123Movies is ranked easily amongst the top 10 free movie streaming sites, thanks in no small part to its extensive library of movies. It is also one of the most popular free streaming sites, visited by millions around the world.
If you’re big on free movie streaming, chances are you’ve used or visited 123Movies sometime in the recent past. But its popularity has not only been of interest to movie buffs around the world. Law enforcement has also kept a close eye on its evolution.
The result? A couple of bans and blocks across the world that has forced the website to change its domain on multiple occasions. Amongst the other names it’s been known as are “GoMovies”, “GoStream”, “MeMovies”, and “123movieshub”. By 2018, the site officially returned to 123Movies before it was taken down in March, 2018.
As of today, there are a good number of cloned sites under the names of GoMovies and 123Movies. Although these sites seem to have carried on from where 123Movies had stopped, a good number of them as also known as mine fields laden with viruses and malware, which could damage your system.
And with so many mirrors of the original 123Movies site out there, it’s become incredibly difficult to say which is safe, and which isn’t. The only way to remain safe while accessing any of these sites, is by connecting with a VPN.
Note: 10BestVPN doesn’t condone the illegal use of torrent or streaming websites. But we do recognize it can be used for legal activities, and also admit everyone’s freedom of choice.
In most cases, yes. Generally, the legality of a free streaming service like 123Movies will depend on your country of residence. Copyright laws, and laws relating to piracy and intellectual property depend on the laws of your country. The enforcement of these laws also depends on your country.
Free movie streaming sites like 123Movies are all covered by copyright legislations. This is because most of these sites do not own proper licensing for the movies they host. For most countries, the intellectual property of the copyright holder is preserved by outlawing the hosting, streaming, and downloading of copyrighted content.
However, the laws differ. Some countries allow downloads only for personal usage. Some others allow it altogether. And some completely outlaw it. With each country having a different law, it’s your responsibility to make sure you’re well within the rules of your country while visiting a site like 123Movies.
Note that it doesn’t matter whether you download the content onto your device, or you stream it online. If the download of copyrighted material is prohibited, both are classed as the same. In the end, streaming is only the download and viewing of the content in real time.
When it comes to copyright laws and its enforcement, each country is different. Most countries go out of their way to punish those who distribute copyrighted material. This comes in the form of shutting down of their websites and platforms, and prosecution.
Punishing the individuals who consume this material is less straightforward. For certain countries, like Germany, you get fined if found to have been downloading copyrighted content. For other countries, you’re left with just a warning. And others simply don’t bother to pursue the case, despite their laws.
Although proving the streaming of copyrighted content can be difficult – considering you don’t get to download the file onto your PC, countries that enforce the law can easily track your activities using your IP address. And the fines you have to pay can quickly become very expensive.
Sadly, yes. The original 123Movies didn’t gain its renown for infecting the PC of users. Unfortunately, this has changed over the years. As more and more cloned versions of the site arise, a good number of them are known to carry viruses and malwares.
These viruses are often hidden in pop-ups and malicious links. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to tell which site may contain any viruses. To ensure your PC is protected while streaming from any free movie streaming site, we recommend using a strong antivirus or a VPN with an ad/malware blocker.
A VPN provides you with the safest way to stream on 123Movies. Because VPNs come with powerful encryption systems, they provide you with online anonymity. This means that no third-party individual or organization can trace your online activity.
VPNs also offer a different form of protection. Their powerful encryption boosts the security of your phone, tablet, or PC. It keeps out malwares and viruses, on cloned websites, set to infect and corrupt your device.
A VPN, thus, offers you complete protection. It keeps out third parties, such as hackers who want to steal your personal data using a malware maliciously hidden on a cloned website. It also keeps out your ISP who’s watching out for those who visit sites like 123Movies.
To begin safely watching movies on 123Movies, you should simply:
Important:Even if your country allows consequence-free streaming on 123Movies, streaming with a VPN protects your PC from hackers and their viruses.
With well over 3,000 servers located in more than 90 countries around the world, ExpressVPN has an impressive server network. What we find most appealing, though are its connection speeds and security levels.
Its excellent connection speeds ensure you don’t begin cursing your luck while using this VPN for streaming. It also offers unlimited bandwidth on each subscription to make for tension-free streaming. And with a solid 256-bit encryption, it’s impossible for hackers – or even your ISP – to find their way into your PC and snoop out your activities or personal data.
ExpressVPN is also super compatible with most devices, including Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, and even specific Wi-Fi routers. If you’d want to take out the time to test the VPN before purchase, its 30-day money-back guarantee offers you the protection you seek.
Surfshark easily ranks amongst the best VPNs, since its quite-recent launch. The VPN provides impressive security and privacy features, including a 256-bit encryption, kill switch, and no-logs policy. It also provides connection speeds that are up there with the very best.
What we do love about it the most, though, are the extra features. Its CleanWeb technology blocks out malware, viruses and ads while connected to the internet. And its MultiHop feature switches your connection from one server to the next, keeping your encryption solid and complex.
Surfshark also provides subscribers with the opportunity to use a single subscription on an unlimited number of devices. This one-of-a-kind offer means you don’t have to worry how many devices you’ve got. Simply connect and get all of the internet protection you need.
Touted by some as the most secure VPN on the planet, NordVPN employs a military-grade encryption to keep you safe online. This VPN combines a kill switch, 256-bit encryption, DNS leak protection, and a no-logs policy to assure your online safety while connected.
NordVPN also provides protection from viruses, malware, adware, and other malicious cyber threats using its CyberSec feature. And with over 5,000 servers in its network, you’re assured of excellent streaming speeds when connected.
Want to stream for free without any potential legal troubles? You’re far from alone in this wish! Unfortunately, as you know, most streaming sites are hardly both free and legal. Keep in mind that movie production costs money, and streaming sites hardly get access to such expensive content at no cost.
Maintaining a website and servicing the large database required for hosting movies and shows is also expensive. And should the website decide to produce its own movie, this will most definitely come at a cost.
Little wonder then that streaming sites like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney Plus, Huly, Sling TV, and HBO Now, all cost money.
Thankfully, there are other sites that still allow you LEGALLY enjoy free content. Although you might not find the most popular movies on these sites, they boast extensive, ever-growing library of movies which can be seen at no cost.
|TUBI TV||Tubi TV is a popular free streaming site. It provides thousands of movies to users, and is available for installation on most devices – including Roku and your Amazon Firestick. It is also legal and only supported by ads|
|VUDU MOVIES ON US||Vudu has branched out with its Movie on Us category. Movies in this category are offered at no cost to viewers with limited ads sprinkled through to make up its revenue.|
|CRACKLE||Crackle’s content is ever-growing. Owned by Sony, it currently boasts an impressive collection of classics. It also hosts a growing collection of new movies across different genres. Impressively, the channel also hosts original movies and TV shows you wouldn’t find elsewhere.|
|YOUTUBE||YouTube may not exactly be a movie streaming service, but it does provide you with plenty of free stuff. From documentaries to tutorials, challenge videos to short movies, there’s a lot to watch on YouTube at no cost.|
|IMDb TV||Owned by Amazon, IMDb TV is provided as a free collection of movies and TV shows available for streaming. You should note, though, that these movies are only available to US viewers.|
123Movies, GoMovies – or 123Movies Go as it came to be known, and other 123Movies proxy sites provide an enviable collection of free content. But it also comes with a ton of possible issues. To ensure you stay safe and keep any potential legal complications at bay while using the site, make sure to access it using a VPN.