Is Putlocker safe & legal? Streaming guide [Must-read]

Vlad Constantinescu
by Vlad Constantinescu
VPN Expert & Privacy Advocate
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  • Putlocker was a popular illegal movie and TV series streaming website originating in the United Kingdom in 2011.
  • Unfortunately, if Putlocker used to be your only source of entertainment, you'll probably have to find another website.
  • Check out our best VPNs if you want to protect your online privacy efficiently.
  • Visit our Streaming VPN Hub to discover more streaming-related VPN articles.
Is Putlocker safe and legal?
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Putlocker was a popular movie and TV series streaming website originating in the United Kingdom in 2011. After Megaupload was shut down, Putlocker started to receive millions of daily visits.

As you probably figured out, Putlocker wasn’t exactly on the right side of the law. Streaming pirated content was, is, and probably will remain illegal for a long long time.

That’s exactly why in 2016, a High Court order made it possible for Putlocker to be blocked in the UK. In the same period, Alexa ranked Putlocker as one of the top 250 most visited websites in the whole wide world.

And it doesn’t stop here, either. The MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) reported the website as a major piracy threat.

All that remains right now are clones and copies of the former website since the original has been put off indefinitely.

Now here we are, wondering whether it’s safe and/or legal to use Putlocker. First thing’s first.

Streaming guide

Is Putlocker safe?

No. We’ve mentioned it above, Putlocker isn’t exactly live anymore. Instead, you can access copies and clones of the former website, and for all you may know, those websites could be run by anyone.

Even hackers could turn a formerly popular (yet illegal) service such as Putlocker into a honeypot. You get drawn in by the possibility of streaming endless hours of content and end up with your credit card information stolen.

Most of these Putlocker-like services have no registration or monthly fee. Therefore, they rely entirely on donations and/or ads to keep the service running.

While donations aren’t evil, ads are widely-known for being malware-ridden. At least some of them are.

You can even get caught red-handed if authorities seize the servers of these clones and trace you. Which brings us to our next problem.

Is Putlocker legal?

No, and it never was, hence its shutdown a few years ago. Many agencies teamed up to fight against piracy, and that’s what comes out of it. Websites get shut down, and that’s merely a fair warning.

Sure, you might not get arrested for watching a bunch of streaming content every now and then. But you might, however, receive a notice in your mailbox (virtual or otherwise) from your friendly neighborhood ISP.

While these notices are mostly toothless, repeated offenders could get their Internet suspended, fined, or even dragged to court, depending on the severity of the offense.

So, to sum it up nicely, Putlocker isn’t safe, nor legal.

Putlocker alternatives

Now, these are not exactly alternatives, but they do offer a wide range of content. The downside is that you’ll have to pay a monthly fee to use them, but at least you won’t have to worry about their safety and legitness.

  1. Netflix
  2. Hulu
  3. Amazon Prime Video
  4. HBO GO
  5. Disney+
  6. ESPN+
  7. CBS All Access

Some of these services also offer 30-day trials, so you can take them for a test run before ruling them out forever.

Besides, high-quality streaming for a monthly fee surely beats skipping ads for an SD-quality free stream of your favorite movie, right?

Use a VPN to unblock geo-restricted content

  1. Download Private Internet Access
  2. Install it on your computer
  3. Launch it
  4. Log into your PIA account
  5. Connect to a suitable server*
  6. Enjoy unlimited streaming

* – connect to a location where the streaming service is available.

If the streaming service you’re interested in isn’t available in your country, you can bypass this georestriction by using a VPN. Kape Technologies‘ PIA, for instance, is a great all-round VPN that passed our tests successfully.

Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access

Want to unblock georestricted content? PIA could help.
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It has a wide network of fast servers, has a zero-logging policy, offers great protection, and provides you with 24/7 customer support.

Additionally, you can also use it to improve packet loss and decrease in-game ping.

Putlocker is neither safe nor legal

Unfortunately, if Putlocker used to be your only source of entertainment, you’ll probably have to find another website.

Not only is Putlocker illegal, but it’s also unsafe, considering that the original website has been shut down and all you can find nowadays are copies of it.

On the bright side, there are a lot of streaming services that could easily replace Putlocker.

However, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee to use them. Even so, it still beats fighting an army of ads just to watch an illegal stream of your favorite movie in standard definition.

FAQ: Learn more about Putlocker

  • Is Putlocker a virus?

No, Putlocker is a website that promotes illegal multimedia streaming. However, it has a lot of ads, URL redirects, banners, and pop-ups that could harm your device.

  • Has Putlocker been shut down?

Yes, the original Putlocker website has been shut down in 2016.

  • What can I use instead of Putlocker?

Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, you name it. Word of advice: get a VPN, as well, if these services aren’t (fully) available in your country.