If you’re looking for dark web links, you probably know about Tor — The Onion Router.
The security that makes Tor so anonymous resembles the layers of an onion. So essentially, you’re looking for onion websites (links ending with .onion), and I’ll hook you up.
I’ll only look at the dark web links in this article, so if you also want to know how to use Tor safely, check out our guide.
Table of contents
How to stay safe on the dark web
Before you start, let’s go over your dark web checklist:
- Get a Tor browser. Luckily, The Tor Project (they maintain the network’s technological base) has one ready to download.
- Be careful. Keep in mind that the anonymity of the Tor network makes it a haven for criminals and hackers. To mitigate some of the risks posed by malicious .onion websites, download and use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) for added security.
A VPN also hides the fact that you’re using Tor from your ISP (Internet Service Provider), which makes your Tor browsing experience even more private.
Dark web links that you can paste into your Tor browser
- Hidden Answers
- Tor Metrics
- Imperial Library
- Comic Book Library
Some Tor websites are made exclusively for the network. These usually come as onion links with the “.onion” domain. To find the best dark web links on Tor, you have to use a website list — just like the one below. Here are ten cool dark web links to paste into your Tor browser today:
Daniel — all the dark web links you’re looking for
Daniel’s website lists 7,000 .onion addresses. They are separated into several categories to make browsing easier. Moreover, Daniel’s site has an in-built test functionality. This means that it can check if any given Tor website is online and when it was active last, making Daniel’s website an excellent first step in exploring Tor.
ProPublica — investigative journalism on Tor
ProPublica is an investigative journalism outfit. Their 2016 reporting on sexual abuse won the Pulitzer Prize that year. ProPublica is accessible on the “clearnet” — the regular internet you’re using right now. Yet it also maintains a Tor website. Accessing it via a Tor browser gives you a layer of anonymity and security and allows you to bypass country blocks.
As a bonus, ProPublica is one of the most polished web experiences you’ll have on the dark web. You can also use Tor to read The New York Times and other news sites or use their SecureDrop integration for whistleblowing purposes.
Ahmia — a Tor search engine
I still believe that going into Tor without dark web links at hand is a fool’s errand. But some people insist on search engines, and several Tor engines exist. I recommend Ahmia.
While it’s hard to tell which engine works best, Ahmia presents itself as a hidden service search engine, and that’s what it does. It also works to remove child abuse content from their search results. It’s a good service for those who want to search the dark web.
But remember that surfing Tor isn’t easy. Aside from being isolated from the everyday internet, most of the Tor network isn’t indexed, rendering it invisible to search engines. In essence, hidden websites populate the network.
Riseup — tools for activists and organizers
Riseup provides email and chat services that keep no record of your activity. It is also protected from malicious attacks and has no intention of cooperating with any government, unlike Google.
Riseup supports the causes of “human liberation, the ethical treatment of animals, and ecological sustainability.” Riseup also provides organizational tools, mailing lists, and more.
However, knowing the dark web link isn’t enough — you need an invitation code to create a Riseup account. But you can still browse the security section! It has excellent tips on how to add a dash of information security to your daily life.
Hidden Answers — ask your questions anonymously
Hidden Answers is one of those dark web links that keep making their way onto these lists. The reason for that is simple — Hidden Answers is the dark web version of Quora, Yahoo Answers, and Reddit.
Once you access the site, you’ll soon notice that the questions touch on various topics. When people have the ultimate anonymity the internet can offer, they still ask where your nickname comes from, or would you have your head cryo-frozen after death.
When using such websites, especially if you plan on asking some personal questions yourself, an extra layer of security is always welcome. If you use a VPN, your data gets encrypted before it even reaches the Tor Network. Check out the video below to find out exactly how and why you should use a VPN with Tor.
Tor Metrics — explore the statistics of the dark web
The dark web is a curious subject: it’s not that easy to use and seems popular among shady people. But what if we put all that activity into numbers?
Tor Metrics is the website that measures who and where uses the network. Surprisingly enough, about 20% of daily users come from Russia. The US is second, with around 18% of the share.
Aside from revealing just how widely unused Tor is (data suggests barely more than 1.5 million daily users), you can also see the scope of the network. Metrics record slightly more than 60,000 unique .onion addresses.
ZeroBin — the secure way to share your pastes
Just like clearnet, Tor has its utility websites. ZeroBin is one of them. If you use the Tor network regularly, you will want a way to share stuff with your dark web friends. ZeroBin allows you to do that with complete safety and privacy.
One of its selling points is that even ZeroBin servers don’t know what you pasted. The data encryption takes place on your browser before it goes to the server. Options for sharing include password protection. And, of course, the pastes will be deleted sometime later.
Imperial Library — the fun dark web library
Tor website lists like to harp about Sci-Hub. They miss two vital points: it’s down (at the time of writing), and a clearnet version exists — you don’t need Tor to use it.
Sci-Hub is mostly useful for academics who know the PMID, DOI, or URLs of papers they want to access. At the same time, websites like the Imperial Library of Trantor store stuff that’s interesting to the broader public.
Imperial Library is a public depository of scanned books. As a bonus, a guy with a Riseup email address administers it. To date, nearly 400,000 books have been uploaded.
Comic Book Library — reading comics on the dark web
Interested in comic books more than academic papers? The Comic Book Library has entries dating back to the 1930s. Of course, like any such effort, the scans are of dubious legality.
Tunnels — explore the literal university underground
Some of the more famous Tor websites are about exploring tunnels in American universities.
Infrastructure like that is both dangerous and illegal to access. That’s why urban explorers host their blogs on Tor.
IIT Underground focused on Illinois Tech, is the smaller of the blogs. Beneath VT, that’s Virginia Tech, is more prominent. It provides more details on the tunnels as well as the dangers associated with them.
The websites are a step above the usual Tor website design, too. They still look like something from the early aughts, though.
The threats lurking on the dark web
The dark web is the Wild West of the internet — exciting to explore but potentially dangerous. Here are some threats you might run into:
- Scams. Since most websites are non-indexed and unregulated, the probability of scams is much greater. This is especially true if you’re trying to purchase anything illegal or questionable. Why? Because “Excuse me, officer, but the drugs I ordered on the dark web were never delivered to me” is a poor alibi.
And even if you’re getting something that’s not illegal, there’s no reason for a vendor to ever remain on the dark web. In short, it’s bad for traffic and sales.
- Malicious software. Keyloggers, ransomware, phishing malware, and other types of malicious software are more common on the dark web. This happens because there are fewer rules for website quality. They often come with poor encryption standards (http) and get universally marked as suspicious by normal browsers. Simply visiting a website like that could get you into trouble with malware.
- Government monitoring. Sadly, the same goes for many Tor-based websites. Your local government usually closely monitors anything illegal or potentially harmful. Simply visiting such a website could get you into trouble with authorities.
That’s why, even if you use The Onion Router, it’s a good idea to use Tor over a VPN.
Browse the Tor Network securely
The websites mentioned above are a good starting point for your first dark web experience. But keep in mind that surfing the dark web can be as risky as it is exciting, and Tor’s protection isn’t always enough. Using a VPN with Tor can’t guarantee a 100% secure experience, but it definitely makes it a lot safer.
Surfshark also offers a complete security package if you choose to go with Surfshark One or One+ subscriptions. Both of them include antivirus, webcam protection, and real-time data breach alerts on top of the Surfshark VPN package.
Is it legal to browse the dark web?
The dark web and its browsing aren’t considered illegal; it’s a place where people communicate anonymously without official government surveillance. However, some of what happens on the dark web is illegal. Visitors should exercise caution and safety at all costs.
Can I access the dark web on mobile?
Yes, you can access the dark web on mobile, but remember, you can do so if you have a Tor browser installed.
Can I use a free VPN to access the dark web?
You can, but you shouldn’t do it because of security and privacy issues.
Top safety measures should be taken when accessing a potentially dangerous place like the dark web.
Many free VPN providers don’t follow the no-logs policy. Despite claiming to offer privacy, they can track what you do on the darknet and potentially sell that info to anyone interested.