The makers of ExpressVPN contacted me via email and asked if I would share a link to their article 9 must-see .onion sites from the depths of the dark web. Very well, there you go! The article also mentions that ExpressVPN has their own Tor hidden service: http://expressobutiolem.onion/ (I should probably do that at some point.)
While I appreciate that they reached out to me, I read the article, and I somewhat disagree that these are the “best” onion sites on the dark web. Why?
Well, first of all, most of them have clearnet mirrors. If you’re looking for sites that are unusual or different from what’s available on the clearnet, then these aren’t necessarily what people have in mind.
For instance, one of the sites they list is http://3g2upl4pq6kufc4m.onion/ (DuckDuckGo), which is also on the clearnet at https://duckduckgo.com. Another example is http://blockchainbdgpzk.onion/, which is also on the clearnet at https://blockchain.info/.
To give ExpressVPN the benefit of the doubt, I will say that sites like these are a good “introduction” to Tor, because they are relatively harmless and won’t take advantage of you.
You’ve probably been told not to just click on random onion links, because you never know what you’ll come across, and that’s true. I have had the experience of clicking on some unlabeled link, and being horrified at what I “discovered.”
In my opinion, the “must see” onion sites are the puzzle ones (like Red Triangle), or perhaps some of the social or tech-related ones. Of course, that’s the kind of thing I’m into, so it makes sense.
Of course, you could just head “into the jungle” yourself, so to speak, and see what you uncover.
By the way, if anyone wants me to feature their site, feel free to suggest it! I might want some bitcoin in exchange, though. (wink)