How to Watch or Download Free Movies and TV Shows in a Legal Way

By Dev Gupta / December 10, 2017

Who does not like to watch a gripping movie or a riveting TV show on their weekend? But more often than not, downloading a free movie or TV show legally could be considered challenging. Even if unknowingly, most of us are used to download movies in less ethical ways. However, there is always a way to stream free movies and download TV shows legally.

If you are looking to watch movies and TV shows for free legally, you have come to the right place. That's right. We have researched the best places to download movies without any legal hassle. And not just movies – you can also stream and download your favorite TV shows as well. That means free quality entertainment is on the cards right away.

Top 10 Websites to Watch Movies and TV Shows Legally for Free

Besides being illegal, most free download websites also promise a ton of malware. You want to keep your PC miles away from those. Also, governments are now way stricter about piracy laws. You are anyway better off downloading movies from verified sources only. That is why we bring you some of the best websites from where you can download TV shows and movies legally and for free.

  1. Retrovision

Retrovision - How to Watch or Download Movies and TV Shows Legally for Free

Visit: Retrovision

Retrovision is a top source for watching movies and TV shows online. If you are a fan of watching and downloading TV shows legally, you will love the massive collection of material on Retrovision. Most of the movies and shows here are available in the public domain. As it is evident from the image above, the sections are clearly categorized on the home screen.

The most popular movie categories available on Retrovision include Comedy, Adventure, Cartoon, Crime, Drama, War, Sci-Fi, etc. Plus, there are some unconventional sections that you will not expect to find on other websites. The Classic TV section is where you can see the best collection of classic TV shows. That is right – you get a lot of shows straight from the ‘50s and ‘60s.

Best Way to Watch TV Online Free: Cartoons on Retrovision

Retrovision - How to Watch or Download Movies and TV Shows Legally for Free

Retrovision is not just for adults looking for complex content. You also get a lot of cartoon shows for kids. Here is a glimpse of what lies in store for you in the Classic Cartoon Archive. This is definitely one of the handiest collections for cartoon lovers who want to download TV shows legally. You can even give your children and grandchildren of the cartoon shows back in your day.

There is a simple way in which you can find out if the movie of your choice is available on Retrovision. All you need to do is fire the “All Movies” section. Once you have opened this section, you can see an alphabetical list of movies that are available for download and free streaming.

Retrovision - How to Watch or Download Movies and TV Shows Legally for Free

Once you are on this page, use the Ctrl+F function to search for your favorite movie or TV show website right here. Please remember that Retrovision is primarily for retro TV shows and movies. While streaming movies is free, you can download with the help of an application like Internet Download Manager.

  1. Internet Archive

Internet Archive - How to Watch or Download Movies and TV Shows Legally for Free

Visit: Internet Archive

The Internet Archive has been proudly backing up the web for more than 2 decades. While many people seem to miss out on it, the Internet Archive has also been storing movies. Yes, the Archive is also a crowded platform where people can upload movies and TV shows. When the upload quality is good enough, and there are enough, you can download TV shows in a legal way.

The best part about downloading video content from the Internet archive is that it supports both direct downloading and torrenting. However, you might not find both the options all the time. The direct download option was present for the movie The Usual Suspects that we download during our detailed review of movies on the Internet Archive. Here is a sample of the quality.

Internet Archive - How to Watch or Download Movies and TV Shows Legally for Free

Forget TV/Movie Subscription: Download Directly from the Archive

The Internet Archive (also known as the Wayback Machine) offers you lots of movies and TV shows. When it comes to TV shows, they have a lot of content that you can choose from. These are generally arranged with respect to the channels they belong to. We found CNN, CNBC, NHK, Link TV, NBC and plenty of other channels from where you can choose your free shows.

The movie collection on the Archive is all the more impressive. Right from the latest downloads to the most watched movies; you get a total platter to choose from. For one, you can rest assured that you can download TV shows legally on the Internet Archive. That is one of the major reasons the Archive is so popular among select movie lovers. On the plus, the Archive does not allow you any advertisement on the website. That’s a good reason to tip them for the great work they are doing!

  1. Crackle

Crackle - How to Watch or Download Movies and TV Shows Legally for Free

Visit: Crackle

Owned by Sony, Crackle is an ad-supported free movie and TV show watching platform. Since SONY has a global footprint, we can imagine the massive popularity that Crackle already enjoys. It naturally gets you a lot of movies, shows, and entertainment video content for free. All you need to do is sign up (a no-frills process). Once you are signed up on the website, you can make a watch list of your own.

Crackle also gives you quite a few shows that you can watch legally. And once you start viewing content on Crackle, it starts showing recommendations based on your choices. The best thing about Crackle is that you will find several TV Shows and movies that you will not find on other channels. Top shows include Sports Jeopardy, Seinfeld, and Firefly among others.

How to Watch TV Online for Free Without Downloading

It is a breezy affair to watch TV shows on Crackle without downloading them. As you scroll down the home screen and roll over some blockbuster movies, you will see some of the latest shows on the website. Do not believe us. Here is a still from Heroes Reborn (Season 1, Ep. 1) that we picked up straight from the home screen.

Crackle - How to Watch or Download Movies and TV Shows Legally for Free

Yes, the man in blue is in the middle of a teleportation. From the looks of it, we need to watch the rest of the series as well. And that is just how easily Crackle can hook you to premium TV shows streaming at high quality. The even better thing about Crackle is that it tends to follow up one episode with the next one.

For example, Crackle has recently started streaming shows of the series called Heroes. And they are streaming one show after the other. Here is a still that shows the list of episodes.

Crackle - How to Watch or Download Movies and TV Shows Legally for Free
  1. Youtube

YouTube - How to Watch or Download Movies and TV Shows Legally for Free

Visit: Youtube

Besides some 10 million free videos on cats, YouTube also has several movies and TV shows that are free. Quite a few channels allow you to watch movies that are already in the public domain. Quite a few specific TV shows and movies are also YouTube originals. That means two things:

  1. a) you do not pay a dime to watch them
  2. b) you do not find these shows elsewhere

That makes YouTube the sensation that it is. The ‘free’ content world could have suffered some loss of steam with Amazon Prime and YouTube Red. But that does not mean there is a dearth of YouTube channels that stream content for free. In fact, some of these channels also do not mind if you download TV shows legally.

Free Internet TV Channels List on YouTube

There are quite a few free TV channels and movies channels available on YouTube. For example, here is the Paramount Vault.

YouTube - How to Watch or Download Movies and TV Shows Legally for Free

This is a channel that has around 340K+ followers and hosts some of the most popular movie clips. You may catch any segment that you love your favorite movies. Then, there is the option to watch series and movies for $0. That is right. You can watch out for shows that are actually being shown free by their legal owners. Here is a sample of Robot Chicken.

YouTube - How to Watch or Download Movies and TV Shows Legally for Free

It is easy to watch and download TV shows legally when their owners make it available for free. All you need to have is a saved credit card with Google/YouTube. And there are quite a few similar shows that are available for free. You need to keep checking out channels of different shows to check which of those are available for free video downloads. Also, any video that you like can be downloaded directly from YouTube.

  1. Open Culture

Open Culture - How to Watch or Download Movies and TV Shows Legally for Free

Visit: Open Culture

As the name suggests, Open Culture is all about free stuff. It gives you a lot of options including free movies, free lessons, online courses, and much more. The huge collection of movies, TV shows and other content on Open Culture have already been shared close to 350K times on social media. That is the true testament to the kind of popularity that the medium enjoys.

Open Culture - How to Watch or Download Movies and TV Shows Legally for Free

Open Culture gives you access to around 1,150 free movies and shows online. The genres include documentaries, film noir, indie, and classics. Apart from regular shows and movies, the website hosts around 125 Korean movies. The collection includes classics like The Day the Pig Fell into a Well and Sopyonje. If you are a lover of the Korean art of filmography, there is a lot more in store for you.

Watch HD Russian Movies for Free

There are more than 70 movies from Mosfilm – the famous Russian movie studio. That means you have free access to movies by directors like Tarkovsky, and Kurosawa. This also includes the Russian movie adaptation of Tolstoy’s novel War and Peace. The exotic movie collection by Open Culture also includes A Song of Love – playwright Jean Genet’s only movie.

Apart from classic movies, there are plenty of generic movies and shows on Open Culture. All of these movies and shows are arranged in alphabetical order. Even better, there’s a one-line synopsis of every movie that you can read to decide.

Open Culture - How to Watch or Download Movies and TV Shows Legally for Free

If you are someone who likes learning new things from the internet, try the free online courses section. This is where you can learn a variety of languages and applied skills.

  1. PopcornFlix

PopcornFlix - How to Watch or Download Movies and TV Shows Legally for Free

Visit: PopcornFlix

Owned by Screen Media Ventures, PopcornFlix is a free media streaming website. You get a lot of original content and public domain movies on PopcornFlix. The service allows you to stream content on any of your devices for free. And all of the content you get to watch legally on PopcornFlix does not cost you any money either.

The thing about Popcornflix that we totally loved was the absence of pesky ads from the website. That applies to all genres of action, drama, comedy, horror, mystery, sci-fi, thriller, romance, and family. There is a special “staff picked section” as well. This is where you can watch the highest rated movies and TV shows. You do not need to register to enjoy your favorite TV channels.

Watch Free Movies and TV Shows Online: Ad-Supported Experience

While the website is free from annoying ads, the streaming experience is supported by ads. The additional genres of the movie might change sometimes. But Popcornflix staff rigorously categorizes movies and shows into genres such as Espanol, Bro Movies, National Geography, Extreme Sports, Wild West, and Rockstars. Additionally, the directory section gives you a lot of choices instantly. Here is how it can spoil you for choice.

PopcornFlix - How to Watch or Download Movies and TV Shows Legally for Free

The one collection that we utterly adore on PopcornFlix is the truckload of content in the standup comedy section. That in itself gives you a lot of laughter for the entire weekend. Furthermore, it does not hurt that you can watch all the content across platforms like iOS, Android, Windows, Amazon Fire, and Roku.

Final Words

When you are looking to download TV shows legally, you could face a few hiccups down the line. But if you stick closely to our list of best TV and movie online streaming services, you have a smooth way ahead. Let us know if you found success looking for the movie or show of your choice. Are there other good options to download TV shows legally? Type down in the Comments section below.

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