You’ve probably heard the terms dark web and Tor bandied about in the media, but accessing them isn’t as dangerous as it sounds. In fact, it’s simple to get them up and running.

The dark web is made up of pages that aren’t found by search engines like Google. It’s the area of the internet where information and content that is normally private is stored. Email inboxes as well as Google Drive folders are stored on the deep web. They’re not visible to the general public when using a standard browser.

There are a myriad of websites on the dark web that serve legitimate goals. For instance, the website SecureDrop is a dark web site that allows whistleblowers to send sensitive information to news organizations without revealing it. There are other websites where people can buy and sell stolen credentials, like credit card numbers and passwords. These sites are often called «marketplaces» and the most well-known examples are Silk Road and AlphaBay, but there are lots of others which have been shut down.

Tor is the mainstay of the dark web. It routes your connection via a variety of free servers that are scattered around the globe. This makes it impossible for anyone to trace your movements. Tor’s name comes from the fact that the data it encrypts is multi-layered, like the layers of a pizza. This protects anonymity.