Darknet: what is there and how to access it

darknet what is there and how to access it 1

Dernière mise à jour: 23 mai 2024

For 90% of people the internet is Facebook, Youtube, Google or Bing, but there is also all the data that not all users can access (database, FTP, corporate network, etc.) that some call the Deep web or hidden webDarknet is something else again.

Darknet is a collection of unindexed pages, which means you won't be able to find them through search engines, nor can you access them with a web browser like Chrome since they end in .onion.

A recent estimate concluded that there are more 600 terabytes of data in the Darknet.

More generally, the darknet can be used to describe all types of non-commercial sites on the Internet, or to refer to all "underground" web technologies and communications, more commonly associated with illegal activities.

1) What can we find in the Darknet?

What strikes first is the amount of illegal content. First, a third of the content is purely erotic. Then, another third reveals gray areas: drugs, Holocaust denial, stolen information, even instructions for explosives. But, the strangeness doesn't stop there.

The last third is a maze. Some sites denounce animal exploitation, exposing secret fur farms. Even more troubling, others lure us with taboo books, from Mein Kampf to dark guides to suicide.

Darknet drug sales platform

In the darknet, from day one, I was able to find a terrible site that gives you the opportunity to order a murder, a beating or the planting of a bomb.

Prices vary depending on the target. Know that it will cost you $45000 to have your neighbor shot or $18000 to disfigure your ex.

Site ordering a murder in the Darknet

On this site, for example, you can hire the services of a hacker for know the password Facebook from your ex. Or for 200 euros, you can paralyze your competitor's site or pass it off as pedophilia in the eyes of the police.

Site to hire the services of a hacker in the Darknet

It should not be ignored that many of these sites are most likely designed for scams, hoaxes or just plain traps to apprehend people who are buying illegal products.

A site offering fake passports in the Darknet

However, while wondering how these criminal sites could work, we discovered the concept of escrow. These are intermediaries between buyer/seller or sponsor/performer. Transactions are paid in bitcoin and those who offer a service are only paid by the escrow when the requester gives the green light. Of course most of the time the middleman takes a small piece of the pie.

2) The good side of the Darknet

After seeing all the worst the Darknet had to offer, I set out to find the best they had to offer. I found for example free speech blogs or on the promotion of cryptography, photos of the situation in Ukraine, documents on the Syrian regime or on the war in Afghanistan, blogs against the Chinese regime, etc.

3) How to access the Darknet?

You have been warned!: For security reasons, the use of a VPN is paramount when browsing the Darknet, the one we use and recommend is NordVPN.

Download the Tor web browser

To access the Darknet, start with download and install Tor software.

Tor Browser is a special web browser that natively integrates the Tor protocol. It allows you to access these hidden pages. The Tor protocol passes traffic through several layers so that it is no longer possible, upon exit, to determine its origin. In other words, once you enter the Darknet, your IP address can no longer be identified.

To learn how to install Tor on your machine, we invite you to see this tutorial: what is TOR and how to use it properly?

You can also follow the steps shown in this video:

Find a list of sites that work

After installing the Tor Browser, all you need to do is search for some useful addresses with a .onion extension. You need to know the addresses you want to connect to. They are not the silkroad.onion type, that would be too easy. So you need to find a directory.

For example, here is a kind of Wikipedia (hidden wiki) with sites classified according to their categories: zqktlwi4fecvo6ri.onion/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

And if you want to access the Darknet with your smartphone Android, see this article: how to access the Darknet with your phone Android ?

4) List of sites to explore the Darknet

To explore this part of the invisible web, it is essential to have a list of valid sites. Indeed, it is not as easy as on Google to navigate blindly. But don't worry, we are going to share with you the list of addresses we used to discover the Darknet. This list is well constructed.

Simply copy a link that interests you and paste it into Tor's address bar.

  • Torch search engine : http://xmh57jrzrnw6insl.onion/
  • Hidden Wiki: http://zqktlwi4fecvo6ri.onion/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
  • Links directory : http://torlinkbgs6aabns.onion
  • Facebook for Tor: https: //facebookcorewwi.onion
  • Darknet search engine: http://grams7enufi7jmdl.onion
  • DuckDuckGo search engine: http://3g2upl4pq6kufc4m.onion

5) Other Darknet Software

In this article, we mainly covered the Tor Browser because of its large user community. However, there are other Darknet software that offer unique features and are worth mentioning.

Here are the main ones:

  • I2P : An anonymous network that has similarities to Tor, but with its own distinctive features. I2P provides access to hidden sites called eepSites (equivalent to Tor's hidden services) and offers features such as anonymous messaging, file exchange and download torrents anonymously.
  • Hyphanet : A fully decentralized and encrypted network, guaranteeing the anonymity of all users. Hyphanet allows you to publish documents anonymously and resistant to censorship. It also promotes file sharing anonymously.
  • GNUnet : An encrypted and anonymous P2P network developed by the GNU project. GNUnet is primarily used for file sharing and offers censorship resistance.

You should know that using the Tor network remains completely legal. However, certain activities carried out on this network can become illegal, like actions carried out on peer-to-peer sharing software.

Otherwise, journalists use Tor to express themselves freely on the Darknet and to protect their privacy. This network also offers the opportunity to circumvent the blockings of certain sites. However, it is indisputable that many people have diverted Tor from its original mission, using it as a platform for illegal activities, including the trafficking of drugs, weapons or counterfeits via black markets.

7) The continuation in video

Conclusion

Yes, Darknet software can be used for good or evil. This reality applies to all communications technology, and we do not believe it is appropriate to blame the technology itself.

In our opinion, the darknet is not simply a dark network intended for illegal activities, such as cybercrime or copyright infringement. Although it can serve as a tool for such activities, it is not limited to that. It is crucial to understand this. Indeed, the Darknet is a network that promotes freedom of expression and opposes surveillance and censorship imposed by the powerful.