October 15, 2021
3 mins read

How to view articles without subscribing

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Photo by Milan Chudoba on Pexels.com

It has happened to many of us that an article from a media outlet that we reach through a Google search or that we have added its news on a social network have a limit of articles that you can see over a month. In many cases, to avoid that limit you must subscribe to their service and pay to see the content. Here i explain how to see articles without subscribing.

It seems perfect to me that digital media reward in some way people who want to see their articles by offering them news that goes into those subscriptions.

However, I don’t quite understand why some newspapers shut down their public health news by subscription methods when there was a pandemic. The public devoured news about the coronavirus and it was an unwise decision to close that information and only make it available for one payment a month.

Ways to read an article without subscribing

In this article I will explain several ways to avoid that content closure. All the forms I explain below are valid and no rules are broken nor are they illegal.

Use incognito mode

This trick is one of the simplest to cross the payment barrier and works on most web pages. You can see how to do it in  Mozilla  and  Chrome.

Use a VPN or just TOR

A VPN (virtual private network), as the name suggests, creates a private network that changes location. Those sites that allow you to read some articles that can be 10 or 15, keep the records by tracking the details of the IP, the address through which you browse the Internet. If you use a VPN, it will happen that you are going to get a different IP, even from another country and this will allow you to read thousands of articles for free and avoid the paywall.

Tor is a browser for private use that works like a layered onion. Once you open the browser you connect to a circuit of three computers as can be seen in Fig. 1. The first computer, the protection node, knows who you are. Then there are two other layers of onion which are servers two and three, which know what you are browsing, but not where you are coming from.

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Figure 1. TOR circuit

It happened to me recently when I wanted to see this New York Times article as you can see in Fig. 1 that I had reached the limit of free articles.

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Figure 2. Message that you have reached the limit of free items.

I decided to use the TOR browser and yes, I could see that article as it can be seen in Fig. 3.

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Figure 3. Article that can be seen from New York Time

Reset browser cookies

There are certain websites that allow you to read some articles for free without any account or trial plan, but then ask you to pay to read more articles. This is because they are tracking the number of articles that are read, and this is done by cookies. Each browser has a different way of deleting cookies. In Mozilla Firefox it is very simple, click on the padlock to the left of the URL and then CLEAR COOKIES AND SITE DATA.


Find the item in case it is duplicated

The Internet is both a wild and wonderful place. There are websites that directly copy articles from well-known publications and publish them on their own site. There are also agencies that sell the same news to other media and there may be media that publish it by subscription and others in open. The content of the news is the same position that comes from an agency. Avoiding having to subscribe you can copy the title of the article by subscription and then do a search by putting that title in quotation marks (” “).

Use Outline to read articles without a subscription

Another way to get over the paywall is to use Outline.com. What you must do is copy and paste a web address and view the article directly, without filters.

Paywalls Bypass extension for Chrome/Firefox/Microsoft Edge to avoid subscribing

This is an easy way to bypass the paywall and works on many websites, but you need to add extensions to a web browser and there may be reluctant people. The extension is called Bypass Paywalls and you must click on download and install the latest version from the Github  page.

Use the page cache

The website CachedPages.com save a copy of one website. The cache is a copy of the content of a website saved with a timestagged. This website that I comment on allows you to access cached versions of Google and archive.org and see a current version. Taking the same case above from the New York Times article in archive.org there is a saved copy as you can see below.



Access to information is essential in a globalized world and where the same news is commented on many websites. The policy of viewing content by subscription allows you to maintain many web pages, although they lose readers.

If you do not want to pay for a subscription service in this article, I have explained several ways to show a news without having to pay for it. You don’t need to subscribe to content that you can view on another website or that is cached.

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Avelino Dominguez

👨🏻‍🔬 Biologist 👨🏻‍🎓 Teacher 👨🏻‍💻 Technologist 📊 Statistician 🕸 #SEO #SocialNetwork #Web #Data ♟Chess 🐙 Galician

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