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This post is part of a 3-part series that explains the difference between normal internet and the dark web, and how some actors use the dark web.

Today we are going to try and clear up some of the confusion about the dark web, how it differs from the normal internet, and why it is so easy to confuse it for something much more complex.

Before we get started, a small disclaimer: For the sake of simplicity and ease of understanding, I will be speaking in easy to understand terminology, so take what I say with a grain of salt as it can get a lot more complicated and detailed, but we will be looking at it from a high overview.

For a very basic idea of how the normal internet works let’s look at my beautiful MSPaint example below:

Now we can take a second to break this down. To visit any website, we start at [A1] and the signal moves to your modem with your Internal IP Address (192.68.0.1). It reaches your modem [A2] and then moves to something external to your network. This is where your actual IP is shown for the first time, also known as your External IP Address (123.45.6.7). This is the IP address that actually points to you, assigned by your ISP. Now when you are talking to others on the internet, they know you as 123.45.6.7. You then connect to some random website (we won’t assign it an IP for clarity), and it sees you as 123.45.6.7.

This is a very basic example, and there can be a lot more going on here, but for the very basics of understanding the normal internet against the dark web, we must first understand it at the networking layer.

Look for Part 2 in this series, where we explain how the dark web structure works in a similar fashion.