The main advantage of using Tor through a VPN is that your ISP/network can’t see that you’re using Tor, and they can’t block you from using Tor. Many schools and workplaces block Tor but not VPNs. This allows you to bypass those blocks. Also, if you are the only person on a network using Tor, and you access something on that network through Tor, it is easy to establish that you are the person accessing that resource.
So you want to access .onion sites, but you don’t know how. Then this guide is for you!
First, what are .onion sites? Onion sites are hidden services that can only be accessed through Tor, The Onion Router. Tor is a program that lets you be anonymous on the internet.
The best way to use Tor is to download the Tor Browser.
(You can also access onions by adding “.to” after “.onion” in your regular browser, but this is not a good idea because it does not protect your identity. Your traffic is not anonymized and your ISP as well as others may be able to spy on what you’re doing.)
Installing Tor is simple. You just download and run the Tor Browser executable corresponding to your operating system (probably Windows) from the link above and it will install Tor Browser on your system. After this, you can open Tor Browser like any other application.
Once you open Tor Browser, you can use it like any other browser. Tor Browser is based on Firefox, so if you have used Firefox before, you will feel right at home.
To access onions, just find an onion you want to access and click the link (or paste it into your address bar if it’s in a different browser).
Also, when Tor Browser notifies you that there is a new update available, you should install this update immediately. This will keep you secure against security bugs that are discovered in the browser.
The Hidden Wiki (thehiddenwiki.org) is a popular website that contains information about the dark web and various links to dark web sites. Despite its name, it is not actually a wiki. A wiki is a website like Wikipedia that anyone can edit, sometimes anonymously or with an account. However, thehiddenwiki.org Wiki is actually a blog run by one person.
Although many people think of it as a reliable source of information and links, it is actually anything but. thehiddenwiki.org has many problems.
The first and foremost of these problems is that it is completely outdated. The homepage and link directory itself has not been updated since 2013. Most of the links on the page are now broken, and new links have not been added to replace them. The blog is not much better. The last post is from 2017, and the post before that is from 2015. At this point, the site appears to be completely dead.
Unlike the clear web, where websites usually stay online and operational for many years, and the most popular websites like Google and YouTube keep working, on the dark web things are different. Most dark web websites have a lifespan measured closer to months. Even if a site stays online, its URL may sometimes change, requiring you to find it again with a reliable source. A website that does not update its links is nearly useless on the dark web.
If all of that wasn’t bad enough, there is one last nail in the coffin. thehiddenwiki.org is not merely useless. It is worse than useless. Many of the links that it provides are links to scam sites that will take your money and run.
Why would a website allow links to scams? Well, there are several possible reasons. Optimistically, the best possible reason is that the website operators don’t know these sites are scams. This is grossly negligent, but at least not actively malicious. However, there is a darker reason, one that is all too common on the dark web. These website operators benefit from linking to scams. Often scammers will pay these websites to host links to their scam sites and ask them to look the other way.
Can you trust any of the links on a website run by such a person? No.
So what is the alternative? Where can you go to find a website that has reliable information and links to websites that you can trust?
newhiddenwiki.com is a website that does everything that the thehiddenwiki.org was supposed to do, but reliably. All of the content is vetted thoroughly before it is allowed on the website. The moment a website is even suspected of being a scam, it is immediately removed from the list. Then it is reviewed with very close attention to detail. If it is confirmed to be a scam, it is permanently removed and its owner is banned.
Its content is also kept up-to-date by the use of an automatic ping service. If a website is down for too long, it is automatically removed from the list. New content is added periodically.
In a world of scammers, it can be hard to know who to trust. One person can’t do all of that work themselves for every website they encounter. This is why newhiddenwiki.com has a team of people verifying its content.
In conclusion, should you use the thehiddenwiki.org? No. We have something better now.