Welcome to my beginner’s guide to watching movies online for free. This simple guide will walk you through simple steps to watch movies online for free using different streaming sources including Stremio, Kodi, and torrent servers.
Best Streaming Platforms
Stremio and Kodi are technically media players with advanced features of playing media from online sources. They are also called media organizers. These are the most popular streaming platforms but their open-source nature means that third-party add-ons and plugins also work with these platforms. Add-ons and plugins from community sources are vulnerable to data compromise and copyright violation. Such add-ons don’t host media files but they access different sources including torrent servers to run media directly without having to download the files on the device.
Another popular streaming source is a torrent server. But they are risky in many ways and several new laws forbid torrenting in many countries. Before you can play a torrent file, you have to first download it on the device. Since there are new laws to stop copyright violation, safe and anonymous streaming is the need of the hour. ISPs and government agencies monitor the activities by accessing the browsing history of internet users. But there is a simple, quick, and effective solution!
Install the Best VPN for Safe Streaming
A reliable VPN service is the one that protects your personal information from the watchdogs, encrypts all traffic, bypasses regional restrictions, and has a zero-log policy. A free VPN can’t deal with all of the complex issues linked to online streaming. For the best results, you need a premium VPN service. Shellfire VPN is the best VPN for safe streaming in 2020.
The Shellfire VPN server network is set up in 37 countries including the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, and India. With the premium Shellfire subscription, you can access the premium servers across six continents. Shellfire is based in Germany and the company has a credible history. At the moment, Shellfire is offering 3-tiers of services.
The basic plan offers OpenVPN service. The premium plans offer L2TP/IPSec and PPT protocols and zero-log policy. For best results, I recommend a premium Shellfire VPN plan because it offers high-level end-to-encryption. Shellfire is compatible with Windows, Linux, iOS, DDR-WRT, Android, and Mac OS X.
With Shellfire VPN working for your protection you do not have to worry about your data being compromised. In addition with its no-logging policy, where and what you browse and do online will remain private and secure. I’ve been recommending Shellfire VPN to friends and family for years and I’m happy to say the quality remains high in 2020.
Watch Movies on Kodi
Kodi is technically a media player. The difference is that Kodi can not only run files saved on the device but can also play media from online sources without having to download the file. It is open-source and needs plugins (add-ons) to access Movies, TV Shows, Documentaries, and Live TV.
Kodi has official add-ons (highly recommended) but you can also install third-party (unofficial) addons from community developers. A VPN is highly recommended for third-party Kodi add-ons for safe streaming and privacy.
Kodi is compatible with multiple operating systems including Windows and Android. It means that you can run Kodi on Smart TV, Firestick, and Android TV Boxes in addition to PCs. You can download Kodi easily from the official website.
After installing Kodi on the device, launch it and you will see this screen.
Press the cogwheel icon (settings) and then select Add-ons and press Install from repository then select Kodi Add-on Repository which is the official repo from Team Kodi.
Scroll down to select Video add-ons and then select the add-on to you want to install to watch movies for free.
The list of these add-ons is long and you need to try different movie add-ons, check them and see which one works the best for you. Select the add-on you like (for instance PopcornFlix) and then press Install
Once done (it should not take more than 60 seconds) return to the Kodi Home Screen and navigate to add-ons and then click My add-ons box you see in the right panel. Scroll down to select video add-ons and after you select the newly installed add-on (PopcornFlix), press Open and then select the category you want to explore and the title you’d like to watch.
Disclaimer: Some links die or don’t function properly. This issue is more or less common with most Kodi add-ons. Since these are online links from public servers so you can’t say for sure which links are working at any given time. In addition based on your location you might get some access restrictions when trying to view a specific link – this is where a commercial VPN like Shellfire VPN becomes really useful. It is a great tool for bypassing censorship and georestrictions on content.
3rd Party Kodi Addons for Movies
While Popcornflix and others from the official Kodi store are good, there are some other great addons that you absolutely need to explore if you are interested in movies and films.
T2K 1 Click Movie
If you have a real-debrid account this addon is a must for your collection. For those of you that are not in the know, real-debrid accounts are fairly inexpensive but they help drive 4K and HD content on a lot of different addons. For the cost, they are definitely worth the minimal investment. You can install T2K 1 Click Movie really easily following these instructions. Once you’ve done so you’ll find a very lightweight Kodi addon that works really simply.
Nole Cinema offers a bunch of classic films that will return you to a simpler time! With genres that include Comedy, Crime, Fantasy, and Horror to name a few, you’re going to find at least one film you’ve been aching to see. You can install Nole Cinema easily on your device by using these steps.
Movie Theater Butter
It’s all in the name, isn’t it? With a name like Movie Theater Butter, you’d expect that it would offer lots of movies and you’d be correct in your assumption! This addon is fast and helps save you time by automatically finding and selecting the best stream for you. Install Movie Theater Butter by following these instructions and grab a big bowl of popcorn while you sit back and watch all of the great content.
Watch Movies on Stremio
While Kodi is great, it is not the only option out there. Stremio is gradually picking up steam as an alternative for people interested in streaming online. Stremio is more convenient than Kodi since you don’t have to manually download zip files and plugins. You only need to hit the install button next to the plugin and it will turn ON. Most of the Stremio plugins use torrent servers which makes a VPN like Shellfire VPN even more critical. They play media directly without having to download the file first. Make sure to install and run the VPN before using Stremio.
Once installed, launch Stremio and you will see a simple interface where you have to click plugins at the top-right.
The interface will let you browse through official and unofficial Stremio add-ons (plugins). Click install next to the add-ons you like.
Once done with the activating the Stremio add-ons you like, return to the home page. Search a movie title from the search bar and the interface will show you all available streaming options. You can select the link you like depending on the video quality.
While Stremio does not yet have the number of plugins available to Kodi, its list is growing rapidly. Check out our post on the best Stremio plugins in 2020 to get started.
Watch Movies by Installing APKs
If you are using Firestick or Android TV, you can install APKs to watch movies online for free.
For this, you can use any of the two credible downloader apps. One is ES File Explorer and the other is Downloader App. These are apps from community sources so you need to set up Fire TV or Firestick to download files from unknown sources.
- Go to Settings
- Select My Fire TV
- Hit Developer Options
- Enable ADB Debugging and Apps from unknown sources
- Return to the Home Screen and hit Search
- Type Downloader and select the first option (that matches the exact spellings) since there are various apps with similar names
Once downloaded, launch Downloader App and search for the APK file you want to install to watch movies for free. Download and install the APK and you are ready to enjoy movie streaming for free. Some excellent apk’s to explore CatMouse APK which you can install following these instructions or Live Lounge APK which is also really easy to install. If you are more interested in television than movies, another option for you to check out is Titanium TV APK.
Most of the free apps and plugins to watch movies online access media links from vulnerable servers. Make sure that the VPN is running to protect your identity, encrypt traffic, and hide your IP address. VPNs like Shellfire VPN offers fast streaming while maintaining privacy. For the very nominal investment they require, they are well worth it.
Once you’ve got yourself protected, install one of these addons or plugins or alternatively one of the apk’s in our list to get access to some of the best entertainment content out there.