Here’s How To Get Around the Paywalls of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and More

Like stealing candy from a well-informed democracy

(Photo via Getty)

(Photo via Getty)

Disclaimer: You should definitely pay for these publications. Democracy depends on it. That said…

The New York Times paywall can hardly be called a “wall,” at least not one with a strong composition, like brick or concrete. It’s more like the walls  of a hedge maze—for most of us sheeple, we look and say, “Yeah, ok I get it, I can behave.” But for anyone who actually wants to get through, all it takes is a hard push—or a browser running on porn mode.

We’ve published this guide in the past, but since then the New York Times has closed some loopholes and strengthened their wall against certain URL work-arounds and specialized browser extensions. And because no one gets their news in one place, we’ve also vetted these methods against the Wall Street Journal, the New Yorker and the Harvard Business Review (because their essay on New Power was impressive, if not a little bleary-eyed).

Google the Story

In the Google Age, search engines drive traffic, and no one wants to condition an audience to avoid their links in Google search results. For this approach, simply go through Google by searching the headline to get to the story, and voila! You’re in. It’s also probably the best way around to get past the Wall Street Journal’s total paywall on certain stories.

Tip: the best way to find the exact story is to search a piece of text in quotes, that way it will pull your exact match to the first search result. It doesn’t even really have to be the headline—you can simply start typing the words in the first paragraph, but you have to make sure to get the string of text exactly. No misspellings. Like we said, this one is a pain.

Works on: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New YorkerHarvard Business Review

Porn Mode

Every browser does it. And by “it,” we mean have an option to browse in secrecy, without keeping cookies, holding records of your logins, or tracking browsing history. This mode shrouds your traffic and makes you look like a whole new person to those paywalls.

In Chrome, you go to File->”New Incognito Window” and you’re in, or for the keyboard shortcut, you press Command-Shift-N. If you’re using Safari, it’s in Safari->Private Browsing, and if you use Firefox, it’s called “Private Browsing.” If you’re using Internet Explorer, it’s called stop using Internet Explorer.

Works with: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New YorkerHarvard Business Review

Social Media

Like search engines, the Times doesn’t want to be left out of potential viewers, and uses social sharing to hook ’em in. If it’s a really recent story, just check the Twitter or Facebook feed. Otherwise, you can do a full link search in Twitter for the story.

Works with: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New YorkerHarvard Business Review

Switch Browsers

Most paywall methods are about dropping cookies into your browser, and that browser’s tracking history. Simply switch over, and keep cruising. Until the other browser reaches the story limit, of course.

Works with: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New YorkerHarvard Business Review

 

 

 

Here’s How To Get Around the Paywalls of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and More