Use VPN For Extra Protection
As Ive mentioned, the use of a Virtual Private Network is highly recommended they help to protect your online privacy, keep your identity safe and protect all data thats being sent to and from your device. But make sure the VPN youre using meets a few basic criteria.
For starters, youll want to choose one which is based out of a country without strict data retention laws, like NordVPN which is based in the Panama. Top quality service providers like this help assure your privacy and security well.
Best VPN for the Dark Web
When looking for a VPN for Dark Web surfing, there are certain criteria you need to be aware of:
- No logging policy
* Note: ExpressVPN is the only VPN provider on Onion Network this means you can buy directly from their website on the Dark Web giving it an extra layer protection.
Why Does The Dark Web Exist
The darknet world operates on the principle of total privacy. So taking precautions like using a VPN, your system cannot be tracked or traced. For some people, privacy is a big concern on the Internet. They want to take control over personalinformation.
Freedom of speech is also an issue. Some people would argue for privacy and anonymity based on the First Amendment. That is one reason why law-abiding people value the privacy of Tor and other dark web browsers. Anonymity can have positive effects, like being able to express views that are unpopular but not illegal.
Access The Dark Web With A Smartphone
Tor supports Android, but the operating system is very vulnerable and it is not recommended to access the dark web with your Android device. Tor does not support iOS at all.
In general, smartphones are not very suitable when it comes to anonymity. Everything you do online can be tracked. With a smartphone, this is even easier because of the GPS tracking that many apps use. Moreover, you run the risk of your phone being hacked and your personal data being stolen.
Are you very curious about the dark web? Then its best to use a computer with extra security.
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Are You Allowed To Browse The Dark Web
In short, navigating the dark web isnt illegal in most countries. This means that you are allowed to browse dark web websites. However, it could make you look suspicious in the eyes of your local law enforcement.
A lot of the stuff sold on the dark web is illegal, so, obviously, purchasing those illegal items is prohibited. Since these goods are usually only available on the dark web, anyone surfing this part of the internet could buy them. This is why governments might try to keep tabs on you if you visit the dark web.
Even though the use of the dark web is legal in most countries, the illegal activities that regularly occur on it, and the illegal content that can be found there make the dark web a sketchy place.
Is The Dark Web Deep Web And Dark Net All The Same
While the dark web, deep web and dark net are all different, they do overlap in certain areas.
The deep web is content that search engines such as Google do not index. This can include medical records, research papers, private forums and networks.
The dark web is content that exists on dark nets, which require specialized software , configurations and authorization to access. These can include the previously mentioned illegal offerings, but can also include ultra private information designed to be shared only with certain parties.
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How To Use Tor Browser: All You Need To Know About Tor
International Tech Specialist
If youre thinking that it might be a good idea to protect your browsing activity by using Tor, you should first make sure that you understand just how Tor works.
You see, while Tor can help you protect your privacy, it is not foolproof, and there are certainly some downsides.
Keep on reading to find out some of the benefits and some of the vulnerabilities you may experience when Tor is being used as well as the advantages to visiting sites online using Onion/Tor alongside a reputable VPN provider.
Our top VPN choice for use with Tor is ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN has top safety and security features that will protect your browsing habits when you are on the Tor network or onion sites.
Sending Emails Safely And Anonymously
A highly praised online email service is ProtonMail. Their mail accounts have standard end-to-end encryption. Emails sent through Gmail or Hotmail are generally easy to intercept and/or decipher. Encrypted email services are a much safer option. These services do tend to have more rigid data limits. So if you plan to exclusively use encrypted email accounts, then you might want to create more than one. Here is a list of encrypted email providers.
It is also possible to create a temporary email address . The advantage of this is that you can create an online account on any website, confirm your registration and then never worry about getting your inbox bombarded with useless emails from said website. Some well-known temporary email address providers are TempMail and Guerrillamail.
If you really do not want to switch to a different email address for your dark web browsing, then at least make sure your standard email account gets some extra protection through PGP . This can be done by adding an additional service on top of your regular email account like Mailvelope. This service works with providers like Gmail or Hotmail and many more. Please be aware this option is less safe than a temporary email address or an encrypted email address. A lot of information about you can be backtracked through your regular email address.
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Surfshark Speed Test Data
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN doesnt log your real IP address nor any contents of the internet traffic that passes through its servers. It boasts strong encryption and the most robust leak protection weve seen on any VPN, ensuring your data never escapes the secure tunnel. Speeds are consistently fast, and 24/7 live chat support is at your disposal if you run into any issues. ExpressVPN accepts bitcoin as payment and even hosts a mirror site on the dark web that can only be accessed via Tor, so you can sign up with complete anonymity.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, and certain wifi routers.
Expressvpn Speed Test Data
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN not only works with Tor in the Tor-over-VPN setup weve described above, but also offers an alternative option: VPN over Tor. PrivateVPNs website includes a helpful guide on how to modify the OpenVPN configuration files included with the app so that your internet traffic first passes through the Tor network, and then through the VPN. This is useful if you want to use Tor to access sites on the clear web that dont normally allow Tor connections, since your IP address will be that of the VPN server. Note that if you dont want your ISP to see that youre connecting to Tor, its best to use a normal VPN connection and the Tor browser.
PrivateVPN offers great speeds and security, and a no-logs policy. You can connect up to six devices at a time. Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Fire TV.
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How To Use Tor Browser To Access Dark Web
If you want to access the normal version of Facebook or the New York Times, all you have to do is type in the website name or address in your browsers address bar, and voila! youre connected to your site.
Because you cant simply search for an onion address or onion sites on Google, you will need to find a reputable online index of these onion addresses or onion sites to find the URL that will help you reach the private version of your sites.
When you find the URL, it is imperative that you make sure you are typing in the right address to reach your site. Typing in a mistaken address can put you at risk.
Use the Onion browser in a way you would use your normal browser, but remember to be more discreet about who you interact with and what you share. Never share your addresses or any identifying info that could compromise your security.
And remember the very best way to stay safe while on the dark web is if you pair Tor with a virtual private network.
Fraudulent Or Otherwise Dangerous Websites
The dark web is also swarming with fake and dangerous websites. Thats why its important to always be careful and to use both a VPN and good antivirus software. Dont ever click on a link on the dark web if you dont know where itll lead. Your computer could be hacked or infected with malware before you know whats happening.
Moreover, the dark web houses many dark web sites that wouldnt be tolerated on the surface web due to their web content. Sadly, you can actually find things such as animal abuse or child pornography there. Therefore, it might be wise to stay away from this part of the internet altogether.
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Accessing The Deep Web
Whats Hidden In The Dark Web
If youve ever heard of cybercrime, youll probably know that the cybercriminals of today are after more than just money. They take literally anything of value, which means credit card information, personal information and more. All of these things are commodities on the Dark Web, to be bought, sold or traded.
Aside from that, there are also illegal business dealings that cant be conducted on the surface web. Almost anything can be bought on the Dark Web as long as youre willing to pay. Items available include firearms, illegal drugs, illegal wildlife, or even services such as the rental of a hitman!
Finally, there is the most depraved and undesirable of all those who deal in the sickest and most perverse types of pornography, which is illegal is almost every part of the world.
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Best Free VPNs For Dark Web Quick Guide
What Are Nordvpns Main Features
- NordVPN is packed with useful features, including anti-DDoS servers, which you can use simultaneously to enjoy enhanced privacy while gaming or streaming in HD.
- Other advanced technologies include double data encryption, obfuscated servers for bypassing censorship restrictions, a kill switch, and CyberSec.
- They also offer a free web proxy extension called MediaStreamer. It is compatible with all major streaming services and blocks ads while you use the service.
- Whats more, it integrates with NordVPN to ensure your security remains intact when accessing public Wi-Fi networks or unprotected media streams.
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The Best VPNs For Accessing The Dark Web
ExpressVPN may not be the cheapest VPN on the market but its worth paying for if you value your privacy. Its also one of the most powerful VPNs for unblocking and offers the fastest speeds of any service weve tested.
ExpressVPN protects all traffic with military-grade AES 256-bit encryption as well as a kill switch and DNS leak protection. The HQ is in the British Virgin Islands so you can trust ExpressVPNs strict no logs policy. Just in case though, the service also utilizes TrustedServer technology to wipe all servers every time they are powered off and on.
All of ExpressVPNs apps are Tor compatible and youll be able to connect up to 5 devices under one license. You can try this VPN out risk-free and if youre not satisfied, you can claim a full refund within 30 days.
ExpressVPN can unblock:
- Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, Sling TV, DAZN, and BBC iPlayer.
If youre looking for a good blend of affordability with formidable security, CyberGhost is bound to impress. Based in Romania, the VPNs strict no logs policy is sound and backed up by military-grade encryption, DNS leak protection, and an automatic kill switch.
CyberGhost also offers an additional NoSpy server package that is perfect if you want to hide your Tor usage from your ISP. All CyberGhost apps are compatible with Tor browser and youll be able to connect 7 devices simultaneously.
CyberGhost can unblock:
Why You Need A VPN To Access The Dark Web
A VPN is necessary for accessing the dark web for two reasons. Firstly, if you live in a country where Tor or similar browsers have been banned or blocked. And secondly, to prevent your ISP or anyone else from detecting that youre using Tor.
Currently, Chinas Great Firewall is successfully blocking Tor, both via the networks public and secret entry relays. To get around a geoblock this substantial, you need a VPN that is powerful enough to unblock censored content.
VPNs can unblock censored content by masking your IP address and rerouting your traffic through a server in a different country. In other words, a country where Tor is not banned.
Only the strongest VPNs with the biggest networks are capable of bypassing geo-restrictions like those imposed by the Great Firewall.
Even if you live in a country where dark web browsers are not blocked, its still a good idea to use a VPN.
Browsing the dark web itself is not illegal. However, since the dark web is so strongly associated with criminal activity, just accessing it can be viewed as suspicious.
In fact, in 2016, the US government declared that usage of the Tor browser was enough to warrant search and seizure of your device.
While Tor encrypts your data as you browse the dark web, it cannot hide from your ISP or other third parties. All of your online behavior while using Tor will be hidden but the fact that youre using Tor will still be visible.
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Use Additional Anonymous Services
Even if you enter the dark web completely anonymously, it is still possible to accidentally give out your personal information by using some online services like extensions, file-sharing, messengers, emails, etc.
Pick One Of The Available Overlay Networks
If you have your VPN up and running, you can start looking at the overlay networks. Their clients and configurations may differ, but some can be used interchangeably. For example, you can use Freenet inside Tor. Of course, that opens a lot of additional security issues that you might want to avoid. So, you should stick with one, Tor is the most popular and should be the easiest one to pick up.
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Tor Over VPN Vs VPN Over Tor
When you connect to a VPN and then fire up the Tor browser, outgoing internet traffic first goes through the VPN, and then through the Tor network. This setup is called VPN over Tor, and if you want to use a VPN while on the dark web, is the preferred option. Your ISP cannot detect that Tor is being used, but websites and other online services can see your traffic coming from a Tor exit node.
Tor over VPN works the opposite way, where outgoing traffic is sent through the Tor network first, and then through the VPN. Your ISP will be able to see that youre using Tor, but websites and online services will see the internet connection coming from the VPN server. This setup is rarely useful but can be used to access websites that normally block Tor users. It cant be used to access the darknet, though.
If you want your Tor traffic to exit the network in a specific country, a better option would be to use Tor country codes.