With so many streaming and subscription services out there, it’s no secret that we can access our entertainment online. We can pay to download movies, watch live TV online, stream playlists, and check out e-books. This is nothing new.
But what many people don’t realize is that there is a whole world of free entertainment waiting to be streamed or downloaded. You just have to know where to look!
Before we get started…
During a search for free movies, TV shows, and other media, you can actually find a lot of different sites. But be careful—many of them are sketchy, offering access to content that’s being distributed illegally. Downloading content illegally is, of course, highly discouraged.
Always make sure you’re on a safe and secure site by looking it up first. All the sites below legally offer free entertainment, so there’s no worry about accidentally downloading content illegally!
Though options are a little bit limited, there are a fair few websites available that let you stream TV for free! You can find quite a few different kinds of shows on these sites.
It’s also important to note that if you’re just wanting to catch up on recent episodes of a show, you may be able to watch for free on network sites. For instance, if you’ve missed the last two episodes of The Flash, you can head over to The CW’s website and choose from the five most recently aired episodes for free. This is true for many different networks. Some even offer more than just the 5 most recent episodes.
If you can’t find what you want through the network’s site, or if you just want to stick with one site, check out some of your options below.
Crackle—This website lets you stream a few different shows for free. They may not have all the newest shows (it’s not like Hulu), but there are some familiar, popular shows. For instance, right now you can watch shows like Heroes and The Shield. Their selection of shows is small, but if you happen to be looking for one of the shows on the list, it’s a great way to watch.
Pluto TV—Pluto TV is different from most of the sites offering free TV. With Pluto TV, you do have some shows available on demand, but that’s not the primary service they offer. Instead you can watch channels for free. They have over a hundred channels available, and you can watch some content live. It’s also different from other streaming sites because you don’t watch through your browser—you watch through an app you download. You can also use it with your Roku or smartphone, as well as some other devices.
Tubi TV—This site offers quite a bit of free streaming content. Once you register, you can watch TV on demand. You can browse by category, similar to Netflix, or you can search for shows. There are many shows that are well-known, so it’s not just lesser-known titles. For instance, you can find Duck Dynasty and Merlin, along with many other shows. You can also use Tubi TV with devices like Roku, Apple TV, and XBOX.
Yahoo View—This free TV site from Yahoo works kinda like Hulu, which makes sense considering Hulu is a partner. Hulu doesn’t offer free shows anymore, but Yahoo View has picked up where Hulu left off. You can find recently aired episodes of shows on Yahoo View, including popular shows, like This Is Us, The Orville, and Shark Tank. If you enjoyed the free version of Hulu back in the day, you’ll likely enjoy Yahoo View.
There are actually a lot of options for listening to free music. Most of it is streaming, of course, and you typically encounter ads. But there are some free downloads out there, as well. Here are just some of your options for free music.
Amazon—On Amazon, you can find more than just some deals on music. Often you can find songs completely free to download. You can sort your results by categories like release date, title, customer review, and more. This makes it a little easier to sift through all the choices. You can even sort by genre, which is especially helpful.
Google Play Music—With Google Play Music, you can listen to their radio for free online, including with Android and iOS devices. You can also find podcasts. You can’t find music on demand unless you pay to subscribe, but you can find plenty of music to listen to with their stations based on genre, artist, and more. This is a good option for free streaming of internet radio.
NoiseTrade—This site offers up a lot of free music for download. You can discover artists you haven’t heard of yet, plus you can find artists you’re already familiar with. These artists put their music up for free on the site. They give you a chance to donate if you want to, but it’s not required. You can search for artists, or you can browse the genres. You can also look through what’s currently popular. This is a great way to find up-and-coming artists while also stumbling across some familiar names.
Pandora—Pandora is, of course, one of the most popular and well-known music sites out there. With Pandora, you can stream music stations for free. You create stations based on genre, artist, and more. You can then come back to these stations later and continue to personalize them. With the free version of the site, you do have to listen to ads, and you can only skip a limited number of songs. However, it’s worth it to listen to Pandora’s personalized stations for free.
Slacker Radio—Slacker is another internet radio site that can build stations for you to stream. You can choose from their stations based on genre and then begin to personalize them, or you can start your own stations by searching for artists or genres. You do encounter ads in the free version, but that’s typical from free music streaming services.
Spotify—Like Pandora, Spotify is one of the most recognizable names on this list. With a free Spotify account, you can make playlists, listen to music on your devices, and use their Radio feature, plus much more. As long as you don’t mind ads, you can find plenty of music to stream. Of course, it’s important to note you can only shuffle music on mobile devices with a free account—if you want to listen to songs on demand, you have to do that from a computer or tablet. But there’s still plenty to listen to with a free account!
There are plenty of choices out there for legally watching free movies. Here are just some of your options!
Crackle—You may recognize Crackle from earlier in the article. Crackle doesn’t just offer free TV. It also has a nice collection of free movies to stream. Crackle’s movie selection is much larger than what they offer for TV. You can find some movies you haven’t seen yet, but you can also watch movies you know, like Blade Runner or Safety Not Guaranteed.
Internet Archive’s Movies—You can find some cool classic movies through the Internet Archive if you don’t mind sorting through a slightly confusing mix of videos. You can find old films like Night of the Living Dead (as in, the 60s classic) and many other cool older films.
PopcornFlix—This free movie site is offered by Screen Media Ventures, and it has a good collection of films for free streaming. You can find movies by different categories, like Popular Movies, various genres, and right now, even a Valentine’s Day section. There are plenty of recognizable titles, too, like Shutter Island and The Soloist.
Tubi TV—Like Crackle, Tubi TV offers movies in addition to television. There are a lot of movies to choose from, and you can browse different categories (similar to Netflix) or search for what you want. There’s a cool section called “Not on Netflix” that does what you would expect: it shows content you can’t find on Netflix. (Right now this section includes The Machinist and The Kite Runner.) You’ll find quite a few films you already know on this site, instead of just a bunch of movies you’ve never heard of.
Vudu—This free movie option adds different free movies each month. You can find movies through Vudu’s “Collections,” through a search, or through browsing their most popular titles. You do have to watch ads with the movies, which might be too jolting for some. However, if you don’t mind some ads, you can find more movies for free with this site. Some popular movies on the site are Beowulf and School of Rock. Vudu is offered on the web and through the App Store, Google Play, and Microsoft.
What about books?
If you’re looking for free books, no worries! I recently wrote a whole article on where to find e-books. Check out the section titled “What’s available for free?” for plenty of tips on finding free reading material!