How To Find Active Onion Sites & Why You Might Want To

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active onion sitesOnion sites, so named because they end with “.onion”, are hosted as Tor hidden services – a completely anonymous way to host websites. They’re part of the deep Web – an invisible part of the Web that’s not visible to search engines and normal users. It’s full of websites for users obsessed with privacy and anonymity online.

Some of the seedy underbelly of the Web is located here, too, although many of the websites are probably scams, hoaxes, or just traps designed to catch people buying illegal services. There are good uses for .onion sites, though– for example, a political activist in a repressive country or a whistleblower could use a .onion site to upload and share sensitive data or communicate anonymously.

Disclaimer about Active Online Sites

While browsing the deep Web, be careful what you click. While much of the content is no doubt entirely made-up, there’s some horrifying imagery you could see if you’re not careful – but then, there’s horrifying stuff on the normal Web, too.

There are those who would criticize websites for writing about such things – and Tor for enabling them. Tor’s Abuse FAQ provides a good defense, noting that :

Criminals can already do bad things. Since they’re willing to break laws, they already have lots of options available that provide better privacy than Tor provides.

Law enforcement already knows these areas of the Web exist – if not on Tor, they’d exist elsewhere. As the FAQ also notes, “Traditional police techniques can still be very effective against Tor.”

Accessing Onion Sites

.onion sites can only be accessed through Tor. To get started, you’ll need Tor installed on your computer. The easiest way to use Tor is by downloading and installing the Tor browser bundle, which we’ve mentioned in the past. It includes a modified version of Firefox with Tor and other settings preconfigured.

After downloading the Tor browser bundle, run the .exe file to extract it and double-click the “Start Tor Browser.exe” file in the extracted folder.

active onion sites

Tor will connect and launch its included browser.

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onion sites

Core.onion

Tor doesn’t introduce you to .onion sites when you start using it – it just provides an encrypted way to access the normal Web. To get started with .onion sites, you’ll have to be aware they exist and know their locations. One easy entry point is Core.onion, located at eqt5g4fuenphqinx.onion – remember, you’ll need a Tor-enabled browser to access these links.

onion sites

The Tor Directory link will take you to a directory of .onion sites, which you can browse by category or search. There’s also a link to talk.Masked, an anonymous post board for anonymous discussions.

onion sites

The Hidden Wiki

The Hidden Wiki is theoretically located at this address, although it’s down at the moment. If it’s still down for you, you can access a mirror of the hidden wiki instead.

hidden onion sites

The wiki is a sorted index of active .onion sites by category, but don’t believe everything you read on it. It’s likely full of scams, hoaxes, and other fiction. That said, you could access some very disturbing imagery from here, so be careful what you click.

CircleServices

The Circle site provides links to a variety of .onion-site based services. You can upload and share files, images, or text, create a new bulletin board or join an existing one.

hidden onion sites

There’s also a link to TorPM, a popular email-like private messaging system for Tor users.

hidden onion sites

Deep Search

Deep Search is a search engine for .onion sites.  TORCH, a more popular search engine, appears to be down, so DeepSearch might be your best bet.

active onion sites

Many of the .onion sites you’ll encounter on the Tor deep Web are obsessed with BitCoin. For more information about BitCoin, check out our free, full guide to BitCoin.

Have you explored the hidden Web on Tor before? Or do you know of any interesting .onion sites worth visiting? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Image Credit: Laptop User (Blurred) via Shutterstock

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Comments (42)
  • help man

    my tor browser cant assess onions websites, please help…

  • gnygnr

    gcirdquvlyh4terx.onion legit or swam?

  • Pissy

    Why is it so difficult to get these morons to realize you can’t have freedom and control the sex minions at the same time, Screw CP concerns and image concerns and all the do good crap that backs oppression such as the black market causing the exploit of minors and BS, Their your kids, if they get whacked or stolen it’s your fuckin fault , stop asking the effiet FOP Government to take your responsibilities. I would rather live next door to Charles Manson in a FREE society then live next door to Billy Graham in China.
    Freedom is NOT a cafeteria plan, you either have it all or don’t have any at all.

    Let the Pedos fall where they may, I am not willing to forgo my freedom to discuss the “Secrets of Tesla” in order to abolish Kiddy Porn.
    Why do people jion these free oriented non sensored web sites for no more reason to Whine Piss Moan and Groan about freedom? Get the fuck out of here and Go the the Ozzy And Harriot web dot com g rated bullshit network and leave the free thinkers alone.

    • You are

      Got to love Ozzie and Harriet! Guess you didn’t know their eldest son David married a playboy centerfold! Their lives not as G as you though huh.

  • Robert Tate

    “I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”
    Evelyn Beatrice Hall

    I think you have to be careful when you say you want to shut down any form of free speech. where do draw the line? Now if something is illegal then arrest the perpetrator but to shut down the part of the web….. Really?

  • Kurt Decker

    Very good advice! Thank you!!!

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.