The problem with dark web navigation is that the dark web is, well, dark. The dark web consists of those parts of the internet that don’t get scraped, cataloged, indexed or otherwise taken notice of.
And yet, no dark website would exist if there wasn’t a way for people to find and frequent them. They’re meant to be used after all. The patronage of users is what keeps them afloat in the deep web they call home.
Finding Your Way
The thing is, how are you meant to navigate the dark web if you don’t already know where to go? Well, the dark web might not have traditional search engines as we know them, but the denizens of the internet underworld have created alternative ways to find what you’re looking for. Here are seven web destinations that can help you track down those elusive dark web resources you’ve only ever heard about.
DISCLAIMER: This site provides this article for informational purposes only. We do not condone, encourage or otherwise approve of any illegal activities on the internet. You are responsible for compliance with local laws. We only link to clearnet destinations, if you wish to visit an onion link you must find it on your own, using the appropriate anonymity technologies.
Did you know that every time you put search terms into Bing or Google it gets recorded? While many people think these search engines are mainly ad-supported, the truth is their business model revolves around capturing, processing and reselling user information. That also means that somewhere out there is an identifiable series of searches that document your history of looking for things on the web.
They say curiosity killed the cat and if you live in a country that takes a dim view of personal privacy, just your search history could taint you. Which is where a service like DuckDuckGo comes in.
This is a traditional search engine with a key difference being a complete lack of logging. DuckDuckGo knows nothing about you. Search results are not personalized and you see search results based on their raw relevance to your terms.
What does that have to do with the dark web? Well, combined with a VPN or Tor DuckDuckGo is a great starting point for folks who want to find other deep and dark web resources. This is an uncensored, privacy-positive search engine that won’t get you
Visit: The Hidden Wiki
As you probably already know, a wiki is a user-editable website that can be used to crowd-source information. Wikipedia is probably the most famous example, but there’s a wiki at the core of the Dark Web that should be on the itinerary of every visitor to the internet’s uncharted depths.
The Hidden Wiki is actually a collection of several constantly shifting wikis that can only be accessed using the Tor hidden services network.
Since anyone who registers on the wiki can edit it you need to take any information you find there with a massive pinch of salt. After all, nothing stops malicious hackers or law enforcement plants alike to post whatever they want on there. Anyone who gets burned by false information can go back and correct it on the wiki.
When you access the main page of the Hidden Wiki you’ll find a massive user-generated link collection to other deep web destinations. Here you can find information on the only slightly illegal all the way to the incredibly, seriously illegal. There’s no censorship whatsoever.
Ahmia exists on the clearnet which is the bit of the internet you are on right now. The surface web that’s indexed by normal search engines like Google. It was created in 2014. So is still quite new. Ahmia is revolutionary in terms of deep web development because it actually searches the deep web for you. This is a complete game changer to how things have been done before. It makes accessing the deep web, at least the Tor parts of it, exponentially easier.
Ahmia is not a totally uncensored engine. They do actively ban abusive sites that promote child abuse, which we 100% applaud. Everything else is fair game and finding direct onion links is as simple as typing search terms into Ahmia.
Torch is short for “Tor Search” and as the name suggests it’s a search engine that helps you find things on the massive, amorphous and constantly shifting Tor network. There’s not much to say about it beyond that. Torch has been around for a long time and might possibly be the oldest search engine in the deep web that’s still online. You can find the onion link to the Torch engine easily enough by just Googling “Tor Search”.
Like the Hidden Wiki, Torlinks is a massive list of onion links that can help you find things that others have encountered on their explorations of the dark and deep web. It’s not a search engine and maintenance is obviously dodgy. Which means you should expect many links to be long defunct or to point to resources that have changed drastically.
Still, Torlinks can be an invaluable resource as long as you understand the provenance of the information and tread carefully when clicking on anything you find there.
IXquick Start Page
Visit: IXquick Start Page
Like DuckDuckGo, Start Page bills itself as an ultra-private search engine that doesn’t collect information about you. It will still deliver Google quality results by standing as a proxy between you and Google. They also offer a proxy link with every search result. So that you can actually visit the site in question privately through their site. This means that you can search for dark web links and topics on the clearnet without fear of leaving a trail. It’s a useful tool to add to your list of dark web bookmarks.
If you believe that science should be free and open to everyone then you’ll definitely love Sci-Hub. It’s a collection of proxies and other paywall workarounds that allow anyone to directly download scientific papers. Without having to pay the extortionate fees that journals ask.
For those who want to read primary scientific sources but aren’t curious millionaires or staff and students at institutions with site-wide licences, Sci-Hub is a godsend. Obviously, publishers are not too happy about it. They have tried to shut down the site using the law, but so far they haven’t been able to kill it. They have a point though since smarter people than the rest of us are pretty sure that Sci-Hub will kill publishers.
Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself
We strongly recommend that you use technologies like VPNs to keep your dark web navigation as private as possible. Make sure you choose a good VPN and then don’t get caught in the dark web without it. As always, you should also be mindful of the legality of your activities. Despite what you might have heard, most of the content on the dark web is not illegal. Just kind of weird and niche. Still, use your common sense and then you’ll be fine.