Tor and Tails: two essential dark web tools
There are different levels of effort that you can put into keeping your identity and activities on the Internet private. For most people, most of the time, adhering to good basic Internet security is enough. This usually means making sure you use encryption properly and avoiding the dirtier parts of the Internet.
However, there are some parts of the Internet that can be quite dangerous to access. These places can attract the attention of the wrong people who are wandering on the edge of the law. The dark web in particular is a part of the Internet you should not brave without the proper tools to hide your activities.
To be clear, it is never illegal in any country to simply access the dark web! However, many of the places you can access on the dark web are in violation of the law or in a gray area. Most importantly, even if you are not doing anything wrong, simply accessing the dark web may attract the attention of the police, because that place is generally not visited by good people.
That's why there are two privacy tools that are essential for anyone who wants to access the dark web. The first tool we're going to discuss is called Tor, and that's what it's all about.
Why Tor is essential to the dark web
Many people know about it, mainly because Tor is an important part of anonymity and privacy on the Internet. However, it is almost entirely necessary to access the dark web. tor's hidden services host most of the dark sites. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let's talk about what Tor actually is. tor has two main parts - the Tor Browser and the Tor Network.
The Tor Browser is a piece of software that you can download like any other piece of software. At its core, it is Mozilla's Firefox browser. However, it has been modified so that all the privacy issues and security vulnerabilities that exist in most browsers have been fixed.
Tor Browser is portable and green software, which means it is standalone and works without installation. You don't even have to copy it to the computer you want to use, just run it from a USB stick or removable drive and then you can close it at the end of the session.
Each installation of Tor Browser is identical and should remain so. Thanks to the "browser fingerprinting" feature, custom browsers can be more easily tracked by linking a specific browser to the activity you are browsing to access.
The Tor Browser is set up in such a way that it will only transmit Internet traffic over the Tor network with exactly the right network settings. Using the Tor Browser is not the only way to access the Tor network, but it is the only way you will absolutely know that it is set up in the correct way.
The Tor Browser is also set up to automatically delete your session information when you close it, etc. Nothing is perfect when it comes to privacy, but Tor is the strictest. It includes default technologies such as NoScript and HTTPS-Everywhere. These are measures that more people should take proactively, but with the Tor Browser, it's all taken care of.
You can use the Tor Browser to access .onion dark web sites, and of course, regular sites that are accessible by normal browsers can be accessed just as well.
Download the Tor Browser: https://www.torproject.org/download/
Tor is a network
Today, the Tor Browser may be the face of Tor, but the real power of Tor lies in the Tor network. As you know, "Tor" is actually an acronym for "The Onion Router". Onion routing refers to a special method of routing specific traffic packets over the Internet that strongly protects your anonymity.
The network itself consists of volunteers who offer their computers as nodes in an encrypted peer-to-peer network. When a packet leaves your computer and is sent to a server, it takes a random path through that network of volunteers. Each packet is contained in multiple layers of encryption. It's like an onion, get it? At each step in the path, one layer is stripped away until the destination server receives the packet with no additional encryption. In this way, no node in the chain knows the origin or destination of the packet.
The network was designed by the U.S. military. It was designed to enable agents in distant lands to communicate without being detected. Today, it provides one of the last bastions of true anonymity on the Internet. As such, it has also become the backbone of the dark web and is indispensable if you want to access The Onion sites with proper security.
Tails is the true home of Tor
What happens if someone looks at your computer and finds out that you've been using the Tor network? They may not know what you've been doing now, but they can find traces on your computer that you've been using Tor. That may be enough for them to dig deeper. There is another problem, others can identify you from the dark web by accessing your computer or identifying unique aspects of the computer you use to access the dark web through Tor.
These are just two reasons why using your normal everyday computer to access the dark web is not the best idea. One possible solution is to use a "live operating system". This is an operating system that boots from an optical drive, USB flash drive, or removable hard drive and allows you to operate your computer without touching the hard drive. When you shut down the computer, the session leaves no trace on the computer.
However, most real-time operating systems are not specifically designed for privacy. the exception is Tails, a special tool that everyone who wants to access the dark web should know about.
Tails is also an acronym
Like Tor, "Tails" is an acronym for something. Specifically, it stands for "The Amnesiac Incognito Live System".
This immediately tells us a lot about what Tails is. It is apparently a live operating system, which means that you can boot it from an optical drive, USB stick or removable drive, thus ignoring your permanent operating system.
"Amnesiac" (amnesia) apparently means that it doesn't remember anything about you. This is a very important feature because normal operating systems usually keep all kinds of records about your activities. modern operating systems such as Windows 10 can even send these records back to Microsoft officials with no privacy at all! Tails system forgets everything you designed.
It's stealthy because it also doesn't let any information about your own identity slip out, and the OS works only through the Tor network.
Tails also doesn't use the host computer's hard drive; Tails caches all content in RAM. When the computer is turned off, there is no evidence that Tails ever existed.
It is also equipped with cutting-edge file encryption technology. As a result, any data you save, generate, use or delete through tails will never fall into the hands of someone who doesn't have your password.
Tails is a Linux system
Tails is based on Debian Linux, which means that it is free and open source software. You don't have to pay anything for it. And open source software is easily auditable in terms of security. If a private company makes Tails, there is always the opportunity to build a backdoor into it. There is a whole community of people who check the code of software like this for vulnerabilities and malicious code.
Download the Tails: https://tails.boum.org/install/index.en.html
Secure, but necessary but not sufficient, compliance with the law is the ultimate security
While Tor and Tails are core tools for anyone who wants to access and use the dark web, they alone are not enough. Combined, these tools can provide strong technical security for any user, but there are more ways to protect yourself on the dark web than that.
You also need to develop good habits and know what to look for when wandering the dark corners of the Web. It's also important to be careful about who you talk to on the dark web, what information you volunteer, and exactly what you want to do. There is no foolproof system, and if your idea is to hide illegal activity, you may find yourself in real trouble! Because the laws of no country in the world will spare you!
From：On DarkNet – Dark Web News and Analysis
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