30 Best Free Streaming Sites For Watching Movies & TV Shows Online

Top 30+ Totally Free Apps to Watch Movies Online

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Top 30+ Best Free Streaming Sites & Services In The US Today. Photo KnowInsiders

When did streaming in the US start?

Streaming first became popular in 2005, thanks to ­YouTube

By 2017, more people were watching old episodes of the long-running hit NCIS on Netflix than the newest season on its home network, CBS. This past year, while Sunday Night Football, the most-viewed show on network television, averaged 20 million viewers a night, the debut of Netflix’s Tiger King drew more than 34 million viewers in its first ten days on the air.

Nearly three-quarters of American households subscribe to at least one video streaming service

With almost 200 million subscribers worldwide and a billion hours of content viewed each week, Netflix is by far the biggest paid service. No. 2 is Amazon Prime Video. But for every ­Goliath, there are a hundred Davids. Many smaller streaming services focus on niche programming, showing nothing but sports, classic movies, or ­Japanese anime.

Free Movie Streaming Sites: Are They Legal In The US?

The existence of free movie streaming sites itself is not illegal. Simply navigating to these free movie streaming websites is also legal.

However, streaming copyrighted content for free can be illegal in some countries if you don’t have the necessary permissions and rights. Depending on where you are in the world, this could be considered piracy and have serious consequences.

Luckily, there are plenty of options when it comes to streaming free movies. There are many legal alternatives, both paid and free. So, you can stream free movies no matter where you are, even if you’re on a budget, or if they’re unavailable in your country.

READ MORE: 30 Best Free Streaming Sites For Watching Movies & TV Shows Online

How to stream for free in the US

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Photo software testing help

The answer is you should use a VPN to stream free TV shows and movies.

A VPN will help you securely access almost any free TV streaming service. Below we explain how to set up and run a VPN to change your IP address and watch free streaming sites for TV shows and movies.

Here’s how to use a VPN to stream free TV shows and movies:

First, sign up for a VPN service of your choice. NordVPN works well for most streaming services, although Surfshark and ExpressVPN are reasonably-priced alternatives.

Download and install your chosen VPN app onto the device you plan to use for free streaming. Unfortunately, most VPN services have no available app for some popular TV-connected devices (like the Roku) and most gaming consoles.

Connect to a VPN server in the country where the free streaming services you want to use offer on-demand or live content. Most options we’ve listed geo-block any IP address outside the US, but there are several that US customers won’t be able to access without a VPN.

Once connected, visit the streaming service website or app and try to load a stream. If it plays, you’re all set!

There’s a chance your streams won’t play on some devices despite a VPN connection. You may still get a message stating that your access is blocked. If that happens, try launching the website in a private web browsing instance (such as Incognito mode in Chrome). Additionally, delete cookies, clear your browser cache, and turn off browser or device location requests.

Do you know…?

The streaming industry is constantly growing, with more streaming services available every year. The streaming industry is expected to be worth $330 billion by 2030.

A staggering 85% of U.S. households have at least one video streaming subscription, and 60% have at least one paid music streaming subscription.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, subscriptions have increased across all major services. COVID and general growth have also pushed video streaming services to invest more money into new content, including “originals.”

Top 30+ Best Free Streaming Sites & Services In The US Today

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Photo KnowInsiders

1. ABC News Live

If you’re hungering for TV news programs, you can’t go wrong with ABC News Live. The service provides completely unrestricted access to live news content directly from ABC News and operates 24/7.

This is a single-channel option for individuals who want to watch US news. What’s more, you don’t need a VPN to watch ABC News Live, regardless of where you live. It’s a truly free option for US news, without restrictions. ABC News Live is even accessible without a VPN in China, which often restricts content from Western countries like the US.

READ MORE: Top 15+ Best Streaming Sites And Services In South Africa

2. Adult Swim

This service has 100+ titles available on-demand. Much of its content library is offered free-with-ads, while many episodes require you to log in with a cable TV service provider, such as Hulu + Live TV. In both cases, you’re trying to stream Adult Swim outside the US.

If you try to connect from outside the US, Adult Swim will display a message that says “BLOCKED: Sorry, there must be some sort of restriction on the content we are streaming here. Come back later or select another stream”.

If you see this message from your location, use NordVPN to connect to a US server so you can acquire a US IP address and zoom right past the geographic content blocking. We’ve found NordVPN easily unblocks what Adult Swim offers for free.

3. Charge!

Focuses on action TV shows and movies, with some sports.

Charge! is one of several genre-specific TV streaming provides that focuses on 24/7 live streaming with an ad-supported model. Charge! is geared toward fans of action TV, although it does offer some sports content on occasion.

To reiterate, this is not an on-demand streaming service. All of its TV shows and movies are broadcast live. Its model means it operates like traditional over-the-air TV stations, except that its content streams online.

If you try to connect from outside the US, Charge! will display the following message: “This stream is not available in your area”.

Connecting to a VPN server in the US easily bypasses this message and allows you to watch all content streaming live through Charge!. If you don’t want to use a web browser, there’s an iOS app available that you can pair with a VPN app for iOS devices.

4. Comet

It serves up sci-fi content, including TV and movie classics in the genre.

If you think Comet looks familiar, you’re right. It’s owned and operated by Sinclair Broadcasting Group, which also owns and operates Charge! The only difference between Charge! and Comet is that Comet is focused on science fiction TV shows and movies.

To that end, everything we said about Charge! above applies to Comet, right down to how it operates and where you’ll find available apps for watching it outside of a web browser. You’ll even see the same location-based blocking message if you try to stream Comet from outside of the US. NordVPN easily unblocks content streaming free through Comet as long as you’re connected to any US server.

5. CONtv

It offers a wide selection of nerd-culture TV shows and movies. CONtv began its life in 2007 as the streaming service Viewster. Content distributor Cinedigm purchased the website in 2019 and rebranded it. Alongside a new name, CONtv also upended the content library. What was once a free service focused on anime is now a free service focused on action and US-based cartoons.

The bigger change that occurred with CONtv, however, was the newly implemented geographic content restrictions. As Viewster, the service was available to stream anywhere. As CONtv, however, you may not be able to access the service everywhere.

6. Crackle

Crackle is an ad-supported video entertainment network that features full-length movies, TV shows and original programming. The service is available on several platforms, including connected TVs, mobile devices, set-top boxes, video game consoles and online. Get ready to stream The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Carol Burnett Show, That Girl and more

7. CW Seed

Free streaming site hosting The CW’s popular original programming.

This service offers 80+ titles available on-demand.

You’ll see the following message if you try to load CW Seed TV shows from outside of the US: “Due to licensing restrictions this content is only available in the US”. That’s pretty self-explanatory. Using NordVPN and a connection to a US server, you can easily bypass that message and access both the on-demand and live content available through CW Seed.

If you plan to download the app on an Android, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire TV, there’s a NordVPN available on all of those devices that will still allow you to bypass geographic content blocking for the service.

8. Kanopy

While free, users will need a public library or university card to take advantage of Kanopy's catalog of ad-free movies, like Parasite and Moonlight, as well as documentaries, award-winning foreign films and series. To get started, just enter your library card information, or if you are a registered student or faculty member of a participating university, you can sign up with a valid university login.

9. Roku

This service promises TV and moviegoers an “always-changing selection of free movies, shows, live news, kids’ TV and more.” Apart from free films, the Roku Channel offers live TV and originals like Swimming with Sharks starring Diane Kruger and Kiernan Shipka.

10. Hoopla

Like Kanopy, users of this digital media service will need a library card to "borrow" movies and TV shows to watch on their computer, tablet, phone or TV. With thousands of titles to choose from, including 13 Going on 30, Maid In Manhattan, Sweet Home Alabama and Breakfast at Tiffany's. Hoopla puts "your public library at your fingertips. Anytime. Everywhere!"

11. Fawesome.tv

App-based service providing free kids TV shows. This ad-supported streaming service is unique in its content is only available through its dedicated apps. And its app library is fairly limited.

You can stream Fawesome’s 250+ titles on Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices, using its Windows app or using an app for LG smart TVs.

12. FilmRise

Free movie streaming service carrying top-rated films (via YouTube). FilmRise is a content distribution company that acquires licenses for various TV shows and movies. Its content is available on a large number of different streaming services, but you can access most of it through the company’s YouTube channels or its dedicated iOS, Android, and streaming device apps.

This service carries 1,500+ titles in its library.

13. Vudu

While Vudu, the official movie and TV store on Roku, offers thousands of movies and TV shows to rent or buy, there are programs and films that are free for viewing with ads.

14. Yidio

Yidio, which is short for "Your Internet Video," is a platform that allows users to search shows and movies from different services like Netflix, Hulu, etc., but it also has a section for free films that, according to the site, "might be part of the free movie catalog on a free movie site that also offers pay to stream films, such as Hulu. They might be available on an all-free site such as Crackle or Snagfilms." The Yidio site notes that the free movies do "not require a subscription, a rental fee or a purchase of any kind."

15. XUMO

The ad-supported streaming site provides free live and on-demand entertainment. Users can pick from over 190 different channels and are able to pause and rewind. XUMO channels and XUMO-powered applications are free and available on Amazon Fire devices, Android mobiles, Android TVs, Hisense, iOS, Roku, Xfinity X1 devices and more.

16. Reelgood

The free app acts as a TV Guide for streaming platforms. Reelgood pulls from various streaming giants like Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Disney+, Prime Video, plus free services so viewers can see what's available in one place.

17. DistroTV

No registration is required to enjoy DistroTV. The service, available online, as well as via Roku, FireTV, Android and iOS, offers free movies, TV shows and documentaries.

18.. Amazon Freevee

Previously IMDb TV. Offers a huge range of free movies. The ad-supported service, formerly known as IMDb TV, offers no-cost TV shows and movies in addition to originals. Freevee from Amazon can be streamed for free through Fire TV, Prime Video, Apple TV, Echo Show, Google TV, and more. Current feature film titles include Emma, Deadpool, ShrekandKnives Out.

19. Kidoodle

Free kids TV programming with an ad-free premium option. The Kidoodle.TV streaming service has an ad-supported “freemium” version and a paid version that has a few additional features, including an ad-free experience. Similar to HappyKids.tv, Kidoodle.TV has very few geographic content restrictions in place.

The company states its service is available in over 140 countries, so you’ll likely find it works just fine wherever you live. If you find you’re getting blocked, we recommend you try to connect to a VPN server in a country where it’s likely to be available, such as the US, Canada, the UK, or most EU countries.

20. PBS

No-cost on-demand access to all PBS original content.

Often considered the US version of the BBC, PBS does have one distinguishing factor: You don’t need to pay a TV license to access much of its content. That means it’s a legitimately free streaming service. PBS does lock some of its content behind a donation paywall, but a fair amount is freely available.

This service has 190+ titles in its content library.

21. Peacock

Yep: Peacock, NBC's streaming service, has a free, ad-supported option that provides viewers with thousands of hours of programming—and in 2021, Peacock even featured live coverage of the Tokyo Olympics. Best of all, the streamer offers the first five seasons of The Office for free. (With a paid Peacock subscription, you get access to all nine seasons of TheOffice.)

21. PlutoTV

The free streaming television service offers live and linear channels, in addition to movies and TV shows on demand. Featured shows include TV Land sitcoms and BBC Food.

22. Tubi

Tubi features thousands of hours of streaming video content from Paramount, Lionsgate, MGM and more studios. With no subscription fees and the ability to stream from anywhere, you can watch Hitch, Hotel Transylvania, Beetlejuice, The Vow and a number of other movies and television shows. Tubi is available to stream on Android, iOS, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Xfinity X1, Xbox, Samsung Smart TVs, Sony Smart TVs, PlayStation and online.

23. Vudu

Vudu is a great legitimate alternative to MovieStars. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a vast library, and you probably won’t be able to find the latest releases here as soon as they hit other streaming platforms. Even so, it’s still one of the best free streaming sites that only show openly available content.

It’s a great way to watch movies online without being constantly disrupted by ads. Not all content on Vudu is free to watch, but you can use Vudu to buy or rent individual movies and TV shows for very low prices.

24. XUMO

XUMO is another legal streaming platform, but it’s considerably lighter in content. With no big corporation behind it, Xumo struggles to attract a huge audience. Still, it offers both VODs and live content, and it’s available on a suite of devices.

Just don’t expect much in terms of content variety. Also, first-time users might find its interface pretty confusing. Xumo will automatically display the live content it’s streaming at the moment you end up on the site.

Unfortunately, Xumo is only accessible from the US. If you want to try it from outside the States, you’ll need to use a VPN. We recommend NordVPN for this.


Although it’s available almost everywhere, YouTube’s content is not universally available. Many content uploaders place geographic content restrictions when they upload the content. YouTube then employs its own software to enforce those restrictions by detecting each users’ IP address to determine location.

YouTube’s content licensing arm offers 270+ titles on-demand, alongside the millions from its userbase.

26. Bounce TV

Bounce TV is a US-based digital streaming platform marketed to the African-American community. It features shows and movies with a diverse cast and is targeted to a very specific niche.

It’s free to access, has high-definition media quality, and the ads are not really annoying. If that sounds interesting and you aren’t currently in the United States, a VPN is all you need to find movies to stream. NordVPN in particular is good at unlocking platforms from the US, so you can give it a try.

27. VexMovies

VexMovies provides free access to a lot of HD titles, both movies and TV shows. There’s nothing special about it when compared to other entries on the list, but it ranks lower because it has a huge downside. It hasn’t been updated since 2018, so it’s not the place people go when they want to check new releases.

Other than that, it has no ads and a pretty massive library, so it’s still a good pick for people looking for the best free movie streaming site. That is, as long as they want to watch something released before 2018.

28. Tiny Zone

While it’s clearly ripping off YouTube’s interface, Tiny Zone is still a free movie streaming site appreciated by many people. It’s easy to navigate, not too intrusive with its ads, and it boasts an extensive collection of both movies and TV shows.

Add to that the fast loading time and little to no buffering, even on slow connections, and you can see why people still consider it one of the best free movie streaming sites. Just know that it’s operating with no distribution rights for the content they offer and this could be illegal in the country you’re streaming from.

29. Crackle

Crackle is the best free movie streaming site. It has a large library of free movies with quality titles from all over the world, including Crackle Originals.

Unlike other free movie sites such as Peacock, SBS On Demand, or The Roku Channel, you can watch movies on Crackle without creating an account or entering any signup details.

Crackle legally hosts content from big studios like Sony Pictures, Columbia Pictures, and TriStar Pictures. Once run by Sony, Crackle is now owned by the US media company Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment (which also owns the free movie site, Popcornflix).

It is a professional streaming service with a sleek website. Content streams in 1080p Full HD, which is better than the 720p quality you get when streaming on Tubi or SBS.

30. MovieJoy

If you’re looking for a simple free movie streaming website with great search functionality, then MoviesJoy is the best option for you. The site has a minimalist design, which mimics Google. You can find the latest blockbusters as well as older classics on the website. Movie streams are also available in HD.

While you will see ads on MoviesJoy, they’re not too intrusive. Moreover, the site doesn’t feature pop-ups and instead uses space on the webpage itself to host ads.

Best paid streaming services in the US

The best streaming services will help you stream great content without having to pay for cable. The only problem is that one of the best is getting more expensive very soon.

#1 Netflix

#2 fuboTV

#3 Disney+

#3 Amazon Prime Video

#5 Crunchyroll

#5 Hulu

#5 YouTube TV

#5 Peacock

#9 HBO Max

#9 Paramount+

How Much Are People Paying for Streaming Services?

A full 15% of people said they spend $50 or more on video streaming subscriptions per month, but the majority of people spend between $20 and $29.99. Those aged 35 to 49 spend the most on streaming subscriptions, with 24% paying for more than five.

A whopping 93% of Americans said they plan on increasing their streaming options or at least making a change to their existing streaming plan.

How Much Can the US Streaming Audience Watch?

During lockdown in March 2020, the U.S. streaming audience watched a massive 160 billion minutes of content — the equivalent of 304,414 years of straight watching. If you were to put that in historical context, it was when humans evolved.

Still, that number was surpassed in the last week of December 2021, with the U.S. audience streaming a total of 183 billion minutes, or 348,173 years straight — an extra 44 thousand years.

Every week in February 2021, Americans streamed 143.2 billion minutes of video content. That increased to 169.4 billion in February 2022, showing that this figure is likely to continue increasing. Overall, Americans streamed almost 15 million years’ worth of video content in 2021.

Free but illegal streaming sites

Many of these services disregard copyright and licensing agreements, so using them to stream free movies could land you in legal trouble. They may also host malware and malicious content.

Soemtimes the names of illegal sites are easily confused with official ones because they sound like the same. BE careful!

We recommend practicing responsible behavior and avoiding these websites based on their potential safety issues and legal implications. However you choose to stream content online, it’s wise to protect your privacy and security using a safe VPN service.

Check out the illegal list below:










Popcorn time










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