Have you ever wanted to search for something but didn’t want anyone to know?

You don’t have to answer that.

Are you curious about people and places, but sometimes want to keep your search secret? Whether you are just randomly doing research on a topic, you are a journalist or just curious, there are options you can use to keep your search query from inquiring eyes.

If you are just doing an aimless search, want to find something on the Deep Web or are seriously checking out a dirty secret, there are options you can use to keep your “address” from being found.

Deep Web vs Dark Web

Terms you may have heard are the “Deep web” and Dark Web.”  What’s the difference?   Some say nothing, while others are very clear there are many differences.  The Deep web just refers to non-indexed pages, while the dark web refers to pages that are both non-indexed and involved in illegal niches.

The operating word for both sites is that they are not “Indexed.” It is much the same as having an address.

Indexing is the process of collecting and storing web pages as well as collecting information about web pages so that these pages can be retrieved by the search engine such as Google. Search engines index pages, images, videos and additional data about websites found by search engine spiders and crawlers.

The Deep web is primarily made up of personal information that requires a username and password to access.

Dark Searches

For the Deep Web as well as the Dark Web, there is the heavyweight search browser, TOR or known as The Onion Browser. TOR is free and you can download and install the browser. It is available for Windows, Mac, OS X and Linux. You can also use it on your smartphone.

Tor uses a network of “distributed relays” so your search is anonymous. The main purpose of Tor is to hide your searches. When searching for things on the Deep Web, Tor searches the massive portion of the Web that is not indexed by search engines. When you key in a search, Tor bounces your searches to several routers and your search may end up in France. There is no history that you ever conducted the search. Your IP address cannot be traced.

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo is a search that promises to block advertising trackers and keep your search history private.  It puts privacy first and as such it does not store IP addresses, does not log user information, and uses cookies only when required.

Gabriel Weinberg, creator of DuckDuckGo, states: “By default, DuckDuckGo does not collect or share personal information. That is our privacy policy in a nutshell.” However, they do maintain logs of all search terms used.

Chrome’s Incognito Mode or “private browsing” is a privacy feature that actually disables the browsing history of the browser. This privacy mode allows people to browse the Web without storing local data that could potentially be retrieved at a later date.

How is TOR different than Incognito?

Essentially, if you browse in incognito mode, all it does is keep your browser from saving your browsing history, cookies, or form data (although some cookies may be saved for the duration of the browsing session). As it says above, however, it doesn’t hide your browsing from your employer, your ISP, or the websites you visit.

The beauty of undiscovered web searches allows users the privacy of looking for information that can’t be found by nosy people. Like a lot of things, I don’t need the world to know what I’m up to.

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