The dark web conjures up all kinds of scary imagery but it also has many cool and useful sites (called .onion sites) to check out.
Tor isn’t just a privacy tool. It also allows you to access the “dark web”, which is a part of the internet that isn’t indexed by search engines and consists of “onion sites”. These sites have URLs that end in .onion (rather than .com, .org, etc.) and are only accessible via Tor (The Onion Router).
While some of the content on the dark web ranges from the disturbing to the highly illegal, there’s still plenty of rather normal content there. And in recent years, more and more “clear web” websites are offering .onion URLs which can be used to access them more securely.
Best Onion Sites Worth Checking Out
Here are some of the best onion sites you can find on the dark web today:
This privacy-oriented search engine is an excellent alternative to Google.
Make this secure email service even more secure by accessing it via its .onion URL.
If you insist on using Facebook, despite the privacy risks, at least do it through its more secure .onion URL.
Whether you want to buy something on the dark web (we don’t recommend it) or add another layer of anonymity to your Bitcoin buying/selling, the Blockchain onion is a good bet.
Access millions of scientific research papers, for free, at the Sci-Hub onion.
One of the best sites for ebooks has its own onion for safer access and downloading.
Hidden Answers is kind of like the dark web equivalent of Quora or Yahoo Answers – but more anonymous and completely uncensored.
Whistleblowers can use SecureDrop to securely leak info or tips to major news outlets, from Buzzfeed to the Guardian.
How to Access Onion Sites
The best way to access onion sites is with NordVPN’s 'Onion Over VPN' feature.
Tor will provide you with one layer of protection (and allow you to access the .onion sites), while the VPN layer will provide even further security.
And it’s really easy to use too. With just one click, you can be surfing the dark web safe and secure.
Read NordVPN’s own Tor FAQ and the full benefits of using its Onion Over VPN.