Monday, 29 June 2015 09:58

Deep Web and Tor

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To someone who has just recently begun using the internet, the internet might seem vast. It contains almost everything a person requires. However, most people are probably unaware that the part of internet they can view is just less than 10% of all what is available online. By using a conventional search engine a person is merely skimming the surface, or viewing the “Surface Web”, which is a fraction of the Web that is indexed by standard search engines. The actual internet is 500 times bigger, and most of it lies in the Deep Web.

According to The Guardian, only 0.03% is accessible via Google and Bing, and the rest becomes a part of the deep web. Deep web is accessed through specialized deep web browsers and tools used for this purpose, which often ensure your anonymity as well.

Some of the tools you can use to access the deep web include:

  • Turbo10: A meta search engine that allows you to search more than 800 deep web search engines
  • BusinessResearch: Explores the business information stored in deep web
  • MedNets: Easily accessible information for healthcare professionals
  • Databases A-Z: A list containing open and closed access databases for research

Tor is also an example of such a tool. It is often used synonymously with Deep Web. Tor – The Onion Router – is a software which was introduced by privacy advocates initially. It was originally used by users who prefer to browse anonymously, and didn’t want their information to be accessed and stored by Google.  Now it is used by those who want to maintain privacy while browsing online as well as those who engage in illegal activities such as black market transactions. It is important to keep clear of these illegal content available in order to discover the hidden gems on the deep web.

Experts agree that Tor is the best tool for people with an urgent need for anonymity. When we use a browser such as Google Chrome, we are directly connected to the information. However, on the contrary, using a browser like Tor, the request for information would be bounced through several servers, before arriving at the desired page making the movements harder to trace.

Deep Web might attract criminals and criminal activities due to its anonymous nature; however there is also a brighter side to it too. As it contains access to various journals and databases not indexed by a regular search engine, it is a gold mine for the serious researcher. Hence, you may find databases such as JSTOR, National Geographic and other similar websites. It is also used by governments and intelligence agencies to exchange documents in secrecy. Deep web also serves to protect political dissidents overseas in totalitarian regimes and hiding everyday Internet traffic from surveillance.

For the serious researcher, deep web can become extremely useful. It is a powerful research tool, containing high-quality material. However it should be accessed and browsed with caution, since a lot of illegal material is also a part of the deep web. 

 

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