There are now more options than ever for streaming video content. Whether we want movies, television shows, sports, or anything else, we can choose from services like Netflix, Hulu, Sling, Disney+, Apple TV+, and more. But there is even more content available if you divert from the mainstream.
Whether you are looking for content not found elsewhere or don’t want to pay hefty monthly subscription charges, you may be tempted by some of the less official services like Popcorn Time, Kodi, Duckie TV, and others.
People considering using services like these usually have some questions. How safe are these unofficial streaming sites? If you decide to wade into the gray areas of streaming, what are your chances of getting caught? Also, what are the potential consequences of getting caught?
Whether you want to know where the line is legally, or you are looking to mitigate your risk, answering these questions may help you decide how you will handle your content streaming.
Are Illegal Streaming Sites Safe?
No. If you are looking for safety, you should stick with the safe harbor of the paid streaming providers. While there is nothing on the internet that is 100% safe, services like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ work to give you a safe and totally legal streaming experience.
However, if you do want to explore the riskier side of streaming, it is good to know where the dangers lurk.
First of all, you are facing legal risks. While many of these platforms, on their own, are not illegal, using them to stream copyrighted content without permission is.
Second, illegal streaming sites are notorious for hosting malware, viruses, and phishing schemes designed to get access to your accounts. While there is always the potential to mitigate these threats, you need to be aware of them.
Can Illegal Streaming Be Traced?
Yes, illegal streaming can be traced. Your ISP keeps a record of everything you do online. Also, copyright holders are monitoring illegal streaming that uses P2P technology. It’s easy to trace the activity back to you and even your specific device.
Can You Get Caught for Illegal Streaming?
Yes, you can get caught for illegal streaming. It’s not the enforcement, but the holder of the copyright for the content who comes after you. Instead of criminal penalties, you may find yourself involved in a civil suit. Often people are fined or their internet connection is terminated if they get caught.
How to Protect Yourself Streaming Movies Online
While the best way to enjoy safe streaming is to stick with the legal platforms, if you decide to venture into the unknown, play it safe. You can use a VPN to protect yourself, your identity and privacy no matter where you are online. Even if you follow all the rules, you have the right to keep your information to yourself.
When you use a VPN, all of your internet traffic is routed through an encrypted tunnel to your provider’s server. The site you visit can’t see your real IP address, and your ISP can’t track your online activity. It hides you from copyright holders so they can not trace it back to you.
Be sure to choose a VPN that can protect you.
Here is what to look for when choosing a VPN to keep you safe online:
- Connection Speed – You don’t want a VPN that will drastically slow down your internet connection. Look for a platform that offers high-speed connections for HD streaming.
- Large Server Network – The more servers your VPN offers, the better your chances of always having a fast, stable internet connection.
- Multiple Platforms – If you want to use your VPN for streaming, make sure it works on all your streaming devices. Some even allow you to install the VPN right on your router, protecting every device on your network.
- Streaming Specific Servers – If you are interested in bypassing some providers’ geographic restrictions on specific content, a VPN can help. You might want to look for one with particular servers set up to avoid any VPN blocks streaming providers may have in place.