12 Best Dark Web Websites and Onion Links to Try

While dark web websites can be a breeding ground for criminality, it is not exclusively malicious. Many organizations retain an Onion site (these use the .onion top-level domain) in the dark web to facilitate people from regions with strict censorship to access their resources. 

Also, these organizations want to provide a safe and anonymous platform for targeted and persecuted people, with no surveillance. Simply put, there are harmless websites you can visit on the dark web. However, like on the surface web, where you practice safe digital hygiene, the same applies on the dark web.

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The anonymity of onion websites is what makes the dark web appealing. Here are the 12 best dark websites and onion links to try: 

1. DuckDuckGo – An Anonymous Search Engine

DuckDuckGo Dark Web Website
DuckDuckGo is your go-to dark web search engine.

DuckDuckGo Dark Web Website Link – https://duckduckgogg42xjoc72x3sjasowoarfbgcmvfimaftt6twagswzczad.onion/

The favorite alternative to Google, DuckDuckGo is also available on the surface web. DuckDuckGo is famed for not logging your search activity and does not profile you. Being Tor Browser’s default search engine, DuckDuckGo facilitates viewing dark websites through their respective .onion links. 

Also, DuckDuckGo does not share information about you. Hence, DuckDuckGo is the ideal dark web search engine choice to boost your online anonymity. Unlike Google, DuckDuckGo shows you a more neutral search finding. Privacy-conscious users should opt for DuckDuckGo for their dark and surface web searches.

2. The Hidden Wiki – Directory of Onion Links on the Dark Web

The Hidden Wiki Dark Web Website

The Hidden Wiki Dark Web Website Link – http://zqktlwiuavvvqqt4ybvgvi7tyo4hjl5xgfuvpdf6otjiycgwqbym2qad.onion/wiki/

Many consider The Hidden Wiki a community-edited onion Wikipedia with a directory of indexed onion links to help you better navigate the Tor network. The .onion links are usually not informative (consisting of letters and numbers), making it hard to make sense of them. As such, browsing the dark web becomes more challenging.

Hence, The Hidden Wiki helps via its in-depth list of sites in various categories. That said, tread carefully here, as the Hidden Wiki is uncensored. Do not blindly trust the links on the Hidden Wiki, as not all of them are functional and safe; they could be scams, dangerous, or potentially illegal. As such, always verify the onion links before you click them.

Also, there are counterfeit versions of The Hidden Wiki on the Dark Web. Avoid these fake sites, as they could direct you to malicious websites. That said, the Hidden Wiki makes for good browsing through the dark web with informative pages.

3. ProPublica – Pulitzer Prize-Winning News Outlet

ProPublica, a news outlet that does not shy away from controversial topics.
ProPublica, a news outlet that does not shy away from controversial topics. 

ProPublica Dark Web Website link – http://p53lf57qovyuvwsc6xnrppyply3vtqm7l6pcobkmyqsiofyeznfu5uqd.onion/

You’ve probably heard of ProPublica, a Pulitzer Prize-winning non-profit news source site. It is also available on the surface web. ProPublica is a popular news outlet on power abuse by governments, institutions, and public trust issues. They cover everything controversial, including child labor and corrupt politicians.

You can find thought-provoking and impactful investigative articles here covering politics, health, finance, the environment, and more. ProPublica maintained an onion website to help journalists, whistleblowers, and people under oppressive regimes to send information anonymously without fear of being tracked.

ProPublica is one of the most polished websites on the dark web. The .onion site functions well and exists for privacy and free speech for all.

4. Facebook – Privacy-Focused Social Media

Facebook dark web version allows access from restricted regions.
Facebook's dark web website allows access from restricted regions.

Facebook Dark Web Website Link – https://www.facebookwkhpilnemxj7asaniu7vnjjbiltxjqhye3mhbshg7kx5tfyd.onion/

Welcome to the mirror website of Facebook on the dark web. Many wonder why Facebook, known for its invasive stance on privacy and controversial clear-name policy, maintains a .onion address? Facebook’s onion version helps people bypass government censorship. Like it or not, Facebook facilitates people to communicate and express opinions. It is a popular platform used by many to disseminate information.

Using Facebook's onion version, people across the globe can connect, communicate, and organize while staying anonymous. Facebook’s onion site allows people from restricted countries to access Facebook. Hence, check out Facebook’s onion site if you’re under repressive regimes or want to secure communications with friends and family.

5. CIA – Secure Communication for Anyone with the CIA

CIA keeps an onion link to help anyone communicate with them anonymously.
CIA keeps an onion link to help anyone communicate with them anonymously.

The CIA Dark Web Website Onion Link – http://ciadotgov4sjwlzihbbgxnqg3xiyrg7so2r2o3lt5wz5ypk4sxyjstad.onion/

Tor was created in the mid-1990s by the US Navy to safeguard their intelligence agents. The CIA has now set up shop in the dark web to allow everyone throughout the globe to access its resources securely and anonymously. The CIA intends to expand its online communication, thus explaining the .onion link’s existence. 

If you wish to share information anonymously with the CIA but are wary of being tracked, you can do so via this CIA .onion link. The CIA dark website is similar to the regular one, except you can communicate freely with the CIA without fear of being tracked through the former.

6. Wasabi Wallet – Your Bitcoin Wallet Dark Web Website

Wasabi Wallet is for privacy-minded bitcoiners to protect their identity with top-notch security.
Wasabi Wallet is for privacy-minded bitcoiners to protect their identity with top-notch security.

Wasabi Wallet Dark Web Website Link – http://wasabiukrxmkdgve5kynjztuovbg43uxcbcxn6y2okcrsg7gb6jdmbad.onion/

If you wish to transact on the dark web, bitcoin is the way to go; it is the most used cryptocurrency for dark web transactions. Wasabi Wallet facilitates buying, selling, and managing your cryptocurrency anonymously. If you’re a cryptocurrency enthusiast, you’ll find Wasabi Wallet an indispensable trading tool on the dark web.

Wasabi Wallet provides a safe way to buy, sell, and manage cryptocurrency on the dark web through its unique wallet-mixing features. CoinJoin allows strangers to mix coins online, thus anonymizing their Bitcoin transactions; this hides your transaction, making it almost impossible to trace back to you. 

7. ProtonMail – Ensuring Anonymous Email on the Dark Web

ProtonMail is an encrypted email service to protect your communications.
ProtonMail is an encrypted email service to protect your communications.

ProtonMail Dark Web Website Link – https://protonmailrmez3lotccipshtkleegetolb73fuirgj7r4o4vfu7ozyd.onion/

ProtonMail is an end-to-end encrypted and zero-access email service based in Switzerland. Nobody can access your emails, not even Proton. You do not need mad-tech skills, as anyone can easily use ProtonMail (the encryption runs in the background). Proton claims to not spy or sell your data to anyone, nor will there be ads.

You sign up anonymously without giving an email address or phone number, although sometimes, human verification is required in some cases. Once signed up, you use the username and password to log in to all Proton services. There is a free secure email plan with basic functionalities; the good news is that you enjoy the same level of security as their paid plans (advanced email features).

It is no wonder journalists, activists, and just about anyone uses ProtonMail to protect their communications with no worries of interceptions. ProtonMail on the dark web enhances the user’s anonymity. Also, users from restricted countries can freely access Proton Mail’s onion website. 

8. SecureDrop – Share Sensitive Information Securely With the Media

SecureDrop offers a safe platform for whistleblowers wanting to share information.
SecureDrop offers a safe platform for whistleblowers wanting to share information.

SecureDrop Dark Web Website Link – http://sdolvtfhatvsysc6l34d65ymdwxcujausv7k5jk4cy5ttzhjoi6fzvyd.onion/

Available in 21 languages, SecureDrop is an open-source whistleblower submission system. The popularity of SecureDrop has motivated many publications to host their own SecureDrop URL, enabling many to share vital information directly with them (The Washington Post, The Guardian, ProPublica, The Intercept, Al Jazeera, and TechCrunch). 

SecureDrop claims to not log your IP addresses, browser, or computer, and all data in transit and at rest are encrypted. They practice stringent security best practices so that risks are minimal. SecureDrop onion website poses a haven for whistleblowers to pass on information anonymously, without fear of persecution and being tracked. It is no wonder that many people frequent SecureDrop to share information confidently.

9. DarkNetLive – Discover More About the Dark Web

DarkNetLive has loads of updated dark web information.
DarkNetLive has loads of updated dark web information.

DarkNetLive Dark Web Website Link – http://darknetlidvrsli6iso7my54rjayjursyw637aypb6qambkoepmyq2yd.onion/

DarkNetLive is available on the surface web. However, they also have an onion site on the dark web as a news site providing the latest information about the dark web and its use. You'll find darknet markets and other dark web activities information. 

Major drug dealer ‘vendor' arrests, dark website closures, drug seizures, cryptocurrency resources, onion link indexes, and anything related to dark web activities are among the many intriguing things to read here. 

10. Dark.fail – A Good Guide to Check Dark Websites Availability

Dark.fail is a good starting platform to check the availability of dark websites.
Dark.fail is a good starting platform to check the availability of dark websites.

Dark.fail Dark Web Website Link – http://darkfailenbsdla5mal2mxn2uz66od5vtzd5qozslagrfzachha3f3id.onion/

Like others, Dark.fail is accessible on the surface web. However, they recommend viewing their .onion site on the dark web due to higher security through Tor Browser. You may find Dark.fail useful, as it provides a convenient platform to check and monitor the uptime of .onion websites. 

You can confirm the availability of popular dark websites with accurate and verified URLs here. Admittedly, the number of dark websites available here is not overly impressive, but since the most popular ones are included, it should suffice. You are welcome to propose new listings to them. 

11. ZeroBin – A Utility Website for Sharing Information

ZeroBin enables sharing safely and privately with your dark web friends.
ZeroBin enables sharing safely and privately with your dark web friends.

ZeroBin Dark Web Website Link –http://zerobinftagjpeeebbvyzjcqyjpmjvynj5qlexwyxe7l3vqejxnqv5qd.onion/

Just like in the ‘clear’ world, where you often share stuff with your friends online through utility tools, the same applies in the ‘dark’ world. ZeroBin is one of the popular utility websites enabling you to share safely with your dark web friends. It is an open-source paste bin tool where you copy and paste a message/image (what you wish to share) into ZeroBin’s editor.

ZeroBin utilizes 256-bit AES encryption, and they claim not to know what you’re sharing. Encryption is performed in the browser, so the servers are unaware of what you have shared. You can incorporate sharing password protection to increase security. ZeroBin is for sending encrypted messages over the dark web with your privacy intact. 

12. RiseUp – Invite-Only Secure Communication Platform

Like the name, RiseUp is for activists for a just cause.
Like the name, RiseUp is for activists for a just cause.

RiseUp Dark Web Website Link – http://vww6ybal4bd7szmgncyruucpgfkqahzddi37ktceo3ah7ngmcopnpyyd.onion/

Founded around 1999 by activists in Seattle, Riseup is a volunteer-run email provider for activists across the globe. Riseup provides email and chat services with millions of users worldwide. Unlike Google, Riseup does not log your activities, so you are not monitored or tracked.

Riseup focuses on liberatory social change and intends to create democratic alternatives through secure communication. The service protects your communications from malicious attacks and government interference. However, you need an invitation code to sign up, which cannot be created by recently created account users. 

Stay Safe While Browsing Dark Web Websites

Here are what you can do to safeguard yourself while on the dark web:

  • Since you cannot access the onion links through your regular browser, you’ll require the Tor Browser (Onion Browser). Like an Onion, there are multiple layers of encryption, thus ensuring your anonymity. However, this attribute also makes the Tor network a haven for cybercriminals. Hence, be vigilant each time you click an onion link.
  • Close any other running-in-parallel programs before starting your dark web journey.
  • Turn on your antivirus program. Ensure it is reliable with security features that include real-time threat protection and identity theft monitoring.
  • Use a VPN to mask your point of origin. ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Surfshark are trusted and reliable VPN services.
  • Get a secure email address for an untraceable email address to register for .onion websites. 
  • Do not simply download or expose your personal information.
  • Always use cryptocurrency for your transactions.
  • Do not simply click links of dubious nature.
  • Remember that the Tor network isn’t indexed, so there are hidden pages.  

Wrapping Up

The dark web is a dangerous place to venture into. There’s usually no good reason to justify your journey into the dark web, especially for regular internet users. However, if you decide to take that leap of faith and plunge into the depths of the dark web, you can start by checking out the above 12 dark websites. 

News sites, organizations, and institutions own and maintain a dark website, a mirror of their primary indexed website. Such dark websites are relatively harmless, but you never know on the dark web. Hence, practice the best safety practices to browse safely and securely on the dark web.

Timothy Shim

Tim is a former tech journalist turned web technology junkie. He spends his time exploring the best in digital privacy and security tools. Meanwhile, experiments with SEO continue to increase his blood pressure. ( Contact Tim on Linkedin )

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