The bridge between the dark web and the clearnet
In the last few days we have received a couple of Emails asking us, if there is a way to access the dark web without Tor, or in other words through the clearnet.
While many respected sources say no way, you can indeed browse onion sites without Tor. We’ll tell you how.
Tor2web is a software project to allow Tor hidden services to be accessed from a standard browser without being connected to the Tor network.
Tor2web acts as a specialized proxy or middleman between hidden services and users, making them visible to people who are not connected to Tor. To do so, a user takes the URL of a hidden service and replaces .onion with .onion.to.
Let’s see how this is working:
We’d like to access the ‘Hidden Wiki’ at zqktlwi4fecvo6ri.onion. According to Tor2web we have to replace .onion with .onion.to.
Tor2web is informing us that onion.to does not provide any anonymity and advising to download the Tor Browser Bundle and access this content over Tor.
Now, we still like to visit the ‘Hidden Wiki’ without Tor. We just have to click the link ‘Looking for the Hidden Wiki?’ And voilà, here we go.
We are connected to the ‘Hidden Wiki’ .onion site without Tor.
WARNING: Tor2web only protects publishers, not readers. As a reader installing Tor Browser will give you much greater anonymity, confidentiality, and authentication than using Tor2web. Using Tor2web trades off security for convenience and usability.
Another service we’d like to look at is Hiddenservice.net. Hiddenservice.net lets you access both Tor and I2P hidden services with your clearnet browser.
The best way of doing so is via their website:
We inserted pwoah7foa6au2pul.onion in the URL field, which is the .onion address of the ‘AlphaBay Market’.
The result, the login page of the ‘AlphaBay Market’:
Both Tor2web and Hiddenservice.net are working fine. In our tests we have noticed that Hiddenservice.net was loading significantly faster than Tor2web, but that could be caused by our internet connection.
What we don’t know is, if Tor2web and Hiddenservice.net are logging IP addresses. If they do and you use their services from the clearnet, they have yours.
Even it they don’t log and I don’t believe they do, your internet service provider will know which .onion sites you have visited.
If you visit the Dark Web for informational purposes only, there is nothing to worry using Tor2web or Hiddenservice.net. If your intentions are more sinister, please install the Tor Browser.