Best Dark Web Search Engines: A Comprehensive Guide

Reading Time: ( Word Count: )

August 31, 2023

The dark web, often associated with illegal activities and shady dealings, is a part of the deep web – that portion of the World Wide Web not indexed by traditional search engines like Google or Bing. However, not all activities on the dark web are nefarious. Many people turn to the dark web for reasons of privacy, free speech, or to access specialized data. Accessing the dark web requires special tools, and once inside, finding what you need can be a challenge. This is where dark web search engines come into play. In this article, we will explore the best dark web search engines that you can use to navigate this hidden realm.

Why Use a Dark Web Search Engine?

Before delving into our list, it’s essential to understand the need for specialized search engines. The dark web’s clandestine nature means that sites don’t openly advertise their presence. Additionally, the dark web is dynamic; sites frequently change their addresses to avoid detection or closure. A search engine tailored for the dark web can help users find relevant sites and resources while ensuring a degree of safety.

Beware the Fake Apps: MMRat Trojan’s Silent Invasion in Southeast Asia

Best Dark Web Search Engines: A Detailed Look

DuckDuckGo on Tor

Description: DuckDuckGo is a well-known privacy-centric search engine used on the clarinet. However, there’s a version of DuckDuckGo on the Tor network that allows users to search the dark web. It provides the same privacy guarantees, ensuring that user searches are not tracked or recorded.

Why Use It: It’s user-friendly, has a familiar interface, and gives fairly reliable search results for the dark web.

Best Dark Web Search Engines: A Comprehensive Guide


Description: Ahmia is specific to the Tor network. It’s straightforward, indexing sites that want to be found and excluding sites that prefer to remain hidden. Ahmia provides a clear distinction between legal and illegal sites, allowing users to make informed decisions.

Why Use It: For a safer browsing experience, and to find sites that are voluntarily indexed.


Description: A nod to Google’s “Don’t be evil” motto, notEvil is one of the largest search engines on the dark web. It provides an extensive collection of links and, unlike other search engines, often displays sites that may be hard to find elsewhere.

Why Use It: If you’re looking for something specific and can’t find it on other search engines, notEvil is your best bet.


Description: Grams was often referred to as the “Google of the dark web”. It was designed specifically for locating goods on various darknet markets. While it’s not as active as it once was, it still remains a tool for more experienced users.

Why Use It: If you are looking to compare products across multiple darknet marketplaces.


Description: While Searx is primarily a privacy-focused clearnet search engine, it can be configured to search the dark web. The engine is open-source, ensuring transparency and security.

Why Use It: For a customizable search experience, and if you trust open-source tools for transparency.

Safety Tips When Using Dark Web Search Engines

Navigating the dark web isn’t like browsing the clarinet. Here are some tips to ensure a safer experience:

  • Use a VPN: Always connect to the Tor network using a VPN to add an extra layer of privacy and security.
  • Check URLs: Scam sites are rampant. Double-check URLs to ensure you’re visiting the site you intended.
  • Stay Legal: Remember, not everything on the dark web is legal. Stay informed and steer clear of illegal activities.

French Unemployment Agency Reports Data Breach Affecting 10 Million People


The dark web is a vast and often misunderstood part of the internet. While it houses a lot of illicit activity, it’s also a beacon for free speech, privacy advocates, and those looking for specialized information. The best dark web search engines, as highlighted above, serve as guides to this hidden realm, making navigation easier and more secure. Remember, always prioritize safety and legality when diving into the depths of the dark web.


What is the difference between the dark web and the deep web?

Answer: The deep web refers to parts of the internet not indexed by standard search engines, such as Google or Bing. This includes databases, private forums, and password-protected sites. The dark web is a subsection of the deep web that can only be accessed with special software like Tor or I2P. It’s known for hosting illegal activities, but also serves as a platform for privacy-focused individuals and whistleblowers.

Can I access the dark web using my regular browser?

Answer: No, you cannot access the dark web using regular browsers like Chrome or Firefox. To browse the dark web, you need specialized software like the Tor Browser, which allows you to access .onion websites.

Is it illegal to browse the dark web?

Answer: Merely browsing the dark web is not illegal in most countries. However, many activities and services available on the dark web are illegal, such as buying drugs, and weapons, or engaging in illegal activities. Engaging in or facilitating such activities can lead to legal consequences.

How can I ensure my safety while browsing the dark web?

Answer: To ensure safety, always use a VPN in conjunction with the Tor Browser. Avoid sharing personal information, downloading unknown files, or clicking on suspicious links. Moreover, always be wary of potential scams and avoid engaging in illegal activities.

Are dark web search engines like DuckDuckGo on Tor illegal to use?

Answer: No, search engines like DuckDuckGo on Tor are not illegal to use. They function as tools to find information. However, what you do with the information or the sites you access might have legal implications.

Why would someone want to use the dark web?

Answer: Apart from illegal reasons, many individuals use the dark web for legitimate purposes such as ensuring personal privacy, accessing restricted information in oppressive regimes, whistleblowing, or engaging in discussions on private forums.

Is cryptocurrency the only form of payment on the dark web?

Answer: While cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Monero, and Ethereum are the most popular forms of payment on the dark web due to their anonymity features, it’s not the only form. Some sites may accept other forms of payment, but cryptocurrency remains the standard for its perceived security and privacy advantages.

How do sites on the dark web remain hidden?

Answer: Dark websites use the Tor encryption tool to hide their identity and activities. The traffic is routed through several randomly selected nodes before reaching the final destination, making it extremely difficult to trace the source or destination of the data.

Noor Khan

Noor Khan


My name is Noor, and I am a seasoned entrepreneur focused on the area of artificial intelligence. As a robotics and cyber security researcher, I love to share my knowledge with the community around me.

Other interesting articles

Automated vs Manual Penetration Testing

Automated vs Manual Penetration Testing

Pentesting is largely divided into two methodologies: Automated vs Manual Penetration Testing. Both have ...
8 Steps in Penetration Testing You Should Know

8 Steps in Penetration Testing You Should Know

Mastering the art of penetration testing has become a critical ability for security experts to combat cyber ...
Spear Phishing vs Whaling: What is the Difference

Spear Phishing vs Whaling: What is the Difference

Spear phishing is a particularly devious type of phishing assault in which the individual targeted plays a ...
How Often Should Penetration Testing Be Done

How Often Should Penetration Testing Be Done

Penetration testing is a crucial technique that involves simulating a cyberattack on networks, computer systems, ...

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *