Bypass Paywall Chrome Extensions: Read Articles On PC
The internet is full of content but sadly from bad to the ugly to what not. However, when it comes to great content like the ones from the world’s renowned news sites, there’s always a price. Sure it may not matter too much to someone who scrolls through YouTube all day long but for students, researchers, and activists, accessing these sites is crucial.
Sadly, the internet is no longer free as it used to be but when there’s a will, there’s a way. There are several ways through which you can bypass paywalls on Chrome and read articles for free.
The best, it wouldn’t cost you a penny. So, let’s get right into the ways that can help you bypass Chrome paywalls for free.
Do you really need a Chrome browser to download paywall bypass extensions?
No. Paywall bypass extensions work in almost every other browser that’s out there. However, the only difference is that Chrome has the widest range of paywall bypass extensions that allow you to read articles from different sites across the globe.
This comes as no surprise because Chrome is the world’s most popular browser, therefore, a lot of developers focus on creating Chrome extensions instead of some other browser extensions.
Is it worth downloading Chrome in 2023 to bypass paywalls using extensions?
Yes. If you don’t have Chrome on your laptop or desktop, I would highly recommend you change that. Chrome has the widest range of extensions that can help you bypass paywalls and if you’re a student or a researcher, you shouldn’t have any excuses.
Downloading Chrome takes about 5 to 10 minutes depending upon the speed of your browser. From there, it will take 2 to 4 minutes to install and about 2 minutes to get it up and running. What’s amazing about Chrome is that it works in almost every type of operating system there is so you shouldn’t have any excuses to not download Chrome.
What makes Chrome the best browser in 2023 to download and bypass paywalls?
One of the things that sets Chrome apart from other browsers is that it runs smoothly despite running several extensions in the background. This is important for any internet user as they prefer a safe and convenient internet experience.
Chrome is designed to keep its users first and therefore it is programmed to not get stuck and continue working even if your internet is slow or your laptop/desktop has a few other tasks running.
What are the pros and cons of a paywall?
Some of the pros and cons of a paywall are:
- They minimize traffic on the site, making it run smoothly even during busy hours.
- They help to bring an ad-free experience to the readers.
- They help to support journalism and the platform, allowing the website to publish even more articles per month.
- They can get expensive, especially at a time when inflation is skyrocketing.
- They can limit the access of people who are trying to gain knowledge, this is against the rule of journalism.
- Websites have more power on who can visit their platform and who cannot as they can easily block a user from signing up for the paid version and block them behind a paywall. This is extremely undemocratic.
Is it legal to remove a paywall on Chrome using a paywall bypass extension?
Yes. There is nothing wrong with using Chrome’s paywall bypass extensions. You can easily download these extensions and run them on your browser without having to worry about any legal repercussions.
However, if you’re an avid reader of a few platforms and you can easily afford to pay for those platforms then it is ethically wrong to view them for free, rather you should consider paying for their subscription as this will only end up helping the platform.
Why would anyone want to bypass the paywall on Chrome?
There can be several reasons as to why someone would want to bypass the paywall on Chrome. These include but aren’t limited to:
- Students trying to gain knowledge.
- Researchers trying to gain knowledge regarding their research.
- Anyone who is curious about certain news coverage and wants to improve their knowledge about the subject.
Best Chrome extensions to read news articles for free:
The following are some of the best Chrome extensions to read news articles for free:
1: Reader Mode
Remember the time when your intentions were something but they ended up also doing something else for you?
This is exactly the case with Reader Mode. Reader Mode extension was designed to help readers focus on their reading task by removing distractions on the browser and making the entire page extremely simple to read and easy to digest for readers.
However, while doing so, Reader Mode also removes the Paywall giving readers peace of mind that their job is to read, and do nothing else.
Honestly, if you ask me, it is pure magic!
Reader Mode has more than 200,000 active users, the extension also has a Featured batch meaning it is highly recommended and can easily be downloaded from here.
If Reader Mode is the king then uBlock is the GOAT or Greatest of All Time because the extension works so smoothly that you wouldn’t even know that something like a paywall even exists.
The extension is one of the most popular bypass paywalls on Chrome because it lives up to its mission!
The extension has 5 stars and more than 10,000,000 users. Talk about that?
The reason for this extension’s success is that it is an efficient blocker that is easy on your CPU and memory.
And the best part is it blocks every website that you can think of, be it The Washington Post, be it Bloomberg, be it, Insider… You name it and uBlock has you covered.
Not only that, but uBlock is also an effective ad block, which solely removes all ads that pop up on your Chrome browser. And on top of everything, it also has a malicious URL blocker that automatically blocks you from going to any malicious website.
So basically, uBlock is a master of everything!
Another great and popular extension on Chrome that lets you bypass paywalls is Unpaywall. The extension is largely popular among the scientific articles community, however, it still works great with news sites, giving you access to read news articles for free. As of 2023, it is reported that Unpaywall will give you access to more than 30+ million scientific articles and news articles, which is simply mind-blowing!
Unpaywall has over 600,000+ users and has also been featured on the Chrome store, therefore it is considered one of the best extensions to bypass paywalls on Chrome.
4: Let Me Read That Article
As the name suggests, Let Me Read That Article precisely does that: which is to let you read that article for free. The extension is somewhat new and has over 3000+ active users. Considering it's not that old suggests that the extension is doing pretty well and living up to its promises.
Before the installation of the extension:
After the installation of the extension:
Let Me Read That Article claims to give users access to more than a million websites that either bombard readers with endless ads or have a paywall installed.
You can also approach the developer’s team on the following link, and let them know if a certain website is not working. They have a reputation for getting back to you, and helping you with the query.
5: PayWall Blocker:
Once again, as the name suggests, PayWall Blocker on the Chrome store works great. However, the extension has a long way to go and has only about 8 reviews. In addition, the extension works best with some of the renowned websites however beyond that, it faces some glitches and at times doesn’t give you the results that you’re looking for.
Despite this, PayWall Blocker is a great blocker as it will help you access renowned websites like The Washington Post, Times of India, Bloomberg, and a few others.
The extension was launched by German developers and it's no wonder it mainly supports giving access to Paywall blockers on German sites.
6: Open Access Button:
As the name suggests, whenever you see a Paywall, all you have to do is press the button and let this amazing extension do the job for you.
The extension is free to download and run and is gaining popularity over the years. When you press the button to bypass the paywall, the extension takes about 30 seconds to 2 minutes depending upon the speed of your internet to give you access to that article. This is because the extension searches multiple sources that ultimately help you get legal access to articles you’re trying to bypass.
The extension has more than 40,000 users and a 4-star review.
7: DOI Helper
This is an amazing extension if you’re a scientific researcher and are fed up with using Science-hub. This extension will bypass the paywall of most scientific papers, giving mainly the students free access to them, which they can use to enhance their knowledge and develop their research papers.
The extension has about more than 5,000 users and has 5 stars. While not with all, the extension does help to overcome the paywalls of even some news websites.
However, if you’re looking for a seamless experience of never having to interact with paywalls then this isn’t the best one but if your research is focused on scientific paper then there isn’t any better alternative.
8: Read Across the Aisle
Lastly, on our list is Read Across the Aisle. While the extension is still in its beta phase but it seems to be doing an excellent job.
Read Across the Aisle does a fantastic job of hiding paywalls and giving you access to the article.
However, there’s one catch. Read Across the Aisle only gives you access to an article for about 24 hours. Once you hit that limit, you can never read that article again. The extension says this will help to minimize plagiarism.
Despite being in the beta phase, the extension has about more than 6,000 users and is growing!
While every news platform and scientific paper website has the right to monetize their work, however, at times it becomes extremely difficult for readers to pay for each and every site just because they can gain some knowledge.
This is where bypass paywall extensions come along, giving readers the peace of mind to easily read the stuff they like online from some of the world’s most renowned platforms. While this does help to democratize content on the internet, however, one should always consider the ethical side of it because on the backend, there’s someone out there who is working and writing that article, therefore, one should not overdo these paywalls.
Also read: How to bypass New York Times paywall?