Best .onion Sites from the Depths of the Dark Web

Best .onion Sites from the Depths of the Dark Web-blog

Heard of .onion sites before but don’t know how to access the dark web or which .onion sites are the best to visit? Keep reading on to find out more about how this hidden part of the internet works.

Most people regularly visit what is known as the ‘open web’ or the ‘surface’ part of the web. Every day, people use search engines to search for and visit the sites that they want to see. However, those sites only form a part of what is known as ‘the internet.’ The other parts are hidden from the general public, and most people will never hear about or visit underground sites even if they may know that these types of sites exist.

The dark web and the deep web are the two other ways people access information on the internet, and they have different functions. One of the main reasons people use deep or dark websites is to get access to content that isn’t available on the surface web. It’s also a much more anonymous way of browsing the internet that will keep search engines like Google or Firefox from collecting browsing data.

What is the dark web versus the deep web?

Folks usually don’t know that there’s a difference between the deep and dark web and often use the two words interchangeably. But the two are, in fact, different things.

The deep web consists of content that’s hidden behind a password or paywall, so search engines cannot use their crawlers to find the content. Termed simply, a ‘deep’ website is any online content that requires the address and password for access.

Cloud storage like Dropbox is a good example because only people with the link or password can see the content. A website that hasn’t launched yet is technically also part of the deep web. The same applies to companies that set up private servers accessible to employees only. So the deep web actually forms a big part of the internet, and many people use it daily.

The dark web is a different matter altogether, as people cannot use regular search engines to find it. Instead, they need to use an anonymous network like TOR (The Onion Router), Freenet, ZeroNet and others. TOR is by far the most popular one. These networks aren’t indexed by search engines and are completely anonymous. So the websites that people visit through these networks, which have .onion domains, can only see that an anonymous network user is visiting the site.

It is possible to have a website that can be classified as both deep and dark.

Is it illegal to go on the dark web?

It’s completely legal to access the deep web, but the dark web is much more of a grey area. Many illegal activities are going on there, but it is not illegal to use it. In fact, the TOR network was first created by the US Navy who then released the code to the public in 2004. After that, a group took that code and formed the Tor project which is what people currently use to access the dark web.

So the simple answer here is that it’s not illegal to go on the dark web. But it makes it much easier for people to take part in criminal activities.

Is it safe to go on the dark web?

While networks like TOR are made to allow for anonymous browsing because they were designed to disguise people’s IP addresses, they’re not safe. Or rather, the dark websites people visit may still be unsafe.

The reason for this is the nature of the dark web itself. Since it’s not regulated by any authority, there can be all manner of illegal activity going on. Anyone who exposes themselves to that may be getting more than they had bargained for in the form of hackers and malicious software. So even though the dark web lets you browse anonymously, it’s still a good idea to get a VPN for that.

Always use a VPN when browsing the dark web

Anonymous networks like TOR and Freenet may seem appealing, especially to those who wish to keep browsers from tracking their every move online. But that doesn’t mean it’s entirely safe to browse the dark web. Hackers and malware are a genuine problem on the internet, and that’s even more so on the dark web. Since people can do pretty much anything they want on there, hacking and infiltrating other people’s devices is fair game.

What that means is that someone’s browsing may be anonymous, but their online activities aren’t. This has been proven multiple times by the FBI, who have arrested people by taking over websites on the dark web and tracking the users that visit. The whole Play Pen operation is an excellent example.

A VPN can help solve any security issues by encrypting the data you send over the internet so that no one can have access to it. This means that no potential attackers would be able to gain access to your online traffic. All data sent from the anonymous browser to the website you are visiting is protected.

To use a VPN with an anonymous network like TOR, you have to connect to the VPN and then start TOR. There are many reliable VPN services available, so it’s just a matter of finding one that suits your needs. Many VPN services also have trial versions or free limited versions, although fully free VPNs should generally be avoided.

Even with the protection of both a VPN and the anonymous browser, it’s still best to exercise caution. Don’t download anything and don’t let curiosity take over. Some things are better left alone and unseen.

How to access the dark web

Getting on the dark web is much easier than most people might imagine. The anonymous networks that are needed to gain access to it can be found and downloaded via any search engine. Here’s the website for Tor project which runs the TOR browser.

After downloading and installing the browser, a user can open it and start browsing. However, it isn’t a search engine and cannot search the dark web. So anyone who is planning to go there needs to know which specific .onion sites they want to visit. Below is a compiled list of the top dark websites to visit.

The best dark web websites to visit

There are many things to do on the dark web but also a lot of things most people will probably want to avoid. Some traditional websites like ProPublica have also created new routes to their domains so TOR users can access them anonymously. This is advantageous for people like journalists and forum users who don’t want their identity to be tracked. But there are some cool native deep websites to visit while browsing the dark web.

Here’s a list of the best dark websites to visit:

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo

Dark web networks like TOR browser might not offer the same capabilities a search engine does, but DuckDuckGo mostly does. This website is the most famous search engine-related version of the dark web. Duckduckgo results don’t include all of the underground sites that you can find on the dark web. But the search engine does also allow people to search the regular internet.

The added bonus here is that it doesn’t log any personal data or browser history. Meaning this is a great alternative for anyone who wants to bypass the invasive surveillance of popular browsers like Google.

0day Forum

0day

This is a forum with thousands of members that discuss any and all topics. Think of Reddit, but without strict moderation. There are a lot of discussions about hacking, tutorials, and marketplace negotiations. Of course, it goes almost without saying that it’s best to tread carefully here. Do not share any personal information or download anything.

The Hidden Wiki

The Hidden Wiki

Almost everyone who’s been on the internet is familiar with Wikipedia. Most people don’t know that there’s a dark web version, however. Unlike its more famous cousin, the hidden wiki doesn’t supply information about various topics. Rather, it acts as a directory for websites that can be found on the dark web.

What makes this better than DuckDuckGo is that it provides a whole list of .onion domains, so you don’t have to decide what to search for. That makes it a great resource, especially for newcomers. Just keep in mind that it is run by the community, which means that not everything posted there is safe or true.

Anyone that knows how to access the hidden wiki can travel to other dark web pages by using its extensive index.

Keybase

Keybase

If you’ve ever had your social media accounts hacked or had your identity stolen, you will know why Keybase is such an amazing tool. What it does is cryptographically link all of your social media accounts together and gives you a PGP key. You can then enter the key to have your social media accounts encrypted and be able to verify that it’s you using it. Therefore, it becomes obvious whenever any of them get hacked. The service also offers encrypted chat and file storage and sharing. All you need is the other party’s social media handle.

Well, there it is – an extensive guide on how to access the dark web as well as a list of some of the best .onion sites to visit. Ultimately, there’s no reason to fear the dark web, and it can be a fun place to visit. Just make sure to use a VPN and stick to the safer places.