Published: February 28, 2022
In this article, we‘ll take a look at a few fascinating dark web statistics and facts for 2022 and see how fascinating yet grim this place can truly be. So, if that sounds interesting to you, let‘s get started!
The Top 10 Dark Web Statistics and Facts
- The deep web makes up roughly 90% of the world wide web.
- The dark web makes up only a tiny fraction of the total size of the Deep Web.
- Tor counts a whopping two million active users in 2022.
- Some popular dark web services include hacking into Facebook and bank accounts.
- The Hidden Wiki is one of the most popular ways of navigating through the dark web.
- Most Tor users tend to be highly educated.
- The dark web itself isn‘t illegal.
- Demand for malware on the dark web has increased exponentially.
- Weapons and illegal substances dominate the dark web markets.
- Only a small fraction of daily users use Tor for malicious purposes.
Dark Web Stats
People often consider the Deep Web the same as the dark web, but that‘s not the case. The dark web is only a fraction of a much bigger realm called the Deep Web.
Let‘s dive into the most gripping stats and facts about it and discover all the relevant details.
1. Tor is the most popular dark web browser today.
(Source: Tor Project)
This browser, which managed to maintain its popularity for years, provides anonymity to its users, along with multi-layer encryption to ensure the safest possible venture across the Deep Web. However, it‘s important to note that these processes may slow down the browser.
2. Tor counts a whopping two million active users in 2022.
(Source: Tor Project)
According to the publicly available data on Tor‘s website, the number of active Tor users has been more or less steady since the beginning of the year, never dropping under two million.
3. The US was the country with the highest number of Dark Web users in 2020.
According to dark web statistics, the US accounted for 34.81% of the Dark Web daily user count. This translates to 831,911 users. Russia took second place with 11.46%, and Germany ranked third with 7.16% of total active users.
4. According to a survey, most Tor users use onion services for anonymity.
As many as 70.79% of 2018 survey respondents claimed to use Tor for anonymity. Furthermore, 62.28% said they used it for additional security, while 27.07% used it out of curiosity about the dark web.
5. Only a small fraction of daily users use Tor for malicious purposes.
According to dark web stats, only approximately 6.7% of global users use Tor for illicit activities such as sharing malware, distributing child abuse content, or selling illegal substances or weapons.
Furthermore, it appears there are more users potentially engaging in illegal activities on Tor in the so-called “free“ (about 7.8%) and “partially free“ countries than in those with “not free“ regimes (4.8%).
6. According to 2018 research, most Tor users are highly educated.
As many as 58.8% of Tor users had a postgraduate degree. Right below were graduates and high school graduates, each comprising 17.7% of interviewed users. Only 5.9% of this dark web browser had no degree.
7. The dark web users are predominantly male.
A 2018 online survey showed that around 84.7% of dark web users are male. The female population made up only about 9.4% of the total number of users.
8. According to an online survey, 58.8% (10 out of 17) of dark web users are 26–35 years old.
As many as 23.5% (four interview subjects) were 36–45 years old, 11.8% (two subjects) were 18–25 years old, and 5.9% (only one subject) were 46–55 years old.
9. According to a 2018 survey, under 8% of Tor users are somewhat concerned about potential attacks on their own onion services.
The attacks in question include deanonymization, denial of service, and phishing.
10. One of the most prominent reasons for the expansion of the dark web marketplace is the fact that funds flow through anonymity-preserving cryptocurrencies.
The dark web market has grown a lot in the past decade. According to some dark web statistics, the amount of bitcoin transactions on the dark web market has increased by approximately $622 million (from $250 million in 2012 to $872 million) with no signs of stopping the upward trend.
Additionally, though there are many cryptocurrencies out there today that you can use to trade anonymously on the dark web, Bitcoin seems to remain the primary choice for many users.
Deep vs Dark Web Facts
The Deep Web is colossal. There are approximately 7,500 TB of information contained within that realm, as opposed to about 550 TB of data on the surface Web.
The dark web is just another fraction of this vast digital space. Dark web content is often quite well-hidden and encrypted, making websites on this side of the Deep Web more challenging to find and even more to explore.
11. The deep web makes up over 90% of the total internet space.
It‘s a much larger digital entity than the surface web, where all the services like Google, YouTube, Facebook, or news outlets are available. In fact, this area of the internet is so vast that we can‘t really know for sure how many websites there are in total.
12. The dark web is only a small fraction of the Deep Web.
The dark web percentage in the total space of the Deep Web is approximately 0.01%. Furthermore, many Dark Web pages are believed to be either inactive or a scam even out of that small number.
13. The dark web itself isn‘t illegal.
There are many sites on the dark web that violate no laws. But, there‘s no denying that there are also many pages with illicit content (e.g., child pornography, selling illegal drugs and weapons), and engaging with them would be illegal.
14. The Hidden Wiki is one of the most popular search engines for the deep and the dark web in 2022.
The dark web browser of choice for most users is Tor. Still, there are other dark web search engines that recently gained popularity among darknet users, including The Hidden Wiki, Ahmia, DarkSearch, Haystack, and Torch.
15. Bitcoin is the main currency on the deep and dark web is Bitcoin.
Bitcoin‘s primary benefits include decentralization, anonymity, and leaving no traces. These characteristics make it perfect for deep and dark web transactions. But Bitcoin isn‘t the only currency used on the dark web.
According to some sources, up to 12 other cryptocurrencies are also valid for transactions on the dark web.
Dark Web Content
The theories and stories about what you could find on the dark web are very well-known on the surface web. The dark web tends to be portrayed as a place notorious for its gruesome and highly illegal explicit activities. But how much of that is the truth?
16. Some of the most popular dark web services include hacking into Facebook and bank accounts.
Black hat hackers allegedly offer Facebook account hacking for as little as $65 and sell stolen bank logins with a minimum balance of $2,000 for $120.
You can also order a DDoS attack on an unprotected website for a desired amount of time, for the appropriate price, depending on the chosen time frame. The prices for the attack range from $15 for an hour to $1,000 for a month.
17. Demand for malware on the dark web has increased exponentially.
The dark web is undoubtedly the most notorious place for both buying and unintentionally acquiring malware. Dark web stats from 2018 showed a drastic increase in interest in custom malware, and malicious hackers are happy to meet the demand.
Malware programs are a standard weapon used in cyber attacks. Many different types of malware can be created, including PC viruses and those that target Android devices specifically.
18. Weapons and illegal substances are some of the most popular categories on the dark web marketplaces.
(Source: RAND / UNODC / Vice)
According to statistics, firearms accounted for a whopping 42% of listings on the dark web at one point.
On the other hand, illegal drugs made up a whopping 62% of active listings on darknet marketplaces in 2017, proving that the illegal drug market was still very much alive despite the “Silk Road“ termination in 2013.
19. Most illegal firearm sellers on the dark web (about 60%) are located in the US.
The sellers from European countries follow with about 25%, while the location of 12% of sellers is unspecified.
20. According to dark web statistics, malware, “phishing,“ and data leaks are the most common ways fraudsters use to get financial data.
“Phishing“ is a practice of tricking internet users into revealing sensitive data by creating an identical copy of a website of a reputable company or sending a fraudulent email enticing the user to reveal their credit card information.
Data leaks involve hacking into websites or companies with large databases of credit card details.
Professional black hat hackers also use different types of malware (e.g., Trojans, etc.) to get financial data, as they‘re easy to create and deploy.
21. There was a record-breaking number of ransomware attacks in 2021.
(Source: MSSP Alert)
One of the well-known dark web facts is that that place abounds with hackers unhesitant to create and release ransomware and orchestrate various attacks, jeopardizing the jeopardizing the cybersecurity of many. Ransomware had a massive spike in popularity in 2021 and not in a good way.
Just in Q3 of that year, there were over 190.4 million attempted ransomware attacks — nearly equaling the total number of ransomware attacks in the first three quarters of 2020 combined.
The darknet is vast, consisting of thousands of terabytes of data, with more content being uploaded every second. So, it‘s essential to have some prior knowledge about it before starting to wander its mazes. That way, you‘ll be able to do so safely.
We hope you enjoyed reading our dark web statistics and that you learned something new. Happy browsing, and stay safe online!
Is the dark web safe?
Browsing the dark web without any form of protection is never safe, and you should never attempt doing that.
The dark web can be dangerous, and you should always have at least the latest version of antivirus software and a VPN before setting out to explore it just to be safe.
Is the dark web illegal?
The dark web itself isn‘t illegal. Many blogs and forums discuss harmless topics (e.g., sports or politics), and they‘re perfectly legal to visit. However, interacting with illegal services on the dark web (e.g., violence-themed forums or black market websites) is illegal.
Who created the dark web?
(Source: The Sun)
The US government created the dark web to allow spies to anonymously communicate and exchange confidential information.
This technology was then released to the public to preserve the spies‘ anonymity. Increasing the traffic by allowing access to thousands of people made it more difficult to distinguish the government spies from other users.
Who uses the dark web?
Anyone with the Tor browser installed on their computer can use the dark web. It‘s generally used by those who want to protect their online identity or browse the web anonymously.
However, those with the intention to carry out different kinds of illegal activities (e.g., selling drugs or weapons) also use it extensively.