Trending March 2024 # Top 10 Dark Web Analytics Tools For Network Operators # Suggested April 2024 # Top 7 Popular

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Dark web analytics tools can help cybersecurity practitioners analyze web attacks and thefts

The phenomena of the internet is constantly evolving and these developing circumstances need constant monitoring. We are all familiar with the concept of the dark web and the terrifying practices that are conducted through these platforms. Pretty much everything we do on basic internet platforms is visible, traceable, and is being monitored by government officials and other companies. However, the dark web is beyond our reach. The deep web consists of various areas that carry out malicious activities including hacking major organizations, illicit drug trades, terrorist operations, and others. For years, government institutions and businesses have been trying to develop dark web analytics tools that can help them understand how such operations are being carried out. These tools help network operators and cybersecurity practitioners to perform dark web analysis and find out what data is being stolen by these malpractitioners. Leaked data or information can cause personal and financial damage as well as reputational damage to any organization. Here, we have mentioned the top dark web analytics tools for network operators that can help them monitor and analyze businesses on the dark web and save them from potential attacks.

Cobwebs

Cobwebs is an AI-powered dark web monitoring platform that helps companies gain situational awareness with real-time intelligent insights generated by online content monitoring. By using its automated web intelligence platforms, network analysts can identify new targets and groups, hidden data, and complete an entire investigation with ease.

DarkOwl

DarkOwl empowers cybersecurity organizations, law enforcement, and government organizations to fully understand the security posture and detect potential breaches and violations of the law to minimize or completely eradicate cyber scams. DarkOwl aims to provide security tools against the dark web to clients across the dark net at ease. Their scam tool Vision can index the content of malicious sites all over the World Wide Web to identify data stolen from its clients.

Dashlane

Dashlane believes that dark web monitoring and password health belong together. By using a Levenshtein distance metric, Dashlane users can determine password similarity while keeping an eye on the credentials that might surface on the dark web. The software scans billions of accounts and passwords available in data collections on the dark web and flags victim accounts with a prompt to take action.

Lastpass

With over 25 million users, LastPass guarantees protection even if the user is not logged in. The platform monitors accounts and sends alerts if any information has been leaked. It also promises efficient web monitoring as part of its LastPass Security Dashboard.

SpyCloud ATP Prevention

SpyCloud offers two types of services for account takeover prevention, one would be to cover the employees of the companies and the other to protect the customers from scamming online services. The tool is basically an identity protection service with a different version that is entirely dedicated to businesses. The system gathers account names and adds them automatically to dark web scanners.

Digital Stakeout

Digital Stakeout offers Scout, a dark web threat intelligence service that includes workflows and machine learning to detect illicit practices on the network. It is basically a network-based intrusion detection system that analyzes malicious behavior and refers to a database filled with suspicious addresses to find out the culprit.

Defendify

Defendify is a pioneering multi-purpose dark web analysis tool that aids organizations with growing security needs. The application is backed by experts who offer insights and help businesses with guidance and support to emerge out of a situation. With the help of Defendify, organizations can streamline cybersecurity assessments, testing policies, training, detection, and response through compact and affordable cybersecurity solutions

Flashpoint Intelligence Platform

The Flashpoint Intelligence Platform offers access to its archive of finished intelligence reports, including data from illicit communities and chat services, along with pertinent technical data. The platform delivers prominent intelligence that empowers organizational teams to make more informed decisions and mitigate risks across their entire organization.

Recorded Future

Recorded Future combines automated analytics with human expertise to the various open-source, dark web, technical sources, and original research. The platform provides security teams to companies with all the required information to amplify their security programs. Its machine learning and NLP integrations instantly create links from sites on the dark web to other threat sources.

ACID Cyber Intelligence

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Top 10 Web Design Trends For 2023

The one goal for websites is to standout. In order to deliver information to users, their attention needs to be gained. Research suggests that positive or negative judgment can be passed on a website in as little as 50 milliseconds. So your design and user experience better be damn good.

Connecting with the 2023 consumer can be difficult, however, with some good planning and better design, you can position your website to win over the most critical web surfers.

1. Vibrant Colors Are Everywhere

This year is definitely marked by the color pallet that is starting to cover all the hip dot coms. Jump around on the internet and you’ll notice lots of bright pastels. This shift to vibrant color schemes is being adopted from new start-ups to large multi-million dollar companies.

What better way to make a statement with a website visitor than shocking them with some periwinkle. 

2. Videos Are Basically Mandatory

The incorporation of video into website design isn’t unique to 2023. The progression of video for all marketing mediums has quickly risen over the past five years. That being said, instead of a static image on your homepage, a background video with text overlay has become a popular choice.

However, don’t be fooled — video is becoming more engaging. From POV to 3D capabilities, web page video has cranked the amp to 11 this year.

3. Transitions Are Making Scrolling Cool Again

Nothing is more boring than vertically scrolling up and down a page. What an underwhelming user experience. Thankfully, 2023 is changing up this narrative. With page transitions that add interactive elements, content progression is becoming less one dimensional.

From directional flying text to graphics animations, transitions are enabling content to be supplemented with this forward-thinking design method.

4. Micro-Interactions Are Hidden Gems

From CTA buttons to meaningful information that needs special attention, designers are adding in fun animations that highlight certain content. However, overusing micro-interactions can ruin an otherwise cool user experience.

5. Glitch Art Can Be A Homerun

Nothing more aggravating than a glitching screen, right? Think again. This year has seen glitch art rise through the ranks of design, as tons of home pages are now implementing this retro-style trend.

With doubled exposed text, looping glitch styled video, to warped animations — glitch art definitely catches the attention of most website visitors.

6. Great Design Is Sometimes Simple

There is that famous quote by Antonie de Saint-Exupéry, “A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” This statement is definitely in the drinking water for designers, as minimalism has been a common trend seen throughout the year.

Curated images, targeted text, straightforward layout. As much as out of the box design has taken place this year, the other side of the spectrum has been well represented.

7. Serif Typeface Has Become Popular

Sans serif has long dominated in the online typeface game, however, in 2023 that standard is being rewritten. The decorative typeface is adding an extra touch to web design that viewers seem to support.

8. Two Halves Make A Whole

Split-screen design is filling up web pages. The cross-cut design trend is great for mobile users, and that needs to be the focal point for web designers. Splitting pages in half, whether with images, illustrations, video, text, or so on, creates a dynamic viewing experience.

Needing to create an enjoyable and unique viewing experience, split-screen design delivers just that.

9. Odd Shapes?

Yes. Both organic and geometric shapes are a go-to trend in 2023. These odd shapes are allowing designers to create eye-catching interest throughout a website. Add in a little white space, and a few big yellow hexagons have never been so aesthetically pleasing.

10. Thumbs Must Love A Website Design

As hinted at, mobile is quickly becoming the biggest driver of internet traffic in 2023. As the majority of searches are being powered from a smartphone, websites can’t just cater to mobile, they need to be built for mobile.

This translates to how thumbs navigate on a cell phone. Designers are noticeably integrating elements that make the web experience easier for the thumb… what a weird sentence.

Need A New Website?

At Venta Marketing, we are helping businesses meet their goals head-on. As leaders in the digital marketing industry, we know what great web design looks and feels like. Contact us today to inquire about our web services!

Top 10 Tools For Bulletproof Seo Content Strategies

Every SEO needs a fully stocked arsenal of tools to support day-to-day workflows.

Just as technical SEO tools help us to identify critical areas for technical optimizations, content tools help to identify key areas for content optimizations.

Choosing the right tool to add to your workflow largely depends on how you intend to use the data.

With content optimization, we all know that the first step is identifying the opportunity, but there is a second crucial step needed before executing against the opportunity: understanding the context.

In this article you will learn how to answer the question, “What type of data do I need?” and the best tools to source that data.

These tools provide data to evaluate the level of opportunity:

BrightEdge Data Cube: SERP features, keyword research, and competitor analysis.

Advanced Web Rankings (AWR): Share of voice and SERP visibility.

SEMrush: Quick, comprehensive organic overview.

Keyword Planner: Keyword research.

Ahrefs: Competitive content gap.

And these resources provide supporting evidence to strengthen insights:

Google Trends: Search trends and identifying search behavior shifts.

BuzzSumo: Trending social topics, questions, and related content.

Mintel: Consumer and industry insights.

eMarketer: Trends in media that may impact organic search or explain fluctuations in performance caused by non-organic factors.

Think with Google: Market research insights and data points.

What Type of Data Do You Need?

You might be thinking this is a rudimentary question but knowing what your data needs are can be tricky at times.

If you don’t evaluate the reason you are looking for data in the first place, you could potentially spend hours in the weeds without even realizing it.

So, think about your needs before spending hours going down a rabbit hole in a tool you didn’t actually need.

Start by asking yourself:

Do I Need Discovery Data?

Discovery data helps to evaluate areas of opportunity in a landscape through keyword research, site performance indicators, and competitive analyses.

Do I Need Supporting Data?

Supporting data strengthens insights found in discovery data by providing additional context and evidence in the landscape or target audience.

If you are trying to understand dynamics like the reasons why performance metrics dipped at odd times, the use of unexpected or unusual search terms or topics, evidence of shifts in traffic patterns, or other environmental factors that may have contributed to website performance, start here.

Once you understand the type of data you need, it’s easy to source it if you know where to look.

Let’s jump in and identify the 10 content resources we can’t live without in the new age of content SEO.

Tools for Discovery

Discovery is probably ingrained in everything you do, and you likely have a solid toolset that you use daily.

Before developing a content strategy, you need to use discovery data to help you understand the competitive landscape and available opportunities.

Here are our top five content tools and what we believe is the best use for each during the discovery process.

1. BrightEdge Data Cube

Key tool value: SERP feature analysis, bulk keyword research, and competitor analysis

If you are not sure what aspect of content you want to delve into, BrightEdge Data Cube may be the solution you need.

BrightEdge is one of our favorite comprehensive tools for keyword research, competitor analysis, and search engine results page (SERP) feature evaluation.

All you need to begin your discovery process is a relevant URL (we recommend yours or a close competitor’s).

Once you plug in your selected domain, you can view keyword rankings over time, page-level performance data, content opportunities, and SERP feature prevalence.

With an ever-changing SERP, it is important to keep a pulse on your site’s (and your competitors’) rankings in various locations in the SERP.

A useful feature that Data Cube offers is the Content Strategies tab.

The Content Strategies tab reports the historic performance of keywords for different types of organic SERP features, including images, quick answers, and People Also Ask.

You can also explore competitive opportunities by analyzing your competitors’ universal performance.

2. Advanced Web Ranking (AWR)

Key tool value: Share of voice and SERP visibility

Advanced Web Ranking (AWR) brings a new meaning to share of voice through its capabilities to schedule crawls of the SERP for different search engines, from different locations, and for different devices!

AWR makes it easy to measure the impacts of content changes over time.

Through AWR, you can set up keyword groups and schedule regular crawls of the SERP to monitor ranking changes for your set list of terms.

This automated monitoring provides you with the convenience to focus on other projects while measuring share of voice changes for your keyword groups.

AWR does not limit you to just measuring ranking changes for your website.

You can also set up competitors in the platform and measure SERP visibility for a keyword group across a variety of competing sites to see how you are performing against others in the space.

3. SEMrush

Key tool value: Quick, comprehensive organic overview for competition, keyword research, and performance

SEMrush is a one-stop-shop for analyzing your performance and comparing it against your competitors.

If you’re looking for a quick competitor comparison or high-level view of a site’s competitive positioning, your first stop is putting the domain into SEMrush.

First, the Domain Overview toolkit provides a summary tab with an Organic Search section that is useful in getting a quick, high-level view of your site’s performance in the overarching landscape.

Each one of the sections included in the summary tab has its own dedicated tab in the API. This allows you to dig deeper into those high-level insights quickly and easily.

Our second favorite go-to in SEMrush is the Keyword Gap toolkit. This feature is perfect for quickly reviewing opportunity keywords in a competitive landscape.

At a glance you can identify:

Weakest keyword areas.

Competitor overlap.

Device types.

Position filters.

Terms to include/exclude.

Search volume.

Competitor comparisons.

Finally, there’s the Keyword Magic toolkit.

There aren’t enough good things to say about this tool.

As we’ve mentioned, SEMrush is the place to go when you need insights fast, and the Keyword Magic tool proves our point.

The biggest time saver we find in the SEMrush Keyword Magic tool is the Keyword by Number/Volume table.

This allows you to easily identify the terms used most frequently and with the most variations in a specific, targeted landscape to help you home in on those high-value opportunities.

Another useful feature of the Keyword Magic tool is the Keyword Difficulty metric, which gives an easy, quick gauge on how hard or easy it will be to improve performance for that query.

4. Keyword Planner

Key tool value: Keyword research

If you have access to an active Google Ads account, Keyword Planner can be a game-changer when it comes to keyword research.

Using the API can be like drinking from a water hose of opportunity right from the Google fire hydrant, and that’s why we love it.

The API is easy to use and takes care of a lot of the cleanup work normally associated with keyword research.

For example, the API takes into consideration similar terms and groups them for a single average monthly volume that encompasses all similar terms (e.g., plurals).

We see other tools keeping keywords verbatim (not grouped), which usually inflates total search volume metrics and is a headache to clean up post-export.

The API allows for broadening or narrowing of topical keyword research and can even account for branded terms.

Another useful feature for supporting content workflows is that the exported data gives a full 12 months of search volume, in addition to average monthly search volume, which is great for understanding seasonality for content planning.

We suggest diving into Keyword Planner if you haven’t already. It’s more than just an ad planning tool for paid teams; it’s an SEO’s dream.

5. Ahrefs

Key tool value: Competitive content gap

Ahrefs is traditionally known for its backlink audit capabilities, but it also holds the secret to a quick competitive content gap analysis. Using Ahrefs’ Content Gap tool, you can analyze keywords for which your competitors are ranking but you are not, which will help you gain a better understand where there may be gaps in content on your site.

One of our favorite things about this tool is that you can perform content gaps that are as broad or as specific as you want, based on your competitor selection.

If you want a more specialized content gap, you can choose to analyze a competitor subfolder, rather than an entire domain.

Additionally, you can leverage Ahrefs’ Content Gap filters to find more specialized and longer-tailed keywords that your site could be targeting by adjusting the search volume and word count ranges for competitive keywords.

Tools for Supporting Insights

There is a big, ever-changing world out there that influences how our searchers decide to use their search bar, and supporting evidence brings SEO outside of its usual search silo.

To understand what content will resonate most, you must leverage insights that speak to what potentially influences the actions of your searchers outside of the SERP.

6. Google Trends

Key tool insight: Search trends and identifying search behavior shifts

Number 1 on our list of industry resources that support discovery insights is Google Trends.

It’s by far our favorite quick check and deep dive platform for understanding fluctuations in users’ search interests and identifying landscape trends.

And, bonus – it’s completely free.

The Google Trends API can seem surface level at first.

But, if used to the fullest extent, you can really uncover some hidden gems of opportunity.

For example, if you’ve used some of the aforementioned tools to identify opportunities to rank in video search, gathering supporting trend data from YouTube Search is easy, just by modifying the search type in the Google Trends API.

Other modifiable elements include region, time frame, and “category” (or industry).

Google Trends gives you flexibility in understanding different periods of high interest and periods of low interest relative to the specific time period.

It’s important to note that interest is trended relative to the highest point on the chart for a given region and time.

Another use case for Google Trends is understanding brand awareness and measuring the effectiveness of marketing campaigns in sparking user interest and raising awareness.

Evaluating the initiative time period by identifying peaks that correlate to the campaign push dates can help gauge how effective or ineffective an initiative may have been.

Two other useful features in the Google Trends API are “related topics” and “related queries.”

These modules allow you to get insights into other areas of interest within a given topic, besides the specific source search term.

We’ve just scratched the surface on the value Google Trends brings to supporting data-driven insights, and we encourage you to explore Trends data and see what creative ways you discover to leverage the tool.

You may be surprised just how far down the rabbit hole it takes you.

Good luck staying out of the weeds on this one!

7. BuzzSumo

Key tool insight: Trending social topics, questions, and related content

We know SEO doesn’t live in a silo, and understanding trending topics or viral events can go a long way in interpreting quantitative search data and shaping content strategies.

That’s why we like to diversify our research by homing in on the most trend-worthy medium: social.

BuzzSumo allows you to navigate your selected topic areas of interest from a different perspective.

This enables you to better identify what messaging, content types, and relevant sub-topics might resonate most with your users.

The Discover feature is a quick way to source ideas in a given topic area and even provides questions associated with the search term.

8. Mintel

Key tool insight: Consumer and industry insights

Mintel is a market research company that publishes industry reports, trends, and insights that can be leveraged to help you better understand the landscape and your target audience as you develop a content marketing strategy.

We like to use Mintel’s reports to layer additional data into landscape analyses to create a more comprehensive understanding of the industry and search environment.

In addition to providing data points and charts about the market, Mintel does a lot of the heavy lifting in its reports by analyzing the data to create tangible consumer and industry insights.

Mintel offers a broad range of report types that break down data to highlight the market, the consumer, and key trends.

Mintel’s platform even lets you filter for reports based on consumer demographics and “trend drivers,” or core influences on consumer behavior.

These report filters make it easy to find consumer insights that are aligned to your target audience to provide additional context for developing integrated content strategies that help you cover your bases and take a more holistic approach to marketing.

9. eMarketer

Key tool insight: Trends in media that may impact organic search or explain fluctuations in performance caused by non-organic factors

eMarketer is an industry research publisher that provides insights to help brands do business in the digital world.

Being in the organic search industry, it is critical to understand the digital world and the various factors that can affect performance, even outside of the organic channel, in order to make sense of fluctuations in performance and even predict future trends.

One of the most prominent uses of eMarketer is for insights around the holiday season.

Search is crazy during the holidays.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday bring some of the most stressful times for brands – and probably even more stressful for agencies.

During this extended weekend of buying frenzy, eMarketer publishes industry predictions in media and search behaviors and follows these up with a look back at how the landscape performed against those predictions.

This is always an easy reference to help support recommendations or understand performance during these times of increased attention on media channels.

10. Think with Google

Key tool insight: Market research insights and data points

Think with Google is one of our favorite market research tools.

New reports are consistently published, so you always have fresh insights to review.

However, our favorite part about Think with Google is that the reports come from a variety of industries and marketing channels, so its data can make it easier to develop an integrated strategy.

There is no shortage of insights in Think with Google’s repository, so we highly recommend checking it out.

If you are not sure how to get started, we suggest using its search feature to find research that is relevant to your project.

From there, you can filter the results to find the ones that best fit your needs and support your discovery data.

Additionally, its search functionality provides full reports and individual data points, so it easily caters to in-depth research and quick, high-level data needs.

In Summary

Just as it would be ineffective to rely on only one tool or approach for crawling, site latency, or mobile usability insights, turning to only one or two content research tools will limit the effectiveness of your content strategy.

The secret to optimizing your SEO content is selecting the right tools to help you identify, access, and use the data required to both evaluate your opportunities and understand the context within which your content strategy will be carried out.

Each of the tools featured in our top picks has its own strengths in driving optimization, and your own circumstances will help you identify the right combination.

This article was co-authored by my fellow Merkleite Angela Petulla. She is a Sr. Specialist at Merkle and has been in the search industry for two years.

More Resources:

Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, June 2023

Seo And Web Analytics : Using Your Analytics Properly

SEO and Web Analytics : Using Your Analytics Properly

Analytics are very important to your web marketing campaign. If you do not use analytics properly you may not understand how effective your search engine marketing is.

In this article I look at some practical examples of when to use analytics and some things you need to identify in order to get the most out of your analytics.

I came across a situation today that I thought I’d share. It has to do with a client’s analytics.

Many times, as a search engine marketer, it is up to us to tell the client what they should be looking for in their analytics. Right away this seems odd to me. It’s like me telling my client what their business model is, or how they should be selling their product online.

But this does seem to be a common thread among some site owners. They had an idea for a product or service and they wanted to promote it online. So they had a website built, and may have initially had it optimized. But that is as far as their experience goes.

They have no idea on how to track progress or improvements. All to often the numbers they do look at are not the best results to view.

Two perspectives on analytics – SEO and client

With my client today, we were trying to nail down what should have been important numbers. And it was a very similar case – they had invested in this super-duper analytics package that was collecting and displaying data upteen different ways, yet they had no idea how to interpret the numbers.

And, as sometimes happens, we fell into the trap of telling them what they should be looking for.

“You want to see search engine referrals going up. That means it’s working” or “increased page views is a good thing.”

But this really isn’t solving their problem is it?

Sometimes as search marketers, we need to step back and say “I know what I need for numbers, but what does my client need to see.”

So this was the approach we took today – let’s have a discussion with the client and focus on what they want to see, not what we need to show them to prove our value as search engine marketers.

When we were done, we had not only shortened their monthly analytics report to a few key metrics (down from pages and pages of statistical analysis) but we had also decreased the time required to complete this analysis.

Sure we still will do some of the analysis for our own purposes, but does the client really care how many backlinks or pages indexed they have? Not likely.

Nope, more often than not, the client wants to know that they are making money. Pure and simple.

So, if you can show them that they are making money, that’s all they really care about. You can add value as a search engine marketer by showing areas of improvement (“did you know that your Google referrals went up by 15% this month? That proves the value of our services, yada yada yada…”)

As long as you can illustrate the bottom line to the client in terms they understand, at that it is improving, then you as a search marketer have done your job.

Keep the pages indexed, backlinks, referrals by keyword and other non-client related data to yourself and present a concise simple report that even the CEO (who has 25 hours per day of work) can look at and understand that the SEO program is paying for itself.

Now let’s look at analytics from the client’s perspective.

If you are a client of an SEO firm, or just want to get a better idea of just how your site is doing online, first you must decide what it is you want to see. Do you want to see sales figures? Or would you rather just look at the aggregate numbers like total visitors and search engine referrals?

What has more value to you – reams and reams of data, or a simple, one page summary of overall performance?

As a recommendation, I’d say you only need enough data to make your business decisions.

In other words, if your website is e-commerce based, all you really need initially are the sales numbers over time. You should also understand how the sales cycle works, and perhaps look at your conversion funnel to see where people are dropping off. Most good analytics packages offer some sort of funnel analysis.

Understanding your sales funnel can also help you improve your sales. Sometimes an analysis of the sales funnel can help you determine where the drop offs occur. By modifying the funnel you can improve your drop off rate, increasing your sales. And really, this has less to do with SEO and more to do with traditional business marketing.

For example, let’s say your site gets 2000 visitors per month. Let’s also assume your site has a 3 step sales process, and your average sale is $11 per item.

If half of your site’s visitors start down the sales path, that means 1000 start (a 50% drop off rate at the first step – this could be due by a requirement to sign up to browse your site). If 40% of that total drop off at the second step, and 30% of that group complete the sale, that equates to $495 in sales, about a 2.25% conversion rate as only 45 of the original 2000 people purchased.

Now let’s experiment with the sales funnel:

If you can improve the final step of the sale by just 10% – that equates to an additional $165 in sales, a 3% conversion rate. However if you can improve the first step of the conversion, reducing that 50% bounce rate to 25%, you can increase your sales by $247.50 – a 3.38% conversion rate.

Further, if you shorten the conversion funnel by 1 step – making a 2 step sale, rather than a 3 step sale, you can increase your sales by over $330 – a 3.75% conversion rate. That’s still assuming the same number of monthly visitors start down the conversion path.

However, if you don’t or can’t find this data in your analytics package you wouldn’t be able to perform such analysis.

And this is where, if you are dealing with an SEO firm, you must get the data you need.

Simply knowing how many referrals you got from Google or Yahoo! won’t help you make the business decisions you need to make.

So whether you are an SEO firm or professional, or employ one, be sure that the metrics you see are the ones you need to make your decisions.

As a client, don’t be afraid to ask – what does this do for me? Because unless you’ve discussed your needs with your SEO, they will likely provide you with the numbers they deem as the best. That is, the ones that illustrate their value to you.

That’s not to say that those numbers are invalid, its just that they don’t do you as much good as those you need to make your business decisions.

Similarly, as an SEO, if you don’t know what your client needs to see, in terms of numbers, how can you justify your income from them. If search engine referrals have gone up, but conversion haven’t then there is no immediate value to the client.

Sure you can say “but we got you all these top rankings” but unless they are turning into sales, your contract with that client won’t last that long.

So be sure as you work with your SEO firm or client that you nail those metrics early, so there is no misunderstanding, and everyone knows what successes are measured by.

Rob Sullivan of Text Link Brokers is an SEO Specialist and Internet Marketing Consultant.

A Quick Guide To Navigating The Dark Web

Thanks to a certain online drugs marketplace called “Silk Road”, you may have become aware that there is another version of the Internet out there. One which cannot be accessed by any ordinary browser or indexed by any ordinary search engine.

It is called the Dark Web, not to be confused with the Deep Web, which are websites which cannot be ordinarily accessed due to paywalls or password-protected login pages (such as online banking).

Table of Contents

The Dark Web has some legitimate valid uses, such as protecting the free speech of dissidents and activists in countries run by oppressive regimes (such as China). But mostly, the Dark Web has been referred to as the “dark underbelly of the web”. A lot of it comprises drugs, pornography, gambling, hitmen, and various other criminal enterprises.

That being the case, you might ask why it is worth even looking at it if you are not inclined that way. I would argue that it is worth taking a look, even if it’s just for curiosity’s sake. It’s a fascinating glimpse at another world.

The Onion (Tor) Browser

To access the Dark Web, you need a specialised browser. Using Firefox, Chrome or Safari is not going to work. To access the Dark Web, you need the Onion Browser (otherwise known as Tor). You can download and install the Tor Browser by going to the Tor website.

The Dark Web’s URLs

Instead it is a random selection of characters which makes Dark Web sites hard to find and guess. This is part of what makes the Dark Web attractive to criminals and others who want to operate under the radar.

Since Dark Web sites go up and down all the time, and figuring out the URL is pretty much impossible, even Dark Web search engines are notoriously unreliable! But if you are a blogger in say Beijing, you wouldn’t want your Dark Web site indexed anyway by a search engine for the government to track you. You would instead rely on word of mouth from trusted supporters to find you.

Diving Into The Dark Web

Once you have the Tor browser installed and open (which is extremely easy and requires no special configurations), it’s time to look at some sites.

I should say before continuing that although Tor is a modified Firefox browser, you should NOT install any Firefox extensions. There are two extensions already pre-installed – NoScript and HTTPS Everywhere. They are there for your security – do not install any others.

With that in mind, also remember that the Dark Web is the Wild West of the Internet. There are no rules and you are going to encounter some seriously creepy and dangerous individuals if you venture onto forums and chat rooms.

Search Engines & Directories

Almost everyone universally agrees that the best place to start with the Dark Web is chúng tôi . This is a Dark Web search engine which can be accessed on the regular Internet too.

Making your way around the Dark Web involves just looking at search engines and directories and basically browsing until you find what you want. Each of you will have your own different interests so it would be pointless to send you in one particular direction.

If the site is continuously down, use Ahmia to search for the site’s new location.

There are SO MANY pages to look at in the Dark Web, but we’re obviously not going to show you where to buy a gun or a fake passport. So the links above are a good starting point and from there you will immediately go off in a dozen different directions all at once.

10 Best Web Browsers For Linux

For most people, the browser is one of the most used applications in the OS, which is why it’s so important to choose a stable browser that suits all your needs. Like Windows, Linux users can pick from a dozen web browsers of different kinds – from lightweight browsers to cross-platform, feature-rich browsers. In this list, let’s look at some of the best browsers you can use on your Linux system.

1. Firefox

Firefox is the third most popular browser in the world, and likely the most popular Linux browser, since it ships with many Linux distributions by default. Its initial release in 2002 marked the rebirth of Netscape Navigator, though it wasn’t until 2004 that it became known as “Firefox”, having previously been known as first “Phoenix” and then “Firebird”. It’s one of the most customizable browsers, and the ocean of user add-ons and themes created for it will likely never be surpassed by other projects. It also performs well – tests show Firefox is the most memory-efficient of the mainstream browsers, in addition to having the best Javascript performance.

However, Mozilla has a history of making things difficult for add-on developers and users by introducing backward-incompatible changes, one of which was a complete revamp of the UI. The new interface called Australis left many users unhappy and incurred a loss of market share. It wouldn’t be unfair to say Mozilla went through a direction crisis, and time will tell if the direction they’ve chosen will serve them well.

ProsConsPrivacy-focused features such as Tracker blocking and many moreThe extensions library is lackingCross-device syncFlawed backward compatibilityBalanced memory usage

Download or install from Flatpak using the command:

sudo flatpak install firefox 2. Vivaldi

ProsConsHighly customizableCould be a little too overwhelming for an average userLots of featuresDecently-balanced memory usage

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3. Brave

It comes with TOR, tracker blocking, and Brave’s own search engine called Brave Search. It’s a privacy-focused search engine that drew inspiration from the likes of DuckDuckGo. Overall, if privacy is a major concern for you, and if you’re looking for something that might help you remain anonymous on the web at least partially, Brave is a good choice.

ProsConsPrivacy-focused features such as Tracker blocking and many moreNo cross-device syncIntegrated Tor for more secure browsingFast and efficient

sudo flatpak install brave 4. Chromium

There’s a lot of debate on the internet about Chromium vs Chrome. Both are similar in many ways, but the point where they deviate is in terms of features. Chromium is an open-source project and Google upstreams features to Chrome from the same, with a few proprietary features that differentiate Chrome from Chromium. As a result, Chromium isn’t as feature-rich as Chrome, but it has the same DNA as Chrome.

Loading web pages, installing extensions, and the general overall usability is quite similar to that of Chrome. Some of the drawbacks of Chromium are you’ll manually need to install updates and support for built-in Media Codecs is missing. Besides, there’s no option to sync browser data from Google accounts. That said, if you’re looking for a good, privacy-focused browser, Chromium should serve you well.

ProsConsLack of Google goodies means enhanced privacyNo cross-device syncSimple, easy to use, and fastLacks support for codecs

Download or install using Flathub:

sudo flatpak install chromium 5. Tor Browser

There’s a rich, brief history behind the Tor browser, and it’s known to very few people. For starters, Tor (not the browser) was developed in the 1990s by the US Naval Research Laboratory to protect the identity of US Navy Intelligence agents. It was later distributed on a free license, and in 2008, Tor Browser emerged as one of the best browsers to help users stay anonymous on the web.

ProsConsHelps users remain anonymous on the webTor network is slower than your regular browsing experienceAccess to blocked websites without a VPN

Download or install from Flathub

sudo flatpak install torbrowser-launcher 6. Falkon

Falkon is yet another privacy-focused browser developed by the KDE team. The browser is very basic but comes with all the important bits and pieces you’d need for a good browsing experience. The overall UI could’ve been better and looked modern, but it is what it is. In the short time we spent using the browser, our experience was pretty positive.

Besides the lackluster UI, the parsing speed was pretty comparable to Chrome and Edge Chromium. The browser comes with the Ad Block extension, which, as the name suggests, blocks trackers and Ads. The browser also comes with a sidebar to manage recent pages, history, and many more. Overall, for a free browser, Falkon is a decent browser.

ProsConsPrivacy-focused features such as Tracker blockingA little too simpleLightweight and open sourceOutdated UI

Install from Flathub:

sudo flatpak install falkon 7. Chrome

On Linux, you’re more likely to see Chromium, which is the open-source project that Chrome is based on. However, Chromium still lacks a few potentially useful features, such as H.264 support and Google’s version of the Flash plugin. On the other side, it doesn’t feature Google’s tracking software. Following its main competitors, Chrome ships with only the most basic functionality, but it’s very extensible, and the number of add-ons has risen dramatically over the years.

ProsConsThe fastest browser on this listPrivacy concernsCross-device syncVery heavy on memoryMassive extensions library

Download or install from Flathub:

sudo flatpak install chrome 8. Opera

Opera has never had much market share, despite being one of the more innovative browsers – it was the first browser that had the Speed Dial feature. In recent times, they’ve abandoned their proprietary layout engine, Presto, in favor of Google’s fork of WebKit, Blink. This essentially means Opera is now a version of Chromium, a move that disappointed some old users, as some of the customization options have been lost in the transition.

However, it retains much of the look and feel of the older versions and offers mouse gestures, a download manager, extensions, Private Browsing and Turbo Mode. Besides, the browser also comes bundled with Opera VPN.

ProsConsPrivacy-focused features such as Tracker blocking and many moreCluttered, bloated interfaceFeatures such as battery saver and turbo mode for enhanced browsing experienceSlower than the competition

sudo flatpak install opera 9. Microsoft Edge

Prior to introducing Chromium-based Edge, Microsoft experimented with lots of things, which, unfortunately, didn’t end up being a success. The new Edge, however, did the trick for the giant as it was able to capture a significant market. Sure, 4.28% might not seem like a lot, but this year, Edge overtook Firefox in the race and the share is growing steadily.

Edge has all the basic features you’d expect from a browser, but it feels more bloated compared to the competition, and the same gets worse with each update. Although some people like having more features, it’s certainly not our cup of tea. Thanks to the recent Microsoft – OpenAI acquisition, the new Bing AI has been integrated into Edge. Overall, while it may not be the best browser when it comes to privacy, it’s one of the most feature-rich browsers you can try.

ProsConsPrivacy-focused features such as Tracker blocking and many moreBloated with unnecessary featuresCustomizableRequires more system resourcesIs fast and comes baked in with efficiency features

Download or install using Flathub:

sudo flatpak install microsoft-edge 10. GNOME Web (Epiphany)

The official browser of the GNOME project, Web was previously known as Epiphany. It’s a WebKit-based browser that adheres to the design tenets of the GNOME project, offering a clean, simple interface and tight integration with the desktop environment. More recent versions have dropped support for user extensions, but a number of the most popular add-ons have become a core part of the browser. These include ad filtering, Greasemonkey support, and mouse gestures.

ProsConsTracker blockingA little too basicSync with Mozilla account and FirefoxNot very customizableFast, efficient, and lightweight

Download or install using Flathub:

sudo flatpak install gnome-web Bonus: Lynx

Lynx is a text-based browser – it runs in the terminal. In case you’re wondering why would anyone bother, there are a few situations where it might come in handy: maybe X has crashed and you need to Google how to fix it, or perhaps the documentation for some other console application is in HTML, and it’s a lot more elegant to just open in it in another tab.

Lynx is the oldest such project still around, dating all the way back to 1992. Lynx doesn’t do much: it renders text from web pages. It has no support for images or video or Javascript. Consequently, it’s blazing fast, and fairly secure.

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