Popcorn Time is an open-source platform used to torrent movies and TV shows from all over the world. It has a Netflix-like interface that makes it easy to browse movies. Be aware that Popcorn Time is giving you access to copyrighted content for free. If this is illegal in your country, proceed at your own risk. We are not recommending Popcorn Time, but want to advise how you can safely stream it from anywhere in the world. The fast answer is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and look for reliable VPNs for Popcorn Time.
Cat and Mouse
Popcorn Time has dropped in and out of sight over the years. The original developers dropped Popcorn Time after pressure from Hollywood. It was picked up by other developers. Then dropped by those developers and picked up again. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is responsible for shutting some Popcorn Time domains down. But it’s a moving target.
Popcorn Time uses torrenting to serve up content. This breaks up a file into smaller pieces and distributes it over multiple servers. This is much faster than downloading one huge file from one server. It’s torrenting that allows you to stream movies and TV shows quickly.
Put on A Mask
There are reasons why you want to use a VPN if using Popcorn Time. The first is that you want to mask your identity. When you use a VPN, your IP Address is the address of the VPN server. You can be in the United States and use a server in France.
It is best to not advertise that you use Popcorn Time. You definitely don’t want to recommend it publicly to others. A Danish man found this out the hard way. He received a 6-month suspended sentence for promoting Popcorn Time on his website. It was a warning shot from the Danish government to not stream copyrighted material.
More Expensive Than VPN
Popcorn Time users in Oregon were identified by their IP address. They and their Internet Service Provider (ISP) were sued by the filmmaker of one of the movies they downloaded. The filmmakers were seeking $150,000 in damages for the unauthorized use of their copyrighted content. Other users have been assessed mandatory minimum fines of $750.
We strongly recommend getting a paid VPN. Free VPNs are not as robust as the paid versions. VPNs are not just for hiding your use of Popcorn Time. They also should be used to secure unencrypted networks like public WiFi. The cost of a high-quality VPN is less costly than paying fines or being sued.
Is It Legal?
Using the Popcorn Time application is not typically illegal. It’s copyright infringement that is illegal in most countries. In India, it is legal to watch copyrighted content on Popcorn Time as long as you don’t redistribute it. Copyright infringement is definitely illegal in Germany. In Canada, ISPs are required to keep logs of their users’ activities for six months. Of course, laws change; do a little research so you understand the risks.
No Logs Policy
A key feature to look for when buying a VPN for Popcorn Time is a strict no-logs policy. Unlike your ISP, a reputable VPN will not log the activity of its users. Your ISP captures (and makes available to authorities) the date, time, and duration of each online session. They also track the IP addresses and servers you use. If that were not enough, they log the websites you visit and the files you download. That’s how authorities can discover that it was you who watched a specific movie using Popcorn Time and exactly when you watched it. A VPN covers your tracks.
Watching a High Definition (HD) movie requires a lot of bandwidth. You want a VPN that has reliably fast download speeds. You also want the ability to select servers with less traffic. How much a server is handling at any given moment affects speed. (Ever notice that your streaming services pause more often when everyone is home from work?) That leads to considering VPN vendors who have more servers in more countries. Unlimited bandwidth usage is another advantage that may be offered.
If you’re new to VPN and not particularly tech-savvy, select a vendor with solid customer support. Some vendors offer 24/7 support. Others offer access to customer service representatives by chat and email. A website that has help articles and training videos is a plus. Sign up for a trial period and test the availability and helpfulness of the VPN vendor’s customer service before you commit.
At Your Own Risk
For some, using Popcorn Time is worth the risk to have access to free content anywhere in the world. Don’t take the risk without a high-quality VPN. Works even better with some good snacks on hand.