Any person who loves to catch the latest free movies via free movie streaming websites; will no doubt heard of 123Movies.
It quickly grew to be one of the largest illegal websites in the world and amassed 98 million visitors per month.
With no need to register or create an account, it is easy to see why it became so popular with users who want movies for free.
Despite the 123Movies website becoming increasingly popular, the service has come up against legal challenges because of copyright. In certain countries, this service is geo-restricted. Thus leading to a large number of 123Movies cloned sites.
123Movies rebranded and out went 123Movies, Go Movies was the new name, yet its name went back as 123Movies.
Nowadays, you can find clones and copycats of both sites under different domain names. Some cloned sites are offering similar functions, while others come with reports of malicious ads, viruses, and malware.
Here you can learn all you need about how to watch movies on 123Movies, and how to take care of yourself using one of the best VPN’s we recommend for streaming.
What Happened to 123Movies?
Back in 2017, there were talks between the Office of the United States Trade Representative and the ambassador of Vietnam where the 123Movies websites were hosted. It went on to say that, the site was technically receiving hosting in Ukraine, yet it wasn’t the case at the time of the sites demise.
In 2018, there was a message posted on the site from the admin.
“Now it’s time to say goodbye. Thank you for being our friends and thanks for staying with us that long, respect filmmakers by paying for movies and TV-shows instead of pirating them.”
From then, there were no more 123 movies app or website. All that remained are the countless clone websites using the same name for free streaming.
Is 123Movies Illegal?
In theory, the website itself isn’t illegal, as it never hosts any content on the site. All it does is host the links for the movies and TV shows viewers can access.
However, with the update of the US Trade Representative saying the closure of 123movies, 123movieshub, Go Stream, and GoMovies was an “important development” in the fight against illegal piracy.
Is 123Movies legal doesn’t matter, because there are countless countries around the globe blocking access to it. The USA, UK, Australia, and even India are a few that take a stand against allowing anyone to access the site.
Is 123Movies a Safe Site?
While the original may have been safe, it is hard to say how reliable any of the alternatives to 123Movies are. You can find many streaming sites using the same names, and the designs are very similar; however, the sources of content may be suspicious.
Which is the Real 123Movies?
By all accounts, there is no real 123Movies streaming website. Here are some of the clones you can find, and there is no saying one of these isn’t the 123Movies new site name.
All these offer movies and shows, yet it is difficult to say where they come from and if there is, anything else included with the files as you stream movies.
Does 123Movies Have Viruses?
When using Go Movies, 123 Movies or any other site that may be associated or not with the original, it is impossible to say if they have viruses or not.
Any user who uses sites like 123Movies to watch movies should take precautions, and one of the first being to install the best free antivirus software if they don’t wish to pay for it.
How to Use 123Movies Safely
When you want to watch movies on 123Movies or another free movie streaming site, there are certain things you can do to keep yourself safe and secure.
Just note, this isn’t the same as legal and safe, because you may be breaking the law accessing copyright-protected movies.
If you wish to carry out any legal streaming, there are many options online you can access free, although you may not find new movies in their catalog.
Be sure you have proper anti-virus protection and sign up for a premium VPN service. Besides, make sure your VPN is always running before you connect to any online movie site, and never use your credit card on any 123Movies alternatives.
What is the Best VPN for 123Movies?
Anyone wishing to reach 123Movies may do so using ExpressVPN and its network of over 3,000 servers in 94 countries.
All of these come with military-grade encryption, a kill switch; DNS leak protection, and a zero-logging policy to keep you safe from nosy scrutiny while streaming or torrenting from any server.
Users in any country will find that they have the most speedy downloads, so all streaming will be free from buffering, regardless of where you access your high-quality movies online.
There are native apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and others. You will also find custom firmware for routers and the MediaStreamer to unblock content for other devices without an application. There are five device connections for each account.
Customer support is 24/7 with live chat for any problems. ExpressVPN can circumvent any government restrictions, and you can find 123Movies unlocked as easy as if you were watching Netflix, BBC iPlayer or other streaming platforms.
You can also use the split tunnel functionality, so streaming passes through the VPN, and other traffic passes through the usual path.
ExpressVPN comes with a no-risk 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can check out all the features before you need to pay.
Read our In-depth Review for ExpressVPN
NordVPN facilitates bypassing restrictions and unlocking any 123Movies or online sites, which can result in access errors from any country due to restrictions and blockages.
It also utilizes SmartPlay DNS functionality to aid in circumventing restrictions and provide faster download speeds for streaming across any of its specialty servers.
Offering over 5,000 servers in 60 countries, and 6 simultaneous connections, all secure with AES 256-bit encryption.
By default, it has protection against DNS leaks, kill switches (application or system), and malware and ad-blockers thrown in. With Onion over VPN, double hop, and other security features, you have one of the most secure VPN service provider options on your side.
Device support is Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux as well as routers and browser extensions.
If you have any problems trying to access your movies and free TV shows, you have 24-hour customer support to help you.
You have a 30-day money-back guarantee to test that you have one of the best VPN’s to stop your ISP from snooping.
Read our In-depth Review for NordVPN
Despite being a newer VPN service, Surfshark is a solid choice of streaming VPN. It is loaded with premium features, which is a surprise for a newcomer.
It provides high streaming speeds through its network of 1,700 servers worldwide. Like other premium providers, Surfshark uses military-grade encryption with an AES-256 cipher. It uses IKEv2 by default, but you can alter this.
It offers a kill switch for stopping all connections if you lose your VPN link, so there is no data leakage to any copyright trolls or ISPs who may be watching as you stream 123 movies free.
It offers the CleanWeb function, which comes with an ad-blocker, and malware/ tracking prevention. You can use double-hop VPN servers, split tunnel, or static IP’s on specific servers in several countries.
Unlike other VPNs, you have unlimited connections and can use the applications on Windows, Mac, Android and iOS, among many other devices around the house. The customer support uses live chat 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and resides in the IVB, therefore outside any jurisdiction.
It also has a 30-day money-back guarantee to check all features
Read our In-depth Review for Surfshark
IPVanish has about 1,400 servers spread over 75 locations. It can be a great option for anyone who streams regularly. IPVanish can bypass all types of geo-restrictions for blocked sites and premium streaming sites like Netflix, iPlayer, along with others.
With this, users have a limit of 10 connection devices in apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and manual configuration for Linux and some supported routers.
The VPN offers excellent user security with AES 256-bit bank-grade encryption, a kill switch, although only on desktop applications and Android. The protocols in use are IKEv2, OpenVPN, and L2TP/IPsec.
It also offers IPv6 and DNS leakage, and the company retains zero records. In case of problems, there is a 24/7 live chat. The VPN also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee so that you can check all features.
Read our In-depth Review for IPVanish
Are Free VPN’s Safe for 123Movies?
It can be tempting to use a free VPN for accessing free movie sites online, although you can make matters even worse by doing so.
An alternative to 123movies may offer ads, yet a free VPN can harvest your data and either sell it or use it to target ads directly to you. These free VPN’s see every ounce of your data, and not all of them are reliable.
What’s the Bottom Line?
Using sites such as 123Movies will always pose issues for users. They can shut down without warning, and you can find numerous clones springing up to take advantage.
Staying safe from hackers, as well as any governing body, is crucial for users of these types of sites.
While there is still a gray cloud hanging over streaming, it is much better to err on the side of caution and use a premium VPN to hide from any curious eyes.