The dark web, also referred to as the darknet or onionland, is a part of the deep web, a hidden part of the World Wide Web. It consists of encrypted websites only accessible by using non-standard Internet browsers. Websites on the dark web also cannot be found by searching for them using a standard search engine.
The most common tool used to access the dark web is Tor. Using Tor allows users to essentially hide their website, utilizing spoofing technology to hide it. The identity of the website owner and users who visit the website is very difficult to determine because of IP spoofing.
Accessing a website on the dark web that is encrypted and spoofed using Tor requires the use of Tor. Browsers like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox cannot be used to view websites on the dark web. There are often other layers of encryption and security besides using Tor to view these websites, thus why it can be very difficult to find and view dark websites.
Other tools besides Tor may be used to encrypt websites, like I2P. If a website is encrypted with I2P, users need to use I2P to view those websites instead of Tor.
The dark web is often used for criminal and illegal activity. Hackers sometimes use it to sell stolen information about people and companies. Credit card numbers, social security numbers, and other personal data are common types of stolen information and can frequently be found on the dark web.