Is 123movies Safe and the Best Alternatives to Consider

In the digital age, streaming movies and TV shows online have become a staple of home entertainment. Websites like 123movies have gained popularity for offering a vast library of video content free of charge.

However, many users have raised concerns regarding the safety and legality of using such sites, leading to a surge in demand for safer, more reliable streaming platforms. This increased awareness has spotlighted the necessity for a 123movies alternative that offers a similar breadth of content without the associated risks.

In this guide, we will explore the safety concerns surrounding 123movies and introduce you to the best alternatives that ensure a secure and enjoyable streaming experience.

Let’s jump in!

What is 123movies?

First things first — what exactly is 123movies? Well, it is a free online movie and TV show streaming platform that offers an extensive selection of content from various genres and countries. The site has gained immense popularity due to its user-friendly interface, fast loading times, and constantly updated library.

One thing that you should know about 123movies is that it’s now defunct. First launched in 2016, 123movies quickly gained a large following, but due to its questionable legality and copyright infringement issues, it was shut down in 2018.

The original domain now redirects to an ACE (Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment) webpage warning users about copyright infringement.123movies shutdown

Since then, several clone sites have emerged with the same name and similar interfaces.

Here are a few examples (as of this writing):

While these sites may offer the same features and content as the original 123Movies, they are copies and not operated by the same team. 

Is 123movies legal?

Not at all, which is why it’s now defunct. 123movies, along with its clone sites, operates in a legal “gray area.” This means that the site may not be explicitly breaking any laws, but it does facilitate copyright infringement by providing access to pirated content.

Additionally, streaming or downloading copyrighted content without permission from the owners is illegal and can result in fines or even imprisonment.

Don’t believe us? Well, consider one case where a man was sentenced to 33 months in prison for uploading pirated copies of movies and TV shows. While that case doesn’t specifically mention 123movies, it’s a clear example of the consequences that can occur when engaging in illegal streaming or downloading.

While the chances of facing legal consequences for simply watching content on these sites are slim, it’s still a risky endeavor. Plus, supporting piracy is unethical and harmful to the entertainment industry.

How does 123movies work?

123movies streaming sites work by hosting and providing links to pirated movies and TV shows. These links are usually uploaded by anonymous users, making it difficult for authorities to track down the source of the infringement.

When a user clicks on a video link, they are directed to a third-party streaming platform where the content is hosted. This means that 123movies itself does not host any videos, but it acts as a platform for users to access them.

But how do they make money if they don’t charge for streaming, you ask? Well, 123movies and its clone sites generate revenue through online advertisements, which typically come in the form of pop-ups and redirects.

Is 123movies safe to use?

When you consider the fact that 123movies is a pirate streaming site, it’s clear that using it carries some risks. Here are a few safety concerns associated with using 123movies and its alternatives:

  • Malware and viruses: Sites like 123movies rely on ads to generate revenue, which can often contain malicious code or links that can infect your device with malware or viruses. These can compromise your personal information and even cause damage to your device.
  • Legal consequences: As mentioned earlier, streaming or downloading copyrighted content is illegal. While the chances of facing legal action for merely watching a movie or TV show online are low, it is a possibility.
  • Lack of privacy: Your internet service provider (ISP) can see your activity on these streaming sites, which could potentially lead to legal and privacy issues.
  • Poor video quality: Since the content on 123movies is uploaded by anonymous users, there is no guarantee of its quality. You may end up wasting time watching low-resolution or poor-quality videos.

According to a 2019 report published by the Digital Citizens Alliance (a nonprofit organization focused on internet safety), people should seriously reconsider the allure of free content, given its significant risks. Of the people who responded to the survey, 44% reported experiencing some form of malware attack after using streaming sites and apps which host pirated content.

Consequences of a malware attack can range from having to pay for costly repairs to your device, losing personal information, and even falling victim to potentially devastating identity theft. Financial loss is a real possibility, especially in the case of ransomware, which can hold your files hostage until you pay a fee to hackers.

All things considered, it’s best to steer clear of 123movies and similar sites altogether. The good news is that there are safer (and better) alternatives that won’t put your device or privacy at risk. 

Best 123movies Alternatives

Now that we’ve established the risks associated with 123movies, you might be wondering where to find similar content legally and safely.

Here are some of the best alternatives that offer a vast collection of movies and TV shows without any legal or ethical concerns:


Netflix is undoubtedly one of the top streaming services in the market, boasting an extensive library of movies and TV shows from various genres. It also produces original content, which has gained widespread popularity among viewers.

Of course, it’s not a free streaming platform, and requires a subscription (starting at $6.99 per month for the standard ad-supported plan). However, the fact that it has achieved 53% penetration in U.S. households speaks volumes about its quality and value.popular shows on Netflix

Amazon Prime Video

If you’re already an Amazon Prime member, you automatically have access to Prime Video at no additional cost. For non-Prime members, the subscription starts at $8.99 per month.Amazon Prime streaming

Like Netflix, Prime Video offers a wide selection of movies and TV shows, including critically acclaimed originals like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and The Boys. It also offers the option to rent or buy movies and shows that are not included in the subscription.


Disney+ offers a unique blend of family-friendly entertainment with a focus on Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars content. While its library may not be as extensive as some competitors, it provides a curated collection that caters to a diverse audience of all ages.disney plus

Starting at $7.99 per month (basic plan with ads), subscribers can enjoy a variety of classic favorites, new releases, and exclusive originals, making it a compelling choice for anyone looking to immerse themselves in the magical world of Disney storytelling.

Free 123movies alternatives

Of course, no list of alternatives for 123movies would be complete without addressing the elephant in the room: free streaming sites. While we don’t condone or encourage the use of illegal streaming sites, it’s well worth noting that there are free options out there that are completely legit.

Granted, they may not offer the latest releases, but they do have a decent collection of movies and shows that are free to watch without any risks.

Here are some free 123movies alternatives that are worth checking out:


Crackle is a free streaming service that offers a robust selection of movies, TV shows, and original content. It’s owned by Sony, so you can expect a certain level of quality and a good range of genres from action-packed thrillers to heartfelt dramas.crackle

While you do have to sit through some ads, it’s a small price to pay for access to free content. Crackle doesn’t require you to sign up, but creating an account enables you to save favorites and resume playback if you switch devices. This makes it a good 123movies alternative for those who prefer a more convenient streaming experience.

Pluto TV

Pluto TV is a live TV streaming service that offers over 250 channels with content from popular networks like CNN, Fox Sports, and MTV. It also has a dedicated section for on-demand movies and shows. Like Crackle, it’s completely free but relies on advertisements for revenue.pluto tv streaming

Similar to traditional cable or satellite TV, Pluto TV has a program guide that lets you see what’s currently playing and upcoming shows. You can also create a custom lineup of channels based on your preferences.


Last but not least, we have IMDb TV (recently rebranded as Amazon Freevee), which is Amazon’s offering in the free streaming space and which provides access to a wide selection of movies and TV shows at no charge.

While it does include advertisements, the trade-off is access to a substantial library that includes both popular titles and hidden gems across a variety of genres. This service is seamlessly integrated with Amazon’s existing platform, making it incredibly user-friendly for those already familiar with Amazon products and services.ImDb streaming

Also, keep in mind that some of these alternatives to 123movies may not be available in certain regions or countries. Crackle and Pluto TV, for instance, are only accessible in the U.S. However, you can use a good premium VPN service to get around this limitation.

ClearVPN, for example, offers a “Streaming” mode where you can select and unblock access to a wide range of popular streaming services. All you need to do: 

  1. Download and install ClearVPN app on your PC or phone(iOS or Android device).
  2. Run the app and log into it.
  3. On the main screen just click on the locations button at the bottom of the clearvpn main screen mac
  4. Then click on the Streaming services to get into streaming services
  5. Choose the streaming service you want to watch and app will instantly connect you to the server to get access to streaming mode in clearvpn Mac


What’s 123movies called now?

123movies has been defunct since 2018 and no longer operates under that name. However, there are several clones and proxy sites that try to emulate the original service. These sites may go by different names, but they all offer a similar experience.

Is it safe to download from 123movies?

As with anything that relies on illegal streaming, there is always a risk involved when downloading content from 123movies or similar websites. Not only are you breaking the law, but you also run the risk of downloading malware or viruses onto your device.

What site can I use instead of 123movies?

We recommend sticking with legitimate streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or Disney+. However, if you’re looking for a free alternative, give Crackle, Pluto TV, or IMDb TV a try. These free streaming sites manage to stay legal while still providing a decent selection of content. 

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