I would like to explore the dark web just to experience and understand it, but I'm not really sure what to "do" once I'm there and I don't want to run into anything illegal. What does the dark web offer that the "regular" web doesn't in such a circumstance?

Why would someone want to use the dark web legally when they can use a "regular" web site? What's the advantage (if any?)

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    I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of the "dark web", "deep web" and "surface web" I also think learning Onion routing might help here.
    – user173641
    May 31, 2018 at 15:23
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    I think peterh did a good job clarifying that 1. illegal does not equal evil 2. anonymity does not equal illegality. Responding to the first part of your post, where you mention the goal to "experience and understand", I recommend starting by visiting the hidden wiki, where you will find a directory of many hidden websites. Some of them host illegal and/or morally dubious content, but you can easily steer clear of them. Jun 7, 2018 at 12:30

1 Answer 1


The dark web is not a well-defined thing. Often already the torrent protocol is listed there.

Dark web is not for the evil things, and not for the illegal things, it is for the anonymous things. These are not always the same.

For example, posting content to the internet going against the governing ideology of the political system, is often illegal, but it is often not evil.

Or - using the example of the torrent - although it is used mostly to violate the IP laws, the illegal is this violation and not the protocol. Thus, for example, you are free to download free software with torrent (example).

It can be used also as a legal defense against illegal activities. Eavesdropping others private communication is typically illegal, but it is being done quite often. For example, reading this post, your browser opened also TCP connections into the following domains:

  • scorecardresearch.com
  • gravatar.com
  • multiple google domains (googletagservices.com, google-analytics.com)
  • quantcount.com
  • quantserve.com
  • possibly others what I could say only after deactivating my adblocker

Sometimes we all have enough reason to defend against this, to overwhelm the system configuration cost of the tor.

Identity protection is required not only against some "big companies", but it may be needed also against closer attackers. For example, to circumvent some nasty rules/settings/actions of our network provider.

Because from the point, that they are trying to steal1 user data, the darkweb user becomes the defender and the Big, Secure Company becomes the attacker.

1 A lawyer could say, that by clicking some popup on the first visit of some websites you allowed the content provider to steal your data. However, no one can read all the related "general terms and services" and interpret it from the legal system of the home country of the content provider. From this moment, doing this is a misuse of the position of the user, and an "agreement" based on compulsion is invalid.

  • This is helpful, but does not fully answer my question. Can you expound a bit upon what things one might visit the dark web for besides skirting IP bans and posting banned propaganda?
    – SomeGuy
    May 31, 2018 at 15:35
  • -1 because the "dark web" is most decidedly not for illegal things. It is for anything where anonymity of the server is required. It can be used for illegal things, but that does not mean it is for illegal things. I can name more legal hidden services than I can name illegal ones.
    – forest
    Jun 1, 2018 at 13:29
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    @forest I think the difference in our current world is not essential, unfortunately. But I fixed the post.
    – peterh
    Jun 1, 2018 at 14:10

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