The Dark Web is the part of the web that's not indexed by the normal search engines (I say normal because the dark web also has its own search engines). You also cannot access the dark web using default browsers like Chrome and Firefox.
img source: csoonline.com
To access the dark web you need a special browser called Tor. And to ensure your privacy you are advised to use a VPN when accessing the Tor network. The dark web uses a .onion address and not our default .com or any related domains we are used to. It might sound funny but the biggest contributor to the project is the US government, this is mainly because its a way to help people communicate in countries where their governments control communication.
Tor on its own acts to make you anonymous just the way a VPN works by bouncing your data over various servers before it arrives at the final destination. But a VPN is still recommended to use. I used Tunnel Bear when accessing the dark web.
The dark web is mostly used for criminal activities and there are a lot of illicit trades and activities that go on there. I have Tor on my computer and I have taken it out for a spin into the dark web. The sites look just like any other site but most of them don't do a lot of styling, the sites look like old sites from way back.
img source: pixabay.com
Some of the sites are for selling guns, in fact I found one where the fees are paid using Bitcoin. Some trade drugs, credit cards, fake money and many many other things I won't want to include here, but a quick web search would reveal them.
While surfing the dark web, you are always advised to block out your webcam and earphone jack. I have blocked out my webcam and I still have the black tape on till now.
Not all the sites are inherently evil, some are for storing and exchanging information that is intended to be hidden from the public. Another site I stumbled on when I was there was the one that had a copy of the leaked Apple Boot loader. It was a file that was just above 5 mb.
Most websites of large corporations or news agencies have a dark web equivalent of their website. They use this to exchange information that they don't yet want in the public. Most of the web addresses on the dark web are like nuehfhw0dfj0widhf.onion , yep gibberish. This is to ensure anonymity and sometimes those addresses change from time to time so that you really cannot find the website unless the owners want you to.
Why don't you give it a shot? But you must be careful the sites you visit, Some people have reported seeing some really horrible stuff.