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Using the Tor Browser to Enter the Darknet

Getting information of buying products and services in the darknet is cumbersome. However, using the Tor browser can make it easy and anonymous. Read here to find out more.

By Hector Di Santio

Thumbnail Image for Blog Article Using the Tor Browser to Enter the Darknet
date_rangeDecember 20, 2019 remove_red_eye 15189

Many online prowlers want to know the process of using the Tor browser to enter the darknet now more than ever. The need stems from the vulnerability that exists online; certain sites place geographic restrictions. Also, a good number of sites that deal in both contraband and sought-after goods prefer the darknet realm.

Tor, however, is not only useful to people seeking an entry into the darknet. Effective cryptocurrency mixing happens if the process is undertaken on Tor.

For the purposes of clarity, the darknet refers to the collection of websites that make up a portion of the internet that is not quite open to the views from the public. This portion may also include hidden networks that rely on the architecture layered on that of the regular internet but whose entry ways are concealed.

Overview of the Tor Browser

The best browser for reaching this inner sanctum of the web is TOR. Initially called The Onion Router, the idea of the browser was conceived and developed by The Tor Project, Inc. The Tor browser was released in Q3 of 2002 with the aim of giving users a defense against traffic analysis.

It must be understood that the expansion of the web and development of data science has stripped a good many web users of their privacy. In particular, traffic analysis as a form of network surveillance threatens personal freedom, online relationships, and even innocent business activities. In certain instances, it is a threat to national security as well. A browser with the configurations of Tor allows users to browse without the fear of anyone eavesdropping on them.

The Tor browser provides a solution by bringing together a host of volunteer-operated servers that bounce communication from the various computers on the network so as to among other things, conceal the location of the user. The browser also helps users to keep the contents of their communications private.

The tunnels and overlays created by the volunteer servers in the Tor network allow users to communicate indirectly via the tunnels as opposed to making direct contacts. Tor also works as a censorship circumvention tool that allows the browser users to access blocked or restricted content and destinations online.

In addition, Tor is a building block used to create new communication solutions that have innate privacy features.

Accessing the Darknet Using Tor Browser

In essence, using the Tor browser to access the darknet is a simple three-part process. You start by downloading the Tor browser, download and incorporate a VPN to heighten anonymity, and surf the darknet using compatible search engines such as DuckDuckGo or any of the many darknet directories. A few such directories are Onion Wiki, Bitcoin Fog, and OnionWallet, to name just a few that you can get here.

The explanation here above, however, is just the process in a nutshell. Below is a detailed look.

Downloading and Using the Tor Browser

Downloading Tor is embarrassingly easy. Depending on the device you are using, you can opt for the desktop edition, or the Android version. There is an unsupported Onion app for iOS devices whose download instructions are available here.

Though downloading and installing the browser is straightforward, it may get complicated if you reside in a country where using Tor is prohibited, or if you are connected to a restricted network such as a university or corporate’s.

In case you are affected by the mentioned security complications, the browser provides options for configuration. Alongside the provision, the browser will show you a variety of options you can apply to circumvent the technical restrictions. In essence, these are traffic obfuscation tools that the Tor team refers to as pluggable transport. They make the Tor traffic appear conventional; as if its traffic is directed to popular websites such as Amazon and not the Onion network.


The Tor browser employs various levels of security, which you can review by clicking on the Onion logo located on the top left side of the browser. It is important that you check these options (default, safer, and safest), and choose accordingly.

In the “safer” and “safest” modes, for instance, features such as JavaScript cannot run on HTTPS sites. Certain fonts, audio and video are not enabled either.

Once Tor is installed in your device, you can use it as you would any other browser. However, note that you should avoid unencrypted sites; the kind that have only “http” in the URL. The team at Tor understands that it is far easier to tamper with plain old HTTP traffic, and for this reason, it comes with a default HTTPS add-on for every site that you visit. This feature compels the site to redirect you to a secure version if available.

Accessing the Darknet

Tor works just as the conventional browsers do. However, you will note that it is a lot slower than the other browsers. It presents another challenge: since it is programmed differently, you will encounter a considerably large number of CAPTCHAs because the browser will almost always trigger the bot hunting systems.

If you are visiting the dark web and hidden wikis for a lot more than just browsing, say, a purchase, you need to exercise even more caution. On darknet sites, for instance, ensure you create a fake identity complete with an anonymous Bitcoin wallet.

Start by setting up an encrypted email made out of a new email address. Then, use and pseudonym, and use the safer or safest mode of Tor or disable JavaScript if you are using the default mode.

For clarification purposes, .onion sites will be hard to come by since none of them will form part of the Google search engine result pages. However, you can rely on any of the dark net search engines such as Ahmia, Torch, NotEvil, and Haystak.

In Summary

The darknet teems with resourceful websites offering everything from critical information to prescription medicine. Getting these sites, however, may prove cumbersome since getting to the websites using conventional browsers is never possible. In addition, your travails in such sites may be subject to scrutiny by government agencies. However, using the Tor browser to surf these destinations guarantees you near-anonymous browsing and an unbridled entry. Experience anonymity by opening the SmartMixer Onion Link with your Tor Browser!

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