The Dark Web is referred to as dark for a reason. Like a maze with no light, it’s hard to pass without a flashlight or beacon, and the countless content sources it contains can be complicated to find.
However, search engines specifically designed for the dark web have made it to the internet far superior to Google for searching through the unseemly depths of the Dark Web.
So, where can you find the most appropriate search engine in Tor in 2022? This short article will offer an overview of the leading Dark web engines of 2022.
If you’re looking for a search engine that doesn’t track your browsing history or sell you ads, DuckDuckGo is worth a try. DuckDuckGo is based on the “zero-tracking” principle, which means that it doesn’t collect information about what you search for. It makes DuckDuckGo a privacy-friendly alternative to Google and other popular search engines.
Privacy-minded users will enjoy the DuckDuckGo search engine, and dark net users will appreciate its capacity to provide privacy and security. Since DuckDuckGo is the default search on TOR, it is also one of the reasons to trust the search engine.
Another prominent feature provided by DuckDuckGo is Privacy Grade. This feature works through the browser add-on and mobile app that warns you when a website begins to track your activities.
Ahmia, another handy portal to the depths of the Dark Web, was launched in 2014 with the support of the Tor project.
Ahmia is one of the dark web search engines that has a strict policy against any abusive material. It makes them unique from other dark web search engines that include an index for dark web pages that features underage adult videos.
Ahmia also does a good and thorough job of distinguishing phoney websites from legitimate sites. It does this at all levels of the web, and the coders of Ahmia have developed unique methods for avoiding malicious sites.
Ahmia is also available on the Clearnet and the i2p network.
Unlike most other search engines, Haystak claims to have an archive of more than 1.5 billion pages, including more than 260,000 websites. It probably includes content in the more conventional Deep Web, but Haystak is undoubtedly helpful in finding content within the hidden networks of the Tor network.
Haystak’s paid version features several functions like searching using regular expressions, browsing defunct onion sites, and accessing their API.
Haystak’s search for content is slightly less reliable than its competitors; as a result, you may find yourself frantically scrolling around keywords to find the content you’re searching for.
People love Phobos for a couple of specific yet distinct features. First, its user interface is entirely AD-free. If you have used other deep web search engines, you would know how rare and exclusive this is.
Second, it has an extensive database. However, we cannot certify it has the most comprehensive database available, yet it is structured enough to provide extensive searches.
For instance, searching for drugs on the platform will show over 8000 indexed dark web links. As you keep exploring other dark web search engines, you may find other search engines’ results are considerably low compared to Phobos.
And finally, it does not show duplicates! This isn’t normal for the industry. The majority of dark web search engines bring and display the same primary website for the same keyword. Phobos doesn’t do this.
The website’s layout resembles Google (in terms of looks). The domain name is covered with dark blue, the URLs appear in green, and a meta-description is provided.
It is also stocked with quick links. It is about the displayed results; it fetches quick links from the dark web pages so you can go right to different parts of the web page without having to browse it thoroughly.
It also has a clearnet address that goes by Phobossearch.com. Don’t forget to note that this is just an artificial address linked to the Tor network, and you can only access the address using Tor.
To begin with, Kilos can be used by individuals explicitly looking to search for drugs. That’s what makes Kilos a perfect darknet product.
What distinguishes Kilos from its counterparts is that it shows listings of drug vendors and different drugs that you can buy through various darknet markets from different vendors.
The Kilos database is genuinely remarkable. So far, the platform has managed to have over 122,811 listings and 7,782 vendors.
The advanced search filters on the platform’s page are second to none in terms of performance! You can set a price range, integrate a specified number of cryptocurrencies you’d like to pay, enter a specific keyword and use these filters to determine your search results.
You may also select whether you want to purchase a physical or a digital listing (e-books, guides, etc.). In addition, the displayed results also include the reviews and ratings of each vendor that search results fetch.
Moreover, Kilos allows users to search only for the results of any specific market they want.
Additionally, there’s no signup process on the search engine; users can directly search for the things they want.
Onionland Search possesses a few features that are just being ignored by other dark-web research search engines. Most of these features are very useful and not just flashy gimmicks.
To begin with, it has the same ” I’m feeling Lucky” button you can find on Google. Clicking on it will lead you to search results for one random keyword. Such keywords tend to come from the most popular searches on Onion Land, so they are not usually junk or of no use.
The platform is basically just like Google’s interface and colour scheme. Like Google, it shows advertisements in the first three results for most queries. Unlike Google, the ads may not always be related to your keywords.
We also liked the result-skipping feature of OnionLand. In other words, when the platform is aware of duplicate results originating from the same main domain, it will not show them. Instead, it will put up a [X similar results skipped] notification below that domain’s URL.
Another function you may also appreciate is its cached page feature. OnionLand allows you to see a cached version from the past instead of presenting a live one for each URL. It is incredible, enabling you to access sites even when they’re down!
The database was impressive as well. Despite not showing identical results, the platform showed approximately 6000 results when I used the keyword “Drugs”.
The explore link at the bottom of the OnionLand can be used to locate the most popular searches on the site quickly. They’re listed alphabetically to make it even simpler to identify the most suitable ones.
Founded in 1996, Torch is one of the best-known and oldest dark web search engines. It is best known for the database it operates, which contains over 898,385 indexed entries.
The homepage of the Torch will display dozens of ads. However, not all of them are flashy or hidden, so you can easily ignore them.
Torch’s “word match” feature stands out and is very appealing. It supplies two choices, the first being matching any of the words. When this choice is selected, results will be shown whenever a match is made between any word from your specified keyword string.
The other choice is “matching all words”. When this is selected, only exact matches are shown. In layman’s terms, if you search for a drug vendor from Germany, the search engine will display only sites containing these word strings.
The result page is very informative. First, it reveals how often a particular term you’ve entered has been displayed in the search result. Additionally, it also informs you of the page size.
Beneath each site presented, Torch provides information regarding the keyword(s) behind that page displayed in your search result.
On the downside, Torch shows duplicate results too. Out of 10 websites searched on the platform, we noticed only 2-3 unique sites; the rest were identical.
GDark is one of the most common types of Darknet search engines. As soon as you land on the homepage, you may notice many ads.
Be aware that most advertisements displayed on the homepage are probably swindles. Even the search engines aren’t repping for their legitimacy these promotions. The only purpose is to make money. Thus, be careful before you decide to reach for your purse.
GDark is quite active when it comes to traffic. According to statistics, GDark attracts over 5000 visitors a day.
In addition, I love its ability to combine duplicate links; instead of independently displaying several links from a single domain, GDark numbers and groups them together. This allows you to skip or quickly find duplicate links at a much faster rate.
Additionally, it has more search results from [particular website name] linked with every duplicate group. Thus, it’s also possible if you’re looking for more results from your keyword string but from a specific website.
The database has quite similarities with Ahmia.fi, and hence it’s worth mentioning.
GDark’s intuitive interface is cluttered yet noteworthy. That is because GDark didn’t copy Google’s standard interface. It highlights the domain name in red, with a brief black description and a blue colour for URLs.
Each URL displays the size of its page. It doesn’t affect us much, but visitors can probably organise their surfing carefully to avoid downloading intermittently heavy pages.
TORMAX has a minimalistic design, so you need to enter your keyword and press search. Apart from that, there are no other features to distract you.
The interface somewhat differs from the others; they also didn’t copy Google. It used a dark, bold red colour and font for the website name and the URL.
TORMAX didn’t display any duplicate results, which is quite appreciable. However, on the downside, the database isn’t extensive and may disappoint you as only a few thousand sites are currently indexed on the page.
The homepage contains a bunch of banner ads, and the search page also includes ads, but they are arranged unobtrusively on the right sidebar. Footer and header banner ads are too. These cost around $50.00 per month if you’re interested in running an ad campaign for your website.
Anybody can add their site to the site index. You would need to provide a site title, description and address. The description required is the meta description and is used to display the site on relevant search engine directories. And to put the icing on the cake, TORMAX doesn’t charge a penny for this.
On the bright side, Lighter has the most professional-looking UI among this complete assortment of dark web search engines. Clearly, that’s not the only criteria we’re evaluating the search engines on, so it’s ranked lower on this list.
Lighter has a tagline: “no tracking, no profiling, no data mining. Sounds good, eh? On the other hand, the interface looks clean and isn’t very transparent.
I said that because you would observe three to four paid results for just about any search. The bad news is that these paid results do not transform depending on the keyword you used for your search. They remain the same for any keyword string!
Your actual search results will not be affected by this filter. You still get relevant, useful links. That is why you’re this search engine in this list. However, paid ads are a major down point of this search engine.
Additionally, there’s no indication that the top-ranked results are sponsored or paid. They resemble organic results. These organic results are reminiscent of the Google-like interface and colour scheme.
The homepage links to a Bitcoin mixer, a Bitcoin wallet, its ad page, and other features that Lighter offers.
The right-hand side of the search page features Bitcoin costs, leading darknet sites, anonymous e-mail services, darknet forums, etc.
Onion Search Engine (OSE)
To begin with, you have the choice of the Onion network or the Standard Web when searching. OSE has a tagline that goes as “no cookies, no JS, no trace”, so they’re a great alternative to Google if you’re looking for privacy.
You can go to the Onion network if you would like to explore the darknet. That said, the search page is impressive and informative; it displays information about whether the website is active or down. This is incredibly valuable as onion websites go down more often. In addition, it also shows the last update of the website.
Regarding databases, it’s pretty impressive and can show thousands of results for every keyword string you type.
The best aspect, however, is the OSE’s ability to allow you to search the dark web for photos and videos containing your keywords strings! Then you can also search for news and maps, but the results will be from the clear web.
And the best part which I liked was the ad placement. Unlike other search engines, which place ads at the top and the sidebar, OSE puts them at the bottom of the page. OSE is probably the only darknet search engine to do so.