The dark web is infamous for illegal and immoral activities, but it’s also a gold mine of information. Get all the study material you need for college, remove all barriers from accessing scientific research, or blow the whistle on a corrupt businessman or politician.
Many dark web sites are safe to visit and they can offer you a lot of value, but you might also encounter scam sites and black markets for drugs and weapons. After all, you don’t want the FBI knocking on your door for accidentally ordering a uranium sample from North Korea.
Explore the most mysterious part of the world wide web and enjoy complete online freedom. Cybercriminals hide countless traps in digital obscurity, so before you dive in, make sure you take all the necessary precautions.
Unlock a whole new world, learn all about the safest sites and how to navigate the dark web without putting yourself at risk.
A Stern Warning From Ghostie
- Get a top-notch VPN. Use CyberGhost VPN to shield you from the dangers of the dark web.
- Connect to a secure VPN server. Access the dark web anonymously through one of CyberGhost VPN’s 7700+ servers located in 91 countries.
- Explore the dark web worry-free with Tor. Protect your identity with CyberGhost VPN. While connected to CyberGhost, nobody can see you browsing on Tor; not even your internet service provider!
Now, let’s see what all the fuss is about and how you can make the most of the dark web.
What Is the Dark Web?
The dark web sounds like a scary place, but it’s not the wretched hive of scum and villainy many believe it to be.
The dark web contains web pages that search engines like Google don’t index, so you can’t find them on the regular web. Dark web content is hidden. It doesn’t appear in your typical browser, so you need the right tools and a special browser to surf this part of the web. Grab a torch and let’s go cyber-exploring.
Common Misconceptions about the Dark Web and What You Can Use It For
Why is it so dark in there?
The dark web keeps your activity and communication anonymous and in the dark. That’s why some use it to avoid government censorship and others use it for their criminal activity like drug trafficking and weapon smuggling.
The dark web is a private space. It’s neither good nor bad – it all depends on how you take advantage of what it offers you. Here’s how you can use it as a regular Joe:
- 🚪 Browse the internet anonymously.
- 🚪 Access censored websites and materials.
- 🚪 Gain free access to thousands of scientific research papers and journals for free.
- 🚪 Read unbiased news sources and donate cryptocurrency to help them.
- 🚪 Blow the whistle on corrupt officials and businessmen under anonymity.
The dark web offers a lot of valuable resources, but it’s also a place where cybercriminals hang out. Here are a few tips on how to browse the dark web safely without getting your identity stolen.
Tips to Stay Safe
- Use common sense. Don’t trust anyone you meet on the dark web, especially with real information about you and your bank account.
- Don’t download anything from untrusted sources. Malware lurks in the dark web. Always enable your VPN and use a security suite to protect your computer.
- Create a fake online identity. You don’t want anyone from the dark web to get your personal and credit card information.
- Use a new email account. Keep a separate email account to use only on the dark web. If it gets hacked, you have nothing to lose.
- Protect Yourself with CyberGhost VPN. A VPN is a must-have when you browse the dark web. I can’t stress this enough. A good service will protect your anonymity and encrypt your data. Try CyberGhost risk-free with its 45-day money-back guarantee.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, you can take a deeper look into the dark web and the world wide web in general. This goes a long way to help you navigate safely and make the most of the dark web.
Surface Web, Deep Web, Dark Web: What’s the Difference?
The world wide web is massive and much like the universe, we explore so little of it. It’s so huge that it’s hard to comprehend.
The Surface Web
Just like the universe, the internet has an observable space. But this makes up a tiny fraction of the entire web. This visible layer is the surface web, aka clearnet.
The surface web contains all the indexed websites you access with regular browsers like Google Chrome and Firefox.
The Deep Web
The deep web represents most of the world wide web. Using the same universe analogy, the deep web lies beyond what we can observe.
The deep web contains all the hidden web content like databases, intranets, and any page search engines can’t crawl and index. You browse it daily whenever you access your online bank account, email account, or your favorite subscription service. You don’t need a special browser for it.
The Dark Web
Don’t mistake the dark web for the deep web. They’re not the same thing. The dark web is a tiny part of the deep web and it’s as hidden as a black hole. It’s there, you just need the right tool to see it.
The dark web isn’t indexed and you can’t access it with regular browsers. It has a unique registry operator, it’s protected by several layers of security measures, and you can access it only through the Tor network.
You Need a VPN to Access the Dark Web Safely
Never access the dark web without adequate protection. While the Tor browser does a pretty good job at keeping you anonymous, only a VPN can protect you from cyberattacks. Get CyberGhost VPN to protect your devices and keep your identity safe.
CyberGhost VPN hides your IP address, traffic, and browsing history on the surface web as well as the dark web. It uses AES 256-bit military encryption to keep all your data safe. Protect yourself with a premium VPN and surf the dark web securely.
But wait, there’s more! You can browse the dark web even more securely.
Access the Dark Web With Tor-Over-VPN
Tor reroutes your connection through a few random nodes before it reaches the final destination to keep you anonymous. It hides your IP address and makes it difficult for anyone to track you. That said, some ISPs and governmental agencies become suspicious of your activity when you use Tor, not to mention the fact that tech-savvy users might be able to track you even through Tor.
VPNs hide your IP address and reroute your connection through a VPN server to keep you safe. CyberGhost uses the best encryption methods on the market to protect your data. It also has a strict No-Logs policy to ensure there is no trace of your activity.
Most people use one or the other to stay anonymous… But what if you use both?
Connect to CyberGhost VPN and hide your location.
You can use a VPN to connect to the dark web through the Tor network. This method is called Tor-over-VPN and it’s the safest way to explore dark web links. Here’s how it works:
- 💪 A VPN server hides your IP address and encrypts your data.
- 💪 Your requests pass through the VPN server.
- 💪 Requests then pass through a minimum of 3 random Tor relays.
- 💪 Your requests reach their final destination.
These extra layers of security hide your online activity. Use a VPN before you connect to the Tor network and nobody will even know you’re surfing the dark web.
How to Set Up a Tor-Over-VPN Connection
You can easily access the dark web with the Tor-over-VPN method. Here’s what you need to do:
- Connect to a premium VPN: Hide your IP address and encrypt your data with a secure VPN like CyberGhost VPN. Not even your ISP will be able to track your activity on the dark web. They also won’t know you’re using Tor.
- Download the Tor browser: Tor is free. Download it only from the official Tor project site (torproject.org) to avoid installing any malware or unwanted freeware.
- Access any onion link with Tor: You can access all .onion links with Tor. The Tor network encrypts the traffic between you and the onion domain. Don’t worry about SSL certificates.
- Use common sense: Tor and a reliable VPN will protect your anonymity and your data, but you still have to watch out for scams. If you want to pay for something on the dark web, always use a protected email address and cryptocurrency.
- Install a strong security suite: It’s easy to slip up and end up with some malware on your computer. A VPN can’t scan your computer and eliminate viruses. You need powerful security software to protect your device from trojans, worms, spyware, and other nasty malware lurking on the dark web.
That said, just because you now know how to be safe on the dark web doesn’t mean you should explore the online black market. Use the dark web for good not for evil!
Silk Road: A Cautionary Tale About the Dark Side of the Web
You can find a lot of spooky places on the dark web, and most of them are black marketplaces. Most of these host illegal activities such as selling and buying drugs, weapons, and other black-market goods.
We don’t advise you to visit such places on the dark web, not even for research purposes. You have been warned. For your own safety, it’s best to avoid dark web marketplaces altogether.
Silk Road was the first dark web black market. Although now defunct, it’s still synonymous with the dark web and its history. It operated on the dark web from 2011 until 2013 when the FBI and Europol shut it down. Sellers had to pay a fee to own an account and trade their illicit goods using Bitcoin cryptocurrency.
As Silk Road grew in popularity, it drew too much attention from the IRS, FBI, and other government agencies. Data leaks eventually led to it being shut down and its founder, Ross Ulbricht, arrested and sentenced to life in prison.
Remember kids, dark web marketplaces are extremely dangerous. Avoid them. If you’re a curious cat, at least use a reliable VPN and Tor-over-VPN before exploring the deepest reaches of the darknet.
The Best Dark Web Links to Explore
The dark web is famous for shady websites, black marketplaces for guns and drugs, and illegal activities, but there are many legitimate websites and services you can use if you can find them.
Below you’ll find the top dark web sites safe to visit:
Onion link: http://haystak5njsmn2hqkewecpaxetahtwhsbsa64jom2k22z5afxhnpxfid.onion/
Don’t know what websites to visit on the dark web? You might not have Google, but you have Haystak.
Haystak is one of the largest dark web search engines. It might sound strange since the point of the darknet is to avoid being crawled and indexed, but some onion sites want to be found.
You can use Haystak to search for safe dark web sites. It filters out the dangerous ones. You can also pay for the premium version to access historical versions of various websites and get email alerts for new content that matches your search query. In fact, the premium version is what sets it apart from other search engines like Hidden Wiki.
Onion link: http://darkfailenbsdla5mal2mxn2uz66od5vtzd5qozslagrfzachha3f3id.onion/
The dark web can be dangerous to search and browse aimlessly. Search engines and various indexes will sometimes send you to a misidentified URL, illegitimate domain, or scam site. You need an updated library of safe links, kind of like this article but a bit bigger, and that’s where Dark.fail comes in.
In essence, Dark.fail is a somewhat limited list of useful onion links. You get safe links to various dark web marketplaces, uncensored news outlets, torrent sites, and more. The chances of getting malware from these is extremely low.
Dark.fail is a great resource if you’re a beginner dark web surfer worried about ending up in the bad digital neighborhood.
Visit them at your own risk and use a VPN before doing so!
Onion link: https://www.facebookwkhpilnemxj7asaniu7vnjjbiltxjqhye3mhbshg7kx5tfyd.onion/
While you enjoy privacy and anonymity using TOR, you can still use social media. You don’t have to fall off the face of the planet.
Yes, Facebook exists on the dark web and it works as well as on the surface web! The reason why Facebook has an onion link is that some governments have banned access to it. If you live in a country where you aren’t allowed to log in to Facebook, use the onion link above.
Alternatively, you can use CyberGhost VPN to hide your IP and access Facebook from anywhere even without Tor.
Onion link: http://p53lf57qovyuvwsc6xnrppyply3vtqm7l6pcobkmyqsiofyeznfu5uqd.onion/
If you care about unbiased investigative journalism, ProPublica is probably the best online publication to visit on the dark web. Serious journalists go to the dark web where they can be truly free, so you’ll find some interesting reports.
The non-profit Pulitzer Prize winner is set to expose government abuse of power, corporate corruption, and any wrongdoing that is kept hidden from the general public. Read your news unfiltered.
ProPublica is also the place to visit if you need to make an anonymous report. It welcomes and protects anonymous whistleblowers.
Accessing scientific journals and documents is often costly or restricted to various institutions. Sci-Hub removes any barrier that stands in your way of acquiring knowledge and it doesn’t cost you anything.
Access Sci-Hub anonymously and download all the research papers, journals, and published works you need. Take note the onion link is outdated but you can still use a regular link through TOR.
6. Secure Drop
Onion link: http://sdolvtfhatvsysc6l34d65ymdwxcujausv7k5jk4cy5ttzhjoi6fzvyd.onion/
The dark web is filled with malware trying to collect data from anyone who’s even slightly vulnerable. In addition to using a VPN, you should use an encrypted document submission system like Secure Drop.
Secure Drop is a secure information-sharing system. It automatically encrypts any type of data you submit, making it ideal for whistleblowers that might suffer repercussions if their identity comes to light.
Use Secure Drop if you need to share data anonymously with a news publication.
Onion link: https://protonmailrmez3lotccipshtkleegetolb73fuirgj7r4o4vfu7ozyd.onion/
You can’t stay anonymous for long if you don’t use an encrypted email service. It’s also a good idea to create a new email account, separate from your day-to-day account, to protect your privacy. This is where ProtonMail comes in.
The Swiss email service provider offers end-to-end encryption and doesn’t gather data. In fact, you don’t even need to provide any personal information to set up an account. On top of that, ProtonMail is available on the regular internet as well.
Use ProtonMail together with CyberGhost VPN to enjoy maximum protection and anonymity.
8. Wasabi Wallet
Onion link: http://wasabiukrxmkdgve5kynjztuovbg43uxcbcxn6y2okcrsg7gb6jdmbad.onion
As I mentioned earlier, if you need to pay for a service on the dark web, always use cryptocurrency to protect your anonymity. You don’t want to give your credit card information to anyone. You never know what they’ll do with it. Use a crypto wallet like Wasabi instead.
Wasabi Wallet is a Bitcoin wallet that’s renowned on the dark web for its reliability and security. It hides your data, secures your transactions, and it makes it impossible for someone to scam you.
Wasabi Wallet is arguably the safest payment tool on dark web sites. Load it up with Bitcoins and order or donate safely and anonymously.
Onion link: http://zerobinftagjpeeebbvyzjcqyjpmjvynj5qlexwyxe7l3vqejxnqv5qd.onion/
Communication on the dark web is rarely secure. You never know who’s tracking your moves and collecting your data. Communicate through encrypted channels only by using ZeroBin.
ZeroBin is an encrypted communication service. It lets you send messages to someone anonymously without being exposed to a third party. Not even the owners of the platform know what data you’re sending.
With ZeroBin you can pPost a password-protected message and set it to self-destruct after the receiver reads it. The messaging system is handled at the browser level and uses 256-bit AES encryption. If you need to share private information with someone, ZeroBin is one of the safest options.
10. Archive Today
Onion link: http://archiveiya74codqgiixo33q62qlrqtkgmcitqx5u2oeqnmn5bpcbiyd.onion/
One of the problems with the dark web is that sites frequently go down or change their domains. It’s easy to lose track of a useful resource.
Archive Today solves that problem by taking snapshots. You can revisit sites that no longer exist or their past versions.
Use Archive Today to visit dead onion links or to track website changes. You also won’t have to worry about malware or popups because these snapshots aren’t active websites.
Onion link: http://ciadotgov4sjwlzihbbgxnqg3xiyrg7so2r2o3lt5wz5ypk4sxyjstad.onion
Got something to share with the CIA but you want to make sure you stay anonymous? Do you want to access their database but don’t want anyone to know about it? Now you can do that through the CIA onion link.
Visiting a CIA dark web link might sound counterintuitive to someone who wants to avoid Big Brother’s eyes, but this is a legitimate resource. The CIA offers an entire library of declassified documents, maps, references, and intelligence studies to everyone.
Access the CIA’s repository of knowledge and contact them safely and anonymously through the dark web.
Some governments and corporations do everything in their power to control the flow of information. I’m not even talking about propaganda and fake news that’s spreading like wildfire, although that’s a huge problem too. I’m talking about knowledge and science.
Knowledge is expensive. Did you buy a book for college yet? A single book often costs more than $100 and you need a lot of them. That’s a serious barrier to entry.
Tor obliterates censorship and makes a lot of research free for everyone. However, it’s not always the safest place. Hackers are on the prowl for valuable data and malware is everywhere on the dark web.
Turn on your VPN, fire up the Tor browser, and explore the web anonymously. Information is valuable, but so is your privacy. Use CyberGhost VPN to stay safe and begin your journey on the dark web with these 12 onion links.
Is it legal to surf the dark web?
Surfing the dark web is legal, as is using the Tor browser. Clicking on a dark web link is not a criminal act.
However, if you use dark web sites to incite hate speech, buy illegal drugs or weapons, or send threats to someone, you’re probably committing a crime. Use common sense. Whatever is illegal in the real world is also illegal on the dark web.
How can I safely visit the dark web?
Use CyberGhost VPN together with the Tor browser to safely visit the dark web. Tor alone lets you access the dark web anonymously, but someone can still learn that you’re connecting through the Tor network. Moreover, skilled third parties could track your Tor connection.
This is where the VPN comes in. CyberGhost VPN will hide your IP address and encrypt your traffic before you connect to Tor. Use the Tor-over-VPN method to become truly anonymous.
Can you be tracked on the dark web?
If you don’t take all the recommended precautions, someone can track you even on the dark web. For example, tracking scripts that record online user behavior exist even on clearnet sites. Someone could use these scripts to track you down. This is one of the reasons why you should always use a VPN.
Install CyberGhost VPN to and keep your data safe from deep web hackers.
Is DuckDuckGo dark web?
DuckDuckGo is a privacy-focused search engine. It is Tor’s default search engine due to its emphasis on anonymous searching.
While DuckDuckGo allows you to explore the deep and the dark web, you can also use it with any regular browser to search the clearnet anonymously.
Can I use a free VPN to access the dark web?
Don’t ever use a free VPN. Many dark web sites spread malware and actively track your online activities. Free VPNs are too unreliable and your personal information will be at risk whenever you connect to one.
Instead, subscribe to CyberGhost VPN and enjoy military-grade encryption whenever you go online.
How dangerous are Onion sites?
The dark web can be a dangerous place. Some Onion sites will expose you to malicious software and others will put you at risk of being scammed. The authorities are also monitoring certain sites and you could become one of their targets by simply clicking on the link.
Tor isn’t enough to keep you safe. Use a VPN for truly anonymous browsing and to protect yourself from any threats on the dark web.
Can I access the dark web from my mobile device?
Yes, you can access your favorite dark websites from any mobile device. You just need to install the Tor browser and protect your connection with a VPN.
Install the CyberGhost VPN app for your Android or iOS device, and access the dark web safely from anywhere with any mobile device.