A lot of tech giants that used to earlier give subscriptions and services for free are now gradually either starting to charge monthly subscription plans, or they try to sell ads on their service, either way, they are just finding a way to sell their services, which used to be free. Following this trend, a lot of publications and news website has also started for some kind of subscriptions.
Some of the famous publications like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Guardian and more have put most of their content behind the paywalls. Even some of the public blogging platforms like Medium have started to ask for premium and members-only content.
So, if you are someone who likes to read a lot from different publications and these days with so many subscription plans, it is getting difficult for you to read, then below we have a tutorial through which you will be able to bypass some of the paywalls on the popular publications without paying anything.
Get The Free Trial
The first and very basic method to bypass these paid publications without paying anything would be to get the hands-on trial version of their publications. Usually, most of the publications offer some or the other kind of trial version which might work for you for a week or so. Some even give a 30-day trial, so if the trial is over, you can either log in with a different email and then again start the trial, or use a different browser, but the browser method might not work on all of the publications. Also, make sure to cancel the trial version before it expires, otherwise, it will automatically renew your subscription and you will be charged a premium for the same.
Open The News Articles in Private or Incognito Mode
Some of the publication websites like The Washington Post or The New York Times gives an option to read a limited number of premium articles for free to all of the users, it might track you using the browser and cache or cookies of your computer.
So, if you will be using incognito mode to read on their publications and their premium posts, then they won’t be able to track you since in incognito mode the moment you close the tab it clears all the cookies. Also, make sure you haven’t logged into their website with your account otherwise incognito mode won’t work since they will be tracking you using your account.
So next time when you find a very tempting article that you want to read but it is a premium article or members only, you can always try the incognito mode method.
Use a Read later service like Pocket, Instapaper or Outline
The read-later service is like kindle, or the way downloads work on Netflix. You tend to download the content beforehand and then when you are offline you can watch the content without the internet since it is downloaded on your device. Similarly, the read-later service allows users to read the contents without any distractions. These services block all the additional UI of the webpage, and only the content is left to read.
Most of the publications that want to charge money to read articles use a paywalls popup banner that blocks the visibility of the article, so if you use the reading mode, it might block the paywall popup and you might get a clear sight of the article which you want to read.
Following this, we have an extensive guide on how to unlock paid articles for free using read-later services like Pocket, Outline and Instapaper, but in this guide, we will be using the service Pocket.
- The first step would be to open the URL of the article which you want to read.
- Now, copy the article link to the clipboard. If you are using a mobile device, then you can tap on the address bar and it will give you an option to share or copy to the clipboard, once you have copied the link.
- Go to the Pocket website or app, log in to your account and then click on the Add link button.
- Here you need to paste the copied link and then click on the Save button.
- Finally, you need to click on the recently saved link in the Pocket to open the full article in reading mode.
While testing the Pocket and Instapaper for reading mode, both of them worked flawlessly in loading the webpages of the copied URL. But the Outline service was not able to load the webpages properly and can be a little less reliable than the other two.
Use Twitter’s URL shortener to Bypass Paywalls
A lot of social media apps like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter use their own in-built browser that loads the webpages within the app. Twitter on the other hand uses a URL shortener whenever we tweet a URL. As per Twitter, they shorten the URL to minimize the number of characters used up when sharing the URL in a tweet, since the characters are limited in a single tweet.
However, the point which needs to be noted is that the shortened URL that starts with t.co of any premium publications opens as a complete article, even if your quota for free trials is over.
Also, you don’t even need to tweet any article to get the shortened link, all you need to do is copy the URL from the browser and then paste it inside the tweet and then don’t click on the tweet button, wait for Twitter to process and shorten the URL. A detailed guide to reading the articles using Twitter is right below.
- Open the browser and navigate to the paid article which you want to read.
- Now, copy the URL of that article from the address bar of your device.
- Open the Twitter app, or the website and then go to the messages section.
- Click on the New Message icon and then search for your own Twitter handle.
- Then simply paste the copied URL and send it to yourself.
Now, you will be able to see the shortened URL in your Twitter DM along with the article title and thumbnail including the metadata. Simply open the link it should redirect you to the publisher’s website, where you should be able to view the whole article without any paywall.
Use Browser Add-ons/Extensions to Bypass Paywalls ( Mozilla Firefox)
There are a few browsers on a computer that have extensions that allow users to bypass the paywalls subscriptions. The extensions simply block the scripts of paywalls blockings and loadings which asks for membership etc. Thus with the help of these extensions, you can read the articles without paying any extra money.
On the other hand, there are some browser add-ons as well, like the Bypass Paywalls for Firefox. it allows you to directly bypass paywall prompts from a lot of different premium publication’s websites that offer some good quality content but are often paid. You can read articles from up to 90 different websites using this method, some of the websites that can be bypassed using the add-ons are-
Bloomberg, Bloomberg Quint, Business Insider, Chicago Tribune, ET Prime, The Economist, Financial Times, Glassdoor, Harvard Business Review, Inc.com, Los Angeles Times, Medium, MIT Technology Review, National Post, New Statesman, New York Magazine, New Zealand Herald, NK News, NRC, Orange County Register, Orlando Sentinel, Quartz, Quora, Scientific American, Statista, The Boston Globe, The Business Journals, The Herald, The Hindu, The Japan Times, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The News-Gazette, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Saturday Paper, The Spectator, The Seattle Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Telegraph, The Times, The Toronto Star, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, Wired, etc.
Below we have a quick guide on how to set up the browser add-ons and then how to use it to bypass the paywall publications.
- Open Firefox browser on your computer and then go to the Releases page of the add-on’s Github project.
- Now, download and install the latest version of the add-on. This will automatically install the add-on to your Firefox browser.
- Finally, if you want you can customize the add-on as per your requirement. To customize click on Firefox menu >> Addons>> Extensions, then click on the three dots beside the browser add-ons and then choose Manage.
Bonus Method, Read Scholarly Articles From Popular Journal For Free
If you are currently trying to write a research paper, or generally you are into researching things Then you might be looking for some ways to get hands on some of the good scholarly articles published in journals like Nature, science magazine etc. Don’t worry we have you covered, use the Unpaywall, it is an open database with more than 20 million free scholarly articles that can even automatically search for a legal and open version of the otherwise paid journals across the whole internet.
The best part is Unpaywall is available for both Google Chrome and Firefox as a browser extension. All you need to do is install the extension from their respective web stores. Then open a link to one of the scholarly articles behind a paywall, it will automatically search the whole database with the relevant articles. If it gets something relevant, a green lock icon will appear on the right side, and if you click on that, it will take you directly to the article journal without any payment page or anything else.
So these were some of the few ways to bypass the paywalls and get the hands-on some of the paid publication articles like Washington, the New York and more. If you are someone who loves to read journals and articles, then this post will definitely come in handy to you, make sure to try these methods before you actually start paying for publications.
This post is only knowledge-based, by no means we are promoting the misuse of the information we have provided. If you can afford to pay the premium of these publications, we totally encourage you to pay and read it, that way you will be supporting the writer, creator as well as the publications to publishing more good contents and articles on the platform.
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