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How to access the Dark Web on any device

Access dark web

To access some particular Tor hidden services you are required to have a Tor Browser which is available on Windows, macOS, Android, and Linux platforms. You will need to download and install this browser on your device from a Tor Project website – it’s 100% free and safe.

How to access Dark Web on Windows

To access Dark Web On windows you need to download and install Tor Browser and this is how you access Dark Web:

1. Go to https://www.torproject.org/download/ and download the windows installer:

Tor Project Website Download Apps page with Windows app marked

2. Install Tor browser from the Windows installer you just downloaded

3. Once Installed – launch the Tor Browser and you will be able to access the Dark Web4. To test the access try to visit a .onion domain website which you can find in the article below.

How to access Dark Web on Mac

  1. Go to https://www.torproject.org/download/ and download the Mac installer:
Tor Project Website Download Apps page with MacOS app marked

2. Install Tor browser from the Mac installer you just downloaded

3. Once Installed – launch the Tor Browser and you will be able to access the Dark Web

4. To test the access try to visit a .onion domain website which you can find in the article below.

How to access Dark Web on Android

To install Tor Browser on Android you can either download and install it via GooglePlay:

1. Go to the Google Play app and search for Tor

Tor Browser on GooglePlay store

2. Click install 

3. Then Open

4. To test the access try to visit a .onion domain website which you can find in the article below.

How to access Dark Web on iOS

To access Dark Web on iOS you need to use a browser called Onion Browser. According to the Tor Project, Onion Browser is less secure than Tor Browser due to technical limitations by the iOS platform:

TorGuard Support question about iOS
A screenshot from https://support.torproject.org/tormobile/

You can get an onion browser for iOS on the App Store.

How to Access Deep Web without the Tor browser?

There is a way to access the Tor network even without the Tor browser. There VPN providers, like NordVPN, that have specific server setups that route your traffic via tor network to increase anonymity, these are also known as “Tor over VPN” or “Onion over VPN” servers. Since VPN traffic is routed via Tor Network it can access and show Dark Web content in your regular browser. All you need to do is to connect to a VPN server and start browsing. There are only a few VPN providers that provide such service – NordVPN or ExpressVPN.

What can you find on Dark Web

You probably heard a lot of rumors about what is deep down on the dark side of the internet – from the scary videos to red rooms and tons of illegal content and activities, and actually, some of these rumors are surely true! But to make things clear, here are a few things than can be found on the dark web:

  1. Hidden service lists and search engines
  2. Marketplaces for financial and commercial services (fraud included)
  3. Marketplaces for drugs and guns
  4. Hosting services
  5. Blogs and forums
  6. Anonymous email and messaging services
  7. Uncensored political content
  8. Hacking services, malware shops
  9. Pornography (illegal included)
  10. Non-English content and much more uncategorized stuff!

Where can you find Dark Web sites to visit

Since .onion URLs look like a bunch of numbers and letters thrown together it’s not easy neither to remember nor to type those gibberish URLs. To navigate the Dark Web here are some resources you could try that have some useful links:

https://thehiddenwiki.org/ – an extensive list of hidden services, however The Hidden Wiki on the Deep Web has way much bigger URL repository ( http://kpvz7ki2v5agwt35.onion ).

Once you are on the Dark Web itself, to help you navigate the network you could try one of the oldest search engines on the network called Torch that you can access on the clear net as well via this link.

Also, here’s a list of Tor network search engines you can try:

  1. DuckDuckGohttp://3g2upl4pq6kufc4m.onion
  2. Torch (on Tor Network) – http://xmh57jrzrnw6insl.onion/
  3. Not Evil – http://hss3uro2hsxfogfq.onion/
  4. Grams – http://grams7enufi7jmdl.onion
  5. Ahmia (on clearnet) – https://ahmia.fi/search/

Is it illegal to access Dark Web?

Even though Dark Web is a place for a lot of doubtful content and criminal activities, accessing Dark Web is not illegal or forbidden in any way, however, some things might get you into trouble. On the Dark Web you could find some marketplaces, forbidden content, and services that in most countries are forbidden. Owning or hosting such a marketplace where illegal activity takes place is considered illegal. Ordering unregulated substances or distributing inappropriate content is considered illegal, however, just accessing it to take a sneak peek at forums or the prices on the dark markets is not something against the law. Due to the Dark Web’s provided anonymity, it is very hard to trace who is visiting the websites that are on the network, but the question is – can you still feel safe?

Is it safe to browse the Dark Web?

Tor is safe to surf anonymously, but when browsing the unknown waters it is better to stay more cautious. Considering the concentration of illegal activities, strange websites, and hackers lurking under the unknown links the risk of your personal information getting exposed or downloading a malicious file is much higher than browsing regularly.

Routing your traffic from the Tor network to the clearnet is also considered unsafe – the Tor network exit point to the clearnet, called the Tor Exit node, may be controlled by the eavesdropper that can inspect or manipulate your internet traffic – therefore it is best to use a VPN for Dark Web that encrypts your whole traffic inside a VPN tunnel preventing the attackers to see anything you try to visit, hide your personal identity and prevent them from manipulating your information.

A brief history of Dark Web

One of the first predecessors of the Dark Web (or Dark Net) is a project called Freenet, which was based on an academic paper written by Ian Clark in 1999. The project was created and designed in order to circumvent internet censorship and allow the expression of free speech and ideas. Freenet had the technology that provided encryption and anonymity which allowed secure and anonymous file sharing across the network. After a while, the Tor project was created and was initially funded by the US mIlitary to create a secure and anonymous way of communication in case of an unforeseen emergency.

Anonymous online payments became possible with the Bitcoin creation in the 2000s and since, the Tor network quickly gained popularity among many scammers, drug dealers, and hackers, and became a hidden place of other illegal activities instead of becoming the means of free speech.

Today Dark Web provides anonymity and secure communications and Tor (which is considered one of the biggest Dark Webs out there along I2P, Freenet and others) can be accessed via a browser called Tor Browser.

In short: How does Dark Web / Tor Network work

Tor network – the biggest Dark Web out there – can be accessed via Tor Browser developed by Tor Project. It uses Firefox as a base browser and is pre-configured to provide security and a certain level of anonymity. Tor network provides anonymity by a method so-called onion routing – it makes your connection jump via multiple different relays inside the Tor network each time changing your IP address, therefore it is really hard to trace who you really are.

How tor works step one
How tor works step two
How tor works step three


The Dark Net or in particular Tor network is available for access via Tor browser that could be installed in Windows, macOS, Android, Linux and in iOS case a different browser called Onion browser provides the access. The Dark Net is highly anonymous and the technology makes it difficult to track its users and therefore it has a lot of websites such as drug marketplaces and illegal content spread around. Besides the biggest Dark Net – Tor – there are other ones such as I2P and Freenet, the latter being the predecessor of all dark net. For additional safety, securing personal data and due to the increased risk of exposing your identity, it is best to access Tor along with a VPN service that routes your internet traffic via a highly secure and encrypted VPN tunnel. A VPN would prevent eavesdroppers to modify your data and hide the fact from your ISP that you try to access Tor.

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