Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Different Ways to Read New York Times For Free

If you haven’t already heard, the New York Times website has introduced a paywall that limits visitors to only 20 articles per month. After the quota is over, visitors are shown a polite message asking them to subscribe or return back next month.

nytimes-paywall

Readers who wish to continue reading more than 20 articles per month, and who want to have full access to the news website content on their mobile and tablet devices, must then choose between three different plans starting from $15 a month to $35 for full access on all devices.

However, it is pretty easy to beat the paywall because the article count is maintained using browser cookies and the obstructing paywall is implemented using simple JavaScript and CSS.

So here is how to read more than 20 NYTimes article each month without paying.

Method 1: Disable Javascript

Once you hit the paywall, disable Javascript in your browser and reload the page. Continue reading NYTimes with Javascript turned off for the rest of the month.

Alternatively, you can use NoScript extension for Firefox, Chrome and Opera to disable Javascript on only NYTimes website.

Method 2: Delete Cookies

Deleting cookies in your browser will rest the counter and you can read another 20 articles. Doing this over and over again allows you to read unlimited number of articles.

Method 2: Use The Delete Key

From the address bar delete the string “?gwh=numbers” occurring at the end of the URL. This also removes the paywall.

Method 4: Switch Browsers

If you do not want to remove cookies or disable Javascript, you can also use another browser. There are so many to choose from – Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Safari are the major ones, and countless other smallish browsers.

Method 5: Use Incognito or Private Browsing

Yet another method of defeating the paywall is to use the Incognito mode in Chrome or Private Browsing mode in Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer. Private browsing, as you are aware, does not store cookies and hence cannot keep count of the 20 articles/month limit.

Method 6: Chrome Extension

There is already a Chrome extension called New York Times Paywall Smasher available that hides the paywall message so that you can read unlimited amount of articles on the New York Times website.

Method 7: Userscript / Greasemonkey Script

For those who do not use Chrome, there is a userscript that does the same thing. This should work on Firefox, Opera and Safari as well.

Method 8: Use Search Engines

In addition to the 20 articles per month, readers can view an additional 5 articles each day if they arrive through five major search engines — Ask, AOL, Bing, Google and Yahoo. That is 5 articles per search engine which totals to 25 free articles each day.

That should be enough, what do you say?

8 comments:

  1. How long you recon will take for them to know the everybody knows these tricks?! In other words how long will they allow losing money?!

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  2. The problem with NYT is they want to create a paywall for readers but allow Google to index the pages so that they don't lose organic traffic. Hence all the loopholes.

    You either enforce a strict limit by making readers login through an account or you don't. There is no middle route.

    We have to wait and see which route NYT takes.

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  3. I love it... a pack of thieves. Of course, the NYTimes is still paying reporters, photographers, editors, layout people... they've managed to maintain a high journalistic quality while other papers have cheapened their product. And, you all just want to take something for nothing. I'm assuming you'll all go to work tomorrow and not expect a paycheck, right?

    Scum...

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  4. I'm one of the scum, and I feel really bad! But $35 a month for a website? On top of all my bills, including the stupid data plan that continues to sap my bank account. I'll pay $10/month for NYT, that's it. Wish I didn't buy this freakin' amazing but ridiculously useless smart phone...

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  5. It's really a difficult issue. On one hand, yes, it is underhanded to skirt around the paywall, as reporters, photographers, etc. need to be paid.

    On the other hand, we live in a time when many, many sites are hugely profitable while still offering their excellent services completely free of charge.

    I personally believe the the New York Times is doing itself more harm than good by imposing this kind of barrier, and is taking a giant step backwards.

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  6. Simple.. if they are going to give me ads.. I am not going to pay for content (but I am willing to pay for "delivery" and that is my ISP in this case) Just like Netflix versus hulu. HBO versus TNT. When NYT capitulates, and removes ads if you pay.. I will consider it, until then, their content is not worth both ads and my hard-earned money.

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  7. So, 1:25 am, did you steal newspapers from the honor boxes or the grocery store racks too? Because the printed papers contained ads, and you were expected to pay for the paper, either by buying a single copy or subscribing.

    Getting around the paywall is theft, plain and simple. No different than shoplifting. Can't afford it? Then be happy with the 20 articles a month. Or maybe give something else up. It's called "making a budget," and it's what many adults do.

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  8. Thing is, the NYT "pay-wall" is basically a pop-up ad. It's just a frame that covers part of the screen and is easily removed by even non-tech people. As Kaushik said, if they wanted to enforce their pay-wall, they'd do what the Wall Street Journal does. Instead, they want the visibility that comes with every article being "free," yet to confuse enough readers into thinking they have to pay.

    That something as simple as changing browsers can break their pay wall tells you how seriously they take it.

    ReplyDelete