Read 20 Digital Magazines for Free

Martin Brinkmann
May 27, 2008
Updated • Dec 30, 2012

Apple Iphone owners get more. They get free Wireless access at AT&T Hotspots, which no longer is that easy to defeat and now they also get to view free digital magazines of 20 or so popular magazines without costs, courtesy of Zinio. Guess how they are providing those free digital magazines and figuring out that an Apple iPhone user is actually requesting it and not someone else ?

Yes, the same insecure User Agent check that did not work on so many occasions before. All that needs to be done is change the User Agent in your browser to the one of the iPhone which will trick the website into thinking that you are accessing it with an iPhone. This in turn will give you access to those magazines, among them PC Magazine, Technology Review, Macworld, Lonely Planet and, um, Playboy and Penthouse.

The content is provided in full screen in your browser and you can flip through the pages with a click. It's probably not the most comfortable way but it's free and easy enough. Pages are actually shown as images which means they can be saved to the local hard drive.

Firefox users can install the User Agent Switcher add-on and configure it with the following User Agent:

Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A102 Safari/419 (United States)

just add the line into the User Agent field in the options of the add-on and any name in the description. Then switch to that User Agent and visit the Zinio website that was created for iPhone users. Thanks Scott for the tip.

Update: The option is no longer available. Users who visit the site cannot read the magazines for free anymore on the site. We have therefor removed the links from this article. There does not seem to be a comparable service available at this point in time, at least not for free.


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  1. Mina said on May 19, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Great stuff. It works like magic.

  2. Bruno said on May 27, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    great tip, some other hacks with User Agent Switcher?
    haha, try Iphone’s User Agent with Google :o


  3. fm said on May 27, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    Just use the Firefox extension DownloadThemAll with Batch Downloads, set the start and end pages and download.

  4. Jahmon said on May 27, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    Here is how to download a whole magazine to your desktop:

    1) Do the trick to get acces to the Zinio Newsstand
    2) Select your magazine (I’ll do it with PC Magazine)
    3) Click on the cover to see it
    4) Right-click on the image and copy the address of it.
    5) Open Excel
    6) in A1 copy the address of the image

    7) remove everything after the last underscore so that it looks like this:

    8) in A2—> A201 put numbers from 1 to 200

    9) in B2 type =CONCATENATE($A$1;A2;”.jpg”)

    10) Pull B2 all the way to B201

    11) Copy the B column and download the links using your favorite download manager. (Flashget does the job for me)

  5. Chustar said on May 27, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    I’m using vista.

  6. Martin said on May 27, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    P5chin there is probably a way to automatically save the images once you are on the page but I don’t think it is possible to mass download them unless you use a tool that can spoof the user agent.

  7. Martin said on May 27, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    That’s my Windows XP theme.

  8. Chustar said on May 27, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Hey, is that firefox? What theme is that? Thanks for the tip.

  9. p5chin said on May 27, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    Thanks Martin. Awesome post!

    Do u know anyway to download these stuff to local Harddisk without having to save each and every page manually?


  10. Pratyush said on May 27, 2008 at 10:14 am

    I would better say “gHacks readers get more!” :D. Thanks for the amazing tip buddy.

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