Tor Browser — The Safest Way to Surf the Dark Web
There are numerous reasons for wanting to visit the dark web — curiosity, finding or spreading information, or buying items that aren’t legal in your country. But how do you reach this hidden part of the internet if your Chrome doesn’t allow it? Let us introduce you to Tor — the browser that lets you access the dark web.
What Is Tor?
Tor, otherwise known as The Onion Router, is a fully encrypted network of volunteer relays across the globe. These relays route users’ internet connections, allowing them to access websites completely anonymously.
The process is similar to peeling an onion. To get to the core, or the website you’re searching for, you have to first “peel” off several relays. Since they are purposefully scattered around the world, your privacy remains intact — but the connection speed may suffer. However, that’s only a small setback you have to accept when browsing the dark web.
As an additional level of protection, Tor URLs don’t end in .com. Instead, they use .onion and are usually a string of numbers and letters that are difficult to remember. On top of that, many websites change their URLs regularly in order to stay hidden.
Is Tor Legal?
Using the Tor browser is legal — after all, you can use it for browsing the surface web as well. In addition, surfing the dark web isn’t illegal either, as long as you obey your country’s laws.
However, the dark web has a bad reputation, and by extension, so does Tor. Using it alone can raise some eyebrows, even if your activity on the browser can’t be traced. That’s why we always recommend getting a good VPN and turning it on every time you browse with Tor.
How to Download and Install Tor
There’s a guide here, but before you start downloading the Tor browser, make sure to turn on your VPN. That way, no one will even know you own it, so you can begin your dark web explorations completely anonymously.
Follow the prompts that the installation wizard gives you, and once you’re done, open the ‘Start Tor Browser’ file. A new window will pop up, asking you whether you want to connect or configure. Click the ‘Connect’ button to open the browser.
Tor automatically uses the DuckDuckGo search engine, which offers more privacy, but doesn’t actually search the dark web. In fact, typing keywords in DuckDuckGo will take you to the same sites you see when using Chrome or Firefox.
However, there are search engines that will allow you to access the dark web. Candle, not Evil and Welcome to Dark Web Links are some of the most popular ones — but there are many others out there.
The Tor browser is a perfect tool for surfing the dark web, as it protects your privacy and keeps you anonymous. Still, leaks aren’t impossible, so be sure to always use a VPN and stay safe!