Services like Netflix provide an easy and reliable way for people to watch movies online at a low cost. But there are a few other websites that enable people to watch many of the same movies online — for free, and legally!
For people who don’t want to pay monthly fees, and also do not want to resort to piracy to watch their favorite films, these websites are especially invaluable.
Watch Movies Online with YouTube
Most people know YouTube as an online community for viewing and posting viral videos and other original content, but YouTube is also a platform for renting movies, offering free films to its users to promote its pay-for-stream service.
While some of the films in the free category are lower quality movies, which never received a proper theatrical release, there are classic and popular modern films hosted there too. Click here to see some of the free movies YouTube has to offer. You can also browse the Reddit community, /r/fullmoviesonyoutube, to find some of the better films on YouTube.
Hulu, known primarily as a website to stream television shows for free, also offers free movies, with genres that range from Action & Adventure, to Documentaries, and even Korean drama films. The free version of Hulu does limit its selection of films, however, more titles are available through the use of Hulu Plus, a paid subscription service.
While some may find the abundance of lesser-known movies on the service an issue, you might find some hidden gems that you wouldn’t have considered watching before. Hulu is also accessible on many other platforms, like your laptop, smartphone, PS3 or Xbox 360, and now even the 3DS line of handheld gaming systems.
Crackle offers an impressive library of hundreds of full-length movies, which they can offer through a partnership with Sony Pictures. One of the more convenient features of Crackle is its compatibility with a wide array of devices, which allow you to watch movies online on your computer, video game consoles, and mobile devices.
Crackle also has a social function, allowing people to create and share lists of the programs they’ve watched on the website, as well as like and comment on other user’s lists too. Users can also create watch lists, which will notify them if one of the movies on their list is added to the service.
Because of their partnership with Sony, they have a more extensive library than most of the alternative services. However, there are some inconveniences to the service, like occasional advertisements, and the fact that you need to create an account to view the films Crackle has to offer.
Viewster is an online service that works in a way very similar to Crackle, in that it offers a variety of full-length films for free streaming, and requires viewers to create an account and watch advertisements to see their content.
Viewster has a lot of different genres available to choose from, with movies on their website which appeal to a wide variety of tastes. Like Crackle, Viewster also has a social function, which enables viewers to share what they watch with their friends.
With Viewster, you have several options to watch their selection of movies. First, you can choose from their selection of free films, and be subject to short commercial breaks at different points of the film. But you can also pay a small amount to buy or rent a movie on their website, and view it free of commercial interruption.
Amazon Instant Video is an option which isn’t entirely free, like the other items on this list, but it’s a great alternative to other paid services nonetheless. In order to use Instant Video, you have to be a subscriber to Amazon Prime, which then unlocks thousands of movies you can watch for free, rivaling the selection offered at other subscription sites like Netflix (and cheaper, too).
If you are an avid user of Amazon, Amazon Prime may be a good investment, saving you money and time on shipping your normal purchase, while opening up a huge library of movies for your enjoyment.
Netflix and Hulu Plus may be inexpensive and convenient ways for people to watch movies online, but there are many other ways you can see much of the same content they play on those subscription sites, free of charge. And instead of pirating films, and taking the risk of infecting your computer with viruses or getting in trouble with the law, these alternatives allow you to watch these movies for free and support the filmmakers at the same time: a win-win for everyone.