Watching movies can be more than just an activity to pass the time. Studies show that it can actually help you cope with stress, raise awareness, and foster creativity, especially among children. Movies are even used as psychological tools in what is now called “cinema therapy.”
Even without research telling you about the benefits of movie watching, you can feel them when watching one. This is probably why Netflix subscription is skyrocketing, even when it costs between $8 to $11 per month. However, you must be aware that there are websites that offer free movie streaming, and that if you use them you need to protect yourself.
The best free movie websites
Most of these websites have high-quality versions of the latest movies. The downside to streaming movies online for free is that you might get a DMCA notice if you are not protected by a VPN. DMCA stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and the notice is a complaint against your IP address violating the copyright act. Before you head over to our list of the best free movie websites below, check out our best VPNs for streaming.
Free movie websites: Popcorn Time
Popcorn Time is a free software BitTorrent client which comes with a media player. Unlike most torrenting sites that masquerade as purely streaming platforms, Popcorn Time lets users know from the start that it sources videos from torrent websites through sequential downloading (P2P).
In terms of legality, this is something of a gray area. As a matter of fact, Popcorn Time users have experienced this first hand; that’s why you need a Popcorn Time VPN to stay safe.
Popcorn Time is available for download on these operating systems:
- Mac OS X 10.7 and above
- Windows 7 and above
- Android 4.0.3 and above
- Android TV 5.0 and above
There are several Popcorn Time forks, with all of them saying that they are the original. This is quite confusing, but our tests show that this Popcorn Time is the least buggy. The site even has its code on it.
Free movie websites: Viewster.com
Viewster is one of the go-to websites for anime fans, as it has a wide selection of anime films. In fact, its homepage slider mostly features anime, and it’s the first category that will greet you on the website:
Aside from anime movies, the website also has movies classified under horror, action, drama, romance, and sci-fi categories. The best thing about Viewster is that all movies are legally licensed. The downside though is that the site is ad-supported, so expect some ads during streaming.
Free movie websites: IOMovies
IOMovies is a popular online streaming site. It offers a lot of movies and TV shows. The site states that it does not store any of these movies on their servers. It further claims that these movies are from third parties.
It’s difficult to figure out if the manner the movies are sourced is questionable or not; the website does not offer much information on this aspect. Like all other streaming sites, it does have a DMCA page. You have to sign up and create an account to take advantage of the site’s full features.
Free movie websites: Flixtor
Flixtor is a free movie streaming website that offers hassle-free viewing since you don’t have to sign up for anything. While Flixtor doesn’t run ads, it offers VIP keys at $15 per month which give the user access to all movies and premium features.
Flixtor doesn’t use P2P technology, unlike Popcorn Time and a mobile app of the same name. Still, it recommends users to use a VPN while on Flixtor’s site. This should be done so that your ISP (or anyone else interested) won’t see that you’re on Flixtor.
Free movie websites: SnagFilms
If you’re looking for cult classics, foreign, and political films, then go to SnagFilms. The site has more than 2,000 movies, TV shows, and documentaries, a variety that’s different from the modern contents of other movie streaming websites. Categories include:
- Cult Classics
- Arts and Culture
- Festival Favorites
- Foreign Films
- Award Winners
There are even more categories than this, and they all seek to go beyond the standard-fare of the latest blockbusters and big-screen movie releases.
Free movie websites: Stream Likers
Stream Likers has several new movies in its library. Whether these movies are obtained through legitimate means is not clear, but seriously, they’re mostly cams are ‘for your consideration’ previews. The only information on the site is that the contents are from third parties.
There are movies that you can watch without logging in, but there are also those that you can only watch if you signed up for an account. You need to disable your ad blocker to be able to stream movies.
Free movie websites: Tubi
Tubi is another free streaming site that is run by ads. Hence, you need to disable your ad blocker to enjoy the site’s service fully. You can also download an app for your Roku player, smart TV, mobile device, and computer.
Tubi TV claims to be 100% legal—all contents are licensed from the copyright owners, and Tubi paid for these licenses. Since you can watch movies for free, you need to watch ads every 15 minutes or so.
Free movie websites: Movie Ninja
This is another hassle-free movie streaming site which doesn’t require a sign-up to enjoy the service. There are no details as to how the movies are obtained and whether these movies are licensed, so you absolutely must use a VPN while streaming on it. The videos are of high quality, and the site seems to have the latest movies.
Movie Ninja has 18 categories to choose from, giving you a lot of choices.
Free movie websites: GoMovies HD
GoMovies HD is different from other streaming sites—it has a dedicated tab for movies released in many countries, like Australia, Germany, Japan, Canada, and the USA. Aside from country-based categories, the site also offers movies of different genres. Also, there’s no need to sign up to be able to stream movies on GoMovies HD.
Free movie websites: 123Movies
The website claims that it is perfectly legal since it does not upload the movies or save movies on its servers. 123Movies only provide links to other websites, but you can watch the movies within the streaming site itself. This in no way exempts you from needing a VPN.
There is also an option to download the movies—several sources are available below the media player in case the server does not have good quality.
There is also a Facebook comment plug-in, so you can read feedbacks of viewers without the need to open another tab or go to another site.
Helpful tips when streaming from free movie sites
Looking for a good streaming website can be difficult. Some get shut down unexpectedly, while others change domain names without a warning. We will keep the above list updated. Hopefully, you will always able to pick one of the best free movie websites that’s online.
For a better viewing experience, here are some tips when streaming movies for free.
- Don’t click on anything other than the play button: This is number one on this tip list since many people complain that free movie websites are scams. Either you’re required to install an extension first before you can stream movies, or a lot of pop-ups appear yet the movie won’t play. However, if you click only the play button and not anything else, the movie will actually play.
- Just close all those pop-ups: When you click on the play button, a window (okay, windows) may pop up. Just close them. You don’t have to wait for it to load completely; just don’t let it bother you. Just think that you can finally watch the movie after everything gets settled.
finally seeing the play button on a free movie website after all the pop ups and adverts pic.twitter.com/fWLnFbQAlF
— Del Nadjafi (@delnadjafi) September 29, 2015
- Protect yourself by hiding your IP address: You may have noticed that most of the free movie websites on our list do not disclose how exactly they sourced the movies. Some of them they use P2P technology (you download and upload the movie at the same time) without you knowing this fact plainly. If you let your IP address be exposed, you’ll surely get a DMCA notice.
- Check the movie’s ratings: If you’re the type who wants to get the feel of the movie before watching it, go to the movie’s IMDB links or check its Rotten Tomatoes ratings first.
- Take advantage of subtitles: Most of these streaming sites offer subtitles, a great feature especially with foreign films. Turn on the subtitle feature, enjoy, and well, learn, according to this tweet:
- Watch during off-peak hours: Naturally, watching movies use up a lot of data. If hundreds of people are watching on the same site at the same time, then there will be lagging and buffering which can be annoying. For maximum quality, watch your movies during off-peak hours.
Since free movie websites don’t earn from viewers, they look for income elsewhere. Most of the time, they show ads, which is why you need to turn off your ad blocker for a couple of the sites we mentioned here.
Adblock every time I press play on a free streaming website: pic.twitter.com/QK3IXF97kO
— Usman (@mindblabber) January 21, 2019
Also, some sites offer more features and more movies at a premium, as in the case of Popcorn Time.
Torrenting movies vs. streaming movies
While streaming and torrenting both take the same amount of data, you can watch a downloaded movie again and again without consuming additional data. Plus, there’s no need to be online as the movie is already saved on your computer. Though torrenting does take up disk space, you can access the movie anytime and anywhere.
The downside to torrenting is that copyright owners have intensified their drive against piracy. Their stand is that torrenting is an act of piracy. For instance, the founders of The Pirate Bay faced legal consequences. On the other hand, streaming is relatively safe in terms of legality. But as mentioned earlier, some streaming sites do not disclose how they get their movies. Did they pay for a license? Do they use P2P as you stream, which is just torrenting a live video?
This brings up an important point: no matter what method you choose when getting your movie fix, it’s important to protect yourself by using a VPN. We have tested VPNs for torrenting and VPNs for streaming, read about them now so that you will be protected while enjoying your movie.