How To Read The New York Times Without Subscription Online

July 15, 2020

Has this ever happened to you? You are putting together information for a crucial presentation at work. Then, you stumble across an insightful piece of journalism, from The New York Times, no less, which could give you the missing piece of information that you need to nail your presentation from a very credible source. You click, expecting to end your chase. Instead, you receive a now familiar, and slightly frustrating message, "Get unlimited access when you subscribe to The Times. Subscribe now." You may not necessarily want to subscribe to The New York Times, yet this particular piece of information is crucial for your data search.

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Today, the best websites have moved away from the open web principles that first gave rise to the Internet. Most of these have in fact moved to a subscription model, where topnotch content is guarded by a paywall. In fact, The New York Times leads this segment, with 4 million subscriptions worldwide, which it hopes to grow to 10 million subscribers. While this might seem like a betrayal to many who believe in the free commons, there are still others who choose to appreciate great content by funding it. But for those who disagree, there remain several ways to work around such payment walls, which allow you to access content on any website, including The New York Times, without being coerced into a subscription. Let's look at some of the new york times paywall smasher methods.

Three ways to bypass the NY Times payment wall

There are a variety of approaches that have been used to bypass paywalls, and most of these have been discussed at length online like ny times paywall user script etc. But here are three surefire ways that I know never fail to work, and where most websites, such as The New York Times, have no restrictions.  

1. Using mobile apps data technique:

Typically, The New York Times, just like any other leading publication, lets you read five articles free every month, which is better known as a metered payment wall approach. This is different from a hard payment wall that prevents readers from viewing any content without a subscription.

Especially in the context of The New York Times metered payment wall, if there's an additional article that you would like to read, you can reset your count after clearing your history. While in the past, you could access blocked content by using Chrome or Firefox in Private/Incognito mode, this loophole has now been plugged. So currently, it seems to be best to erase your history of accessing content on The New York Times website. One way to do this is by using a mobile app.

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When you are using a mobile app, you can erase the count of content that you have accessed by clearing the app cache and app data on your device. This should quite easily reset your content access count to zero, giving you access to five new pieces of content every time.

2. Using a VPN technique :

The New Times tracks your access count of articles on the website through your IP address. So switching your IP address would make it difficult for the website to track your usage history. That's where a VPN or virtual private network comes in, as it gets you multiple IPs by changing your IP through a VPN. This could be one of several reasons why 26% of all Internet users rely on some free VPN services to access content and browse the Internet anonymously.


Today, the Chrome extension section makes scores of free VPN Extensions available. Together, these give you hundreds of new IPs, which bypass paywalls as required, giving you access to five times the number of new articles every time.

3. Using web archives technique:

If you are looking to access older content, the best way to reach it could be through Wayback Machine. As the name suggests, the website is a great tool to access data that goes way back in time. So, if you need to read an older content piece, another great way to do this is to enter the URL at WayBack Machine and check whether it has been archived at any time in the past. If it has been, you can definitely still access it using this website, which is quite simply an online archive tool. So even when a website disables cached versions of its web pages, this is still one place where you could pull all of these right back. This also makes it a very valuable resource when you want to capture a web page as it appears now for later use as a trusted citation in the future.

The NYTimes Wayback

What's more, even beyond exploring older news from The New York Times, you can also use this method to explore over 451 web pages that have been saved over time. In addition, WayBack Machine's subscription service also enables you to capture, manage, and search these collections of digital content without any technical expertise or hosting facilities. So, it's simple functionality makes this technology that anyone can use at any time.

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An interesting alternative use of this website also springs from its ability to throw back web pages long after they have been removed from the original website. So, if you are looking at how you can evade online censorship, this is your online archive tool. But it's also equally handy when you need to keep a link from an article in The New York Times in your presentation, article, or a research piece always available long after its current use.


Meanwhile, even as I write, debates both for and against the bypassing of payment walls continue to rage in cyberspace. While payment walls have existed for more than 20 years, it was The New York Times use of this model in 2011 that drove adoption. Currently, 76% of U.S. digital news publishers use payment walls. Yet, studies also point to the mixed success of this business model. So, I would love to hear your views. Would you bypass a payment wall to access original content that you need or would you simply pay to read it? Do share your comments and tell me what you think.

Karan Khanna
Karan Khanna is a vivid writer who wants to share his online learning experience using his writing skills. He also runs his own business in Internet marketing to help people to scale their business online.

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  1. I routinely bypass NYT and WP paywalls because, while some of their articles are somewhat interesting and/or, occasionally, informative, neither of those papers is worth paying for. It would be like buying season tickets for the Detroit Lions because they occasionally make some good plays.

    Maybe if these papers were to get their reporting, writing, and editing up to the level they pretend to ... Maybe.

  2. Whilst understanding that newspapers and magazines need “to make a living,” my issue is that some of us simply cannot afford to subscribe to these periodicals, whether they’re worth it or not.

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