Hey there! If you landed on this page, you‘re probably looking for more information about Project Free TV.
I totally understand the appeal. At its peak, Project Free TV was one of the most popular sites for streaming free movies, shows, sports, and more. But in 2018 it was shut down amid serious legal issues.
Since then, dozens of sketchy "mirror" sites have tried to replicate it. But most cord-cutters have moved on to better options.
I‘m going to give you all the details on what Project Free TV was, why it was taken down, and the best legal alternatives available in 2022. I‘ll also talk about security and steps you can take to safely stream content.
Let‘s get started!
What Was Project Free TV? A Streaming Powerhouse
Project Free TV began operating in 2007 as an indexing and aggregation site for streaming links. Rather than host content itself, it provided organized directories of links to stream movies, shows, and more from third-party file lockers and streaming sites.
It absolutely exploded in popularity over the next decade. Here are some crazy stats:
- 50,000+ movies listed
- 5,000+ TV shows indexed
- 98 million monthly visitors at its peak
Yeah, this thing was massive. It became known as the "Go-To website" for conveniently finding free movies and shows to stream.
Project Free TV categorized its vast catalog into neatly organized genres, release years, and sections. This made browsing like a breeze. Just click and instantly start streaming, no hassle hunting down sketchy torrents required.
Beyond on-demand movies and shows, Project Free TV eventually expanded into:
- Live sports – Links to live stream events
- Live TV – Streams of cable channels
- Anime – Popular anime series
With this type of robust selection accessible for free, it‘s no wonder the site attracted nearly 100 million visits every month at its prime.
But this insane success also put a big target on Project Free TV‘s back…
The Epic Shut Down of Project Free TV
In April 2018, after over a decade running unchecked, Project Free TV was finally taken down and seized by authorities.
This followed the arrest of the alleged founder, a UK citizen named Josh Hall. Hall was charged with criminal copyright infringement in the US, extradited to New York, and sentenced to 5 months in prison.
Although Project Free TV didn‘t actually host any pirated content, the site clearly facilitated massive copyright infringement by indexing links to illegal streams. So that put it in the crosshairs of law enforcement.
Soon after Hall‘s arrest, ProjectFree.tv began redirecting users to a notice about the domain being seized. Despite efforts to move the site to new domains, the original Project Free TV never returned.
This was a massive shake-up in the streaming world. At the time, Project Free TV was:
- 98 million monthly site visits
That‘s insane levels of traffic. With those kinds of numbers, it had grown into one of the most popular sites on the entire internet before law enforcement caught up.
Losing Project Free TV left a massive gap for those looking to stream the latest movies and shows for free via unofficial methods.
The Whack-A-Mole Game of Mirror Sites
Following the takedown in 2018, it didn‘t take long for "mirror" sites emulating Project Free TV to start popping up.
These mirrors replicated the look and feel of the original site, with the same extensive library of organized movie and TV streaming links.
However, these imitation sites have struggled to attract even a fraction of the original Project Free TV‘s ridiculous 98 million monthly visitors. The barrier of entry is just too high.
Launching a mirror requires:
- Acquiring domain names
- Developing a scraped content database
- Building a front-end website
- Implementing search and filters
…and doing it all while trying to fly under the radar of authorities. It‘s a big task.
No major Project Free TV mirror has managed to gain more than a couple million monthly visitors – just a tiny sliver compared to the original site.
Plus, these mirrors employ really sketchy and intrusive ads in an attempt to maximize profits during their inevitably short lifespan before suffering the same fate as ProjectFree.tv.
Most cord-cutters avoid the mirrors, considering them too shady and risky compared to the smooth experience offered by the original site back in the day. It‘s an endless game of whack-a-mole as mirrors pop up and get knocked down.
Safer Free Streaming Options in 2022
Rather than mess around with janky mirror sites, there are much better free streaming options available in 2022. Many new services have launched, offering totally legal free movies and shows supported by ads.
These are a way smarter alternative – no risky pirated links, no intrusive popup ads, no threat of the site suddenly vanishing. You can enjoy your content in peace.
Here are 12 of the best free streaming services available right now:
- Content: Extensive library of free movies, shows, originals
- Platforms: Web, iOS, Android, Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, Smart TVs
- Highlights: Classics, cult favorites, original content, trailers, live music
YouTube holds a treasure trove of free movies, shows, and its own original content. You can find everything from classic films to obscure cult hits. There are also popular shows, comedy specials, documentaries, trailers, and much more for free.
2. The Roku Channel
- Content: Free movies and shows from major studios
- Platforms: Roku devices, Web, iOS, Android
- Highlights: Premium movies, classic shows, 190 free live TV channels
The Roku Channel offers thousands of free movies and episodes, plus live TV channels. The content comes from big name studios like Lionsgate, MGM, Sony Pictures and more.
3. Pluto TV
- Content: Over 250 free live TV channels, thousands of free on-demand movies and shows
- Platforms: Web, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Roku
- Highlights: News, sports, movies, reality, cartoons, comedy, and exclusive originals
Pluto TV takes the concept of free streaming TV to a new level, with a fantastic lineup of live channels. There‘s also a huge on-demand library with movies, shows, and exclusive Pluto TV originals.
- Content: 40,000+ movies and shows
- Platforms: Apps for most devices
- Highlights: Content from Warner Bros, Paramount, Lionsgate and more
Believe it or not, Tubi‘s library exceeds 40,000 titles! Their massive catalog includes tons of box office hits, cult classics, and popular TV series available 100% free.
- Content: Free movies, classic shows, original content
- Platforms: Web, apps for most devices
- Highlights: Sony Pictures movies, TV classics, exclusive Originals
Backed by Sony, Crackle offers an awesome selection of movies, classic TV, and original shows. It‘s completely free and legal with a slick interface.
- Content: Hundreds of movies, thousands of show episodes, news, sports
- Platforms: Web, iOS, Android, Roku
- Highlights: Next-day NBC episodes, every season of The Office
NBC and Comcast‘s Peacock streaming service offers a large on-demand catalog free. Paying unlocks more exclusive content, but the free tier is still excellent.
- Content: Free movies and shows from MGM, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros
- Platforms: Web, apps for most devices
- Highlights: New releases, award winners, Action, Comedy, Drama
Vudu offers thousands of free films and series, supported by ads. Unlike their paid tier, the free content is licensed from major studios and 100% legal.
8. IMDb TV
- Content: Free movies and shows from Disney, NBCU, Sony, Warner Bros
- Platforms: Fire TV, Roku, Web, iOS, Android
- Highlights: Popular TV classics, hit movies, exclusive Originals
Backed by Amazon, IMDb TV licenses movies and shows before making them available for free streaming. The catalog spans many networks and studios.
9. Plex Free Movies & TV
- Content: Free on-demand movies, shows, web series
- Platforms: Plex apps, Plex website
- Highlights: MGM, Warner Bros, and Lionsgate movies & shows
Plex offers their own selection of free streaming content from major providers, even without a paid Plex Pass subscription.
- Content: Movies, shows, music, audiobooks, comics, ebooks
- Platforms: Hoopla website and apps
- Highlights: Content from Disney, HBO, Paramount, Starz, Marvel
Through partnerships with public libraries, Hoopla allows you to borrow and stream movies, TV shows, audiobooks, music and more for free with a library card.
- Content: Indie, classic, and educational films
- Platforms: Kanopy website and apps
- Highlights: Independent movies, documentaries, educational content
Another great resource offered by public libraries is Kanopy. It focuses more on indie films, documentaries, and educational content available to borrow for free.
12. Free OTA TV with an Antenna
- Content: Local broadcast channels – ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS, etc
- Platforms: HDTV antenna to digital TV or tuner
- Highlights: News, sports, events, local programming
One of the most tried-and-true options is an over-the-air (OTA) antenna. For a small one-time cost, you can access local broadcast channels for free, forever.
More Great Free Streaming Options:
- CW App – Latest episodes free. Past seasons with subscription.
- Comedy Central App – Clips, webisodes, some full shows
- Tubi – Enormous on-demand movie & TV catalog
- Pluto TV – Over 250 free live TV channels
- Locast – Nonprofit streaming local broadcast stations in select markets
- Crackle – Free movies, TV, and Crackle original content
- IMDb TV – Free movies and shows w/ ads
- The Roku Channel – Free movies and shows from major studios
- Popcornflix – Free ad-supported movies owned by Screen Media Ventures
- Facebook Watch – Original and streaming shows
- Yahoo View – Free on-demand content from Hulu
- Xumo – Live and on-demand channels focused on news and sports
- Sony Crackle – A mix of movies, classic TV, and original shows
- Taste – A variety of free indie movies
- Vudu – Thousands of free films supported by ads
So as you can see, there are a ton of great free options out there spanning movies, TV series, news, sports, documentaries, and more. No need to bother with sketchy pirate streaming sites in 2022.
Are Free Streaming Sites Legal? What About VPNs?
When using any third-party streaming site, an important question that comes up is: "Is this legal?"
Well, the various mirror sites trying to replicate Project Free TV are absolutely not legal. They operate under the same model of facilitating access to pirated streams that got the original site shut down.
However, all of the free streaming services and apps listed above are 100% legal and legitimate. Rather than pirated content, they directly license movies and shows from the rights holders before making that content free on their platforms.
Streaming free content from YouTube, Tubi, The Roku Channel, or the other services mentioned does not violate any piracy laws and carries no risk.
Now you may be wondering whether a VPN is necessary for these free streaming options. The answer is:
- A VPN is not legally required since these platforms are authorized and legitimate.
However, a VPN can provide other privacy and security benefits when streaming:
- Encrypt your traffic to prevent snooping
- Use location spoofing to access region-locked content
- Added malware protection on public Wi-Fi
So while a VPN isn‘t mandatory, it can be helpful depending on your specific needs. I personally like Surfshark – it works seamlessly for streaming and offers a good mix of security, speed, and cost.
Safe Streaming Tips
Here are some of my top tips for streaming free content safely and legally in 2022:
Use Trusted Apps and Sites
Stick to well-known, reputable apps like those listed in this guide to ensure legality and get a polished experience. Avoid random piracy sites or sketchy unknown apps.
Enable VPN Encryption
Using a trusted VPN provides an encrypted tunnel to prevent snooping on your activities while streaming.
Avoid Public Wi-Fi
Free public hotspots are common hacking targets. Connect only on secured home Wi-Fi networks for streaming when possible.
Get a Good Antivirus
Install a leading antivirus app to scan for any malware being spread via free streaming sites. I recommend Malwarebytes.
Beware of Fake Apps
Make sure to download apps from official app stores. Fake app clones are a common scam trick.
Check Licensing & Rights
Research whether a service properly licenses content rather than using pirated streams before you start watching.
Enjoy Your Free Streaming!
So there you have it! I hope this guide gave you a complete look at Project Free TV – what made it popular originally, how it came crashing down, and the best legal alternatives available now.
The free streaming landscape has expanded enormously over the past few years. You can now get tons of great free content totally legitimately and safely from providers like Tubi, Pluto TV, or YouTube. No more need for sketchy pirate sites.
Just be smart by sticking to trusted apps, enabling encryption, and avoiding malware. Now get out there and start watching all the movies, shows, and clips your heart desires 100% free!
Let me know if you have any other questions!