Best Dark Web Search Engines You Can Use Today (Updated: April 2023)

The best Dark Web Search Engines of 2023 can help you uncover the hidden treasures of the deep web. Beneath the surface lies the deep web, a vast network of unindexed websites that are hidden from search engines.

So if you’re looking to explore the dark web, be sure to check out the top Dark Web Search Engines of 2023.

In this blog, we’ll explore the Best dark web search engines of 2023, what the dark web is, how it works, and how you can access it safely and securely.

Whether you’re a curious internet user or a researcher looking for information beyond the surface web, this guide will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the dark web.

The dark web

Looking for websites on the dark web can be a task as they are not indexed on regular search engines like Google.

However, with the help of a dark web search engine, you can easily find websites that are part of the unindexed part of the internet known as the dark web.

Unlike typical search engines that index only about 10% of all websites, dark web search engines are specifically designed to find websites that are hidden from regular search engines.

These websites can only be accessed through a direct URL, IP address, or deep web search application.

4 reasons why people visit the dark web
4 reasons why people visit the dark web

Clearnet and the deep web

The internet can be divided into two parts: the surface web (also known as clearnet) and the deep web. The surface web consists of public sites that are indexed on search engines and visible to everyone.

On the other hand, the deep web is hidden from search engines and contains sensitive information behind password-protection protocols and other security systems.

Although sites on the deep web are not indexed, they are still accessible through a direct URL, IP address, or deep web search application.

This includes sites that we use every day, such as our email accounts and personal banking portals.

Illustration of the clearnet and dark web (Made with Midjourney AI)
Illustration of the clearnet and dark web (Made with Midjourney AI)

The dark web is a subset of the deep web that can only be accessed through special software tools like Tor browser. Most dark websites are hosted and accessed on the Tor network, which can be identified with the use of Tor’s own top-level domain: “.onion.”

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Best dark web search engines of 2023

The dark web is more than just a marketplace for illegal activities. It’s a place where people can access independent journalism, evade government censorship and surveillance, and use secure email services.

However, finding these useful resources on the dark web requires a search engine specifically designed for that purpose.

4 active Dark Web Search Engines
4 active Dark Web Search Engines

In this section, we will explore the best dark web search engines that can help you navigate the web’s hidden corners.

These include Torch, DuckDuckGo, The Hidden Wiki, Ahmia, Haystak, Not Evil, Candle, Dark Search, and Kilos. Each of these search engines has its unique features and capabilities, making them valuable tools for those who need to access the dark web for various reasons.

List of the best dark web search engines of 2023 (active)

  1. Torch Dark Web Search Engine
  2. DuckDuckGo Search Engine
  3. The Hidden Wiki
  4. Ahmia Search Engine
  5. Haystak Dark Web Search Engine
  6. Not Evil Search Engine
  7. Candle Search Engine
  8. Dark Search Engine
  9. Kilos Search Engine

Torch Dark Web Search Engine

The Torch search engine, is the oldest search engine on the Tor network. Torch indexes a range of dark web sites and links and boasts relatively fast web search speeds. Torch takes online anonymity and digital identity seriously, offering truly uncensored and unfiltered web search results while preventing web tracking.

DuckDuckGo Search Engine

The DuckDuckGo dark web search engine is widely considered one of the best private search engines and is the default search engine on Tor browser. It works for both surface websites and deep web searches, has a simple interface similar to Google, and offers a no-log policy to protect user data.

The Hidden Wiki

The Hidden Wiki is a categorized directory providing indexed links to “.onion” websites on the dark web, similar to Wikipedia. While it uses filters to block scam sites, it indexes certain shady sites that Google blocks, making navigating Tor easier.

Ahmia Search Engine

Ahmia is a surface web search engine compatible with Tor’s onion services, aiming to filter Tor search results and weed out fake or unsafe websites that may contain malware. It provides a simple interface to make searching the dark web more accessible and lets you perform deep web searches in regular web browsers like Google Chrome.

Haystak Dark Web Search Engine

Haystack is one of the best dark web search engines on the Tor network, boasting over 1.5 billion indexed pages and helping protect user identity and privacy. While the free version serves occasional ads, the premium version provides ad-free searching and additional data insights.

Not Evil Search Engine

Not Evil is an onion dark web search engine with more than 32 million websites and addresses indexed from Tor servers and more than 14 million onion links. It operates on a not-for-profit basis and relies on a community of volunteers who report false results and log “abusive” sites, and does not participate in advertising or web tracking.

Candle Search Engine

Candle is a web crawler and dark web search engine for Tor’s onion service websites, containing over 100,000 web pages, including dark web marketplaces and forums.

Its minimalistic interface provides only the top ten most relevant search results for your query, but it is popular among cybercriminals and others who purchase illicit goods from dark web markets.

Illustration of the Dark Web (made with Midjourney AI)
Illustration of the Dark Web (made with Midjourney AI)

Dark Search Engine

Dark Search is a free and easy-to-use dark web search engine tool that offers free access to onion links and websites. Its creator is currently working on a way to let dark web users access restricted dark web forums via onion search engine links.

Kilos Search Engine

Kilos is a search engine primarily used to find and access dark web markets, where illicit drug transactions are one of the main activities.

Unlike many search engines that avoid the dark web’s seedier elements, Kilos embraces it and does not filter search results, making it a dangerous portal to a landscape teeming with potential threats.

Preference

I prefer to use DuckDuckGo and the Torch search engine to navigate the deep web. DuckDuckGo is my go-to search engine for its strict privacy policy and ability to block trackers. It also provides me with instant answers to my queries without tracking my searches or personal information.

On the other hand, Torch search engine offers a unique user interface that makes searching on the dark web seamless.

Its user-friendly design enables me to find hidden resources and services with ease. The search engine also has an extensive index of .onion sites, making it a reliable tool for uncovering valuable information that cannot be found on the surface web.

Enter the dark web

To search and access the dark web, you must use a dark web browser, such as the Tor browser. These browsers are specifically designed to connect to websites on the Tor network, where most dark web sites are hosted.

While it’s possible to search dark web indexes with some clearnet browsers, you won’t be able to access the sites themselves.

You can download the desktop version of the Tor browser directly from the Tor project’s website, or get Tor browser apps for Android or iOS from Google Play and the App Store.

Once you have Tor or another dark web browser, you have access to several search engines to help you find the dark web content you’re looking for.

Dark Web Search Engines might go offline

It’s important to keep in mind that TOR addresses can change frequently, which means the URLs for popular dark web search engines like Torch, The Hidden Wiki, Ahmia, Haystak, Not Evil, Candle, Dark Search, and Kilos may not be valid at all times.

Therefore, it’s crucial to always look for the latest and active addresses to ensure that you can access the content you’re looking for. Staying up-to-date on these addresses can save you a lot of time and frustration in the long run.

Where to find them

There are several websites and forums where you can find the latest TOR addresses. Here are some top examples; Reddit’s r/onions subreddit, Dark.fail, and Onion.live.

Using TOR in a safe way

The TOR browser is an essential tool for anyone looking to browse the internet anonymously and securely. However, simply having the browser installed is not enough to guarantee safety and privacy. There are several steps you can take to ensure that your use of TOR is as secure as possible.

My video on how to browse the dark web safely

In this section, we’ll provide some tips and best practices to help you make the most out of your TOR browsing experience while minimizing potential risks. Whether you’re a seasoned TOR user or just getting started, these tips will help you stay safe while exploring the deep web.

Here are some tips on securely using the Tor browser:

  1. Keep your Tor browser updated: Like any other software, vulnerabilities can be discovered in Tor and the developers release updates to patch them. Make sure you keep your Tor browser up-to-date to benefit from the latest security improvements.
  2. Use HTTPS sites: Look for sites that use HTTPS encryption, which helps protect your communication from eavesdropping and tampering.
  3. Don’t install additional browser plugins or extensions: Using browser plugins or extensions on Tor can compromise your anonymity and privacy. Tor browser comes with built-in privacy-enhancing features, so additional plugins or extensions are unnecessary.
  4. Disable JavaScript: JavaScript can be used to reveal your IP address or perform other actions that could compromise your privacy or security. For maximum anonymity and security, it’s recommended to disable JavaScript in the Tor browser. You can do this by going to “Preferences” -> “Privacy & Security” -> “Security Level” and selecting “Safest”.
  5. Use bridges: If your internet service provider or country blocks access to the Tor network, you can use bridges to bypass these restrictions.
  6. Don’t use Tor for illegal activities: While Tor can help protect your anonymity and privacy, it doesn’t make you invincible. Law enforcement agencies have ways to track down illegal activities on the dark web, so it’s best to use Tor for legitimate purposes only.

Dark Web FAQ

What is the dark web?

The dark web is a part of the internet that is not indexed by search engines and requires specific software or configurations to access. It is often associated with illegal activities and black markets.

How do I access the dark web?

To access the dark web, you need to use a special browser such as Tor or I2P. These browsers use encryption and routing techniques to anonymize your traffic and hide your identity.

Is it legal to access the dark web?

Accessing the dark web is not illegal in most countries, but many of the activities that take place on it are illegal.

What are the risks of accessing the dark web?

The dark web is a risky place. There is a high likelihood of encountering scams, viruses, and malware. Additionally, you could inadvertently expose your personal information or become a victim of hacking, identity theft, or cybercrime.

What kind of content is on the dark web?

The dark web hosts a wide variety of content, including anonymous forums, marketplaces for (illegal) goods and services, and sites hosting illegal content. However, it also has legitimate uses such as privacy-preserving communication and whistle-blowing.

How can I stay safe on the dark web?

To stay safe on the dark web, it is important to use a VPN, keep your software up-to-date, and use strong and unique passwords. You should also avoid clicking on suspicious links or downloading unknown files, and use caution when interacting with other users.

Is it worth accessing the dark web?

It depends on your goals and motivations. While the dark web can provide access to unique and hard-to-find content, it also presents significant risks and dangers.

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