If you have ever heard of the “dark web” – networks that exist on the internet but require specific tools to access – you have heard of Tor. It’s named after the acronym of the project that started it – the “The Onion Router.” That’s because the security that makes Tor so anonymous resembles the layers of an onion. So if you’re looking for dark web links, you are looking for Tor websites. And we’re going to hook you up.
What to know before exploring dark web links
First off, you need a Tor browser. Luckily for you, The Tor Project (they maintain the network’s technological base) has one ready for download.
Keep in mind that the anonymity of the Tor network makes it a haven for criminals and hackers. A few things to keep in mind:
- You have to be careful when entering any dark web link.
- Before entering the Tor network, shut down most other programs or apps.
- Download and use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) for added security.
Surfing Tor isn’t easy. Aside from being isolated from everyday internet, most of the Tor network isn’t indexed, rendering it invisible to search engines. In essence, the network is populated by hidden websites. Yes, search engines exist on Tor, but their reliability is questionable. DataProt, a website dedicated to advising on cybersecurity, has a great looking infographic explaining how Tor works.
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 – http://donionsixbjtiohce24abfgsffo2l4tk26qx464zylumgejukfq2vead.onion/onions.php
- ProPublica – https://www.propub3r6espa33w.onion
- Ahmia – http://msydqstlz2kzerdg.onion
- DuckDuckGo – https://3g2upl4pq6kufc4m.onion
- Riseup – http://nzh3fv6jc6jskki3.onion
- Hidden Answers – http://answerszuvs3gg2l64e6hmnryudl5zgrmwm3vh65hzszdghblddvfiqd.onion
- Tor Metrics – http://rougmnvswfsmd4dq.onion
- ZeroBin – http://zerobinqmdqd236y.onion
- Imperial Library – http://xfmro77i3lixucja.onion
- Comic Book Library – http://r6rfy5zlifbsiiym.onion
- Tunnels – http://62gs2n5ydnyffzfy.onion, http://74ypjqjwf6oejmax.onion
1. Daniel – the dark web links you’re looking for
The Hidden Wiki is usually presented as your one-stop-shop for dark web links. That’s not the case. Many of the links present in The Hidden Wiki are of dubious (if not criminal) nature. Many more don’t work. As far as resources go, it’s somewhat useless.
Daniel’s website lists 7,000 .onion addresses. They are separated into several categories to make browsing easier. More than that, Daniel’s site has an in-built test functionality. This means you can have the website check if any given Tor website is online. The list shows the last time a website was checked and whether it was online. This makes Daniel’s website an excellent first step in exploring Tor.
2. ProPublica – investigative journalism, now 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” – that is, 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, as well as 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. It’s also not the only one to have a dark web link: you can also use Tor to read The New York Times and other news sites or use their SecureDrop integration for whistleblowing purposes.
3. Ahmia – for those who want a Tor search engine
I still maintain that going into Tor without having dark web links already in your hand is a fool’s errand. But some people insist on search engines, and several Tor engines are in existence. I’m going to recommend Ahmia.
While it’s hard to tell which engine works the 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, which is both the morally right thing to do and a good service for those who want to trawl the dark web.
4. DuckDuckGo – search the clearnet securely and without tracking
Google collects a lot of your information. Its search results tend to be biased. DuckDuckGo, however, was built on the idea of not collecting user data. The results that this search engine shows you are always neutral. It’s similar to the Surfshark Search feature offered by Surfshark.
You’re most likely to find DuckDuckGo useful outside of the dark web. Indeed, it doesn’t search for Tor websites. This is a bit of a bummer since the popular Tor search engines are all ugly and uncomfortable to use. DuckDuckGo has a presentation similar to Google. And unlike the Tor search engines, it won’t lead you to quite so many illegal websites after a simple search.
5. Riseup – tools for activists and organizers
Riseup provides email and chat services that keep no records of your activity. It is protected from malicious attacks. Riseup also has no intention of cooperating with any government – unlike, say, Google.
Riseup supports the causes of “human liberation, the ethical treatment of animals, and ecological sustainability.” That’s why 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.
6. Hidden Answers – ask what you want in anonymity
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 on Hidden Answers touch upon a variety of 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.
7. Tor Metrics – explore the statistics of the dark web
The dark web is a curious subject: it’s not that easy to use, and it seems to be 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 in second place, with around 18% of the share.
Aside from revealing just how widely not-used 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.
We already established that many of the dark web links you find on link aggregators are offline. Thus, it paints a picture of the tiny world of Tor websites.
8. 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 anonymity.
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.
9a. 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 academic types 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, it’s administered by a guy with a Riseup email address. To date, nearly four hundred thousand books have been uploaded.
9b. Comic Book Library – reading comics but on the dark web
Interested in comic books instead? There’s also the Comic Book Library, with entries dating back to the 1930s. Of course, like any such effort, the scans are of dubious legality.
10. Tunnels – explore the literal university underground
And for the end, a slice of something completely different. Some of the more famous Tor websites are about exploring the tunnels in American universities.
Infrastructure like that is both dangerous and illegal to access. That’s why urban explorers hosted their blogs on Tor. It also helps that said universities are heavily tech-related.
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.
Beef up your internet privacy even more
So if you want to experience the dark web, these Tor websites are a good starting point. But you should be aware of the security dangers involved in using the Tor network.
The fact that you’re using Tor is not hidden from your ISP’s (Internet Service Provider) records. Keep your Tor browsing a secret by using Surfshark! If necessary, it can even hide the fact that you’re using a VPN.