Cut the cord and the monthly fees with these free streaming options.
- There are several free streaming services with thousands of titles available, as well as live channels.
- Most of these services require you to watch ads during the content.
- Hoopla and Kanopy are accessible with a library card and don't have ads.
The most popular streaming services may require a monthly fee, but they're far from the only options. There are also quite a few free streaming services where you can watch thousands of movies and shows.
Instead of paying a subscription fee, you'll need to watch ads with most of these services, just like with normal television. They normally don't have much in the way of new releases, but you can find quality content on them. If you're aiming to keep your entertainment costs to a minimum, here are the best free streaming services and some of their current offerings.
1. Amazon Freevee
Amazon Freevee used to be known as IMDb TV and was offered by Amazon-owned IMDb. In 2022, Amazon rebranded the service, which offers shows, movies, live channels, and original content.
If you're looking for binge-worthy content that doesn't require whipping out any credit cards, Amazon Freevee has some quality shows available, including hits like Mad Men and Lost. It's also the home to Judy Justice, the successor to Judge Judy. And it has a solid selection of movies, with some of the ones that are currently available being The Invisible Man, 1917, and The King of Staten Island.
Peacock is the streaming service for NBCUniversal. It offers multiple membership tiers depending on the content you want and how much you want to pay. Although its free service is the most limited option, it still gets you access to about two-thirds of Peacock's library, which includes shows, movies, and live content.
The highlight of Peacock is definitely the shows. You'll have lots of popular programs to choose from, including:
- The Office
- 30 Rock
- Hell's Kitchen
- Pawn Stars
Tubi, which is owned by Fox, is best known for a massive library of content. There are over 40,000 titles available on Tubi, and it also features over 100 sports and local news channels.
This isn't 40,000-plus titles of dubious quality, either. There are plenty of popular and highly rated movies on Tubi, like Unforgiven, The Devil Wears Prada, and Don't Breathe. Adam Sandler fans who don't want to pay for Netflix will be happy to know that Tubi also has a few of his movies, including The Waterboy.
One of the nice parts about using Tubi is how well organized it is. While some free streaming services are hard to navigate, Tubi has lots of different genres and selections available, plus a quality search function.
4. Pluto TV
Pluto TV is the closest thing to the typical TV experience. It has more than 200 live channels you can browse in a grid, similar to the guide function you'd have with a TV provider.
Live channels are the standout feature of Pluto TV, but it also has on-demand content, which are shows and movies you can watch at any time. Some of the more notable movies it offers right now include Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, The Witch, and multiple movies from the Mission Impossible franchise.
In terms of shows, Pluto TV has several long-running classics. You'll find CSI: NY, NCIS: Los Angeles, and Jeopardy here. If you want to go way back, this streaming service also has Gunsmoke and Matlock.
5. Hoopla and Kanopy
Hoopla and Kanopy are both services that you can access with a library card. They offer movies and series, and Hoopla also has other types of content, including eBooks, audiobooks, and comics. You can borrow up to a certain amount of content per month with each one, and the exact amount depends on your library.
Kanopy, in particular, is great for finding critically acclaimed and independent content. It has several films from popular film company A24, including Oscar-winner Moonlight and Midsommar. Hoopla has a little bit of everything, from classics like The Talented Mr. Ripley to more recent dramas and romcoms.
Not many streaming services, free or paid, can top Crackle's longevity. It launched in 2004, well before anyone could even dream of the future streaming wars.
The interesting thing about Crackle is that it has a lot of lesser-known content. If you're willing to roll the dice, you could find some hidden gems, like the highly rated show Taboo with Tom Hardy or the mind-bending horror film Triangle (a personal favorite of this writer).
Just keep in mind that Crackle's selection is definitely a mixed bag. To get to those hidden gems, you'll need to sort through some B movies and way too much Stevel Seagal.
While many free streaming services have some Spanish-language content, ViX is the best option if that's what you're looking for. It has live channels and on demand content, including telenovelas, series, and movies.
ViX is available as a free service with ads. There's also a subscription version with no ads, where you can watch live sports.
You definitely don't need to worry about not having anything good to watch with free streaming services. There's an impressive amount of content out there you don't need to pay for. If you don't mind watching some ads, or if you have a library card, you'll find plenty of movies and shows to check out.
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