The Darknet is a part of the Internet that is not accessible to regular users. Essentially, it is a hidden network established by trusted peers (participants) using unconventional ports and protocols, thus guaranteeing complete anonymity.
Because the Darknet is beyond the control of any organizations or governments, it has gained a lot of traction both with cybercriminals and people seeking restricted content.
It can also be used for completely anonymous communication and unhindered distribution of information, not necessarily for something illegal.
How to access the Darknet
You can’t enter the Darknet through a regular browser. You will need to download Tor or another program like it (I2P, RetroShare, Freenet, GNUnet).
The browser’s logo design reveals the working principle of this software. Just like an onion, Tor has many ‘layers’, or proxychains. Any online actions pass through 3 random nodes in the network. This contributes to a high level of confidentiality, making it much harder to track a user’s location.
The Darknet has its very own search engines, too. Some of the most popular ones are:
As a chaotic, unregulated environment, the Darknet is rife with scammers. Darknet users should exercise caution.
Cryptocurrencies are commonly used for payment in this environment. However, it is best to avoid making purchases on the Darknet. Users ordering something on this unreliable resource — even something legal — run the risk of never seeing their money again.