You know the feeling when you're about to read a really interesting article on lucid dreams and you're suddenly hit with a paywall? All that built up anticipation — and boom! Your procrastination comes to a deafening halt. Luckily, we have a couple of ways to get around paywalls.
Who actually subscribes to every news outlet they read? From Netflix to Spotify Premium to that New Yorker subscription you try to keep up with, there's a whole lot of monthly payments to juggle in this overstimulated world. So to help you out, we've rounded up a variety of common and lesser-known ways to get around the paywalls of your favorite news sites.
Google a Headline
This is the easiest way to get around most paywalls. Just copy and paste the headline of the article you want to read into Google and you're in.
Use a Referer Control Extension
If you're serious about gaming these paywall systems, a Google Chrome extension is an efficient and time-saving hack. The Wall Street Journal is notorious for requiring readers to subscribe for article access. Sure, you can around that by a copy-and-paste into Google — but that can also get annoying after a while.
Enter this ingenious Chrome extension. All you have to do is create a rule that automatically sets Google as the referrer when you click on a WSJ link. It will magically unlock the paywall and save you the trouble of having to Google an article's headline each time.
Go Into Incognito Mode
To stop the paywall overlords from seeing the number of articles you've already read, go into secrecy mode. If you're using Chrome, simply go to File > New Incognito Window. If you're in Safari, go to Safari > Private Browsing, and if you're in Firefox, choose the "Private Browsing" option.
Delete Your Cookies
Another alternative to secrecy mode is deleting your cookies. To do this in Chrome, simply go to chrome://chrome/settings/content and click "All cookies and site data," then select "Remove all." To do this in Safari, click the "Privacy" option on the toolbar on the right, and you'll find ways to manage your cookies. In Mozilla, select the "Options" tab under Menu on the upper right-hand side and navigate to "Privacy."
Make the Most Out of Social Media
Much like clicking to an article through Google, accessing an article on Facebook doesn't count toward your free user limit. An easy way to find the articles you want to read on social media is to copy and paste an article's URL into the Twitter search bar. That way, you can get the story by clicking on a tweet.
Make Use of Your Read-It-Later Apps
Services like Instapaper, Pocket and Readability let you save articles from your browser or your phone with a "Read Later" bookmarklet. The apps provide stripped-down text for easy reading and save the article to the interface. That allows you to opt out of a visit to the original site, which in turn gets you around your article limit.
See an article you want to read but you're too busy at work? Instead of using up a freebie by clicking on the story at home, just save it to your Instapaper. Instapaper's curated list of articles in its "Browse" section is another good way to access articles without having to go through paywalls.
Switch Up Your Browser
Once you've reached the article limit on your main web browser, you can always get a fresh batch of free articles by simply opening a new browser.
Photo: Jon Fingas | Flickr