How to Read Wall Street Journal Articles for Free

by Michael on November 14, 2009 · 3 comments

I’m a big fan of reading my news online, and I’m also a fan of the Wall Street Journal. The problem is that the WSJ has started placing a bunch of their content behind a paywall. Fortunately, you can easily get around this limitation…


For starters, any article with a little key icon next to the title is for subscribers only. You’ll be able to access a short snippet of it, but

Three ways to get WSJ articles for free

Hacking WSJ article URLs

Since you can access full content using the mobile version of the website, you can simply prepend the following url to any “premium” link to get the full article:

http://mobile2.wsj.com/device/article.php?mid=&CALL_URL=

So let’s say that you want to read this recent article:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125815195177647583.html

Click through and you’ll see that it’s just a preview, but…

Prepend the url with the link above, and you’re good to go:

http://mobile2.wsj.com/device/article.php?mid=&CALL_URL=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125815195177647583.html

That’s cool and all, but you’re stuck reading it on a stripped down, mobile-optimized page. Surely we can do better…

Using Google to read the WSJ for free

If you want to read full articles using the regular WSJ interface, you can simply search Google for the article title. Wrap it in quotes and maybe add ‘WSJ’ to the search string (outside the quotes) to be sure you find it.

When you click through from Google, you get the full the article instead of the non-subscriber preview. Pretty slick. But wait, it gets better…

Referrer spoofing for free WSJ access

Instead of going through Google, why not cut out the middleman and simply spoof the referrer? You can do this by installing refspoof for Firefox. From there, simply enter ‘google.com‘ and clicking the spoof button to reload the page the article preview page and you’ll get the full article!


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

anonymous November 17, 2009 at 11:19 pm

Thanks for this article, recently my digg.com referrer spoof stopped working. I switched the referrer for online.wsj.com to http://www.google.com and everything works again.

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steve November 25, 2009 at 1:15 am

Yep, good tip.
Thanks

Reply

anonymous January 26, 2010 at 10:14 pm

wow, have been trying to figure out what was up for awhile. haven’t been able to read since november as they somehow blocked the digg referer. thanks for the info. just changed to google.com and everything’s working

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