12 Best Search Engines For Surfing The Unseen Web

By | May 4, 2022

Not everything on the web will appear in the list of search results on Google or Bing; there are many places which their web crawler cannot access. To surf the invisible web, you need to use a specialist search engine. Here are our top 12 services for performing an in-depth internet search.

What is the Invisible Web

Before we begin, let’s define what is meant by the term “invisible web”? Simply put, it is an umbrella term for online content that will not appear in search results or web directories.

No official data is available, but most experts agree that the invisible web is several times larger than the visible web. Given that Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook alone hold about 1,200 petabytes between them, the numbers quickly get confusing.

Content on the invisible web can be roughly divided into the deep web and the dark web.

Deep Web

The deep web consists of content that usually requires accreditation to access. For example, library databases, email inboxes, personal records (financial, academic, health, and legal), cloud storage drives, corporate intranets, etc.

If you have the correct details, you can access the content via a regular web browser.

The Dark Web

The dark web is a subsection of the deep web. You need to use a special dark web browser (like Tor) to view the content. It is more anonymous than the regular web and is therefore often a home for illegal activities such as drug and gun sales.

Best Looking Web Search Engine

Pipl calls itself the largest people search engine in the world. Unlike Google et al., Pipl can interact with searchable databases, member directories, court records, and other in-depth internet search content to offer you detailed snapshots of a person.

Wayback Machine

Regular search engines only give results from the latest version of the website available.

Wayback machines are different. It has more than 361 billion copies of web pages on its servers, allowing you to search for content that is no longer available on the visible web.

WWW Virtual Library

WWW Virtual Library is the oldest catalog on the web. It was started by Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the internet, in 1991.

Volunteers compile lists of links by hand, creating a high-quality index of deep web content across categories.


DuckDuckGo is well known as a private search engine for the visible web, but did you know the company also offers an onion site that lets you surf the dark web?

Even regular search engines offer more in-depth web content than Google. It collects results from more than 500 self-contained search tools find the results. If you pair the regular DuckDuckGo engine with the .onion version, you can perform entire web searches.

Onion site can be found at http://3g2upl4pq6kufc4m.onion/.


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The amount of USA.gov content is impressive. It’s the portal to all the public materials you need in any federal, state, local, or tribal government agency.

You’ll also find information about government jobs, loans, grants, taxes, and much more. Most of the information on the site will not appear on Google.

Open Access Journal Directory

The Open Access Journal directory is an in-depth internet search engine that provides access to academic papers. Paper is available to anyone at no cost.

The repository currently has nearly 10,000 journals with 2.5 million articles on all subjects. Google Scholar can access some information, but we think that DOAJ is a better research tool.

Hidden Wiki

The Hidden Wiki is a dark web search engine. It has a .onion domain name, so it can’t be accessed via standard web browsers.

The page itself is a community-edited directory of dark websites. You’ll find links to dark web social media, commercial services, forums, whistle-blowers, books, movies and TV, and much more.


Elephind aims to provide a single portal to all historical newspapers in the world. It is an excellent resource for researchers especially family historians, genealogists, and students.

Many of the newspapers on this site are exclusively on the deep web; they won’t show up on Google. At the time of writing, 3.6 million newspapers are available.

Voice of the Shuttle

For anyone interested in the humanities, Voice of the Shuttle is an essential resource. This site went live in 1994 and today offers one of the most interesting collections of in-depth web content.

There are over 70 pages of annotated links covering everything from architecture to philosophy.


Ahmia is a dark web search engine. But there is one twist – it is one of the few dark web search engines available on the regular web.

Of course, all links and results will not be able to be opened unless you have the Tor browser installed on your computer. However, it’s still a great way to get a feel for what’s available on the dark web without exposing yourself to the inherent risks of using the dark web.


How do you know which books are in stock at different libraries in your area? Navigating each library site individually is time-consuming and potentially error-prone.

Instead, check out WorldCat. This deep internet search engine has two billion items indexed from libraries around the world, including many links normally only available with database searches.

Project Gutenberg

If you’re looking for an obscure copyright-free ebook on Google, you’ll have to click through a few pages to find results that provide download links.

Project Gutenberg offers over 58,000 free ebooks for you to check out and download.

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