POPCORN TIME! You know I am talking about movies, isn’t it? Well, that’s what the Popcorn Time software does. It’s an open-source software which lets you watch latest movies and TV shows for free.
It has earned a name as the Netflix’s pirated version as it organizes and presents the content quite similar to that of Netflix.
It is available for many devices and uses the popular BitTorrent P2P protocol to download and stream content. The only difference between other BitTorrent clients and Popcorn Time is that this starts playing the video as soon as the download starts.
How does Popcorn Time work?
In the foreground, it’s quite the same as Netflix. You browse through the thumbnails or can search for your favourite shows. And you can watch it right away.
The main difference is the technology behind it. It works on the P2P protocol, same as the one used for torrenting. As soon as the download starts, it also uploads the file to other connected users.
Unlike Netflix, there are no servers involved which host the content. But you can watch it while it’s downloading in the background.
The videos get downloaded from users all over the world, this is what P2P technology does. The file is available in a temporary download folder and gets deleted once the system reboots. You can though keep the file if you want.
Is it legal?
Popcorn Time is legal. It works like a search engine helping you to find content available in the public domain. But yes, the content you stream may not be. Popcorn Time doesn’t host the content, it makes it convenient to you via torrents and as you all know those are, most of the times, pirated.
And also, you are uploading the so-called pirated content to other users. Well, that’s how P2P works. So, you are always at a risk of getting fined or serving jail term (at worst).
Is Popcorn Time safe?
The app itself is safe, you don’t have to register with it. You can simply download Popcorn Time and start watching what you want. But with the Popcorn Time official project shut down due to legal issues, many developers have made its clones. The code is open-source and still available for use.
The current tested site is popcorntime.sh, and unless you download the app from other websites, there is no malware in there. Watching movies with Popcorn Time is as safe as downloading via torrents. It works on the same principle. The app is available to download for free for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices and also for Ubuntu.
But the content you are streaming may not be legal, so it’s advised to use a VPN service to hide your footprints. You can also have Popcorn Time stream to TV with a supported streaming device like Chromecast or with the screen-mirroring feature available on various devices.
Popcorn Time and VPN
We recommend you to use a VPN while you use Popcorn Time. The VPN server masks your IP address and provides a virtual public IP address. As the server also encrypts the network, you can enjoy Popcorn Time with full privacy. All your activity seems to come from the VPN server.
With the network encrypted, your ISP won’t see what you are browsing and can’t issue any penalty to you.
You need the fastest VPN so that you can enjoy the streams without buffering. With a VPN provider with strong encryption system like ExpressVPN, you can be sure no one can keep an eye on your browsing activity. Before selecting a VPN, do check if it supports the BitTorrent protocol.
ExpressVPN allows the use of the BitTorrent protocol and you can thus use Popcorn Time without any problem. We have the VPN services outlined for you in detail. Check the reviews and decide for yourself.
Even if the government (or the ISP) blocks the service, you can bypass the restrictions. With a VPN server somewhere outside Australia, you will enjoy the services as if it was never blocked. The activity isn’t traceable to you.
Another way to access Popcorn Time with a spoofed IP address is to use Smart DNS service.
Unlike a VPN, it only redirects the location data associated with your IP address. You can connect to a foreign server available with a service provider like Unlocator DNS system and use Popcorn Time without much effort.
As it involves re-routing of only the location related data, the SmartDNS way is faster than the VPNs. But the disadvantage is that the servers don’t encrypt your data (or network). This can be of serious concern.