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Where to Watch Free Movies and TV Online

Looking for the best streaming sites for free entertainment online? Look no further! We've compiled some of the top options.
Updated
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The spread of broadband Internet is changing the way we watch TV and movies. A lot of people are cutting the cable company cord or dropping that satellite service in favor of online streaming. If you've been wondering where you can find movies and TV shows to watch for free online without breaking the law, then we've got you covered.

Best Sites to Watch Free Movies & TV Online

YouTube

Over 6 billion hours of video are watched on YouTube every single month. Most of them are music videos, funny cats, parodies, and pranks, but you can find free full length movies and TV shows on there as well. The vast majority are older films or B-movies, but you'll discover the odd gem if you look hard enough. Videos may be split into multiple chapters, and you'll have to put up with ads.

Hulu

You can find an impressive selection of TV shows and movies on Hulu for free, and the content is supported by ads. Hulu is backed by NBC Universal, Fox, and Disney, and it has struck agreements with a wide variety of networks and partners.

There is also an optional subscription service called Hulu Plus ($7.99 per month) which offers a much wider library of content and support for mobile devices, although it still includes ads.

Crackle

Owned by Sony and available for free, Crackle is a good place to check for TV shows and movies. The service is supported by ads and it offers a mixture of older content and B-movies with the odd blockbuster or top TV show. You can also get a free Crackle app for all the major mobile platforms. The content changes quite frequently and big titles tend to be available for a limited time only.

Internet Movie Archive

This is a great resource for full-length movies, TV footage, and all kinds of videos that are in the public domain. Most of the movies are older, but you'll find some real classics on offer. The archive is also packed with curiosities and oddities including sporting events, old news broadcasts, and propaganda films.

Viewster

Here's another collection of relatively obscure movies and TV shows that you can stream for free. Viewster is an ad-supported service with an interesting mixture of content and apps for various platforms.

SnagFilms

You can find documentaries, cult classics, and film festival favorites at Snag Films. Everything is neatly categorized, so you can dip into the strange mixture and identify something worth watching. The content is ad-supported and it's available as an app for all the major platforms.

Vimeo

This is a creative hub for a lot of amateur and indie filmmakers, and you'll find a wide variety of videos divided into lots of different categories. Most of the content is short form and you aren't going to find big name shows or movies, but there's still some very interesting content on there.

Netflix

Honorable mentions

There are a few other locations worth mentioning, although the first two are mostly curated lists that point to content on YouTube or the Internet Movie Archive. First there's Top Documentary Films, which is nothing but documentaries divided into various categories and ready to stream for free. Then there's the Open Culture free online movies list which will direct you to some really interesting classics and short works by famous filmmakers. If you like anime and Asian shows then check out Crunchyroll.

Free TV Network Websites

A lot of the big networks also offer free TV show episodes to stream online. There may be limitations in certain regions and you may need to be registered with a particular TV provider or cable service in order to access many network's online streaming services, but there are a few that seem to be completely free:

  • ABC Family: TV show episodes a day after they air
  • CBS: Free TV show episodes of recent series and classics
  • CW TV: Full recently aired episodes of TV shows
  • Fox: A range of full episodes of recent shows
  • History Channel: Some episodes of selected shows, mostly clips and recaps
  • Lifetime: TV series and movies from the network
  • NBC: Full episodes of current TV shows
  • PBS: Free episodes of recently aired TV shows

If you have an eligible TV provider or relevant cable service, then you can also stream content from ABC, Disney, ESPN, MTV, Nickelodeon, TBS, TLC, TNT, and USA Now.

Worth Paying For

If you do decide that you can afford a monthly subscription service then we recommend Netflix, currently $8.99 per month, as the best bang for your buck in terms of TV shows and movies. You may also consider an Amazon Prime account at $99 for the year, as it offers access to a wide range of streaming TV shows and movies, as well as other benefits.

What are your favorite free (or cheap) and legal streaming services? Let us know in the comments below.


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Contributing Writer

Simon is a technology journalist with a background in games development. He is fascinated by all things tech, particularly mobile and videogames, and he loves to share that passion with other tech fans.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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13 comments
tanverin
Yes everything is right...........
Max111
But I cannot find a good service to watch tv shows online.
Max111
There are so many sites to watch movies online.
Neasteptatu
I use http://www.watchmovies.sx , no ads, simple and really fast streaming.
ninopro
Try http://putlocker.tn/, simple, fast and beautiful.
brneyedgurl
Sorry posted to wrong article - can't delete previous comment/question.
brneyedgurl
Still waiting. And haven't seen any other articles regarding this in the last few months. Any updates to this story??
johnbarryegan
All the charts I've seen show a drop in cable subscribers, such as this one: http://gigaompaidcontent.files.wordpress.com/...08

However, even if you decide to drop cable TV, that isn't necessarily reflected in that chart, as you will still need a form of provider for your internet access, and that more than likely will be a cable provider that also has cable TV, such as Comcast. In other words, I'm of the opinion that these charts, if adjusted for non-cable-tv subscribers would be lower.

And is it easy to watch TV on the Internet? Absolutely. All you need is a ROKU or an old XP box to stream. We've been doing this for 4 years now. I have all my channels lined up along the top of the web browser in the 'bookmarks toolbar'..Hulu, Netflix, CBS, Crackle, Aljazeera, BBC News, etc..etc..

The biggest benefit? Watching what I want, when I want it, not on some schedule provided by a cable provider.
Ricochet-Rabbit
Checked out couchtuner. Interesting how the site detects what browser you're using and puts up a bogus media player update screen that appears official right down to the logo of the browser you're using.
I'll pass on that one.
Greg the Gruesome
What about роrn? What are the best sites for free роrn?  ಠ‿ ಠ
:P
LonnieMcClure
Sorry, GiaHuy, but Popcorn Time isn't legal. The fact that it has to state "This PopcornTime service will never be taken down." should have been your first clue.
highgravity
Pretty much the only site I use for TV is www.couchtuner.eu. 100's of shows, and right up to date. Very few ads too!
GiaHuy
The best free movies (even with few months right after released) is http://www.time4popcorn.eu, you must download the app in order to view, and they're all legal.