123Movies is a popular movie and TV streaming service that many people are using to watch the latest movies and TV shows. If you search on any popular search engine for free movies, you are most likely to come across 123Movies. It’s popular because it’s free to use. You do not even need to register to use the service. However, the question that begs an answer is whether 123Movies is legal and safe to use?
Is 123Movies legal?
123Movies was early this year named as the most popular illegal movie site in the world by the Motion Picture Association of America. It receives more than 98 million visits in a month. And so it’s a real threat to content creators. If MPAA declares the site as illegal, that tells you that 123 Movies is deemed illegal in the US. Hence, using 123Movies to stream TV shows and movies in the USA could land you in trouble. As a matter of fact, streaming copyright-protected content without permission amounts to illegal activity in many jurisdictions around the world.
123Movies closing down, is it gone?
In March of this year, 123Movies claimed to be closing down, and they had a countdown for the closure. In fact, MPAA announced that it was teaming up with the Vietnamese authorities, in particular, the Office of Police Investigation Agency C44 to try and take down the site believed to operate from Vietnam. However, if you currently search for free movies, you get 123movie.cc, 123 Movies Hub, and many other variations which are 123movies sites. That’s how difficult it is to get rid of such illegal streaming websites.
We cannot rule out the possibilities of some of the sites being sting operations mounted by corporate or government agencies with the purpose of trolling pirates. That’s why you need to always use a competent VPN to mask your IP. Finding yourself even though accidentally on such websites could complicate things for you.
Is 123Movies Safe?
Using 123Movies to watch movies online free may have some repercussions. Given it’s a pirate site, you will be courting DMCA notices, and legal suits could materialize. You should also be aware that the authorities can easily trace your online activities and zero in on any copyright infringements you may have committed.
Apart from that, there’s the issue of malware. Most illegal streaming sites are known to harbor malware and clicking on links found on such websites could inject malware on your device. You also have to contend with annoying ads pop-up which in some cases redirect you to unsecured sites.
123Movies Alternative sites you can use to watch your favorite TV shows and movies safely in 2019
Though Netflix will not allow you to watch movies online free, it has the most extensive catalog in the world. From fiction, drama, romance, Sci-Fi, to kid’s shows, Netflix is the reigning champion where streaming content is concerned. Instead of using the illegal 123Movies to watch your favorite movies and TV shows, you can join the more than 118 million subscribers on Netflix and enjoy the latest content without the fear of getting DMCA notices or becoming a victim of copyright trolls.
Netflix is available in almost all regions safe for some few countries like China where censorship is the order of the day. Depending on your budget or your needs, you can subscribe either to the basic plan that’s pegged at $7.99/month, or go for the standard plan that’ll cost you $9.99/month. For $11.95/month, you can get the Netflix premium plan that allows you to stream in ultra-HD, and the ability to watch simultaneously on 4 screens. However, the Netflix catalog differs depending on your location. Those in the USA are lucky to enjoy an extensive collection of movies and TV shows. In most other areas, a premium VPN will suffice to help you unblock the Netflix USA catalog.
Hulu is another 123Movies alternative site that’s gaining ground. They offer two main plans to their users what they refer to as the Hulu experience. The limited commercials plan will see you part with $7.99/month, while the No Commercials plan will cost you $11.99/month. All the plans allow you to add SHOWTIME to your subscription. Among Hulu’s strong points includes the ever-increasing library of original content, live TV with DVR, strong anime, and the ability to stream on a wide range of devices. The fact that it’s a legal streaming service makes it among the top best alternatives of 123 Movies. However, you should know that even the No Commercials plan still serves some commercials. Hulu makes it clear that there is a handful of shows that it can’t stream ads-free.
Amazon Prime is a leading streaming service that avails to its subscribers a massive content of popular movies and TV shows. They offer a 30-days free trial, so you can try out their service to find out whether you like it or not. The free trial also provides you 2-days of free shipping. The good thing about Amazon Prime is that if the movie you desire to watch is not available, they offer you an opportunity to rent it or buy it. I also like that they have a parental control feature that allows you to prevent members of your family from watching certain movies. The month Prime membership subscription will cost you $12.99/month. Unlike 123Movies, Amazon Prime is legal and safe to use.
Porpcornflix is a perfect 123Movies alternative streaming service. To begin with, Porpconflix is legal and safe to use. The streaming service is free so that you won’t have to waste any of your time to register. You just log in, and in seconds you are at it watching your favorite TV show or movie. I have to point out that since Porpcornflix is ad-supported, you’ll have to bear with ads. I don’t think it’s a bad thing for an absolutely free streaming service. The collection includes action, romance, comedy, nostalgia, and many other movie titles. They also have affiliate websites mainly Popcornflixkids for kids and Frightflix that scares the hell out of you with horrors.
Sony Crackle is legal and safe to use movies and TV platform. It is a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Crackle is an excellent 123Movies alternative because apart from being legal and safe to use, it is absolutely free. Also, the streaming service has an extensive collection of movies and TV shows for your entertainment. Sony crackle supports a wide range of devices including Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Laptop, Phones, and Tablets. It also works with Play station, Chromecast, and Smart TVs. However, Crackle is ad-supported, and so they serve ads which might be annoying at times. You might need a competent VPN to unblock Sony Crackle as it is Geo-blocked.
Must I always use a VPN when streaming sites like 123Movies?
Of course, streaming movies or watching your favorite TV shows on pirate websites like 123Movies could land you in trouble. Depending on your locality, you might find yourself in the depths of a legal suite. Copyright trolls could also target you. Thus, it is always advisable to use a VPN when you access such services. However, you need a VPN service for even more reasons. Nowadays, instances of hacking, doxing, and identity theft is on the increase. Thus, it is no longer safe to browse the internet without the use of a VPN service.
What are the benefits of using a VPN service?
When watching free movies online, torrenting or even browsing the Internet, you need to always connect to a VPN service. The benefits include:
A VPN masks your connection and helps you to stay anonymous online. The advantage of this is that neither your government nor your ISP will be able to see your online activities. Since your ISP is not seeing the websites that you are visiting, they won’t be able to throttle your bandwidth.
Many streaming websites including Netflix are Geo-blocked. This happens because of the kind of licenses they get from content creators. A VPN service helps you by allowing you to connect to their server in the location of the service you need to unblock. That way, you can spoof your location and access the blocked service.
VPN’s use the military grade AES 256-bit encryption which is uncrackable to protect your data against hackers, snoops, as well doxers.
Censorship is becoming the order of the day with more governments taking it upon themselves to decide what its citizens can access or not access online. Even you’re ISP, institution, or your employer may restrict your internet freedom. The only way out is using a VPN service. A competent VPN will return your freedom of the net because it’s your right.
The main problem is that the high demand for VPN services has seen the proliferation of VPN services each claiming to be the best. Well, some of them are useless and won’t help with your online safety. Hence, I provide you with the 5 best VPN services that work to provide you with maximum online privacy and security.
5 Top VPN apps that will protect your online streaming activities in 2019
NordVPN has all the features you’d require from a VPN service. First, it’s a strictly no logs VPN located in Panama. The Panama location is ideal for privacy. “No logs” would mean that even if they get pressured to release your browsing record, they won’t have none. The VPN uses AES 256-bit encryption to protect your online data. They use a NAT Firewall, and an Internet Kill Switch to ensure that you are always protected. If you need superior protection, they provide you with double VPN where your data is encrypted twice. However, if it’s that serious, you can opt for their Tor over VPN feature for complete anonymity. Also, you get protection from all sorts of VPN leaks and excellent VPN speeds.
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You can also read my in-depth review of NordVPN to discover more insights and features of the leading VPN service.
ExpressVPN is another excellent VPN service. It is the choice for many when it comes to streaming and torrenting. The VPN exhibits some of the best VPN speeds in the industry. It is a strictly no logs VPN that’s based in the British Virgin Islands which is an excellent VPN privacy location. ExpressVPN uses the robust AES 256-bit encryption to protect you online. They implement all the leading protocols, use a NAT Firewall, and they have an Internet Kill Switch that protects your data should the VPN connection fall. The VPN provides its users with more than 2,000 servers in 94 countries making it the best choice to unblock content across the globe. Another fantastic feature is the Split Tunneling technology that provides you the freedom to choose which of your traffic passes through the VPN’s encrypted tunnel, and which one transits via your ISP.
TorGuard, as the name suggests, is a VPN service that endeavors to protect torrent seeders and leechers. It’s the kind of VPN service that you can use without the fear of copyright infractions.
The VPN is strictly no logs. Meaning that all your browsing escapades are deleted. TorGuard exhibits excellent speeds that support HD streaming. You also get to unblock content across the world with their over 3,000 servers found in 68 VPN locations across 55 countries globally. They implement robust security and privacy features to give you maximum online protection.
VyprVPN exhibits excellent speeds which makes it among the best VPNs for streaming. Its user- friendly and provides you with apps for all major platforms. The VPN provides you with 700 servers in more than 70 countries. VyprVPN have in place their proprietary chameleon technology that’s excellent at bypassing censorship and unblocking websites. They are a strictly no logs VPN and manage their servers without involving any third parties which can only mean higher levels of security, speed, and privacy.
Many people are resulting to streaming 123movies unblocked and similar sites for various reasons. Some streaming websites deny its content to foreigners who are willing to subscribe and watch the movies. For others, the cost of paying monthly subscriptions is a burden to them. There are those who don’t even know that some free movies streaming websites could be illegal.
This article answered your question as to whether 123movies is legal and safe to use. It also provides some of the best alternatives that are legal and safe to use.