You probably wonder how to access the Darknet in a safe way. With Tails and Tor you have a good starting point, but there are more ways to protect yourself. Especially around the topic of internet access many users wonder what the best solution is.
In the chapter about Tor we explained how Tor works and how it helps to be anonymous. Despite this, your internet provider will know that you are using the Tor protocol. This is nothing illegal in most countries, but it might help law enforcement in some way.
So let's see what the different options for internet access are.
In general, using your home WiFi can be considered as a secure option.
As said before, if you are using your own WiFi, your internet service provider will know that you are using Tor, but not what you are doing exactly.
What can happen, is a de-anonymization attack where the attacker tries to get your real IP address. However, this should not be considered as a risk for normal buyers. Normally, only big vendors, market administrators or other highly valuable individuals will be target of such an attack by law enforcement.
You might come to the conclusion that you could simply use a public WiFi like in a cafe. This would hide all the Tor traffic from your internet service provider.
However, this approach brings along other risks. There are surveillance cameras in many public places recording you or your screen, other people remembering you or seeing your screen. Furthermore, you do not know what the owner of public WiFi does with the data which is send over the network, even it is encrypted.
If you are able to exclude these risks, you can also use a public WiFi. However, we do not consider it as recommended due to the risks it may bring.
A virtual private network extends your own network and lets you send and receive data as if you were in the other network. This could mean you are connected to a VPN in some distant country and all your internet traffic is routed through there. All your internet service provider can see in this case is that you using this VPN. The fact that Tor is used stays completely hidden.
Using a Virtual Private Network is a much discussed point. Some argue that it is a pointless measure, but it has some advantages as the following images shows:
VPN and Tor
As the image shows the VPN adds another layer of encryption to your connection and hides the fact that you are using Tor from your internet service provider. On the other hand you have to trust the VPN provider with payment information, logs and other things. So a VPN will definetely bring some other risks in the game. A good blog with more information can be found here mattttttssi4lhud.onion.
We can recommend this option for users that are highly active (like big vendors), know what they are doing and can trust their VPN provider. You can find a selection of good VPN providers here deepdot35wvmeyd5.onion
Another option if you want not use your personal WiFi is to use an anonymous cellphone hotspot. For this you will need access to a SIM card purchased e.g. with a fake ID. On top of that you will need a cellphone or router (which supports SIM cards) that you also have bought anonymously.
If you do this, remember to change both cellphone/router and SIM card from time to time to a new one.
We recommend this option for individuals who are highly active or in the focus of law enforcement. Please be aware of the risk of triangulation of a mobile device that this method brings with it.