FMovies – Is it Safe? Is it Legit?
FMovies is one of the leading alternatives to the former 123Movies pirate movie site and is often mentioned as a better place to watch free movies online. However, there are a few problems that you should be aware of before pulling it up, including the large number of fake FMovies sites that are set out as bait. As with anything else online, you have to be careful how your stream your movies.
The Real FMovies
It appears that FMovies has used a number of web addresses and domains including fmovies.to, fmovies.se, fmovies.io, fmovies.is, and fmovies.pe. None of these appear to be valid now. Instead, you will find dozens of fake sites, some of which are absolutely dangerous to your computer. Other fake sites are just copycats that are riding off of the name and profiting from people’s confusion.
As of August 2018, it appears that fmovies.ac is the address for the real FMovies.
FMovies offers online streaming for a wide variety of movies including new releases and cam rips (recordings from movie theater screens), old movies, TV shows, and even art films. With a very large library and a wide variety of content, it’s appealing to a very wide audience, making it extremely popular.
Most of the sites 1 million monthly visitors are looking for new releases, and even movies that are still in theaters, which makes it clear pretty quickly that FMovies is a pirate site.
Pirate, as in Illegal?
FMovies uses a common approach to attempt to work around legal concerns by linking to movies and media hosted on other servers. By doing this, they hope to sidestep the letter of the law by not actually putting the content online themselves. Instead, they find content on the deep web, link to it so you can stream it from their site, and claim that they don’t break any laws. This practice of making media that is already available to very experienced Internet users available to anyone is very lucrative in terms of the traffic they receive, but their legal footing is questionable at best.
The problem is that it can easily be said that they are facilitating copyright infringement. Governments are starting to take notice of similar sites using similar tactics, and the users streaming their content. Most FMovies alternatives that take a similar approach, like CouchTuner and LetMeWatchThis, also have a history of switching website addresses. When a site that is in a supposedly “grey area” of the law does this, you can assume it is because their last domain got shut down. Many times, these sites are based offshore so even though the website may have been shut down the owner may not be facing legal issues in his country of residence, so they will just start up with a new address. Other times, the original owner is in jail or quite and these other sites are copycats or scams.
Is FMovies Safe?
The real Fmovies appears to be mostly safe to use. However, they do use an ad network similar to what you might find on most torrent sites. This means that you should expect porn content, links to malware and viruses, and occasional popups on the site that could try to launch an attack on your browser. You should also never assume that you are accessing the real site, as things change quickly in the world of piracy.
Always run good antivirus software to protect yourself from malware, and use a VPN in addition to a firewall. That said, if you disregard the ads, FMovies seems to be very safe. The chances of being infected with a virus by the site itself are very low, especially if you are running antivirus software.
The problem still remains that the site appears to be a pirate site and that downloading the movies, which you do by streaming them, would seem to be copyright infringement. It’s inconvenient but true.
If you are considering streaming movies using FMovies, keep in mind that there are a number of safe and legal alternatives that won’t result in legal or computer issues. There are plenty of sites that offer free streaming movies on thousands of copyright free movies and TV shows, and dozens more that offer low-cost subscriptions to huge media libraries.