17th July 2023 – (Hong Kong) It’s frustrating to stumble upon a news article that piques your interest, only to find a paywall blocking your way. While supporting quality journalism is important, subscribing to every news outlet can be an expensive endeavour. Luckily, there are several ways to get around these paywalls, allowing you to stay informed without breaking the bank.
Sign up for a library card
Most local libraries subscribe to popular publications, and some even offer access to lesser-known ones. By signing up for a library card, you can log in to the library’s website and view all of its subscriptions for free. Even if your library doesn’t have a broad selection of publications available, it is likely to have some of the big names like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.
Copy and paste the headline into Google
In some cases, you can bypass a paywall by searching for the article’s exact headline on Google. Many publications allow you to access the article directly from its link via Google search, allowing you to sidestep the paywall. If this method fails, opening the link in an incognito window is often an effective solution.
Switch to Reader Mode
Some publications offer a Reader Mode that hides ads for a more seamless reading experience. Reader Mode is available in Safari and Google Chrome, and it sometimes allows you to bypass paywalls. While this method is not always effective, it’s worth giving it a try.
Clear the site’s cookies
Many publications allow you to read a certain number of articles before hitting a paywall. Clearing the site’s cookies can reset the number of articles you can read before encountering the paywall once again.
Give 12ft.io or Bardeen a try
12ft.io is a free, web-based tool that can remove paywalls from almost any online publication. The best part about 12ft.io is that you don’t need to download or install any software. Simply visit the site, paste the URL of the article you want to access, and click “Remove Paywall.” 12ft.io has a great reputation for being effective the majority of the time. Alternative, download https://www.bardeen.ai/ as a Chrome/Safari extension. Either one works for most news sites with paywalls in Hong Kong. For tricky websites, try downloading Bypass Paywall.
While these methods may not work for every publication, they are worth a try to access news articles for free. With the increasing importance of staying informed, it’s essential to find ways to bypass paywalls and access quality journalism without breaking the bank.