It’s the end of the month, and that debit alert ping comes in. A particular sum of money has been deducted from your card, and subscription bills make a major appearance in the sum total. Now, you’re wondering if there’s a way to get cheaper access to your favorite shows, movies, music, and entertainment activities. Well, what if we tell you that instead of cheaper access. With free streaming services, you can get it completely free.
Yes, there are free streaming services that allow you to watch great TV shows, movies and follow your favorite sports, listen to music – all without adding a cent to your monthly bills. They offer both on-demand content and live TV, but mainly with older titles and few new hits. Again, they don’t compete with HBO, Netflix, and the likes. You’re not going to get originals, blockbuster movies, or immediate next-day releases, but the best free TV streaming services are 100% worth your time.
Besides, movie theatres and other social entertainment venues are still mostly closed due to the pandemic. And people need streaming services more than ever, but it is not financially feasible to keep paying for these streaming services, month in, month out. The best free streaming services offer you hours upon hours of pure bliss binging on your favorite shows all at no cost.
We should mention that these free streaming services online are ad-supported, and you will have to watch through 30-60 seconds commercials, which you can’t skip. But it’s not all that different from the ads you have to sit through on cable TV which you pay for.
Are you looking to cut down your streaming costs to absolutely nothing, $0.0? In this guide, we review some of the best free TV streaming services and also include a guide on how to access these services in geo-restricted locations.
Top 5 Free Streaming Platforms
Peacock by NBCUniversal is the new coolest kid on the streaming block. It is a Netflix-like subscription service with numerous NBC content and tons of movies.
The unique thing about Peacock is that unlike Netflix and other similar platforms, it has a free tier where you can watch over 13,000 hours of top-notch movies, television shows, exclusive original programming, and skit-style clips. Users of this tier also enjoy “live” channels based on brands like the Today Show and Saturday Night Live.
The platform is available on Android and iOS and tablets, Android and Apple TVs, web browsers, LG TV, Chromecast, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Vizio TV, Comcast Xfinity, and Xfinity Flex.
Like all our best free streaming services, Peacock Free does not require you to enter in your credit card info, but you will have to watch commercials.
In all, Peacock Free offers a whole lot of entertainment at a $0 cost.
Crackle is a pioneer free streaming service launched as far back as 2004, even before Netflix got into the streaming industry. Co-owned by Sony and Chicken Soup for Soul Entertainment, Crackle bears down on adventure, action, and comedy. The platform offers the best TV streaming free of charge for movies, favorite TV shows, and original programming. What’s more, it does not even require you to sign up, though owning an account allows you to get recommendations, add your favorites, and save movie progress to resume playback even if you switch devices.
Crackle has a big movie library with titles such as The Cable Guy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Star Trek. The originals on the platform feature top actors like Rupert Grint, Bryan Cranston, and Martin Freeman. During the quarantine lockdown, Crackle launched the innovative Homeschool Channel, which provides various teaching tools to parents and others who are homeschooling pupils up to 8 years old.
The service is available in 21 countries on a range of devices including mobile, tablets, desktop, smart TVs, and gaming consoles. Note that Crackle does not include the option to download shows for later offline viewing.
If you have any Roku TV or device, the Roku Channel app comes with it automatically, but it’s still available for download on smartphones and tablets. Or you can access it on web browsers or Samsung Smart TVs.
This is one of the best free streaming services that also offers TV shows and on-demand movies. Its movie library is more robust than its live shows with recognizable titles like Rumor Has It and Hell’s Kitchen. We found it impressive that Roku Channel takes a step further to offer first episode streams of premium cable shows like Outlander, Billions, Games of Thrones and Watchmen.
There’s plenty of things to watch on Roku’s channel and it features a channel guide to help you surf through existing content. While on the Roku channel, you can subscribe to premium services like HBO, much like you can on the Apple TV app or Amazon Prime Video Channels. Just like Crackle, registration is not required but having an account prevents you from adding favorites or resuming playback on a different device
The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) is now owned by Amazon and has expanded into streaming. It comes automatically installed on Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks, but if you have a different device, you can access IMDBtv on your phone or tablet via the Amazon Prime Video app.
As you might have guessed from its Amazon ownership, IMDBtv has an impressive library of on-demand content – all available for free. You can enjoy popular movies like Spiderman, Paddington or TV shows like Mad Men or Desperate Housewives
PlutoTV is one of the best free streaming services. It not only offers on-demand free movie streaming but also features live TV channels including CNET and CBS News. They offer an impressive collection of live channels which are divided into categories of sports, news, movies, and comedy, and sorted in a grid format on the platform. Their On-demand TV content mostly features crime and reality shows.
In all, PlutoTV has more than 250 channels filled with TV shows and movies you’re familiar with and those you’ve never heard of before. PlutoTV has apps for iOS, Android, and channels for FireTV, Apple TV, and several smart TVs. While reviewing this platform, we found it odd that users can’t pause a live stream – they can only mute it.
Unblock geo-restricted content with a VPN
Most of the best free streaming services are geo-restricted. If you are outside the US and you try accessing free streaming channels like Peacock, for instance, you will probable get a message like this:
“Thanks for visiting. Unfortunately, we are not currently available in this region.”
This is called geo-blocking, meaning the content is not available in your geographic region due to copyright, licensing, or price discrimination.
Geo-restriction can be a real pain. All the TV shows, movies, and live channels you need to escape the world’s unsavory reality are right in front of you for free but you can’t access them. Fortunately, there is a way to get around geo-blocks on the best free streaming services – VPNs.
Since your location is the reason you’re unable to access these best free TV streaming apps, VPNs route all your Internet traffic through servers in another country.
This hides your real IP address, which most websites use to determine your location, and replaces it with a temporary IP address of another country. Hence, most geo-restricted platforms cannot differentiate between a VPN user and someone who’s present in the required location.
With the right VPN, you can get access to a plethora of geo-blocked free TV services. Here’s how:
- Sign up for a suitable VPN. We recommend ExpressVPN as a high-performance and versatile option
- Download and launch the right version of the VPN app for your device
- Connect to one of the VPN’s servers in an appropriate country. For instance, you’ll need a US server to unblock Peacock, but a British server to unblock BBC iPlayer. ExpressVPN is renowned for having one of the widest spread of servers across the globe (3000 servers in 94 countries). This ensures that from anywhere in the world you can easily connect to your desired locations.
- Once you’ve connected, log in to one of your chosen best free streaming services and click on a video. It should start playing immediately; if not, clear your browser’s cookies and cache, then refresh the website.
Using a reliable VPN will help you get around geo-restrictions. Hop on the VPN wagon and enjoy the best free streaming content to your heart’s desire.
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Try a VPN free for 30 Days
Free trials give you the chance to test drive a VPN and determine it’s the best for your needs before making a full commitment. This way, you’re not being hoodwinked as you know exactly what you’re getting. VPN users globally love free trials that give them unrestricted, 100% risk-free access to a top-notch VPN so they can try out all its security and safety features.
During such a trial period, you can test for performance, high speeds, to see if it has servers in the right location and if it can unblock the content you want to access.
We recommend ExpressVPN for its foolproof security system and money-back guarantee. This service offers a 30-day money guarantee with access to all of its features provided, enabling you to test its superior unblocking powers, lightning-fast speeds, and its extensive global network.
What this 30-day money-back trial means is that to access ExpressVPN, you have to pay upfront. But if at any time in 30 days you decide ExpressVPN is not for you, you definitely get your money refunded in full, with no questions asked.
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Best VPN for best free streaming services
These are our rankings of the best VPNs for accessing the best streaming services from anywhere in the world.
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Is it legal to use a VPN?
In the United States and in many other countries, it is legal to use a VPN. Your VPN is your personal, privacy tool and you have the liberty to use it as such. However, the regulations regarding the legality of VPNs differ by country.
Is a VPN expensive?
A safe, quality VPN service costs between $5 – $15 monthly depending on the service. If you’re willing to pay for up to a year up front, it costs as little as $60 – $100. However, ExpressVPN allows you to enjoy all the paid features for 30 days, free of charge. You can simply sign up and use the free trial to enjoy the best free streaming services out there.
Can I use a free VPN to unblock streaming content?
Free VPNs lack the resources to consistently bypass the geo-restrictions and VPN blocks on streaming sites. Only premium VPNs can offer networks that are updated quickly and regularly enough to guarantee successful unblocking. But as I wrote earlier, ExpressVPN gives you premium benefits for free. So, you can get the fullness of all the best free streaming services available.
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We have reviewed some of the best free streaming services that provide an excellent alternative to traditional streaming or cable TV and cut down your subscription bills to $0. If you traveled outside of the United States or you’re not based in the US, accessing most of these streaming sites is next to impossible, hence the need for VPNs.
Our best-ranked VPNs will help you unblock the geo-restrictions on these best free streaming services. We recommend ExpressVPN for its worldwide access and incredible performance and security features.