We all know about the surface web and the deep web. We often access both of these parts of the internet in our daily activities. But there is a tiny group of some peoples who talk about a piece of the internet which is more beneath than the deep web. Mainly famous because of its illicit activities, people refer it with names such as the Shadow Web, Dark Web, Dark Net, and many other titles similar to this. But the question that always appears is, “Is the Dark Web real?”
Well, today, in this article, we are going to figure it out.
Before heading to the dark web, we have to understand what the deep web is and how it works. It will help us to understand the dark web in a much easier way.
What is the Deep Web?
The deep web is the part of the internet that doesn’t get indexed by the search engines. These pages never get indexed because the webmasters don’t want these pages to show on SERPs. It is the biggest part of the internet. While the surface web is only around 3-5% of the overall internet, the rest of the region comes under the dark web. With this estimated value, you can say that the dark web contains somewhere around 95-97% of the internet, which is quite big.
If a normal human being starts visiting each page of the surface web, then it might take around 100 years to complete that. And even after that, one can’t check all the pages because these layers are growing continuously.
The term “Deep web” firstly arrived from the computer scientist Mike Bergman in 2001. He gave it the name “Deep Web” because the pages can’t get indexed by the search engines. Before him, Jill Ellsworth used the term Invisible Web in 1994 to refer to this side of the internet.
If we talk about the contents, then the deep web doesn’t have a bad reputation like the dark web. Most of the content on the deep web is the one that is available for authorized users only. It means anything on the internet, which is accessible with only proper login and passwords, are the data comes under the layer of the deep web.
The content of social media sites like facebook, or email services, online bankings, some web forums that are accessible for registered users only, and many other similar sites are the part of the deep web.
It is mainly used by the peoples who want to make communication secure. Usually, Journalists, Whistleblowers, Political Protestors, Anti-Censorship Advocacy Groups, Organizations, Secret Services types of individuals, and groups get benefitted by the deep web. Now you know what is the deep web. Time to move to your main concern.
Is the dark web real?
Definitely Yes, Dark web is real. It exists because of the only purpose to provide anonymity at a level where even your ISP can’t trace which site you are visiting or what you’re doing on the internet.
The dark web is the smallest part of the deep web. Even the most prominent dark web, Tor, only has around 6-8K hidden servers with a minimal number of users.
Basically, the dark web is the part of the deep web which is highly encrypted by the technology and securities so that normal person even by mistake, can never get inside the dark web. To enter the dark world, you need to have some specialized software such as TOR or Freenet.
All these specific software are the browsers that are built, especially for the anonymization techniques of onion routing. Onion routing is the technique that creates multiple layers of the IP addresses to mask your real identity. With the help of onion routing, peoples can anonymously access the dark web without any fear.
However, it is not the most secure way as recently in the past; there was an incident when TOR revealed the identity of a guy on the dark web. Although it was the sole incident, still, I recommend using additional services like TAILS or VPN (Check out this list of best VPNs to choose the best one.) along with TOR to add an extra layer of security
It is considered as the deepest and the most darkest part of the internet. It is mainly famous because of the illegal activities which are spread all over the dark web. Hiring hitmen, buying and selling drugs, medicines, pornography, weapons, and many other illegal things are very common in the dark web.
Not only these things, but you can even buy hacked credit cards and bank accounts, PayPal accounts with loaded cash, fake credit cards, counterfeit IDs, government documents, phony money, carded gadgets, and many other things which are entirely illegal in the real world.
There some popular marketplaces are also on the dark web. These marketplaces make this buying and selling things much easier. Silk Road was one of the most popular marketplaces in the dark web whose founder was arrested in 2013 by the FBI. That time, the FBI seized more than 144,000 bitcoins from the computer of Ross Ulbricht (Founder and the owner of Silk Road), which has the current value of $1.3 billion. Because of this crime, Ross Ulbricht has sentenced two life imprisonment without any parole.
But just after a few months of this incident, Silk Road 2.0 came into action. Right now, Alphabay and the Silk Road 3.0 are the most popular marketplaces on the dark web.
Now, most of you were thinking when the government knows that the dark web encourages these kinds of malicious activities, why don’t they declare it illegal to access?
So, the answer is because It was started as a project by the US government itself to provide a secure environment to their spies so that they can communicate without anonymously. Later it started growing big and become much darker. Moreover, it is nothing more than a typical web network but with the most advanced security and encryption to provide anonymity. Even if the government tries, they will only get disappointments because the internet is free for everyone, and those who want to perform malicious activities, will create another network, and who knows, even more, secure than this one.