The dark web has long since been a point of mystery and caution, and getting access to it seems like a complex ordeal altogether. Let’s face it, when we think about the dark web, the mental image of a sinister dark place beyond access comes up. Learning how to access the dark web on your phone seems like a new point of contemplation.
But the reality of the dark web is much more different than the rumors that swirl about it. Simply put, the dark web is the hidden part of the internet that contains web pages that search engines like Google do not index. While it is famous for illegal and immoral activities, the dark web is also used by several human activists, journalists, and whistleblowers since it allows anonymous communications.
So how can you access the dark web on your phone? And can you even access it on your phone safely?
Security Alert: Take Privacy before accessing the Dark Web on your phone
Although the dark web might have some gray use, it is undoubtedly a dangerous place to venture. Especially if you are planning to access it without enabling online privacy and security, you might be in for a nasty surprise.
The primary purpose of accessing the dark web is anonymous browsing for activists and whistleblowers, but some people misuse this anonymity for illegal reasons. It is where the dark web becomes dangerous, and with no regulations, it becomes riskier to access without using a protective tool. The cybercriminals are scattered like landmines all around the dark web. Also, ISPs and government agencies monitor your network and track down IP addresses used to access the dark web.
Accessing the dark web through your phone is much more dangerous than accessing it through a desktop or laptop, primarily because cell phones are personal diaries. They have several bits of personally identifiable information such as usernames, bank details, social security numbers, and even your location. If that information ends up in the wrong hands, it could make you a victim of harmful things such as identity theft.
Therefore, if you are accessing the dark web through your phone, it is crucial to use the best VPNs for the dark web that ensures online anonymity and encrypts your information. Apart from that, since most dark websites might carry malware, it is crucial to ensure security by downloading the best antimalware for your phone.
How to Access the Dark Web on your Android or iPhone
You’re probably mistaken if you think accessing the dark web on your phone is as easy as simply typing www.darkweb.com or “log in” to “dark web,”. To access the dark web, you need particular browsers, dark web search engines, and a reliable VPN provider.
While there are several dark web browsers, often taken as Tor alternatives, the easiest way to access the dark web on a Phone is via the Tor browser. The Tor network comprises several volunteer relays by which the users’ internet connection is routed. It provides layered encryption, due to which the traffic bounces between the relays. In addition, it hides the IP address, makes it difficult for anyone to track you, and increases the user’s online anonymity.
Tor is a secure anonymity tool that won’t keep your activities private because Tor entry node IPs are public. Any snooping eye, such as the ISP, can learn that you’re using the Tor browser and draw unwanted attention, causing issues like ISP throttling. Combining the Tor browser with a VPN is a great way to increase your privacy on the dark web.
1. Install A VPN to secure your phone
Undoubtedly, accessing the dark web on your phone is dangerous. However, you can enable protection by using a reliable VPN provider. Whether you are an Android user or an iOS user, you can find a reliable VPN for the dark web that provides the utmost security and privacy through robust encryption.
Some VPNs are best known for providing reliable security and anonymity while accessing the dark web.
2. Install Tor Browser on your Phone
To use the Tor browser for accessing the dark web on your phone, you need to set up the Tor browser. Depending upon your respective device, you will have to configure the Tor browser. While setting up the Tor browser is easy for Android users, iOS users might have a complex task setting it up. Here is how you can set up the Tor browser on Android and iOS:
Install Tor Browser on Android
By downloading the Tor browser app, you can use it to access the dark web. Here are the steps that you need to follow:
- Subscribe to a reliable VPN provider.
- After downloading and installing the VPN, create a user account, log into it, and connect to a server of your choice.
- Download the Tor browser app from Google PlayStore.
- Open the Tor browser app by clicking on the app icon.
- Tap on the Connect button, and the browser will initiate the connection with the Tor network.
- You’ll now be redirected to the browser’s homepage, and from here can access the dark web safely.
If you’re done using and want to disconnect, click on the three vertical dots on the bottom of the address bar and choose Quit.
Install Tor Browser on iPhone
You can access the dark web on iPhone using Tor alternatives for the deep and dark web. Below are the step-by-step instructions for setting up Tor on iPhone:
- Connect to a VPN.
- Download a secure browser for the dark web from the Apple Store, like the Onion browser on iPhone. It is the best Tor browser alternative for iOS and offers a range of impressive features. People use it because it’s compatible with the iOS device and offers a dedicated app, too, while the Tor browser doesn’t.
- Open the Onion browser and click on the Connect to Tor button.
- Wait for a few minutes till a connection with the Tor network is established.
- Now, from the browser home page, you can connect to any website on the dark web.
That’s it! This is how you can set up a browser to safely get on the dark web on your iOS phone.
3. Setting up Tor overlays
The Tor is a changing proxy overlay network that includes Tor bridges for keeping your connection hidden. They are the special secret servers that are helpful to people in oppressive regimes; as the Tor relays are not listed in the public directory, you can remain safe from ISP surveillance.
Here are the steps of how to set the Tor bridges:
- Tap on the Setting icon after opening the Tor browser.
- Click on the Config Tor browser option.
- An option appears either to use the built-in bridges or custom bridges.
- If you click on built-in bridges, you have to choose from three options, i.e., obfs4, snowflake, and meek-azure.
- If you want to use a custom bridge, click on the Provide a Bridge I knew option, enter the bridge address, and tap on Ok.
By using these simple steps, you can set up Tor bridges.
4. Reliable Dark Web Sites
The dark web contains bogus and shady websites promoting illegal products and services. But some websites on the dark web are legitimate and safe and are worth considering using. These websites are categorized as search engines, publication sites, email services, cryptocurrency sites, and miscellaneous sites.
Here’s the list of the best dark net sites that are worth exploring:
|One of the largest dark web search engines|
|A list of useful onion links which mostly direct to news sites or torrent sites.|
|A journalist platform that allows unbiased news stories and publications.|
|A platform for science journals and documents that are often restricted in various institutions or are costly.|
|A safe platform for whistleblowers. It allows safe, encrypted information exchange.|
|A secure bitcoin wallet to make payments over the dark web.|
|Encrypted communication platform that allows users to send anonymous messages.|
|A platform that allows users to revisit dead onion links and track website changes.|
|A way to contact the CIA and access their large database of declassified documents, references and intelligence studies.|
The Hidden Wiki
|The dark web version of Wikipedia that has links to different dark websites over a range of topics.|
|Social media for people in countries where Facebook is banned|
|A website that discusses security topics such as the safest browser or the safest email provider etc.|
|A secure file sharing platform.|
|A dark web search engine|
|It used to be a forum like Reddit for people to hold discussions on various topics.|
|An alternative site to The Hidden Wiki. It offers links to other onion sites.|
|A dark web search engine that offers detailed searches.|
The websites listed above are all reliable darknet sites but always make sure that you first connect to a trusted VPN provider before accessing any of these sites.
How To get on the Dark Web on your Phone Safely
The most reliable and secure way to access the Dark web on the Phone is by connecting to a VPN. But since there are several issues surrounding the dark web, a single unintentional click can make you subject to an official investigation by government agencies or end up in prison for buying and selling drugs and other illegal stuff.
Therefore, it’s best to follow the best safety tips while accessing the dark web:
Check for IP Leaks
Despite using a VPN, your VPN can reveal your IP address. As a result, ISPs, surveillance agencies, and other bad actors can follow your activities. It is because you’re using an unreliable or misconfigured service provider, that allows DNS leaks, or it lacks advanced features like a kill switch. Therefore, run an IP, DNS, and WebRTC leak test to ensure maximum anonymity and online protection on the dark web.
Turn on your VPN connection; you can perform this test at whatsmyipaddress.com, dnsleaktest.com, or ipleak.net. The IP address displayed after the test should be different from your actual IP address. If it’s the same, your VPN leaks your IP address and risks your digital security.
Don’t Reveal your identity
The dark web is full of people with malicious intentions. They can use various tricks to fool you into installing malware on your device or target you with ransomware attacks. Hence, be aware of sharing your personal information like your actual name, email address, contact info, social security numbers, bank account details, and other financial information. The malicious actors can use this information to engage in identity theft, steal money from your account, and launch attacks using your name.
Even if someone is asking and claims to be a legitimate source, don’t trust, and don’t reveal anything about yourself. You can use a temporary name with a burner email account to create an account on the dark web and stay anonymous.
Secure your Phone with Best Antivirus Software
Several pages and websites on the dark web are not just illegal but also highly unsafe and can pose significant threats to your digital privacy. For instance, you can find malware, ransomware, and other potential cyber threats on the dark web. There’s a high chance of clicking on an infected link or downloading spyware or malware. Also, the bad actors can use tools like keyloggers to gather data and infiltrate your system. Hence, using antivirus software can help in boosting your online security.
The best antivirus software will add a protective layer of security and keep your device safe from online risks. It scans the device for malware and other potential threats and increases your device’s security levels.
Treat Every Website Carefully with Caution
Be cautious while scrolling the dark web pages; keep in mind the dangers associated with each site, and don’t blindly trust any site. The dark web is full of scammers and cyber criminals who can fool you into phishing websites and URLs. Also, if you’re a new user, you might be going on every dark web page without realizing that most of them are illegal and harmful.
Configure Tor Browser Settings
You can also safely access the dark web on Android by configuring the Tor browser settings. The Tor browser comes with three layers of security that are worth considering and using. Go to the Advanced Security Settings option that’s accessed by clicking on the Shield button. The advanced settings offer a choice of the default standard, safer, and safest.
Change Your Browsing Habits
It is not a hidden fact that whatever you do on the web is being monitored. Even if you use a secure browser like the Tor browser, you can still be tracked by using a search engine like Google that traces its users’. Therefore, it would be best if you changed your browsing habits to access the dark web safely.
A private search engine that doesn’t track your search queries and records data can help prevent tracking. Moreover, to limit the chances of tracking and data being shared, you need to turn off your location services on your device while accessing the dark web. Also, ensure that the dark web browser has no access to your contacts, phone, settings, or other important features.
The dark web is famous for hosting illicit content and a marketplace for illegal stuff such as drugs, weapons, malware, and gore sites. But, the dark web also consists of onion sites used for anonymity and privacy. You can access the dark web to use the onion sites on your phone; for this, you need to download and install the Tor browser and then set up the Tor browser on Android and iPhone.
Use a VPN along with the Tor browser while accessing the darknet. While the Tor browser keeps you anonymous, a VPN does the job of maintaining maximum online privacy. Moreover, it will encrypt the data traffic, hide the IP address, and ensure safe access to the onion sites. Apart from using a VPN, there are other safety tips like configuring the Tor browser setting, keeping your personal information confidential, and using antivirus software while accessing the dark web.
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About the Author
Waqas is a cybersecurity journalist and writer who has a knack for writing technology and online privacy-focused articles. He strives to help achieve a secure online environment and is skilled in writing topics related to cybersecurity, AI, DevOps, Cloud security, and a lot more. As seen in: Computer.org, Nordic APIs, Infosecinstitute.com, Tripwire.com, and VentureBeat.More from Iam Waqas
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