Tails OS: Master The Dark Web Like A Pro


Disclaimer: The Dark Web and Deep Web alone are not something extreme or malicious. Anyone who might want to access them is eligible. But I have to stress enough that they are not playgrounds. Some people have extreme knowledge, which is not always for good purposes. So, you have to be cautious if you decide to visit beneath the surface. I mean, not even the Surface Web is safe if you don’t know how to protect yourself. So, enjoy responsibly.

Surfing the Web is something we all do in our everyday lives. From business to social media, we spend our time in the cyber world as we should or as we please. But do you know that what you are mostly googling is just the tip of the web iceberg? Some things are hidden beneath the surface, and for good reason, not for something extreme or dangerous, but for convenience reasons as well. For example, imagine anyone googling your password and being revealed this way. Wouldn’t that be too inconvenient and risky? That’s why some things are better kept hidden. This world can only work like that. So, to simplify it as much as we can, let’s say that everything that should stay or intentionally wants to stay hidden is a part of the Deep Web and its brother, the Dark Web.

The iceberg example

The iceberg example is the easiest way to understand how vast the Dark Web is. The iceberg has a surface that we can see, and the rest of it is not visible if we don’t go beneath the surface, and this is how the Web is built. The visible surface is what we call, for convenience reasons, the Surface Web, and the hidden part of it is the Deep Web and all of its branches. Quite simple to understand, right? But what if we want to explore below the surface? Is there any way to do it? Well, you actually can, and it is easier than you may think. All you need to do is choose the right tool. And here is where we kick in.

The easiest way

Although many tools exist, the most popular and convenient tool is the TOR browser. TOR Browser is a browser that focuses on privacy and relies on the TOR Network to achieve this. To put it simply, the TOR Network is one of the best solutions when we want privacy. If you want to learn more about how the whole thing works, please visit this here, as I don’t want to bloat this article unnecessarily. But there is one caveat. The TOR browser only routes the traffic that relies on it (browsing activity). The rest of your traffic is out of its reach. So, what if you need the absolute best possible anonymity and privacy? The answer is Tails OS, or simply Tails.


TAILS, or The Amnesic Incognito Live System, as its acronym means, is, to this day, the best possible way to achieve maximum anonymity and privacy by utilizing the TOR network for all of its traffic. It is not perfect, but if you seek privacy, it is the best tool. Although there are other tools like Whonix, etc., Tails is above them. You can say that everything you do in Tails stays in Tails. At its core, Tails is a Linux-based Live USB that works like all the Linux distros that utilize live USBs. It works like an OS independent of your installed OS. It is self-contained and self-executable.

The best part? It doesn’t affect your installation and doesn’t “remember” anything after you terminate it. I guess that’s why they call it Amnesic. Although there is a way for persistent storage, when it comes to privacy, it is best not to leave any trace behind. This article is written for this purpose. If you want maximum privacy, then simply ignore the persistent storage option.

How to install Tails

The first step is to visit the official site (and only that) to download it. If you wish, you can verify the download just to be confident. You can either run its core installation or use any other method, including the DVD option. Just choose what fits you best. For security reasons, it should be done in a malware-free environment. For the same reasons, it should be run on malware-free devices. Nothing can protect you from cold-boot attacks. And as I already mentioned, Tails is focused on privacy, not security. Although it achieves a good security score, this is not its main priority. You can even choose a write-protected USB if you wish to. You can never be too careful, can you?

When you finish the installation process, you are ready to proceed with the next step—booting using the installation medium. That requires rebooting and spamming your BIOS key. It differs from vendor to vendor but is usually the ESC, F10, etc. key. If you don’t know it, you can refer to your motherboard’s manual or google it.

Run Tails

As stated, it is best not to choose the persistent storage option. Maximum privacy is our main target. When you enter the Tails menu, choose the default settings if you wish to. That depends on your specific needs. The default ones are adequate. Connecting to TOR automatically is a hassle-free method as well. From now on, you can start browsing or tuning if necessary. Tails comes with handy tools pre-installed, such as Ublock for your browser, LibreOffice, etc. But you need to know something. TOR Network is not ideal for streaming and traffic-heavy services.

By its nature, the network performance is sluggish and not ideal for streaming activities. And many services forbid it. Privacy comes at a price, unfortunately. Some compromises are necessary. Moreover, using the TOR network for streaming is like using a bulldozer for your everyday ride. That’s not how it works. You seek privacy. You seek to explore the beneath-the-surface Web. So, focus on it. A whole new world is ready for you to explore. Your first steps might be dazzling, but you will find your way step by step. With a simple search, you can see what might catch your attention. I can’t advise you on how to in a public article. Some things must be done on your own—just a simple advice. The Dark Web is not a playground. So, don’t be overzealous. Even the best might fall someday, somehow.

Tips and things you should know

  • Don’t search for what you should not. Hackers, malicious sites, and even the FBI (usually with honeypots to spot criminals) are some things you should worry about. Of course, some people seek privacy and anti-circumvention, among others. Even anti-malware services try to check for the latest threats or paid malicious tools or services to analyze them and update their engines. Not everything is dark.
  • Be prepared; you might meet things that you don’t want. Expect the unexpected.
  • Don’t try to stream or download for security, meta-data, or performance reasons.
  • Whenever you can, deactivate Javascript.
  • Tune Ublock the best possible way.
  • It is best to deactivate your microphone and camera.
  • Do not use the Full-Screen option.
  • If something sounds strange, then it might be.
  • Do not mess with your browser’s settings if you don’t know what you are doing.
  • TOR Network Relays, Nodes, etc., might be malicious. Nothing is perfect.
  • Tails is mainly a privacy tool, not a security tool.
  • Avoid non-https connections.
  • Some websites might not work as they should or not even work at all.
  • Never use your primary email to log in to a site. Privacy is what you are looking for.
  • If possible, do not use your primary network connection.
  • USB devices might be affected.
  • Do not use financial credit or payment methods. You might be amazed by how many stolen credentials, spoofs, credit cards, passwords, etc., can be found online. Some people even get paid well for this kind of activities.
  • Avoid persistent storage.
  • Any precaution that you should take, and it is not mentioned at this article.
  • Sluggish performance occasionally.
  • ISPs, etc, might prohibit TOR. There are ways to bypass this restriction, but it requires tuning and skills.
  • TOR is not a VPN service.
  • Always use the latest version of Tails.


Tails is an exemplary and convenient way to enter the Deep Web and achieve high anonymity. But nothing is perfect. You should be extremely cautious because things might be challenging if you don’t. The Deep Web depends on what you want to learn or find. If you seek trouble, then trouble will find you. Enjoy responsibly the new world ahead of you. You know the way; now you have to master it.

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