Clearnet has hundreds of top-level domain extensions (TLDs): .com, .net, .org, .co.uk, .tv, etc

It's hard to believe that only one TLD, .onion, was made for the darknet. Are there any other domain extensions used for darknet sites?

If not, why, and would there be any need for, or ways to, bring a TLD into mass adoption amongst darknet users?


2 Answers 2


Onion services can only use a single TLD (.onion). The Tor network is designed to use only one TLD and you would need to modify all Tor clients and servers if you wanted to support more.

As the address space for onion addresses will never run out and addresses are not human-readable, there's no practical need for additional TLDs. Multiple TLDs for onion services would also harm usability as it would be more difficult for users to know if they're connecting to an onion service or a regular DNS-based address. The '.onion' TLD is the only Tor-related TLD officially recognized by ICANN, and I think it would be unlikely that they would recognize others without a good reason.

In addition, the Tor Project also gives .tor.onion addresses to special organizations such as The Intercept for their Secure Drop instance (theintercept.securedrop.tor.onion), but this is in testing and is not available to regular people.

To summarize, there is only a single TLD for onion services and if you wanted more, you would need to convince the Tor Project to build support for it, which would be very unlikely.

  • with the rise of decentralized domains (see namebase.io and Ethereum Name Service) wouldn't darknet users look more favorably towards escaping the centralized monopoly of ICANN, and gaining truly anonymized domain registration?
    – user610620
    Commented Feb 7, 2021 at 11:43
  • There is currently no domain registration in the Tor network, and having an ICANN-recognized TLD is useful for interoperability with the rest of the Internet. The Tor Project is still looking for better naming schemes for services, but any big changes will likely be far in the future as it's a very difficult problem to solve.
    – Steve
    Commented Feb 7, 2021 at 18:03

It depends on what you mean by Dark Net. There are several TLDs used for different systems of anonymous internet access.

Here are a few:

Also, there are systems that don't use domains at all or, at least, not as we know them.
For example GNUnet.

I'd be surprised if there aren't many others too.

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