Would you like to watch Netflix online movies for free? Who wouldn’t? The trick is to find a way to do it that is both legal and which provides the viewing quality and selection you’ll find only on Netflix.
It’s not as straight-forward as it sounds. Here are a couple ways you can try.
We all love Netflix
“Books don’t need batteries.”
Just about everyone knows about Netflix. Most of us have had a Netflix subscription at one time or another, even if it hasn’t been active since the days when we first logged in to fill our DVD queues and then wait for the signature red envelope to arrive.
- Netflix started mailing out DVDs in 1997 and was, at one time, the fastest growing customer of the United States Postal Service.
- In 2015, with most of their subscribers by then streaming movies rather than receiving DVDs in the mail, Netflix was the largest source of Internet traffic during prime time viewing hours (37%).
- For the same time period, competitors Amazon Instant Video and Hulu came in at about 2% each.
- Presently, about 81 million people subscribe to Netflix in 190 countries, making it “the world’s leading Internet television network.”
For subscribers to have access to the best collection of movies and TV shows Netflix can bring to them, the company has to earn a profit. There is no way that Netflix could have sealed its Disney deal without the money subscriptions bring into its coffers. For members to find films like Captain America, Star Wars, The Short, Jurassic Park, and all the others coming from the Disney Studios, Netflix has to generate revenue through its subscriber base.
Watch Netflix free
That said, Netflix subscriptions are reasonably priced, starting at $7.99 for the one screen, standard definition Basic plan. If you watch just ten movies a month, that’s about 80 cents per movie. If you’re a true movie fan, plus considering all the original programming and TV series available, you’re most likely talking only pennies per show. AMC fans of Breaking Bad or The Walking Dead know that Netflix is much less than a cable TV fee. It’s a really good deal when you think about it.
If $8 a month is still too steep, there are a couple of ways to legitimately get the Netflix movie experience online at no cost to you. You will have to fit into the unique situations described here to be able to use them, but they area available.
30-day free trial
The first is the 30-day free trial. This is a temporary fix, true, but maybe your financial problems are only temporary. As long as you have a credit card, debit card, or PayPal account to activate the subscription, you can join Netflix and get a month of online viewing free.
If you had a Netflix account recently, like one that got cancelled last week when you couldn’t pay the bill, I’m sorry but this isn’t going to be an option for you as it’s for new customers only.
One last tip here: If you’ve had a subscription before but it’s long lapsed, and you’re told during the sign up process that you do not qualify for a free trial because of it, just drop everything right there. Wait a while, maybe a couple hours at the most. You’ll probably receive an email offering you the 30-day free trial after all. Return to the site and take advantage of it.
Piggy back on a friend or family member’s account
Another way to watch Netflix for free is to piggy back on someone else’s account. Netflix accounts are meant for individuals living within one household, under the same roof, etc. We can stretch this a bit when our kids head off to college, allowing one of the screens for their use. It is a little more sketchy when it comes to true third parties, but Netflix doesn’t seem to be too enthusiastic about enforcing the rule, so you might as well ask a friend or family member, “Hey, you got Netflix? Are you using all of your screens?”
Here’s how this works: When someone has the Netflix Standard or Ultimate plan, they get 2 and 4 screens (respectively). This number does not refer to rigid, labeled, permanently assigned screens but to the total number of screens in use at the same time. Your friend might watch Netflix on her laptop, her Android, the TV in the den and the one in her bedroom, but if they’re never on at the same time, she’s using one screen all of those times.
If your friend has more screens available on her plan than she ever uses — maybe she upgraded to the Ultimate play because she has a new Ultra HD television — she might not need the extra screens that go along with the plan. In theory, she could let you register your computer on her account and you could watch for free. Doesn’t hurt to call or sent a message to ask her.
There would almost certainly be an understanding that if she ever needs all the screens, or if there is a time when she tries to log onto Netflix and gets the “too many devices in use” notice, you will get a quick text and shut down your screen right away.
Other Free Online Movie Options
If both of those methods are out of reach for you, then you probably won’t be able to watch Netflix movies online for free. That doesn’t mean you are entirely out of hope for watching movies online for free altogether. It just means that your selection is limited and quality might be less than Netflix has to offer.
The most honest of the bootleg bunch appears to be a site that offers you the latest movies like The Purge: Election Year, Independence Day: Resurgence, Tarzan, The BFG, and others. I say it appears to be “the most honest” because (1) no registration is required and (2) when you get to this site, you will see little cameras on the titles. That’s your clue that this movie comes to you courtesy of a viewer wearing a camera of some sort, maybe a Go Pro type device. So, while it appears to be the most honest for the reasons give, it is still a bootleg site.
Then there are other sites, like this one, that are a little stealthier when they promise you the latest movies. When you click to view a title, you get the trailer. To see the whole movie, you have to register with the site. I did not register and neither should you (IMHO). I cannot imagine that these sites want my email address for any good purpose since their business model is based on an illegal practice.
Why do I make so swift and harsh judgment when I did not register and view the movies? Because there is no way, common sense tells us, that these sites can have the full length movies of titles now playing in the theater unless they are somehow illegally bootlegged, either by the same hidden camera method as the other site or by somehow stealing it.
Now, I’m curious about most things unknown, so at the first site (since I didn’t have to register), I clicked. I’ve never watched one of those bootlegs before and wondered what it was like. I watched their version of “The Purge” for about two minutes. That was more than long enough to see what it was like and almost more than I could stand of it. You can see the movie but it is always fuzzy, the full screen is rarely in view, sound isn’t good at all, and sometimes people get up, sit down, walk, and all that sort of thing in front of you (and the screen). Why do people even bother with it?
The only reason I can think of to use one of these sites is if you have to do a paper for your film class and really cannot get to the title any other way. Even then, I’d check YouTube first.
Paramount has uploaded a few of its classic movies to YouTube on the Paramount Vault page. Current titles offered include the winner of the very first Best Picture Oscar ever awarded, a WWI silent drama starring original “It Girl” Clara Bow, Wings. You’ll also find classics like Bloody Sunday, The Devil and Miss Jones, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Flashback, and The Colossus of New York. This is an official Paramount page, so viewing quality and sound are excellent. Paramount is the only studio with a vault like this; other studios’ YouTube pages appear to have only trailers and clips.
You can search YouTube with the keywords “full movie” and whatever movie you want to watch. When you look at the results carefully, you will see these full movies can be anything from a full movie presented in upwards of 15 “clips” to a full movie recorded from a television running a DVD to the shaky camera quality discussed earlier.
Again, watching unofficial movies on YouTube violates copyright, but if there is an ad on the movie you at least know that YouTube flagged it, and the artists and producers involved in the film get some royalty from your viewing it.
Those are your options, my friend. No studio is giving away views of a film that still has potential to make a decent sum of money. You can watch Netflix movies online for free if you fit into the two fairly narrow situations described here, but other than that, you’ll have to go with lesser choices or find a way to pay for that monthly subscription. I hope this article at least helped a few of you to get in on those limited Netflix freebies. Thanks for reading!