Streaming movies has been a thing for many years now.
The likes of Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, etc. have compiled compelling libraries to the point where millions of people are willing to pay month after month for their services. If you ignore the fact that your money goes further depending on where you live, it’s quite the feel-good success story.
Putlocker is another one of these streaming services… that just so happens to be free and has seen a surge in popularity.
Of course, there have been many free movie streaming websites, like Putlocker, that have evolved over the years to offer a service that is streamlined and impressive compared to paid alternatives. Unfortunately, the legality and safety regarding them is in constant dispute.
So the question we must ask is, is Putlocker safe and legal to use for watching movies?
Is Putlocker legal?
First, let’s tackle the question of legality.
The answer varies depending on which country you are resident in. It is safe to say that in the majority of countries piracy is illegal, the real grey area is how that pirated content is being delivered. This answer varies a lot more from country to country.
Towards the end of April 2017, the European Court ruled that streaming pirated content was in fact illegal. So, for residents within the EU, Putlocker is illegal to use. Similarly, in the United States, streaming pirated content is illegal.
In Canada, this is not the case, it is legal to stream movies. Where it becomes illegal is essentially hosting illegal content for use on a mass scale.
You’ll find that many countries are similar to Canada, in that the streaming isn’t the problem, it is the hosting and distribution of this pirated content that is the problem.
The only way to really know if streaming pirated movies in your country is legal is to do some research of your own tailored specifically to where you live. In many places, it remains a legal gray area, and I would expect that countries will soon start to crack down on it if they haven’t already.
If not countries, then studios will certainly start pouring a lot more resources than they already do, into specifically combating streaming websites such as Putlocker. It isn’t necessarily a case of bringing down a service, it is about making the service difficult to access. The higher the barrier of entry, the less likely people are to use an illegal streaming service and just opt for a paid one.
The best way to stay secure when using these websites, despite where you are from, is through the use of a VPN. Using a VPN will make sure that no one can see what you are streaming, an extra layer of protection should always be welcome.
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Is Putlocker safe?
Like many free movie streaming websites, the only way to pay for server costs and the like is to implement advertisements. Aggressive advertisements that would sell their own mother down the river if they had the chance.
Putlocker is home to some very annoying pop-ups that are sure to be home to multiple strains of adware and malware. Every time you click anywhere on the webpage you are sure to get a pop-up, only after six or seven attempts will you finally get to where you want to go. Some of the pop-ups are very loud and contain inappropriate content.
On top of that, the websites that Putlocker links to are full of advertisements themselves. In short, you never know what you are getting yourself in for. Even an AdBlock extension won’t solve this problem. Make sure you have one installed though, I’d hate to see what the website looks like without one…
Those of you that are “street-smart” can easily navigate around these advertisements and misleading banners but those that aren’t as savvy can easily lead themselves into trouble. These adverts are deliberately made to be as confusing and deceiving as possible. Even the experienced ones among us can slip up.
Putting the intrusive advertising to one side, Putlocker is generally safe and comprehensive as a streaming platform, but if you are not confident in being able to safely navigate around the adware filled minefield, give Putlocker a miss.
What is the best way to stay private when using Putlocker?
If keeping your Putlocker usage a secret from your ISP is important to you, a VPN is the best way to achieve this.
By using a VPN this will keep all of your communications a secret via a secure tunnel. If the VPN is configured correctly, there is no way your ISP will be able to see what you are doing whilst you are online.
A lot of people opt for proxies but this is not a good idea. Proxies do not encrypt your communications and you are relying on whoever is running the proxy to not be gleaming information from you themselves. Proxies simply redirect information through a proxy server that is based elsewhere, the information can still be tracked back to you.
In addition to that, proxies can actually implement their own intrusive advertisements, making for an, even more, virus-filled Putlocker than it already is.
Putlocker is only legal depending on where you live and it most certainly is not safe to the average user. The websites advertisement strategy is designed inherently to not be safe. These sorts of advertisements bring in the most money for websites so naturally Putlocker, a website with no real cash flow, has to make money by any means necessary.
If you want to keep your usage of Putlocker private, then your best bet is to use a VPN. Using a proxy is essentially useless and can, in fact, make your experience a lot worse than it already is.
If you found this article informative and have friends or family that use Putlocker perhaps share this article with them so they can become better informed. If you have anything to add, please feel free to comment below.