DuckDuckGo is not a Dark Web Search Engine

I hear people tossing around the idea that DuckDuckGo is a “dark web search engine” a lot on some of the sites that I write for, so I think this needs clarification.

While it is a great clearnet search engine that doesn’t track you (and thus respects your privacy), it isn’t a Tor search engine, per se.


That being said, DuckDuckGo does have its own Tor hidden service, at http://3g2upl4pq6kufc4m.onion/. Despite this, even the Tor version is still a clearnet search engine (I’m saying this just to confuse you).

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, let me explain. If you go onto DuckDuckGo’s Tor site and do a search, most of the results will be clearnet (non-Tor) sites, as in this example:


On the other hand, if you use a search engine like not EvilCandle, or Welcome to Dark Web Links, these will return results for .onion sites (although the last one has a clearnet search option as well). See below for examples:





Something ironic that I noticed about the last one (Welcome to Dark Web Links) was that if you do a clearnet search with it, most of the results are quite disturbing! Go figure, right? Try doing one and you’ll see what I mean.

As I’ve said before, terms like “deep web,” “dark web,” and “clearnet” are often confusing, and though I use them, I could see how people would mix them up. Although Tor has a reputation of being a “dark web browser,” it really isn’t. Many people use Tor just to access the clearnet anonymously; Tor’s website explains a bit more about this: Tor Project: Overview.

Plus, contrary to popular belief, there are many disturbing sites on the clearnet, if you look hard enough. For instance, watch this video: 5 Most Disturbing Quarantined Subreddits – ReignBot; those are the types of sites people might expect to find on the dark web, and yet here they are on the clearnet.

Anyhow, although DuckDuckGo will sometimes come up with .onion sites in its search results, I don’t suggest using it as a “dark web search engine,” so to speak. It’s best if you stick to the ones that I mentioned above for that purpose.

Have fun in your dark web travels, readers! Don’t get lost.



‘Anonymous’ Proxy List?


I forget exactly where I found this link – I think it was either Electronic Frontier Foundation or Privacy Tools  – but it’s a list of supposedly anonymous proxy servers, generated by a set of particular search engine terms:

+”:8080″ +”:3128″ +”:80″ filetype:txt

This returns results for lists of proxy servers that use ports 8080, 3128, and 80, which are apparently more anonymous than average proxies.

You’ll get different results if you use different search engines, too: proxy list proxy list

For the curious, here are some of the actual results that you might get as well: proxy list

Proxy Spider: short proxy list

kan339: proxy list proxy list

h3furnitureoutlet: proxy list (yeah, a furniture outlet has a proxy list)

proxy IP list: anonymous proxy list proxy list

Even so, as I mentioned in a few earlier posts, this all depends on whether you trust proxies at all. Which is why I haven’t used any of these, personally.

It’s similar to using a VPN in combination with Tor. Are you really anonymous when doing this? That depends on whether or not you trust your VPN provider! By the same token, it’s very risky to use certain proxies, unless you know what data the proxy server is collecting about you. Never mind the fact that .txt documents can contain malware (just as some PDFs on Tor do). Read Should You Trust Any Proxy? to find out a little more.

Regardless, it’s an interesting experiment to try Googling this, even if you don’t decide to use the proxy services themselves. Most of the sites look like this:


While the idea of “anonymous proxy server” sounds great, in theory, they could be just like malicious Tor exit nodes – intending to steal data or worse.

So yes, these proxies exist. Should you use them? That’s up to you.

Call me paranoid, but personally, I wouldn’t.