The deep web refers to any part of the internet that isn't indexed by search engines, including private databases and password-protected sites. The dark web is a subset of the deep web that is intentionally hidden and often associated with illicit activities.

Q2. Is it safe to access the dark web?

Ans. Accessing the dark web comes with risks, as it's a heaven for illegal activities and malicious actors. It's crucial to prioritize your safety and security by using anonymity tools like Tor, avoiding clicking on suspicious links, and being cautious about the websites you visit.

Q3. What precautions should I take when accessing the dark web?

Ans. When accessing the dark web, it's essential to use anonymity tools like Tor, avoid sharing personal information, and steer clear of illegal activities. Additionally, be cautious of scams, malware, and malicious websites.

Q4. Are there any benefits to using the dark web for legitimate purposes?

Ans. Yes, there are legitimate uses for the dark web, such as protecting privacy, accessing censored information, and communicating anonymously. However, it's essential to weigh the benefits against the potential risks and use the dark web responsibly.

Q5. What should I do if I encounter illegal activity on the dark web?

Ans. If you encounter illegal activity on the dark web, such as the sale of drugs or weapons, you should report it to the appropriate authorities or law enforcement agencies like cybersecuirty agenicies owned by goverment according to you counry. Additionally, consider leaving the website and avoiding further interaction with such content.


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Working in cyber security field form past 3 years. I am bug hunter and CTF … readmore

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