How to: visit password-protected websites without registering

We all know how annoying it is when we search Google for something and the result we are looking for leads to a password protected forum or site. You have to register to view content, but who likes doing that?

Fortunately there is a solution to save your time and email account from spam – pretending to be Googlebot. For those of you that don’t know, Googlebot is Google’s “spider” that crawls sites and indexes them for Google’s search results. More about Googlebot. The owner of a password protected site also wants their site to be on Google, so they make a separate account on their site for Googlebot.

We can use this small security hole and visit a website pretending to be Googlebot. This way you are automatically logged into the site or forum and don’t need to enter any password or login info. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Here’s how:

Step 1. If you’re not using it already, get Firefox! It’s a lot better than Internet Explorer and here’s why.

Step 2. Download and install the User Agent Switcher plugin for Firefox.

Step 3. Restart Firefox to complete the installation and go to Tools -> User Agent Switcher -> Options -> Options. In the window that opens, select the User Agents tab and press Add.

Step 4. Add a new user agent. Write Googlebot for the description and Googlebot/2.1+(+” in the User Agent box as shown above. Press OK and you’re good to go!

Now you can visit most password protected sites and forums that appear on Google’s search results.

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