Beneath the surface of the web as you know it, lies a vast, hidden resource of data, media, and content known as the Deep Web. The majority of the population are still not aware of its existence. While a part of the hidden underbelly of the internet contains typically taboo topics, not all of it is risky or replete with weird topics and criminal behavior. Still, proceed with caution and exercise common sense. There are certain sites on the deep web that are more popular than others, and contain information you aren’t likely to find on the more-regulated Clearnet (regular internet). You will need to download and install The Onion Router (ToR) to access the deep web.
Here’s a list of the most popular sites on the Deep Web:
- The Hidden Wiki: You will have to begin your voyage in the hitherto unknown world of the deep web through the Hidden Wiki. It has links to many useful sites on the deep web, and can provide you a wealth of information on a myriad of topics. It serves as one of the few indexes of deep web sites. The URL for the Hidden Wiki is http://zqktlwi4fecvo6ri.onion
- Grams: Sometimes, you may scour the internet with the intention to buy specific things that are, shall we say…not easy to find. Grams is one deep web specific search engine which makes this task easier. It helps you lay hands on antiques, collectibles and other “rare” objects from all corners of the world. The URL for Grams is http://grams7enufi7jmdl.onion/
- AlphaBay: Have you ever used Ebay? This is basically the Ebay of guns, drugs and stolen credit cards. Referred to as a Darknet Market, or “DNM” for short, from its links and lists, you can buy literally anything. The URL for AlphaBay’s Market Login is http://pwoah7foa6au2pul.onion/login.php
- Silk Road 3.0: After the buzz over its shutdown by the Feds, Silk Road is back (again) with a bang. The SR3 DNM has undergone a revamp and redesign, as well as new staff, since most of the previous admins and mods are currently incarcerated. You can buy a huge range of products from the site now. The URL is http://reloadedudjtjvxr.onion
- Torch: Torch is another search engine that will help you navigate your way through the deep web. This site is your gateway to all those useful, but hidden sites. The URL is http://www.xmh57jrzrnw6insl.onion
- RAMP (Russian Anonymous Marketplace): This is another deep web Darknet Market, where you can find a lot of interesting merchandise. In fact, this is among the longest running marketplaces on the deep web. Many people use this site to organize drug deals. Unlike most of the other markets,you don’t need Bitcoin for making payments when using the site. The URL is http://ramp2bombkadwvgz.onion
- Dream Market: This is yet another DNM on the deep web that has become popular since its debut in 2013. It is quite similar to AlphaBay. Its URL is http://lchudifyeqm4ldjj.onion/?ai=1675
- The Hub: If you’re looking for an online forum to learn more about the deep web, you may like the Hub. The Hub is your ideal destination for a comprehensive resource on all things deep web and how to use it to your benefit. You will find information on just about any topic under the sun on this site. The URL is http://thehub7dnl5nmcz5.onion
- DuckDuckGo: Tor uses DuckDuckGo as its search engine, since it’s more privacy-focused than customer information whores like Google & Bing. It lacks user tracking and is, therefore, your best option when you want to protect your privacy and use the deep web. While this search engine protects searchers’ privacy, it also avoids the filter bubble of personalized search results. In other words, DuckDuckGo will show the same results for a search term to each of its users. This is the opposite of what Google does. Google filters search results based on your browsing history. DuckDuckGo is also available on the Clearnet. The URL is https://duckduckgo.com
- WikiLeaks: Julian Assange’s brainchild has left many governments and leaders red-faced worldwide since its inception. WikiLeaks has made the headlines on more than one occasion for having published classified information. Log on to https://wikileaks.org/ for gossip, leaks and much more. While WikiLeaks original Onion address is no longer available, you can submit documents to WikiLeaks securely on their submission URL, which is http://suw74isz7wqzpmgu.onion
- Tor shops: If you have a burning desire to set up an online shop on the deep web, Tor shops is just the site for you. You can create your own web store with a .onion extension here. It also offers options to set up a shop with an integrated Bitcoin wallet, so that your buyers will not have to worry about transaction privacy. The URL is http://ww.shopsat2dotfotbs.onion/
- Sci-Hub: If you want to access the deep web for the purposes of research, check out Sci-hub. This is an online search engine that gives you access to several hundred journals, academic papers, and articles. You can easily bypass publisher paywalls and download these articles too. The URL is http://scihub22266oqcxt.onion/
The deep web has some amazing sites that can come in really handy, especially for whistleblowers, investigative researchers and privacy advocates. But, as always, you should employ OpSec measures to access and use them safely.