Deep Web: What is it and how to access it? – The Ultimate Guide
The Weird And Wonderful Deep Web
As is implicit in its very name, the deep web can best be described as a labyrinth of sorts, complete with infinitely fascinating content.
There are millions of pages of interesting indexes, databases, ideas, internal networks, communities and resources on the deep web, both innocent and nefarious in nature.
In being introduced to the concept of the deep web, one fact always manages to baffle the masses: 96 percent of the internet is not indexed by search engines such as Google and Bing.
That means only a tiny portion of the World Wide Web is accessible to you through standard means. The average internet user is only utilizing a portion of the potential the internet has to offer.
What is the the deep web then?
The deep web is all of the internet that cannot be found by regular search engines, as the pages are not indexed in any way.
Google’s indexing system begins with a process called “crawling.”
Imagine a virtual robot spider that starts at the home page and then crawls to and from all the pages on the site that can be accessed by clicking all the links.
Google then scans the data and renders the content to send to Google’s index servers. From there, Google organizes the data by context and enters it into a base of algorithms that make up the search engine.
Beyond the boundaries of Google-able content is every bit of information you can think of.
It contains a wide range of information and data, from the inner-dashboard of your bank account after you log in to private, password-protected websites to unlisted articles and videos that might be censored or blocked in certain countries.
Below the “surface web,” there are treasure troves of possibilities. You just have to know how to find them.
The Dark Web Vs. The Deep Web
Contrary to popular belief, the deep web and the dark web are actually two separate definitions.
The media and, frankly, much of the public that’s unacquainted with the dark web, tend to use these two concepts interchangeably. People often take one to be the synonym for the other and vice versa.
This is a common mistake for those who aren’t familiar with the subject. But, the difference between the dark web and the deep web is quite stark. The two are made up of, and defined by, conflicting constructs. As such, the difference is worth clarifying.
Share this Image On Your Site
The contrast between the deep web and the dark web is often visually described by comparing it to an iceberg. Imagine, for yourself, an iceberg:
Above water is all content average internet users peruse on a daily basis. This is your Facebook.com, reddit.com, your justice.gov, your harvard.edu.
Right below the surface of where the iceberg meets underwater is the deep web.
It’s comprised of the same general hostnames as sites on the surface web, but along with the extension of those domains.
This is the specific URL of your Facebook Messenger thread with a friend, or the Department of Justice’s public archival material, or Harvard’s internal communications system. The deep web is the majority of the internet as a whole.
The dwindling portion at the very bottom of the iceberg is a subset of the deep web that’s only accessible through software that guards anonymity.
Because of this, the dark web is home to entities that don’t want to be found.
To expand on that visual, it’s necessary to explain that the dark web contains URLs that end in .onion rather than .com, .gov or .edu.
The network that these .onion URLs reside on cannot be accessed with the same browser you use to access your Facebook messages, the justice department’s archive or your Harvard email account. You can use a simple Chrome or Safari to access these.
The dark web requires a specific software program (the Tor browser) to do the trick, and it offers you a special layer of anonymity that the surface web and the deep web cannot.
As such, the dark web is a place for people and activities who don’t want to be found through standard means.
It’s complete with illegal trade markets and forums, hacking communities, private communications between journalists and whistleblowers, and more.
How to Access the Deep Web
Accessing the deep web is not done through direct means since the information stored within it exists in databases, making it impossible for conventional search engines to obtain the data by just searching for it.
Search engines like Google only organize and index data which is available on the surface of the internet since in most cases, the URL is fixed, subject to get picked up by Google’s crawler bot, or there are no special permissions required to view the web pages.
When crawling and indexing pages, Google’s bot system prefers URLs that follow a simple directory structure; that is, a site’s main content should not be more than two subdirectory levels below the main domain of the site.
One way to visualize this concept is comparing it to a file-storing folder hierarchy—you don’t want to organize your desktop files in a way that would be too complicated with multiple routes and directions; that will completely defeat the purpose. The same idea applies here.
In the case where passwords are needed, standard browsers cannot bypass this stage since the information contained is highly confidential and so is the need to protect it.
Due to the sheer size of the deep web and the depth of the information it contains, there’s no real clear-cut way to access it.
There are different methods by which you access your email address, social media accounts or online portals, depending on the links you click in the process, the redirects you encounter, the content you enter, etc.
The information stored on the deep web is immense. And it’s mostly publicly accessible.
As mentioned earlier, below the deep web is the dark web which can only be accessed by the Tor browser.
A strict set of guidelines ought to be followed to ensure your activities on the dark web remain anonymous since Tor usage is often subject to monitoring by authorities and also occasionally has vulnerabilities that can leak your real IP address.
For more information about how to properly get into and use the dark web, check out a comprehensive guide on our Access Dark Web page.
What Can be Found on the Hidden Web?
The data found on the deep web includes, but certainly is not limited to…
- Multi-URL mega-databases that are too large for search engines to index properly. Here’s a helpful list based on category.
- Records, certificates, name directories, library indexes, etc.
- Password-protected and members-only websites.
- Timed access pages. This could include the internal webpage for a test you’re taking for an online course.
- Digital media content that’s blocked under a paywall. News organizations use this as part of their revenue model to encourage readers/viewers to subscribe and pay for journalistic reporting.
- The back-end dashboard of any sort of individual account, whether it be banking, social platforms, email services, etc. This is only available after an account is logged into and accessed. Then, the URL changes to a private address accordingly.
- Two-party user-to-user communications or threads on social media, chat services, messaging platforms, etc. The same rule for #4 applies here.
The deep web is extremely useful for communicating under encryption. These users include anyone who needs protection from overseeing powers.
Below are some of the main groups that benefit from the deep web’s encrypted communication capabilities.
1. Whistleblowers and journalists
Intelligence contractors, government or corporate employees, average citizens, ex-spies, members of the military…these are all demographics that have in the past opened up to journalists about corruption in their fields.
Under the mask of anonymity, they can communicate classified information to journalists to expose the wrongdoings.
Prolific whistleblowers like Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning used this route to share classified documents.
2. Free speech and anti-censorship advocates, and political protesters.
3. Citizens in oppressive regimes who need access to news and information they can’t get in their country.
Dark Web Markets
The dark web is host to hundreds of underground markets that sell all kinds of illicit products and services, including…
Dark web markets sell every pharmaceutical product you can think of, from heroin to mushrooms to LSD. Most markets also sell legal prescription drugs, ranging from ADHD medications to testosterone pills to even Prozac.
2. Stolen information
3. Malware, ransomware and hacking services
Cyber attacks are on the rise over the last few years precisely because the act of spreading ransomware is a lucrative practice for anyone who wants to make money by holding data for ransom. There’s also a recent spike in adware campaigns.
These products and services are often originally sourced from the dark web. Ransomware sales on darknet markets saw an uptick of 2,502 percent in 2017 alone.
5. Hitman-for-hire services
This particular dark web market category entered into mainstream awareness after Ross Ulbricht, founder of the infamous darknet market Silk Road, was arrested and eventually sentenced to life imprisonment under charges relating to drugs, hacking, money laundering and procuring murder; the latter charge was particularly influential in persuading the jury to convict Ulbricht of other charges in addition to hiring a hitman to murder someone.
It’s also what gained the story international public attention among people unfamiliar with the idea of darknet markets.
There are several known markets that deal explicitly in the contracted assassin field like Hitman Network, for example.
Although, it is worth noting that scammers will often use this “industry” to lure in potential vulnerable victims and run off with their money without getting the job done.
Unfortunately, the cloak of anonymity brought by the Tor network also brings in rather heavy share of pedophiles and predators—over 80 percent, one study found.
Some darknet platforms allow users to disseminate pornographic images and videos of children, and some platforms even provide the means for users to arrange meetings with their victims.
International law enforcement have busted several such platforms within the last few years, arresting thousands of child abusers and human traffickers in the process. The number of users behind these sites are staggering.
One that was busted by German law enforcement earlier this year, was Elysium, which managed to reel in more than 87,000 users worldwide.
In 2014, the FBI cracked down on Playpen, another child pornography site with 150,000 users.
The FBI apprehended its creator and lead administrator, and proceeded to operate the site to gather information on its users.
An investigation followed that led to more than 800 U.S. and abroad arrests, and more than 300 children being identified or rescued internationally.
Unreleased games, movies and television shows galore are easy to come by on the dark web. More sites are moving to the dark web in order to evade the increasing threat of legal action over censorship or copyright charges.
Leaked data dumps
This is a hot category, at least dominating all headlines for months after a major leak. There have been dozens of interesting leaks in the last five years. Here is a comprehensive and visually-compelling chart of them all. Just a couple of the most notorious leaks include…
Adult Friend Finder
The Adult Friend Finder breaches in 2015 and 2016 which collectively exposed the sexual preference data, emails, usernames, IP addresses and login history of more than 303 million users of the hookup network.
An online dating service that markets itself to people who want to cheat on their spouses was hacked in July 2015.
After some months of hesitation, the hacked data of around 32 million Ashley Madison users was ultimately released by the enigmatic hacking group The Impact Team.
The leak included names, phone numbers, addresses, member profiles, as well as credit card details and records.
The Ashley Madison leak was followed by an exhaustive extortion campaign in which many victims of the breach were tricked into paying scammers cash in exchange for secrets that would supposedly damage their reputation.
There’s an excellent TV documentary that chronicles how the Ashley Madison hack unfolded, also detailing the subsequent scandals that blew up afterwards.
Ever since the site was created in 2006 by computer programmer and activist Julian Assange, WikiLeaks data dumps have received massive public attention from around the world. It’s worth a whole section but in the interest of clarity, here’s a snapshot of what the whistleblowing website covers, plus examples in each category.
- Intelligence: This series, which is organized into sub-categories, gathers classified information about the infrastructure, practices, policies and implementations the intelligence industry and U.S. government use to spy on citizens, foreign governments (even allies) and intergovernmental departments.
- Global Economy: A range of detailed information pertaining to global high-stakes topics, most recently including the internal campaign emails of the 2017 French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron (who is now president).
- International Politics: Most prominent in this section is the confidential reports leaked from the United Nations that chronicle corrupt practices from sexual abuse to financial fraud. There’s also an email archive of the communications of Turkey’s Justice and Development party, documents about European Union-led military operations regarding refugee boats, and more.
- Corporations: Inside the scandals and coverups involving major corporate entities including a dossier about the infamous Sony hack, records regarding global surveillance malware vendor Hacking Team, an archive of taped material showing insight into a corruption scandal involving two former U.S. presidents, and more.
- Government: This category broadly embroils all of the previous sections combined.
- War & Military: Largely, this section is made up of documents, revelations, reports and archives of classified U.S. military ops in Iraq and Afghanistan. There’s also a trove of witness accounts and records about the inner-practices of the U.S.’s nightmarish detention facility in Guantanamo.
Facts & Tidbits About the Deep Web
1. It enhances privacy to a great extent.
Because of the solid layer of encryption offered by the deep web, it is regularly utilized by individuals and groups that are vulnerable to surveillance, hacks or other parties interested in compromising their security.
This demographic encompasses people such as journalists, whistleblowers, citizens living under oppressive regimes riddled with censorship, and even people who are in unsafe and abusive relationships who need a way to communicate safely with others.
The Chinese government has notoriously excessive censorship standards. So notorious, in fact, that the rest of the world has taglined the nickname, The Great Firewall of China.
By utilizing the deep web’s encryption along with a private network or proxy, Chinese citizens can bypass the firewall to access whatever content they desire.
2. The Tor Onion Router was created by the government.
In the 1990s, a team of Navy mathematicians crafted the Tor Onion Router technology to allow military units and government agencies to communicate classified material over an encrypted network.
This is the basis for the dark web we know today
3. It comprises most of the internet.
Most estimates say the deep web is made up of approximately 96 percent of the internet. The smaller 4 percent is indexed by search engines like Google and Bing.
Common Misconceptions About the Deep Web
1. The deep web and the dark web are the same.
As is explained above, the deep web and the dark web are entirely different, and they both require special addresses to access the content found in each case.
The deep web can be accessed by a protocol that uses non-indexed web links, rather than pages you can easily find through a Google Search.
By contrast, the dark web is accessed using the Tor browser. Links there operate under a .onion domain.
2. It is only a source of illegal goods and services.
The deep web does not entirely deal with illegal goods and services. Because most of the content on the deep web is mostly publically accessible with backends, indexes and data, it doesn’t necessarily draw illegal acts. The dark web, however, is more of a haven for criminals.
3. It is an anonymous platform.
Just because the deep web is encrypted does not mean it’s anonymous. It’s entirely probable for users’ IP addresses and locations to be leaked.
The best mindset to have is to assume that your information inevitably will be leaked (even if the chance is low).
You’re best protected using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) on the deep web if you’re doing anything that’s subject to any scrutiny, regardless of whether or not it’s legal. This is just a smart security enhancement measure.
On the dark web in particular, you should use a combination of Tor (to access .onion sites) and VPN (to protect your anonymity and make your IP address near-untraceable).
4. It’s completely secure.
Similar to point #3, it’s important to assert that just because the deep web is encrypted does not mean it’s secure.
A good “What Not to Do” case that’s explicitly applied to the dark web can be made using Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht as an example.
The founder of the notorious darknet drug trade site made a series of careless actions that eventually led the FBI to his identity and location.
That said, people can also be smart about running a darknet market without getting caught. It takes thinking ahead of law enforcement.
Dangers of the Deep Web
What’s more is that those who need some valuable information from a particular entity will hire them to undertake various operations, such as obtain confidential data or compromise a certain system to give desired results.
Various confirmed reports of data breaches and loss of funds due to hacking have been reported in the recent past. And the number of cases in which hacks occur is ever-increasing.
2. Getting caught for doing something illegal.
Sometimes, these people were in fact innocent; the government has a track record for making examples out of people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time—trying to send a message that they’re serious about crackdowns.
One such case involved Barrett Brown, a journalist, activist and sort of press office for the prolific hacktivism group, Anonymous.
Inside a thread in Project PM, the online investigative community he founded, Brown stumbled across a zipped file containing Stratfor data.
This was part of the infamous Stratfor email hack of 2012, which leaked the global intelligence firm’s internal communications and client records to WikiLeaks who published it as part of its Global Intelligence Files (GiFiles) leak.
Brown copied and pasted that link of hacked data onto another forum so he and his team could discuss its contents for a larger investigation about the intelligence agency.
That’s all he did…copy and paste. Later, the feds arrested Brown and charged him with possessing stolen content.
Several other factors could expose your identity while on the deep web, such as using your real name and email to post on forums. These tend to give third parties a clue of who you are.
For this reason, people can expose their identity without you even knowing it.
This would give investigators enough time to monitor their activities and gather sufficient evidence to incriminate them after an arrest.
3. Spying by ISPs and the government.
For a fact, ISPs (Internet Service Providers) can watch over every single detail their customers are doing on the internet since they are offering the service and have access to their systems’ databases.
On the other hand, governments possess the heavily-funded infrastructure and tools they use to spy on their targets, many of whom are average everyday citizens. WikiLeaks has extensively compiled leaked secrets about this deceptive practice.
Some of the leaks have revealed that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) spies on its targets by installing Trojans and malware that undertake various types of operations.
The WikiLeaks “Vault 7” dossier mentions how the CIA has developed tools for each device that can access the internet and, as such, one can be monitored without knowing.
Julian Assange and WikiLeaks also found that the CIA spies on its intergovernmental counterparts, mainly the National security Agency (NSA).
4. Penalties and legal issues.
Many of these policies also extend to the hidden web, assuming users will ultimately get caught evading the surface web. And as such, those found violating the laws are subjected to penalties that include fines or jail sentences.
With an increased level of cybercrime, then such measures ought to be in place to ensure that no one suffers at the expense of others.
Deep Web Anonymity: What Is It & How to Achieve It
Staying anonymous is imperative on the hidden web. Seeing as how anonymity is one of its primary functions, why wouldn’t you want to do the best you can to achieve it?
Here are the main programs you should download and guidelines you should follow to stay anonymous on the deep and dark web:
1. Tor (The Onion Router)
Tor has its origins in the United States Naval Research Laboratory, where it was created by a team of mathematicians in the late 1990s to give the government an extra layer of encryption in communicating sensitive messages.
Its main application was to protect intergovernmental communications and intelligence information from being intercepted by foreign entities.
Today, the browser is part of a larger open-source initiative called The Tor Project, which is, in part, funded by the U.S. Department of Defence.
It is tasked with creating a series of programs to access and improve functions of The Onion Router (Tor) network, which is what the Tor browser operates through.
The Onion Router network is an extremely unique technical invention. It is filled with websites that end with a .onion domain, contrary to the commonplace domain suffixes found on the surface web such as .com, .org, .edu, and countless others.
The Tor browser can be used to access the surface web, the deep web and the dark web. And it’s easy to use since its interface and intuitiveness is nearly identical to that of surface web-only browser Mozilla Firefox as the front end is clone of it.
But when you look under the hood of how The Tor Browser actually works, its inner functions are completely different.
When you use the Tor browser, your connection bumps off a set of relays run by volunteers from around the world on a distributed network that extends from one end node to the other. The distributed nature of the network is precisely what allows for the Tor browser to protect your anonymity.
It attempts to prevent your location and browsing habits from being picked up by the sites you visit and communicate with.
So, The Tor Browser has the ability to protect your anonymity in a superficial sense (provided you don’t register accounts on dark web sites with your real name and sensitive information). But just because the Tor network is mostly anonymous does not mean it’s secure.
However, when using the browser, a few measures ought to be taken to ensure that your IP address is not leaked.
Among them is to make sure that all other applications are closed and to keep the Tor browser to its default size.
Other guidelines ought to be followed to ensure that your privacy and security is safeguarded while you’re browsing through the dark web in particular.
These guidelines involve using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which will give you an extra boost in security as you navigate the dark web and also give you a fail safe from Tor vulnerabilities such as when it leaks your real IP, as it has before.
2. Virtual Private Networks
To further protect yourself on the deep web, one should ensure that your Virtual Private Network is turned on even before launching the Tor browser since it hides the actual location of an individual by changing their IP address (which is usually used to track the location of a person) to a random location on the globe.
For example, if you’re in Phoenix, Arizona and you want to browse the internet freely (be it the surface web, dark web or the deep web), you can do so by installing a trusty VPN and running it while you’re online.
The VPN will mask your real IP address (where you are, in Phoenix), and make it so your IP address appears to be registered to a different, random location anywhere in the world.
This way, anyone who wants to find out your IP address will not be able to do so—your IP address will appear to be registered in another location, like Mexico City or Copenhagen or Toronto, and so on.
Furthermore, a VPN will encrypt all of your information, sent and received, over the internet or dark web. This means that if someone could intercept it, then they can not tell what you are doing anyway.
3. Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) Encryption
When the message is sent, the public key of the receiver is used, and then the receiver uses their private key to decrypt the message.
The practice is used in darknet markets where vendors and sellers use the encryption method to protect the confidentiality of information they send between each other.
The average internet user may also find PGP useful for communicating online, as the reality of government surveillance continues to loom over citizens’ everyday lives.
On a broader level, PGP is used in instances where sensitive material is being exchanged between two parties.
This includes conversations about classified material between journalists and whistleblowers, as well as intergovernmental communications between federal entities.
Dark Web News has published a comprehensive guide here that outlines the importance of PGP and walks readers through the process of setting one up.
4. Anonymous Email
Just as the name suggests, anonymous email offers an individual increased online privacy to a great extent.
Regardless of what activities a person is pursuing on the deep web, they are always recommended to use an anonymous email in doing so. That is, they should not use their real email address, as it could easily disclose their identity by revealing their name.
When creating the email account, one should ensure that the username does not resemble their actual name so as to avoid being subject to government surveillance, fraud, scams, phishing attempts and other security issues.
There are a number of anonymous email services—most notably, HideMyAss, TorGuard and Guerrilla Mail—you can try out if you’d like. A full guide on this topic has been made available by Dark Web News here.
5. Passwords and usernames
Among the blunders that disclosed the real identity and ultimate arrest of former Silk Road founder Ross William Ulbricht (alias “Dread Pirate Roberts”) was that he used his real name and email address to post to public forums about his activities on the dark web.
After this, it was easy for the feds to track him down and arrest him.
This shows the importance of using an anonymous username to undertake activities on the deep web.
The use of strong passwords is essential as well, as it ensures the account is not easily compromised by not only hackers, but also close associates. Strong passwords based on a given website will vary by meeting a specific criterion.
But for starters, a secure password should comprise of at least eight characters, have words that are not found in the English dictionary, consist of at least one uppercase letter, one number and special characters.
The general rule of thumb is: the more complex the password, the more secure the account. A simple password manager program can help with this.
When it comes to the username, it remains the responsibility of an individual to ensure that it is not similar to their actual name just as in the case of anonymous email handles.
6. Blocking the Webcam
One lucrative form of ransomware attack is to take advantage of a computer’s vulnerability to install spyware that can take photos and videos via the webcam, only to send the data directly to the hacker in real time.
They can then demand a ransom from you and, depending on the nature of the photos/videos they capture with the webcam, chances are you’d be even more incentivized to pay up the ransom.
An easy fix to this is simply taping over your webcam or covering it in some way so hackers won’t be able to collect visual records of your everyday life if your computer is compromised
This is a frightening, but plausible possibility. It’s no wonder why the CEO of Facebook has taped his webcam.
Deep Web Browsing Tips
There are many factors that compromise the online safety and security of a user while on the deep web, despite the fact that you can just use a regular browser to access it.
The average Joe will probably leave more traces that reveal their identity as compared to an expert who has been operating on the hidden web for quite some time.
You’ll get the hang of it once you’ve had some time to get used to the deep web, but below are just a few best practices to keep in mind for your safety.
(Note that all of these tips apply to both the dark web and the deep web. The only difference is that you cannot access the dark web without using the Tor browser, as you will not be able to reach .onion links on a regular browser.)
Practice safe clicking
If you’re browsing the dark web in particular, you should always ALWAYS double check and even triple check to make sure you’re using the current .onion URL for whatever site you intend to visit.
Dark web links are constantly susceptible to change, so it’s best you check with a reputable source to make sure the link is verified.
Watch what you download
Get an up-to-date antivirus program
Hackers will often infiltrate a device by installing spyware on the browsers the victims are using. By doing so, information about the user’s activities is sent to the spyware developer in real-time.
Connect to trusted networks.
Deep Web Sites and .Onion Links
The dark and deep web are filled with interesting content of all different categories. Dark web links are followed by a .onion parameter, and deep web links could contain any other domain.
Here are tables containing the top 10 most popular sites on both the dark and deep web, along with corresponding links.
[Table Coming Soon]
Dark Web News has compiled the biggest source of deep web links and screenshots online, and it’s continuously growing.
Deep Web Screenshots
Real-time or recent screen captures of live deep web sites are incredibly useful for anyone who’s thinking about exploring on the deep web.
Screenshots give you a chance to take a peek into the website and its potential offerings without having to visit it yet.
Once you’ve decided it’s worth the dive, you can enter the site at the correct link associated with the screenshot.
Dark Web News has the largest selection of screenshots on the surface web.
If you head over to this page, then you can click on the eye symbol for any record in the table to view the screenshot of the site.
Deep Web Search Engines & Tools
The deep web does not have Google because of its prime characteristic of having data that is not indexed. This might sound like a disadvantage given the fact that Google has spoiled us all with easy and quick search returns.
But it’s imperative to remember that the entire purpose of the deep web is that it’s an open source of information that anyone is welcome to take stock in, and it has much MUCH more to offer than any Google search.
You just have to know how to harness the deep web to your advantage.
There are some search engines made for use in the dark web, and one of them is GRAMs, which happens to be the very first search engine of its kind to be developed to browse through the Tor network.
Due to the rising number of darknet markets, the developers saw the need to create a search engine that is convenient for dark web users.
It enables them to search the Tor network for markets, and it also provides guides for purchases and sales.
Some other alternative search engines and tools for finding and consuming content on the deep and dark web include:
- DuckDuckGo: This is an anonymous search engine that keeps no logs of users’ browsing behaviors, search results, history, cookies, etc. It’s mainly used for browsing the surface web in a more anonymous way, but it picks up deep web links too.
- Torch (xmh57jrzrnw6insl.onion): With over 10 million users and years of positive reputation-building under its belt, Torch has gained notoriety among the deep and dark web communities for delivering high quality search services of the hidden internet. It’s based on the Chromium suite and is compatible with Chrome extensions and add-ons.
- Uncensored Hidden Wiki (zqktlwi4fecvo6ri.onion/wiki/index.php/Main_Page): The oldest and truest form of dark web search mastery is the Hidden Wiki. It is a repository for links to all sorts of websites on the darknet, from drug markets to fanbases to uncensored news publications to even some darker content having to do with human trafficking and abuse. That’s why you should be careful what you click on when you scroll through the Hidden Wiki; it certainly doesn’t discriminate on what graphic content is on the list.
- The WWW Virtual Library is the oldest and most vast catalog of internet websites of all time. It was created at the European Organization for Nuclear Research by the founder of the World Wide Web and HTML himself, Tim Berners-Lee. The database has educational and encyclopedic references on virtually any topic thinkable.
- This list has some additional search engines you can try out based on your needs.
- Ichidian: A launched recently search engine helps users access dark web URLs in a faster and easier manner than others. It’s new, so it may take some time to adjust to its new user base.
- notEvil (hss3uro2hsxfogfq.onion): This is also an in-depth list of deep and dark web links. notEvil has been around for some time, and is widely known among the community as a good source for links.
Deep Web Reddit Resources
Reddit is a major source of information about deep web topics. Subreddit forums offer deep web users the opportunity to freely express themselves on various issues, obtaining first-hand information on anything that concerns the deep and dark web.
However, since the main function of Reddit is to be a tool for expressing uncensored views and opinions, deep/dark web forums on Reddit have indeed landed people into trouble with law enforcement since some tend to overshare and use their real names to post comments about their practices.
Users in dark/deep web subreddit communities can sometimes be at odds with each other. If you’re just an average onlooker, you’ll find the whole culture behind this scene incredibly fascinating to watch.
Users are downright combative with one another on a regular basis; sometimes comedically so. But that’s the way of life within this niche. Trolling is not only tolerated, it’s accepted.
Hackers will often openly brag about their exploits and taunt others for not being able to meet the challenge due to their “lower” skill sets.
As a result, angry fellow commenters may be motivated to dox that user. This happened recently with a user named PhishKingz, a phishing guru of sorts who has been behind some of the dark web’s notable phishing campaigns.
Many of those who engage in fraud and illegal activities end up exposing their identity to some extent.
Additionally, some darknet market users, admins, vendors and buyers tend to end up getting caught for accidentally exposing their identity.
And as a result, investigative bodies and law enforcement agencies monitor the subreddit forums for any leads of persons that may be engaging in criminal actives.
Consequently, this has over time led to the rest of quite a number of people.
For this reason, those posting on Reddit should ensure that they have turned on their VPN before logging into their account (creates with an anonymous email) and posting.
Failure to do so could lead to the actual IP address of the user getting exposed, making it easier to get traced.
Other measures include use of fake email addresses for making Reddit accounts, as well as fake usernames. The username should no way resemble the actual name or identity of the person.
Below are some of the subreddit forums that relate to the deep web:
https://www.reddit.com/r/deepweb shares verifiable tools, resources and general information that deep web users find interesting and helpful.
https://www.reddit.com/r/DeepWebTopics is a topical discussion board where users posts, stories, questions, observations and comments about things they’ve seen or want to see on the deep web.
https://www.reddit.com/r/DeepWebIntel is a general forum for deep web users to communicate, created by a user of the same name.
https://www.reddit.com/r/onions is more dark web-related, but it’s a helpful source for finding out more about what the darknet has to offer.
https://www.reddit.com/r/deepwebexperiences is a spot where people can share some of the interesting things they’ve seen on the deep web.
https://www.reddit.com/r/WikiLeaks, https://www.reddit.com/r/WikiLeaksDiscussions (invite-only) and https://www.reddit.com/r/WikileaksTaskForce are all dedicated to free and open conversation around WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and whistleblowing in general.
https://www.reddit.com/r/DeepWebMysteries/ is a community of citizen investigators who look for hidden meanings and patterns in deep web sites. It’s invite-only, so you have to message the moderators to get access to the subreddit.
https://www.reddit.com/r/deepwebpics is exactly what it sounds like—a bunch of screenshots from deep web sites, or screenshots depicting content that’s related to the deep web in some way.
https://www.reddit.com/r/BankMoney is where users post questions and answers related to anything and everything fraud and carding-related.
https://www.reddit.com/r/carding is a carding forum community that’s private and requires an invite link.
https://www.reddit.com/r/cardingfraud shares ways to make a long-term profit by carding; it’s also private and requests an invite link.
Dark Net Markets
https://www.reddit.com/r/DarkNetMarkets2 is definitively the most widely used subreddit for dark web market vendors, buyers, admins, observers and browsers to communicate and swap tips and information about the associated darknet market brands.
https://www.reddit.com/r/DNMAvengers compiles an index of tested products from confirmed darknet market buyers, in a bid to add more accountability to the scene; the subreddit is currently under construction, but it’s still accepting new submissions.
https://www.reddit.com/r/hacking is a subreddit for anyone in the hacking community, whether it be full-time hackers, curious users who want to tip their toes into the vice, or onlookers who simply enjoy reading countless threads of hacker culture on Reddit.
https://www.reddit.com/r/Hacking_Tutorials is a peer-to-peer educational subreddit for methods, tools, resources and tips hackers can use to carry out their activities.
https://www.reddit.com/r/hackingwithswift is a place where iOS and Swift developers and hackers can post questions/answers, swap comments and suggestions, and share cool projects with one another.
Deep Web Horror Stories
The number of creepy stories about the invisible web as of now is endless. And what’s more is that these numbers grow day by day.
As its name suggests, “Red Rooms” are places where people are brutally slaughtered on camera for anyone inside the chat room to watch from home.
Due to the fact that most witnesses of this phenomena only have their experience and memory to use as evidence, there have been several rumors that Red Rooms are actually a hoax.
Observers have claimed that the sites will offer a “Pay Per View” button where users provide payment in Bitcoins to gain access to watch the content.
If Red Rooms are to be believed as true, they’d be best described as live-streamed snuff films, formatted for the Internet Age. Or, they could very well be just a twisted scam.
As scary as it sounds, this is indeed something that occurs in the dark web.
There is an enigmatic site called The Human Experiment, run by a group that abducts human beings and performs a whole host of experiments on them just for fun.
The acts performed on humans include starvation, radiation exposure, injecting chemicals into the body, among many others.
Some of the content found on the deep web is highly explicit, and the scenes are not worth exploring especially for the faint-hearted.
Abductions and kidnapping for sexual purposes have been long documented on various dark web sites.
There have been numerous accounts and stories of innocent wanderers of the dark web (usually newbies to the scene) who accidentally stumble upon this type of content. As a result, they’re emotionally scarred for a long while afterwards, or even indefinitely.
The dark web is often host to content that depicts humans performing acts of bestiality on animals and engaging minors in sexual acts.
The price for these videos or photos depends on the site but on some occasions, the content is available to download for free.
Viewing this type of content is illegal in almost all countries and Dark Web News do not condone it at all. We are just reporting on what is actually found here.
Very crazy, right? But it is indeed a vice that many are performing.
These sites are formed by members of cults who engage each other by showing bizarre rituals, such as eating human flesh and drinking human blood in the act of offering sacrifices.
There are some seriously dark games that are floating around the dark web right now.
One such example is the Blue Whale Suicide Challenge, which is loosely linked to around 130 deaths of teenagers throughout Russia as of September 2017 (because of ongoing investigations, that link has yet to be proven definitively).
The games starts off by trying to get the player addicted to it over a time period of 50 days by rewarding them for completing challenges that range in severity, from watching scary movies to physically hurting themselves.
The more the user plays the game and goes through more advanced levels, the more challenges they’re required to solve. At the end, the game tasks them with committing suicide.
Deep Web Torrent Sites
Perhaps it goes without saying, but extreme caution is absolutely required when undertaking any sort of torrenting activity.
Torrenting on the surface web can be dangerous, as your IP address and browsing history are readily made available to your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Entertainment producers are incredibly touchy about their copyrighted content so, to avoid legal action, it’s best to use torrent sites under the cloak of anonymity on the deep web—using the Tor browser or I2P, another network that serves to protect users’ privacy.
Here’s a rundown of some of the most reliable torrenting platforms, and their corresponding links:
The Pirate Bay — uj3wazyk5u4hnvtk.onion
TPB is one of the most popular and all-inclusive torrent platforms that’s dominated the scene since its start in 2003. The surface web site is periodically subject to domain seizures, but the Tor version has remained intact.
Solarmovie — solarmovie6rystf.onion
Demonoid — demonhkzoijsvvui.onion:8080
This is a longstanding BitTorrent-enabled discussion forum that facilitates peer-to-peer file sharing. The surface web address is: demonoid.pw.
Standing for BitTorrent Database, BTDB is a search engine for searching nodes that distribute torrent files via the BitTorrent file sharing protocol. There doesn’t appear to be a .onion link for this one, but it’s accessible via the surface web here.
The deep web is a fascinating place to be for any internet denizen. It’s a rabbit hole of internet wonder, offering all sorts of knowledge, records, data and content a person could spend days sifting through.
It may take a few steps to navigate your way through the various links and virtual pathways to find the insights you’re looking for, but that’s all part of the fun.
The deep web is beckoning your entrance. And if you’re up for the task, you might find the answers you’ve been looking for within its depths.