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Going Dark, part 1. or How to unlock blocked websites if SOPA (or similar act in the future) is to come.

“Darknet” or “Deep net” is a collective term which refers to the so-called “deep” part of the Internet, part that is inaccessible without special software, cannot be seen from the Internet, and not indexed by web crawlers (such as Google).

Darknet networks are supported by people who volunteered to help others in need of unblocking blocked websites by donating their bandwidth to them.

For example:

I live in China, and one day great firewall bans my favorite website, what do I do? I could use proxies, but what if the proxies sites are banned too?


That's where software comes in, let's talk about one of many p2p anonymous networks, “Tor” network.

It works by the “relaying” traffic through people who volunteered their bandwidth, and completely anonymous.

One must go to Tor download page https://www.torproject.org/download/download-easy.html.en and download client. Follow the instructions carefully and especially the part where it says “Want Tor to really work?”, because that's the most crucial one.
Next, you open up the Tor client and decide what exactly do you want. If you simply want to browse you can start right away just by starting Tor browser (not your regular one) and going to the website you need. You'll browse anonymously and 99% of the time website that was blocked now is available to you. If not – you can always quickly re-connect to tell Tor to find new relay for you, and then you'll likely to access blocked website anyway.

For blocked websites Tor provides anonymous access to them, and lack of need to find proxies over and over only to find them not working. Tor IS an unending proxy to access blocked websites, and you can change your relay (person through which you direct your traffic) instantly there.

Is Tor completely anonymous? Yes and No. In order to “track” someone in the network one would need a supercomputer and lots of bruteforcing to do. So as long as you're doing something that is not terribly illegal – you'll be just fine.


If you however want to discover the “Deepnet” or “Darknet” you should go to the Tor wiki page that contains almost all of the Tor websites and services.

Let me just get this giant elephant out of the room first that you may or may not heard:

Yes, you can find lots of illegal materials on Tor network, just as you can find them on the Internet, but unlike internet you need to specifically try and find them.


So let's conclude it, why or why not someone should/shouldn't use Tor?
Pros:

  • Relatively easy to set up if you just want to browse the Internet anonymously.
  • You can see the famous “Deep” Internet and its resources with many websites, communities and all sorts of information.
  • You can be a part of huge growing community or even a volunteer that helps others.
  • It's a necessity if you're suddenly out of options and SOPA (or similar passed act) came.

Cons:
  • The network access is somewhat slow, and depending on the relay you chose to access (you can always change it in seconds) it can be REALLY slow.
  • ISPs can always ban the relay part and you'll not access the “outter” Internet (the one that you're reading this article on).
  • The concept may be confusing for newcomers, but with the available guides with screenshots that shouldn't be a problem.


Let me tell you what you think in the comments. Are you already a Tor user? Did this article convince you to try it? Maybe you know something that is even better than Tor? If so – do tell, would love to hear it!
We'll talk about even more “darker” deep Internet in the next part, stay tuned!

1 comment:

Walter said...

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