Tor is one of the most popular privacy-oriented web browsers. When you connect to the internet using the Tor browser, your internet traffic is encrypted and routed through a series of random servers. A combination of the Tor network’s global network of servers and its free, opensource software helps internet users stay anonymous online. The Tor browser is particularly useful when it comes to accessing the deep web.
What is the deep web? The term deep web refers to the parts of the internet that are not indexed by conventional web search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. This part of the internet only exists as darknets, overlay networks that use the internet but can only be accessed via specific software. The Tor network is one of the largest darknets in the deep web and can only be accessed with a Tor browser.
Onion sites are websites that are hosted on the Tor Network. Your standard browser will not open any link that ends with .onion. If you are not familiar with this part of the internet, don’t worry. We’ve got you. Here are the best .onion sites to familiarize yourself with the dark web without worrying about your privacy.
The Hidden Wiki
The Hidden Wiki is the .onion version of Wikipedia. Here, you will find numerous links to a wide array of services on the deep web. The Hidden Wiki presents one of the best ways to discover content that can’t be accessed via conventional search engines.
Keybase is a security tool that allows users to link all their online profiles together with PGP encryption. This cryptographic profile link system allows you to link your social media and other online accounts, making it extremely difficult for someone to steal your online identities and impersonate you.
Yes, the actual Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has an .onion site. It may seem strange that the CIA has a website in the darknet, but it makes a lot of sense. The nature of the job itself requires a secure information channel, and the Tor network is one of the safest ways to relay information over the internet.
SecureDrop is a whistleblower submission system on the Tor network that helps informants share leaked information securely. Media organizations such as ProPublica as well as NGOs often use SecureDrop to communicate with their sources anonymously. Anyone can install the application in their organization.
If you are looking for any type of scientific information on the dark web, you are most likely to find what you are looking for at Sci-Hub. This .onion site hosts over 50 million scientific papers and other types of collective scientific knowledge, and they are available free of charge.
With the rising threat of internet censorship in countries with authoritarian regimes, it’s dangerous to advocate for social change. Riseup provides secure online communication tools to individuals and groups fighting for social change. The Tor network email communication platform has over six million users globally.
Despite its weaknesses, Facebook is one of the most effective communication tools on the internet. Facebook allows strangers on the internet to communicate freely. The .onion version of the largest social media platform is designed to help people in countries where access to the standard version of the platform is blocked by the authorities.
ProPublica was among the first news organizations to take a stand against invasive online privacy policies instituted by governments and private organizations all over the world. The creation of the .onion site by the Pulitzer-winning news organization was a big win for free speech and online privacy.
If you know where to look, the deep web has everything you are looking for. But this part of the internet is vast and can be intimidating for inexperienced Tor users. Without the right tools, it’s easy to get lost in the enormity of the deep web. These popular .onion websites can guide you as you familiarize yourself with the deep web.