Don’t want to pay the Netflix price hike? Check out these 10 free alternatives instead
Another Netflix price-hike? To quote Darth Vader: “Nooooooooooo!!!” If the price of the service was already pushing your streaming budget to the limit, maybe it’s time to look at alternatives?
Fear not: As long as you have an internet connection, you can continue to enjoy movie night. Granted, you may not be able to stream Hollywood’s latest, but you can still watch gems such as Lady Bird, The Big Lebowski, The Grand Budapest Hotel and plenty of classics, all without spending an extra penny.
Here are 10 services — including newcomer FreeDive — offering totally free, totally legal movies you can watch online. Just be prepared to sit through commercials, because that’s how many of these services pay the bills. And note that because selections change regularly, not all the titles listed here may still be available.
Sony’s Crackle is an ad-supported streaming service, one that offers both movies and TV shows — including some original content. It’s available on a wide variety of devices and doesn’t even require you to set up an account, though doing so enables you to save favorites, get recommendations and resume playback if you switch between devices.
What you can watch: Crackle’s selection continues to expand, with around 200 movies available at any given time. (The selection changes periodically). At this writing, you’ll find gems like A Few Good Men, Aliens, The Big Lebowski and The Natural. They’re all older films, to be sure, but there’s still plenty of quality stuff to watch — with commercials, alas.
Where you can watch: Crackle’s list of supported devices is extensive. The service offers apps for all mobile platforms, game consoles and major streaming devices, and it’s even baked into many smart TVs. It does not offer the option to download movies for offline viewing.
This newcomer is part of IMDb, the Internet Movie Database, which is owned by Amazon. In other words, FreeDive is Amazon’s way of offering ad-supported movie streaming independent of Amazon Prime. And it’s not limited to movies; there are TV shows available as well.
What you can watch: FreeDive appears to have around a hundred titles at present, including a handful I haven’t seen elsewhere. Some notable films include Foxcatcher, Glory, Memento and Run Lola Run.
Where you can watch: For now, viewing is limited to two options: Your computer and any of Amazon’s Fire TV devices.
Got a library card? Check to see if your library has partnered with Hoopla. This digital-media service allows you to check out all kinds of stuff — including movies. When you “borrow” a movie, you have 72 hours in which to watch it. Your library determines the total number of movies you can borrow each month.
What you can watch: It’s hard to get a bead on how many movies Hoopla has available at any given time, but you can browse a huge range of genres — everything from animation to westerns. There’s also a generous selection of family friendly content. Some noteworthy picks available at this writing: Bridget Jones’ Diary, Chicago, Like Water for Chocolate and No Country for Old Men.
Where you can watch: Hoopla content can be viewed on your PC in a browser, or on Android or iOS devices. The service now supports most streaming devices as well, including current-generation Apple TV, Fire TV and Roku devices. Surprisingly, Hoopla’s mobile apps offer not only streaming, but also a download option for offline viewing.
The Internet Archive is home to all things public domain, including thousands of feature-length movies. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there’s no cost to use the service, nor do you need an account (though you can create one if you want to mark favorites and such).
What you can watch: “Public domain” is code for “old” or “mostly black-and-white,” making this the place for folks interested strictly in classic films. Thus you’ll find the likes of His Girl Friday, Plan 9 from Outer Space and Gulliver’s Travels.
Where you can watch: The Internet Archive exists solely on the web, so you’ll need a browser to access it. However, most mobile browsers (including Safari on iOS) can stream the content.
If your library doesn’t offer Hoopla, maybe it has Kanopy? This commercial-free (yay!) service, which began life in Australia, has made its way to thousands of college campuses worldwide and, more recently, various US libraries. Check the website to see if your library has it — and ask for it if it doesn’t…..Read More>>>