How to Access Darknet Markets?

A decade back, the Darknet or Darknet Markets were almost an alien term to most of you reading this today. But once SilkRoad was shut down, the news acted as the “best possible advertisement” – Wikipedia;  and created an enormous buzz on the Internet which led to more marketplaces, and to more people asking – How to access Darknet markets?

And if you’re asking that basic a question, you obviously are someone who hasn’t ever been on a Darknet market before hence I’ll make this guide on How to access Darknet Markets as basic and detailed as humanly possible.

Here’s what I’ll be covering throughout this guide on How to Access Darknet Markets:

I hope that covers everything that a guide on How to access Darknet Markets should consist of, right?

What are Darknet Markets?

In the simplest possible terms, DarkNet Markets are online marketplaces for illegal goods, as simple as that.

Just like there’s E-bay or Amazon for the legal stuff, Darknet Markets sell what isn’t legal, or easily available.

Illegal? So Why doesn’t the govt. shut these down? Well, these marketplaces are hosted on the Tor network, it’s a part of the internet which isn’t censored, or easily traceable by law enforcement agencies.

Hence, the marketplaces operate as long as they can dodge the law but once caught, they’re shutdown and involved individuals persecuted by the law (as happened with SilkRoad, Hansa, or Alphabay).

Note that Tor hosts not just Darknet Markets, but every other kind of site, including completely harmless personal blogs and other sites but even then Darknet Markets are the second most popular sites on the Tor network (source: Research Papers from University of Portsmouth / Wikipedia).

Types of Darknet Markets

There’s no official differentiation, but I’ve been able to draw a fine line between them based on at least one strong feature – Ownership.

Most popular Darknet Markets such as Dream Market, WallStreet Market, and even SilkRoad or Alphabay were “third-party darknet markets”.

Meaning, these marketplaces were owned by either a single individual or a group of individuals, who allowed other, random, third-party users to sell on these marketplaces.

The marketplace themselves were simply third-parties, who helped interested buyers find vendors. Just like E-bay, E-bay by itself may or may not sell products but lets other people list items for sell on the marketplace.

So, anyone with the right products can register as vendor on these marketplaces, display their items and products to the visitors and interested buyers then get in touch with these vendors.

These third-party Darknet Markets also act as supervisors, providing security features such as Multisig and Escrow which makes sure that no party scams the other during a trade.

Vendors can’t easily scam on these marketplaces because in that case, they’d lose their account and the vendor bond (a security deposit they made when registering as vendors), and the buyers are allowed to post feedback and reviews as well hence it would effect the overall reputation of the vendor.

The other type of Darknet Market being “individually owned darknet markets”. These are much simpler, often very basic webpages hosted by single individuals on the Tor network.

They too display products for sale, but in this case, there’s no supervisor. The vendor himself (or herself) is the administrator and owner of the website as well. These marketplaces lack security features and often do not allow Escrow.

These are riskier markets to buy from, but at times established and reputed vendors from third-party Darknet markets set these shops up (which can be verified using their PGP keys) in which case products are available at cheaper prices (because there’s no fee the vendor pays to any third-party).

Example of such individually held marketplaces are The French Connection, CharlieUK, Cocaine Market, etc.

Apart from security and interface, another major difference between these two types of Darknet Markets is the quantity and types of products available.

On the third-party markets because there are hundreds of vendors, obviously the products are a lot more diverse and quantitatively richer.

While on the individual markets, most often only one type of product is available, and most often than not it’s one or other type of Drug or narcotics (such as Cocaine Market for Cocaine, ElHerbolario’s shop for Cannabis and so on).

What Products can be Purchased on Darknet Markets?

I’ll get to how to access Darknet markets, but before that, I’m just trying to lay out as clear a picture of these marketplaces for you folks as possible.

So, what products can you purchase off these Darknet Markets? The straight-up answer is – Everything that you either can’t legally get in your neighborhood store (including, counterfeit notes, jewelry, credit card information, pirated software and so on), or is legal but harder to get (such as prescription requiring pills).

But the most selling, most heavily-stocked darknet market product is Drugs! Nearly every market I’ve ever been with has over 50-60% of its stock piled up with Drugs!

The statement is also backed up by the study of European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) as the pie-chart below proves:

study of European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction 3

Some Darknet Markets even allow the trade of extremely controlled product such as Weapons (Cool, now you can get that AK-47 home delivered!) or services such as – contract killing! (Totally “not” a myth!)

contract killing 2

As the screenshot above from “Slayers Assassination and Life Ruining Services” proves, you can actually choose what you wish to do to your victims, and how, based on the actions and method the prices differ, the creepiest part being these start as low as USD $1000!

Honestly, there’s no limit to what you can purchase off these markets, services as weird as “writing name on breasts”, fake virtual girlfriend, live orgasms are just tip of the iceberg!

How Secure or TrustWorthy are Darknet Markets?

The final question I’d like to answer before showing you the gateway to the Darker side of the web is – Security!

Can you really trust marketplaces or vendors to not run off with your money, or how secure exactly are your accounts?

Let me start by saying that, there’s no absolute security and most often you’ll just have to rely on word of mouth, and be willing to lose the amount you put in no matter which marketplace or vendor you’re going with.

Because, even the most popular and most established marketplaces have been pulling off exit-scams since the ancient days, sites like TradeRoute (suspected) and Evolution (confirmed) have just been some of the most popular examples.

The one protection against Exit-scams is that marketplaces have begun to offer their “No Deposits required” features, meaning users aren’t required to pre-deposit funds to accounts with which they can later make purchases.

Rather, these newer marketplaces let the transactions be “individual, and real-time”, meaning users only deposit funds at the exact time of placing an order, and always pay for only that order no extras or left overs.

Now that the “trust” has been explained, let’s move on to the technical security features they provide. The most commonly provided security feature are Escrow, 2-FA and Multisig.

Escrow is how you can trust a random vendor you know nothing about, the marketplace makes sure that the money from your account isn’t paid out to the vendor unless the order is successfully delivered. Hence, the vendor can’t run away with your money!

Then there’s Multisig, note that not all Darknet Markets support it but those who do make it possible that your funds are secured by a 2 of 2, or 2 of 3 multisig protocol. This makes sure that the funds can’t be moved by any individual party, without the authorization of at least one other party involved.

In a 2 of 3 multisig protocol, the involved parties are the buyer, the vendor, and the marketplace. Hence, no one party can scam you without the help of at least one other party further ensuring security for your funds.

And finally there’s 2-FA, it works both for funds as well as for account security. Just like normal 2-factor authentication on Google, Facebook or anywhere else, it too is an additional layer of security for user accounts in addition to the password.

Although, because this is a guide on How to Access Darknet Markets, we can’t exactly be talking about giving away our cell phone numbers on Darknet markets for OTP now, can we?

So, these marketplaces rather make the use of PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), it takes some work but once you setup your PGP key, the marketplace will display a PGP encrypted message on the login page, which can only be decoded with each individual’s personal private key.

Hence, this message needs to be decoded and entered along with the password in order to login to the market accounts. This makes sure that, even in cases when your passwords are compromised, the hackers can’t steal your coins or make unauthorized purchases.

Some marketplaces also offer other minor security features such as a withdrawal pin which needs to be entered before funds can be withdrawn from accounts and recovery code so users can recover their accounts in case they lose passwords.

As for individual marketplaces, most often they’re completely without any technical security features; the only verification possible is the authenticity of the vendors. They provide their PGP keys which can be verified against their profiles on other third-party marketplaces.

Because on those third-party marketplaces most often buyers can check the total sales, reviews and feedback from other users this information can then be used to form trust for the vendor on his individual marketplace.

How and Where to get Darknet Market URLs?

I’m scribbling this section before the actual part on How to access Darknet Markets because before doing anything else, you’d need the URLs. Without URLs, you wouldn’t have a destination to go to.

In my personal opinion you couldn’t get a more detailed and working darknet market list where I’ve compiled nearly 30 Darknet Markets, along with their most important features such as total no. of products, age, vendor bond, security features, currencies accepted etc.

Check out:  30 Active Darknet Markets Links

That’s so because we update this list frequently making sure only working links stay there, and because onion links go down quite often it’s important that any directory offering links keeps it updated.

Also because we’ve made the sheet pretty detailed and informative which is something I doubt any other links’ source on the whole of the Internet would provide you at this time.

And finally, because the links are “authentic” as I’ve personally harvested them off the Darknet, if you’re new let it be known to you that it’s quite common for scammers to create “fake” sites which look like authentic ones and then users fall prey to scams.

Anyway, apart from this other sources which can be used to obtain Darknet Market links when you’re confused with questions like How to access Darknet Markets are Deepwebsiteslinks.com which have links directory although links are regularly updated every week, but many times link goes down for some time some regularly works.

Reddit is another source as well, simply head over there, search for “Darknet Markets” and you’d tumble over a handful of them although beware as the content there is user-generated it’s quite often used by scammers to spread the fake websites they created.

You’d find that the Darknet Market URLs are unique as well, they aren’t the normal “Ineeddrugs.com”, rather they’re something like http://dopefruqgev5v4ul.onion/ .

The first part of the URL is most often related to the name of the marketplace, for e.g. in the above URL, the first part says “DOPEFR” which stands for Dope Farm, and then there are random letters and numbers.

This is so because these Markets as mentioned earlier are hosted on the Tor (onion) network which uses .onion extensions and not .com, .au, .net or any other standard ones.

So if you went through my sheet, and/or used deepwebsiteslinks.com, or Reddit I’m sure you’ve got a handful of Darknet Market links by now, let’s put those links to work?

How to Access Darknet Markets?

Finally answering the most awaited question; How to access Darknet Markets? The only mandatory requirement is- Tor browser but you want to make you fully anonymous then you also need one premium VPN service. Tor stands for “The Onion Router” and despite its advanced capabilities, to us, as users is nothing more than a simple, easy to use Internet browser.

Simply go to this link, and download the browser according to your personal operating system.  It’s completely free and open source!

Because the Darknet Markets aren’t on the clearnet, they can’t be accessed with standard, everyday browsers such as Google Chrome, FireFox, etc. and rather need a browser capable of surfing through the Onion Network, and that’s exactly what the Tor browser is built for.

Once downloaded, this is what the browser would look like. Mozilla users would totally see a friendly interface there!

browser would look like Mozilla 4

So the only step left is, entering the URLs! and You can get these darknet marketplaces link from here, copy any links that you want to explore and paste in your Tor Browser.

But here one thing I want to tell you, Some research paper says tor browsers have some bugs and limited experts people can track you if you will try to explore the darknet markets by Tor browser.

That’s why I have recommended you a secure way before exploring any darknet marketplace first hide your internet connection by VPN service. Because by the help of VPN service and Tor browser you can create a double layer of anonymity, and you will achieve 100% bulletproof security.

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The sites would load up, and from there on there’s just like any other normal website on the clearnet!

Talking about Tor, it would be unfair to not talk about the superpowers Tor holds! For starters, Tor hides your IP address by default! So there’s no digital trace you’re leaving which could be traced back to your real-life locations or identities.

It also doesn’t log your activities or actions on the web like almost all other normal browsers (Including Chrome) do. It’s built with the prime purpose of keeping user anonymity and privacy intact.

It functions on Tor relays, which are run by real people acting as volunteers across the globe. Each connection request sent by users is routed through a number of such random relays before finally sending the request to the site being requested.

Here’s a picture which explains the functioning of Tor better than my words possible could-

French Connection 5

Each computer in the above screenshot is a relay, because your request is routed through a number of relays it becomes impossible to track for agencies and eavesdroppers.

Also, each of these routes or circuits once established aren’t permanent and rather change every 10 minutes making sure there’s as little pattern as possible to a connection.

So in a nutshell, Tor not only is the answer to “How to access Darknet Markets” but also facilitates user anonymity from its end.

Note that users do not have to worry about relays and nodes, it all happens in the background; you simply have to enter the URL and wait for the site to load up.

How to Use these Darknet Markets?

The above section only taught you how to “get to” those marketplaces, but how to “get in” is what I intend to cover throughout this section right here.

Even though it may sound like it needs rocket-science, it doesn’t! In fact, Darknet Markets are often simpler than using a social network!

Once you get to a Darknet Market’s front page, you’ll most often be faced with two choices, either it’ll require a mandatory registration to let you in; or others simply let you browse through without registration.

If registration is required, use an anonymous e-mail provider such as Protonmail to create them and never the standard E-mail providers like Gmail, Yahoo and such.

Here’s the front page of Dream Market, it does require a registration which is fairly simple. Once you’re registered this is what greets you:

front page of Dream Market 6

You may already be feeling comfortable, considering how you can simply click on those left-sidebar categories to get to a category you’d want a product from.

Once you do click on a category, the marketplaces will display all the products in those categories, you can then either simply scroll through the individual pages, or make use of the search filters provided (not available on all marketplaces, but most popular ones do) to land on the product you need.

Search one Dream Marketplace 7

As an example, I searched for “cocaine” and it got me all the products related to the keywords, there were some products which were selling the actual good, while others were ebooks and guides on the product.

Dream Market Result After Search 8

Ordering them is pretty simple, every marketplace will have an “order” button next to each product. Simply click on it like you do on the normal e-commerce websites, follow the instruction on the next pages till the product is successfully ordered.

I wouldn’t waste your time walking you through a step-by-step procedure considering how every marketplace will have a slightly different interface.

In a nutshell, the process is always the same, find products> add to cart > checkout > deposit funds, or in some cases deposit funds > find products > checkout.  Rest assured whatever you need to do next, will always be displayed on the screen!

Talking about using Darknet Markets, let me show you how you can filter legit, or more trustworthy sellers from the newer, riskier ones.

Almost all third-party Darknet Markets let you click on a vendor’s name which redirects to the vendor profiles, and this is what more or less each of those profiles look like:

Dream Market Vendor Profile 10

As is evident, they hold some crucial information about the vendor, such as his total sales/orders, his ratings, reviews from other buyers, and with some marketplaces a “trusted vendor” seal as well.

Always go with the “Trusted vendors”, or vendors who’ve delivered more orders, have higher ratings than others.

Individual Darknet Markets do not have such transparency or sometimes not even as easy an ordering process, but they too will let you know what you’re expected to do next once you’re actually ordering the products.

Let’s move on to the next section of this guide on how to access Darknet Markets – Payment!

Top 3 Active Darknet Markets Links

So we just showed you how to access Darknet Markets, well to make things even simpler and easier for you here are the top 3 Darknet Markets in my opinion which should cater to all your needs and are most trustworthy.

2. Dream Market

Onion URL: http://lchudifyeqm4ldjj.onion/

With over 5 years of experience, Dream Market is arguably the oldest standing Darknet Market in the industry today. Flaunting exactly 146, 458 products as of today- 27-12-2018 (yes I counted).

It too is most well stocked in the Drugs category and has nearly 50% of its total product-stock in the same. Although other available products include Digital Goods,  services such as cashouts, hacking,  fake document creation etc.

Has one of the simplest interfaces and security features which include 2-FA as well as Escrow. Accepts payments in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash as well as  Monero. Has transparent vendor profiles and charges 0.1BTC as the vendor-bond.

3. WallStreet Market

Onion URL: http://wallstyizjhkrvmj.onion

WallStreet Market is another one of the few marketplaces able to flaunt an user base of 785.1K customers and 3693 vendors as of today.

It has uniquely partnered up with DNM avengers which is an independent group of testers and anti-scam group who make sure the products on the marketplaces remain genuine and scam-free.

As of today it has exactly 14301 individual products, again primarily dominated by Drugs with 6149 listings in this individual category alone, other products include Counterfeit products, Jewelleries, Security, Software, Fraud etc.

Has one of the best interfaces and clearly lists the “top” and “rising” vendors making it extremely easy even for newer folks like you to instantly know who’s worth the blind-trust. Accepts payments via both Bitcoin as well as Monero.

On the security front too provides for 2-factor authentications, PGP encryption and Escrow.

1. SilkRoad 3.1

Onion URL:  http://silkroad7rn2puhj.onion

SilkRoad 3.1 even though may or may not be related to toe original SilkRoad, does offer one of the widest varieties of products in all the popular categories including Drugs, Digital Products (e-books, software, accounts etc.)

It’s one of the very rare marketplaces which allow “stealth orders”, meaning it lets you place an order without any registration and there’s the least bit of information required during the process.

It also has an “autoshop” which auto-dispatches digital products without having to wait for a vendor to come online. Users can pay USD $200 to be a vendor on the marketplace, or USD $50 if they only want the autoshop-only vending license.

Payment can be made not only using Bitcoins, but also additional payment methods such as  Litecoin and Ethereum. Has all the security features in place such as 2-FA, PGP, Multisig and Escrow.

How can you Pay on Darknet Markets?

Products off Darknet Markets obviously can’t be paid for or ordered using Fiat currencies, or methods such as Paypal considering how every transaction in the Fiats can be traced back to its finest detail.

That’s where Cryptocurrencies come in! Cryptocurrencies as most of you may already be aware of are “digital currencies”, which are supposed to be anonymous and a lot more secure than fiats.

Bitcoin primarily is the favorite cryptocurrency that almost all the Darknet Markets out there accept, considering how it’s the parent cryptocurrency and supposedly anonymous.

However, Bitcoin has a slightly higher transaction fee and transaction time requirement, hence a lot of Darknet Markets have started accepting other Cryptocurrencies as well such as Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero, Doge to name just a few.

So, how or where do you get these Cryptocurrencies? Here’s a detailed, step by step guide (with screenshots) on how to buy Bitcoins (and other currencies)

Although, these Cryptocurrencies are bought using Fiats, so there does exist a link between your fiats and the currencies you just purchased using these fiats, which could be a security risk.

That’s where Bitcoin tumbling becomes your guardian angel, it’s a process by which people can anonymize their coins hence when you finally purchase whatever it is you need off Darknet, the coins you use to make payment can’t be traced back to your original credit/debit cards, or Paypal used to purchase the coins.

Here’s a detailed guide on Bitcoin Tumbling and the top 5 services which let you do so.

How to Stay Anonymous and Safe While Using Darknet Markets?

So far we’ve talked about how to access Darknet markets, how to use them, how to pay on them or make an order; but the most important aspect still isn’t covered yet, security is it?

The very first thing I’d like to share is, Tor Browser isn’t the almighty security-god, it definitely is more secure and probably the most secure and anonymous browser by itself but isn’t unbreakable or completely untraceable.

There are instances of Tor being hacked by security agencies and the real IP addresses of users being leaked.

That’s why you should employ a VPN in addition to the browser. A VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network”, and it basically makes it impossible for your IP address to be “leaked”.

It provides users with a temporary, new IP address of their choice and location each time they wish to connect to the Internet, this way even if your Tor browser is hacked and people do get access to your IP addresses, they’ll only get access to this fake IP address provided by the VPN.

Although it’s important that you go with a reliable VPN, there are quite a few factors which make a VPN more reliable than others, “no logs policy”, speed, security protocols etc. are some of them.

In a nutshell, NordVPN is currently (without doubt, in my personal opinion) is not only one of the cheapest, but also most secure and fast VPNs on the planet.  Here’s a complete, detailed review of the VPN’s features, as well as a step by step guide on how to use it!

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But I did promise a guide on how to make Tor more resilient and secure in the earlier sections of this guide on How to access Darknet Markets, didn’t I? Here’s it.

Fire up your Tor browser and click on that little onion icon near the left side of the address bar, and then click on “Security settings”.

Tor Browser Security Setting 9

On the popup which appears, move the slider all the way up to “safest”, note that this will limit your browsing experience, but considering the upside on the security front it’s the logical sacrifice to make.

Then there’s another extreme measure I’d urge you to take, although it may be a bit more complex and advanced it’ll be the ultimate firewall of security you’re looking for.

Install TAILS! It’s a live operating system, meaning you can simply plug in a USB drive or DVD and the OS starts functioning; the benefit of using the OS is it’s always wiped after each session termination.

Hence your original OS remains completely clean, untouched by your activities on Tor or the markets, and once you plug off your OS all and any evidence of the activities is gone!

So basically it’s Tor (mandatory) + TAILS + a VPN! That should make you pretty untouchable!

Note that every action which even remotely is linked to your Darknet market account or activities should be performed only with all of these security features in place, even the e-mail Ids which you use to register on those darknet markets should be created only using Tor (and a VPN if possible).

Legalities of Accessing Darknet Markets

The last section of this guide on How to Access Darknet Markets deals with the legal aspects of being on, or using a Darknet Market.

Contrary to popular opinion, simply using Tor and registering, or browsing through a Darknet Market isn’t illegal or won’t land you in jail.

Actually ordering the products however is completely illegal and something you should refrain from.

Although again, even if you do order products through the darknet unless you’re caught red-handed receiving the products physically, chances of you landing in jail are negligible.

That’s so because even if you’ve used your real name and address on the marketplace while ordering, it doesn’t prove anything. Anyone who knows your name and address could’ve placed the order.

Also, most darknet markets use standard shipping which doesn’t require any signature while receiving the products, so there’s no proof “after” receiving the products either. So let’s wrap this guide on How to access Darknet Markets up, been pretty long don’t you agree?

Final Words on How to Access Darknet Markets

The crux of this complete article on How to access Darknet Markets can be summed up in the following sentence- Install Tor > Enter URLs! That’s just it, that’s how easy it is to access Darknet Markets.zzzzzzzz

The security features can be summed up by saying install a VPN, install TAILS, and always use a Tumbler before sending in coins to the mixer.

And finally where shipping is concerned, use your real name and address (works better than using fake ones) but just be careful during the actual, physical receiving of the packages.

Warning:

Although note that this guide is purely and solely for educational purposes, buying products from Darknet Markets is completely illegal and punishable by law hence we do not encourage you in any way to actually put this knowledge to work.

So that’s about it on this How to Access Darknet Markets guide folks, do let me know if you think it was useful. If you’ve got doubts, questions, or problems do make use of the comment box.