Free online streaming alternatives for movies and TV shows

Arts & Entertainment, General, In the News

Want some options for your streaming pleasure? Need a quick fix of entertainment without the cost of a premium subscription? Here are some options you might want to try. You’ll have to supply your own internet connection, but these services will give you options for the entertainment… for free!


Your public library may be the best place to start. Hoopla is a service offered to library cardholders that offers free movie streaming (among other things).The movies aren’t the latest, but they aren’t very old and you will find many titles you recognize among the catalog. And they offer movies as well as television shows. For example, two of my favorites are “The Chronicles of Riddick” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (the foreign version). They have a few movies in Spanish, but they are hard to find.

You will need to get a library card from a library that offers the service (for example, the Houston Public Library), and register with Hoopla, before you can access the movies. Currently an account lets you “check out” eight titles a month. For free.

TV Land & Crackle

You’ll have to sit through ads for these, but TV Land and Crackle both offer web-based streaming free of charge. They have a good selection of recent and not-so-recent entertainment, even though they have a small selection.

TV Land has a small catalog of TV shows available, but it includes some big-time television classics. Their offerings include “Hot in Cleveland,” which is a current show, as well as “Golden Girls,” “Roseanne,” and “Gunsmoke.” It’s a rerun treasure trove of television.

Crackle has movies and TV shows available. This has some really good options in movies, especially for the sci-fi enthusiast. The catalog currently includes “Starship Troopers,” “Godzilla,” “Underworld,” “The 6th Day,” “Ultraviolet,” “The Net,” and several “Resident Evil” options. The movies usually have a short duration on the site, so watch it when you see it… or lose the option of watching it for free.

Internet Archive

The Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, and more. The site states that they have nearly two million movies available, and you can view or download the movies. Right now they have approximately 400 “feature films” available for viewing.

I’ll be honest that this one isn’t one of my favorites, mostly because the catalog is so difficult to navigate. You have to really dig through the database to find the films, and try to decipher the countless categories and subcategories. However, if you can find your way through the database, there are a few gems hidden in there.

Options include a colorized version of George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead.” The newer stuff has an “Occupy Wall Street” collection. There are event some Film Noir options you might want to check out. Yes, they’re free.

Do you have any to add?

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