How to Find Active .Onion Dark Web Sites (And Why You Might Want To)

Gavin Phillips Updated 25-10-2018

The Tor network hosts onion sites. The Tor network is a series of interconnected nodes that allow private and anonymous internet use. Tor stands for “The Onion Router,” while sites hosted on the service carry the “.onion” top level domain suffix.


You cannot access Tor services or onion sites using your regular browser. They’re part of the invisible part of the internet known as the deep web. Or, more precisely, they’re part of the Tor darknet. Darknets are the bits you hear about in the news; an allegedly lawless area of the internet where anything goes.

But if you cannot access onion sites using your regular browser, how do you do it? And moreover, why would you want to?

How Do You Access an Onion Site?

You can only access a .onion site through Tor. To access the Tor network, you need the Tor browser. The Tor browser is modified Mozilla Firefox browser with numerous integrated scripts and add-ons to protect your privacy while browsing onion sites.

The Tor browser is preconfigured to connect to the network, and the developers strongly advise not messing around with the browser settings unless you know what you are doing. Adding to that, the “know what you’re doing” is different to a regular browser, in that altering the Tor browser settings can expose your private browsing data to external sources.

Head to the Tor Project site and download the Tor browser (one of many dark web browsers). Head to the download location, find the Tor Browser folder and select Start Tor Browser. The browser immediately checks for updates. If there is an update, apply it.


start tor browser shortcut folder

There are other browsers that focus on privacy and anonymity 4 Free Anonymous Web Browsers That Are Completely Private Anonymous browsing of the web is one way to protect your online privacy. Here are the best anonymous web browsers to use. Read More . Also, is Tor what you need, or would a basic VPN do the job I2P vs. Tor vs. VPN: Which Is More Secure? If you need online privacy, you'll have come across terms like "VPN" and "Tor" and perhaps even "I2P" -- but what are they and which one is best for you? Read More ?

A Quick Warning About Onion Sites

Onion sites, and darknets in general, can host some horrifying content. A large amount of it is fictional, but there is no doubt you can end up viewing potentially damaging and compromising material if you are not careful. Most of the truly awful bits are locked away behind paywalls, proxies within proxies, and addresses you won’t find printed anywhere.

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.”

Read every description before you click any links!

How to Find Active Onion Sites

Google Search indexes the entire internet, one page at a time. Web crawlers (also known as a spider) are internet bots that systematically trawl through internet pages and index the content. Indexed content is found using a search engine.

The Tor darknet has similar indexing, though you won’t find those sites through Google. No, you need a special Tor search engine instead. Alternatively, there are numerous sites that curate lists of onion sites, such as The Hidden Wiki, and others that list indexed onion sites, such as the Onion Link List.


You must copy and paste the following links into the Tor browser, rather than your regular internet browser.

1. The Hidden Wiki

the hidden wiki tor 2018

The Hidden Wiki is a general jumping off point for new darknet visitors How to Access the Dark Web Safely and Anonymously There are the crucial steps you need to take if you want to know how to access the dark web in a safe and anonymous way. Read More . The linked address is correct for 2018. Older mirror versions of The Hidden Wiki exist but feature several outdated sites as well as broken links.

The Hidden Wiki contains links for cryptocurrency wallet services, secure messaging services, domain hosting services, darknet marketplaces, the darknet versions of popular social networks, various chans (like 4chan, but on Tor), and much more. It also has a long list of non-English language sites, too.


2. Deep Web Links – Dark Web Links

Another site using the “Hidden Wiki” name, but it isn’t the “official” site. It is, however, a very long list of onion sites. Unfortunately, it is difficult to verify how many of these sites are still up and running. Also, there’s a huge number of sites on this list I wouldn’t want to verify either, but it does have a description as to what each site is.


torch tor search engine

Torch is a well-known Tor search engine. However, it doesn’t work as a regular search engine. For instance, using TORCH to search for “Facebook” doesn’t return the Facebook onion site. Rather, it returns a long list of references to a Russian hacking forum. If you use Google to search for Facebook, you end up on the social media site.

4. Not Evil

tor search not evil

If TORCH doesn’t help you find what you want, try Not Evil. Not Evil works more like a regular internet search and is the successor to TorSearch (another Tor search engine) and the Evil Wiki (another listing site).

For instance, a search for “Facebook” returns the official Facebook onion site. A search for “Proton” returns the official Proton Mail onion site, and so on.

5. Daniel’s Onion Link List Raspberry Pi Directory

daniel onion link list tor directory

Daniel’s Onion Link List is a Tor directory hosted on Raspberry Pi. Cool, right? (The Raspberry Pi has so many awesome uses 26 Awesome Uses for a Raspberry Pi Which Raspberry Pi project should you start with? Here's our roundup of the best Raspberry Pi uses and projects around! Read More !) The Onion Link List is an index directory that gives you a brief site description, the last seen and last tested dates, as well as when the onion site first hit the Tor network.

Now, Daniel’s Onion Link List does include every type of site, so carefully read descriptions before hitting links. Handily, the directory also slaps a “SCAM” label on any sites that will attempt to steal your information.

Be Safe When Browsing Tor and Onion Sites

Most darknet users will tell you the same thing: do not believe everything you hear. A huge amount of myth and infamy surrounds the Tor darknet. For the most part, it isn’t true. And if it is true, you don’t want to know about it, see it, and especially not click any link that takes you near it. Whatever “it” may be.

Tor hosts some interesting and actually useful sites The Best Dark Web Websites You Won't Find on Google The dark web isn't for everyone, but it's worth exploring some parts of it. Here are the best dark web websites. Read More , too. But if you have no idea what you are doing, check out our unofficial user’s guide to Tor Really Private Browsing: An Unofficial User’s Guide to Tor Tor provides truly anonymous and untraceable browsing and messaging, as well as access to the so called “Deep Web”. Tor can’t plausibly be broken by any organization on the planet. Read More .

Related topics: Bitcoin, Dark Web, Tor Network.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Empire_Veteran
    June 6, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    Working 2019 link for empire market

  2. mohamed
    November 18, 2016 at 4:10 am

    if u know more tell me

  3. Anonymous
    November 4, 2016 at 11:43 am

    Child abuse page, please remove this link

  4. Onionsearch
    June 13, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    An easy way to start and find new and update onion site is to use that service:

    easyonionsantyma is also a faucet where you get some satoshis (bitcoin) to use the search engine if you open an acount.

    • Pesiro
      June 27, 2016 at 6:49 pm

      This is by far the best link directory. Thanks for sharing.

  5. 23r243
    May 14, 2016 at 5:48 am

    TorPM for those nights when you simply need a healthy DEEP sleep...

  6. ali
    March 10, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    How do I access tor browser safely on my android device? (Note 5)

    • DingDong
      May 20, 2016 at 10:16 pm

      With the apps Orfox (a Browser) and Orbot (wich connects you to the Tor Network), download both and start Orbot first, second Orfox. First page you'll see is a check if you're connected to Tor services.

  7. Vargis
    December 1, 2015 at 10:53 am

    There are so many sites selling something, but how could I know they are not scammers?

    • anon
      June 18, 2016 at 3:40 am

      You don't

    • Samak
      December 8, 2016 at 9:44 am

      How did you find those website of selling something?

  8. help man
    April 8, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    my tor browser cant assess onions websites, please help...

  9. gnygnr
    March 23, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    gcirdquvlyh4terx.onion legit or swam?

    • Anonymous
      August 17, 2015 at 6:53 am

      here's a hidden url (onion urls) directory site.

      i think most of them there are legit, as they were submitted by users..

  10. Pissy
    October 8, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    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
      March 9, 2015 at 5:31 am

      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.

    • BobbyBrown
      December 28, 2015 at 8:46 am

      You leave Ozzy and Harriot out of this.

  11. Robert Tate
    September 27, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    "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?

    • Chris Hoffman
      September 30, 2012 at 3:44 am

      Yup. Did you know that Tor was originally developed by the US Navy to make government communications private? (see: ) It's a double-edged sword.

    • Anonymous
      June 6, 2015 at 6:01 am

      That was a Voltaire quote, by the way.

      • Robert Tate
        July 11, 2019 at 7:08 am

        “I don’t agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

        The Contradiction, p. 199; because of quote marks around the original publication of these words, they are often attributed to Voltaire, though Hall was not actually quoting him but summarizing his attitude with the expression. The statement was widely popularized when misattributed to Voltaire as a "Quotable Quote" in Reader's Digest (June 1934), but in response to the misattribution, Hall had been quoted in Saturday Review (11 May 1935), p. 13, as stating: I did not mean to imply that Voltaire used these words verbatim and should be surprised if they are found in any of his works. They are rather a paraphrase of Voltaire's words in the Essay on Tolerance — "Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too."

  12. Kurt Decker
    September 20, 2012 at 1:47 am

    Very good advice! Thank you!!!

  13. Zentrix
    September 12, 2012 at 11:18 am

    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.

    • Peterman
      September 25, 2016 at 11:44 pm

      I come to you.. 4 years later... with a solution!! For youtube at least.
      Simply delete the 3 letters before ".com" from the link of any video you want to download, so it looks like this : ""... etc, and press enter! It will open it in a new window where you'll see how you can download videos, or if it's a song, just the mp3 file! Also, watching any videos that way disables all annoying ads :)

    • *
      March 10, 2018 at 10:56 pm

      Maybe torsocks and youtube-dl?
      Never tested it though.

  14. AlphaZed
    September 10, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    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.

    great article by the way.

    • Chris Hoffman
      September 30, 2012 at 3:43 am

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

  15. diaaly
    August 16, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    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
      August 17, 2012 at 4:37 am

      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.
      (Not an endorsement.)

  16. jutjut
    July 30, 2012 at 10:19 am

    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
      August 1, 2012 at 10:36 am

      You have to access them using the Tor browser bundle.

      • Michael
        March 14, 2016 at 11:47 am

        cant get to them on tor too

  17. Go-Ger
    July 29, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    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
      August 1, 2012 at 10:37 am

      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?

  18. anonboy
    July 21, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    well, hidden wiki is working at kpvz7ki2v5agwt35.onion

    • somegirl
      May 2, 2015 at 8:32 am


  19. Jose Luis Lira Turriza
    June 30, 2012 at 8:47 pm

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

    • Rick
      April 24, 2015 at 1:34 am

      Now that sounds like my cup of tea! :>)

    • Michael
      March 14, 2016 at 10:55 am

      How do you get the underage porn on tor

      • Paul
        January 30, 2018 at 3:34 pm

        Tell me how

  20. Jason
    June 17, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    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
      June 18, 2012 at 8:59 pm

      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
        June 19, 2012 at 12:08 am

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

      • Jason
        June 19, 2012 at 3:44 am

        no, i have been waiting... it just seems like a lot of the links are 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
          June 20, 2012 at 10:40 pm

          It is a ghost town, comparatively.

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

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 19, 2012 at 12:08 am

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

      • 51UL
        June 22, 2012 at 2:22 pm

        Great post man!

  21. sissy
    April 16, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    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
      April 17, 2012 at 2:55 am

      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
        April 17, 2012 at 1:40 pm

        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
          May 2, 2012 at 2:33 am

          '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
          May 4, 2012 at 12:00 am

          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.

    • Mike D
      March 11, 2015 at 7:33 pm


      You ever heard of TMI? Some things ought not be shared.

      And keep my tiny weener out of it. Too small to get into it anyway.

  22. Kaoz
    April 15, 2012 at 3:05 am

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

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 16, 2012 at 1:17 am

      I'm not sure -- are you connecting through the Tor browser?

  23. Raj
    April 14, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    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
      April 16, 2012 at 1:18 am

      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.

  24. leio
    April 13, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    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

  25. Brent R Jones
    April 13, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    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
      April 14, 2012 at 7:55 am

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

  26. Vox
    April 13, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    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
      April 14, 2012 at 7:55 am

      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.