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Accessing ft.com for free

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Accessing ft.com for free

Postby Sotos » Tue May 07, 2013 10:49 pm

The website of Financial Times (ft.com) demands that you subscribe in order to read their articles but apparently it allows search engine bots (e.g. Google) to index their "members only" content which leaves a loophole open that anybody can easily exploit to read ft.com for free :P The way to do this is to make your browser pretend that it is Google Bot by changing the User Agent of your browser. The easiest way to do this is with a User Agent Switcher plugin, such as this one for Firefox https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefo ... -switcher/ similar plugins exist for other browsers. Whenever you want to read FT.com just use the User Agent Switcher to switch to "Googlebot".... when you are done you can just as easily revert to your default User Agent.
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Re: Accessing ft.com for free

Postby Get Real! » Tue May 07, 2013 11:16 pm

But are their articles really worth all that trouble… especially when there are so many other free good news sources?
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Re: Accessing ft.com for free

Postby Sotos » Wed May 08, 2013 7:04 pm

Get Real! wrote:But are their articles really worth all that trouble… especially when there are so many other free good news sources?


For me it was no trouble at all because I already had the User Agent Switcher plugin. Somebody that doesn't have the plugin can install it in 5 seconds. They charge €30+ per month for a subscription and apparently some people are paying it... so it seems there is worth for some. Installing the plugin is less trouble and faster than the process of signing up and you don't have to pay the €30 per month! :D By the way ...this "trick" works in a few other websites also. Some websites have "member only" sections but they allow search engine bots to crawl those "member only" areas because they want those pages to appear in the search engine results... This is a form of Cloaking which is usually against the rules of search engines! FT could also do this by using the IPs of Google Bots instead of relying on just the User Agent string but this could have been an even greater "offense".
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Re: Accessing ft.com for free

Postby Demonax » Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:44 pm

Tried this and it seems to work with the Chrome browser too.

Couldn’t get it to work on the Times site though. :(

Or the Telegraph...
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Re: Accessing ft.com for free

Postby kurupetos » Sun Jul 21, 2013 12:03 am

Demonax wrote:Tried this and it seems to work with the Chrome browser too.

Couldn’t get it to work on the Times site though. :(

Or the Telegraph...

Times and Telegraph? :shock: You are lucky it didn't work. :lol:
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Re: Accessing ft.com for free

Postby Demonax » Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:09 am

kurupetos wrote:
Demonax wrote:Tried this and it seems to work with the Chrome browser too.

Couldn’t get it to work on the Times site though. :(

Or the Telegraph...

Times and Telegraph? :shock: You are lucky it didn't work. :lol:


Unlike the Beano, kuru, they make you pay. :D
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