Netflix is perhaps the biggest household name when it comes to movie streaming. It reaches out to movie buffs all over the world, has 4K content, and supports various screen formats. For naysayers or those seeking an alternative, rest assured that many good ones do exist.
One of the most popular video streaming platforms in the world, YouTube was built on the back of user-generated content. Today it has grown past that and offers premium content as well, including the streaming of live TV channels.
If you’re satisfied with being entertained by cat videos, enjoy YouTube for free. If you want to use it as a Netflix replacement, then you have two options. The first is a rent-to-view model which works like your typical pay-per-view.
The other is a subscription to a set of channels like Comedy Central, PBS, and more, plus the inclusion of live TV streams. That comes at a fixed monthly rate with no subscription fee. Do note that the service is only available in the US for now.
2. BBC iPlayer
Brits have it lucky and many of them can watch free movies using the BBC iPlayer. There are quite a number of shows on this platform and all you need is an account registered with them. Oh – and you have to reside and be in the UK.
It’s got a ton of entertaining bits plus includes news channels like BBC One, Two and, Three as well. In fact, if you can get access to this you might as well give up subscription to your paid channels as well.
Price: from $5.99/mo
Similar to Netflix, Hulu is a streaming service that offers a mix of commercial channels along with its own productions. In terms of networked channels, Hulu has a broader scope of availability – meaning more shows.
However, when it comes to originals, or self-produced content, Netflix has the edge. Unlike netflix though, Hulu also offers a choice of live TV channels which makes it a more well-rounded offering. Sadly, it’s only available to US residents and has no plans to venture overseas.
4. Amazon Prime Video
Price: from $5.99/mo
Amazon Prime Video isn’t to be confused with the Amazon Prime shipping service. It’s a streaming media platform exactly like the others on this list and comes with a subscription fee that starts from $5.99/mo.
Some of the channels you’ll find here include HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, and others. Amazon also offers its own productions which has come up with some nifty titles like Sneaky Pete, Good Omens, and Patriot. The platform is open worldwide except to a few countries like the People’s Republic of China, North Korea, and Iran.
Price: from $6.99/mo
This is the newest service on our list and began only in later 2019. Given how popular media streaming nowadays is, The Walt Disney Company decided to grab a piece of the pie for themselves and ventured out independently.
Of course, the steel wall behind the channel is their own stable of movies, but other channels contribute to the platform as well. These are typically from owned or associated studios like Pixar, Marvel, and more.
Disney+ is slightly more widespread than Hulu or iPlayer and is available in a number of countries around the world.
The Problem With Streaming Movies
As you can tell from now, a lot of these channels come with restrictions on where they’re available. Even YouTube, which is renowned internationally, has restricted its TV service to US residents only.
That makes the rest of us in other countries simply just out of luck, as they say. Or perhaps not?
There is a way you can get access, even if you still have to pay the appropriate channel subscriptions.
Use a VPN!
Most streaming services block users based on their geographic regions. The reason for this primarily has to do with broadcasting and copyrights and such, but as consumers, that’s really none of our business.
All you need to do to qualify to subscribe is to make use of a reputable Virtual Private Network (VPN) service. By using a VPN, you can connect to a server in the country you want to sign up for a service for and – viola, it’s a done deal.
Take for example the BBC iPlayer. To watch that, simply use your VPN to connect to a UK-based server. From there, register an account using a UK postal code (you can just use Google to find one).
Then anytime you want to watch the Brit shows, connect to the VPN server again and stream to your heart’s content.
Just because we’re separated by borders doesn’t make our money any less hard-earned. Yet services such as streaming platforms charge the same rates for everyone while restricting access to their content for some.
To me, that smacks of favoritism. Fight for your digital rights today and access everything that you’re paying for – no matter where you happen to be.