Is Putlocker Safe? Try Out These 12 Free and Legal Alternatives

Computer screen with Putlocker logo
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Is Putlocker Safe? Free and Legal Alternatives: A summary

A free streaming service such as Putlocker may seem great, but there are some potential disadvantages to its use and it might even be illegal in your country to use Putlocker. These are some of the key points to take away from this article:

  • The use of Putlocker is probably not allowed in your country. Whether there are consequences to using Putlocker all depends on the country you are in.
  • The original Putlocker website was taken offline in 2016. This means that all current Putlocker websites are copies hosted by others and may be untrustworthy.
  • It is difficult to find a working Putlocker website. There are websites similar to Putlocker which do work, like 123movies and Primewire.
  • Other alternatives to Putlocker are mostly paid streaming services. Popular alternatives are Netflix, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime.
  • If you’re looking for a free, legal streaming platform, you might want to try out Peacock, Pluto TV, or Crunchyroll.

It is a known fact that many people use VPNs nowadays to stay safe and anonymous when using streaming services. This also holds true for Putlocker. A popular VPN that people use to watch Putlocker anonymously is Surfshark.

Even though a VPN keeps you safe from curious eyes, it might be wise to check if Putlocker is allowed in your country.

Do you want to know more about Putlocker, and what legal alternatives there are? Read all about it in the article below.

Putlocker LogoPutlocker was a website used for streaming movies and TV shows online. Even though the official website has been taken down, copies and mirrors still exist. It’s currently unknown whether the original founder or founders of the site have anything to do with these mirrors.

The various websites that host a copy of Putlocker are still very popular to this day. However, because law enforcement has been cracking down on sites that distribute copyrighted content, many have been looking for alternatives to these services. So are you allowed by law to use Putlocker? What are the alternatives? Read on to learn this, and more.

Is it Illegal to use Putlocker?

The short answer is yes. It is illegal to use a site like Putlocker. Just like 123movies or PrimeWire, Putlocker makes copyrighted content available to its users without a license. This is content to which they do not own distribution rights. Here’s a rule of thumb to know whether the site you’re visiting operates legally or not:

If you don’t pay for content to which someone else holds the copyright, and the copyright holder did not give permission to share their content via a specific site or service, you’re not allowed to stream or download it.

Not every country upholds the same rules for copyright infringement, however. It depends on the country you’re in whether there are any consequences to watching streams on a site like Putlocker. These are the stances of various countries pertaining to piracy:

Stance on piracyCountries
Pirating is legal or allowed (for personal use)Poland, Spain, and Switzerland
Pirating is illegalAustralia, China, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, and the United States
Pirating is illegal, but individuals are not actively prosecutedArgentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Greece, India, Israel, Iran, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Uruguay

Disclaimer: This article is meant to be purely informational. We are not lawyers and any claims made in this article aren’t legal advice. Furthermore, every country has its own laws, which can change constantly. If you have any questions regarding the rules and regulations in your country, please consult with a local expert on said regulations.

The consequences of using Putlocker are basically the same as those for the use of any service that provides users with copyrighted content. In a lot of countries, the government won’t prosecute the individual downloader or stream-watcher. They mainly go for the distributor of said copyrighted content. With streaming services, it’s even harder to prosecute because there are no files left on someone’s computer after watching a stream online.

Most countries don’t have the resources to actively enforce fines, but some countries, such as Germany, do fine individual downloaders. Still, there is a chance you might receive a warning or fine in the mail. For more information on fines and downloading, check out our article about download fines.

Putlocker Mirrors: Is it Dangerous to Use Putlocker?

In terms of device safety, it’s hard to say whether using Putlocker is dangerous or not, because there’s not just one Putlocker website. It all depends on the specific mirror or copy you’re visiting.

The moment they took down the original website, mirrors and copies have been popping up. Anyone who hosts such a mirror could have ill intentions. Files can be altered to contain viruses and malicious advertisements could be placed anywhere. The wide variety of mirrors means that some are safe, while others aren’t.

This means that you are at risk when using sites such as Putlocker. Whether it’s fines for downloading content or accidentally reeling in a virus, the many mirrors of Putlocker are not the safest sites to visit.

How to Watch Putlocker Safely

Using Putlocker is not allowed in many countries and we do not condone the use of Putlocker in said countries. Still, there are locations where it is allowed to use such a streaming service for personal use. People in these countries should take the necessary precautions to stay safe from prying eyes, viruses, and malicious website hosts if they do decide to use a site like Putlocker.

If you want to use Putlocker, make sure you:

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With a VPN and antivirus software, you’re well-protected against malware and malicious website admins that aim to steal your data.

Free Putlocker Alternatives

You might not trust Putlocker mirrors, or be unable to find your favorite movie or TV show on Putlocker. If that’s the case, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with our alternatives to Putlocker.

Just keep in mind that the free movie streaming sites listed below are still operating with unlicensed content. This means you’re engaging in piracy if you watch movies on them. Make sure that’s legal in your country before you use these sites!

1. Flixtor: Huge library with few ads

Screenshot of FlixTor with logo

ProsCons
Overall a great source of unlicensed contentUnlicensed content
Good video quality
Low ad intrusion

Flixtor is one of the biggest unofficial streaming platforms — and for good reason. It has a huge library of all types of titles. If you want to watch something, you’ll probably find it here. Not to mention, the video quality on their files is also pretty good. And the best part? Flixtor has very little ad intrusion. Ads are usually pretty common on these sites, so to have a platform that barely shows any is a true breath of fresh air.

If you want to find out more about this platform, don’t forget to check our Flixtor article.

2. AZMovies: Pleasant watching if you have an adblocker

Homepage screenshot of AZ Movies with Logo

ProsCons
Impressive library of TV series and moviesUnlicensed content
Great navigationAnnoying ad intrusion
Decent video quality

AZMovies is by and large a pretty good Putlocker alternative. Like Flixtor, it has an impressive library and decent video quality. The navigation is also pretty nice on AZMovies. Moreover, users can browse titles based on genre, type, and launch year. That last criterion is really good if you want to watch something from a specific period, as it’s easy to find content from all ages.

AZMovies has a big downside, however. Ad intrusion is really high on the platform. Besides banner ads, you’ll also get pop-ups and intrusive advertisements. You can limit this with the help of an adblocker, which makes it much easier to enjoy AZMovies.

3. PopcornTime: A torrent client with a twist

Homepage screenshot of Popcorn Time with logo

ProsCons
Innovative Putlocker alternativeUnlicensed content
Access to virtually any movie or TV showTakes longer to set up and use
Available on a ton of devices

PopcornTime is a different type of Putlocker alternative. It’s not a simple site that you surf to and start streaming content on. PopcornTime is an app you have to download. To be more specific, it’s a BitTorrent client with a twist. PopcornTime has a built-in media player, so while you’re downloading torrents with the app, you can play them as well — even if they’re not fully downloaded yet.

PopcornTime also has applications for a lot of devices, including Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, and even Android TV. On any of these devices, you’ll get some of the most qualitative video files for free. As can be expected, it does take a bit longer to set up PopcornTIme than it does to just open a streaming site in your browser.

It is important to note that as of January 2022, Popcorn Time and its mirror websites are currently down, with the exception of one possible site.

If you want to find out more about PopcornTime and its safety, read our article here.

4. SolarMovie: For all your Asian productions

Homepage screenshot of Solar Movie with Logo

ProsCons
Decent library of free movies and TV showsUnlicensed content
No ads whatsoeverNot a lot of anime
Large amount of Asian productions

SolarMovie is another good Putlocker alternative. It’s got a decent library, even if it’s not as impressive as that of other entries on the list. The content on the site also has pretty good video quality. You’ll especially find a lot of Asian productions on the site, which makes it a great destination if that’s what you’re looking for. Just know that there’s not a lot of anime.

What makes SolarMovie extremely special, is its ads. Or, rather, the lack thereof. SolarMovie has no ads whatsoever. This makes it one of the best places to watch content online, as long as you’re willing to engage in piracy.

5. PrimeWire: Streaming with a premium option

Screenshot of PrimeWire website homepage with logo in the corner

ProsCons
Simple and lightweight interfaceUnlicensed content
Intuitive navigationHD and downloads only available for a membership
Low ad intrusion

PrimeWire is a simple site. It has a very lightweight interface, which makes it very easy to jump in and enjoy a movie or series fast. Browsing for media is a breeze in PrimeWire, thanks to helpful thumbnails and intuitive navigation. Not to mention, ad intrusion is pretty low. With an ad blocker, you can even avoid them altogether.

PrimeWire offers special treatment to premium members. With a membership, you can download the content you watch and get access to higher video quality. While this is a nice bonus, the free version is still a good Putlocker alternative as well.

Most options below aren’t free streaming sites, but they are 100% legal. Most of them offer a free trial, so you can try them out and see if you like their library.

There are a few legal alternatives that are completely free of charge, but they don’t rival Putlocker’s impressive library. If you’re more interested in those options, try out one of the following:

Make sure to check out our article with the 40 best free movie streaming sites for more information and free options — including more fully legal ones.

If you’re looking for a legal platform with a bigger library, one of the alternatives below might be a good choice. Keep in mind that registration is required for all of these options.

Screenshot of Netflix with logo

ProsCons
Huge collection of TV series and moviesThe cheapest plan is still pretty expensive
Great recommendations algorithmUnreliable collection: media comes and goes
Up to five profiles

Netflix is a well-known streaming service with a ton of different shows and movies. Netflix is a great choice if you’re looking for an alternative for Putlocker. You can even get access to a bigger database of movies and shows if you use a VPN to access the American Netflix content when you’re not in the US.

Netflix is usually the default choice for streamers when they get a subscription to online streams. This is because Netflix is simply the leading provider of streaming services.

7. Hulu: A decent library and live sports

Screenshot of Hulu with logo

ProsCons
Affordable on-demand streamingOlder TV series can have gaps in them
A lot of TV channel optionsPretty annoying ad intrusion
Live TV is expensive

Hulu is a great alternative to Netflix if you’re more into watching live sports. It’s a little cheaper than Netflix, but it does have fewer movies and shows available. Still, they’ve recently added streams of live sporting events to their roster of shows and movies so it’s a good pick for sports enthusiasts. In some countries, Hulu is not available, in which case you need a VPN to access Hulu.

8. Prime Video: Amazon’s streaming solution

Screenshot of Prime Video with logo

ProsCons
Amazing library and originalsExtra content can get pricey
Included in a Prime membership
Ability to rent or buy extra content

Amazon Prime Video is another, cheaper, alternative to Netflix. Just like Hulu, its database contains fewer movies and shows than Netflix. The big difference is that Amazon Prime Video is available in most countries, whereas Hulu isn’t.

But just so we’re clear, Prime’s collection of titles isn’t embarrassing or anything. It’s still a solid library, filled with classics, new releases, and amazing originals. Not to mention, if something’s not included in Prime Video, you can just buy it off Amazon and watch it as soon as you want.

9. Disney Plus: Stream your happily ever after

Screenshot of Disney Plus with logo

ProsCons
Great collection of Disney movies and showsMissing some titles that seem like they should be included
Relatively affordableSome shows are listed in the incorrect viewing order
Family-friendly content

Disney Plus is a more specialized streaming service. Instead of having a whole bunch of movies and shows from different companies, Disney Plus focuses on all things Disney. This means you gain access to popular titles such as Aladdin (both the new and the old version) as well as all kinds of family-friendly shows and movies.

Disney Plus isn’t just perfect for your kids, however. It also has some extremely popular originals, including shows like The Mandalorian, and newer MCU productions like WandaVision, Loki, and Hawkeye. Not to mention, if Disney Star is available in your country, you’ll find a lot of content from Hulu on Disney Plus as well.

10. YouTube TV: Live TV from over 70 networks

Screenshot of Youtube TV with logo

ProsCons
Great network coverageExpensive, at least when compared to other alternatives on this list
Available for up to six profilesHard to get outside of the US
Live sports and news channels

YouTube TV is one of the more expensive streaming services out there, but for good reason. Instead of containing a few movies and shows, YouTube TV gives you access to over 70 different networks, such as Fox, ESPN, ABC, and CBS. YouTube TV is currently only available within the United States, so it’s not for everyone. Still, with its amazing offer of networks, it’s definitely worth a look.

11. Sling TV: Cheap US live TV

Screenshot of Sling TV with logo

ProsCons
Affordable live TV serviceOnly available in the US
A lot of programming optionsCan be expensive with extra channels
No contracts needed

Sling TV is kind of like YouTube TV: it gives you access to a bunch of different television networks and it’s only available for US audiences. The big difference is that with Sling TV, you customize what channels you want to access. This makes it a great option for US viewers that like some live channels, but don’t want to pay for a full cable subscription.

12. HBO Max: Stream the big blockbusters

Screenshot of HBO max with logo

ProsCons
Great originals and exclusive showsOnly available in the US
Impressive library of content from all genres
Relatively affordable

HBO Max is AT&T’s streaming platform, encompassing all of their (and Warner’s) big productions, like Game of Thrones, the Lord of The Rings, Westworld, some DC productions, the Sopranos, and many more. It’s relatively affordable, but has a big downside. It’s only available in the US. If you want to access HBO Max from anywhere else, you’ll need a VPN and a US-based credit card. Without that, there’s no workaround to enjoy content on HBO Max.

Streaming Content Beyond Putlocker

Streaming online content is no longer synonymous with Netflix, and you don’t need illegitimate platforms like Putlocker anymore, either. The realm of watching movies and TV shows online has been opened up, and it seems like every company wants a piece of it. If you want to find out more about streaming online, don’t forget to check our other articles:

Is Putlocker Safe? Legal and Free Alternatives: Frequently Asked Questions

Have a quick question you need answered about Putlocker? Check out our FAQ below to see if we might have the answer you’re looking for. If you have any other questions, please feel free to leave a comment.

The answer is probably no. Streaming copyrighted content from a site such as Putlocker is not allowed in most countries. There are, however, some exceptions, and we advise you to read our entire article about Putlocker. Want to know more about fines for piracy in general? Read all about fines for downloading here.

Depending on the country you live in, you could get a fine for using a site such as Putlocker. Also, because the original Putlocker website is no longer online, you can only access copies of the site, called mirrors. Hosts of these copies might inject viruses or other malicious software into their mirrors. This means that you run the risk of getting a virus when using such a mirror.

No, not only is the use of Putlocker not allowed in a lot of countries, but you also are at risk of getting a virus when using an unsafe copy or mirror of the Putlocker website. If you do plan on using Putlocker, there are some safety measures to take into consideration.

Some popular (legal) alternatives to Putlocker are:

  • Netflix
  • Hulu
  • Disney Plus
  • YouTube TV
  • Sling TV
  • HBO Now

Be aware that these do not work in every country and you need a paid subscription to gain access to these services.

Cybersecurity analyst
David is a cybersecurity analyst and one of the founders of VPNoverview.com. Since 2014 he has been gaining international experience working with governments, NGOs, and the private sector as a cybersecurity and VPN expert and advisor.