Almost always, the websites that we usually visit use the well-known domains .COM, .ES, .ORG, .NET… and it is even easy to browse websites with somewhat stranger domains, such as .XYZ, but which, like the above , are safe domains. However, it is possible that we have ever come across a very long web address, made up of random letters and numbers and that, in the end, instead of using one of the above domains, it uses a very different one: ONION. It’s a virus? It is safe? Let’s see it.
Websites ending in .ONION are not normal web pages. Therefore, we will not be able to access these websites from our normal browser, and using our connection as we use it daily. The .ONION domain tells us that the web page in question is hosted on the Deep Web. And to enter it it is necessary to do it through the TOR network.
What can we find on an .ONION website?
The Deep Web is a place as useful as it is dangerous. The Tor network is a type of connection through which all traffic is anonymized and forwarded through multiple servers scattered all over the world. In this way, when we visit a website from this network, no one can locate or identify us. And every time we access a link, or a website, a different route is directly established.
The Tor network sometimes behaves as an alternative path for well-known and popular websites. In this way, they can function as a backup for when the main URL does not work, or there is a connection cut. For example, we can easily access Facebook or the DuckDuckGo search engine from the following addresses:
As we can see, each website has been reached through a different route, so it would be impossible to associate both connections to us. And because we are anonymous, no one can identify us.
Lots of dangerous content
But the Tor network is not only used to offer us backup routes to the websites that we can visit normally. That’s just the smallest part of using this network. On the Deep Web we can find a large number of web pages, generally of illegal things, to which to access it is necessary to have the .ONION address previously. This is because there is no Google for the Deep Web, since the design of this network makes it difficult to index all the websites. There are some indexes, manually created and updated, to help us find certain websites. But the secrets are always hidden in the darkest: the Dark Net.
In the Dark Net we can find all kinds of pirated websites and with worse than illegal content: weapons, drugs, immoral adult content… everything that nobody should know about. In addition, there are many websites controlled by hackers, with viruses, which at the very least will infect our computer with viruses that antiviruses are not even capable of detecting. Places to avoid at all costs.
How do I enter these websites?
In order to visit the Deep Web or access any .ONION address, it is necessary to connect through a Proxy to the Tor network. And the easiest, fastest, and safest way to do this is through a special browser known as Tor Browser. This browser already comes with everything you need to be able to access this website and start browsing this network.
There are other services that allow us to access these websites from a normal browser, such as Tor2web. But we do not recommend using these websites since the security and privacy layer is eliminated, and we will be exposed from minute zero to computer attacks.