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

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image   How To Find Active Onion Sites & Why You Might Want ToOnion 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.

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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.

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Tor will connect and launch its included browser.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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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36 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

Vox

TOR is a great tool for keeping yourself anonymous. But from what I have found from a lot of the .onion sites its not something that should be played around with.

The hidden wiki is something I think should remain shut down. There is no good information, just something that hurts our society.

Chris Hoffman

I think some of these services could have valid uses for people in certain countries to communicate entirely within Tor (say, journalists in oppressive countries).

There’s a lot of bad stuff on there, but a lot of it seems like hoaxes.

Reply

Brent R Jones

Is there a real community within TOR? Is it ever possible to be anonymous on the Internet? If there were useful conversations and information there I would use it. But stealth is the opposite of sharing.

Chris Hoffman

Tor is generally used to access the external web, not .onion sites.

Reply

leio

one see great tor have
if you connect tor and do not work with thir firefox
in message log warn you
like config their ip and port in chrome he warn you
you have leak maybe

Reply

Raj

Thanks for explaining how onion sites work. It sure has many uses in repressive regimes around the world. However, the bad stuff that lurks around there is too disturbing (from what you can read on the media).

Chris Hoffman

Yes, it’s sad but true — the same protection that offers journalists and activists protection also offers criminals protection. But the criminals already know about it, whether we like it or not.

Reply

Kaoz

Why i can’t connect to onion core or deep web search?

Chris Hoffman

I’m not sure — are you connecting through the Tor browser?

Reply

sissy

I’m impressed with your prude readership. C’mon, who’s disillusioned with governments’ attempt to disrupt the flow of information?- You people are hiding under your red white and blue smocks… Be a patriot and adopt freedom- in all its forms. If you’re browsing this site certainly you realize the network will bring peace, because it brings information. Even if it’s information that makes your tiny wieners shrivel.

Chris Hoffman

Thanks for your perspective. It’s not so much about information as it is about people sharing.. let’s say, images that most people would agree should stay illegal.

sissy

Of course, ‘those’ images should be illegal. But what about this, and that, and all this stuff and… Anyways, I was really hoping you would progress the tiny wiener flame. Freedom isn’t free, it just costs thousand of pointless deaths in a country far far away from me.

Sandra

‘If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.’ ~Noam Chomsky

Now stop pretending pictures can harm people, voodoo isn’t real.

Chris Hoffman

Well, that’s a tough issue.

Pictures can’t harm people, but if there’s demand and money encouraging people to produce the pictures, that leads to actual harm.

Ultimately, we do have to accept that the freedom allows people to do this.

We could solve a lot more crimes by installing surveillance cameras in everyone’s houses, but we realize that’s a bad idea — even if it does let some people use the privacy for evil.

Reply

Jason

hey, none of these links appear to be working… could there be something wrong with my tor browser or are they all dead links? really interested in checking out .onions and would be thankful for any info! thanks.

Peter

Hey man, how long are you waiting?
sometimes TOR takes ages to load. if you have a fast connection it is considerably slower so if your used to rapid speeds forget it with TOR, thats not what its about!

Chris Hoffman

Yup, that’s another good point. Tor isn’t about speed.

Jason

no, i have been waiting… it just seems like a lot of the links are down…it will say “connection timed out”. and yes, i’m using tor browser. i have no issues waiting for websites.. i am in no hurry. just seems like a ghost town in the deep webs!

Chris Hoffman

It is a ghost town, comparatively.

It’s also possible that some of the sites have gone down (temporarily or permanently).

Chris Hoffman

You have to be running a Tor browser to access them — in other words, open the Tor browser and load this page.

51UL

Great post man!

Reply

Jose Luis Lira Turriza

I like Tor ’cause I love Pedo !!! I Like to fuck 8 years girls !!!

Reply

anonboy

well, hidden wiki is working at kpvz7ki2v5agwt35.onion

Reply

Go-Ger

Well, I am using the Tor Browser that comes in the Tor bundle, also I am using Privoxy. When I use the Tor browser I can load any “normal” site, but I have not been able to load .onion sites, I always get the same error message from Privoxy:
No such domain
Your request for X could not be fulfilled, because the domain name X could not be resolved.
any suggestions?

Chris Hoffman

I’m not sure, it’s possible the links in the article have gone down and have been replaced. Privoxy could be interfering — maybe try using the bundle without Privoxy?

Reply

jutjut

why will my computer not connect to any of them search engine links on tor, people keep saying theres bad stuff and that on hidden wiki and im not getting anything up, what do you type in to use it ?

Chris Hoffman

You have to access them using the Tor browser bundle.

Reply

diaaly

hi
I installed the software and viewed a couple of sites, well this seem to be illegal,but
is it real, I mean you can hire a murder from these sites and you can order a drug or something ,is it something that governments do not know about it ?
and if they don’t how this should be illegal and harmful if I can access them so easly ?!

Chris Hoffman

It’s definitely the seedy underbelly of the web.

Is it actually real, though? Maybe it’s some scam artist trying to bilk bad people out of money. Maybe it’s the government themselves participating in a sting operation. Maybe it’s just completely fake. We don’t know.

As far as drugs though, Silk Road has been written about a lot — that does seem to be a real marketplace. http://www.npr.org/2011/06/12/137138008/silk-road-not-your-fathers-amazon-com
(Not an endorsement.)

Reply

AlphaZed

Hi, I know this is an old article but I cant load any working .onion sites. It always says Firefox can’t establish a connection to the server at “bla-bla”.onion
Is there a possibility that all or most of .onion sites are down?
Im using tor bundle.
Thanks.

great article by the way.

Chris Hoffman

It’s possible; I’m not sure — try looking for some other .onion URLs

Reply

Zentrix

I wish to know how can I download videos from YouTube or any other web of videos by using Tor. I’m already aware, of course, that I can get these vids with any other normal browser, but I’ve been using Tor for a while, and despite of the time of wait, I got used to watch anything on it. The reason of why I’m asking this is because I clicked the download links to get the videos to my PC, but then a pop-up came saying that if I wanted to make some download, first I would have to get some plug-in or proxy in order to make Tor’s connection more safe and anonymous.
Thanks for your help.

Reply

Kurt Decker

Very good advice! Thank you!!!

Reply

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?

Reply

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.

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