What Is The Dark Web And How To Access It Safely

The dark web is often viewed as a dangerous place on the internet where criminals can engage in illegal activities. On top of this, it can only be accessed through specific networks such as Tor which already makes it seem an illegal entity.

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Although the dark web has been known to cater to such horrendous crimes, there are reasons why the dark web can be a positive thing. It can provide anonymity within the network, although your internet service provider will be able to see that you have accessed it if you don’t have a VPN. If they do, they have a right to report you to the authorities regardless of why you are using it due to the nature and reputation the dark web has.

In this guide, we’ll be taking you through everything you need to know about the dark web from how to access it safely, why VPNs are extremely important, and tips on how to stay safe when you have accessed it among much more. 

Accessing The Dark Web In Three Steps

In this guide, we’ll be delving into a more detailed description of how to access the dark web safely and the precautions you should take. However, if you don’t have the time to read the full article, here are three easy steps that allow you to access the dark web:

1. Get A VPN

The first step you should always take if you are wanting to access the dark web is getting a VPN. A VPN will provide security and safety and minimize the risk of your personal information finding itself in the hands of hackers or cybercriminals. The best VPNs to look into are CyberGhost, ExpressVPN, and IPVanish. 

2. Download Network

The network you choose is important as this is the tool that provides you access to the dark web. The most popular network used is Tor thanks to its high security and a wide net of sites that you can visit. Once you have downloaded your network and connected it to your device, you can configure the settings to your preference and connect it to the dark web. 

3. Browse

Now you can browse the dark web. Make sure that your VPN has been connected properly before opening Tor to ensure that you are equipped with as much security and privacy as possible. 

The Layers Of The Internet

There are three main layers of the internet with each layer becoming more difficult to access the deeper you venture into the net. Here is an explanation of each layer starting with the first layer:

Surface Web

The first layer of the internet is the surface web which is the internet that you are most likely to be familiar with. This is the internet that you access using the most common browsers such as Chrome and Safari.

When you research on search engines like Google, this is classed as the Surface web as it is anything that pops up without needing any additional access. When you want to make further action on a site such as logging in or making a purchase, you will have to enter the next layer which is known as the Deep web.

The best way to think about this is that looking at items on eBay is classed as the Surface web but once you enter in personal information and access your account to make a purchase, this is the Deep web. 

Deep Web

The second layer is the Deep web and as previously, it is when additional action is required on the Surface web. When you log in to an account or make a purchase, this is known as the Deep web as the pages cannot be accessed as they are not indexed on search engines.

Due to the nature of the internet, the Deep web actually makes up 96% of the entire internet as it is likely that you will be logging into various accounts.

Categories that are classed as Deep web include account pages, payment information, cloud drives, and medical records among much more. Anything that requires you to use a form of password or specific URL will always fall under the Deep web category.

People often use the terms Deep web and Dark web interchangeably but this is actually incorrect as they are completely different in terms of their use. 

Dark Web

The third layer of the internet is the Dark web which is the most difficult to access of the three. This is because the Dark web is made up of sites that cannot be found using a regular browser such as Google due to their differing URL structure. You’ll find that the URL sites on the Dark web tend to consist of random numbers and letters and end with .onion rather than .com.

To access the Dark web, you will need to download specific networks that can let you browse on it such as Tor, Freenet, or I2P. Tor is the most popular and commonly used of the bunch because it offers more security than the others.

However, as well as a network, it is definitely recommended that you access the Dark web while using a VPN as this will ensure that your internet service provider cannot see that you are browsing there. 

Is The Dark Web Illegal?

A common question asked regarding the dark web is whether it is illegal to access it. The legality of the dark web depends on where you live but it is legal in the majority of countries provided you are not researching anything illegal whilst accessing it.

Bear in mind that there are some countries such as China and the UAE where accessing the dark web is illegal regardless of what you want to research. It is definitely advised that you follow the laws of your country as this will mean that you won’t face any severe consequences.

Also, even if you are using the dark web with good intentions in a legal country, your internet service provider may report you to the authorities due to the reputation that the dark web has. This is because the authorities use the dark web to catch criminals who are involved in an array of different crimes. Here are some examples of cases that have involved the dark web:


Firstly, the AlphaBay case emerged when Silk Road was shut down and was a marketplace for a variety of illegal products such as drugs and weapons among much more. It was eventually shut down as the owner used his real email address as well as weak passwords with no encryption making his identity extremely easy to find. 

Ashley Madison

One of the most well-known cases regarding the dark web is the Ashley Madison case which reached headlines around the world when exposed.

Ashley Madison was a site that allowed the elite to engage in extramarital affairs anonymously until hackers managed to get into the website’s database and exposed all the information about the people who were engaged in the website. The hackers themselves were never caught but the people who used the site were outed as users. 

Silk Road

Silk Road is one of the most famous dark web cases as it wasn’t originally set up with bad intentions in mind. It began as a regular seller of goods but this soon developed into the selling and purchasing of illegal items such as forged paperwork, drugs, and weapons among more. The owner of Silk Road was eventually caught when he promoted the site using his real email address on the surface web. 

These cases are just a few examples of why the dark web has garnered such a bad reputation but it’s important to remember that there are plenty of positive and legal activities that you can engage with on there as well.

Making sure you visit sites that you have researched thoroughly beforehand will ensure that you are being as safe as possible and equipping yourself with a VPN will give you the extra protection and security you need to avoid your personal information finding itself in the hands of hackers. 

What Can Be Done On The Dark Web?

There are many positive reasons to use the dark web which we will delve into in this section. As stated previously in this guide, making sure you keep yourself anonymous is paramount to ensuring that your personal information is safe from anyone using the dark web for negative reasons.

Once you have equipped yourself with a VPN and reliable network, you’ll be able to benefit from the many advantages that the dark web has to offer. Here are just a few things you can do on the dark web: 

Buying Goods

Although the examples provided in the aforementioned cases followed sites that sold illegal goods, the dark web can actually be used to buy and sell legal goods at cheaper price points. If you are looking to make a purchase on the dark web, make sure that you use Bitcoin as this will ensure that you keep your anonymity. 


The dark web is well-known for its many forum platforms which allow users to express themselves anonymously. If you are wanting advice or support for something but don’t want your name attached to the search then the dark web can be good for this. 

Exposing Criminals

The dark web is often a reliable source for journalists and government agencies to conduct research into criminality as it is regarded as a safe place for people to share anonymous tips without the risk of being exposed and facing any fatal consequences. 

Free Speech

One of the main reasons why people use the dark web is for free speech which allows people to communicate their real thoughts without the risk of being exposed. This is especially important for those who live in countries that face heavy censorship. 

Medical Advice

If you live in a country where you have to pay for your healthcare and you cannot afford the high prices to visit a clinic or want to keep your health details anonymous, you can consult a doctor for free on the dark web.


The dark web is host to a wide variety of research material which includes papers and digital books making it great for those who want to read up on certain topics anonymously. 

What Websites Can You Visit On The Dark Web?

It cannot be stressed enough that doing research before you access the dark web is extremely important. This will help to prevent you from venturing into unknown territory where you could be exposed to hackers and cybercriminals. Researching the sites that you want to visit will mean that you are prepared to know what to expect and will be able to benefit the most from using the dark web.

Always make sure you have your VPN connection before accessing the dark web no matter what website you plan on visiting. Here are some of the most useful websites you can visit when accessing the dark web:


Daniel is the equivalent of a search engine that allows you to search for other sites by typing in a specific keyword or category. You may find the results are a bit repetitive due to the limitations that 

come with the dark web. 

Hidden Answers

If you are wanting to ask questions anonymously without the chance of being exposed then Hidden Answers is great as it allows you to discuss any topic without exposure. 

Hidden Wiki

Hidden Wiki is similar to Daniel as it contains a variety of topics and links to other sites; however, it doesn’t have as many links as Daniel as not all the links work. 

Imperial Library

For those who love to read then Imperial Library is the best site for you as it contains a huge collection of digital books that you can access for free. 


If you are wanting to look up some investigative journalism then ProPublica is the best site for you to visit as it contains the most extensive collection of investigative journalism on the dark web covering an array of different topics. 


Lastly, SecureDrop is a site worth visiting if you want to provide a journalist with important information that you would be scared to share otherwise.

Dangers Of The Dark Web

Unsurprisingly, there are many dangers that come with using the dark web that is important to know about before you try to access it. This will ensure that you are well informed about the risks and will also know how you can protect yourself. Here are some of the most common dangers that you face:

Criminal Activity

The first thing to bear in mind is probably the most important which is that the dark web is where criminals and cyberhackers are known to conduct a lot of their activity. The crimes themselves can vary from the buying and selling of illegal goods such as weapons and drugs, contacting and hiring assassins or hitmen as well as distribution of child pornography and live streaming of murders.

The reason why the dark web has garnered such a negative reputation is not without reason and the aforementioned crimes are just the tip of the iceberg. Even if you are on the dark web for good reasons, simply clicking on a page that takes you through to criminal activity will implicate you in the activity, and can see you facing charges if you are found out.

This is why researching the websites you want to visit beforehand is important before you access the dark web. 


Following on from criminal activity is fraud. There are a lot of hackers at work on the dark web and if you are not protected properly by using a VPN will ensure that you are not as vulnerable to hackers and will keep your personal information safe.

If you are hacked, you may risk all personal information contained on your computer or device from being transferred over which in turn can snowball into all sorts of problems.

Not only can hackers leak personal files and financial data, but they may also try to extort or blackmail you and can even find their way into your camera and activate it and your speakers meaning that you can be spied on when you least expect it. This is more likely to happen if you are not properly protected and if you don’t stay safe in terms of which sites you visit. 


Accessing the dark web with limited security puts you at risk of viruses or malware such as botnets or DDoS attacks. What is scary about this risk is that it can happen via an innocent mistake such as typing in the wrong URL accidentally or clicking a link by mistake. This can lead to a download which then puts your entire computer or device at risk and depending on the malware, can expose your personal information to hackers.

Like fraud activity, hackers may then try to extort or blackmail you and will have access to everything on your computer should they be able to access it. This is why it is so important to know what pages you want to visit specifically. 


The last danger that comes with the dark web could actually be viewed as a positive depending on how you look at it. This is surveillance when governments agencies set up fake websites in order to try and track any illegal activity on the dark web. Simply visiting these websites can put you at risk of having your personal information exposed to an agency and therefore make you an accomplice if you are found on there, regardless of your intent.

The agencies set up these websites to catch criminals rather than innocent people but it’s important to make sure that you stick to the websites you originally planned on visiting rather than venturing off and exploring other sites.

Setting Up Tor

Knowing how to set up Tor properly will ensure that you have as safe an experience as possible when you access the dark web. Tor is the best network to use when accessing the dark web as it provides the most security than the other options as well as featuring access to more sites.

However, regardless of what you are using the dark web for, it’s important to make sure you have equipped yourself with a VPN beforehand so you can have an extra layer of protection and anonymity. In this section, we will delve into how you should download Tor and configure the settings to be as safe as possible:

1. Managing Add-Ons

The first thing that is advised is to make sure you manage the add-ons that you can get on Tor by enabling them which can ensure that you have an extra layer of security. You can do this by clicking the hamburger icon, then Preferences and Extensions and Themes. You should be able to see an option that says HTTPS Everywhere which allows you to access safer sites.

The NoScript option disables Javascript when you access the dark web which minimizes the risk of being hacked even more. There are more extensive preferences that you can alter should you wish including enabling, disabling, and managing the HTTPS Everywhere and NoScript settings and you will be able to choose which sites to disable these settings on as well. 

2. Setting The Security Level

The next step you need to take is setting the security level. Tor provides various levels of security depending on how safe you want to be when accessing the dark web. It’s advised to set the security level to “Safest” which means that you will minimize the risk of exposure even more.

To do this, click on the shield icon that is located in the top right-hand corner of your browser before selecting “Advanced Security Setting” and then adjust your security level accordingly. Tor offers three different levels of security which are Standard, Safer, and Safest.

The Safer and Safest options will automatically disable any scripts or content that can affect the sites you visit and maintain your anonymity. 

3. Browse The Dark Web

Now you have set up Tor properly and hopefully, have it set to the Safest security level. You can now access the dark web safely. Make sure that your VPN is fully connected before you open Tor so you can be sure that none of your personal information and details are at risk. 

Best VPNs For Accessing The Dark Web Safely

Now that you have learned why it is important to be safe when accessing the dark web, here are the best VPNs that you should use so you can be as safe and secure as possible.

1. CyberGhost

The first option is CyberGhost which helps to keep your browsing history hidden. CyberGhost boasts an array of different advantages which makes it a great choice such as military-grade encryption which means that it is extremely secure to use as well as an enforced no-logs policy so your browsing is safe and hidden and the built-in kill switch means that you have ultimate protection when accessing the dark web.

It is capable of reaching 90 countries thanks to the 7,260 servers which means that your location is unknown and the fast speeds mean that you won’t be waiting as long when using Tor. It will work with the majority of browsers including Freenet, I2P, and Tor among others and comes with a money-back guarantee if you are dissatisfied within 45 days from purchase.

The No-Spy servers mean that you will always have privacy when you use the dark web. 

CyberGhost is compatible with the majority of operating systems including Linus, Mac, and Windows among more, and they have an offer that is 83% off their most popular plan meaning that you can save yourself a lot.

The company is headquartered in Romania and the servers are only accessible to select senior members of staff and due to it being outside of 5,9, and 14 eyes jurisdiction, there is no risk of your information or activity being exposed. Featuring DNS leak protection and 256-bit encryption on all servers, you’ll always be anonymous when using it to do your research.

If your server cuts out or disconnects at any point, the kill switch will pause the connection and clear notifications come up to say that the traffic is blocked without risking any browsing history, IP, or personal information from being exposed. The kill switch will automatically be activated when necessary meaning that you don’t have to worry about any manual settings being sorted beforehand. 

The main downside to CyberGhost is that their plans are on the more expensive side so if you have a stricter budget, you may find yourself limited in terms of what you can afford. They do offer huge discounts of up to 83% on certain plans for new users which can give you the chance to see if this VPN is best for you.

If you are skeptical about choosing CyberGhost, they do offer a 45-day money-back guarantee which means that you can be assured that you’ll get a full refund with no questions asked. 

2. ExpressVPN

The second option we recommend is ExpressVPN which is also the most popular choice thanks to its array of security features which makes it the safest choice.

Featuring all the key elements that you would expect from a reliable VPN, EpressVPN comes with military-grade encryption meaning that you don’t have to worry about the security of your browsing history as your personal information is not at risk of being exposed and your research will be anonymous.

The strict no-logs policy means that there is minimum risk of your browsing activity being exposed while the kill switch works automatically to ensure your anonymity at all times.

Spanning across 90 countries with over 3,000 servers, you’ll be able to keep your location hidden at all times while the fast speeds mean that you can use the Tor network or alternative with ease and smooth performance. Providing the most privacy, ExpressVPN comes with a private DNS which means you will have as much security as possible when accessing the dark web. 

Compatible with the majority of browsers, ExpressVPN is most commonly used with Tor but can also be used with I2P and Freenet among others so you can choose the right network for you. It is also great to use with any kind of device including Android, Mac, and Windows as well as smartphones and tablets making it extremely versatile in terms of use.

Another great aspect of using ExpressVPN is their AES-256 bit encryption which ensures that you will be anonymous at all times while the DNS and IP leak protection prevent any personal information such as your location from being exposed or found by criminals or hackers. When it comes to security and anonymity, ExpressVPN is the best option as there is no chance of information being leaked even when using independent tools.

This VPN also benefits from having its own DNS servers meaning that your activity on the dark web will not be recorded thanks to the strict no-logs policy which prevents any history or data from being recorded and thus eliminating the risk of exposure.

ExpressVPN’s headquarters is located outside of 5, 9, and 14 eyes alliances meaning that any information they have is not shared with any agencies so you can be assured that your information is safe from hackers.

The automatic kill switch turns on when the server disconnects and thanks to its automatic nature, you don’t have to worry about making manual settings accordingly. If your server doesn’t disconnect, the kill switch helps to keep your personal data secure. 

Like CyberGhost, ExpressVPN is also quite expensive, especially the better plans but they do offer your first three months free on an annual subscription meaning that you aren’t paying as much. Although this deal may end, ExpressVPN regularly hosts deals and discounts so make sure that you look into these and find one that benefits you the most financially.

Other offers available include 49% off certain plans so you can find yourself spending a loss less than intended if you don’t have the money to spend. They offer a 30 day returns policy meaning if you are dissatisfied with the service or don’t find yourself benefitting from it as much as you would like, you can get a full refund with no questions asked.

The customer service team is available 24/7 on their live chat room service and is happy to help you with any questions and queries you may have. 

3. IPVanish

The final option that we recommend is IPVanish which provides private DNS servers that help to protect your activity when browsing the dark web.

Boasting the highest levels of encryption out of the three options in this list, IPVanish also features an array of benefits that are very similar to CyberGhost and ExpressVPN such as their no-logs policy so your browsing activity will not be recorded or at risk of exposure as well as the automatic kill switch which protects your identity and maintains your anonymity should your server disconnect.

Spanning a smaller array of countries than the previous two options, IPVanish provides 1,900 servers across 70 countries which still allows your location to remain hidden at all times. The fast speeds mean that you can use Tor without interruption

IPVanish can be used for most dark web networks including Freenet, I2P, and Tor, and is compatible with the majority of devices including Android, Mac, and Windows, as well as routers and smart TVs among more.

The private DNS routes mean that there is no risk of leaks or hackers being able to block you from accessing the dark web regardless of location thanks to the 256-bit encryption. There are clear directions that show you where to click so you can be as safe as possible when using the dark web and you can find this feature within the app preference page. 

The disadvantage that comes with IPVanish is that you cannot pay for your subscription using cryptocurrency which means that your payment isn’t as secure and you are not able to make your payment anonymously. You are able to pay through PayPal or using a credit card which means that you can have a certain level of security with your payment.

Like the other two options, IPVanish comes with a money-back guarantee and will happily give you a full refund if you contact them within 30 days of your purchase. This means that there is no pressure when you make your payment as you are given that extra peace of mind.

Unlike the previous two options, IPVanish doesn’t offer discounts or deals as often but they are great when you can find one. Currently, they have a discount of 66% off their plans with no code needed as it is automatically applied when you checkout. 

Staying Safe On The Dark Web

As stated in this guide, the dark web comes with a certain level of risk and danger when used regardless of what you are using it for. Even if you are equipped with a VPN, there are certain steps you should take in order to ensure that you are being as safe as possible and minimizing the level of risk even further. This will mean that your personal information and location won’t fall into the hands of hackers or criminals.

Here are some of the steps you should consider:


Firstly, make sure that you avoid any add-ons and browser extensions as this can lead to hackers accessing your personal information through browser fingerprinting. The Tor network automatically blocks specific add-ons such as Flash and Quicktime but bear in mind that hackers can access genuine IP addresses if they find this information. 

Alternative Email

One way to be even safer when using the dark web regardless of intention is using a different email which is only used to access the dark web and nothing else. There are encrypted options available that provide even more security from companies such as ProtonMail. 

Antivirus Software

Antivirus software is always a great thing to have whether you want to access the dark web or not. Providing an extra layer of protection, antivirus software is always advised as there are always updates and upgrades available to ensure that you are protected from the most advanced threats. 

Avoid Altering Your Window Size

This may seem like an odd tip to give but altering your window size can actually allow an experienced hacker to access your location or personal information via browser fingerprinting. 

Being Mindful

Making sure you are mindful when using the dark web will ensure that you are being as safe as possible and not as susceptible to any hackers or other threats. This means that you should not click on any ads, pop-ups, or answer any unknown requests.


If you are planning to make purchases on the dark web then make sure that you use bitcoin as this is a more secure way of paying that also ensures you are anonymous when making payments. This means that there is no way that your personal data or banking information can be accessed by hackers so your financial information is not at risk. 

Close Other Apps

Making sure that you close any other apps that you have open means that hackers will not be able to track your activity via fingerprinting which minimizes the risk of your personal information being exposed. 

Cover Your Camera

Always make sure that your camera and speaker are completely covered using opaque tape. This means that hackers or criminals will not be able to access your device and gather any images or recordings of you while you are accessing the dark web. 

Disable Javascript

Disabling Javascript is an advised action as hackers have access information in the past through Javascript meaning that it is subject to security breaches.

Disable Location Setting

Before you access the dark web, make sure that you disable your location setting which includes your GPS as this will mean that your actual location isn’t at risk of being tracked by hackers. 

Opening Downloads Offline

If you are planning to download any files, make sure that you open them when you are offline and have completely disabled the dark web. This is because opening the downloaded file while you are connected will put you at risk of being hacked as it could expose your actual IP address. 

Operating System

Making sure that you have a secure operating system installed is important to ensure that you are as safe when accessing the dark web as possible. One of the best options available is TAILS which will mean that hackers won’t be able to find your computer easily when browsing on the Tor network. 

Private Identity

Regardless of what you are using the dark web for, make sure that you develop a private identity and make sure that you don’t disclose any personal information such as your name, photo, or phone number. 

Research Sites

Before you even download your chosen network, make sure you research what sites you want to visit beforehand so you have the assurance that your personal information and location are not going to be at risk of hackers or criminals. 

Trusted Sites

Lastly, following on from researching sites, always make sure that you are doing thorough research into the sites you plan on making purchases from beforehand so you can be assured that they are trustworthy and reliable. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Access Websites On The Dark Web On My Phone, iPad, or Chromebook?

The dark web can be accessed via Tor on a variety of devices including your phone and iPad but not on Chromebooks. This is because Tor has app options for iOS and Android operating systems but not Google meaning that you will have to be sure that you can access it from your device with a VPN before accessing it at all.

Equipping yourself with a VPN will give you the security you need to keep your personal information and other important data safe from hackers.

Although the best kind of device to access the dark web on is a laptop or PC, out of the three aforementioned options, a phone would be the choice as iPads are not advised for dark web access. This is because handheld devices do not have the capacity to keep your data secure in the same way that a PC or laptop can mean that there is a slightly higher risk of your security being compromised when accessing the dark web on a smaller device. 

Do I Need A VPN To Access The Dark Web?

Using a VPN isn’t necessarily needed to access the dark web but it is an essential purchase for those who want to be as safe and secure when they do access it. This is because it provides you with anonymity and keeps your personal information safe from hackers and criminals, regardless of what you are using the dark web for.

Due to the reputation that the dark web has gathered, if you don’t have a VPN, your internet service provider has the right to terminate your contract or report you to the authorities and you may be subject to a history search.

Having a VPN will prevent your internet service provider from being able to see that you are on the dark web meaning that you won’t have to worry about any subsequent issues or consequences. Therefore, investing in a VPN is highly recommended no matter what you are accessing the dark web for. 

Can I Access The Dark Web With A Free VPN?

You can, but I strongly advise against it. To be sure your activity on the dark web is protected, I recommend only using a premium, reputable service.

Free VPNs don’t offer the same security and reliability as premium ones. They have proven in the past to expose users’ real IP addresses — this can lead to hackers and authorities intercepting your data. They also limit bandwidth and speeds, plus bombard you with annoying ads and popups. Using a free service is simply not worth the risk when you can get any of the VPNs in this list backed by a risk-free, money-back guarantee.

Are There Tor Alternatives?

As you can see from this guide, Tor is the most popular and common network used by those who access the dark web due to its reputation and reliability.

However, if you have had a bad experience with Tor or want to use an alternative, there are other options available but their level of security and accessibility may not be as formidable as Tor. This is because using the dark web always comes with a certain level of risk and which network you use to access it can lower or higher the amount of risk you are taking.

Regardless of what network you want to use, you should always have a VPN installed to give you that extra bit of security and privacy in order to protect your personal information. Bear in mind that there is no network that you can use to access the dark web that will come with its own VPN guarantee so it’s always essential to invest in a subscription. The main two alternatives to Tor are Freenet and I2P which we will delve into here:


Freenet is probably the least used network out of these three options as it is more limited than Tor and I2P in its offerings. This is because it only provides content that has been uploaded by other users meaning that it is more of a networking platform rather than providing you with access to other sites.

The great thing about Freenet is that it allows private groups to discuss and share content in what is known as the darknet mode as well as having chats on public forums through the opennet mode where other users can contribute.

Freenet utilizes added security and assurance against any form of cyber-attacks thanks to the distributed network database which also makes it easy to use as it simply requires downloading and installation.

Once it has been fully installed, it can be run within your web browser automatically while also remaining convenient as you don’t need a server when running it. 


The most popular alternative to Tor is I2P which provides you with access to a smaller number of sites than Tor which is why it isn’t as popular as Tor. What makes I2P such a great alternative is its speed which is a lot faster than Tor and it provides more security when communicating peer-to-peer thanks to its one-way tunnels that help to encrypt traffic.

This means that if any communication is hacked or at risk of being intercepted, only one form of traffic will be exposed and not both, making it a safer option than Tor. This means that its distributed network database is a lot more difficult for hackers to attack compared to Tor’s current setup which consists of directory servers.

However, the downside to I2P is that it is more difficult to use as you will have to manually configure your settings once it has been installed which includes your proxy settings and individual applications. 

Is There A Dark Web Search Engine?

When you access the dark web, you may want to load a search engine to help you with whatever research you are looking for; however, search engines on the dark web can be dangerous as there are some that hackers have developed that can steal your personal data while other contain downloads and viruses that can be harmful to your device.

This is one of the many reasons why having a secure VPN is so important as you can make sure you are being as safe and secure as possible with your personal information.

An important thing to know about search engines on the dark web is that they don’t have the same layout as search engines you will be familiar with such as Google. Due to the ever-changing nature of the dark web, their search engines cannot keep up with every change that occurs meaning that they don’t always produce helpful results, and the results they do produce tend to be repetitive.

The best dark web search engines that you can use include Daniel, DuckDuckGo, and SearX which are the most reputable search engines that the dark web has to offer.

What’s The Difference Between Tor Over VPN And VPN Over Tor?

They may seem like they are saying the same thing, but Tor over VPN and VPN over Tor have completely different meanings as it dictates the order that your internet traffic is traveling. Tor over VPN means that your internet traffic will travel through your VPN server first before it goes through the Tor network and vice versa for VPN over Tor.

Using Tor over VPN is the better option but using either is better than choosing to forego a VPN completely. This is because using VPN over Tor may allow you to have protected and anonymous access but your internet service provider will know that you are using the Tor network, even if they can’t access exactly what you are looking for.

Having a VPN will give you the protection you need to access the Tor network safely and anonymously. 

Why Isn’t The Dark Web Stopped Or Shut Down?

One of the most commonly asked questions revolving around the dark web is why hasn’t it been shut down or stopped. The simple reason is that this would be completely impossible to do as it is accessible worldwide. A single government could choose to shut it down but this would only apply to their country and wouldn’t stop it from being accessed everywhere else.

There are other reasons why it shouldn’t be shut down with the main one being that it has been used for positive research such as hunting down criminals and terrorists as well as protecting government intelligence. The US government initially established the Tor network to help them catch criminals while being able to do their research anonymously and with full protection. 


Although there are darker uses for the dark web, it can also be used for good such as helping with important research, protecting crucial intelligence, communicating anonymously, and allowing governments to look into criminality with minimum risk.

However, it is important to make sure that you are protected when using the dark web as you want to ensure that you are using a legal browser and not venturing into any websites that are deemed harmful or dangerous.

VPNs can help to prevent this and ensure that you are anonymous so your personal information isn’t exposed. Choosing either one of the recommended VPNs listed in this article is sure to give you the service that you are looking for and you can always get your money back if you are not satisfied with the quality of the service. 

Dale Williams
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