It was a turn for the worse as in the last few years, more and more trusted news outlets have been turning on their paywall. A way for media outlets to get you to pay for news that should be free.
Australian news website, The Australian charges $8.00 per week to access some of the news content that used to be free online.
But there are a number of ways to bypass a paywall if you want to access a single article.
How to get around a paywall
Option 1: Google The Article’s Title
The first thing you need to do to read an article that is protected by a paywall is to copy and paste the title of the article and search for it in Google or Bing. Websites want to rank well in Google, and to do so, their content needs to be visible to search engines. In most cases, if you search for the title in Google, you should be able to read the entire article because the website may allow you to read it since you were referred to them by Google or Bing. If you can’t find the article in Google, try entering the websites name as well, or try Option 2.
Option 2: Google The Article’s URL
If you can’t find the article, try Googling the URL of the article. In Google Chrome, you can simply add a question mark ( ? )before the URL to search for it in Google. Make sure you Google the URL of the article, not the URL of the subscription page, so pay close attention.
Option 3: Use Google Cache
If the first two options fail and it directs you to pay for a subscription, try using Google Cache; provided you can find the article in a Google Search. Simply press on the little green down arrow at the end of the URL in Google and select “Cached”. The cached page should appear showing you the entire article free of charge.
Option 4: Use Social Media
Along with websites wanting to appear on the first page of Google, they also want people on Social Media to share their articles. People won’t be too happy if their friends share something in which they need to pay to read it. Therefore, visits from Social Media websites such as Facebook or Twitter may deactivate the paywall. So try tweeting, or publishing a private status update on Facebook, then click the link and you should have successfully bypassed the paywall.
Option 5: Go Incognito or enable Private Browsing
Some sites may impose a limit on how many times you can read articles for free. By enabling Incognito mode or private browsing, you are telling the website that you are a new visitor, therefore getting the website to show you the articles for free.
Option 6: Use a Different Web Browser
Similar to that of option 5, another trick is to try a different web browser. Option 5 and 6 will have a similar affect in showing you content behind a paywall.
Option 7: Use a Proxy Service
By using a proxy service, you are telling the website and the paywall that you are in a different location, as proxy servers usually mask your IP address. Content in other locations may be free. For example, a website in the Australia may be free to access if you are visiting from the USA.
Option 8: Restart your Modem
Some paywalls may limit the number of articles you can view by your IP address. So if you are a home user with an dynamic IP address from your Internet Service Provider, by restarting your modem, in most cases it will change your IP address.
Option 9: Use your Phone’s Web Browser or Tether
If restarting your modem does not work, you can always try on your mobile phone using your mobile internet connection to access the article. Alternatively, you may wish to tether your phone to your computer to use your mobile phone’s IP address instead.
Option 10: Use another computer (Friends, Library, Workplace, School)
If all else fails, try a different computer and a different location and hope for the best.
Option 11: Try BugMeNot.com
If the website requires you to signup, you may be able to find a username and password on popular website BugMeNot so you don’t have to register an account.
Still no luck?
If you still can’t read that article, chances are that the website really wants you to pay, so you might just have to go ahead and do it. Keep in mind, these tips may not work for all websites. For some websites they may work, and for others, they may not. You may need to try a combination of options at the same time, such as Googling the article in a different web browser.
Do you have a tip to access a website behind a paywall, let us know in the comments
Have you managed to get around a website paywall without paying? Or do you need some help accessing a website behind a paywall? Leave a comment below and let’s discuss!