The deep web is the part of the internet that is not indexed by search engines. A part of the deep web is the dark web, which exists inside layered proxy networks—known as darknets. Of these darknets, Tor is by far the largest. The suffix of its native domains, .onion, has become synonymous with internet freedom.
This article can also be found on the dark web!
Get the Tor browser (also known as the .onion browser)
But what kind of sites are hosted in this darknet? What do they do, and why are they there? we presents ten of the most (in-)famous:
(Note: You will need the Tor Browser to open all links to .onion websites in this article and to access the dark web. You can get the Tor Browser here.)
1. The Pulitzer-winning ProPublica
The first online publication that won a Pulitzer is now also the first major publication with a .onion address.
ProPublica does a lot of things differently. Its source of funding is the deep wallet of the Sandler Foundation and various other similar organizations.
Browsing ProPublica’s work through its .onion site works well, and the site’s very existence is a big win for privacy and free speech.
2. Facebook’s .onion site
Why would one of the largest organizations known for its invasive stance on privacy and controversial clear-name policy have a .onion address?
While Facebook might collect everything you say and do on its platform, it isn’t happy with sharing this information with others. Facebook is also keenly aware of attempts by many governments to restrict access to a tool that allows strangers across the web to talk and collaborate freely.
Facebook’s .onion address doesn’t make it much easier to maintain an anonymous account, but it does make Facebook more accessible in places where it’s censored.
3. DuckDuckGo where Google doesn’t
Searching for content but don’t want to give up your privacy? DuckDuckGo is a great alternative to Google. Search activity isn’t logged by design. Even without the ability to learn about your behavior or monitor your email and browsing, DuckDuckGo provides decent results. Which raises the question: Are Google’s extensive surveillance techniques really necessary?
Over Tor, Google becomes annoying to use, because it frequently subjects searchers to captchas to prove they’re human. But The Duck excels at speed, reliability, and privacy.
4. The Privacy Conscious Wasabi Wallet
Wasabi Wallet is a Bitcoin wallet that not only hides all your data in the Tor Network but also allows you to ‘join’ your transactions with others to increase your anonymity. This makes it incredibly difficult to find out who you are paying.
The process costs a fee, but unlike with other ‘tumbler’ or ‘mixing’ services, there is no risk that Wasabi or any of its users could scam you out of your coins.
5. Riseup, the anonymous email and chat provider for activists
Riseup is a volunteer-run email provider for activists around the world.
Founded around 1999 by activists in Seattle, it has since grown to over six million users worldwide. It publishes a newsletter in multiple languages and not only runs Onion services for its website but all its email and chat services.
So many more great sites
This is Easyonion’s list of .onion domains worth a visit, but these are not even the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much content out there (be warned, though, it’s not all good stuff).
We also liked:
The BBC: https://www.bbcnewsv2vjtpsuy.onion/
The New York Times: https://www.nytimes3xbfgragh.onion/
The Pirate Bay: http://uj3wazyk5u4hnvtk.onion/
Démocratie Participative: http://dp742web5fzh674o.onion/
But, we regret to inform you that The Onion does not have an Onion site: https://www.theonion.com/