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The Darknet – An Overview A lot of people are puzzled about what the darknet is exactly. First, it is at times confused with the deep web, a term that refers to parts of the Internet that search engines couldn’t index. The deep web, according to experts, is several times bigger than the surface web (mainstream Internet). The dark web (or dark net) makes up a small portion of the deep web. Its contents are not reachable through search engines, but more than that, it is known as the anonymous Internet. In the dark net, web surfers and website publishers alike are completely anonymous. Large government agencies may be able to track people’s movements in this anonymous space, but the process is often immensely difficult, calls for a tremendous amount of resources, and isn’t always productive. On the other hand, accessing the hidden Internet is amazingly easy. Using a service called Tor (or TOR), an acronym for The Onion Router, is the most common way to do. Though technically savvy users will be able to find a variety of ways to configure and use Tor, it can also be as trouble-free as installing a new browser. The Tor browser can even be used to surf the surface web in private, providing the user added protection against all possible threats, from hacking to government spying to corporate data theft. It also allows you visit websites anonymously published on the Tor network, could not be accessed by anyone not using Tor. Without a doubt, this is one of the biggest and most popular portions of the darknet. Tor website addresses look different from typical URLs in that they are composed of random-looking character strings and are followed by .onion.
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Another privacy network termed I2P (the Invisible Internet Project) has grown in popularity recently. Tor has remained very popular, but there also seems to be a shift towards I2P, where users get such improvements as integrated secure email and file storage/sharing plug-ins, as well as integrated social features like blogging and chat. For extra protection, Tor users also like to use a virtual private network, or VPN. Though no one can tell what exactly you’re doing online with your onion router, surveillance entities can detect that you are using Tor for something. It was rumored in 2014 that NSA was tagging Tor users as persons of interest or extremists. That would be very long list with no clear evidence of its purpose, but it is understandably something everyone would like to steer clear of. Connecting to Tor with a VPN erases this problem because in the first place, nobody would know that the person is even using Tor.Resources Tips for The Average Joe