How to Watch Free Movies Online in 2021

Sandra Pattison
By Sandra Pattison (Editor)
— Last Updated: 2018-12-12T07:54:02+00:00

In an age where you need a second job to go to the movies, it’s no wonder more and more people are looking for ways to watch films online. We’re going to tell you how to watch free movies, so you can grab some $1 snacks from the store and watch what you’ve been dying to see from the comfort of your couch.

There are many ways to watch free movies, but how and where you find them boils down to how old they are. You may want to settle down with a classic or get lost in one of Hollywood’s latest. Whichever it is, don’t get suckered into the websites that ask you to sign up and do a million surveys, only to find you can’t finish the last one. You’re just wasting your time.

Watch Free Movies Online

If you’re after new movies, you’re going to have to get your hands dirty. While we don’t condone pirating, we’re not here to tell you what’s right or wrong. What we can do, though, is point you in the right direction and advise you on doing so safely.

If you’re not too picky about quality, there are plenty of sites out there that stream copyrighted content. 123Movies was one of the most popular, but it shut down in 2018, most likely because of pressure from authorities. There are alternatives, such as Putlocker, SolarMovie and LookMovie. Just keep in mind that many have to play musical chairs with their domain names to stay online, so you may have to dig to find them.

Watch Movies for Free

Given that you’re doing some dodgy stuff, we suggest you sign up for a good virtual private network. Using a VPN will protect you by hiding your identity and keeping your activities a secret, meaning you can carry on anonymously. ExpressVPN is hands down the best available, as you can read in our ExpressVPN review.

Even with the best known websites for free movies, you’re putting your data and privacy at risk. Many of them are laced with viruses and, though you’re not actually downloading anything, they can still infect your computer. Because of that, we recommend installing a decent antivirus, as well. Bitdefender is one of the best options for protection from online threats. Add to that one of the best pop-up blockers and you’ll be good to go.

Watch Free Movies on Kodi

Kodi is an open source home theater. It allows you to stream, store and organize media and is compatible with most platforms. Once you’ve installed it, you can tailor it to your preferences. If you’re new to it, check out our Kodi guide to get started.

Many people think Kodi is illegal, but it isn’t on its own. You can install repositories with add-ons that give you access to content, some of which is official and some of which is not. It’s the latter that makes it illegal. Unofficial add-ons give you access to a lot of pirated content.

One of the best add-ons is called Covenant. It finds torrents of movies on the internet and streams them. With it, you’ll get almost every movie you could want and you may find some that are still in theaters. There are other add-ons, too, and we’ve listed our favorites in our best Kodi add-ons piece.

watch movies for free

Even with Kodi, the fact is you are still streaming a torrent, so you should use a VPN to keep yourself protected and hidden. You can’t beat ExpressVPN, but you can look at our best VPN for Kodi article for more choices.

You could also just search for a torrent of the movie you want to watch on websites such as The Pirate Bay, but you should still protect yourself. Our best VPN for torrenting has a few suggestions that are up to the task.

Watch Movies Through Streaming Services

You can use streaming services, such as Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Vudu or Netflix, to watch movies, too. They have decent selections and, even though they won’t have the latest blockbusters in their libraries, some get added quickly.

While none of those are free, you could sign up for their free trials to see if you like them. Just make sure you cancel before you get charged if you don’t want to subscribe. You can then always opt for constantly signing up again and again using fake email addresses. It’s troublesome, but, hey, free is free.

Depending on where you are, you may find that their libraries are limited by geoblocks. You can usually get around them by downloading a VPN and using it connect to a server in another location. Once you’ve done that, you will have access to many more titles than before. For example, you may have to connect to a server in the EU to watch a Marvel flick (read our how to watch The Avengers guide).

That said, Netflix is quite complicated and has one of the most sophisticated VPN detection systems, as you can read in our piece on how to beat the Netflix ban. Fortunately for you, we’ve done the hard work and found the best VPN for Netflix.

ExpressVPN is the best choice for bypassing Netflix’s systems and the best VPN for streaming in general. NordVPN is another top choice, though, because it is great at bypassing streaming services’ geoblocks. Read our NordVPN review to find out more.

Final Thoughts

Depending on what you are after, there are many ways to watch movies online. On the one hand, there are websites and services that offer a decent library, but may not have the latest movies and can come with a paywall. On the other, there are plenty of ways to watch what you want for free, but if you’re after one that is still in theaters, there’s more to it.

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You can use a website, such as Putlocker, opt for torrenting or set up Kodi with an add-on. If you plan to do that, though, you need to start by protecting yourself from online dangers and legal woes with one of our best VPN providers and an antivirus.

Hopefully we helped you plan your next movie night on the cheap. If there are  ways to get free movies that we missed, let us know in the comments section. Thank you for reading.