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    Best Legal Streaming Websites

    In this article I describe the 20 best free websites to watch movies online. There are much more than twenty. However, many of them are illegal, have malware, an excess of annoying pop ups with advertisement, or directly mislead you forwarding you to another third party website or application. Those websites are excluded from this listing.

    Likewise, it occurs that illegal websites are closed by the authorities , or furthermore, they are obliged to change the domain. Therefore, this list is under permanent update. I suggest you to bookmark this article so you can access it when a future reference is required. I update the article once per month.

    The ranking below corresponds to the selected twenty websites that provide legal and free streaming of television shows, series and movies. The following criteria has been used to perform the selection:

    • The votes of the users. Please vote according to your experience in one of these websites. In the comments below, please be so kind to inform us why have you voted in one way or another and which are your considerations.
    • Usability is a decisive factor: A standard user has to be able to enter the website, navigate towards the selection of a movie or television show and select it. When this standard furnished his selection the broadcast will start in some seconds with a decent quality.
    • Mobile friendly: After 2019, we started to evaluate this category too. Now I have half of the users who watch movies on their cell phone. If the site is not mobile friendly, I will let you know.
    • Preference is granted to websites with more business history against new ones, even when the new one is also a legal site.
    • In the last update, we started to prefer websites that utilize HTML5 broadcasting, according to the current user requirements.
    • Quantity of movies available is a factor of preference. However we will mention niche sites that cater only television shows and sports as well.
    • Frequency of updates is an important factor in the classification. We grant preference to sites that have frequent updates.

    So now, after this introduction, we have below the updated list with the best free websites…….etc. Please choose the ones that you find suitable.

    CMoviesHD

    C-Movies HD started late 2015. They have few pop up advertisement, but some annoying redirections, and the streaming quality is quite good. However it is not HD in most of the cases. If you require HD, the website submits you to paid options.

    They have started with movies only, but since 2016 we have noticed that they are also casting television shows.

    As a distinctive note, they have a category to follow recommendations from IMDb. This is something you would like to do. In CMoviesHD you can select by year and by country too. However, most of the options will correspond to the United States and movies in English.

    Pros

    • Few pop up advertisement and advertisement within the page limited to a top banner.
    • The few ads on the page of the movies or shows do not seem intrusive.
    • The video player has a good quality, although not actually HD
    • Films suggested are good and also the option of receiving recommendations from IMDb. They also have television shows, despite the name of the website.
    • Trailers are available, so you can decide what to watch later on.

    Cons

    • Quality is not actually HD. In the majority of the cases, for HD quality, you will be requested a monthly payment.
    • There are few ads, but several redirections to unwanted websites in the background and in the foreground. Have an antivirus active to block them.

    123Movies

     

    123Movies is also called GoStream and GoMovies, as these are other sites that replicate them. We will stay with the main version and our link only will take you there.

    This one has more offers that include other countries and languages. Our readers outside United States will be happy as they can also watch many television movies and shows in their own language as well.

    Movies stream well and in a very good quality. I tested in mobile versions and did not have problems, but I am sure that you will have the best experience in a desktop computer.

    The search engine is very good, and they update it frequently. I saw that they had new releases simultaneously with the large mainstream networks.

    Since 2019 they have removed their display advertisement, and this is the most important advantage in comparison to their competitors. However, there are still unwanted redirections in the background to other websites for advertisement purposes.

    MovieWatcher

    Exceptionally, and in opposition to many websites in this list, MovieWatcher is mobile friendly and easy to access all functionalities in a standard cell phone. I prefer to watch movies only in desktop computers, but the majority of our readers want to watch on mobile, actually.

    The website has two themes: a darker one, and a softer one with pastel tones. Both are fine and I do not have special comments about them.

    Updated frequently. Two weeks after a release. Some sites are faster but this is quite acceptable.

    Pros

    • Site is updated frequently. New releases appear after two weeks.
    • Works well on cell phones and in general a good user interface.
    • Few display advertisement. Not annoying at all.

    Cons

    • Few old movies available. Most of them are after 1999.
    • As in many sites of this list, there is an undesired redirection to other websites in the background, for advertisement purposes.

     

    WatchSeries

    This is only for series. There are no movies. Half of the readers of the website are only interested in series, so do not be surprised of a website that only dedicates to this audience.

    From all our recommendations in this article, this is the best website for series. There are many older series from the eighties and also many from outside the United States and in different languages.

    To enjoy all the features of this website you have to register introducing your e-mail. It is not GDPR compliant what in the comments was disturbing our few readers from the European Union. I registered to test the service: they send you only one mail per week, but you receive mails from their business partners and there is no information about how do they use your mail address.

    Pros

    • Well designed website. Good usability and it is easy to access to all functionalities.
    • Includes a schedule with the next releases.
    • One stop place for all our readers who prefer to enjoy a marathon of series from different years and countries.

    Cons

    • The URL of the website changed twice in a year. The problem is that we were not informed by mail despite being registered users and we were not redirected to the new address. There were two changes in 2019. Now more stable in 2020. Let´s see its evolution.
    • Redirection to undesired websites in a pop up window. Not very frequent, but it is disturbing for the user.
    • No GDPR compliance. Emails received by their business partners. They do not inform the user what do they do with the information we provide them.

    GoMovies

    Probably, in this update, this is the best option for streaming movies. The quality is not HD, it is just decent. For HD, they have a premium option.

    There is no display advertisement. There is only one video advertisement before the start of the movie that you cannot skip and lasts for about a minute. This advertisement is usually an online game.

    Likewise, each five minutes, there is another advertisement, that usually corresponds to an online game platform or the premium services of Go Movies. The advertisement is not intrusive.

    There are many countries to choose and you can also select by actor. This feature is available because actors are tagged and classified.

    Pros

    • Only one advertisement before the movie and one each ten minutes. No display advertisement.
    • Movies from more then twenty countries. Most of them with captions and subtitles in English and many in Spanish as well.
    • No redirections to spam or malicious sites. Let me know in the comments which was your experience regarding this attribute.
    • Not HD but decent quality. For HD, there is a premium version.
    • Mobile responsive. Easy to watch a movie in your cell phone. Navigation through features in the cell phone, is fine.

    Cons

    • Not frequently updated. But expect a global update of movies and series once per month. Not quite bad.
    • No other cons. This is one of the best websites in our review.

    ProjectFreeTV

    Since this article was published, until the last updates, this site has lost most of the movies and almost all links are broken. This started to happen mid 2019 and continues now.

    The website is still not responsive. This was not a negative feature when we first published this article, but now it is and our evaluation has to adapt to the current technology standards and the requirements of our readers.

    Website always kept loyal to the promise of not having advertisement. However, as we explained above, most of the links are broken even for the recently published series and movies.

    Not mobile responsive. This means that the screen and the user interface does not understand your screen footprint so you cannot navigate through menus or use functions.

    We are not recommending ProjectFree TV right now. I hope that this changes and we start to enjoy them as in the past. What they have to do is to find new website or cloud repositories to host their videos.

    Pros

    • There is no display advertisement.
    • There are several links per chapter or per movie and the click leads you to a third party video repository where the film or chapter is hosted.

    Cons

    • Most of the clicks are broken and the videos are being removed from the aforementioned third party hostings.
    • Not mobile responsive.
    • Very few movies and series due to the inmense quantity of broken links.
    • We are not recommending Project Free TV. I hope they improve and return to a preferred position in our ranking.

    YesMovies

    Excellent user experience. Very good user interface and search engine. Movies and series are available by streaming and the quality of the video is decent (not HD at all anyway). Works very good in smartphones. Totally responsive UI in tablets too.

    I am testing ten series and ten movies for each website. In five cases, the captions and subtitles were not synchronized with the movie or chapter of the television series. Not good for foreign non-English movies or for our foreign readers who despite being English speakers, prefer to have the captions and subtitles handy.

    There is no display advertisement. Nevertheless, many clicks in some features open a redirection in a different tab before allowing you to perform the desired option. This is misleading for the users, who have to close the tab and return to the website.

    There are no featured movies or series. A search engine appears in the homepage and you can search there. This functionality works very well, but many users want to receive suggestions because actually they do not very well what they are looking for and want to receive suggested films and suggested television series.

    Pros

    • Mobile responsive and overall excellent user interface.
    • Updated about once per week.
    • Good selection (not the best in this article, anyway) of foreign movies and foreign television series.
    • No advertisement in the website.

    Cons

    • Frequent redirections to unwanted sites in a different tab of the browser.
    • In about a third of the series, the captions are not synchronized and appear some seconds later or even sooner.
    • No recommendations or featured categories. Not a big issue, because they have well organized categories and you can simply go there and navigate inside.

    iWatchOnline

    Since 2019, we cannot access this service, dedicated to older titles. The website is closed since then. The website was already not updating frequently and many links were broken due to this lack of update already since 2018. As it normally happens, the users started to move to other stream services.

    WatchFree (Series)

    The real WatchFree where we were redirecting our readers was in the URL watchfree.to where they ceased to perform operations in early 2020. Now there is a dangerous redirect that you should close immediately.

    As with many of these sites, they do not update links and do not follow new launches, so they lost viewers and closed their doors completely afterwards.

    Putlocker / Putlockers

    A famous website, but not our most recommended option in this article. They have moved the service to the address Putlockers where they have recently resurfaced late 2019.

    We do not like the fact that they are changing address frequently without notifying their users. They have to ensure business continuity even after the modification of the URL by redirecting their customers to the new website.

    Not a good option for international movies. Only a few countries are present and only for mainstream movies. If you are looking for a recently praised movie from Chile, or a thriller from Italy, this website is not the best option unless the film becomes worldwide famous.

    It is mandatory to register for some titles in HD quality and provide your mail address. For titles where you accept to watch in lower quality this option is not requested. I checked this from different terminals.

    I registered providing my mail address and received a daily mail from them and other mails from their business partners that I did not authorize. It is not GDPR compliant.

    The user interface has a good usability but it is very bright and designed with light colors. This is a good UI criteria, but when you watch movies or television series, you will dislike the contrast in the screen.

    Suitable for smartphones, the usability in mobile devices is not impressive but fine, so it is mobile responsive. It is not so easy to change movies and navigate through menus with a smartphone. Nevertheless, once the movie is selected and playing, it feels very responsive in your smartphone.

    There is no display advertisement but before you start to watch a movie you are redirected to undesired websites that trigger an alert in your antivirus software.

    Pros

    • Frequently updated with mainstream titles. They release many new titles weekly.
    • Good index of suggested films and series. Very convenient if you do not know what you are looking for and are keen to receive recommendations.
    • Smartphone friendly in a responsive website.
    • Titles without HD do not require registration.

    Cons

    • Frequent changes of address without notification to their mail distribution list and without redirection to the new URL.
    • Few international movies and few movies in foreign languages.
    • User interface is very bright and cannot be changed.
    • Requires registration for HD titles. This would not be a problem, but the mail distribution and broadcasting is not GDPR compliant.
    • Frequent redirection to sites that standard antivirus protocols regard as malware.

    Subsmovies

     

    If English is not your mother tongue then Subsmovies could be a great site for you. Imagine a user-activated subtitle system similar to GoMovies’s, but availalbe in every single major language. On Subsmovies users can, at the click of a button, activate subtitles in English, French, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, German, Dutch, Portuguese… The audio remains in English, yet you get to read subtitles in you own language. For me, Subsmovies is a godsend. When my Spanish girlfriend and I want to watch a Hollywood hit together, she can simply activate the subs in her language and we both listen to the movie in English.

    Pros

    • Subtitles availalbe in all major languages
    • Easy to watch any movie while reading in your mother tongue
    • Subs are overlaid onto the video

    Cons

    • The interface is not as appealing as other major sites

    Alluc

    Alluc was sending users to dangerous websites without the consent of the users. Banned in the European Union first, and then they closed operations in 2019, when they were facing several similar federal actions in the United States.

     

    Advantages of Streaming in Comparison To Downloading

    Thanks to this technology, it is no longer necessary to wait for the download of data from the desired file , since it is done in parallel with its visualization, so that it can be seen instantly and without suffering delays.

    In honor of the truth, that this is a mostly effective method does not mean that it is perfect in all its fullness, since some disadvantages can be found in its use. Do not you know what they are? Here we will talk about some advantages and disadvantages of using services that use  streaming.

    After downloading a file, you will require a software such as VLC media player as it is currently supporting several formats to reproduce video.

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