RuTor is being advertised as the best Onion forum. Of course, you need to use a few grains of salt as you take this claim. RuTor, after all, is a Russian-only darknet forum so it would be difficult to compare it with others, especially those that cater to a wide base of users. This darknet community features discussions on various topics and also serves as a darknet marketplace for various types of products and services.
- RuTor link and Market link URL:
- Old RuTor Onion forum Link and help
How to Access RuTor
Like in the case of every other Onion websites, start with RuTor link: http://rutorzzmfflzllk5.onion. This onion link indicates, you can’t access RuTor using just any ordinary web browser. You need to have the Tor browser. You don’t have to worry if you’re new to this browser. It’s actually just Firefox that allows you to access the web anonymously and bypass censors. The interface is just the same and you can even add Firefox add-ons/extensions if you want.
In addition to the Tor browser, you also need to use a VPN service as well as PGP encryption/decryption. You can actually already access RuTor using the Tor browser but that’s not advisable as you can still be tracked without the use of VPN, which prevents the tracking of your online activities. PGP encryption/decryption, on the other hand, allows you to make sure that only you and your intended recipient can read the messages or data you share. RuTor has a detailed tutorial on PGP encryption, complete with screenshots, in the FAQ section so be sure to check it out in case you need a guide in using this encryption/decryption technology.
Moreover, it’s important to emphasize here that if you want to engage in the RuTor community, you have to remain anonymous. Never use your real name or identities that can be associated with you. Remember that you are using a darknet community because the things you will be doing are not acceptable or are prohibited in mainstream or traditional online communities.
RuTor Account Registration
There is no direct link or button for account registration on RuTor. What you will find on the site is the option to log in or to check the registration tick box to go through RuTor market account registration. The registration process may take 30 seconds or so. It asks for more than the usual details asked by other darknet sites.
In addition to the account name (this cannot be modified so carefully enter your account name) and password, you will also be asked to enter your birthdate, gender, and email address. The site may reject some disposable email addresses but we tried at least one temporary email address account we found through a Google search that was accepted for account registration.
You will be automatically logged in once your account registration is completed.
If you want to become a seller on RuTor, you may want to consider spending for authentication to have more credibility as a seller on the site. You will be asked to pay $100 for the inspection fee to get authenticated. This fee allows you to get the status “Seller” on the profile box and a custom color for your nickname. You can also get a 50% banner advertisement discount valid for 1 month. You have to send a message to admin GoodNucken to apply for authentication.
RuTor Interface and Functions
The RuTor interface appears comparable to other darknet forums. It has a familiar look and feel. It shouldn’t be difficult figuring out how to use it if you have already used other forums. The layout and overall design is not something we can consider the best but is definitely not bad. It would look better without the animated ads near the top portion of the site but we understand that these ads are necessary for the continued existence of this Russian darknet forum.
There’s the usual collection of “menu” links right below the RuTor logo. These point to important pages on the site, particularly the page that shows the GPG keys and the page for enabling two-factor authentication.
To access your profile page on RuTor, just click on your account name near the upper right corner of the site. Beside it are the buttons for the messages and notifications.
The Profile page presents options for making modifications in your personal information, adding contact details, alert settings, and other account settings. You can change your timezone, the language used on the site (only two options: English and Russian). You can manage the threads to monitor. You may add your Skype, ICQ, and Jabber addresses under the Contact Details page but advise that you create different accounts to use on RuTor. Again, this is a darknet community meant for anonymous exchanges or transactions. It makes no sense being in an anonymous darknet community if you will just be revealing your real identity by adding the Skype, ICQ, and Jabber names you regularly use.
Also, you can change the site’s language to English but this does not mean that you will be accessing an English section of the site. RuTor does not have dedicated threads for English-speaking users. Additionally, not all texts of the forum is translated to English. The forum headers/titles are still presented in Russian texts.
When it comes to the forum itself, it looks the same as most other darknet forums although it has a slight difference. Next to each thread, there is a box that shows the latest
RuTor Categories and Listings
Fortunately, unlike the other darknet forum-marketplaces we have reviewed here, RuTor somewhat makes it easier to browse through the different posts on the site (despite the forum format) because the posts are grouped in different categories. It’s obviously not the best way of categorizing posts but at the very least you can distinguish posts according to their nature/category.
The following are the major categories for products on RuTor:
- Currency Exchange, Financial Services
- Flea Market, Sale for All
In addition to these categories, there are also sections in the forum dedicated to listing swindlers (Grifters), and users/vendors with whom transactions are not allowed (the Quarantine thread). Additionally, there’s a section for Arbitration or the settling of disputes.
Other Forum Sections and Threads
Of course, since RuTor is a forum, it’s worth mentioning the other threads included in it. This darknet forum features a Security section where topics such as security software and scripts, network security, security IRL, hacking, security backdoors, and bots are discussed. RuTor also features a sections where topics such as bitcoins, earnings methods, weapons, health care, and lawyer consulting are discussed.
Forum and Market Prohibitions
Similar to other darknet forums and marketplaces, RuTor also has its list of banned items or things users shouldn’t be doing on the site. For one, it is not allowed for anyone to sell, advertise, or promote synthetic drugs such as JWH on the market. Child pornography and posts related to suicide, racism, xenophobia, revolutions, sale forecasts, and sports matches are also prohibited.
Moreover, users are not allowed to put links to the regular web (non-Onion links) without the permission of the site’s administrator. It is also not allowed for users to ask for samplers if the sellers don’t indicate that they are offering samplers. Likewise, it is prohibited disclosing the delivery addresses and related details of the goods being transacted on the RuTor marketplace.
Search and Listing Filters
Just like other darknet forums, the search function on RuTor does not provide features similar to what you will find in the leading darknet marketplaces. It does not have the ability to filter products but it’s quite feature rich. You have 4 search tabs through which you can “Search Everything,” “Search Threads and Posts,” “Search Profile Posts,” and “Search Tags.”
You can do a search by scanning the title only, search based on who posted the post, search in specific threads in the forum, or search for matching posts posted after a specified time or with a specified minimum number of replies. Additionally, the search results can be sorted according to recentness (most recent first) and the number of replies (posts with the most number of replies are shown first).
How to Choose a Vendor on RuTor
RuTor has a section dedicated to listing different vendors. To evaluate them, you of course have to go over the different threads for specific vendors. Don’t hesitate to post inquiries on the different vendor threads to know more about them. Also, be sure to see the list of swindlers under the Grifters thread and vendors being tagged dubious as listed in the Quarantine thread. Ascertain that the vendor you are considering is not listed in these threads.
Unfortunately, there aren’t that many vendors featured on RuTor yet. Also, discussions about that vendors are not that extensive so you may have to go to other possible sources of information and feedback to evaluate vendors better. Consider initiating chats with others who have already transacted with the vendors on RuTor. You may also want to go to the other darknet market or forum links, when available, for more information about the vendors.
How to Order
To place an order with a particular vendor, you have to directly contact a vendor. You have to make sure that you use encryption when contacting a vendor. RuTor suggests using the program GPG4USB. There’s a detailed guide (with screenshots) on using this under the FAQ section of the site so be sure to go over it.
To contact a vendor, just go to any of the vendor’s posts to see the small profile box where you can click the Start a Conversation link or use other communications options like Jabber.
You will be discussing the details of the ordering process directly with the vendor you choose. Obviously, this means that you have to transact at your own risk. You can of course post your complaints against certain vendors on the forum if you get defrauded but you have to make sure that you are well-informed before engaging in a transaction with any vendor. Again, as mentioned earlier, be sure that you are not dealing with vendors listed under the Grifters and Quarantine threads.
How to Pay for Orders
Bitcoin is the currency of choice on RuTor. There are different ways of using bitcoins described in the FAQ section including the use of Qiwi Localbitcoins, Purse Multibit, and the Electrum wallet. RuTor has its own bitcoin exchanger called Bitcoin Market, in case you can’t find viable options for obtaining bitcoins.
RuTor has a system for accepting bitcoin deposits as funds for making purchases. This helps prevent scams and fraudulent transactions. This deposit system, however, is not an escrow system. RuTor will not hold payments in escrow. Instead, the deposits only provide additional credibility to sellers since having deposit means that buyers can complain and possibly get compensated.
To do a deposit, you have to contact the RuTor administrator to get a bitcoin wallet address to where you can send your deposit. It’s similar to how it works in other darknet markets except you have to contact the administrator and not use an automated system. You can view the details of your deposited funds through blockchain.info.
The minimum deposit amount is set at 0.3 BTC. There is no limit for the maximum amount that can be deposited.
Pros and Cons
- Market posts are somehow grouped in categories (unlike other forum-based marketplaces)
- Authentication system for sellers
- Two-factor authentication
- Has an option to change the site’s language to English although there is no section for international (English speaking) users
- Not a large forum. Only features a few thousands of posts, few messages/posts in most threads
- Deposit system can be complicated for inexperienced users, no automated interface for making deposits
- No escrow system
- Limited number of vendors and market posts
- No dedicated section for English/non-Russian users