How to access the dark web in 2024: for Android phones, IOS phones and PCs
The Dark Web often shrouds itself in mystery and conspiracy, constituting an internet realm that traditional search engines cannot reach. Many curious but uninformed individuals want to know how to access the Dark Web, whether it's illegal to do so, what it contains, how dangerous it is, and if it hosts terrifying videos like those in the infamous "Red Room." While the Dark Web has gained notoriety for harboring illegal activities, it also contains valuable information and resources beneficial to professionals engaged in cybersecurity research and threat intelligence investigations.
In this article, "ODN" will share the methods for newcomers to access the Dark Web in 2024, providing a comprehensive guide on how to enter, access, monitor, and collect information from the Dark Web from a professional and legal perspective.
Understanding the Dark Web
Before delving into the complexity of Dark Web searches, understanding its structure is crucial. The internet comprises three layers: the Surface Web, the Deep Web, and the Dark Web.
- Surface Web: This part is indexed by search engines like Google, Bing, and Baidu, and is accessible to the public.
- Deep Web: This includes websites and databases not indexed by search engines. These are often password-protected or located behind paywalls, such as online banking or email accounts.
- Dark Web: This is a network of hidden websites accessible only using specialized software like Tor (The Onion Router) or directly through Tor or Brave browsers. Its purpose is to conceal the identities of users and hosts. While infamous for illegal markets, the Dark Web also includes legal sites and forums.
"ODN" emphasizes that accessing the Dark Web requires a firm commitment to legal conduct. Strict adherence to legal and ethical boundaries is a must. Important considerations include:
- Legality and Compliance: Ensure your activities fall within legal bounds. Engaging in any illegal activities, such as purchasing illegal goods, is strictly prohibited.
- Use Encryption: Always use encryption tools like the Tor browser when accessing the Dark Web to protect your identity and maintain anonymity.
- Ensure Security: Verify the legitimacy of discovered information, as misinformation, malware, and various scams are prevalent on the Dark Web.
Accessing the Dark Web
First, download various versions of the Tor browser, a free and open-source software enabling access to the Dark Web while hiding your IP address. Regardless of your location, combining a Virtual Private Network (VPN) with the Tor browser is generally recommended.
- PC Desktop Access to the Dark Web:
- Conditions for accessing the external network must be met. If within certain jurisdictions, using a VPN to access the Tor Project's official website is necessary.
- Download the Tor browser (PC desktop version) directly from the Tor Project's official download page: https://www.torproject.org/zh-CN/download/
- Android Mobile Access to the Dark Web:
- Conditions for accessing the external network must be met. If within certain jurisdictions, using a VPN to access is necessary.
- Download the Tor browser (Android version) through either:
- Google Play Store: Search for "Tor Browser". This is the recommended method if your Android phone can use the Play Store.
- Tor Project's official website: Visit https://www.torproject.org/zh-CN/download/#android, choose the appropriate apk file based on your phone's CPU architecture, download, and transfer it to your phone for installation.
- iOS Apple Access to the Dark Web:
- Tor Project has not released an official iOS version of the Tor browser. The recommended alternative for Tor browser functionality on iOS is "Onion Browser", developed and maintained by a third-party team. Download this browser in the App Store by searching for "Onion Browser", developed by "Mike Tigas."
- Additionally, download "Orbot" (developed by "The Tor Project") from the App Store.
- Note: Orbot functions as a VPN; if another VPN is already in use on the phone's system, Orbot may not function correctly.
- Orbot's default bridges cannot connect within certain jurisdictions. To connect without external network access, custom bridges are required.
Dark Web Sites
- Search Engines: DuckDuckGo, Torch, and notEvil are Dark Web search engines useful for finding specific sites and content. They search for .onion domain names unique to the Dark Web.
- Dark Web Directory: Similar to a yellow pages for hidden services, Dark Web directories list websites and their categories, making it easier to find desired content. Notable directories include Onion666, Dark.fail, and Tor.taxi.
- Forums and Communities: The Dark Web hosts numerous forums, discussion areas, and communities covering a wide range of topics. Some may be valuable sources of information, but caution is essential, as many forums are associated with illegal activities. If joining a Dark Web forum or community, avoid disclosing personal information or engaging in discussions that might jeopardize your safety, typically using anonymity.
- File Sharing: Dark Web file-sharing services may contain rich data, including files, reports, and archives. Researchers and investigators may find some of these files interesting.
- Dark Web Markets: Illegal Dark Web marketplaces thrive, and some "exit scams" prey on users. However, legitimate markets selling legal products and services, including technical solutions and e-books, exist.
- Reporting Platforms: The Dark Web is home to various reporting platforms where individuals can submit sensitive information while protecting their anonymity. The most famous is SecureDrop, used by media organizations to receive confidential information.
- Hidden Wikis: Similar to directory websites, hidden wikis are directories providing links to various .onion sites, making Dark Web sites more accessible. They typically include sections on news, forums, etc.
- Scientific Research: Some in the scientific community use the Dark Web to share research and findings without revealing their identities, especially in regions with strict censorship.
- Threat Intelligence: Cybersecurity professionals can monitor Dark Web forums and markets to gather information related to emerging threats and vulnerabilities.
- Dark Web Investigations: Law enforcement agencies may use the Dark Web to collect evidence related to illegal criminal activities.
- Data Leak Monitoring: The Dark Web contains many leaked datasets, and there are also social engineering databases. In addition to security companies monitoring the Dark Web, enterprises can search for stolen data (such as login credentials) and take measures to protect their systems.
For professionals in various fields, searching the Dark Web for information is a valuable tool. However, maintaining ethical conduct, respecting legal boundaries, and using encryption and anonymity tools to protect one's identity are paramount.
The Dark Web remains a realm where illegal activities and valuable resources coexist, requiring careful and professional handling. As professionals, we have a responsibility to ensure that the knowledge we gain is used for legal and ethical purposes, contributing to a safer cybersecurity environment.
From：On DarkNet – Dark Web News and Analysis
Copyright of the article belongs to the author, please do not reproduce without permission.