What is PutLocker?
PutLocker is one of the largest video streaming websites in the world. It is popular for a variety of reasons, but mostly for streaming media such as TV shows and movies. If you’re considering using it, you’re probably wondering how to even find the real PutLocker among the dozens of legit looking copycats.
The first thing that you should understand is that with a site like Put Locker, things can change rapidly. They are usually set up offshore, meaning outside the jurisdiction of the United States and European authorities. The owners do not typically reside in those countries, and site hosting is usually done through multiple sources. The typical method of operation for them is to operate under one domain name until it gets shut down, then go live on a new domain name a few days later. Sites like this usually prefer country extensions, and Put Locker has gone through names like putlocker.is, putlocker.tv, putlocker.rs, putlocker.ac, and putlocker.ch in the past.
How does Putlocker work?
Put Locker is a website that hosts an index of multimedia files that are available online. These can be downloaded, viewed, or streamed through the site. This website rarely hosts the content, and generally acts as an active directory of links to file hosting services and sites. You can think of it like a large telephone book where you can access anyone listed, but nothing is really stored on the site.
While a wide variety of media is supported, it is most often used to stream movies and TV shows.
Is Putlocker Legal?
Putlocker has a long history of run-ins with the law in many different countries. For example, in the UK, the site was banned for several years before being reinstated. This is usually why you see a string of different domains and extensions being used Putlockers. The tactic helps to avoid being blocked, and if the site does get shut down then it can be replaced quickly.
Putlocker, like Kodi, typically links to illegal or pirated content and is possibly responsible for as much as 17% of all illicit movie streaming. This has led to significant media and legal attention, to the point where Putlocker’s domains have been seized multiple times, and the site regularly moves to new countries to seek safety in the arms of less strict piracy laws.
In late 2017, an Australian judge ordered that Putlocker, and 64 other sites accused of piracy, be blocked by all Internet providers in Australia. This Chinese style censorship, in a “free and democratic” country like Australia, can still be easily circumvented by NordVPN or a similar VPN service with an extensive network.
Is Putlocker Safe?
There are several risks involved with using Putlocker. Obviously, their success is almost entirely due to massive piracy, and downloading content that you know is pirated is illegal in nearly all first world countries. If you are not bothered by this, then one has to consider the other risks. Putlocker has been around for quite a while now, which should not be reassuring. Between the age of the site and the legal issues they have had, you can take it as an absolute fact that they have a target on them as far as the MPAA is concerned.
They have also gone through a series of domain names to stay online, which makes finding imposters more likely than finding the real Putlocker. Most of these imposters are a clear danger to your computer, while the more benign ones will just flood you with advertising.
Should I Use Putlocker?
I would not. During our research and review of the real PutLocker site, we found that although they list plenty of blatantly copyrighted movies and TV series, not one would play. You could click on a title and the site would take you to another page that did not look spammy or suspicious. Unfortunately, if you clicked the play button on this page, only a pop-up ad would show. Noticing that other servers were listed as available, I clicked on several more to try streaming again. Each one resulted in 1-2 ads displaying in a new browser window, but no video ever played. Upon further research, it appears that this is all that Putlocker is now and that they are just making money off of residual traffic.
Did the previous owner turn to spamming because it paid better than piracy? Did he sell the domain and this is the new owner’s profit model? There is no way to know the answer, but the result is the same for end users.
If the content was still there, I would still have to recommend avoiding the site due to its track record of legal issues, site changes, safety issues, and the concerns that go with piracy. You are much better off to go with something low cost but totally safe like an Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial to get your streaming movies. No viruses, no ads, and no legal concerns.