How to Get Around Paywalls

How to Get Around Paywalls in 2024: 20 Ways to Bypass Them

Published on: November 2, 2023
Last Updated: November 2, 2023

How to Get Around Paywalls in 2024: 20 Ways to Bypass Them

Published on: November 2, 2023
Last Updated: November 2, 2023

Accessing content online has become a daily routine for many, yet the increasing prevalence of paywalls can pose significant barriers to the free flow of information.

Paywalls, which restrict access to content behind a subscription or one-time payment, are commonly employed by publishers to monetize their online content.

However, for readers and researchers alike, these paywalls can be a source of frustration, leading many to seek out strategies on how to get around paywalls and access the content they need.

This guide is designed to empower you with a variety of tactics to bypass paywalls, ensuring that you can access the information you require without unnecessary hindrance.

How to Get Around Paywalls

Drawing inspiration from the clear and concise writing style of All About Cookies, we will delve into 20 effective methods to navigate these digital barriers.

From browser extensions and online tools to alternative content sources, we’ve got you covered.

So, buckle up and get ready to reclaim your access to unrestricted content as we explore the ins and outs of how to bypass paywalls.

1. Use a VPN to Bypass Paywalls

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A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can be an effective tool to bypass paywalls by masking your IP address and making it appear as if you are accessing the content from a different location or country.

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NordVPN is a highly recommended option for this purpose, providing a secure and fast connection to servers around the world.

By connecting to a server in a different region, you may be able to access content that is otherwise restricted or hidden behind a paywall.

Additionally, NordVPN ensures your online activity remains private and secure, protecting you from potential tracking or data collection.

Remember, while using a VPN can help bypass paywalls, it’s important to respect content creators and consider subscribing if you find their content valuable.

2. Clear Browser Cookies

Clear Browser Cookies 1254

Many websites track the number of articles you’ve read using cookies.

By clearing your browser cookies, you can reset this count and continue reading.

To do this, go to your browser settings, find the privacy or security section, and locate the option to clear browsing data.

Ensure you select to clear cookies and other site data.

After clearing the cookies, refresh the page, and the paywall should be reset.

3. Use Incognito Mode

Opening a website in incognito mode (or private browsing mode) can prevent the site from using cookies to track how many articles you’ve read, allowing you to bypass metered paywalls.

To open an incognito window, press ” Ctrl+Shift+N in Chrome or Ctrl+Shift+P ” in Firefox.

Keep in mind this method may not work for all types of paywalls.

4. Disable JavaScript

Some paywalls function using JavaScript.

By disabling JavaScript in your browser settings, you might be able to bypass these paywalls.

However, be aware that disabling JavaScript can break other functionalities on the website or other websites you visit.

It’s recommended to use a separate browser or re-enable JavaScript after accessing the content.

5. Use a Paywall Bypass Extension

There are browser extensions available that are designed to bypass paywalls.

Extensions like ‘Bypass Paywalls’ can be added to your browser and configured to work on specific sites.

Once installed, these extensions can automatically bypass paywalls, giving you access to the content.

Ensure to download extensions from reputable sources to avoid security risks.

6. Edit the Page’s HTML

HTML 1259

If you have some knowledge of HTML, you can inspect the webpage and modify its elements to remove the paywall.

Right-click on the paywall message, select ‘Inspect’ or ‘Inspect Element’, find the paywall’s code, and delete it.

Be cautious while doing this, as modifying the wrong elements can disrupt the webpage’s layout.

7. Use a Paywall Unblocker Website

Websites specifically designed to bypass paywalls can be a straightforward solution. 12ft Ladder is one such service that allows you to input the URL of the paywalled article and access an unlocked version.

The website works by providing a cached version of the page, stripping away the paywall in the process.

While this method is user-friendly and quick, it’s important to note that it may not be effective on all websites, especially those with more robust paywall protections.

Always use these services responsibly and consider supporting the content creators if you find their work valuable.

8. Archive the Page

Web archiving services like Archive.today offer a unique way to bypass paywalls.

By inputting the URL of the paywalled article, you can access archived versions of the page, potentially circumventing the paywall.

These services capture and store snapshots of web pages, allowing users to view content that may have been altered or restricted at a later date.

However, the effectiveness of this method depends on whether the page has been archived before the paywall was put in place.

9. Search for the Article Title

A simple yet often overlooked method is to search for the article’s title directly on a search engine.

Some websites have agreements with search engines to make their content accessible when clicked through from search results.

By copying the article’s title and pasting it into your search engine, you might find a link that bypasses the paywall and grants you access to the content.

This method is quick, easy, and doesn’t require any special tools or modifications.

10. Use a Different Device or Network

Paywalls can sometimes be tied to your device or network.

If you find yourself blocked by a paywall, try accessing the content from a different device or network.

This could mean switching from your desktop to your mobile device, or connecting to a different Wi-Fi network.

Some paywalls track the number of articles viewed on a specific device or network, so changing your access point can reset this count and allow you to bypass the paywall.

11. Use a Facebook Redirect

How To Hack Facebook Password

Some websites allow users to bypass paywalls when accessing articles through Facebook links.

To utilize this method, prepend ” https://facebook.com/l.php?u= ” to the URL of the paywalled article.

This tricks the website into thinking you are visiting from Facebook, potentially granting you access.

While this method is quick and doesn’t require any special tools, it’s effectiveness varies across different websites.

12. Use a Paywall Bypass Shortcut on iPhone

For iPhone users, the Shortcuts app provides a way to automate tasks, including bypassing paywalls.

There are several shortcuts available, such as AntiPaywall and Bypass Paywall, which can be configured to work with various websites.

Once set up, these shortcuts can streamline the process of accessing paywalled content.

However, their effectiveness may vary, and they may not work with all paywalls.

13. Use a Different Browser

Some paywalls are browser-specific and may not work as effectively in certain browsers.

If you encounter a paywall, try accessing the content using a different web browser.

This simple change can sometimes bypass the paywall and allow you to view the content without any restrictions.

14. Use a Mobile App

Mobile App 112

If the website with the paywalled content has a mobile app, try accessing the content through the app instead of a web browser.

Some apps provide more generous access to content or may have different paywall restrictions.

This method is straightforward and only requires you to download the app from your device’s app store.

15. Use a Content Aggregator

Content aggregators like Reddit or Flipboard often have user-shared articles and summaries that can provide access to paywalled content.

Search for the article’s title or topic on these platforms, and you might find a post that includes the content or a summary of the article.

This method relies on other users having shared the content, so availability may vary.

16. Check for a Print Version

Websites often have a print version of their articles, which can be less cluttered and sometimes bypasses the paywall.

To access this, look for a “Print” button on the webpage, or try appending “/print” to the end of the article’s URL.

This version is designed for printing, so it typically displays the entire content on one page, potentially allowing you to view the article without restrictions.

Keep in mind that this method may not work on all websites, but it’s a quick and easy option to try.

17. Use a News Aggregator

News aggregators compile articles from various sources, providing a centralized platform for news consumption.

Platforms like Google News or Apple News often have agreements with publishers to show full articles.

By searching for the article’s title or topic within these aggregators, you might find the full content accessible without hitting a paywall.

This method is convenient and also offers a way to discover additional content on the topic.

18. Use a Proxy Server

Proxy

Connecting to a proxy server allows you to access the internet as if you were located in a different region, which can be useful for bypassing regional paywalls.

To use this method, find a reliable proxy service, connect to a server in the desired location, and then navigate to the paywalled content.

Be cautious when selecting a proxy service, as security and privacy are paramount.

19. Check for an Author’s Personal or Institutional Page

Authors sometimes post their articles or papers on their personal, institutional, or academic social network pages.

If you’re looking for a specific piece of content, try searching for the author’s name along with the title of the work on search engines.

This can lead you to a freely accessible version of the content, especially if the author is keen on disseminating their work.

20. Use a Screenshot or Summary Service

There are online tools available that can take screenshots of web pages or provide summaries of articles.

By inputting the URL of the paywalled article into one of these tools, you might be able to view the content without encountering the paywall.

This method is quick and doesn’t require any special skills or tools, making it a convenient option for bypassing paywalls.

Keep in mind that the effectiveness of this method can vary depending on the website and the tool used.

How to Use NordVPN to Bypass Paywalls

NordVPN

Bypassing paywalls with NordVPN involves a few simple steps.

Here’s a guide to help you navigate through the process:

  1. Download and Install NordVPN: Visit the official NordVPN website to download and install the application on your device. Ensure you are downloading from the official source to avoid any security risks.
  2. Create an Account and Choose a Plan: If you don’t already have an account, you will need to sign up. Choose a subscription plan that suits your needs and complete the registration and payment process.
  3. Connect to a Server: Open the NordVPN application and sign in with your account details. Once logged in, you will see a map or a list of available servers. Choose a server in a location where the content you want to access is available. For instance, if a particular article is accessible in the United States but not in your current location, connect to a server in the United States.
  4. Verify Your Connection: After connecting to a server, verify that your IP address has changed to the location of the server you selected. You can do this by searching “What is my IP address” on a search engine. The displayed location should match the server location you chose in NordVPN.
  5. Access the Content: Once connected to the server, navigate to the website with the paywalled content. You should now be able to access the content without encountering the paywall, as the website perceives you as accessing from a different location.

Using NordVPN to bypass paywalls is a straightforward process, but it’s important to use this method responsibly and ethically, ensuring that content creators are supported for their work.

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  • 30-day risk-free trial
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  • 5,442+ servers in 60+ countries
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Next-generation military-grade encryption
  • DoubleVPN, double privacy
  • 6 simultaneous device connections
  • Great for: Safety, security, anonymity & peace of mind
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, iPad & iOS, Linux, routers, Apple TV, FireFox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and more

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FAQs

How Can I Ensure That I’m Using Paywall Bypass Tools Responsibly?

Navigating the ethical considerations of bypassing paywalls requires a mindful approach.

It’s important to use these tools judiciously, primarily in situations where content is needed for educational purposes, research, or single-time access.

If you find yourself regularly consuming content from a particular source, it’s a good practice to consider subscribing or supporting the content creator in other ways to ensure they can continue producing quality work.

In What Ways Might Websites Adapt or Respond to Common Paywall Bypass Strategies?

Websites are continually evolving and adapting to protect their content and revenue streams.

This could involve enhancing their tracking mechanisms, implementing more sophisticated paywall structures, or finding new ways to incentivize subscriptions.

As a user, staying informed about these changes and adapting your strategies accordingly is crucial, all while maintaining respect for the content creators’ rights and revenue models.

Are There Any Potential Risks or Drawbacks to Using VPNs for Bypassing Paywalls?

While VPNs like NordVPN offer a secure and reliable way to bypass regional paywalls, it’s important to be aware of potential risks.

Some websites may have policies against accessing their content via VPNs, and violating these policies could result in restricted access or other consequences.

Additionally, relying solely on a VPN for bypassing paywalls doesn’t contribute to the sustainability of content creation, so it’s important to balance the use of these tools with supporting content creators directly.

Conclusion

Paywalls often stand as gatekeepers, restricting access to valuable information.

However, with the strategies and tools discussed, ranging from VPN usage to various online services, users are equipped to navigate around these barriers when necessary.

It’s crucial to approach this with a sense of responsibility, recognizing the fine balance between accessing information and supporting content creators.

By judiciously using these methods, we can ensure a fair and open access to knowledge while upholding the sustainability of digital content.

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Written by Jason Wise

Hello! I’m the editor at EarthWeb, with a particular interest in business and technology topics, including social media, privacy, and cryptocurrency. As an experienced editor and researcher, I have a passion for exploring the latest trends and innovations in these fields and sharing my insights with our readers. I also enjoy testing and reviewing products, and you’ll often find my reviews and recommendations on EarthWeb. With a focus on providing informative and engaging content, I am committed to ensuring that EarthWeb remains a leading source of news and analysis in the tech industry.

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