If you’ve submitted a form or registered for an account on the Internet, you will have stumbled upon a CAPTCHA. There are various types of CAPTCHA including typing in the shown words or numbers, doing some simple maths, solving a visual puzzle, identifying objects, and etc. Basically, the intention of a CAPTCHA is to prevent spam from robots but they also cause inconvenience to real users especially blind and visually impaired people.
Some CAPTCHAs can be very hard to read, even for people with good vision. Other CAPTCHAs can be really annoying to encounter, such as Google’s reCAPTCHA. Not content with you having to solve one visual puzzle, ReCAPTCHA sometimes requires you to solve four or five puzzles in a row. And if you type in the wrong characters or click the wrong button, you have to keep going until you get it right.
Something to help in dealing with a CAPTCHA is using a browser extension that can solve it for you. This can be useful if you can’t see the CAPTCHAs very well, you make a lot of mistakes or you just encounter loads of them all the time. Here we show you some browser extensions and their related CAPTCHA solving services that can help get around the problem.1. AntiCaptcha
AntiCaptcha is a well known and often recommended CAPTCHA service. It can be slightly confusing though because the main CAPTCHA solving service is hosted at anti-captcha.com while the official browser extension is found at antcpt.com. The extension is available for Chrome and Firefox and associated browsers that support those extensions. AntiCaptcha is a paid service and requires payment into your account to spend on solving each CAPTCHA.
First, you’ll need to signup for an AntiCaptcha account and then add some funds. You can pretty much pay as much or as little as you like, around $1 will get you 1,000 CAPTCHA or 500 ReCAPTCHA solves. Prices do fluctuate during the day so you may be charged more per solve at peak times. Chrome users can get 15 trial credits by installing the extension and authorizing it with a Google account.
Next, download and install the AntiCaptcha extension from antcpt.com. The extensions are not available on the Chrome or Firefox web stores and have to be installed manually. Detailed instructions are provided on the download page. Once installed, copy the key from your account (Settings > API Setup), click on the new AntiCaptcha icon found in the browser toolbar, paste the key into the box and click Save. Within a second or two, it should show your AntiCaptcha account balance.
AntiCaptcha can solve most types of CAPTCHA including Google ReCAPTCHA, FunCaptcha, Geetest, Solve Media, and standard image CAPTCHAs. The first three we mention can be solved automatically when you load a page containing one of those CAPTCHAs. The other regular types require you to right click on the answer input box and select “Find and solve CAPTCHA image for this input” or press Ctrl+Shift+6.
The average image CAPTCHA solve speed is reasonable and usually takes 5-20 seconds. ReCaptcha solving sometimes takes a while and it can be 30-60 seconds quite often. The caching setting in the extension can help although it eats up your credit a bit faster. AntiCaptcha is perhaps the only service available that has its own browser extensions, handles most common CAPTCHA types and can get you started with minimal outlay. Competing services can require adding funds of at least $10.
2. Buster: Captcha Solver for Humans
Buster has perhaps a unique place in the captcha solving market because it is open source, free to use and requires no subscriptions. It works by using speech recognition to try and solve the voice challenge in the CAPTCHA. The drawback is this extension only works for Google’s ReCAPTCHA but that’s probably the most common form of CAPTCHA around today. There are extensions available for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.
At the time or writing, Buster is not working properly in Firefox (currently v69). It will often show the error “Cannot contact reCAPTCHA. Check your connection and try again.” after trying to solve. We’ve traced this error back and found it started appearing in Firefox 65. Using Firefox 64 or below should get around this issue before it hopefully gets fixed. The Buster extension for Chrome seems to have no such problems and during testing, it worked well.
After installing the extension, Buster Captcha Solver is very easy to use and only requires a couple of mouse clicks to start solving a ReCAPTCHA. Once you encounter a ReCAPTCHA, click “I’m not a robot” to open the challenge window. An orange and green icon appears at the bottom, click on it and the voice challenge window will open and Buster will begin solving the CAPTCHA. Solving is actually pretty fast and is usually done in under 30 seconds, much faster than the paid AntiCaptcha.
While it’s working you will see an animated circular icon in the window. If Buster solves the challenge it will successfully complete the ReCAPTCHA. If it fails or there is any sort of error, just press the far left button to get a new challenge and try again. In our experience, Buster solves the challenge the first time in roughly three out of every four attempts. If it fails the first time, it nearly always works on the second try.
Rumola works for a CAPTCHA where you have to type in the shown words, numbers, characters or solve a maths puzzle. It does not work on Google ReCAPTCHA or the type of CAPTCHA where you have to select, reorder or rotate images. By default, Rumola will automatically search for CAPTCHAs on visited web pages although the option can be turned off from the extension menu on the Chrome toolbar.
If Rumola detects a CAPTCHA on the page it will overlay a small icon on the image and the answer text box. Simply double click inside the empty answer text box and Rumola will animate the icons while solving is in progress. Alternatively, start typing in any other text box on the page. If the CAPTCHA has not been detected you can try “Search for CAPTCHAs on this page” from the extension menu.
In the event nothing is detected after searching the page, right click on the CAPTCHA image and select “Recognise this image as CAPTCHA”. If the little icon is not animating, right click on the answer text box as well and select “Use this field to enter CAPTCHA”. A combination of one or both of those options should get the CAPTCHA detected and solved. Rumola is usually pretty fast and often takes only 5-10 seconds to solve a CAPTCHA.
Installing Rumola the first time will give you 5 free credits for testing. The free credits are unreliable though and you’ll sometimes lose all of them for doing something simple like just trying to detect a CAPTCHA on the page. The price is $0.99 for 50 credits valid for 1 year or $1.95 for 150 credits valid for six months. That’s very expensive compared to other services so Rumola is probably better suited for users that need to solve the occasional CAPTCHA now and again.
4. ReCaptcha Solver
ReCaptcha Solver is a third party extension that has no ties to a specific CAPTCHA solving company. Instead, you can use one of a number of different services where you may have a paid subscription. As the name implies, only Google ReCAPTCHA v2 is supported which makes it very similar to Buster: Captcha Solver for Humans.
Before using ReCaptcha Solver, you need to have signed up and purchased credit with DeathByCaptcha, 2captcha, ImageTyperz, Anti-Captcha, BestCaptchaSolver, or EndCaptcha. Then you can select your CAPTCHA service from the drop down, enter its API key or username/password and start using the extension to solve ReCAPTCHAs.
We did try this extension with AntiCaptcha and EndCaptcha and it worked as intended. However, we can’t vouch for how well it works with the other supported CAPTCHA solving services. Speed will obviously depend on the service itself and how fast it solves ReCAPTCHA. Although we’d recommend trying Buster first if you can, this is worth a go if you already have or plan to get some credit from one of the supported services.
Final Note: The best option is probably using a combination of Buster for solving ReCAPTCHAs and AntiCaptcha to solve the rest. ReCAPTCHA is the most common type of CAPTCHA and more expensive to solve with AntiCaptcha, so using Buster means ReCAPTCHAs will be solved faster and your AntiCaptcha credit will last longer for everything else.