If you like watching movies and TV shows online, then you probably might know Popcorn Time. This free streaming service climbed to the top with ease, even back when it first emerged. It received positive attention as it was easy to use and offered access to a lot of video content.
However, you must be careful when using Popcorn Time as it might get you in trouble for streaming copyrighted movies. You need to use it safely, because otherwise it might lead to some major trouble, that depends on several factors.
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What is Popcorn Time
As you may know, Popcorn Time is a multi-platform free software that uses torrents to allow people to stream pretty much any content they want. It is a result of many developers that put a lot of APIs together and make the experience of watching online movies and TV shows completely free and enjoyable.
The reason for its major popularity is mainly because it is free and offers as much content as Netflix or any other streaming service would, if not more. It uses torrenting technology behind it, and that comes with certain concerns due the legal status of the app.
Is Popcorn Time illegal
As you may know, torrenting is often frowned upon due to its close connection to online piracy. While torrenting itself is not illegal, torrenting copyrighted materials is, in fact, breaking the law. This is a similar issue with Popcorn Time, which is not illegal, as far as owning and using the software goes.
Depending on what you use it for, however, is a different matter. Downloading copyrighted materials is a crime, but streaming them is in some sort of a gray area, where anything can happen. With Popcorn Time, you are technically doing both, so if the content you are watching ends up being copyrighted, you could get caught by your ISP..
Another issue is that, when you use torrents, your IP address is visible, which means it is easy for the ISP to track you down.
What are the consequences of being caught using Popcorn Time?
If you start using Popcorn Time, you will likely get caught eventually. However, the consequences will certainly vary depending on where you live. If you are in a country with strong online surveillance and strict copyright laws, you could end up paying a huge fine.
Somewhat lighter punishments still include large fines, while the best you can hope for is an official letter ordering you to stop violating the copyrights or your ISP might throttle the internet speeds or cut off your internet connection completely.
How to safely watch Popcorn Time
There is only one easy way to protect yourself while using Popcorn Time, and that is to use a VPN alongside it. It will prevent you from being caught when watching copyrighted movies on Popcorn Time. A VPN would also hide your IP address and torrenting from your ISP allowing you to safely use the app.
So, while you do have to use a VPN in order to be safe, you also will unlock all the content on the internet, basically, as long as it exists on torrent.
Thanks to the ability to keep users safe while unblocking the internet, VPNs became rather popular over the last decade. As such, countless new providers emerged, and most of them are offering bad service, with poor protection, even poorer speeds, and that’s only the case if they aren’t logging your data in order to sell it and earn money.
So, which VPNs are the best for Popcorn Time?
5 Best VPNs for Popcorn Time
NordVPN is a Panama-based service that is known for great privacy and security, as well as its ability to unblock and stream foreign content. If you happen to live in an area where torrenting sites are not available, this is a perfect VPN for you. Whether you have access to Popcorn Time or not, with this service, you can get to it and use it safely, one way or another.
NordVPN offers 5,400+ servers, all of which are located in around 59 countries around the world. This is a huge network when compared to the majority of VPNs out there, which is why it is known as one of the best services in the industry.
It also uses the best security and privacy features like Internet Kill Switch and CyberSec ad and malware blocker. It keeps no logs, and it has special protections in place to prevent your data from ever leaking out.
It also has average prices and money-back guarantee, which lasts for 30 days.
5200+ global servers in 59+ countries
CyberSec malware and ad-blocking protection
Next-generation encryption with double VPN servers
Obfuscation technology that masks VPN traffic
Strict no-logs policy
Works with Netflix and good for streaming
Lightning fast with P2P support
30-day money-back guarantee
ExpressVPN is one of the largest and fastest VPN services in the industry. It offers more than 3,000 servers located in over 90 countries. As such, it will also always have a server near you for the best speeds.
It works on every platform including Smart TVs and routers. No matter what devices you use, you can protect them with ExpressVPN as it allows 5 simultaneous connections at once.
Its security features are the VPN sector’s finest, including OpenVPN security protocol with 256-bit AES encryption and a Network Lock.
ExpressVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee on all its plans.
With this VPN, you will definitely be able to watch anything on Popcorn Time, even if it is in HD, and not have to experience any buffering along the way.
160+ locations and 3000+ servers
Strict No-Log policy
Unlimited streaming (Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer)
Strong military-grade AES 256-bit key encryption
Kill Switch, Split tunneling and RAM-disk servers
30-day money-back guarantee
Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android and Linux support
Fast speeds and reliable connections
This is a service based in the British Virgin Islands, and as such, it is far from any jurisdiction that might be interested in logging user data.
Surfshark‘s server network is pretty large and it is also worth noting that it is still growing. This pretty fresh VPN offers over 1700 servers located in 63 different countries, which is quite significant.
In terms of security, the service is as good as anything you could expect from the industry’s finest, and it will definitely keep you safe. With the Whitelister feature it can even allow you to decide which apps should be protected by the VPN and which should not. It is great for reducing the amount of traffic that you need to encrypt, and improving your speeds as a result.
Lastly, one thing that makes Surfshark stand out from the rest is the fact that it provides unlimited simultaneous connections. What this means is that you can protect as many devices as you want with one account.
Surfshark is a very affordable VPN choice for Popcorn Time and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
1700+ global servers in 61+ countries
CleanWeb ad-blocking feature
Secure and strong encryption with OpenVPN
Whitelister, Multi-hop VPN and kill switch
Works with Netflix and good for streaming
30-day money-back guarantee
CyberGhost is one of the longer-existing and well-respected in the VPN services industry. It has excellent speeds that are great for torrenting and top security features that will ensure your safety at all times.
It also has a massive server network that offers 6.400 servers in over 90 countries of the world, which is among the largest networks in the industry.
Not only that, but CyberGhost also features a 45-day-long money-back guarantee, which is much longer than the industry standard.
Lastly, the service is also completely private, with a no-logs policy and it is based in Romania, which makes it far from any intrusive government’s jurisdiction.
It is great for torrenting as its servers are P2P optimized, which means it is a great choice for Popcorn Time too.
90+ countries and 6000+ servers
Access to NoSpy servers
45-day money-back guarantee
Unblocks streaming services
Offers Dedicated IP option
Strong AES 256-bit encryption
IKEv2, WireGuard, OpenVPN, IPSec protocol support
PureVPN is another service that is more than capable of hiding your identity with its major server network. It offers over 2,000 servers located in 140 different countries, and as such, it will definitely guarantee that there is always a server in your country, or at least near it.
Since the physical distance between you and the server is crucial for achieving fast speeds, you can definitely use this VPN for watching Popcorn Time content at full speed.
PureVPN has a 31-day money-back guarantee, as well as rather competitive prices, so you should definitely give it a look.
It’s not only good for Popcorn time but for hardcore torrent users as well as it is one of the few that allows port forwarding to reach better speeds.
140+ countries and 2000+ servers
31-day money-back guarantee
Hides internet traffic and easily unblocks geo-restricted content
Internet Kill Switch and IP leak protection
Offers the cheapest Dedicated IP addresses
Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android and router support
Perfect for streaming Netflix, Hulu, BBC
Strict and audited no-log policy
Popcorn Time is a great tool for watching any TV show or movie that you could ever think of, but it is also dangerous to use, as it is too easy to stream something that is copyrighted, which could bring trouble at your doorstep.
To avoid this, you can protect yourself by using a VPN. VPNs will improve your internet speeds, hide your online activities, and protect you from any service, group, individual, or other entity that might try to spy on you, including your own internet provider.
VPNs are definitely the best way to protect yourself, and that is why you should consider getting one as soon as possible, especially if you plan to use torrents in the near future.
CyberWaters is a mixed crew of cyber security enthusiasts with a keen interested in data privacy, security and technology behind it. We provide cyber security related content and give advise on best practices and tools how to stay safe and secure online.