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What is a CAPTCHA And How To Bypass CAPTCHAs

SERIES: The Toolbox

Updated on: Sep 1, 2023

9 mins read

What is a CAPTCHA And How To Bypass CAPTCHAs

Have you ever come across a checkbox asking you to confirm if you are not a robot followed by a visual test asking you to select images of traffic lights or something of that nature? I'm sure you have, especially if you have been using the internet frequently this past few years. This annoying test is known as a CAPTCHA.

An example of a CAPTCHA test - NoCAPTCHA ReCAPTCHA

An example of a CAPTCHA test - NoCAPTCHA ReCAPTCHA

You usually would have to pass a CAPTCHA test before you can have access to certain parts of a website, especially if you want to make a purchase, fill out a form, or subscribe to a service.

It is usually time-consuming and annoying for users often making us wish we had a way we could automatically solve CAPTCHAs. But for companies and service providers, it is a safe way for them to secure their websites and data.

In this note, I will be explaining what CAPTCHAs are, the types, their usefulness, and their difficulties. I will also be telling you about a CAPTCHA Solver service you can use to bypass it.

lady saying 'stay tuned'

So What is a CAPTCHA?

CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart, a term coined by Luis von Ahn, Manuel Blum, Nicholas J. Hopper, and John Langford in 2003.

It is a challenge-response test used on websites to know if it is a human or a computer/bot that is trying to gain access to areas of restrictions on its website.

A robot saying "I'm not a robot dumbass I'm alive"

The tests are usually visual challenges that are difficult for computers to solve but easy for humans. For example, clicking in a specific area or identifying stretched letters or numbers.

Computers do not usually have the sophistication that human beings have when it comes to processing visual data. So where we can look at an image and pick out patterns easily, a computer cannot.

A robot trying to twist a door numb but twisting the air instead

What are CAPTCHAs Used for?

Any website that desires to restrict usage and access of their services or data uses CAPTCHA to do so. Examples of such restrictions include:

  • Ensuring people don't mess with poll accuracy by using a bot for voting or voting multiple times.
  • Prevent bots from spamming message boards, contact forms, or review sites with false comments.
  • Prevent people from buying lots of tickets to an event for resale or fake registrations for the event.
  • Prevent people/bots from making multiple fake accounts on websites.

How Do CAPTCHAs Work?

CAPTCHAs work by providing information to a user for interpretation. It could be overlapping letters and numbers that a user then has to submit via a form field or clicking in a specific area and waiting until a timer runs out.

Types of CAPTCHAs.

There are different types of CAPTCHAs and they can be identified as either Text-based, Image-based, or Audio-based.

Text-based CAPTCHA

They make use of words, phrases, or combinations of random letters and numbers which can also be a combination of small and capital letters.

A text-based CAPTCHA

An example of a text-based CAPTCHA

Image-based CAPTCHA

They use photos of animals, shapes, or scenes which are supposed to be recognized easily by humans. The users are required to select images matching a theme or identify images that don't fit.

An image-based CAPTCHA - Select all images with taxis

An example of an image-based CAPTCHA - Select all images with taxis

Audio-based CAPTCHA

They use recorded audio of words or phrases which the user has to listen to and give back as input.

An audio-based CAPTCHA

An example of an audio-based CAPTCHA

No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA

This asks the user to click on a box stating I am not a robot. It captures mouse movements to determine if a user is human or not.

A No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA

An example of a No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA

Math or Word Problems

This asks the users to solve a simple mathematical problem such as "5+4" or "8-3" or to type the word missing in a sentence or complete a sequence of several related terms.

A math-based CAPTCHA

An example of a math-based CAPTCHA

Difficulties of using CAPTCHAs

Although CAPTCHAs are effective to most bots, there are some drawbacks to using them:

  • They can be frustrating for users to use.
  • They can be difficult to understand by a certain audience.
  • Not all browsers support them.
  • Some CAPTCHAs are not accessible to screen readers.
  • They can be time-consuming.
  • They are not entirely foolproof.

We have now come to the juicy part… bypassing CAPTCHAs.

A man wiggling his shoulders and smiling

How to bypass CAPTCHAs

You might be wondering how you can bypass CAPTCHAs. Well, there are several ways you can do that. One of them is by using a CAPTCHA solving service.

CAPTCHA solving services are services that help you bypass CAPTCHAs. They are usually powered by humans who solve the CAPTCHAs for you or AI that can solve the CAPTCHAs.

These services help you bypass CAPTCHAs by sending the CAPTCHA challenge to their servers, which then sends it to a human worker or an AI to solve it and send the answer back to you. They can help you bypass text-based CAPTCHAs, image-based CAPTCHAs, and audio-based CAPTCHAs, and more.

There are several CAPTCHA solving services out there, like 2Captcha which we will be talking about in this article, Capsolver, Anti-CAPTCHA, and Death by CAPTCHA.

Bypassing CAPTCHA using 2Captcha

I recently came across the CAPTCHA solving software called 2Captcha. It is a Human-powered CAPTCHA-solving service, which means that each CAPTCHA is solved in real-time by human intelligence and not by computer or robot thus providing a high level of accuracy.

2Captcha - Human-powered CAPTCHA-solving service

2Captcha - Human-powered CAPTCHA-solving service

2Captcha can recognize different types of CAPTCHA (remember the examples I gave above?) and Its API is available for most programming languages. Their average response time is less than 12 seconds and their service is inexpensive starting from just $0.50 for 1000 solved CAPTCHAs. And that's a lot compared to what you are paying for.

There are two ways you can use it, which is by either integrating their API if you are a developer or using their browser extension. if you don't want to write code. Ps, you can also earn additional income on 2Captcha by solving CAPTCHAs, after all, it IS powered by humans.

So How Exactly does 2Captcha work?

Since 2Captcha has workers who are willing and waiting to solve CAPTCHAs, a customer wanting to solve a CAPTCHA in real-time requests with the CAPTCHA challenge via their API directly or through their browser extension to the 2Captcha server which then delivers the CAPTCHAs from the customer to their worker. Once the CAPTCHA is solved, 2Captcha servers deliver the answer back to the customer. It's that easy and all these happen in seconds.

The customer pays for the service and the worker also gets paid for solving the CAPTCHA. It's a win-win for everybody.

Conclusion

And that's it on CAPTCHAs. I hope you enjoyed the note. Remember CAPTCHA helps to keep the bad guys out and the good guys in. But sometimes they are very annoying, that's why services like 2Captcha help us automate the process.

Other services like Capsolver also help us bypass CAPTCHAs using AI and machine learning. So if you are a developer or a user who wants to bypass CAPTCHAs, you can use any of these services.

If you enjoyed this note, please share it with your friends and colleagues. Till next time guys.

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FAQs

1. What is a CAPTCHA?

A CAPTCHA, which stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart, is a test used on websites to determine whether the user is a human or a computer program. It is used to prevent automated bots from accessing certain areas of a website or performing actions like filling out forms or making purchases.

2. What are CAPTCHAs used for?

Any website that desires to restrict usage and access of their services or data uses CAPTCHA to do so. Examples of such restrictions include:

  • Ensuring people don't mess with poll accuracy by using a bot for voting or voting multiple times.
  • Prevent bots from spamming message boards, contact forms, or review sites with false comments.
  • Prevent people from buying lots of tickets to an event for resale or fake registrations for the event.
  • Prevent people/bots from making multiple fake accounts on websites.
3. How do CAPTCHAs work?

CAPTCHAs work by presenting a challenge to the user that is easy for humans to solve but difficult for computers. This challenge could involve tasks like identifying objects in images, solving math problems, or clicking on specific areas. Users must complete these challenges to prove they are not bots.

4. What are the different types of CAPTCHAs?

There are several types of CAPTCHAs, including text-based CAPTCHAs, image-based CAPTCHAs, audio-based CAPTCHAs, and more. Each type presents a different challenge to the user, making it harder for bots to solve.

5. What are CAPTCHA solving services?

CAPTCHA solving services are services that help you bypass CAPTCHAs. They are usually powered by humans who solve the CAPTCHAs for you or AI that can solve the CAPTCHAs. With them you can bypass text CAPTCHA, bypass click CAPTCHA, bypass math CAPTCHA, bypass hcaptcha, and more.

6. What other CAPTCHA solving services are there?

There are several CAPTCHA solving services out there. Some of them are:

  1. Capsolver: A leading CAPTCHA-solving service that offers a Chrome extension and API to automatically solve/bypass CAPTCHAs, including reCAPTCHA v2, v3, hCAPTCHA, FunCAPTCHA, and more.
  2. Anti-CAPTCHA: Using a hybrid of human workers and OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology, Anti-CAPTCHA tackles a wide range of CAPTCHA types.
  3. Death by CAPTCHA: This service provides fast and reliable CAPTCHA solving using human workers and integrates with various popular software platforms.
7. What is 2Captcha?

2Captcha is a human-powered CAPTCHA solving service that helps you bypass CAPTCHAs. It is powered by humans who solve the CAPTCHAs for you.

8. Is there how I can avoid CAPTCHAs?

Avoiding CAPTCHAs entirely can be challenging since they are designed to verify that a user is human. However, there are a few things you can try to minimize encounters with CAPTCHAs:

  • Use Trusted Networks: Logging in or accessing websites from trusted networks, such as your home or workplace, may reduce the frequency of encountering CAPTCHAs.
  • Maintain a Good Online Reputation: Frequent online activity and responsible behavior, such as not engaging in spammy or suspicious activities, can help establish a positive online reputation and reduce CAPTCHA prompts.
  • Use Browser Extensions: Some browser extensions and tools like 2Captcha and Capsolver can help you bypass CAPTCHAs.

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