Updated: Mar 8
The internet is vast, and while most of us are familiar with search engines and websites that can be accessed through them like Google and Yahoo, there are also parts of the internet that are not indexed by search engines and require specific software or authorization to access. The dark web is one such part of the internet. In this article, we will explore what the dark web is, what can be found there, the difference between the dark web and deep web, whether the number of dark web users has decreased, and the future of the dark web.
What is the Dark Web?
The dark web is a part of the internet that is not indexed by search engines and is not accessible through regular web browsers. To access the dark web, users need to use specific software or configurations, such as Tor or I2P. These softwares and configurations allow users to access websites and services that are not available on the regular internet.
What Can You Find There?
The dark web is infamous for hosting illegal activities such as drug trafficking, hacking services, and the sale of stolen data. However, it is also used for legitimate activities, such as communication between activists, journalists, and whistleblowers who want to remain anonymous and secure. The dark web can also be used to bypass internet censorship and surveillance in countries where the government has strict control over the internet.
The Difference Between Deep Web and Dark Web
It is important to note that the deep web and the dark web are not the same things. The deep web refers to any part of the internet that is not indexed by search engines, including websites that require login credentials or use encryption to protect user information. The dark web is a subset of the deep web that can only be accessed through specific software or configurations.
Although The Dark Web is accessed by many for illegal activities, The Deep Web, on the other hand, is usually accessed to due its privacy and more importantly, the amount of data that can't be accessed using normal search engines.
Did the Number of Dark Web Users Decrease?
It is difficult to determine the exact number of dark web users, as the dark web is designed to be anonymous and difficult to track. However, there has been some evidence to suggest that the number of dark web users has decreased in recent years. In 2018, there was around 5 million users visit the Dark Web every day. This decrease may be due to increased law enforcement efforts to shut down illegal marketplaces and other illegal activities on the dark web.
Recently, the Dark Web is trying to get alive again, in 2022, 2 million users visit the Dark Web every single day, and at the beginning of this year, the daily visits exceeded 3 million visits per day (Tor Metrics)
The Future of the Dark Web
Despite increased law enforcement efforts to shut down illegal activities on the dark web, it is likely that the dark web will continue to exist in some form. As long as there is demand for anonymous and secure communication and access to illegal services and products, there will be a market for the dark web. Although it will probably be dead and inactive.
In conclusion, the dark web is still relevant today, as it provides a platform for both legal and illegal activities. The number of users per day in 2018 was 5 million users, while now, it's about 3 million users.
While the future of the dark web is uncertain, it is likely that it will continue to exist in some form, and law enforcement will continue to work to shut down illegal activities on the dark web. As with any part of the internet, it is important to be cautious and aware of the potential risks associated with using the dark web.