How to Stream Movies Online Free (Without Breaking the Law)

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How to Stream Movies Online Free (Without Breaking the Law)

How to Stream Movies Online Free (Without Breaking the Law)

Streaming movies online is a great way to enjoy media on-demand, but if you don’t watch regularly or just want occasional access, it might not be worth it to pay for a subscription like Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu. If that’s the case, you’re likely looking into free online movie streaming. Unfortunatley, most options like YesMovies, 123Movies, and so on are illegal to use and may expose your computer to ISP blockage or to viruses and malware.

If you want to stream movies for free but prefer to stay on the right side of the law, there are plenty of options that you can choose.

Stay Away from Illegal Streaming Sites

In most cases, you can easily spot an illegal streaming site if you know what to look for. Movie streaming sites that feature cam rips, brand new movies, or movies with logos from other streaming sites like Amazon Prime are always illegal. The newer the movie, the more likely the streaming site is to be illegal to use.

Illegal movie streaming sites pose multiple risks including that they can sell your data, may get you in trouble with your ISP via 6 Strikes, and may contain javascript or other injectable malware that will end up on your computer.

Finding Legal Free Movie Sites

Free movie streaming sites that offer very old or indie movies are typically legal and safe to stream. You may also be able to take advantage of open streaming on sites like the BBC iPlayer, CBS, and so on.

There are several categories that are almost always legal to stream:

Old Movies – Movies and TV shows that are older than 70 years are almost always legal to stream free online. You can find these shows on movie streaming sites like,, or Here, you can access old movies, typically in black and white, including old monster films, the first 30 years of Oscar awarded movies, and other similar content. While watching Gone with the Wind or the Monster from the Black Lagoon isn’t the same as watching the latest Hollywood blockbuster, it is a great way to entertain yourself and can be a lot of fun.

Documentaries – Many documentaries are available online for free and you can stream them on sites or on YouTube or Vimeo. Documentaries are often free because the developers and producers care more about their message than making a profit. Sites like and are great places to find and browse free documentaries.

Live Streaming TV – Live streaming TV shows, or channels that purposely put their content online are perfectly legal to watch online. For example, the BBC, Fox, NBC, PBS, XFINITY, and ABC all offer online streaming. You can check for programmes and shows on sites like SideReel, BlinkX, Revision3, and LinkTV.

Indie Films – In most cases, you can find and watch indie movies online for free. While these movies are not always the best quality, you can stream them online free, support indie artists, and even help artists by offering feedback and criticism. is a great option.

Special Mention is owned by Sony and offers free movie streaming, no registration needed. Sony pays for licensing, and lists quality, if often forgotten, films and shows.

The Paramount Vault is a collection of free movies listed by Paramount Pictures, mostly B movies, but some quality shows. Most listings are from the 80s and 90s.


Have you used any of these free movie streaming sites? Let us know what you think.

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About The Author
Gardenia Boyle, aka "Deanie," is a freelance writer from Seattle. When she's not busy working on a variety of writing projects, she enjoys volunteering at the Humane Society or hiking. If it's raining though, which it does a lot of in WA, you'll probably find her with a controller in her hand playing one of her favorite games, WoW or Final Fantasy.

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