LAST UPDATED ON May 26, 2023
10 Free Dark Web Scanners You Should Be Using in 2023
The dark web includes websites which are not “indexed.” These websites live on a different part of the internet that isn’t available through standard search engine results. Websites like this one are on the “surface web,” which means you can access them through normal search engines.
Most of us have heard something about “dark web” and “fraud” given identity theft and crime is one of the biggest issues facing consumers and businesses in 2023.
Dark web is a part of the deep web, which includes all web pages that you cannot search for on Google and which do not appear in standard search engine results. You access the “deep” web when you do things like sign on to your online banking account, log in to Netflix, or access your email.
The dark web (or dark net) is a subset of the deep web, here is a quick six minute breakdown of what dark web is vs. the deep web.
Let’s take a break through…
We know you might be just looking for the best dark web scanner solution, below you will find our results of testing the top 10 dark web scanner solutions on the market.
Our final verdict: After thoroughly testing 10 dark web scanners we found Aura beats all of them based on:
- better customer service
- cheaper price
- better user interface and user experience
- comprehensive monitoring for all family members
- simplicity of the first time setup
If you’d like to take a peek, here is how the top three dark web scanners stack up against each other:
|Pricing||$12/mo or $9/mo billed annually||$9/mo or $7.50/mo billed annually||Free but just informational, doesn't help prevent data breaches|
|Credit history monitoring||Yes||Yes||No|
|Identity theft monitoring||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Identity Theft Insurance||Yes||No||No|
|Financial Transaction Monitoring||Yes||No||No|
|Change of address monitoring||Yes||No||No|
|Try Aura Free|
Ok, now let’s return to our explanation of how dark web works and how you can access a dark web site.
To access a dark web site, you’ll need to use a special browser (like Tor, or The Onion Router), that encrypts your identity and anonymizes your data, here is a quick breakdown of how this works:
Because they provide anonymity, dark web sites lend themselves to different forms of cybercrime and scams, including the buying and selling of stolen personal information.
According to IndentityGuard article titled What is a Dark Web Scanner? the formal definition is:
A Dark Web scanner is a tool that searches through the Dark Web for your Personally Identifiable Information (PII).
In simple terms dark web scanners are services that identify and scour websites that buy, sell, and share stolen data. Stolen identity data can include sensitive information that includes personally identifiable information (PII), non-public information, encrypted and password-protected illicit content in addition to other sensitive data published on the dark web.
Before we share the list of top dark web scanners such as Aura or IdentityGuard we are going to explain a few more facts about the dark web, if you can’t wait to check out the solutions feel free to use the table of contents below to read about each one:
10 Top Rated Dark Web Scanners To Use In 2023
How did your personal information end up on the Dark Web?
There are many types of identity theft to beware of. Everything from phishing email scams to data breaches to malware on your computer can expose your personal information—credit card numbers, CVV codes, or social security number—to hackers.
Dark web scanners use your personal information (your email address, for instance), to scan the dark web for any matches. Most scanners begin by scouring illicit marketplaces or forums that lack sophisticated privacy safeguards.
Dark web monitors offer similar services to dark web scanners, but they differ in one key respect: they continuously scan the dark web to determine if cybercriminals have compromised your personal data. Scanners offer a one-time scanning service.
Despite their reach, no dark web scanner can cover all the stolen data that exists across the entire dark web as a result of criminal activity. That’s because much of that stolen data is traded privately. However, if you suspect your personal information has been compromised, a dark web scan can be a great resource to help ease your mind.
The Top 10 Free Dark Web Scanners You Should Consider
When it comes to scanning the dark web for stolen data, these 10 dark web scanners are some of the best options available.
We chose these 10 services because they’re free, subscription-based services that can conduct a quick free dark web scan to spot data breaches.
In the following list we’ll compare each scanner based on their top features and pros and cons—by the end, you’ll have a great sense of which tool is right for you.
Aura’s all-in-one digital wellness solution includes Dark Web Monitoring, Credit Alerts, Account Monitoring, and more. Aura’s family plan is also a top rated solution for protecting your children and loved ones from identity fraud.
All Aura plans come with $1M Identity theft insurance, fast alerts to potentially suspicious activity, and 24/7/365 customer support.
Aura’s Top Features
Online Account and Personal Info Monitoring
Aura constantly monitors your information online and will notify you about any and all unauthorized access or possible data breaches.
Dark Web Monitoring (Personal Info and SSN Monitoring)
Aura will also let you know if they find another party using your SSN or other sensitive information online. This includes anyone using your ID to open new accounts or lines of credit.
Identity Verification Monitoring
Aura monitors any and all attempts to verify your identity across the entire web. If someone tries to verify your identity, you’ll know.
$1M Identity Theft Insurance
For members, Aura offers up to $1M in coverage in the event of identity theft. This amount includes coverage for lost wages, travel, and legal expenses.
Home Title Monitoring
Identity theft can also result in home title fraud. Aura accounts for this risk by monitoring transfers of your home title.
Criminal Court Records Monitoring
Aura will notify you if any of your information is stolen and appears in a criminal report.
Aura’s Pros and Cons
Scan your email here to see if you’re at risk.
Aura offers three types of plans, which all come with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Aura’s plans include:
- Individual — $12/month
- Couple — $22/month
- Family — $37/month
Learn more about the details of each plan here.
Identity Guard is owned by Aura and is one of the best identity theft protection solutions on the market today. Identity Guard uses your email address to scan the dark web for any compromised data. It searches through 6 categories of data to assess any vulnerabilities.
These categories include:
- Identity Theft
- Account Hijacking
- Home Title Theft
- Credit Theft
- Spam + Robocalls
- Data Trading
Identity Guard not only monitors your data, but it also alerts you when there’s a change in your credit report. This lets you respond to potential cases of identity theft immediately.
Identity Guard Top Features
Identity Guard monitors the millions of bits of information that compromise your online personal and financial identity (bank accounts, credit cards, and more). They combine traditional monitoring techniques with IBM Watson’s powerful AI scanning to detect the maximum amount of threats—and let you know if your information has been compromised.
It’s impossible to secure your data with 100% certainty—that’s why it’s so important to respond quickly to possible data breaches. Identity Guard monitors your data 24/7/365 in order to send you the fastest alerts (through email and mobile app notifications) about possible breaches. The faster you know about a possible breach, the quicker you can secure your data.
Easy recovery process
Identity Guard believes that you shouldn’t deal with identity theft alone. When they detect a threat, they’ll help you resolve it by connecting you with a personal case manager. In the event you are a victim of identity theft, your case manager can walk you through the process of restoring your credit, securing your financial accounts and ultimately regaining control of your life. Plus, you’ll enjoy up to $1M insurance coverage with stolen funds reimbursement.
Identity Guard Pros and Cons
Identity Guard Pricing
Identity Guard offers three-tiered pricing, with options for both individuals and families.
- Value Plan — $7.50/month
- Total Plan — $16.67/month
- Ultra Plan — $25/month
Check out this page for the full details on each Identity Guard plan.
Have I Been Pwned is a dark web scanner that specializes in identifying vulnerable info from data breaches.
When you Input your email or phone number, the site will sweep through known breached sites to determine if your data was compromised.
Users can also subscribe to a watchlist to get notified if their information falls victim to a data breach in the future.
Have I Been Pwned’s Top Features
List of largest and most recent breaches
The site’s homepage lists both the largest and most recent breaches detected. If you see a familiar site on either of these lists, you should take action.
Have I been Pwned integrates easily with 1Password, a popular password manager. Many people rely on weak or over-used passwords to secure their digital identity. Have I Been Pwned solves this problem by generating unique passwords and securing them for its users.
This feature lets you identify all email addresses from a given domain that were compromised in a data breach. However, this feature only works if you control the domain. It’s a great tool for site owners and admins.
Have I Been Pwned Pros and Cons
Have I Been Pwned Pricing
Have I Been Pwned offers an API to customers.
Making calls to that API requires a key.
You can access this key for a single month fee, or via a recurring monthly subscription.
Have I Been Pwned charges a $3.50/month fee, with reasons for this cost explained here.
Once you purchase access to Have I Been Pwned’s API, you’ll need to verify you can access the email address you wish to use.
For any questions about Have I Been Pwned’s API, visit their FAQ page.
The Firefox monitor is Mozilla’s own breach detection service. Using your email, it scans the darkweb for known breaches and notifies you if your info has been compromised.
Firefox Monitor’s Top Features
Robust breach search
Firefox’s service lets users search for well-known data breaches. It also lists recent branches and the exposed information from that breach.
Comprehensive Security Tips
Mozilla educates users on various topics relating to cybersecurity and data breaches—how hackers work, how to avoid hacks, how to create strong passwords, and more.
Real-time alerts concerning data breaches
This feature lets you set up alerts in the event that the scanner finds your info on the dark web. If you’re caught in a data breach, you’ll get a notification, which contains information about where the breach originated and what info was leaked.
Firefox also lets you set up multi-email monitoring.
Firefox Monitor’s Pros and Cons
Firefox Monitor Pricing
The FireFox Monitor is 100% free, which makes it a great option if you’re looking for a dark web scanner that won’t break the bank.
MyPwd uses artificial intelligence to scan the deep web and the dark web to determine if any of your personal passwords have been leaked. They’re constantly on the lookout for evidence of the sale of databases, credit cards, illegal services, or cyberattack planning.
To get started, they don’t require any of your personal data beyond your email.
MyPwd Top Features
Clear and easy to use
While other players force you to make an account, or rely on complicated UX/UI, MyPwd offers an easy-to-use setup that’s not intimidating to new users.
MyPwd leverages artificial intelligence to comprehensively monitor the deep and dark web—a technique that only a few other competitors rely on.
Many people use repeat passwords. Criminals know this, and that’s why stealing passwords is such a lucrative activity. That’s why MyPwd targets password protection and tells you if your passwords have been compromised.
MyPwd Pros and Cons
MyPwd offers three pricing tiers for customers.
- Corporate — $50/month per domain
- Enterprise — $200/month per domain
DeHashed is an extensive search engine and monitoring service.
It allows users to search emails, usernames, domains, IPs, and more, to find vulnerable info.
DeHashed offers both a dark web scanner and monitor. The platform also works with breach analysis companies and different law enforcement agencies.
DeHashed Top Features
1000’s of law enforcement agencies and Fortune 500 companies utilize DeHashed for their day-to-day investigative and protection needs. In an industry riddled with untrustworthy players, DeHashed has positioned itself as a credible, trusted player in the market.
DeHashed is constantly obtaining new and private datasets that other services don’t have access to. That makes them the first to respond in the event of a data breach.
DeHashed offers a feature-rich, powerful, and fast API that integrates with a company’s own security applications. On average, DeHashed queries take 80µs (with HTML generation), and their API takes just 25µs.
DeHashed Pros and Cons
DeHashed offers three different pricing solutions.
- Enthusiast — $5.49/1 week
- Monthly — $15.49/1 month
- Annually — $179.99/ 1 year
Learn more about each of their plans here.
HashCast specializes in company security. The service allows you to monitor leakage of employee emails, passwords and hashes from all around the web—including the deep or dark web.
With HashCast you’ll be the first to know if your business credentials have been compromised, and you’ll be the first to be able to fight back.
Hashcast Top Features
Sweep for credentials with AI
Hashcast uses hundreds of AI bots to monitor both public and private Internet channels. These bots search for credentials (paired email and password, or email and hash) from your business domain.
On the deep and/or dark web, these channels include groups found on WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook, Discord, or others.
The best part? You can get started right away with just your business email address.
Real time alerts
When Hashcast’s AI robot discovers a credential leak, you’ll immediately receive an email alerting your company in real time.
That email details which credentials were compromised, and provides next action steps for you to secure your accounts.
Pay for premium and you’ll also get text message alerts, webhook alerts, queries to Hashcast’s API, and leakage source information.
Hashcast Pros and Cons
Hashcast offers three pricing options, depending on your needs:
Intelligence X is an independent European tech company founded in 2018. Based in the Czech Republic, its mission is to develop and maintain a massive search engine and data archive.
As a search engine, Intelligence X is unique because it works with “selectors”—specific search terms such as email addresses, domains, URLs, IPs, CIDRs, BTC addresses, IPFS hashes, and more.
These selectors allow Intelligence X to gather open-source intelligence from places like the darknet, document sharing data, whois data, public data leaks, and more.
Intelligence X caters to both enterprise clients and governments. They offer individualized plans for each client they work with.
Intelligence X Top Features
Intelligence X provides custom plans for each of its clients. You’ll work with their team to develop a certain set of selectors that can produce the information your organization needs.
In-depth selector scans
Intelligence X lets its client search for intelligence from the deepest, darkest corners of the Internet. Unlike other similar services, they’re able to search through billions of selector in a matter of seconds—including at-risk IPs, BTC addresses, and more.
Intelligence X Pros and Cons
Intelligence X Pricing
Intelligence X offers free tiers and SMB/Enterprise tiers. For exact details on which services are included in every pricing tier, visit their product page here.
Dashlane is a subscription-based password manager and digital wallet application that offers security tools for both businesses and individuals.
The core of Dashlane’s business is its password management app. Dashlane saves password and secure information for autofill and even generates secure passwords for users.
For businesses, Dashlane offers features like customizable security settings (2FA, single sign-on, and more) and employee groups for secure password sharing and increased productivity.
Dashlane also offers dark web monitoring services, VPN and WiFi protection, and secure data storage.
Dashlane Top Features
Flexible plans for different clients
Dashlane offers different plan types with solutions for individuals, families, and businesses. Whatever your needs, Dashlane provides a simple, user-friendly way to protect all your data.
Automatic password changer
With Dashlane, you’ll get access to all the passwords on a device or a plan. Plus, if their dark web scanner detects a leak, you’ll be able to change several account passwords with just a few clicks.
Dashlane Pros and Cons
Dashlane offers 3 different plan tiers to meet your specific security needs.
- Premium — $6.49/month
- Family — $8.99/month
Learn about plan specifics here.
>IDStrong helps you protect your personal and credit information online.
Their team monitors black market websites, chat rooms, social media feeds, public records, the dark web, and millions of other data points across the Internet—all in order to determine if your personal information has been compromised.
IDStrong alerts you immediately if any part of your identity has been compromised.
IDStrong Top Features
Data Breach and Exposure Report
IDStrong’s Data Breach and Exposure Reports give you a comprehensive picture of your online security. If your financial or personal online identity has been compromised, you’ll know immediately.
Their reports track where and what type of your personal and credit information appears online. They’ll notify you if they detect suspicious activity or any changes to your profile.
Access to a restoration team in the event of identity theft
If your personal identity is compromised by a widespread hack (or even individual online hackers), IDStrong provides immediately accessible support.
They provide access to a dedicated call center that pairs you with a restoration team. This team will guide you step-by-step through the process of retaking your identity and minimizing the damage.
$1M identity theft insurance
For both Advanced and Comprehensive Plan users, IDStrong offers up to $1M in identity theft insurance. This amount will cover lost wages, stolen funds, travel, and other expenses.
IDStrong Pros and Cons
IDStrong offers three different subscription tiers.
- Standard — $9.95/month
- Advanced — $14.95/month
- Comprehensive — $19.95/month
Learn more about the details of each plan here, under the question “What is the Difference Between Your Three Subscription Plans?”
ImmuniWeb® is an honorable mention to our list of the top 10 dark web scanners. The company’s suite of products offer easy, affordable penetration testing that anyone can use.
By simulating attacks on sensitive information, ImmuniWeb helps clients determine (and fix) key points of vulnerability. Some of their clients include PwC – PricewaterhouseCoopers, eBay, and the Global Cyber Alliance.
ImmuniWeb Top Features
Award-winning AI technology
Immuniweb’s award-winning AI technology allows for intelligent automation and acceleration of “laborious tasks and processes” associated with penetration testing.
Immuniweb’s services save as much as 90% of human time compared to traditional human services.
Meanwhile, Immuniweb’s full-time security experts handle the most complicated tasks—tasks that require nothing less than human intelligence.
Community Test Capabilities
Immuniweb offers numerous free security tests, including: cloud security test, dark web exposure test, SSL Security Test, Website Security Test, Mobile App Security Test.
ImmuniWeb Pros and Cons
Immuniweb offers four different pricing tiers.
- Ultimate — $3995/month
- Corporate Pro — $1995/month
- Corporate — $995/month
- Express Pro — $499/month
Get the details on each of these pricing tiers here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Dark Web Illegal?
It’s legal to access and browse the dark web. It is however widely associated with illegal activity, you probably have heard of the Silk Road the online marketplace on dark web for illegal drugs, or Besa Mafia the place to hire assassins and similar stories. Generally speaking the dark web is used for crime and if any information is exposed or there is any type of breach it will usually be taken to the dark web so it can be sold to someone in a timely fashion.
That said it’s not only illegal activity the dark web is used for, Facebook and NyTimes have sites on the dark web as well as a number of other legitimate publications and companies.
There is a great quote from an article by Clario called Is Dark Web Illegal? Here is the way they summarized it:
It’s not illegal … but a lot of illegal stuff happens there.
How much does a dark web scan cost?
Many dark web scans are completely free!
However, constant online security monitoring is typically a paid service offered by a certain provider (including the ones we’ve listed above).
Companies usually require a fee to cover the cost of running scripts, installing APIs, or AI technology. Worth noting: if you’re open to using a free Dark Web Scan as part of a paid (but affordable) VPN, UltraVPN is worth a look
What should I do if my information is on the dark web?
If a scanner finds your personal information on the dark web, act fast. The longer you wait, the longer you expose yourself to ID fraud—or financial fraud.
Contact all sensitive information partners to start freezing your accounts and cards—this includes your bank account, credit card companies, and even the SSN administration. Also, remember to change all your passwords!
What is a deep web scan?
Deep web scans are similar to dark web scans. They troll through the non-surface level of the Internet to determine if your information has been compromised.
It’s important to remember that the deep web is not like the dark web. It’s not filled with malicious actors looking to sell or data or steal from you.
The deep web is just a secure, back-end platform where you’ll find things like document-sharing sites, your email, and other secure log-in sites. It’s the part of the Internet that doesn’t show up on a standard search page.
Prioritize your online security
Your information is sensitive—it’s incredibly easy for hackers or cyber criminals to gain access to your personal or financial information with your knowledge.
That’s why it pays to be proactive. In addition to installing antivirus and backup software on your computer, dark web scanning services can be a great way to monitor your online security.
With tools like Aura’s Identity Guard, you’ll be able to protect your personal information from identity thieves.