8 best dark web search engines for 2021
For a beginner, it is almost impossible to find a website on the Tor browser or how it works and this is where dark web search engines help.
To the layman, there is only one type of internet – the one we use for normal everyday browsing. But, in reality, there are 3 main types of the Internet that are essential for understanding to get an accurate picture of how it works:
1: The Surface Web
2: The Deep Web
3: The Dark Web
The shallow web
The surface web is made up of all the pages that can be indexed by a normal search engine like Google and accessible to everyone.
The Deep Web
The deep web is made up of all those pages that are protected and therefore cannot be indexed by a search engine. This protection can take the form of several security measures such as passwords. An example is a private Instagram profile whose content cannot be displayed in Google search results.
The dark web
The dark web is made up of all websites that cannot be accessed using a normal browser and require a special type of network called The Onion Routing (TOR). All websites use a .onion appended to the end instead of top level domains such as “.com”.
Even though the first 2 are not consciously known by the vast majority of users to be distinct types, they are used daily by them. However, the real mystery lies in the third one, the dark web which is only a tiny fraction of the Internet containing around a little over 65,000 URLs.
Of these, too, only around 8000 are active and the majority of existing URLs do not work due to various issues. Yet this is only part of the problem.
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Dark web search engines
Another problem is the difficulty in finding dark websites. Unlike the normal surface web, site URLs do not have easily remembered names and therefore memorization is not an option in most cases. This naturally poses a question: What dark web search engines are available to Google? Turns out there are plenty, here are the 8 best dark web search engines:
1. DuckDuckGo – 3g2upl4pq6kufc4m.onion
Built with the unique selling point of not following users, DuckDuckGo has long been used as a replacement for Google by privacy-conscious users. On the other hand, many also use it on the dark web for its anonymity features. Considering this is the default search engine for TOR Browser, that says a lot about its reputation as a good search engine in the community!
2. Torch – cnkj6nippubgycuj.onion
Also known as TorSearch, it claims to be the oldest search engine residing on the dark web and indexing over a billion pages, giving it considerable brownie points. Users are neither tracked nor censored to make full use of the information buried in the dark web.
3. Recon – reconponydonugup.onion
This particular search engine was built by Hugbunt3r, a prominent member of the popular Fright service on the dark web. It aims to serve as a database through which users can search for products from different vendors in different markets on the dark web.
Individual profile view options for vendors and markets are also available, including details like ratings, mirror links, number of listings, and percent uptime.
4. Ahmia.fi – msydqstlz2kzerdg.onion
An interesting part of Ahmia is that it allows you to browse dark web links using a normal browser like Google Chrome. That’s even if you would eventually need TOR to access those resulting links, but it at least lets you see them that way. On the other hand, it also has an onion url.
Usage statistics are also available on its site categorized by simple and unique search queries, and simple and unique search results on the TOR and I2P network. One notable feature of this search engine is that it appears to be simplistic while still being very functional.
In addition, it places great importance on the comfort of its users, an example being that with one click, it allows you to add your own hidden dark web service to its database.
5.notEvil – hss3uro2hsxfogfq.onion
Setting up an aura of simplicity, notEvil would have been modeled on Google. It is also reported to derive its name from Google’s era-era motto of “don’t be mean”. For search, users have several options to select their results among which titles, URLs or both combined.
6. Candle – gjobqjj7wyczbqie.onion
Built about 3 years ago where the design inspirations came for this site is obvious – Google. Trying to emulate the kind of simplicity that the tech giant has on the dark web has generated good traffic, with the number of indexed sites increasing every day.
7. Haystak – haystakvxad7wbk5.onion
Showing itself as having indexed over 1.5 billion pages, it certainly deserves a spot on the list. However, it should be noted that many of them may not work as only a small portion of sites created on the dark web stay online all the time, with most being deleted.
It also offers a premium version which can be ordered through a contact form.
8. Kilos – dnmugu4755642434.onion
Kilos is one of the Dark Web search engines that was primarily designed for the Dark Web. It launched in November 2019 and provides cybercriminals with a platform to find answers to their dark queries, search the Dark Web for services, and find the right person to deal with for all the wrong tasks. For example, if someone wants to trade Bitcoin secretly, they just need to type in the relevant keywords and the deed will be done.
The only downside is that researchers who have investigated the use of Kilos believe the search engine helps cybercriminals more than someone keen to learn more about dark web markets.
To conclude, you can also find links from other dark web search engines, but these are the ones that stand out the most. Also, as mentioned earlier, there are many sites that do not survive the stain of time in this strange land, so some of them might not exist tomorrow.
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To stay safe, avoid search results that can lead you to illegal sites such as those with child pornography, illegal drugs, or guns, as some of these search engines do not censor these results.