DO NOT USE PUTLOCKER WITHOUT A VPN
The original Putlocker site no longer exists – but there are tons of dangerous copycat sites that use the same name. If you're going to be accessing any of these Putlocker mirrors, it's vital that you get yourself a VPN beforehand. Keep reading to find out why, and to see which VPNs work with Putlocker.
Putlocker sites are a double-edged sword. Sure, you get to watch your favorite shows and movies without paying a penny, but the sites are often littered with malware and pop-ups. The consequences of clicking one of these unwanted ads can be catastrophic – which is why a VPN is so important. Additionally, Putlocker domains are amongst the most widely blocked in the world, so you may not even be able to get onto these sites without a VPN.
So, think carefully about why a Putlocker mirror site exists in the first place. They take time and money to maintain, and copyright bodies around the world target them – the people who run these sites are at considerable risk of criminal prosecution, in fact. With this in mind, why do Putlocker sites still offer content for free? We dig into this question, and others, in this article!
Which VPNs work best with Putlocker?
We have listed the best Putlocker VPNs below. Each service on our list not only unblocks Putlocker mirror sites, but provides the sturdy security measures needed to use them safely. For more information on any of these VPN providers, keep scrolling to find our in-depth summaries.
To ensure you get the best VPN for Putlocker, we only have made sure the VPNs in our list meet some important criteria:
- Strong OpenVPN encryption
- Unblock streaming sites and bypasses ISP and government restrictions
- Fast servers allowing you to torrent quickly
- Easy to set up and use
The top 5 VPNs for Putlocker | In-deth analysis
We take a closer look at the best VPNs for Putlocker. Read on for all the info, and check out our VPN reviews to find out more information about each VPN.
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What is Putlocker?
Or rather, what was Putlocker? The original UK-based website offered users a huge catalog of free TV shows and movie titles. Putlocker was notorious for its 1.6 million daily visitors after Megaupload was shut down for copyright infringement in 2013.
At the height of its popularity in 2016, Putlocker was listed among the top 250 websites, globally, and among the top 150 in the United States. However, almost certainly thanks to action by the MPAA, the original Putlocker site has not existed since October 2016.
A multitude of websites that claim to offer a similar service have arisen in Putlockers place. They use the "Putlocker" name in the title and domain as a means to identify themselves and catch the eye of would-be users, but they're not quite the same.
These Putlocker mirrors allow you to stream directly from your browser without having to download the content or software to view it. Most sites are free, most don't require you to sign up for an account, and most are simply too good to be true.
Why are these the best VPNs for Putlocker?
Simply put, you’ll be getting the most out of your money if you go with any of the providers we’ve highlighted above! These VPNs do a stellar job at shoring up your online security during your day-to-day browsing, but have a number of features that are particularly handy when it comes to accessing Putlocker – so let’s take a look.
True online privacy
If you connect to the internet without a VPN, your ISP can feasibly track everything that you do online – the sites you visit, how long you visit them for, and anything you download. This is a problem if you intend to frequent Putlocker sites, seeing as the content has typically been illegally uploaded there. So, a VPN is a vital piece of kit if you’d rather not be stuck with a fine for downloading or streaming copyrighted content. A VPN will prevent your ISP from being able to see what you get up to online by encrypting all of your internet traffic.
No more ads
Ad blockers are neat little features that remove advertisements from your browsing sessions. Anyone who’s visited a Putlocker site knows they’re often riddled with dodgy-looking ads that can wreak havoc if clicked, intentionally or otherwise. Even attempting to click a video can launch a pop-up ad or open one up in a new tab. A VPN with AdBlocker capability removes the threat, meaning you don’t have to worry about dodging malware.
Unrestricted internet access
Geo-restrictions are the bane of would-be-streamers across the world. Plenty of content is locked away behind regional blocks, thanks to licensing agreements, and websites can similarly be banned in certain territories. Putlocker is often blocked by ISPs, meaning you’ll need some extra help to access the sites – and that’s where a VPN comes in handy. A VPN allows you to connect to servers dotted across the globe. This is great for accessing content – simply connect to a location where the show, movie, or website isn’t restricted, and you’re all set.
Are Putlocker sites safe?
We found that at least half the Putlocker sites we visited when researching this article did not actually work – and in many cases, they were actively malicious, too.
A common tactic you'll come across on these sites is good old scaremongering. Click on a video to be taken to a fake alert page insisting that your Windows installation is broken, and that you need to download a special repair tool to fix it! Needless to say, this download will be filled to the brim with malware. Don't click it.
Other sites opened links to pornography, dubious ads, or other "scammy" content, either in new tabs or as redirects. Given that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) likely keeps a log of your browsing habits and the websites you visit, this is incredibly worrying.
That being said, there are Putlocker mirrors that appear to be genuine and do serve up free video content with a minimum of fuss. It is possible that these sites are simply far better at disguising their sneaky dealings – but don't call us pessimists for thinking so.
As we mentioned in the intro, there are plenty of reasons to mistrust websites that do not have a clear motive for existing. At the very least, it's probably reasonable to assume that they log your IP address, tie it to your browsing habits, and then sell this information to advertisers in order to pay for the upkeep of the site.
The case of the missing HTTPS
A huge issue we encountered during our research is that not a single Putlocker website protected its users with HTTPS. This means that your ISP can see everything you do on the website: not just that you visited a Putlocker site, but also the actual content you checked out whilst you were there!
Most ISPs are happy to work hand-in-glove with content owners to identify and punish copyright infringers. In the United States, ISPs are now actually legally allowed to sell your browsing history to business partners, who can include legal firms known as "copyright trolls". These trolls make a living from threatening infringers with court action if they don't agree to making a cash settlement. All in all, it's rather a lot of hassle – and we cannot say with any confidence that Putlocker sites are safe.
How does using a VPN protect you when using Putlocker?
You might be able to stream the latest blockbusters and binge-watch classic box sets on Putlocker, but it’s risky. The content is usually hosted on the site illegally (meaning you’re in breach of copyright if you click on it), and the site itself is often stuffed with malicious ads. The only way to browse Putlocker safely is with a VPN – think of it like a shield, deflecting these threats and protecting you and your identity. There are two main ways in which a VPN keeps you safe whilst using Putlocker:
A VPN hides your real IP address from the Putlocker website
The VPN server you connect to will act as a proxy, and this means that the websites you visit will only ever see the IP address of the VPN server – never your own, unique IP address. This is good news, as your actual IP address can be used to identify and track you whilst you surf the web.
Additionally, any advertising scripts used by the website will be unaware of your real IP address, too. You’ll also be hidden from the "partner" sites that open whenever you visit a Putlocker URL – so, even if you accidentally click on an unwanted redirect, you’ll be safe.
A VPN hides what you get up to from your ISP
Because your VPN acts as a proxy, it prevents your ISP from knowing which websites you’re visiting – all your ISP will see is that you’re connected to the VPN server. The connection between this VPN server and your device is super-secure and encrypted, too, so your ISP won’t be able to tell if you’re streaming, for example.
Obviously, this is particularly useful for anyone looking to use Putlocker sites, seeing as punishments for torrenting or breaching copyright can be strict. Your ISP is required to pass information on to the government, meaning that by using a VPN, you actually prevent the government from knowing what you choose to do online.
If you’re interested in learning what else a VPN can do for you – or if you need a quick refresher on how the technology works – be sure to check out our Beginner’s Guide to VPNs.
Does Putlocker contain malware?
Putlocker websites do contain malware – not all of them, but enough that you should be prepared and wary whenever you click on a Putlocker link.
You’ll often find yourself redirected to a new tab or window when you click on a Putlocker video. There’ll be some sort of fake alert, insisting that your version of Windows is broken, that you oh-so-ironically have a virus, or some other nasty fear-mongering attempt. The page will try to trick you into downloading a tool to fix the issue – but you should never do so, as it’s always going to be jam-packed with malware.
Unwanted adverts can also be an issue. These can pop up in new tabs or windows, too, or – more annoyingly – banners embedded around the perimeter of the video you’re trying to watch. Oftentimes the adverts will be incredibly dodgy, scams, or straight up pornography. This is an issue when you consider that your ISP keeps tabs on what you’re looking at online! Whilst most of these ads will be little more than an annoyance, some of them can be dangerous, and placed on the site by cybercriminals attempting to download malware to your device automatically, and all without you knowing.
As we’ve mentioned previously, a VPN is your one-stop-stop to banishing these pesky pop-ups and advertisements. Plenty of providers come with their very own ad blocking features, and the encryption to keep you safe in the event you accidentally click something you shouldn’t have.
Is watching Putlocker illegal?
Simply watching copyrighted material is not a criminal act in most jurisdictions. Even downloading copyrighted content is rarely seen as a criminal act – but it does make those caught doing it liable to civil action from the copyright holders. And this can result in some hefty fines.
It's sometimes argued that those caught streaming content are safe from such prosecutions because no content is actually downloaded. And that makes sense, surely? You're only watching the movie or show within your browser, after all.
Unfortunately, it's just not true. In order to provide a smooth streaming experience, web-based media players (AKA the kind used by every Putlocker site) will always cache content locally on your device. This means that you have, in fact, downloaded copyrighted material to your device.
Regardless of what year it is or how many streaming services exist, there’s always going to be a demand for free content. In fact, Putlocker was among the 250 most popular sites in the world in 2016. Millions of people would flock to the site every day before its inevitable demise, being blocked in the UK later that same year. Fast-forward to 2021, and dozens of alternative sites have sprung up across the web, looking to continue the Putlocker legacy.
We’ve compiled a list of the most popular Putlocker mirrors below – but take caution if you choose to visit them!
123Movies plays host to a massive library of content! Whether you’re after the latest movie releases, television dramas from around the world, or anime, you can usually find what you’re looking for – and being able to filter your results is a nice bonus. You won’t need to create an account or hand over any personal information to use 123Movies, and the videos themselves load quickly with a minimum of buffering.
- The site is easy to navigate with an interface that’s not overly cluttered.
- There’s no avoiding the ads! Expect to be bombarded whenever you click a video.
You can take your pick of a nice variety of movies on Popcornflix; from Hollywood classics to more obscure documentaries, and musicals. There’s also a library of TV shows and viral videos to peruse. You won’t need to register to use the site, and it’s easy to navigate – so long as you don’t mind dismissing the frequent ads and redirects vying for your attention. Being able to filter movies by category is pretty neat, particularly if you’re hoping something will catch your eye.
- If you want a site that’ll work nicely with iOS or Android, then Popcornflix is your best bet.
- A slightly outdated interface isn’t as streamlined as it could be.
SolarMovie is a site that looks good and performs well – and you’ll notice immediately that there’s a distinct lack of ads. They do crop up when you click video links, but you aren’t required to make an account before using the site, at least. SolarMovie plays host to a decent collection of movies and TV shows, and you’ll be able to check out what’s popular, what’s been highly-rated, and sort results by their IMDb rating.
- Frequently updated with content from around the globe.
- SolarMovie can’t compete with the sheer number of titles that other names in this list boast.
There’s no need to sign up with Los Movies – simply search for the content you’re after, fight off a dozen adverts, and hit play. Los Movies does have an impressive library of international films and television shows, and the subtitles embedded into the videos are typically pretty accurate. You can search for films and series yourself, filter by date, or check out what’s trending elsewhere on the site.
- The go-to site if you’re in the market for international, foreign-language content.
- So. Many. Pop ups.
If none of these sites float or your boat (or if they become inaccessible for any reason) – don’t fear! There are plenty of other Putlocker mirrors out there, including, but not limited to:
- Watch Online Series
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The dangers of fake Putlocker sites
The most concerning risk associated with using a Putlocker site is that most of the content uploaded to the site will have been done so illegally. If you choose to stream this content, you’ll be in violation of copyright law, and can be smacked with a hefty fine.
Additionally, the Putlocker sites themselves can be dangerous. Some will be legit, sure, but others will be stuffed with malware. Anybody can own a mirror site, and so there’s no way to properly enforce a standard of security. This results in rampant ads and the spread of malware.
You’ll want to be careful on any Putlocker mirror site that you visit – practically anything you click can trigger an ad or redirect to pop up, and these links are typically malicious, fake, and harmful.
The advertisements that spring up like daisies on Putlocker sites can take numerous forms; sometimes they’ll be banners or videos, sometimes they’ll be pop-ups or interactive games. Steer clear of them all, regardless. They’re not safe to click, and some of them are potentially not-safe-for-work, containing porn or content relating to adult dating apps. You should also be incredibly mindful not to allow any push notifications whilst using a Putlocker mirror. If you do, it’s possible for ads to crop up on your browser or desktop even if you’ve long since closed the original website! Redirects can be similarly dangerous, taking you to all sorts of unpleasant sites that can attempt to install malware, collect your user data, or contain adult content.
Can I use a free VPN for Putlocker?
Decent free VPNs do exist. Unfortunately, the majority of them just aren't up to snuff.
The important thing to remember about free services is that they're meant to tempt you into buying the full subscription. They're a premium VPN's tasting platter – and they're usually always limited. You can expect a reduced number of servers, bandwidth caps, and a stingy monthly data allowance. Obviously, this is no good for streaming, though it might be enough to get you through your day-to-day browsing. What's more, free VPN services often struggle to access geo-restricted content in the first place.
There are free services we'd recommend steering clear of, too. Any provider that claims an "unlimited free service" is best avoided – we've never come across a free VPN that could actually back up this claim. Running a VPN isn't cheap, either. Most premium VPNs will charge a subscription to cover their costs – shady free VPNs will, instead, log your data to sell on to third-parties, and potentially flood your sessions with malware. Again, this goes against what a good VPN should stand for!
It’s true what they say – there’s no such thing as a free lunch! It can initially seem tempting to visit a Putlocker mirror in order to check out the latest movies or TV shows, but there’s a considerable risk in doing so – numerous risks, in fact. Putlocker mirrors are crawling with ads and malicious redirects just waiting for you to mis-click, and the content uploaded to the site has been shared without permission, making you vulnerable to a copyright fine if caught streaming it. All in all, a VPN is a necessary piece of kit for anyone even considering using a Putlocker alternative.
Luckily, we’ve picked out five of the very best that’ll keep you secure, and come with top-notch safety features to prevent third-party snooping.