Tips for Free Movies Online Without Downloading


Do you want to watch free movies online without downloading? Understandable – downloading comes with its own risks, especially when it comes to malware (and the annoyance of finding a compatible video player). Streaming movies is easier and often safer…if you can find the right site. Here are several top suggestions for where to look.

Free Movies Online Without Downloading: Trial Periods

This is a short-term option, but it can work if you are looking for a particular movie you cannot find anywhere but the more popular streaming services. You see, services like Netflix and Hulu, which are chocked full of movie options, often offer trial periods where you can access their streaming services without having to pay any fees.

For Netflix, this trial period lasts around 30 days. For Hulu it can vary based on current deals, and you may be able to get anywhere from two weeks to two months for free. Before the trial period is over – but after you have watched all the movies on your list – you can cancel the service.

Movie Streaming Websites

Streaming websites offer an interesting, give-and-take solution for watching free movies online without downloading. On one hand, there are hundreds of sites that offer to stream movies directly from your computer. On the other hand, quality is an issue – these sites tend to have varying levels of security, so you have to be careful not to download any malware by accident. They are also plagued with annoying pop-up ads and other problems. Also, many outright pirate movies from other sources to get the latest hits.

If you want to find a dependable movie streaming site, look for options that work where you live – many have regional compatibility issues. Some of the most popular options include:

  • Yify (streaming version): Yify is notable for its low level of annoying ads and the ability to choose your video resolution to match your current playing conditions.
  • Crackle: Crackle offers a great interface that you can personalize with your own watchlist and use to explore all the movie options. It is one of the safer streaming sites, but as a result its list is often limited.
  • MovieTV4u: This website is not quite as mainstream as Crackle, but you can find a lot of more current movies here. However, finding high-quality streaming options may be a struggle, so pay close attention.

Social Video Sites (YouTube)

Sometimes free movies online without downloading are available via simpler, more social services. The best example of this is YouTube, which has an entire category devoted to movies. However, YouTube also comes with some caveats of its own. First, while this is an excellent option for streaming movies instead of downloading, you will still have to pay to stream the most recent hits (yes, YouTube does have a few paywalls). A one-time fee of a few dollars is better than many deals, but it may still be too much for you.

Yes, the YouTube Move Channel does include a collection of free movies for you to browse. However, the selection is fairly off-the-wall, and you will not find any recent Hollywood hits on the list. Instead, the free section is devoted mostly to indie films, old movies, documentaries, and copycat movies from cheap studios. You may also try searching YouTube’s other channels for clips of a movie that you want to watch, sometimes users uploaded clips of their own (a practice which can sometimes lead to a blocked video if it violates a copyright).

Network Sites

Certain network sites may also offer their movies for free streaming. Some rare options here are free: For example, Lifetime offers free streaming of its movies on its website with a basic sign-up feature. AMC, the Hallmark Channel and other sites may offer temporary free movie streaming as part of a deal or marketing push. Of course, you are restricted to the movies that a particular network specializes in, so take this option with a grain of salt.

It is worth noting that as more services begin to offer independent streaming apps (here’s looking at you, HBO), their movie collections will be easier to access as well. You may want to keep an eye out for free trial periods and deals here, as well.

Photo Credit: Alex