BugMeNot Provides Free Passwords to Sites Requiring Registration to Read Free Content
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It’s happened to all of us. A friend sends you a link to a story they know you will want to read, and zap! The website requires that you register in order to read the story, even though their site is free.

The canonical example is the New York Times.


Now, there are at least two ways to look at this. One is that the site is letting you have for free what you would ordinarily have to pay for (say, for example, if you bought or subscribed to the print version of the New York Times), and so giving up your email address and demographic information is a fair exchange – the price you pay, if you will.

The other is that it’s a pain in the neck to have to register just to read a story, and who are they, anyways, to demand your email address and demographic information?

If you happen to fall in the latter camp, then you are going to love BugMeNot, which provides free passwords to such sites.

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BugMeNot was, they explain, created “as a mechanism to quickly bypass the login of web sites that require compulsory registration and/or the collection of personal/demographic information…”

So how do they do this?

Basically, they rely on users, just like you, to contribute usernames and the associated passwords for websites which require such registration, and then those usernames and passwords are used by people who don’t wish to have to register for themselves. If the idea of a bunch of strangers using your username and passwords creeps you out, it seems that lots of people register accounts with throw-away email addresses specifically for the sole purpose of contributing them to BugMeNot. And you can too, should you be so inclined.

 

Now that they have these usernames and passwords, here is how it works for the end user. The BugMeNot website explains:

STEP 1: Make a note of the website address your are trying to access.

STEP 2: Visit http://bugmenot.com

STEP 3: Enter the address from step 1 into the box and press the “Get Logins” button

STEP 4: You should now be presented with at least one username and password. Make a note of them.

STEP 5: Go back to the site you were originally trying to access in step 1 and proceed to login with the username and password you noted in the previous step.

With any luck you should be able to access your article now!

How much traction will this gain? It’s hard to say. We tend to lean slightly to the “it’s their content which they ordinarily sell, so they can ask for your demographic information if they want to” camp, although we also agree that it’s a pain in the neck.

On the other hand, as supermarkets have quickly learned, when you demand personal data in exchange for a discount on your product, you’re going to end up with bogus data. In fact, at our local supermarkets the checkers now keep a frequent buyer card at the register, and just swipe that one for you.

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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10 thoughts on “BugMeNot Provides Free Passwords to Sites Requiring Registration to Read Free Content
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  1. Well, it’s surprising, but there is still no real replacement for bugmenot, thy seem to have struck just the right line on the whole password sites market – probably because tehy don’t actually give away any passwords to money sites.

  2. he is right none of the paswards i have ever used have worked exceot one once i love the idea cuse i agree like seeing ym frends myspace and shit but you gotta make sure you aswards are ok and work

  3. This is a bullshit. This website is just a fake.
    You cannot find any working password in there

  4. Thanks for the info. And they are right about the bogus information — I fond myself so irritated by the endless requests for info that is none of their business, that I make my entries as outrageous and inaccurate as possible. Of course maybe that’s why companies are coming up with such stupid stuff now — but they’re in big trouble if their decisions are being shaped by who they THINK I am!

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