Since the shutdown of Putlocker, dozens of near-exact replicas of the original have appeared online. From Putlockertv.ist, Putlockers.movie to Putlockers.mn, there are a lot of them out there all offering the same service as the original. It is unknown whether any of them are run by the original Putlocker team, at least one of whom had some mild consequences in the legal system.
The reliability and level of security of these replacement sites we can’t determine, and they regularly are suppressed by the authorities before popping back up again with a new domain name.
In this article, we’ll go over 11 great, secure, and reliable alternatives to Putlocker for streaming movies and TV shows online.
Is it Safe to Stream Movies Online?
Understandably, many users have concerns regarding the safety and legality of using these free movie and TV streaming sites.
Some or all of these services or apps may host copyrighted material without the permission of the owners. Any site which either hosts or links to copyrighted material for which it lacks distribution rights are subject to getting taken down by copyright enforcers.
Also, your ISP may identify that you are streaming copyrighted material, and there could be legal or financial consequences for doing so. TechJunkie assumes no responsibility or liability for the way anyone uses the information presented in this article, which we provide for informational purposes only.
Note that these sites and apps sometimes move from host to host; if you click on a link and find a dead or unresponsive page, try Googling the app or site name to find its latest location.
Using a VPN
If you plan to use your Internet connection to download or stream any content for which you are not 100% sure about the copyright status, you should install and run virtual private network (VPN) software.
A correctly-configured VPN essentially makes you anonymous online. It blocks your ISP from being able to tell that you are downloading potentially illegal content.
TechJunkie has a number of articles to help you get a VPN working for your Internet connection, including our reviews of the best VPNs as of March 2020 and this overview of how we assess and review VPN software.
Alternatives to Putlocker: Websites
Here are our picks for the best online alternatives to Putlocker.
Popcorn Time allows you to watch torrented movies instantly. You can watch from your browser using the Popcorn Time Online web service, or use the app (see below).
The interface is solid, with clear category selections and lots of new and up-and-coming titles. There are the usual straight-to-DVD movies here, but the selection also includes many blockbuster and top TV titles. The app and the website both appear to be stable, and the platform is available in 44 different languages making it a truly global alternative.
However, Popcorn Time has run into its share of legal difficulties over time, and the site (like Putlocker) has been put down and then reborn more than once.
Also, users should be aware that, because Popcorn Time is a torrent files site when you are watching a movie, you are also engaged in providing the movie to other users. This is not onerous in terms of bandwidth, but it does make users legally liable as being distributors of the possibly copyrighted material.
Solar Movie is another well-regarded streaming site. The site is clean, fast, and easy to use. It doesn’t have the slickest interface in the world, but it makes short work of finding movies and TV shows to watch. Both have their own category, and there is also a useful search function should you need it.
Streaming is seamless, too. Highlight a title, and a popup appears, select “Watch,” and a new screen shows with the title front and center. As long as your internet connection is sufficiently fast to handle the quality, Solar Movie streams flawlessly.
Solar Movie, like other entries in this category, has been fragmented and forked several times. If the above link doesn’t work, try Googling “Solar Movie,” and another fork or mirror will undoubtedly be up and running.
FMovies is a lot like Solar Movie but has a slick interface. It also seems to contain many more Hollywood titles and mainstream TV shows. The categorization is better at FMovies, and the overall browsing experience is better.
However, when it comes to the most important part of streaming online – the watching – FMovies can falter. When the servers are under peak load, selecting and viewing a title can take up to a minute. To play a movie or TV show, click one to be taken to the movie page. The movie should begin playing automatically. Be aware, though, that when you click the film on the page, a popup ad will appear. Leave the page alone, and the content should play without anything else happening.
123Movies has been around for a while, and it may or may not be a clone of the original, depending on what you read online. Either way, this version of the site works well. The website itself is slick and easy to use. It has the usual category selections, and you can even filter by country if you are looking for a foreign film. The collection is extensive and covers most new releases.
Selection is simple: Find a title, select it, and it takes you to its page. The movie will play automatically or after a quick prompt. Media loads smoothly, buffers quickly, and offers HD playback without any fuss.
Alternatives to Putlocker: Apps
If you don’t want to use your browser for movies and TV, you can also use a standalone app on your PC, smartphone, or tablet. In this section, I’ll introduce a few apps that work well for watching movies and shows.
Hey, wait, didn’t we just talk about Popcorn Time above? We did, and the service also has an app. The app is available for Android, Windows, Linux, and Mac, and you can download it here. Install the app, find a title, select it, and it plays.
Showbox is the Android fork of an older (now dead) app called Moviebox. The idea is the same as all the other apps and services in this article: streaming movies and TV shows at no charge. Showbox requires sideloading on your phone, as the official app stores do not support it. You can get the Android version here.
PlayBox HD is another alternative that runs on both iPhones and Androids. It works just like Showbox and has a lot of HD content. PlayBox HD has a clean and straightforward UI design, and it streams quickly and without buffering on a good WiFi connection.
Crackle is a bit different than most of the sites and apps here; it’s owned by Sony and presents only licensed content, so you don’t need to worry about a VPN. Everything on Crackle is a good quality video, and the app lets you do things like save your favorites and create playlists. Crackle has a clean and straightforward UI, and you can search and sort the shows and movies you want to watch.
Sky HD (not connected with the UK television channel) only works on Android and is essentially a carbon copy of PlayBox HD. It doesn’t have anything going for it in the way of originality, but it works great and seems to be reliable.
CinemaBox is basically another Showbox clone. It does add the ability to view content offline, which is excellent if you don’t always have WiFi access or plan an extended vacation in the woods but want to take some movies with you. CinemaBox is available on both Android and iOS.
Currently, it doesn’t seem like CinemaBox is operating, but that doesn’t mean they won’t return in the future. If you see CinemaBox again, let us know, and we’ll update the URL. Until then, you can use all the other websites, as they are currently operational since December 1st, 2019.
Stremio, like Sony Crackle, is an entirely legitimate service that takes your streams from Amazon, iTunes, Netflix, etc., and collects them all in one place for your convenience. Stremio offers versions for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. The UI looks like most of the other movie apps we’ve discussed and will also work with movies and show video files you already have stored locally.
We know that streaming video is a massive activity for many of our readers, and we have a lot of great articles and tutorials to help you make the most of your online video experience.
Want to stream movies on your iPhone? Check out our guide to the best movie streaming apps for iPhone!
If performance is an issue, you should read our tutorial on improving your network performance for streaming video.
Is anime your thing? Take a look at our guide to the best anime streaming services.
Are you trying to decide between Fire TV and Roku? Here’s our head-to-head comparison review! And of course, we do the same thing for Chromecast vs. Roku.