Best Free Streaming Services To Watch TV And Movies

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While several popular streaming services are offering extended free trials right now, you have more options than Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney Plus. Sure, those are all great if you can swing the subscription cost, but there are also a bunch of totally free streaming services out there, most of which don’t even require you to sign up for an account.

Services like Crackle, Pluto TV, and Tubi have a surprising number of hit movies and TV shows that you can watch without spending a dime. We’ve rounded up the best free streaming services you can use today. If you have a library card, you can also stream on a few additional services like Hoopla and Kanopy. There is some overlap between the services, but each one typically has at least some content that the others don’t, so it’s worth checking out all of the free services. All of these services have ads in their shows and movies, but the occasional interruption can be tolerated when you’re paying nothing.

Also, make sure to check out our list of every free game you can claim right now. A ton of publishers and developers are giving away free games to promote social distancing. The GameSpot staff has also put together a roundup of all of the best games, movies, and TV shows to enjoy while social distancing. And if you’re thinking about subscribing to one of the major (paid) streaming services, check out our detailed breakdowns of the best streaming services and best anime streaming services.

It’s worth noting that HBO is offering a decent number of shows and movies free of charge until the end of April. You can stream on the web or download the HBO Now app to your device of choice–no sign-in necessary. The list includes incredible shows like Silicon Valley, The Sopranos, The Wire, Succession, Barry, and more. The movies are mostly family-friendly, with Detective Pikachu, Storks, and Smallfoot leading the way.


Pluto TV

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Compatible devices: Chromecast, Fire Stick, Roku, iOS and Android devices, Apple TV, web

Notable content: James Bond channel, dedicated genre channels, Patriot Games, Aeon Flux, The Boondock Saints, The Big Short

Pluto TV has the notable distinction of being a streaming service that has both live TV and on-demand movies and shows. Most importantly (in my mind at least), Pluto TV has a channel that shows James Bond movies 24/7. The amazing channel was briefly removed from Pluto earlier this year, but thankfully, it was re-added last month. Other channels are dedicated to genres such as horror, comedy, and thrillers. In terms of on-demand content, Pluto has a fairly large selection, though it’s a mixed bag. The app has a great interface that is easy to navigate and is compatible with a wide variety of devices.

Disclosure: Pluto TV is a subsidiary of GameSpot’s parent company ViacomCBS


Tubi

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Compatible devices: Chromecast, Fire Stick, iOS, Android, Smart TVs, Apple TV, PS4, Xbox One, web

Notable content: Donnie Darko, The Conjuring, TMNT, Good Burger, Memento, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Blood Diamond, The Dead Zone

Founded in 2014, Tubi has a nice selection of movies and TV shows to choose from. Right now, you can stream some truly great films like Memento and Donnie Darko. It also has some good kids movies, including The Adventures of Tintin and Shrek Forever After. If you have youngsters at home, Tubi has a good library of preschool shows and lessons that are both fun and educational. Show selection is a bit limited, but every season of Stephen King’s The Dead Zone is available now, as are reality shows like Hell’s Kitchen, Hoarders, and American Pickers. Tubi is available on most streaming devices, smart TVs, game consoles, and browsers. The layout is easy to follow, with movies and shows split up by popularity and genre.


Crackle

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Compatible devices: Chromecast, Fire Stick, iOS, Android, Smart TVs, Apple TV, PS4, Xbox One, web

Notable content: Star Trek: Generations, Star Trek: Nemesis, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Silent Hill, Gattaca, Paranormal Activity 4, Insidious: Chapter 3, Starship Troopers

Crackle is probably the most widely known streaming service in this article, and it thrives off of more than just name recognition. The service has a ton of movies and TV shows to stream, and the simplistic interface works well regardless of which device you’re using. Crackle is actually a good place for video game movies right now, with Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, and Silent Hill all available to stream. You can also watch older Star Trek movies like Generations and Nemesis as well as somewhat recent horror movies such as Paranormal Activity 4 and Insidious: Chapter 3.


IMDb TV

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Compatible devices: any device with Prime Video app, web

Notable content: Paddington, Spider-Man, Blade Runner 2049, Nightcrawler, Batman & Robin, Gremlins, The Illusionist, Monsters vs. Aliens, Donnie Darko, Memento, Total Recall, Friday Night Lights

Though more commonly known as a site you check to look up actors and actresses when recognizing them on screen, IMDb also has a surprisingly good selection of free content that can be watched through the Prime Video app on streaming devices and the web. In terms of movies, IMDb TV currently has several fairly recent hits, including Blade Runner 2049 and the family-friendly Paddington. It’s also home to network TV shows like Friday Night Lights (the greatest sports soap opera ever), Cold Case Files, Psych, Desperate Housewives, and more.


Plex

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Compatible devices: Chromecast, Fire Stick, iOS, Android, Smart TVs, Apple TV, Xbox One, PS4, web

Notable content: The Cabin, Stranded, Black Death, The Jungle Book, Night of the Living Dead, The Hunt, Ghost in the Shell, The Hunter, The Ghost Writer, The Artist

Plex requires you sign up for a free account before you can stream from its library. The selection of free content varies and isn’t as robust as some of the other services on this list. But right now you can stream former Best Picture winner The Artist, Night of the Living Dead, Ghost in the Shell, The Giver, and all four seasons of Alf. Plex is also an app for managing and organizing all of your digital movies and TV shows, so it’s worth checking out for more than just the free content.


Vudu

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Compatible devices: Chromecast, Fire Stick, iOS, Android, Smart TVs, Smart Blu-ray players, Apple TV, Xbox One, PS4, web

Notable content: Gone in 60 Seconds, The Waterboy, March of the Penguins, Black Hawk Down, Magic Mike XXL, Journey to the Center of the Earth

Vudu is one of the most popular storefronts for renting and purchasing new digital movies, but Vudu is also home to mix of free movies and TV shows. Like Plex, Vudu doesn’t have as great of a library as destinations like Crackle, Pluto TV, or Tubi. The service is still worth checking out, though, and it’s available on practically every device you likely use to watch movies and TV. Currently, Vudu has the Adam Sandler classic The Waterboy, the excellent documentary March of the Penguins, and a grab bag of TV shows including Hell’s Kitchen and Blue’s Clues (for the youngsters).

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