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Is 123movies safe and legal for watching movies?

It's was once a great alternative to the streaming giants, but now the site is hard to find.

Image via 123movies

123movies has been a pretty popular destination for those looking for a free way to watch all the latest films and TV series. To be fair, it’s hard to blame them when streaming service subscription prices are going up, and the dreaded Netfllix anti-password sharing policy was finally brought into action; many are turning to the dark side in order to get their fix for entertainment.

Although even that’s proving to be a difficult task, as many of these sites are untrustworthy and host malware that could damage the user’s system. And even the “good” ones are hard to come by, with sites like Soap2day shutting its servers down for good. Since the site closed its doors for good earlier this week, users have been desperately clamoring for the next best thing — and one site that offers a similar service has been brought to their attention.

So is it illegal?

123Movies was established around 2016 and has been a hub for free entertainment for years, although it’s had its fair share of problems. Much like Soap2day, the service is very much illegal. There’s just no way around that; free content usually comes at a price to those who made it. Although considering Netflix can’t pay their writers a fair wage, you could definitely make the argument you’re just doing your part to support the WGA strike.

123Movies shows copyrighted content, which it definitely does not have the right to be streaming online. If you’re alright with the weight of such a crime on your conscience then using the site shouldn’t be a problem, right? Well, the other thing you’ve got to worry about is the actual safety of the site.

Is it safe?

Interestingly, the original site was taken offline in 2018, as it was under criminal investigation by the Vietnamese authorities. Whilst you can find 123Movies if you Google it today, these are all clone sites or mirror sites. It’s hard to judge the safety of each one. You’ll get your typical pop-up ads which could result in a virus if you click on them. These appear on most free streaming sites, though you can get around some of these things with the use of VPNs and a good antivirus software if you really want to risk venturing onto the site.

Whilst 123Movies might still be around, it’s vital to remember that these are all mirrors and that the original is long gone. As such there really could be any kind of malicious software that the third party controlling the site has decided to put on there. There’s no guarantee that the mirror site you end up on has any connection to the original website. If you must use free streaming sites, it’s best to avoid this one; there are safer options. Although remember, they will all be just as illegal.

Jordan Collins
About the author

Jordan Collins

Jordan is a writer at WeGotThisCovered. He's been on the site for half a year and has been writing for a few years before that. Jordan has a Masters in Creative Writing and he loves telling that to anyone who will listen. Aside from that he often spends time getting lost in films, books and games. He particularly enjoys fantasy from The Legend of Zelda to The Lord of the Rings. His main reason for writing is so he can afford to feed his pet fish called Kevin.