Best Free Streaming Services: Watch Movies, TV, And More Without Paying (July 2020)

While several popular streaming services are offering extended free trials right now, you have more options than Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney Plus if you want to chill on the couch for a while, and HBO Max has just arrived, too. Sure, those are all great if you can swing the subscription cost, but there are also a bunch of totally free streaming services out there, most of which don’t even require you to sign up for an account.

Services like Crackle, Pluto TV, and Tubi have a surprising number of hit movies and TV shows that you can watch without spending a dime. We’ve rounded up the best free streaming services you can use today. If you have a library card, you can also stream on a few additional services like Hoopla and Kanopy. There is some overlap between the services, but each one typically has at least some content that the others don’t, so it’s worth checking out all of the free video streaming services. No one service really claims the title of best free streaming service, however–they’re all targeted at certain audiences, which makes it hard to use just one. Of course, you don’t really have to choose, since they’re all free.

All of these services have ads in their shows and movies, but the occasional interruption can be tolerated when you’re paying nothing. It’s certainly better than treading through the sea of “free” gray-market streaming sites out there. The content is also a notch above a random Youtube binge (most of the time, anyway), and available on just about any streaming device you can think of, including Roku, TV Chromecast, and more. The ads also mean you don’t fall into the Sling TV model of the service being free, but having to pay for certain TV series and movies. You may not be able to find a popular movie on even the best free streaming service, but open your mind a little bit beyond the Netflix bubble and we’re sure you’ll find something you like and can easily watch on your smart TV. A free movie is a free movie, after all, as anyone who already has Amazon Prime and occasionally remembers there’s a whole streaming service attached to it can attest.

Also, make sure to check out our list of every free game you can claim right now. A ton of publishers and developers are giving away free games to promote social distancing. The GameSpot staff has also put together a roundup of all of the best games, movies, and TV shows to enjoy while social distancing so you can get a movie streaming backlog going. And if you’re thinking about subscribing to one of the major (paid) streaming services, check out our detailed breakdowns of the best streaming services and best anime streaming services.

If you’re looking for more to do while stuck indoors, check out our guide on how to build a gaming PC.

Pluto TV

Compatible devices: Chromecast, Fire Stick, Roku, iOS and Android devices, Apple TV, web

Notable content: James Bond channel, dedicated genre channels, Patriot Games, Aeon Flux, The Boondock Saints, The Big Short

Pluto TV has the notable distinction of being a video streaming service that has both live TV and on-demand TV series and movies. It’s not as varied as a pay-for service like Hulu Live, but that it even has live streaming is impressive. Most importantly (in my mind, at least), Pluto TV has a channel that is streaming movies featuring James Bond 24/7. The amazing channel was briefly removed from Pluto earlier this year, but thankfully, it was re-added. Other live TV channels are dedicated to genres such as horror, comedy, and thrillers. In terms of on-demand content, Pluto has a fairly large selection (including documentaries), though it’s a mixed bag. The app has a great interface that is easy to navigate and is compatible just about any streaming device, as well as a number of smart TVs, including those on Android and iOS.

Disclosure: Pluto TV is a subsidiary of GameSpot’s parent company ViacomCBS


Compatible devices: Chromecast, Fire Stick, iOS, Android, Smart TVs, Apple TV, PS4, Xbox One, web

Notable content: Donnie Darko, Memento, The Dead Zone, Catch Me If You Can, Fury, Resident Evil, Charlotte’s Web, It Follows

Founded in 2014, Tubi TV has a nice selection of movies and TV shows to choose from. Right now, you can stream some truly great films like Memento and Donnie Darko. It also has some good kids movies, including The Adventures of Tintin and Shrek Forever After. If you have youngsters at home, Tubi has a good library of preschool shows and lessons that are both fun and educational. Show selection is a bit limited compared to something like Prime Video, but every season of Stephen King’s The Dead Zone is available now, as are reality shows like Hell’s Kitchen, Hoarders, and American Pickers. Tubi is available on most streaming devices, smart TVs, game consoles, and browsers. The layout is easy to follow, with movies and shows split up by popularity and genre.


Compatible devices: Chromecast, Fire Stick, iOS, Android, Smart TVs, Apple TV, PS4, Xbox One, web

Notable content: Silent Hill, Paranormal Activity 4, 21 Jump Street, Lionheart, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Critic, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Crackle is probably the most widely known TV and movie streaming service in this article, and it thrives off of more than just name recognition. The service has a ton of movies and TV shows to stream, and the simplistic interface works well regardless of which device you’re using. As a movie streaming service, Crackle is actually a good place for video game movies right now, with Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, and Silent Hill all available to stream. You can also watch older Star Trek movies like Generations and Nemesis as well as somewhat recent horror movies such as Paranormal Activity 4 and Insidious: Chapter 3.


Compatible devices: any device with Prime Video app, web

Notable content: Spider-Man, Fruitvale Station, The Illusionist, Monsters vs. Aliens, Donnie Darko, Memento, Friday Night Lights, The Mortal Instruments, Zero Dark Thirty

Though more commonly known as a site you check to look up actors and actresses when recognizing them on screen, IMDb also has a surprisingly good selection of free content available for online streaming that can be watched through the Prime Video app on streaming devices and the web. In terms of movies, IMDb TV currently has several fairly recent hits. It’s also home to network TV shows like Friday Night Lights (the greatest sports soap opera ever), Cold Case Files, Psych, Desperate Housewives, and more. The streaming service also allows you to watch some movies on Amazon Prime video.


Compatible devices: Chromecast, Fire Stick, iOS, Android, Smart TVs, Apple TV, Xbox One, PS4, web

Notable content: The Cabin, Stranded, Black Death, The Jungle Book, Night of the Living Dead, The Hunt, Ghost in the Shell, The Hunter, The Ghost Writer, The Artist

Plex requires you sign up for a free account before you can stream from its library. The selection of free content varies and isn’t as robust as some of the other services on this list, so you may not find your favorite movie right away. But right now you can stream former Best Picture winner The Artist, Night of the Living Dead, Ghost in the Shell, The Giver, and all four seasons of Alf. Plex is also an app for managing and organizing all of your digital movies and TV shows, so it’s worth checking out for more than just the free streaming website stuff.


Compatible devices: Chromecast, Fire Stick, iOS, Android, Smart TVs, Smart Blu-ray players, Apple TV, Xbox One, PS4, web

Notable content: Gone in 60 Seconds, The Waterboy, Journey to the Center of the Earth, From Dusk Till Dawn, Scream, Lars and the Real Girl

Vudu is one of the most popular storefronts for renting and purchasing new digital movies, but Vudu is also home to mix of free movies and TV shows. Like Plex, Vudu doesn’t have as great of a library as destinations like Crackle, Pluto TV, or Tubi. The service is still worth checking out, though, and it’s available on practically every device you likely use to watch movies and TV. Currently, Vudu has the Adam Sandler classic The Waterboy and a grab bag of TV shows including Hell’s Kitchen and Blue’s Clues (for the youngsters).

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Disclosure: ViacomCBS is GameSpot’s parent company

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