Tor is a name that is often linked to the Dark Web, and rightly so. Also known as The Onion Router, Tor is one of the main ways that visitors can navigate to .onion websites, which are unique to this part of the Internet.
The inability to open .onion websites is part of what gives the Dark Web part of its mystique. However, in some aspects, it really isn’t all that different from the Clear Web which most of us browse on a daily basis.
To put this into greater perspective, here are some of the coolest Tor websites you can safely visit.
Which Tor Websites Can You Visit?
Even if you don’t know where you’re going, the Dark Web has its own search engines and directories. For those afraid of what you might find, rest assured that even legitimate companies also sometimes have dedicated Dark Web sites available.
Important note: Many of the links on this page lead to .onion websites. You cannot open them with a regular web browser. You need the Tor Browser to access them.
1. DuckDuckGo – A Search Engine That Keeps You Anonymous
DuckDuckGo is a search engine that is also available on the Clear Web. Unlike others, DuckDuckGo does not collect or share any of your personal information. It is also one of the few search engine that can index .onion websites.
Google shows search results that can be biased based on your browsing habits. In contrast, DuckDuckGo is a more neutral search engine since it was designed not to collect user data. The great thing about DuckDuckGo is that it has a similar design to that of Google’s so you’ll feel on familiar ground.
Using DuckDuckGo is great on the Dark Web as it doesn’t log your search history and it even blocks ad trackers to give you greater digital privacy.
2. ProPublica – A Thought-Provoking Articles Platform
Even if you’re new to the Dark Web, you may have heard of ProPublica. This Pulitzer Prize-winning non-profit news source aims to expose the abuses of power by governments and institutions.
Topics on this platform go beyond that though, and can range from politics and healthcare to finance and the environment. Journalists writing for ProPublica provide in-depth investigative pieces that are thought-provoking and impactful.
Whistleblowers can submit information on this Tor website (but do note that it has a Clear Web version as well). ProPublica’s work is considered legal, so the .onion website does not differ much from what you would find on the Clear Web.
3. Facebook – A Social Networking Site
Anyone who has used the Internet would surely know Facebook and you’d probably be delighted to know that there is a .onion version of Facebook as well. This may seem a bit unusual to many.
In a sense, you will be right to feels surprised since Facebook isn’t the most well-known for being privacy-friendly. In fact, privacy violates many principles of social media platforms.
There’s a good reason for it though – the .onion version of Facebook is their way of working around government censorship. By using this version of Facebook, people can stay somewhat anonymous and access the social media site from otherwise restricted countries.
4. RiseUp – A Secured Email and Chat Service
Riseup is a volunteer-run email service provider for activists all around the globe. It provides email and chat services that do not log activities. It is secure and unlike Google, Riseup has no intention of cooperating with any government.
Founded around 1999 by activists in Seattle, it has exploded in terms of popularity with over six million users worldwide. Riseup’s cause supports human liberation, the ethical treatment of animals and ecological sustainability.
It empowers organizations and individuals to use technology in their struggles for liberation. That’s why Riseup has organizational tools, mailing lists and more. However, to create an account, you need an invitation code. So chances are that the most enticing features are likely to be unavailable to you.
5. Wasabi Wallet – A Virtual Bitcoin Wallet
Bitcoin has kept increased in popularity even though its price has shot through the roof. It remains the most-used cryptocurrency for Dark Web transactions.
Wasabi Wallet is a fantastic platform for buying, selling and managing your cryptocurrency anonymously. It makes it easier for privacy-minded bitcoiners to protect their identity while benefiting from the top-notch security provided.
It also provides a unique wallet-mixing feature that allows you to ‘join’ your transactions with others to increase your anonymity. Think of that like a ‘bulk buy’ where you are mixed in with a bunch of other folks to help muddy the waters.
This makes it harder to trace individual transactions. Do note though that while available for Mac, Windows, and Linux, Wasabi Wallet does not offer a mobile variant.
6. Imperial Library of Trantor – A Public Depository of Scanned Books
Don’t be surprised to come across this library of books while you’re browsing through .onion sites with your Tor Browser. For you bookworms out there, Imperial Library of Trantor stores a wide variety of volumes that are very interesting and appeal to the broader public.
Imperial Library is literally a public depository of scanned books, managed by a person with a Riseup email address. There are around 400,000 books that have been uploaded.
Since scanning books for republishing isn’t always technically legal, be aware that you may be violating copyright by downloading some of these volumes.
7. The Hidden Wiki – It’s a Hidden Wikipedia
The Hidden Wiki is a community-edited .onion Wikipedia. It contains links to many different services and sources running on the dark web. It has the longer, more secure Version 3 onion URL and basically indexes links of .onion sites to help you navigate using Tor.
Bear in mind that The Hidden Wiki is completely uncensored so it indexes both legal and illegal websites. Unfortunately, not all the links listed may be functional or safe. Many of these links can bring you towards scams or even highly illegal sites, so tread with caution.
Having said this, the Hidden Wiki does provide informative pages on a range of topics that can be interesting to read. Definitely worth a visit!
8. Daniel – A Hidden Wiki Alternative
If you have used Hidden Wiki and fell frustrated with many links being of dubious (if not criminal) nature – there is an alternative. One of these if Daniel’s website which lists over 7,000 .onion addresses. They are separated into categories to make browsing easier.
Additionally, it has an in-built test functionality where you can have the website you want to access checked to see if it is online or not. It will display the last time a website was checked and the test results.
So, it is possible that some of you may find Daniel’s website an excellent first step in exploring the Dark Web with Tor.
9. Hidden Answers – For Avid Redditors or Quora Fans
Hidden Answers is the Dark Web’s version of Reddit or Quora. Some consider this to be one of the more popular and best of Dark Web sites. It is here that users seek advice, post stories and discuss a wide range of topics – as anonymously as they want.
Unlike Reddit or Quora, Hidden Answers gives users complete anonymity. Because of this, many ‘conversations’ take place with no censorship at all. Be careful here and remember – simply avoid conversations that you feel uncomfortable with.
10. ZeroBin – A Utility Website for Sharing Stuff
If you use Tor regularly you may find yourself needing to share stuff with your friends. ZeroBin allows you to do this in complete safety and anonymity. The great thing about ZeroBin is that even their servers don’t know what you are sharing.
Data encryption occurs on your browser before it goes to their servers. You also have the choice to do sharing that includes password protection. And of course, the data shared will be deleted sometime later.
11. Comic Book Library – Fanboys and Geeks Unite!
If you’re a comic lover, you’ll find the Comic Book Library very intriguing. It is here that you can download tons of comic books with titles ranging from mainstream to niche. There’s literally something illustrated for all appetites.
Although using Tor you are largely anonymous in your browsing activities, be mindful of any possible copyright infringement when you access these comics through the Comic Book Library.
12. Torch – Arguably the Largest .onion Search Engine
Torch is a useful multi-purpose search engine. It is the oldest and most well-known search engine for the Dark Web even though DuckDuckGo is more popular with the younger crowd. It has indexed more than one million .onion links.
Since Torch has access to a massive database of .onion links available, chances of coming across relevant links are higher, no matter what you’re looking for.
Like DuckDuckGo, Torch doesn’t log any of your activity which is great. It also gives users additional information about search results, such as the size of the pages they might want to access.
Take note that Torch doesn’t censor search results, which means you need to tread here carefully to avoid illegal content or scams. There are even some seemingly safe pages that might hide dangerous content.
13. Deep Web Radio – Tunes in the Underground
Are you looking for some accompanying music while you look around the Dark Web? You’d be happy to know this place does exactly that. With Deep Web Radio, you can choose between various music streams via Tor.
When last checked, there were at least 10 different channels, all with various music genres for you to choose from .
As you can see, there is lots of stuff that can be found on .onion sites and the Dark Web isn’t all gloom and doom. If something can’t be found on the Clear web, you can try and take a look here to see.
Remember though, that although using the Tor browser gives you decent anonymity and privacy, this isn’t quite foolproof. Make sure you practice safe browsing habits and protect yourself and your device adequately.
Use a strong Internet security application, a Virtual Private Network, and don’t give out your personal details – for any reason!