Quick Answer 🔍How much of the internet is the dark web in 2023?
Studies show that the dark web accounts for about 6% of the internet.
We will uncover the mysteries behind the websites that lie deep beneath the surface.
What if I tell you that there are so many things hiding behind the surface web?
That most of us do not know that the internet is divided into three specialized compartments: the one we normally use, the one housing our personal information and bank account details, and the one used by hackers, extortionists, illegal sellers, and the like.
Today, we will discover how much of the internet is the dark web and unearth some of the unknown facts about this site.
How Much of the Internet is the Dark Web in 2023?
The internet is not all about what we see.
There is the dark web, ruled by TOR, short for The Onion Router which is software that allows free and anonymous access to the dark web.
Studies show that this highly-secretive section accounts for about 6% of the internet.
This means it occupies a higher space compared to the surface web, the only section where we have legal access which occupies 1% to 4%.
Meanwhile, it ranks way lower than the deep web which holds the biggest space at 90%.
The Internet Iceberg
Think about the internet as a huge iceberg in Greenland.
You think the ice formations we see are all there is, but wait until you swim down to the waters and discover the deep-seated ice formations that have been below the surface level since the start.
This is the same as the internet.
Although having access to about two billion websites is already enough to search, browse, and shop whenever we feel like it, there is so much more that lies behind this.
What is Behind the Internet?
Behind the two billion websites we have access to is the middle of the iceberg, popularly known as the deep web.
Although not part of the World Wide Web, this section houses the majority of the information generated from the WWW, currently holding 7.5 petabytes or 7,500 terabytes of internet storage.
It is home to users’ bank information, academic journals, and databases that could not be accessed in a normal search.
Lastly, there is the dark web. This section is run by the Tor network using the “.onion” domain.
It requires users to leverage specialized websites and techniques to access its content which ranges from unrestrained journalism, uncensored porn from all genres, black markets for illegal items such as ammunition, drugs, and the like, and a lot of pirated content.
Who Developed the TOR Network?
The dark web may be a hub for a lot of secrets and illegal activities, but its initial purpose is to protect online communication in a highly-secured American organization.
This means that the dark web started technically legally in the 1900s.
But illegal organizations and businesses started coming in the years that followed after the United States Naval Research Laboratory released Tor’s code under a free license, which made it accessible for any type of user.
The Tor Project is currently behind the maintenance of the network, and some of its main sponsors include the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor from the United States Federal Government.
Other financiers include the Human Rights Watch, Alphabet Inc’s Google, and the University of Cambridge.
How to Access the Dark Web?
The dark web can only be accessed with the use of a dedicated open-source software like Tor.
Here are the general steps on how to get on the dark web.
- To access the dark web safely, one must use a VPN. This technology will help users encrypt their IP addresses which will conceal them from malicious interventions and hackers
- After using a VPN, you must install the Tor browser. Using this network is one of the safest ways to gain access to the dark web. Make sure you download it from the Tor Project’s website, as there are a huge number of websites claiming a real Tor network website which are plagued with viruses and malware
- Instead of using the “.com” domain, the Tor network uses “.onion”. This means that when you enter a dark web’s site, you have to end it with this domain to work
- Never reveal your real identity. Practice constant vigilance as the dark web is home to scammers, gangs, and hackers. Make your passwords and usernames strong and unidentifiable. It is also advised you use cryptocurrency when paying on the dark web
What’s For Sale on the Dark Web?
You can find nearly everything on the dark web, from the latest movie releases that still show in cinemas to a hacked Facebook account or hacked WhatsApp.
As mentioned, this part of the internet is a melting pot for anything illegal, which can be sold for a hefty sum.
Below is the list of items currently sold on the dark web and how much each sells on the restricted market.
- Hacked Visa or Mastercard with a pin code – sells for $25 each
- Hacked Facebook account – sells for $65 per account
- Hacked online banking account with a minimum balance of $2,000 – sells for $120 per account
- Fake European passport – sells for $4,000
- Malware for Android users, loaded with 1,000 instances – $900
These are just some of the most popular items bought on the dark web.
Some others include ammunition, particularly pistols, drugs like cocaine and marijuana, and exclusive porn videos.
No one knows the real size of the dark web and how many websites are there as many others change their domain or deactivate due to high surveillance.
But this part of the internet is certainly big and growing, as there is a huge amount of cash involved in the business.
Everything from a hacked bank account to a fake passport to a first-world country, everything can be found and bought on the dark web.
On the other hand, one must never go to this highly-secretive part of the internet if you are not an expert in employing protective layers to secure your personal information.
We hope you enjoyed reading about how much of the internet is dark web in 2023.