How To Bypass Paywalls on News Websites

Grand Potentate

Supporter of Possible Sexual Deviants
Have had a lot of PM's recently about news articles that have been posted which are trapped behind paywalls. Got a few tips and tricks to use to be able to read them. This is generally for desktop but a few of the tricks are available on mobile. All of the advice here will be based on the Firefox web browser which I advocate over Google Chrome, but quite a few of the addons are also available for Google Chrome as well. Firefox is available here:

****First things first - AD BLOCKING! The single most important thing you can do is control ad blocking and page behavior. The absolute gold standard is uBlock Origin:

uBlock allows you to control behaviors and individual elements and add customized "lists" that allow for blocking of behaviors. The addon itself is extremely detailed and complicated but its default behaviors are fairly simple to understand and the developer provides a pretty easy to understand getting started guide along with a very active wiki and reddit page:

This is the single most important thing you can do to control your browsing experience. Honestly once you install this you'll never go back.

***Next thing in the list - control your browser cookies! most sites track logins and page views to try and prevent repetitive behaviors. There are many things to be able to do to control cookies such as manually deleting them and browser addons that allow you to control which sites can add cookies to your browser at all. My personal preference:

Cookie Auto Delete allows you to whitelist certain sites, such as DressedWell, and gives you control over cookies on a per-site basis.

Firefox also now has built in cookie blocking but its only enabled under "strict" browsing which can bust certain websites. Still, its not a bad option if you want to give it a shot.

****If sites won't work and you want to break through, next thing is a browser add-on to bypass paywalls! My choice:

This addon works amazingly well and is INCREDIBLY THOROUGH. Just look at this site list:

In tandem with Cookie Auto-Delete you can wipe out news sites that constantly track you and delete all information so every session is brand new. This thing is honestly amazing at what it does.

*NOTE - This addon requires constant updates because the list of sites is always changing and the sites are always finding ways around our little hacks Make sure to keep track of your addons and update them accordingly.

**Lastly, if you do not want to bother with a more permanent solution and just want to read an article every now and then, use!

The web archive is an incredibly useful repository of sites that catalogs saved versions of sites behind almost all paywalls! Here's how it works. Find a website that won't let you view an article, such as this article from the Financial Times on trucker burnout:

Here's how it looks on a clean browser with no addons:

Subscribe to read | Financial Times 2021-08-31 12-08-08.jpg

Now we plug that URL into the site under the 'search for saved snapshots' search box:

Webpage archive 2021-08-31 12-11-32.jpg

and the site will pop out a link to the article that has been 'saved'. the site trawls the web for all information and it saves complete copies of all articles, but it can't do that unless it gets behind the paywalls, so all output links will be free of any barriers to reading. This will be your search result:

Click on the link it generates for you and voila, a behind the paywall page appears!

Drivers warn of burnout as global trucker shortage bites | Financial Times 2021-08-31 12-17-42.jpg also has a very handy Firefox extension which will generate links for you!

*If any of you are more technically inclined this article talks about a few different style of hacks to get pages to show. Honestly, with the built-in addon capabilities, doing all this work is ridiculously stupid, but the point of this post is to show you all the options:

It doesn't work for all newspapers (I think only select ones which have agreements), but you can paste the URL into which is a tool used to annotate and presumably save articles as citations for research. The paywall ads will go away and you get all the text. The images won't be there though.

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