What is the correct way to refer to the Tor hidden services network. "Hidden services" is the name of the technology used (and individual servers), but what is the name of the resulting network and community?

I believe I may have heard something similar to "onionland" long ago.

Example sentence: "Contrary to popular belief, much of the content on X is not illegal at all."

Saying "Tor hidden services network" is too long, so what does one say instead of X?

3 Answers 3


When you want to talk specifically about Tor Hidden Services, you should write Tor Hidden Services or short Hidden Services. The term hidden services network does not exist, because the hidden services don't form a network. Hidden services usually are standalone services, even though they are connected through the 'Internet'. When there is a set of some random websites, generally nobody calls them a website network. They are considered as stand-alone websites even though they are connected through the 'Internet'.

It you want to talk in broader terms you could use the term Dark Web. The Tor trac wiki has a page on the Dark/Deep web and defines:

Dark web: that portion of the web which cannot be easily reached from the public Internet, and usually requires specialized software to access. Examples of the dark web are the Tor network and hidden services, the I2P network and its eepsites, and the RetroShare network.

  • The servers on Internet are also standalone, but since they have become interconnected by search engines and such I would call Internet an network. The same happened with the Tor hidden services "network" largely thanks to The Hidden Wiki, I believe.
    – Rhin
    Jan 29, 2014 at 13:06

Many people refer to this as the "Dark Net" or "Deep Web". There was talk about an "invisible web" back in the 01990's, but recently the Dark Net & Deep Web terms appear to be most prevalently.

It's interesting to notice that "Deep Web" tends to be used more often in the tech community and "Dark Net" tends to be more popular among politicians and news agencies, probably because it sounds more sensational.

Note that this isn't limited to Tor's Hidden Services but would also include I2P and similar projects.

  • But neither "dark net" or "deep web" is specific to Tor, right? Or have they become that? (ok, you clarified that in your edit, I am interested in what the Tor hidden services network is called specifically.)
    – Rhin
    Jan 29, 2014 at 12:48

Hidden services are part of the Tor onion-routing anonymity network. They are not otherwise part of a network, unless interlinks have specifically been created. And generally, there is no particular community, except as created by link farms and indexing sites that focus on hidden services.

It's best to refer to them as Tor hidden services.

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