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 Evil, Candle, 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.