The Darknet is a hidden collection of websites and services utilizing special web browsers to access the dark web sites. While some contain illegal products or services. There is also a range of informative or helpful sites for almost anything you may want.
You can make the Darknet whatever you want it to be, and it’s not an inherently bad or illegal place; it’s simply a hidden location that prioritizes anonymity.
One of the primary issues with dark web sites is that they’re typically not indexed in search engines and definitely not going to be found through Google or advertised on social media.
Listed below are the big dark web sites on the Darknet so you can get up and running quickly.
Top Dark Web Sites on the Darknet
Historically you’d have to know somebody that knew somebody to find the addresses for darknet sites, or you’d have to scour sites like Reddit or random forums to find darknet sites, and often by the time you found them, the addresses had changed.
With the popularity of the dark net increasing, there are more listing sites to find great dark web sites and even some search engines trying to navigate and index the Darknet.
DuckDuckGo is a privacy-driven search engine on the Internet, and it’s also available on the Darknet with reasonable results, though it’s not the ultimate resource for finding all dark websites.
Even though you’re anonymously browsing on the Darknet, DuckDuckGo takes it a step further and doesn’t log or track anything about your search requests or results.
The Hidden Wiki
The Hidden Wiki is part Wikipedia and part listing directory; it provides a community-driven listing site that provides a huge range of dark websites with information on each, including trustworthiness, current onion link, and any other required information.
Unlike some other listing sites or search engines, it doesn’t filter the sites included, so you may run into illegal or unpleasant sites when following links.
Daniel is a categorized listing site, providing over 7,000 different dark websites for you to browse and find what you need easily.
One of the big features that Daniel pushes is that it checks if sites are up or not so that you don’t need to load the site. The benefit here is that darknet sites can often take longer to load, and knowing whether the site is actually up can save you a lot of time when you’re searching.
ProPublica is available on the Internet and Darknet; it’s an online publication that looks to expose political corruption without being filtered down by large corporations that run many of the bigger newspapers and publications.
The big benefit of ProPublica being on the Darknet is that anybody can anonymously access and provide information. Which is especially important when living in certain countries. That crack down on civilians or report publicizing government corruption.
It’s a great use case for darknet sites showing that they’re not all about illegal activities, though in some cases, free expression is illegal in some countries.
Sci-Hub is one of the best informational darknet sites, providing free access to scientific papers from around the world with no barriers.
When searching for scientific papers through the Internet, you’ll often be met with paywalls for each paper you want, which makes access to information challenges.
The scientists and researchers that write these papers aren’t making money; it’s the corporations that list the articles that make 100 percentof the profits. So in no way are you stealing from the author when accessing free scientific papers on the Darknet.
Hidden Answers provide a place for open and uncensored questions to be answered by an active community. It and similar darknet websites are the Darknets answer to Reddit or Quora without any moderation.
The benefit to this type of site is that you can ask anything you want and will get a range of answers with no fear your question will be removed, or you will be banned.
However, the downside is that you may not like some of the questions or answers that you find on the site.
SearX is a search engine on both the Internet and Darknet; it puts privacy and anonymity first, which is exceptionally important to most Darknet users browsing darknet websites.
It doesn’t track or store IP address information or search history and doesn’t utilize any form of tracking through cookies to prevent any type of profiling.
Facebook provides a Darknet presence, but privacy is not at the forefront of this site, so be wary of accessing Facebook through the Darknet.
What it does allow is for users to access Facebook and information in countries where it’s being blocked by oppressive regimes.
The major use for these types of darknet websites is so that you can share information or get information out of countries that may be blocking the flow of information, and that’s a core component of the best of the Darknet, and Facebook is just the most well-known.
SecureDrop is a service that darknet sites such as newspapers. Or other publications can set up so that they can securely receive documents. And other files from whistleblowers that want to remain ultra-anonymous.
While there are whistleblower laws in many countries. The reprisals can still be felt by these people. So having a way to privately and securely get information out is an essential service.
BBC joins other darknet sites providing free and anonymous access to information in countries where there is heavy Internet censoring, such as China.
The site is simply a mirror of the primary BBC site but allows anybody to access it. This may seem trivial to some, but there have been instances even in the US or EU countries where newspapers and other sites have been temporarily banned.
Dark-websites like BBC allow you to always have access to a range of information whether your government wants that or not.
Accessing dark internet websites is not a problem until you need to interact or make purchases; you’ll need an email address, and that should be a secure and private one that can’t be traced back to you; otherwise, it defeats your use of the Darknet and Tor.
ProtonMail is a well-known private email service with end-to-end encryption and doesn’t require any real information about you.
Make sure that if you’re not just browsing the Darknet that you have a secure email account like Proton Mail.
RiseUp is a popular secure email client to be used on dark internet websites. But it goes a step further and offers chat services. So that you can communicate in real-time over the Darknet with nobody tracking your conversations back to you.
Your conversations are not recorded, and there are protocols in place to ensure no government interference.
Archive.today provides an archive of websites as they were at specific times in history, similar to the WayBackMachine. But without any type of corporate or government interference.
It’s not purely for dark internet web sites. But tracks changes and information that is put up by regular Internet websites. So there is a historical record if things are changed.
ZeroBin provides secure and private communication between parties and allows you to securely send text or images. In addition, whatever you send can be set to expire after a certain period or can be removed once it’s been received.
Dark internet sites like ZeroBin are primarily helpful in sending communication that shouldn’t be permanent, such as sharing links to new Darknet sites or any other information that you don’t want a record of.
It’s superior to email clients as the information will be automatically removed when you set it and isn’t viewable by the servers as it’s encrypted by your browser before sending it.
Wasabi Wallet is a Darknet crypto wallet that goes a step further from standard wallets by combining different coins from multiple users so that anybody tracking transactions won’t be able to tell who the transaction is between.
Utilizing crypto is an essential part of any dark-web site that is selling services; you’ll need to pay for everything with crypto, so ensure that you have a secure and private wallet such as Wasabi Wallet.
Imperial Library starts to cross into the illegal dark web site territory by providing access to a wide range of books for free.
It has over 500,000 books that you can download and read without having to pay anything to publishers or authors.
Comic Book Library
Similar to Imperial Library above, Comic Book Library crosses into the illegal dark web site’s territory by giving you access to a huge range of comic books for free.
There is no cost to you and no payment to the publisher or author of the comic books.
Tunnels is a niche video website that hosts videos from various people that are exploring and documenting the tunnels under universities.
The reason for these types of dark websites is because entering these tunnels is illegal, so it provides anonymity for the videographers, and the videos won’t be taken down as they may be on Youtube and other video sites.
Deep Web Radio
Deep Web Radio hosts a variety of Darknet radio stations that are playing music from a variety of genres. You’ll find over 20 radio stations to choose from and stream your favorite music.
The benefit to you is that you won’t need to pay for listening to anything, and the radio stations aren’t paying the studios or artists for the music, and they get to stay anonymous.
TorLinks is a listing directory similar to The Hidden Wiki. However, it generally has a range of different sites available. So it’s well worth visiting TorLinks and other dark websites that provide listings.
One of the big benefits is simply that onion sites. Especially to illegal Darknet experiences, will go offline, so having a range of listing directories to find alternatives or new tor links is essential.
SoylentNews is one of the best dark websites. That brings you free and open news from around the world. And allows you to have unfiltered and immoderate discussions on news stories.
One of the primary issues with news sources today is that many are asking for money to access them, and the stories are heavily influenced by the corporation or reporter that posts the story, making them very biased.
With SoylentNews, the stories may be biased by the author, but everybody gets access for free and has the opportunity to discuss the information.
Anyone can submit stories to the site, making it extremely open with a wide range of viewpoints.
Many people believe that cryptocurrency payments are private and can’t be traced; however, it’s been proven that crypto like Bitcoin can be traced at points of entry and exit, such as when you purchase the crypto.
Your online transactions can then be traced through the blockchain of the crypto you purchased, and anybody you’ve transacted with can be seen.
Samartmixer.io provides a way to mix your crypto and transactions. So that it’s impossible to see who has been transacting with you, making your dark internet web sites payments untraceable.
Torch is the largest dark website search engine as well as the oldest; it has well over 1 million entries making it a great source for finding whatever you may be looking for.
One of the overall issues with Darknet search engines is that they can’t search fast enough when some of the sites are having to change their onion links constantly. So Torch and similar sites are best for legal dark websites.
Monero is a privacy coin that obfuscates the transaction history of purchases by combining user details with other random users; you also can’t tell how much the transaction was for or the IP address of any of the parties.
Using Monero on dark websites, especially Marketplaces selling goods and services is becoming the defacto standard, and the security and privacy are often much higher than any of the crypto mixers offering similar services.
Best Darknet Marketplaces
Many people accessing dark websites are looking for darknet marketplaces that allow you to buy and sell a range of services or products. Typically these are more illegal, so the links to these marketplaces can often change or be offline.
Listed below are some of the best and most well-known darknet marketplaces with current links:
Archetyp Marketplace primarily sells drugs and will only accept Monero (XMR) cryptocurrency for payment.
Incognito Marketplace is another primarily drugs-only marketplace, and it accepts BTC or XMR as payment.
Abacus Marketplace provides a wide variety of services and products for sale and is considered an all-purchase marketplace that accepts BTC or XMR as payment.
ASAP Marketplace is an all-purpose marketplace that accepts BTC or XMR as payment.
World Marketplace is an all-purchase marketplace, but it forbids prostitution, child porn, or murder services from being listed. You can make payment with BTC or XMR.
If these links don’t work, then listing sites like The Hidden Wiki or TorLinks can be checked for the most up-to-date onion link.
Can’t You Just Use Darknet Search Engines?
Unlike traditional websites, dark internet websites can often change their links due to having to move or being taken down for illegal activity. So darknet search engines are helpful when finding legal websites such as Facebook, BBC, and similar dark websites.
However, if your goal is to access the illegal side of the darknet, then search engines are not going to be able to keep up with the changes in onion links for marketplaces and other sites.
Often listing sites like The Hidden Wiki and TorLinks are get updated quickly with the new address for marketplaces and other sites that have to change their address. So check with them if any of the links on this link don’t work any longer.
Is It Legal To Visit Dark Web Sites?
Connecting to the darknet and visiting dark websites is perfectly legal in almost every country. If you’re only visiting places like Facebook or browsing sites, then you’re unlikely to have any type of problem from law enforcement or anybody else.
The issues with the darknet come back to one of the primary uses of dark websites, which is to purchase illegal items or services, such as firearms, drugs, etc.
You also need to be wary of the content you’re accessing and downloading, as things like child pornography are accessible and very illegal.
Can You Be Tracked On The Darknet?
The darknet has been set up to be more secure and private than traditional websites, and if you follow certain protocols, it will be very challenging to track your use of the darknet.
Something to consider before accessing the darknet is that your ISP may not know which dark web sites you’re visiting but will know that you’re accessing the darknet, which typically isn’t a problem or something they’d report but could be an issue if somebody is checking on you.
The best method to conceal your darknet use is to install a VPN service on your device and turn it on before connecting to the darknet. Your ISP will then only be able to see that you’re using a VPN service, but then your VPN service will see that you’re accessing the darknet.
Typically VPN services are more concerned with privacy and keeping your information secure rather than your ISP. It’s also typically easier for law enforcement to get information from a local ISP.
This is especially true if your VPN service is in another country, so keep an eye on where VPN services headquarters are before picking the right VPN provider.
Tracking Cryptocurrencies on the Darknet
Another significant issue you can face which could result in you being tracked through the darknet is the cryptocurrencies that you use to make purchases on marketplaces or other darknet web sites.
Most cryptocurrencies are somewhat secure in that people can’t see who owns which crypto wallet. But the transactions for every crypto wallet can be tracked. Everything from who you’ve been sending or receiving payments from and where your crypto originally came from.
Unless you’re mining or earning crypto directly to an account that has no link to you. Then it’s possible for law enforcement to trace transactions from marketplace sellers back to your wallet and ultimately back to you.
You either need to purchase your crypto with fiat currency initially. Or when you convert your crypto back to fiat currency. The entry/exit points can be traced through traditional banking methods.
The standard methods for being untraceable are using crypto mixers like Smartmixer.io. Which takes your crypt payments and incorporates multiple payers and payee details to hide the true information. However, that still has a trace and unknown aspects on what mixers store and can provide to law enforcement.
Use Privacy Coins on the Darknet
The best method to avoid being tracked on dark internet web sites is to use a well-known privacy coin like Monero. Which obfuscates everything about a transaction. So it’s impossible to know which transactions belong to which wallets.
The added benefit is that even if somebody can trace. That you purchased Monera crypto, it’s not possible to know what you used that money for. Or how much you used in each transaction. Which makes it impossible to even link you to a specific service or payment amount.
The IDs used for every transaction with Monero change for every transaction as well. So your overall transaction history can’t be traced either.
Using privacy coins on dark internet web sites is essential to staying safe, specifically when purchasing illegal products. Monero is becoming the defacto standard on the darknet. So it’s worthwhile getting some now if you plan to make purchases in the future.
Is The DarkNet Safe?
Dark web sites are as safe as anything else in life and require you consider your actions. And what safety procedures you’re following.
In most cases, if you’re browsing dark web sites and just looking at information, then you’ll be relatively safe. However, you still need to be wary of viruses and malware that may attack your computer. And either steal information or cause damage to your files.
Installing effective virus and malware protection on your computer is essential for any Internet user. And the darknet is no different. There have even been reports of infected Tor nodes infecting computer systems that access the darknet through them.
You should also ensure that your operating system has all security patches installed. If you’re looking for some extra security, create a specific non-admin account on your computer to access dark web sites. If there is a security or virus issue, then your problems are limited.
The other essential component of your safety is to install a VPN service. That was mentioned earlier, to further hide your browsing history.
Purchasing Products and Services through the Darknet
The other side to your safety when using dark web sites is the products and services you intend to purchase. This is likely to be the biggest safety issue for most people.
Purchasing Drugs from the Darknet
If you’re purchasing anything that you consume, such as drugs, whether they’re illegal or not, you can’t guarantee that what you purchased is actually what has arrived, and there have been many cases of people purchasing drugs from the dark web sites that were fake and actually harmful.
You may be consuming high levels of fentanyl which has a much higher chance of causing overdose and death. There have been numerous documented tests of people purchasing drugs from multiple marketplaces and vendors and having those drugs tested.
In some cases, the drugs were 100 percent real. In other cases, they were completely fake but not harmful. And in other situations, the drugs could be extremely harmful if consumed, especially in higher doses.
So ultimately, whatever you get from the darknet and want to consume can come with a lot of risks. If you do decide to take this route, some cities will have services. That can test your drugs for you to ensure they’re safe, which is better than risking it.
Purchasing Services from the Darknet
Dark web sites sell almost any kind of service that you may want. If you’re checking the darknet for them, it’s more likely that they’re illegal services.
You face two safety issues in purchasing darknet services, and neither will come to a good outcome for you.
Firstly, there are numerous reports of law enforcement offering services on darknet marketplaces. If you purchasing a service that requires you to meet the provider or there is a traceable payment method used, then law enforcement can arrest and charge you.
Secondary, the illegal services may be legit but provided by people that you wouldn’t want to meet. These people could get your address through multiple methods. And look to extort you for money or cause you to harm by visiting you in person.
Providing Your Address through the Darknet
When purchasing products or services through dark web sites. You may need to provide your address to receive whatever it is you’ve purchased.
This has the same safety concerns from law enforcement or people visiting you in person rather than just mailing something out to you.
For added safety, you can use a PO Box or other mailing service to hide your true address. Though in most cases, this won’t protect you from law enforcement. It does add some extra safety when dealing with people on the darknet.
Best Methods for Safety on the Darknet
The darknet can provide a lot of valuable services and products with some safety concerns. But it’s possible to minimize your risk and ensure that you stay safe on the darknet.
Your top recommendations to stay safe while browsing dark web sites include:
- Modify the security settings on your Tor (or other) browser, and use the maximum possible security settings.
- Keep your operating system updated at all times with OS patches
- Install and keep updated a reliable antivirus and malware protection software
- Install a VPN service and enable it before accessing the Tor network.
- Get a secure and encrypted email account.
- Rent a PO Box or mail handling service if buying products online
- Only purchase products from vendors in your own country to avoid cross-border inspection.
- Test or verify anything that you purchase online; there are drug test kits you can buy online, or some cities may have services that test products for safety.
As with anything, you need to weigh your risk to reward for anything and ensure that you maximize your safety online.