Popcorn Time is an extremely popular app that lets users stream movies and TV series for free. But there are concerns with regards to Popcorn Time’s safety and legality because of the following reasons:
- Popcorn Time uses torrents to provide users with streams of movies and shows, which can lead to copyright infringement
- Users can infect their PCs with malware if they download the wrong Popcorn Time installation app.
These reasons prompt users to look for alternatives to Popcorn Time. Some of the best alternatives are:
- Amazon Prime Video
- HBO Max
- Popcorn Flix
- Duckie TV
- Rox Player
If you intend to use any of the Popcorn Time alternatives above, it’s a good idea to protect your online activity by using a Virtual Private Network. ExpressVPN is our recommendation as it allows for blazing-fast streaming of high-quality content.
Popcorn Time is one of the most popular apps for streaming movies and TV shows in 2021. The website receives more than 820k organic visits each month! It owes its popularity to a few defining features, such as its slick interface, virtually unlimited library, and open-source interface.
But there are a few security concerns in streaming free movies and TV shows on Popcorn Time, such as:
- Popcorn Time uses torrents to provide you with free movie streams through its built-in media player. Torrenting copyrighted content is considered illegal in many countries and could land you in trouble.
- You need to download and install the Popcorn Time app from a source on the internet. If you land up at the wrong source and download the wrong file, you could end up infecting your device with malware.
The most important step to secure yourself when using Popcorn Time, or some of its alternatives, is to use a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your activity and shield it from any prying eyes. ExpressVPN currently is our top-rated VPN and an excellent choice for streaming due to its blazing fast speeds and unblocking capabilities.
- Very easy to use VPN
- Perfect for anonymous browsing, downloading, and streaming (i.e. Netflix)
- 3000+ servers in 94 countries
If you’d rather switch to a different service altogether, we’ve listed the 19 best Popcorn Time alternatives below for you to consider.
The Best Official Popcorn Time Alternatives
We’ve divided our list of best Popcorn Time alternatives into official and non-official streaming services. If you’re concerned about your cyber and legal security, then it’s best to stick to one of these official Popcorn Time alternatives. The apps listed below are completely legal, and there are no significant cyber-security concerns either. Of course, most of these will require users to purchase a subscription.
No surprises here, as Netflix is the most popular streaming service in the world. It has a neat interface that you can use to browse through a seemingly unlimited library, with new additions every week. The interface is actually quite similar to Popcorn Time in its use of tiles.
The app is available on all major operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, and iOS. This allows you seamlessly carry your content across devices. You can download and save content on your devices to watch on the go. There are also hundreds of Netflix secret codes to access obscure content!
Netflix offers different subscription tiers, with a basic plan starting at $8.99/month, which is slightly expensive. But, there is a way to save money on your Netflix subscription! That is by using a VPN to direct your internet traffic through a server-based in countries like Turkey, where Netflix subscriptions are cheaper. Popular shows include:
- La Casa de Papel (Money Heist)
- Shadow and Bone
- The Crown
- The Witcher
- Umbrella Academy
Disney+ has taken the streaming world by storm thanks to its collection of classics from names such as Pixar, Disney, and Marvel. It also boasts an extensive library of shows, which makes it a great Popcorn Time alternative. In countries like India, the Disney+ Hotstar App can even watch sports, such as cricket, football, and badminton.
Like Netflix, Disney+ works on most platforms and streaming devices, including Roku. It’s also a dollar cheaper than Netflix for a monthly subscription, with its first-tier starting at $7.99/month.
While Disney+ is now available in most countries, the program and content availability may still differ. However, you can use Disney+ with a VPN to access a larger library of content. Popular titles on Disney+ include:
- The Mandalorian
- The Simpsons
- Isle of Dogs
Hulu is another leading premium streaming service that is a viable alternative to Popcorn Time. Its catalog contains TV shows, movies, Hulu Originals, and other premium content. Notably, it also provides access to live TV and sports.
The service is supported on an extensive range of devices, including Apple TV, Fire Stick, and gaming consoles like the Xbox. The base package offered by Hulu, which contains ads, is priced at $5.99. For live TV and sports, you’ll have to shell out $64.99/month.
Unfortunately, Hulu is currently restricted to the US and Japan. To watch Hulu from anywhere else in the world, you will need to use a VPN. Here are some popular Hulu originals:
- Catch 22
- The Great
- Castle Rock
- Future Man
Peacock is NBC Universal’s over-the-top (OTT) streaming service. Like Hulu, it has a great repository of American content, such as the Office, Modern Family, and Suits. The service also showcases some great podcasts, like the Rich Eisen Show.
The best bit about Peacock is that you can use it for free! Though using it for free does mean that you will be subjected to ads. If you want to access live sports like the Premier League and WWE in addition to the streaming content, then you can purchase a Peacock Premium subscription for $4.99. A Premium Plus subscription, which is for $9.99, is completely ad-free and allows you to watch certain titles offline. The most popular streaming titles on Peacock include:
- The Office
- 30 Rock
- Downton Abbey
5. Amazon Prime Video
Prime Video is probably the one platform that can rival Netflix in its popularity and content library. It makes a great Popcorn Time alternative for people looking to catch up on the latest TV and movie shows.
A full Prime membership, which costs around $12.99 a month, gives you access not only to movies and shows but also to music. If you want to subscribe to just Prime Video, you can do that for $8.99/month. Like its other competitors, Prime runs on virtually every major operating system.
Amazon’s recent acquisition of MGM Studios means its library will be even larger and contain some iconic movies, like the James Bond series. The most popular titles on Amazon Prime include:
- The Handmaiden
- The Expanse
- Carnival Row
- The Grand Tour
- American Gods
6. HBO Max
HBO Max is Warner and AT&T’s new on-demand video streaming service. It features HBO classics, like The Sopranos and The Wire, in addition to content from Warner, CNN, and Sony Pictures. It’s a great alternative for users who stream such shows on Popcorn Time.
Plans for HBO Max start at $9.99 for the version with ads. To go ad-free, users will need to shell out $14.99 per month. The ad-free subscription also allows you to stream Warner Bros. 2021 premieres the day they are shown in cinemas.
HBO Max is currently available only in the United States and a few Latin American countries. Read how you can use a VPN to stream HBO Max from other countries to watch amazing titles like:
- Game of Thrones
- Suicide Squad
- Rick and Morty
This is a pick for our readers in India. SonyLIV features some of the most popular shows on Indian television, along with blockbuster Bollywood movies. Popcorn Time has a lot of traffic from India, and SonyLIV could be the perfect alternative for these users to stream movies and TV shows.
While its interface isn’t the best, SonyLIV makes up for it in the sheer number of options it provides. It features sports and games, in addition to the movies and shows that are available. All this comes at a very reasonable price of $9.39 for a six-month subscription.
The app is available on iOS, Android, Fire Stick and can be accessed through the browser on laptops and PCs. Popular titles on SonyLIV include:
- Girls Hostel
Crunchyroll is an American streaming company that focuses on anime and manga content. It has an interesting story as a platform that provided illegal copyright infringing deals to serving up free and legal anime content.
The latest anime movies and tv shows are available to watch on Crunchyroll a day or two after they are aired in Japan. Sony Entertainment has recently acquired it. Sony hopes to use its acquisition to offer an unparalleled anime and manga streaming experience.
Perhaps the best thing about Crunchyroll is that you can watch anime and manga for free! But the free versions are usually in low resolution, with lots of ads, and are uploaded a week after the initial telecast.
Crunchyroll has several popular titles, including:
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
- Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
- Jujutsu Kaisen
- Naruto: Shippûden
We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to add a streaming website with a “Popcorn”-related name to our list. PopcornFlix has been around for a while. It’s an ad-supported streaming service for movies and TV shows owned by the independent distribution company, Screen Media Ventures.
The content on the site is a bit dated, but if you’re looking for classics, this is the place to go! It also features some great TV series, like the original 21 Jump Street.
PopcornFlix is available on almost all major platforms, including the Xbox One and Roku. Popular titles on PopcornFlix include:
- Black Fox
- Legends of King Arthur
- Red Bad
- They Call Me Jeeg
Plex is one of the more interesting alternatives to Popcorn Time. It’s a media organization and streaming tool that lets users create servers to share their favorite content, whether that’s movies, TV shows, or music. In that sense, it’s a great tool to share the content that you own legally with your friends and family. There’s also a ton of free and legal content that is generally available on Plex.
You can get a Plex Pass, which is a premium subscription, for $4.99 a month. With Plex Pass, you can record and save live TV broadcasts, in addition to premium music and sharing features.
But, there is a catch. Plex also lets you access third-party libraries containing copyrighted content that the third party is not allowed to share. So be careful when choosing which libraries you get your content from.
The Best Unofficial Popcorn Time Alternatives
The unofficial alternatives to Popcorn Time listed below are great options for users willing to take on a few more risks to stream movies and TV shows for free. Like Popcorn Time, these apps can sometimes lead you to pirated content, which can land you in a legal soup. Be sure to check your country’s laws on piracy before visiting these sites! Moreover, some alternatives require you to download files from the internet, which can be dangerous too.
Due to these risks, we recommend that you use a VPN while visiting any of these sites. If you’re looking for a pocket-friendly alternative to ExpressVPN, then check out Surfshark! It comes for $2.49 a month and works well with Netflix, torrents, and other P2P services.
- Very user-friendly and works with Netflix and torrents
- 30-day money-back guarantee. No questions asked!
- Cheap with many extra options
While you can use the alternatives listed below to watch movies and TV shows for free, we recommend that you use one of the official options listed above to stream copyrighted content. This keeps you safe legally and rewards creators for their efforts into making the content for you.
One of the closest alternatives to Popcorn Time is Kodi. It’s an open-source media player application that plays all kinds of modern digital content. It comes in the form of a downloadable app and features a slick and easy-to-use design.
Kodi comes with add-ons, which can increase its functionality and stream movies and tv shows from Netflix, YouTube, and ESPN, among others. While there are several legal add-ons, those developed by third-party developers can lead you to pirated content. So it’s always good to be careful when choosing your Kodi add-ons.
Kodi can also play music and display pictures, making it an all-around entertainment solution. It works on a range of devices, such as the AppleTV and even Raspberry Pi.
FlixTor has emerged as one of the household names when it comes to streaming movies and TV shows. It has an up-to-date library with all the latest and greatest hits and, hence, is one of our top Popcorn Time alternatives.
Regular users, who pay nothing, can access movies released in the last six months and episodes released in the last three months. To gain access to Flixtor’s complete library, you’ll need to become a VIP member by paying $14.95 each month.
The mirror or website that hosts Flixtor keeps changing, and ensuring that you’re visiting is the correct source can be challenging. To avoid landing up at the wrong site and installing malware, read how to use Flixtor safely.
The original 123Movies website was one of the world’s most popular free streaming sites before being shut down in 2018. It still exists but in the form of clones and forks. Users should exercise caution and stay safe while using 123Movies since they could land upon a mirror used to spread malware.
The site is a great web-based alternative to Popcorn Time. Its interface has been refreshed recently and is now much easier to navigate. You can find movies and TV series classified by genre, production house, year, and actors. 123Movies also features some well-curated lists.
Since it’s web-based, it should run well on most devices.
A household name for streaming movies and TV shows, Putlocker was taken down in 2016. But, its services are available even today through mirror websites.
The site has a simple interface, and you get to the movie or TV stream of your choice in just two or three clicks. The latest movies, such as Old, Snake Eyes, and Black Widow, are available on Putlocker.
Putlockers comes with the same caveats as Popcorn Time as far as security and legality are concerned. So, it’s important that you use a VPN and an antivirus program to keep yourself safe while using Putlocker.
Zona is a video streaming software that has been described as the “Popcorn Time beater.” It offers functionality similar to Popcorn Time as it is essentially a BitTorrent client that lets you stream movies, shows, live TV and music, without waiting for the torrent to download. It’s widely considered by many as one of the best Popcorn Time alternatives.
Much like Popcorn Time, Zona relies on illegal torrents to provide you with the latest movies and shows. Zona apps downloaded from the net have also been found to contain malware.
Unlike Popcorn Time, however, Zona is not open source. So it’s difficult to identify what elements are included in new releases that developers put out. Please be cautious when using this app!
16. Duckie TV
Duckie TV is one of the closest alternatives to Popcorn Time that we came across during our research. It allows you to add your favorite shows to a calendar that automatically tracks when the episode is available.
You can link the Duckie TV app with other clients like BitTorrent and uTorrent, and it will automatically queue downloads immediately after the episode airs. The app is available on Windows, Linux, and macOS.
Duckie TV does rely on torrents, though, giving rise to the same security concerns as Zona and Popcorn Time. So be sure to use a VPN when accessing Duckie TV.
Stremio is another cross-platform media management tool like Kodi and Plex. You can use it to manage all your different types of content in one app. Users can customize their experience on Stremio using a variety of plugins and addons. The Stremio app can be installed on Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android.
While there are several legal plugins for Stremio, illegal ones also exist and are probably more popular because they allow you to access copyrighted movies and TV shows for free.
As we’ve mentioned for some of the other Popcorn Time alternatives above, you can land in legal trouble for streaming movies and shows which are copyrighted and shared without permission. So be careful when deciding which plugins to use with Stremio.
Primewire is one of the best Popcorn Time alternatives that’s a lot like 123Movies and Putlocker. It’s a free streaming website that hosts the latest movies and TV shows. You don’t even need to log in to access the latest movies and series.
During our use of Primewire, we found that the streams loaded fast but weren’t of the best quality. We didn’t have to navigate through too many ads either.
Be aware that Primewire is considered illegal in most countries, and using it could get you into a fix. You can read our article on how to use Primewire safely to avoid getting into trouble.
19. Rox Player
Rounding out our list of Popcorn Time alternatives is Rox Player. It’s a content management tool that can play different protocols like IPTV, HTTP, DHT, and P2P. You won’t ever feel the need to download an additional codec to watch your favorite videos using Rox Player.
Like DuckieTV, Rox Player can stream torrent files for you while they’re downloading. This means you don’t have to wait for the file to finish downloading before viewing it! Unfortunately, Rox Player is currently available only for Windows.
If you’re going to use Rox Player, then ensure you have an anti-virus program set up to scan your PC and detect any potential malware that may come along with the Rox Player installation file.
Why is Popcorn Time so Popular?
As we mentioned earlier, Popcorn Time is one of the most popular free apps to stream movies and TV shows. Some of the reasons for its popularity are:
- The Popcorn Time library is based on torrent releases and usually features the latest movies and TV shows.
- Its interface is easy to use, and installation is pretty smooth too.
- You can watch movies and shows without waiting for the entire torrent file to be downloaded.
- It allows users to add their own trackers and speeds up downloads.
These factors make it wildly popular in many countries, including the ones listed in the table below. These countries, in fact, make up most of the traffic that Popcorn Time receives in a month.
What Are The Consequences of Using Popcorn Time?
By now, you probably know that using Popcorn Time is considered illegal in some countries. Naturally, you’re probably wondering what consequences you could face for using the Popcorn Time app. Well, that depends entirely on the laws of your country and how strictly they’re imposed.
While law enforcement does not go after users of streaming apps in most countries, there are previous instances where people have been arrested for using Popcorn Time. For example, Survivor Productions sued 16 Comcast subscribers for using the app to watch the series Survivor illegally.
So, the consequences of using the website or other Popcorn Time alternatives (the unofficial ones) can potentially be severe. Remember to check how minor piracy offenses are punished in your country before using Popcorn Time or any other torrenting websites.
As a final word of caution, we do not recommend using Popcorn Time to stream movies and TV series. But, if you want to access any of these Popcorn Time alternatives, be sure to use a VPN. It’ll encrypt your internet traffic and route it through a different server so that your online activity cannot be easily traced using your IP address. It also helps overcome geo-restrictions that ISPs commonly put in place to block streaming apps like Popcorn Time.
Check out our VPN comparison guide to make sure you make the best choice when deciding on a VPN provider!
Were any of your questions regarding Popcorn Time alternatives left unanswered by the article? Check out the FAQs below to see if you can find the answer you’re looking for. Otherwise please do leave your query as a comment in the section below!
Popcorn Time uses torrent files to deliver movie and TV streams to its users. Using torrents to watch copyrighted content without permission constitutes copyright infringement, which is illegal in many countries.
The consequences you face if caught using Popcorn time depend on the stringency with which laws are imposed in your country.
Popcorn Time is an app that you have to download from the internet. But, there’s no one official source where you can safely download the file from. Instead, there are several mirrors that occasionally host files with malware.
So, it’s important that you get the app from a legit source. The Popcorn Time GitHub repository is the most legit and secure source that we know of.
Here’s how to access Popcorn Time in a safe and secure manner.
There are both official and non-official alternatives to Popcorn Time. Some of the best ones are:
- Amazon Prime Video
- Rox Player
For more alternatives, read our article on the 19 best alternatives to Popcorn Time.
Using Popcorn Time without a VPN can be risky as your ISP and law enforcement can easily track all your activity, including the torrent files you use and the movies you streamed.
A VPN is also needed to access Popcorn Time in countries where it is geo-blocked by ISPs. You can choose from any of the top 5 VPN providers.