There are dozens of websites that offer free movie and television streaming. However, not every site can be trusted. Some sites stream pirated content and are full of viruses and malware.
If you want to remain safe while enjoying your favorite movies and TV shows, check out the following 30 free movie streaming sites online which are safe and legal to use.
Moreover, you can also download various legal mobile apps for streaming media content on your smartphone or tablet as described on the article here.
Some of the following websites don’t even ask you to sign up and (almost) all of them are free without requiring you to create a paid account etc, so enjoy:
(Note: The list below is in no particular order)
Table of Contents
- 1. Crackle
- 2. Viewster (now ConTV)
- 3. Tubi TV
- 4. Free Movies Cinema
- 5. Popcornflix
- 6. Pluto TV
- 7. Top Documentary Films
- 8. Vudu
- 9. Archive.org
- 10. Retrovision Classic Movies
- 11. YouTube
- 12. Open Culture
- 13. Movies Found Online
- 14. Classic Cinema Online
- 15. Vimeo
- 16. FilmChest
- 17. Yidio
- 18. SnagFilms
- 19. Veoh
- 20. ShareTV
- 21. Popcorn Time
- 22. TVPlayer
- 23. CW TV
- 24. CW Seed
- 25. Yahoo View
- 26. IMDb TV
- 27. Hoopla
- 28. Kanopy
- 29. Western Mania
- 30. Big Five Glories
- Some Questions and Answers
Crackle started out as an online video site called Grouper before being acquired by Sony. Rebranded as Crackle, it is now one of the most popular free video streaming sites.
Crackle has a great selection of television shows along with free movies. If you are a fan of older sitcoms, you will find a variety of classic television shows including All in the Family and Who’s the Boss.
Crackle is also one of the few free streaming sites to offer high-quality original scripted content. They have produced several original television shows including Snatch and Sequestered. Crackle is also the original home of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee with Jerry Seinfeld.
While you do not need a membership to Crackle, signing up for a free account allows you to pick up shows and movies where you left off and keep track of your viewing. Overall, Crackle is one of the highest-quality free streaming sites.
Viewster is a video streaming site with access to thousands of movies and television shows. However, most of these programs are documentaries, independent productions, and anime.
The site also has access to a lot of original web content and short films. You will find a small selection of popular British shows including The Inbetweeners and Peep Show.
If you want to view the top shows and movies from major broadcast networks and movie studios, you will need to look elsewhere. The main advantage of Viewster is the variety of web series and anime. For fans of these genres, you should browse the content available on Viewster.
EDIT: Viewster was acquired by Cinedigm and has been merged with the company’s lifestyle network CONtv.
Tubi TV provides access to free movies and TV shows from any device. You can download the Tubi TV app on your phone, tablet, or streaming device. After downloading the app, you can view thousands of programs.
Signing up is free and allows you to sync your queue across all devices. This lets you pick up your show or movie where you left off even when switching to a different device.
The programs available on Tubi TV are not low-budget B-movies or independent films. Most of the latest movies are action films from major Hollywood studios. However, you can also find hundreds of quality titles in other genres, including comedy and drama.
Free Movies Cinema includes a selection of content that is handpicked from a variety of sources. You do not need a membership or need to download anything to view any of the content. You simply select what you want to watch and press play.
While Free Movies Cinema claims to offer full-length Hollywood movies, most of the content on the site is independently produced films. You will find a mixture of low-budget and fan-made films along with trailers and reviews of popular films.
Popcornflix was released in 2011 with a selection of independent films. It is currently available in North America and works on a variety of platforms including gaming consoles, streaming devices, and web browsers.
Most of the content that was originally available on the site was independently produced. They also offered a lot of web series. However, they have begun adding quality Hollywood films from a variety of genres. These A-list films are ad-supported, which means that you need to watch advertisements to view a full-length movie.
Popcornflix also streams television shows, including old cartoon shows and a small selection of British shows.
Pluto TV is another popular video streaming site with a wealth of content. It works a little differently than the other video streaming sites. Instead of selecting a television show or movie to watch, you browse over a hundred channels.
The Pluto TV channels offer a variety of programming. You will find a mixture of original content, broadcast network television shows, documentaries, independent films, web series, news, and more.
You can also watch exclusive content not available elsewhere, including original programming from CNET, IGN, and the World Poker Tour.
As the name suggests, Top Documentary Films showcases documentary films. This is a web-based streaming web site. They do not have an app that you can download to a streaming device, which means that you need to watch it from a browser.
The documentaries available on this site cover a wide range of genres. You can find documentaries on sports, society, technology, science, religion, and more.
The films vary in length between short 15-minute documentaries to in-depth hour-long films. These are independently produced films. However, many of the documentaries are informative and entertaining. If you are a fan of documentaries, you need to check out this website.
Vudu offers both free and premium content. You can create an account for free and browse thousands of television shows and movies. However, you also have the option to buy or rent the latest blockbuster hits.
The free content includes a wide assortment of classic movies, modern Hollywood films, and classic sitcoms. When watching the free content, you do need to deal with advertisements. However, most of the ads are short and they do not appear frequently.
The interface makes it easy to browse the content with movies and television shows divided into categories. If you get tired of the free content, you also have quick access to the latest releases.
Archive.org is a massive site with millions of movies. Most of the content is uploaded by users, which means that you are not going to find popular television shows or movies. However, everything is free to view.
While the content is uploaded by users, there are still many movies available on the site. In fact, there are over 6,000 films.
Most of these movies are public domain films that were made over 70 years ago. If there is a classic sci-fi or horror film from the 1930s or 1940s that you want to watch, you will likely find it on this website.
Besides public domain films, you can also find stock footage, home videos, and a variety of original content made by the public.
Retrovision Classic Movies is a small video streaming site with a limited selection of handpicked classic films. You do not need to create a free account. You just click on the movie that you want to watch to start watching.
What type of content will you find on this site? Most of the movies are old public domain films. You will find older horror, sci-fi, action, and romance films from the 1930s to 1960s.
Along with older movies, you can find random episodes of older television shows including Dick Van Dyke and the Jack Benny Show. This site is primarily intended for those who are fans of older television shows and movies.
Most people think of YouTube as the website full of goofy home videos. While there are millions of home videos on this site, you can also find a variety of television shows, movies and cartoons.
Users have uploaded public domain movies, independent films, and more. Almost every major television channel also has a YouTube channel where they upload their latest trailers and special content.
There is never a shortage of content to watch on this site, which is why YouTube is the most visited website in the world (with few alternatives trying to get some “slice of the pie”).
YouTube also has a premium subscription service, providing access to live television and exclusive YouTube programming. For a monthly fee, you can access even more content.
Open Culture is a free video streaming site with a little over 1,000 films. You do not need to create an account and there is no app for streaming devices. You watch content directly in your browser.
The content is all handpicked by the creator of the site. Most of the content is intended for those who want to study foreign cultures. For example, there is a large selection of Korean films and classic Russian films. You will also find classic Hollywood movies, silent films, westerns, and old film noir suspense movies.
Open Culture has an eclectic mixture of content and most of it is not hosted on the website. You can scroll through different lists of movies and then click on a link to find the movie on another site. However, you may locate some obscure titles that are often difficult to find.
Movies Found Online is an interesting website. It includes a mixture of movies, documentaries, and short films. Almost everything found on the site is independently made.
It should also be noted that the content is all hosted on other sites. This website embeds videos from other video streaming sites, providing you with one convenient place to find content. However, before visiting this site, you should be aware that it includes a lot of pop-up ads.
You may need to click on a title several times before the web page for that title opens. The initial clicks will simply open an ad.
Overall, Movies Found Online has a limited selection of content. It is also difficult to browse and contains a lot of ads. While these features would usually raise red flags about the legitimacy of the site, Movies Found Online is still a great source for hard-to-find titles.
Classic Cinema Online is another simple website that does not require a membership or sign in. You can browse the site and instantly start watching anything that you find.
There are hundreds of full-length movies available on this website. Most of the movies that you will find are public domain films from the 1940s. However, you can also watch a selection of movies from the 1960s and 1970s, including westerns and family films.
Most of the movies are embedded from other sites and you may occasionally find broken links. Despite these drawbacks, Classic Cinema Online is a convenient place to find older films.
Vimeo was created in 2004, a year ahead of YouTube. Similar to YouTube, this website is a video-sharing site. It allows users to upload their own original content. However, Vimeo was the first site to support HD video. It quickly became a source for independent filmmakers to share their films with the public.
You can now find thousands of movies and short films on Vimeo. Most of this content is available in HD and made by professional and amateur filmmakers.
The categories include everything from comedy to experimental. While most of the films are recently made and uploaded by small film studios or independent filmmakers, you can also find older classic films and obscure foreign films.
Film Chest is a media company that focuses on restoring and archiving older films. The website is easy to browse with a simple user interface.
The website now hosts over 2,000 films, many of which are available on other sites. However, the company also restores these films. Some of the movies that you watch on Film Chest are presented with better picture quality than you will find on other sites.
While most of the movies are classic films from the 1930s and 1940s, you can also find more foreign films. As with the older films, these movies are restored, ensuring that you get the best picture quality available. However, many of the links on the site are dead and it may take a while to find a movie that is currently available.
Yidio is a free video streaming site with one of the largest selections of movies and televisions. However, the website does not actually host these videos. It is a content aggregator site that links to content found on other sites.
If you have memberships to Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, and other paid streaming sites, you can use Yidio to browse all the content on these sites without visiting each site.
Yidio also finds free content. You can often find the latest episodes of popular television shows and movies that are currently making the rounds of free streaming sites.
SnagFilms was launched in 2008 and provides access to over 5,000 films. You do not need a membership to view and there is also an app available for most streaming devices.
SnagFilms includes a lot of documentaries and independent films. However, the website has also started adding an assortment of B-movies and older films. Most of these movies are obscure titles featuring major stars before they were famous.
The content is not user uploaded. The team at SnagFilms carefully curates their collection. However, documentary filmmakers can submit their films for review. As the content is handpicked, you will find high-quality documentaries, including content from National Geographic.
Veoh is a video streaming site with user-uploaded content. It is a site that has faced some controversy, including shutting down access to the site in certain regions such as Africa, Asia, and most of Europe. The company also filed for bankruptcy and has been accused of using adware on their site.
Despite these issues, Veoh does provide access to millions of videos. While most of this content is user-uploaded, major media networks have submitted original news content to the site. It is not the easiest site to navigate, but you will find a wide assortment of content.
ShareTV is designed as an online community for users to keep track of their favorite shows. The site includes pages for thousands of TV shows with detailed episode guides, character guides, video clips, and community discussion boards.
ShareTV has a distribution deal with Hulu and other TV providers, allowing the site to host full-length episodes of select TV shows. If full-length episodes are not available on the site, users can find a list of external sites that host the show.
Popcorn Time is a free program available on many platforms including Android and iOS devices. It is built using the BitTorrent protocol, allowing users to stream TV shows and movies that are available to download as torrents.
The software offers a streamlined interface with thumbnail images of available shows and movies. While the software is legal, it provides access to copyrighted content so you must be careful to use it only on copyright free TV shows. Users who stream copyrighted content without a VPN connection may face penalties from their ISPs.
TVPlayer is a streaming service based in the UK. It includes many premium channels that are not available on Freeview or Freesat. Besides a web-based interface, the site has apps for most platforms.
With a free account, users can access free-to-air channels with limited commercial breaks. However, the free service only includes basic channels. The premium membership includes full access to over 80 channels along with on-demand streaming and the ability to record live TV.
CW TV is the official website for the CW channel. It includes on-demand access to the current lineup of CW shows. While the site typically includes the latest five episodes of TV shows, full seasons of several older programs are available. Users do not need to login or subscribe to start watching.
CW TV is also available on Android and iOS devices along with most TV streaming devices such as Roku. While the TV shows are free to watch, they do include limited commercial interruptions.
CW Seed is a free streaming site and app that contains dozens of TV shows. Most of the content includes older programs that are no longer on the air. These shows are typically available in their entirety.
CW Seed has several exclusive series along with a few programs that are hosted on CW TV. As with CW TV, users do not need to login or subscribe to start watching TV shows through CW Seed.
25. Yahoo View
Yahoo View offers free content, including a few original programs. After NBC canceled the television show Community, it was picked up by Yahoo View for another season.
In 2016, Yahoo partnered with Hulu to stream recent episodes of popular shows from NBC, ABC, and Fox. The site hosts the most recent five episodes from television shows that are currently airing on these networks.
Yahoo has stopped producing original content for this site. However, they still provide access to their original content and recent episodes of television shows. You can also find a selection of anime shows.
EDIT: Yahoo view has stopped its operations recently and are now recommending their new service, Yahoo Play.
If you already have an Amazon Prime account and you also happen to have an Amazon Fire, it’s well worth checking out the IMDB TV streaming site. It’s ad-supported, but don’t let that put you off one of the best free streaming sites available.
Where most free ad-supported sites pack in the advertisements until it gets tiresome, Amazon has seen fit to limit the number of ads during most movies and TV shows.
They also volume limit the ads, so there isn’t a jarring difference between what you’re watching and the ads. This makes it one of the best ad-supported streaming sites available.
The venerable IMDB has been owned by Amazon since the late 90s, and it has become one of the most visited sites on the web. IMDB TV integrates some of this functionality and it’s possible to track actors in movies and shows, for example.
Add to all of this a high-definition viewing experience, and IMDB TV is surely one of the best platforms around for almost free.
If you already have a public library card, why not use it to borrow more than books? Hoopla is a library connected platform that allows anyone with a public library card to borrow not just books, but also movies, music, audiobooks, and TV shows.
This innovative platform bridges the divide between the library system and digital streaming. It’s safe and looks good too. Just borrow whatever you want and it’s added to your account.
You can stream movies, music, and TV shows to your computer, your smartphone, and your tablet devices. There’s even a Hoopla app to make this easy. Just like a regular library, the shows are returned once your borrowing time expires.
The first thing you notice about Kanopy is how good the website looks. It draws you in and presents you with attractive movie visuals.
Like Hoopla, Kanopy works with the public library borrowing system and allows anyone with either a library card or a university login to access thousands of movies. It’s a completely safe and ad-free experience. Just borrow as you would from a library and watch whatever is in their streaming catalog.
The show might have a bit of an early 2000s look and feel, but if you love classic Western movies, you really can’t go past this site. All of the movies here are legal and free. Just stream whatever you want from a modest catalog of legally available Western movies.
If you feel like donating to the project, you can do so using a graphical button. All movies can be watched in a video window on the site, and below this, you can read about the director, year of production, the actors, and a little bit of trivia about the movie itself.
Watching public domain movies is safe and perfectly legal. It’s a great alternative if you want to watch some classic old movies from the golden days of the 1930s and 1940s in Hollywood.
The big five movie production companies from Hollywood’s golden years is what Big Five Glories focuses on, though it does offer plenty to choose from when it comes to other decades.
The site is easy to navigate and presents a menu of decades up at the top. From there, you get a list of movies with thumbnails, including the year of release, where it was made, running time, and cast members. It’s a simple look, but really suits the classic nature of the public domain movies it presents.
Some Questions and Answers
Can I watch TV series online for free?
There are several websites that offer premium TV series as content on their site but they breach the copyrights of the media content owner. This is not legal. To be safe and compliant with the Law you should subscribe to one of the paid video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon prime etc or use one pf the above TV streaming websites (mainly from numbers 20 to 25 above).
Is there a risk for virus infection when streaming films online?
Absolutely. If you visit any of the non-legal online movie sites, they usually bombard you with advertisements and dubious links in order to watch a movie. These ads and links can redirect you to other malicious websites which can infect your computer with malware.
There is a technique by hackers, known as “malvertising” whereby they inject malware code inside banner ads. Therefore, when you are busy watching your “free” movie, your computer will silently download malicious software which might be ransomware that encrypts and locks all of your data.
- Amazon Prime Video – The Pros and Cons of this Subscription Service
- Amazon Fire TV Stick – Pros and Cons of this Streaming Media Player
- Youtube TV Review – Advantages and Disadvantages
- What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Netflix?
- Putlockers Review: Is Putlocker Safe and Legal for Streaming Movies Online?