Everyone likes free stuff – except for those holding the copyrights. 123movies or 123 movies is one of a handful of free TV and movie streaming favorites that offers the latest releases at no cost to viewers. However, the site continually moves as authorities try to shut it down.
Additionally, websites like 123movies tends to display intrusive – and sometimes dangerous – ads. But many consumers can avoid malware with pop-up blockers.
Why does 123movies keep getting shut down?
Most likely, 123movies violates copyright laws in the United States. While technically it is the site owners that break the law when streaming shows/movies without permission, “innocent” viewers certainly benefit from the illegal activity.
As such, the situation is always a little sketchy when a website streams copyrighted content for free. Currently, the site rests at 123moviesgo.ga, but it has occupied many different TLDs (top-level domains), including the ones listed below.
Illegal, video-streaming websites usually disappear and reappear with a slightly different web address after authorities force the site to shut down.
What makes a video streaming service safe and legal?
Typically, safe video streaming sites have two things in common:
- They pay for the rights to the content that they stream; and,
- If they display ads, those ads are safe and are not overly intrusive.
To afford the rights to stream shows and movies, most legitimate streaming services pass at least a portion of the costs to the consumer. In many cases, the streaming service offers low-cost (free) subscriptions that include ads with an option to upgrade to an ad-free membership.
Our complete list of the top 123movies alternatives
Is there a free trial/version? Yes, Vudu offers a select roster of free movies and shows with ads.
How much does Vudu cost? Rentals or purchases start at $5.99
Now Walmart-owned, Vudu offers an impressive array of movies and TV shows. The website keeps a rotating selection of titles that you can watch for free if you don’t mind the ads.
Signing up is also free, and you can use your Walmart.com customer account or Facebook login to begin. Even though Vudu asks for payment information during setup, you don’t have to provide it if all you are only interested in free content.
Is there a free trial/version? Yes, Netflix offers a free trial month to new members.
How much does Netflix cost? Plans start at $8.99/month.
Netflix is one of the most famous movie and show streaming services available. Economists credit Netflix with dismantling the business model of movie rental storefronts. Their ongoing innovation in weaning viewers off cable TV makes them an industry pacesetter.
Recently, Netflix began launching a branded line of shows and movies. These Netflix Originals are of the highest caliber, like the recent award-winning movie, The Irishman, starring Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino.
If you’ve not signed up with Netflix before, you can enjoy a free month of streaming ad-free. And if you are not satisfied, you can cancel your subscription before Netflix bills your card on file.
YouTube (movies & shows)
Is there a free trial/version? Yes, YouTube by itself is free, but it costs money to watch full-length movies in HD.
How much does YouTube TV cost? Rentals or purchases start at $3.99.
In Vudu fashion, YouTube offers free content in the form of clips, previews, homemade videos, and more. All free content usually includes ads.
But if you want to watch a full-length movie or binge a season of your favorite show – all in HD – you can navigate to “Movies & Shows” to purchase or rent them. The paid content selection includes recent releases, lesser-known films, top-rated sitcoms, late-night episodes, and more.
Dish Network (satellite TV)
Is there a free trial/version? No
How much does Dish cost? Plans range from $59.99-$94.99/month.
As far as online media streaming has come, cable providers still offer a wide range of exclusive content. If you like being able to browse channels for material not available on any other paid video streaming subscription, Dish Network is currently the highest rated satellite provider.
Not to be outdone by Netflix, Dish Anywhere allows customers to stream from their mobile devices and record movies and shows that they want to watch later in the day or week.
Is there a free trial/version? Yes, you can enjoy Sling free for two weeks.
How much does Sling TV cost? Plans start at $20/month.
For live TV at a fraction of the cost, Sling TV is a strong competitor to Dish Network and other cable providers. New customers get two weeks for free without even having to provide payment information.
For movies-on-demand, you can take advantage of pay-per-view recent releases starting at $5.99 each.
Amazon Prime Video
Is there a free trial/version? Yes, you can sign-up for a month-long free trial.
How much does Amazon Prime Video cost? A subscription costs $8.99/month.
Prime Video combines the on-demand, binge-feeding content of Netflix and incorporates the pay-per-view model for other exclusive content. Movie/show rentals begin at $2.99 each.
Amazon Prime Video is ad-free and includes Amazon Original movies and shows (also like Netflix). There’s no doubt that Netflix and Amazon are direct competitors with a decent amount of overlap in available content.
Xfinity (cable TV)
Is there a free trial/version? No
How much does Xfinity cost? Plans start at $30/month with the option to bundle with an Internet plan and phone.
The biggest downside to Xfinity is that they do not service every community in the United States. They are primarily an Internet and cable company. Customers can save by bundling their Internet, phone, and cable into a single plan.
For those that are hesitant to rid themselves of cable, Xfinity has enormous options with traditional cable channels, pay-per-view, and on-demand streaming. If you’ve subscribed to a few of the streaming services in this list, Xfinity Flex converts any TV into a smart TV by organizing all your video streaming in one place.
Is there a free trial/version? Yes, a Disney Plus free trial lasts for seven days.
How much does Disney Plus cost? A subscription costs $6.99/month.
The Disney Plus trial is currently the most popular way to watch The Mandalorian – one of the most-watched streamed series – online free. In addition to Star Wars releases, Disney Plus gives you access to Marvel, National Geographic, Pixar, and Disney Classics.
Is there a free trial/version? Yes, Pluto TV is 100% free.
How much does Pluto TV cost? $0
If you don’t mind ads (a lot of ads), then you can save thousands of dollars a year with Pluto TV. The selection of movies and shows may not be on par with cable or Netflix, but it’s respectable.
The best part of Pluto TV is that it’s 100% free and legal. You do not have to create an account, but many choose to do so to pick up where they left off in a movie or show. Viewers can choose from categories like live TV, movies, news, sports, and comedy. You can also download the Pluto app to Android and Apple mobile devices.
Verizon Fios TV/Internet
Is there a free trial/version? No
How much does Verizon Fios TV/Internet cost? Plans range from $50-$90/month.
While most media services are exploring online streaming, Verizon is embracing its very own fiber optic cable Internet and TV package. Each TV plan includes hundreds of the most popular cable channels, along with live streaming on all your mobile devices. Verizon Fios is also contract-free, unlike other cable providers.
Lastly, Internet speeds on fiber optic are more reliable than most Internet providers like Spectrum and AT&T. All said, $50/month for high-speed Internet and cable is not a bad deal. Unfortunately, Verizon Fios is not available in all parts of the United States.
Is there a free trial/version? Yes, Tubi TV is 100% free.
How much does Tubi TV cost? $0
Like Pluto, Tubi uses ads during playback to pay for the rights to stream online. All Tubi content is free to viewers. You can also access streaming through Tubi’s mobile device app (available for Apple and Android).
A couple of things that set Tubi apart from Pluto are that you will be required to create a free account with Tubi before you can begin viewing. Also, Tubi enjoys partnerships with some of the leading studios, like Lionsgate, MGM, and Paramount.
Is there a free trial/version? Yes, you can enjoy a 30-day free trial with Hulu Basic or a 7-day free trial with Hulu + Live TV.
How much does Hulu cost? Hulu Basic is $5.99/month, and Live TV is $54.99/month.
Hulu has joined the ranks of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video with its original, award-winning shows. Hulu Basic is also the cheapest, paid streaming provider on our list at $5.99/month. And don’t forget that you can bundle Hulu Basic with ESPN+ and Disney Plus for $12.99.
For bigger spenders, Live TV includes major sports events and current shows aired live, along with all Hulu Basic content.
The only real downside to Hulu is that you are going to see ads, no matter which membership you select. That said, Live TV does have fewer ads than does the Hulu Basic.
Recap: 123movies alternatives
If you have your heart set on free streaming, there is plenty of free content on Pluto and Tubi, along with many of the free trials listed above.
Sketchy sites like 123movies may allow you to stream content for free, but because they violate copyright law, authorities are likely to shut down the website. For the safety of your computer (123movies hosts ads that may not be safe) and staying above board ethically, we recommend one of the many alternatives to 123movies that are safe and legal.