The Courier Paywall Bypass

318th Apr 2021Ramble

It would appear that the local rag has virtually pay walled their content.

I don’t read The Courier in any way shape or form really…. It is my view they are beating the ‘local rag’ drum far beyond worth and the sub standard, inaccurate and inexcusable bias this mob purvey is something I cannot support.

Well for the moment, you won’t have to support it either!

This will work on most other Australian Community Media / Fairfax pay walls across the country and is surprisingly easy to complete.

HOW TO BYPASS THE COURIER PAYWALL

They use a service called piano.io for their content paywall system.

The solution is embarrassingly simple, just BLOCK piano.io

Full list of piano.io URL’s thecourier.com.au use:

https://cdn-au.piano.io, https://buy-au.piano.io, https://id-au.piano.io

I recommend that if possible you use your router’s firewall to block these and this way you will have restriction free access on any device.

You could even consider setting up an inexpensive ‘Pi-Hole‘ on your network with this howto guide.

The easiest method though…..especially for those who aren’t so tech savvy is to add the below URL to an Ad Blocker addon to your browser. uBlock, AdBockPlus & Ghostery are some for example that will enable you to blacklist specific URL’s, blacklist the piano domain as follows:

*.piano.io 

They may well fix this workaround and in such a case I am confident I will find another way to accessing it all. Reach out if this stops working, I don’t access thecourier.com.au very often so likely won’t realise if they fix it.

Edit Jul-2021: You will not see the login or subscribe buttons once enabling this. You may also use your adblocker in browser to block *piano.io. Some changes since I published this – ad blockers are the key to success. I haven’t had time to further investigate other workarounds but blocking piano which give the overlay to subscribe and then an ad blocker like uBlock origin will keep you reading! Works on browser and mobile with ad blockers.

For those who really want to challenge paywalls there is a fantastic plugin for chrome available here: https://github.com/johnbirds/bypass-paywalls-chrome-clean-magnolia1234 or Firefox here: https://gitlab.com/magnolia1234/bypass-paywalls-firefox-clean

UPDATE: 10 MAY 2022 – Updates to the website mean this method isn’t working. It’s all still possible and I will work on a guide to continue to bypass the Pay Wall in the future.

UPDATE 11 MAY 2022 – The above still somewhat works but there have been changes with the new Courier website.

Using the Bypass plugin from Magnolia as above for Chrome works if you add ‘The Courier’ www.thecourier.com.au as a custom site – when you install a settings page should pop up, Click ‘Custom Sites’ and add the above.

For Firefox users you can add the extension from the Mozilla repository here https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/bypass-paywalls-clean/

As per above add the ‘Custom Site’ to the list.

One day if I feel motivated I will update this with a comprehensive guide.

  1. fred (July 18, 2021, 7:16 pm). Reply

    thank you so much – i wont spend a cent with them but sometimes want to see something they report on so this help me.

  2. Andrew (April 28, 2022, 12:39 pm). Reply

    Does this still work?

    • Brad (May 1, 2022, 7:56 pm). Reply

      Yes. Still working at at 01-May-2022

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