Wired describes it as “a collection of thousands of websites that use anonymity tools like Tor and I2P to mask their IP addresses.” These websites cannot be accessed by any popular browser, and the user must hide their online identity. For many people, the deep web is just a place to buy weird and potentially illegal items.
Snappening – a scandal in 2014 when private photos of Snapchat users were shared on the internet – originally appeared on hidden web pages. And the movie “Citizenfour” documents how director Laura Poitras, journalist Glenn Greenwald and informant Edward Snowden communicated using deep web tools.
The easiest way to hide your IP address – a prerequisite for operating on a hidden network – is to use the Tor browser. It looks like any other web browser, but works by sending a request (i.e. the page you want to view) to another person’s network, which is then sent to the next person’s network, and finally from there to the recipient. To download the viewer, you need to visit the Tor project website and follow the instructions.
After downloading the browser, Tor displays such a message
In most cases, if you want to use Tor, just click “Connect”. However, if you are on a network that requires a proxy server address, personal configuration may be required. Usually this isn’t a problem, but forums on how to do the setup are easy to find if needed.
You are already in Tor!
It looks like a normal web browser, but is also Tor-connected, which means you can now access hidden web pages and enjoy greater internet privacy.
Are you on a hidden website and wondering how to access deeper hidden websites? Take advantage of Reddit – it has subreddits for those who want to explore hidden networks thoroughly. The most popular subreddits are r/onions, r/Tor and r/deepweb.
r / Onions
The r/onions subreddit is a rich source of legitimate hidden network URLs. Only accessible pages through Tor or other decentralized protocols, ends with “.onion”.
A hidden wiki
The Hidden Wiki aims to be an up-to-date source of information on what can be found on the Hidden Network. It connects us to trading markets, discussion forums, search engines and financial services. The hidden wiki URL changes from time to time, but it’s not hard to find it by typing a few search terms into the Tor search engine.
Think you’re anonymous?
Just because you’re using the Tor search engine doesn’t mean you’re safe and anonymous. You too can take a number of precautions to ensure that you are as anonymous as possible when browsing the web. The Tor Project lists some of the best methods that can be used.
And it’s ready!
The hidden web can be scary because many people use it to sell illegal substances and services. You can find almost everything there. Nevertheless, it plays an important role as it guarantees the privacy and anonymity of users all over the world. People use Tor-like programs in countries where where censorship is rampant. Others use these social networks and groups to report on large organizations.