The TOR network is a web of around 6500 or so (as of February 2020) servers called relay nodes (or just relays), all run and maintained by volunteers. Some of these volunteers are individuals; some are universities; some are companies. And even though they don’t publicize this fact, some are almost certainly government intelligence agencies and other organizations interested in attacking the TOR network. However, while this type of subterfuge is absolutely something for TOR to be concerned about, it is not a particularly existential problem. As we will see, so long as the fraction of Tor relay nodes controlled by volunteers around the globe stays low, the deep web links network remains secure.
Darknet traffic and TOR nodes are no different and is a collection of nodes that are connected to normal computers having an internet connection. The only difference is that the computers which are called nodes have a special browser TOR installed on them. This is what is called the Tor network. You can use the Tor.onion url directories to access the surface web that is only made available via TOR. The TOR operates in a different way as all the nodes are maintained by individuals or institutions and in some cases companies. In total the number of the nodes that help run the dark web link number is 6500. These nodes are also called TOR relay networks which act as touch points from where data is bypassed from the sender to the receiver. These nodes also encrypt the data and forward the data packets to the next node in the line. The algorithm is such that no proper path can be established as the data packets are relayed across different destinations masking the path altogether. This is the reason, darknet users use TOR browser when they browse the .onion site links.