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13 Best Free Movie Streaming Sites Like 123movies

    123movies free online movie streaming sites -

    Watching movies for free online has become extremely popular in recent years. Sites like 123movies allowed users to stream Hollywood blockbusters, classic films, indie flicks, and more without paying a dime. However, 123movies shut down, right?

    While free movie streaming sites can sometimes be illegal or riddled with ads, there are still plenty of legitimate options out there. This guide will cover the best free movie streaming sites that can serve as 123movies alternatives and legal!

    What Was 123movies?

    123movies was launched in Vietnam in 2016. The site offered free streaming of movies and TV shows without registration.

    At its peak, 123movies was the most popular pirate streaming site in the world. It built up a massive content library through embedded videos from sites like YouTube and Dailymotion.

    The site became known for its large catalog of movies and TV shows, easy navigation, and lack of ads. It operated across multiple mirrored domains to avoid being taken down.

    Best Free Movie Streaming Sites Like 123movies -

    Why Did 123movies Shut Down?

    In March 2018, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) filed a lawsuit against 123movies. The site was accused of copyright infringement and facilitating piracy on a massive scale.

    A few weeks later, the site’s operators shut 123movies down voluntarily to avoid legal punishment. The MPAA also pressured the site’s domain registrars and web hosts to stop providing services.

    Since then, many copycat sites have tried to take 123movies’ place. However, none have achieved the same level of popularity and stability.

    Why Use Free Movie Streaming Sites?

    Here are some of the benefits of using free streaming platforms over paid services or illegal download sites:

    • Completely free: No credit card is required, and everything is available to watch at no cost.
    • No subscriptions: No monthly fees or commitments. Just stream what you want when you want.
    • Huge libraries: Many free sites have thousands of movies and shows available.
    • Variety of genres: From comedy to drama to horror, free sites offer extensive libraries.
    • High quality: Most free streaming platforms allow you to watch in HD quality with minimal buffering.
    • Easy access: Just click and start watching, no complex registration or software required.
    • Mobile friendly: Free movie sites work great on phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops.

    As long as you use trustworthy sites, streaming movies for free is a convenient option for entertainment lovers on a budget. Just beware of sketchy platforms that may try to infect your device with malware.

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    While 123movies itself was clearly illegal, the legal status of similar free movie streaming sites is murkier.

    Sites that host pirated content are illegal. However, free streaming sites argue they are just indexing or embedding content from elsewhere online.

    Is It Legal to Use 123movies Alternatives

    Streaming pirated movies is generally illegal. However, authorities tend to target sites hosting content rather than individual viewers.

    To be safe legally, stick to free streaming sites offering only officially licensed content or directly working with content creators. Avoid sites promoting recent theatrical releases.

    Top 13 Free Movie Streaming Sites Like 123movies

    Free Movie Streaming Sites Like 123movies

    Here are the best free movie and TV streaming sites that work as alternatives to 123movies.

    1. Tubi

    Tubi is one of the most popular and fastest-growing free streaming services. It offers over 20,000 movies and TV shows from major studios like Paramount, Lionsgate, and MGM.

    Tubi’s library focuses primarily on classic and older titles. But you can find some more recent releases as well. Movies are available on demand with a few ads.

    Tubi is legal since it secures streaming rights directly from content owners. Apps are available for all major devices.

    2. Crackle

    Crackle is a long-running free streaming site owned by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment. It has a library of over 1,500 movies and 700 TV episodes.

    Sony Pictures Entertainment supplies much of the library content. So you can find a decent selection of classic and contemporary Sony titles.

    Crackle is ad-supported. You’ll have to watch a few commercials during movies and shows.

    3. Pluto TV

    Pluto TV takes a different approach than most free streaming sites. It offers over 100 live TV channels in an interface similar to cable or satellite.

    Pluto’s channels include movies, news, sports, and more. There’s also a large on-demand movie library with over 1,000 titles.

    Pluto TV is completely legal and owned by Paramount. You can stream it through the website or apps on any device.

    4. Peacock

    Peacock is the free streaming service from NBCUniversal. It offers about 15,000 hours of movies, classic TV shows, news and sports.

    Peacock has a lot of great classic comedies like The Office, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, Psych, Monk and Saturday Night Live. You can also watch films like the Bourne and Fast and Furious franchises.

    Peacock Free has ads. But you can upgrade to Peacock Premium for more content and features.

    5. Vudu

    Vudu is unique among free movie streaming sites in offering both ad-supported and rental/purchase options. You can watch over 100 free movies with ads or rent newer releases.

    Vudu has movies from all major studios like Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount, and Lionsgate. App and device support is excellent.

    You can upgrade to an ad-free experience with Vudu Movies On Us. Walmart owns Vudu after acquiring it in 2010.

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    6. Plex

    Plex is best known as media server software for managing your personal media library. But it also offers a selection of free movies, TV shows and live TV channels.

    Content includes classics from MGM, Lionsgate and Warner Bros. There are also Indian, Chinese and anime titles.

    Plex apps are available on most platforms. And you can use AirPlay and Chromecast to stream to TVs.

    7. Kanopy

    Kanopy offers an extremely robust collection of indie movies, classic cinema and documentaries. However, you’ll need a library card to access the content.

    The service partners with public libraries and universities. Just enter your library card number to get access.

    Kanopy has over 30,000 films focused on independent, foreign language and classic movies. The availability will depend on what your library carries.

    8. Hoopla

    Like Kanopy, Hoopla partners with local libraries to offer streaming movies and TV shows. Just enter your library card to create an account.

    The selection of movies and TV episodes totals around 100,000. Content comes from Hollywood studios as well as indie producers.

    Borrow limits typically restrict you to around 5-10 borrows per month. But it’s a great perk for library members.

    9. Internet Archive

    The Internet Archive is home to millions of free ebooks, music files, games, software and more. But it also has a collection of over 1,000 free movies.

    The films are all public domain, so you can watch classics like Night of the Living Dead, Nosferatu, and Reefer Madness. There are also old news reels, commercials and other footage.

    Everything can be streamed right in your browser without downloading. This legal site is a favorite for old movie buffs.

    10. Retrovision

    Retrovision specializes in classic movies from the 1920s through 1950s. The ad-supported site hosts hundreds of early films you can watch for free.

    Genres include adventure, comedy, crime, horror, romance, war, westerns, and more. Everything is in the public domain.

    Retrovision uses YouTube, Dailymotion, and other external services to host the videos. It’s legal as long as the embedded videos are legal.

    11. Popcornflix

    Popcornflix has a decent selection of free ad-supported streaming movies. It’s owned by Screen Media, which supplies the content.

    You’ll find a lot of direct-to-video and independent movies. Quality varies but there are occasional hidden gems.

    Apps and device support are excellent. You can watch Popcornflix on Roku, iOS, Android, web browsers and more.

    12. IMDb TV

    IMDb TV by Amazon is an ad-supported streaming service with a collection of free movies and shows to watch. There are classics like Rain Man, newer movies like La La Land, and lesser-known indie gems.

    You can watch IMDb TV in your browser or on Amazon Fire devices, Roku, Xbox, PlayStation, smart TVs with the app installed. You don’t need an Amazon Prime membership. Registration just allows you to keep a watchlist.

    13. Yidio

    Yidio aggregates free movies and shows from hundreds of streaming services into one platform. It allows you to search across multiple sites at once to find legal, free content.

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    The free movie library on Yidio includes movies from Sony Crackle, Tubi, and Pluto TV. Yidio will show you options to watch films for free with ads or on a subscription service if you want. It’s available on all browsers and devices.

    How to Use Free Movie Streaming Sites Safely

    How to Use Free Movie Streaming Sites Safely -

    While free streaming sites offer wonderful access to movies at no cost, there are a few precautions to take for a safe, seamless viewing experience:

    • Use a trustworthy antivirus/malware program so your device is protected against any infected ads or files from shady platforms.
    • Avoid free movie sites that seem illegal or piratical in nature, as these often spread viruses and harm your computer.
    • Never download any unverified programs or files that free movie sites may prompt you to install. Streaming should work directly through your browser.
    • Be vigilant when clicking on ads on free streaming platforms. Some can lead to malicious sites even if the movie site itself is legitimate and safe.
    • Use a VPN app to encrypt your streaming activity and IP address which adds an extra layer of cybersecurity and anonymity.
    • Create strong passwords for any free movie streaming sites that require registration to keep your account secure.
    • Use sites like Yidio that aggregate content across legal platforms instead of unknown free movie sites with questionable content.

    As long as you take some basic precautions, you can safely enjoy all the top-notch entertainment free streaming movie platforms have to offer without worry.

    VPNs for Safe Streaming

    Using free movie streaming sites may invite copyright notices or threats from your internet service provider (ISP). To stay safe and anonymous, use a VPN.

    A VPN routes your traffic through an encrypted tunnel. This hides your IP address and online activities from your ISP, hackers, government agencies, and the sites themselves.

    Some top VPNs for streaming 4k movies include:

    • ExpressVPN – Fast speeds, reliable connections, and easy-to-use apps. Also works in China and other restrictive countries.
    • NordVPN – Large server network and advanced security features. Allows P2P traffic.
    • CyberGhost – Optimized servers for streaming with helpful apps. Based in privacy-friendly Romania.
    • Private Internet Access – Budget-friendly with port forwarding available for some streaming devices.


    While 123movies is gone, you still have plenty of ways to watch movies online for free. Legal ad-supported sites like Tubi, Pluto TV, Crackle and Vudu offer quality movies without piracy.

    For hard-to-find indie films, check out Kanopy and Hoopla using your library card. And sites like Retrovision and Internet Archive are great for classic cinema.

    To stay safe while streaming, use a quality VPN. With so many great free options, there’s no need to visit shady 123movies copycats.

    Enjoy expanding your viewing horizons with all the top-notch free streaming sites. Let us know your favorites for watching free movies online.