Tor is a network of linked nodes that enables anonymous internet access. Tor is an abbreviation for “The Onion Router,” Webpages hosted on the service use the “.onion” top-level domain suffix. Onion sites are unavailable through a standard browser. They are a component of the deep web, which is an unseen section of the internet. Or, to be more specific, the Tor darknet.
But how can you locate onion sites if you can’t access them with your regular browser? Continue reading to learn how to look for onion sites on the Tor network while remaining secure.
How Do You Access an Onion Site?
Tor is the only way to visit a.onion website. The Tor browser is required to connect to the Tor network. Tor is a customized version of the Mozilla Firefox browser that includes various integrated scripts and add-ons to preserve your anonymity while accessing onion sites.
The Tor browser is already set up to connect to the network, and the creators strongly warn against tampering with the browser settings unless you are sure what you are doing.
Furthermore, the “know what you’re doing” feature differs from a standard browser in that changing the Tor browser settings might disclose your private browsing data to third-party sources.
Go to the Tor Project website and get the Tor browser (one of many dark web browsers). Navigate to the download location, locate the Tor Browser folder, and click the Start Tor Browser button. The browser checks for updates right away. If an update is available, install it.
Other browsers are concerned about privacy and anonymity. Also, do you require Tor, or would a regular VPN suffice? We advocate using Tor in conjunction with Ivacy VPN.
A Quick Warning About Onion Sites
Onion sites, as well as darkness in general, may house some heinous stuff. Although much of it is fictitious, there is little question that if you are not cautious, you may wind yourself viewing potentially harmful and compromising content. Most genuinely heinous content is hidden behind paywalls, proxies behind proxies, and addresses that aren’t listed anywhere.
Some might blame websites for publishing such content and Tor for facilitating it. Tor’s Abuse FAQ offers an adequate response, pointing out that criminals may already do horrible things. Because they are prepared to breach the law, they already have several tools that give more privacy than Tor.
Law enforcement is already aware that these internet sections exist—if not on Tor, they would live somewhere. “Traditional police measures can still be quite successful against Tor,” according to the FAQ.
How to Find Active Onion Sites
Google Search crawls the internet one page at a time. Web crawlers (also known as spiders) are internet bots trawl through internet sites to index information. A search engine is used to find indexed material.
The Tor darknet uses a similar indexing system, but you won’t discover such sites on Google. Not directly, at any rate.
No, you’ll need a Tor search engine instead. Alternatively, various sites, such as The Hidden Wiki, collect lists of onion sites, which you may see below. Other onion address search engines, such as Ahmia, allow you to use your regular browser to search the Tor network for onion addresses.
1. The Hidden Wiki
The Hidden Wiki serves as a starting point for new darknet visitors. There are older mirror copies of The Hidden Wiki. However, they contain some obsolete web pages as well as broken links.
The Hidden Wiki includes connections to cryptocurrency wallet services, secure messaging services, domain hosting services, darknet markets, darknet versions of major social networks, multiple chains (similar to 4chan but on Tor), and much more. It also contains a huge list of sites in languages other than English.
It’s frequently regarded as one of the top dark websites to visit. However, the links there should be taken with a grain of salt. Many onion sites mentioned there are either phony, frauds, or both.
2. Ahmia. fi
Ahmia. Fi is a clearnet website that searches the Tor network for onion links but also has an onion address. It’s one of the most significant dark web search engines accessible right now, instantly connecting to onion addresses containing your search criteria.
As with any Tor network search engine, the results will always be mixed. Because of the network’s structure, not every address is searchable, and dark web information isn’t indexed as cleanly as clearnet stuff.
Nonetheless, you may utilize Ahmia to identify relevant onion URLs and copy them into the Tor browser for quicker access. Although Ahmia screens out any information concerning child abuse, you may still find connections to other adult content, so use caution. MakeUseOf does not take responsibility for the content you come across while looking for active onion links.
Torch is a popular Tor search engine. However, it is not a standard search engine. For example, searching for “Facebook” in Torch does not yield the Facebook onion site (which you can find here). Instead, it provides a list of postings requesting guidance on how to hack Facebook accounts, where to purchase stolen Facebook accounts, and so on.
In comparison, if you search for Facebook on Google, you’ll get the expected result: the social networking site. Torch demonstrates why searching for onion sites does not always get the desired results.
Most darknet users agree that you should not believe everything you hear about the dark web online. There are a ton of myths and misconceptions about Tor and the Dark Web, and most of them are untrue. However, you still need to be careful about what you do, see, and access on the Dark Web.