123Movies is a popular streaming platform for those who can’t afford or just don’t want to connect cable TV or paid video-on-demand services. In fact, it is not a single website but a whole network of cloned sites among which are GoMovies, GoStream, MeMovies, etc. The service changes hosting and domains so often that many users suspect that there is something fishy going on. “Is 123Movies safe and legal?” – we’ve got this question so many times from our readers that we feel obligated to answer it. Read on to find out whether you are at risk when streaming videos on 123Movies.
Is 123Movies Legal or Not?
The streaming service looks pretty neat and features a nice layout but is it legal? The truth is that 123Movies does not have a license to broadcast movies it hosts. Therefore, 123Movies is an illegal pirate website and we don’t recommend using it without a VPN in the US, UK, Australia, Germany, and other countries with strict anti-piracy laws.
If you are still not convinced, here are two other reasons to be cautious. As soon as you visit 123Movies, dozens of ads start popping up on your screen. This should let you know that something is not right with this website. Besides that, the fact that 123Movies has so many clones and copies pinpoints that the streaming service is constantly under attack of authorities who try to take it down. These are the proofs that watching 123Movies is not legal and may actually put you in danger.
Is It Safe to Watch Movies on 123Movies?
Watching movies on 123Movies is not safe unless you take necessary measures to protect yourself. Since 123Movies and its clones distribute pirated content, you may face liability for watching it. Many people believe that they won’t be punished if they just watch pirated movies without downloading but it is walking on thin ice. In fact, some countries have stricter copyright and anti-piracy laws than others and if you happen to live in one of them, using pirate websites can be very dangerous.
Copyright owners are not the only ones who want to shut down 123Movies and its subdomains. We bet your ISP is not happy when you watch copyrighted content. It is not able to forbid access directly but it can make your experience unbearable with bandwidth throttling.
One more thing you should beware of is malware risk. Many of the ads on 123Movies feature embedded malicious codes while others might take you to suspicious websites able to infect your device. On top of that, you may pick up digital infection when hitting the Play button. Since there are thousands of titles on 123Movies, admins are not able to check every uploaded file manually. It creates a loophole for culprits to incorporate harmful codes into movie files.
How to Watch 123Movies Without Getting a Virus
If you don’t want to give up the idea of watching 123Movies, you should at least take care of additional safety means. Those should include:
- Install an Ad blocking software. When your screen is clear of annoying ads, it is much more pleasing to browse through 123Movies website and watch its content. Besides, if there are no apps, you are safe from accidental clicking and any consequences it may entail.
- Install an Antivirus. Your phone, computer, and any other device you use for Internet activities should be protected by a trustworthy antivirus. Make sure it regularly updates its malware database and is always on when you go online. Don’t forget to check your firewall since it prevents unauthorized file downloading on your device.
- Enable Sandbox. It is an app that runs on desktop and mobile devices as well as browsers. It creates an isolated safety zone on your device so that you can safely download potentially harmful files. If such a file happens to be malicious, the infection won’t spread farther than a sandbox area.
- Get a VPN. Whereas the previous tools protect from malware, a VPN will help avoid troubles in case of copyright laws infringement. In fact, a VPN is powerful software that can do so much for your security ranging from IP masking to full traffic encryption.
Reasons to Use a VPN with 123Movies
The simplest thing a VPN can do for you is remove throttling. When you enable a VPN app, your traffic redirects through its servers instead of servers of your ISP. Since the Internet provider is not able to monitor your activities it can’t activate throttling.
Apart from that, VPNs help users get away with watching copyright-protected content illegally. If your ISP is monitoring traffic, it can figure out which particular people accessed illegal streaming sites and which movies they viewed. They may report your activities to law enforcement agencies and then you can expect troubles. However, if you use a VPN, the only thing they can see is an IP address of your VPN service. Provided it has shared IP addresses and zero-logging policy, your VPN provider won’t be able to point out at a user who really accessed those video files. It means you are safe.
Besides IP address masking, VPNs encrypt traffic. No matter who attempts to monitor your connection, an ISP, watchdogs for copyright protection, or even hackers, they will leave empty-handed not able to decipher your data.
What to Look for When Choosing a VPN
A top-notch VPN service can easily cope with all the above-mentioned functions and even more. Unfortunately, not all providers are designed equally so you should know how to pick a spot-on VPN to enhance your streaming experience. These are the key aspects you need to consider:
- Traffic encryption and secure connection protocols;
- Fast connection speed;
- Kill Switch support
- No logs policy;
- Worldwide server coverage;
- User-friendly apps for streaming devices;
- Multiple simultaneous connections.
The Best VPNs for 123Movies
To make your choice of a suitable VPN even easier, we singled out the 3 best VPNs for 123Movies.
With any of the following VPNs, you can watch 123Movies on your device without the fear of getting in trouble:
NordVPN is our number one pick for 123Movies VPN due to its versatility and the strongest security features. Having more than 5,000 servers in 60 countries close at hand, you can easily route your traffic through torrent friendly countries. No matter what server you connect to, you can expect comfortable connection speeds and outstanding performance. Streaming buffs will definitely benefit from the SmartPlay functionality that establishes AI-based connection to the fastest server without extra clicks.
When it comes to security, the service is unmatched. Your network traffic is encrypted with 256-bit AES. NordVPN boasts one of the most straightforward zero-logging policies without pitfalls and exceptions. To safeguard your activities to the max, it implements the CyberSec anti-malware technology, Kill Switch, DNS leak protection, as well as ultra-secured double VPN servers.
NordVPN apps are easy to use regardless of a platform. You can run NordVPN on 6 devices at once. If this is not enough, just install in on your router and the entire home network will be secured. Even though NordVPN is bristling with various functions, you don’t have to break the bank to purchase it. All of its subscription options are affordable for an average user. If you seek the best price, go for the three-year plan that is available with a 75% discount. Thanks to the 30-day money back guarantee, you don’t risk anything when signing up for the service. Here is our NordVPN review if you are intrigued and want to learn more.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised with ExpressVPN speeds. In fact, this provider is considered to be the fastest in the VPN industry. If you are tired of lagging and freezing caused by bandwidth throttling, ExpressVPN is the best solution to ensure blazing fast connection.
Not only that but the provider takes pride in the massive server network covering 94 countries. More than 3,000 servers are at your disposal including piracy-friendly locations. To help you connect to the best server in no time, the provider supplies the Smart Location feature. You can also choose a server manually based on the embedded speed test or your personal preferences.
ExpressVPN will please security-paranoid subscribers thanks to industry standard encryption, private DNS servers, automatic kill switch, and zero-logging policy. ExpressVPN is a premium service priding on ample functionality yet it is reasonably priced. If you want to get a discount, opt for the one-year subscription that is 35% cheaper than month-to-month payments. Don’t be afraid to test the service out since you are covered with the 30-day money-back guarantee. If you want to learn more about the provider’s pros and cons, check out our detailed ExpressVPN review.
3. Private Internet Access (PIA)
PIA made it to our list of the best VPNs for 123Movies thanks to strong security, a solid server count, and incredible ease of use. Although its coverage is inferior to the above-mentioned services (it has servers in 32 countries), the server count of 3,300 servers exceeds the industry average. It doesn’t matter which location you choose since decent speeds are guaranteed.
PIA is among a handful of services that execute a zero-logging policy. It means that you can safely watch content on 123Movies, nobody is going to find out about, even PIA itself. On top of that, the service supplies military-grade encryption, kill switch, and even its own ad blocker called MACE. Users who desire the best speeds possible can take advantage of PIA’s SOCKS5 proxy that hides your IP but applies no traffic encryption.
If you often use several multimedia devices simultaneously, you will be glad to find out that PIA supports multi-logging on up to 10 devices at no additional cost. Speaking of that, the provider boasts one of the cheapest price tags around. If it is not enough, you can get a massive 65% discount by opting for the 2-year plan. The 7-day refund policy is in place to try out provider’s functionality and see if it meets your expectations. Check out our Private Internet Access review for more information.
How to Use 123Movies Safely with a VPN
Follow the steps below to configure a VPN client and use 123Movies with maximum security:
- Subscribe to one of the VPNs we recommend.
- Download and Install the VPN app for your choosen device.
- Start the VPN client and connect to the preferred location.
- After the connection is established, you can visit and use 123Movies safely.
That’s all you have to do! 123Movies doesn’t require a subscription so you can watch it right off the bat.
Is it OK to Use Free VPNs?
Free VPNs are not the best option for watching streaming videos, to put it lightly. Every single provider implements bandwidth limits, which, when combined with slow connection speeds, make steaming practically impossible. In addition, free VPNs can be harmful to your security. They make you vulnerable to numerous security risks including tracking codes, and malware, let alone they gather excessive user data to sell it to advertisers. Normally, free services don’t offer strong security so hackers and law enforcement agencies alike can get detailed information on your web activities. Are a couple of dollars you can save worth the risk?
It is not safe and legal to watch 123Movies, at least without any protection. If you live in a country with strict copyright laws, streaming on pirate sites will likely to get you in trouble. You need to make sure you have an up-to-date antivirus to prevent harmful software from injecting into your system and a VPN app that protects your internet traffic from monitoring. It will come in handy for other online activities too, so consider getting a reputable VPN.
We hope this post helped you understand all the nuances of streaming on 123Movies and its clones. We are looking forward to your questions, comments, and personal use impressions.