Here, you’ll find the best dark web search engines for 2021. These will let you search for hidden(.onion) websites on the dark net/deep web.
By hidden websites, I mean websites on the .onion network. These .onion websites are not indexed by Google Chrome, Firefox or other clearnet browsers.
While majority of these websites may be illegal, quite a number of legal sites exist as well. E.g. some sharing conspiracy theories, personal projects/diaries, or even anonymous social networks.
Also, the websites listed below are extremely anonymous. They do not trace/track or fingerprint you. Your searches too aren’t stored like they are on the clearnet.
All you have to do is, access any of these deep web search engines, and enter your keyword; e.g. anonymous email service. You’ll get tons of dark web, more privacy-friendly services and tools that you can’t find on the clearnet.
Let’s get started then?
Best Dark Web Search Engines In 2021
These are the best Tor search engines in 2021:
- OnionLand Search
- Onion Search Engine (OSE)
Secure yourselves before searching the dark web
Did you know that even simply browsing some websites is a crime? On the dark web, you never know where the next URL will take you, as they are often random alphabet and numbers!
Moreover, when accessing the dark web, you’re probably already looking for things which are either illegal, or restricted by the govt.
Even when not, the dark web is a real scary place! You do not want to leave your footprints there.
Now, unfortunately, just using TOR isn’t enough. TOR can be hacked easier than we’d like or can imagine. In fact, the FBI already did it in the past.
That is the reason why I recommend using a VPN in addition to TOR when accessing any of these search engines.
Now, I’d recommend NordVPN and I’ll give you my reasons. It’s based in Panama, a non-member of the Five-Eyes group. Then, it has a specialized “onion over VPN” feature for dark web browsing. And, it even has verified its “no log” policy via an independent, third-party audit! Heck, it costs less than $3.50/month!
This article and list of dark web search engines is purely and solely meant for educational purposes. Any and all of your actions, on and forward any of these search engines/websites, is 100% your own responsibility.
Any search engine mentioned here is not to be taken as an endorsement. The content on these search-engines is beyond our control.
Also, it’s recommended you do your own research before purchasing items or making trades. This website can not be held responsible for your financial losses.
This website does not vouch for the legitimacy or authenticity of the products, vendors, advertisements, links, or anything else on any of these search engines.
Best for: Ad-free .onion searching
I love Phobos for three basic yet rare features. First, its extremely simple, AD-FREE interface. If you’ve used other deep web search engines, you’d know how rare and uncommon this is.
Secondly, its database. I can’t claim it has the biggest database, however, it’s big enough to cater to most of your searches.
Just for reference, if you search for “drugs”, it displays over 8000 indexed darkweb links. As you continue here, you’d notice how other search engines show much fewer results for the same keyword.
And third, it doesn’t show duplicate links! Again, this isn’t common in the industry. Most other search engines fetch and display the same primary domain multiple times for the same keyword. Phobos doesn’t do that.
As far as the result-page is concerned, it’s almost like a Google clone (in terms of looks). You get the site names in dark blue, the URLs in green, and a meta-description.
It also features “quick links”. As in, for the displayed results, it fetches “quick links” from the webpage so you can directly reach different sections on the webpage instead of having to browse it entirely.
In case you’re curious, it also has a clearnet alternative- Phobossearch.com. Note that it’s just a redirect, you can only access it on the Tor network, and it redirects to the .onion address.
Tor URL: http://dnmugu4755642434.onion/
Best for: Searching for drugs and drug marketplaces
The reason I’ve listed Kilos at the #2 spot on this best dark web search engines list? Well, it’s just super dedicated to being an illegal dark web search engine.
For starters, it can only be used to search for “drugs”. That’s clearly a web dark web product, isn’t it?
What’s special is, it shows “drug and drug vendor listings”. As in, drugs which can be purchased off various sellers selling on different darknet markets.
Then, its database is super impressive. As of today, it has over 122,811 listings and 7,782 vendors indexed on its database.
Its search-filters are probably some of the most advanced on this entire list! You can enter a keyword, select a minimum/maximum price-range, select the cryptocurrencies you’d like to pay with,
You can even select if you wish to purchase a physical or a digital listing (e-books/guides etc.).
When the results are displayed, they even include the reviews and an “average score” for each vendor!
Additionally, you can even select the exact market you want to search instead of just all of them.
In other words, Kilos is a search engine that lets you search through darknet markets without signing up/registering on them. Considering how “drugs” is quite literally “the” most traded commodity on the dark web, Kilos totally deserves the spot, doesn’t it?
3. OnionLand Search
Best for: A few Google-like features
OnionLand Search brings with itself a few features which most other dark web search engines miss. Surprisingly, most of these features are practically helpful and not just gimmicks.
For starters, it has that “I’m feeling lucky” button that Google has. Clicking on it will show you searches for one random keyword. These keywords are generally chosen from popular searches on OnionLand and hence are mostly not boring or useless.
As far as the manual searches go, it does resemble Google’s interface and colour-scheme again. Just like Google, it shows “sponsored links” in the first 3 results for most searches. They’re marked as “ad” just so you know. Do note that unlike Google, the ads may not always match your keywords.
I also love its result-skipping feature! In other words, when it sees similar results from the same primary domain, it doesn’t show those duplicate URLs. Rather, it shows a [X similar results skipped] message below that URL.
Another feature you may like is its cached webpage feature. For every single URL, it has the capability to show you a cached result from the past rather than showing a live version. This is super impressive as it helps you visit sites even when they’re down!
The database is very impressive as well. Despite it skipping similar results, it showed nearly 6000 results for “Drugs”!
Finally, you can also use its “explore” link at the bottom to find the “most popular” searches on OnionLand. They’re categorized alphabetically to make things easier.
Tor URL: http://msydqstlz2kzerdg.onion/
Best for: Safer darknet searching on the clearnet.
Ahmia is one of the oldest dark web search engines. It has two special features. The first being, it’s totally accessible on the clearnet as well.
You can access this search engine using traditional browsers like Google chrome/ Firefox etc.
Even on the clearnet, the results you’ll see are that of .onion domains. This isn’t very common in the industry. Most other clearnet domains for similar services either just redirect, or share their own onion alternative.
The second somewhat unique feature is its exclusion of illegal porn. This actually is helpful because such content very frequently pops up on darknet search engines. Even browsing such sites may be illegal. (This is why you must use a VPN, just to be safe). Hence, using Ahmia would ensure you some moral as well as legal safety.
As far as database goes, my search for “drugs” gave me 644 matches. This isn’t very impressive but I’d say it’s acceptable and isn’t a disappointment at the least.
Ahmia also has a feature which allows any user to add sites to its database. It’s a one-click process, enter any .onion domain and click submit, done!
In addition to being one of the best onion search engine, Ahmia also is a search engine for the I2P network if you use or know what that is.
Best for: Database-rich searches
Torch is one of the most well established and dark web search engines. Its primary suit is its database, which claims having over 898,385 documents indexed.
The homepage displays ads, dozens of them. They aren’t intrusive or hidden so can easily be ignored though.
Its “word match” feature is pretty unique and desirable. It offers two choices, first being “matching any word”. When this is selected, Torch will show results when they match any word from your keyword string.
The other option is “matching all words”. When this is selected, only exact matches are shown. Meaning, if you search for “credit card shop from Netherlands”, only those sites which contain all of these words will be shown.
Now, the result page is pretty informative as well. First, it shows how many times each individual keyword from your search, has appeared in the results. Then it also shows the page size.
Beneath each displayed URL/site, Torch also shows which keyword(s) triggered that particular URL to be shown for your search.
The one aspect I don’t like with Torch is its duplicate results. This is also a reason why I didn’t place it higher up on this list. Out of the 10 sites shown on the first page for each search, there mostly are only 2-3 unique websites.
Tor URL: http://gdarku42fzpyrfra.onion
Best for: Basic darknet searches
When you first land on the homepage, what you’re seeing is the most common form of darknet search engines. By that, I mean a homepage spammed with ads.
Just to be clear, know that most of these ads are probably scams. Even the search engines aren’t endorsing their “legitimacy”. They just get paid to display a banner. Hence, be careful before you reach for your pockets.
Anyway, as a darknet search engines (this is quite literally GDark’s tagline), it’s pretty active. It sees over 5000 visitors a day on an average.
Moreover, I love that it clubs duplicate links together. Meaning, instead of showing multiple links from the same primary domain as individual results, it numbers and groups them. This helps you skip through or just identify duplicate links much faster.
It also has a “more results from [site name]” link with each duplicate group. Meaning, if you wish to see more results for your keyword but from that specific website, it’s possible as well.
The database is just as good as Ahmia and hence deserves a mention.
The interface is impressive despite being cluttered and unclean. That’s because GDark at least didn’t copy the traditional Google interface. It shows the site names in a red(ish) colour, followed by black descriptions and the traditional blue colour for URLs.
With each URL, it also shows the size of the page. It doesn’t change much for us as users but hey, you can avoid loading very heavy pages maybe?
Speciality: Modern/minimalistic interface
If I’m being honest, I didn’t find anything special or unique or rare with TORMAX. However, as long as you simply wish to find dark web links using a search engine, you can do that with TORMAX.
It has a very modern, minimalistic design. So you just enter your keyword and click search. No other features/distractions are available.
The interface sure is a bit different from others. It didn’t copy Google for starters. It uses a dark bold red colour and font both for the site name, as well as the URL.
The fact that it doesn’t display duplicate URLs sure did impress me. The database wouldn’t impress you though, it probably just has a few hundred, or a couple thousand websites indexed for now.
The homepage does have like a dozen ad-banners. The search page too displays ads but in a more subtle, text-form on the right-sidebar. Header and footer ad-banners too are available. These cost around $50.00/month just in case you’re in the game.
It does allow anyone to add their own website to the index. You’d need to enter a website name, description and address. The description acts as the metadescription and is used to display the site in relevant searches. This is free and doesn’t cost money.
Tor URL: https://lighterhrphu4lpb.onion
Speciality: Professional interface
Lighter probably has “the” most professional-looking interface on this entire list of dark web search engines. Obviously, that’s not the only metric we’re looking for and hence it’s placed lower on this list.
So, it has a tagline which says “no tracking, no profiling, no data mining”. Good news, isn’t it? The interface, while looks great, isn’t very transparent.
I say that because for almost any search, you’d see 3-4 paid results. The worse part is, these paid results do not change based on what you search for. They remain the same, for any keyword!
Note that this doesn’t affect your actual search results. You still get relevant, useful links. That is why I’ve listed the engine here, isn’t it? However, the paid ads sure are pain.
Moreover, there’s no indication or tag which tells you that the top results are paid or sponsored. They look exactly like organic results.
As far as these organic results go, they use the standard Google-like interface and colour scheme.
The homepage has links to a Bitcoin mixer, Bitcoin wallet, its ad page and other ventures by the company.
On the right-sidebar of a search page, you get Bitcoin prices, top marketplaces, anonymous e-mail services, dark web forums etc. I’m not sure if these are paid, or just hand-picked by the admin/team.
9. Onion Search Engine (OSE)
TOR URL: http://5u56fjmxu63xcmbk.onion/
Speciality: Text + Image/video searches
Yeah, the name tells you a lot, doesn’t it? OSE is one of the most feature-rich hidden web search engines on this list.
Obviously you can select “Onion network” when you wish to search the darknet. Now, the search-page is very informative. It not just shows you the websites, but, also tells you if the URL is currently online or offline. This is immensely helpful as .onion domains go down quite often.
Then it also shows the “last update” date for each URL!
Even the database is impressive. It showed me thousands of results for almost all of my searches.
The most impressive aspect however is OSE’s ability to let you search darkweb images and videos for your keywords! You can also search for news and maps but these results will be from the clearnet.
Finally, what impressed me was its ad placement. It sure shows sponsored ads in search results. But, instead of being placed at the top, they’re placed at the bottom of each page! It’s the only one among all the other dark web search engines which seems to do this!
Speciality: Porn lookalike
This is probably the most unique, untraditional, unconventional and maybe even controversial dark web search engine on this list.
So, the website is sure a search engine and it sure is on the dark web. However, it doesn’t show results for “keywords”.
Rather, it lets you upload photos. Whatever photo you upload, the search engine will find a lookalike porn star using its reverse A.I image search.
Initially, I didn’t think it works. And if it did, I thought it would hide the results behind a paywall.
To my surprise, it’s 100% free and totally works! In fact, it’s scary. The results I found were almost as if of the same person!
Now, the photos aren’t just “of the pornstar”. Rather, they’re often of them in the act. I even found a few personal photos of random people which looked exactly like the photo I uploaded!
Note that it doesn’t “morph” or “edit” photos. The displayed results are actual, real photos which just have unbelievable resemblance to the person you upload.
11. Honourable Mention- Grams
Tor URL: http://grams7enqfy4nieo.onion/
Best for: Market searching
Grams was actually the first-ever dark web search engines I ever used. It’s still the most professional-looking search engine, however, it seems lost now.
Grams is unique in the sense that it lets you search “marketplaces”. Meaning, when you search for something, your search displays results found on markets and not the overall dark web.
The problem is, most markets Grams had indexed (Empire / Alphabay / Dream) have all either exit-scammed or shut down. As a result, most of your results wouldn’t be fruitful.
You still can find a few useful URLs for your searches though. Each search will also display 2 paid ads on top so those may help as well.
It also displays market status and alerts in case there’s a warning. Hey, it’s not one of the best darknet search engines now but it still isn’t completely useless and did hold the crown once.
Final words on dark web search engines
As the name indicates, this article was entirely about the best dark web search engines 2021. Now, there’s no one absolute winner.
If you’ve gone through this list, you’d agree that each of these can be termed the best deep web search engine in one or the other way.
E.g. using something like Phobos does have the benefit of an ad-free experience. On the other hand, Kilos lets you search half a dozen marketplaces directly from the search engine!
So, I’d just sign off this list consisting of the best dark web search engines saying they’re all worth it. Just be sure you know what you’re searching for, make sure you use a VPN and stay away from straight up illegal content.