Deep Web Search Engines
To the layman, the only aspect of internet is the one we use for normal browsing every day. But, in reality, there are 3 main types of the Internet which are crucial to understanding to get an accurate picture of how it works:
1: The Surface Web
2: The Deep Web
3: The Dark Web
The Surface Web
The surface web consists of all the pages that can be indexed by a normal search engine like Google and are available for everyone to see.
The Deep Web
The deep web consists of all those pages that are protected and hence cannot be indexed by a search engine. This protection may come in the form of several security measures such as passwords. An example is a private Instagram profile whose content cannot be displayed in Google search results.
The Dark Web
The dark web consists of all those websites which cannot be accessed using a normal browser and require a special type of network known as The Onion Routing (TOR). All websites there use a .onion appended at the end instead of top-level domains such as “.com”.
Secret Search Engines
The Hidden Wiki is a dark web Wikipedia where you can find links to different websites on the dark web. As you may notice in this article, the URLs of dark web pages are often nonsensical. This makes it difficult to find the website you’re looking for. On the Hidden Wiki they do a lot of the searching for you. Moreover, they provide informative pages on a range of topics that can be an interesting read.
Watch out that you do not click on a link to something you do not want to see, because the Hidden Wiki doesn’t just index legal websites. In fact, there are many different “Hidden Wiki” sites out there. The Hidden Wiki used to be known for hosting, or at least, indexing a bunch of pedophile websites and has therefore been the subject of cyberattacks by the FBI and Anonymous. Many copycats and spin-offs of the Hidden Wiki have also been created. Don’t be surprised if you come across “The Official Hidden Wiki” or “The Uncensored Hidden Wiki”. It is best to stay away from these spin-off sites, however. Most Hidden Wiki sites to this day provide links to some parts of the dark web you would not want to visit. The best way to deal with this is to just stick to the categories that are relatively risk-free.
DuckDuckGo is a search engine that is also available on the surface web. As opposed to other search engines, DuckDuckGo does not collect or share any of your personal information. The search engine is ideal if you want to be completely anonymous on the web. On the dark web it is used because it also shows .onion websites. Most regular surface search engines do not index .onion websites. Thus, a regular search engine won’t bring you anywhere on the dark web, but DuckDuckGo will.
Ahmia is one of the very few deep web search engines that actually work and get us results like a traditional search engine. It has a simple user interface with a few instructions and a search bar on the homepage. Simply entering our queries will give us the results.
As you know what you’re searching for, it totally can be one of the best dark web search engines bringing out even the darkest of the results.
Some of its advanced features that no other onion search engine has provided so far “Link Graph” shows us the connections from one link to another, it’s useless for most users, but it’s unique!
Torch is one of the most popular and most applauded deep web search engines in existence. The sheer fact that the search engine has been live since 1996 establishes its potential, the dark forces of the internet do not let anything live anything this long without quality.
It’s also extremely simple, there’s the logo, and the search bar. Although yes, it does display ads even though they’re not based on your cookies or caches, and are rather static ads which are the same for everyone.
It also claims to have over 1million pages indexed in its database, which I suppose is enough for most of us.
Kilos breaks the Deep Web barriers and ventures into the Darker Side of the deep web. In other words, it’s a Dark web search engine and almost every result that you see is illegal. As the name hints, it’s a search-engine focused towards “Drugs
The search-engine takes your keyword and filters and searches through all its 8 indexed Darknet Markets, 556,728+ forum posts, 764,555 reviews, and 3,012 indexed vendors. In most cases, you’d find someone who’s willing to sell you drugs based on your preference
6. Not Evil
Not Evil is another one of the deep web search engines which actually is a search engine and not just a webpage like The Hidden Wiki. It has an extremely simplistic interface with nothing but a sarcastic image on the homepage, and a search bar at the top.
You enter the keywords of what you’re looking for on the search bar and hit enter, the page comes back with the relevant results, even though the results page is quite cluttered and the font isn’t very exciting, the links still work.
For advanced searches, it also includes data such as the last response of the site along with ping time, and additional results along with the primary search result.
You may notice a slight similarity between Candle and Google, the logo and the user-interface that is; although I assure you it’s nothing like Google.
It’s one of the simplest deep web search engines that exist, and because it’s similar to Google on its interface, you won’t find using it hard either.
It displays only .onion results and not clearnets and can be used to directly find deep web links if you know the keywords you’re searching
With over 1.5Billion indexed webpages, and nearly 300,000 individual searches performed each day, Haystak is arguably one of the best onion search engines in the industry.
It lists only onion URLs, although what makes it truly special is that it shows not just website links, but additional advanced information as well, which include Historical version, cached version, Datapoints, etc.
Although those advanced features we just talked about are included in the “premium” version of the Search engine and not free; the free version only functions as a general search engine with .onion sites.
There may be occasional ads, although most of the time, it’s an ad-free platform.
Abiko is one of the simplest deep web search engines, simplest in the sense that it includes absolutely nothing except a search box and search results, which include only .onion websites, no additional clutter.
The interface is as simple as it can be, and the search page resembles that of Google, although only slightly.
Abiko, too is an ad-free search engine so you won’t need any ad-blockers, or have to worry about your screen getting spammed to death with the ad
10. Onion Land
OnionLand is well recognized, and is sponsored by Tor and Tor2Web themselves! The homepage is easy to understand, with a search box and a handful of popular search terms in case you’re not loaded with keywords on your end.
It does accept and let users display ads, although that’s occasional and most of the time it’s ad-free just like Duck Duck Go or the other engines listed above. It shows only .onion results.
The search-page isn’t that well designed, it’s only “informative” which servers the purpose of being honest even though it’s not pleasing to the eyes. It displays the URLs in a very “notepad-like” format without any additional decorations.
Although it does have the feature to display cached webpages in case you need them.
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