A Brief Guide on Using the Dark Web Safely

You can get your daily updates and general know-how from Google, but the search giant doesn’t index everything on the Internet. On average, the Internet contains 500x the content than what Google returns in search results. 

The links returned by Google and other search engines when you enter a query are the surface web, and the non-searchable content is known as the dark or invisible web. Continue scrolling to learn about the dark web and how to access it safely. 

What is the Meaning of the Dark Web?

The dark net or dark web is a part of the deep web kept hidden on purpose. Data and websites on the dark web require unique tools to access. Websites associated with the dark web are marketplaces for illicit goods. 

But more than this, it contains data and content you can access anonymously. It could be a forum, blog, private gaming server, or chat room. Anonymity is why people access the dark web, and users are kept safe from snoopers and the prying eyes of corporations and governments. 

Typically, the dark web is used by whistleblowers and journalists to exchange confidential information. 

Dark Versus Deep Web 

People use the dark and deep web interchangeably, but they are different. 

The dark web is a subset of the deep web and is intentionally hidden. Users need a special web browser to access it called Tor. The dark web’s size is unknown. Regardless of its ominous-sounding name, the dark web is not always used for illicit purposes. 

On the other hand, the deep web is about all the things that are not indexed and inaccessible via Google and other search engines. The content includes anything that requires sign-in credentials or is behind a paywall. Also, it contains content that owners purposefully want to block web crawlers and prevent them from indexing the information. Confidential corporate web pages, fee-based content, medical records, and membership websites are a few examples of what you can find on the deep web. 

The Steps to Access the Dark Web Safely 

Whatever your reason for accessing the dark web, you must know how to get on the dark web safely. Here are two ways to do so; both can work in tandem. 

  • Use a VPN

Choose a reliable VPN service provider before accessing the darkest, deepest corners of the Internet. A VPN service will encrypt your Internet traffic and data and keep your identity anonymous. The top VPNs for the dark web are Atlas VPN, Surfshark, IPVanish, CyberGhost, NordVPN, PrivateVPN, and ExpressVPN. 

The VPN service you select must be compatible with the Tor browser, and the provider must not keep logs of your data. 

Then, you must download the VPN of your choice and create an account using your email address. Next, select a subscription plan and choose your preferred payment method. Remember, there are several free VPNs, but it is best to use a paid VPN for maximum security and privacy. 

After the completion of the VPN installation and account creation, open the VPN and log into your account. Next, choose a country server you want to connect to, or you can use the recommended server location of the VPN provider. Finally, connect your device to the selected server location and access the dark web. 

  • Use the Tor browser 

Using Tor is the best way to access the vast majority of content available on the web. Tor is a comprehensive network of volunteer relays via which the user’s Internet connection is routed. The connection is encrypted, and the Internet traffic bounces between relays worldwide, which makes the user anonymous. 

You can access Tor using the Tor Browser, which you can download and install for free. But it would be best to hide your Tor Browser using a VPN. 

The Tor Browser is based on Firefox, allowing users to surf the dark and clear web. Your Internet traffic will be automatically routed via the Tor network. However, you must remember to download and install the Tor Browser from the official website so that you don’t risk downloading spyware, malware, or other viruses to your device. 

Officially, this browser is only available on Mac, Windows, Linux, and Android. So iOS users may have to look for an alternative. 

Things to Remember When Accessing the Dark Web

  • Do not reveal your true identity. For example, do not give out your address, phone number, or even your real name. 
  • Do not use the Tor Browser as a substitute for your regular browser. 
  • The dark web is a scammer’s playground. They may try to trick users. Therefore, you must treat all the websites as phishing websites unless proven otherwise. 


Memorize this guide to safely access the dark web and get all the necessary information. However, try to stay away from doing anything illegal. 

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