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Sites Like 123Movies In February 2020

123Movies launched quietly in 2015 at 123movies.to, just twelve months later it would become an internet phenomenon with 98 million unique visitors per month and would be making millions of dollars in revenue for it’s mysterious owners.

Operating from Vietnam, a country not known for its support of intellectual property rights or for that matter the USA, it allowed its users to stream films and tv shows for free. The site was quick, slick and well designed, ads were sparse and the site was reasonably safe if the user was tech savvy.

By October 2016 123Movies had almost 100 million unique users per month, it was a goldmine and undoubtably made it’s creators extremely wealthy in a very short space of time. Netflix and Hollywood were not going to take this lying down.

It didn’t take long for Hollywood to lobby the MPAA and it soon listed 123Movies in its Online Notorious Markets overview calling it “the most popular illegal site in the world.

Then in March 2017 US Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius called for the Vietnamese Government to take down the criminals behind 123Movies. This, in turn, led to meetings between Hollywood and the Vietnamese Government which resulted in promises from he latter to overhaul their intellectual property laws and bring down the illegal streaming sites once and for all.

In march 2018 the mysterious owners of 123Movies posted an announcement along with a countdown timer on the homepage of 123Movies. The announcment said 123Movies would be shutting down once the timer expired. The timer had five days to go. It seems the feds were onto them and the heat was too much to handle.

123down

When the timer ran down to 0 the site disappeared and remains down to this day.

123Movies never explained the shutdown in detail but in it’s latest ‘notorious markets’ overview the MPAA had this to say:

“An important development in 2018 was the shuttering of a ring of piracy services that had operated under the names 123movies, 123movieshub, gostream, and gomovies following the launch of a criminal investigation in Vietnam and significant industry engagement,”

Is it legal to Stream Movies for Free?

Let’s take a short interlude from the 123Movies saga and talk about streaming free movies in 2020. Let me caveat this by saying we are not lawyers and this is not legal advice.

We did ask some international lawyers about the legalities of streaming movies online for free, their response was that any service offering free streaming or free downloading of the latest movies or TV shows is probably illegal.

Probably illegal?? Surely it’s either illegal or its not? Well, actually it’s more complicated than that. The short answer is, it depends on where you live.

Streaming movies via the internet is not in any way illegal in some countries while in others like USA or Germany it is very much illegal.

If you are intent on streaming movies from sites like 123Movies then the best advice we can give is that you should take legal advice from a legal professional in your country. Preferably one who specialises in international copyright law.

Its worth mentioning that whatever jurisdiction you fall in its one thing streaming a movie for your own personal use, and it’s something completely different to use a site like 123Movies to make money, for instance by showing a movie to a room full of people in a bar. The former might get you a strongly worded letter from your ISP but the latter can land you in jail.

We know it can be very tempting to stream a movie or tv show. We’ve been there. When a show is exploding and every man and his dog are talking about it down the pub but it’s only offered by a streaming service you don’t subscribe to! It’s a blooming tempting thing just to google the best streaming sites but hold your horses! Our advise is to absolutely avoid illegal streaming sites. It is very probably illegal. As well as the legal and moral issues illegal streaming sites can put you at risk from hacking and cybercrime.

The Second Coming Of 123Movies

Now we return to the 123Movies story and as with all good pirate stories there is a twist.

The MPAA never did confirm if arrests and prosecutions took place following rhe shutdown of 123Movies. Our assumtion is that the owners bwere never caught. Surley their arrest and prosecution would have served as a warnign to any other wannabe pirates.

Then a few months after the otiginal 123Movies shut it’s doors another very similar site rose to prominance. Very soon several clone sites materialised and began gaining users at startling rates. The MPAA freaked out and went frantically after the copy cat sites as well, they shut down one but another popped up to take its place, they shut down another and yet again another would pop up a week later. They just kept coming. 123Movies was a Hydra, if you chop one head off, another grows in it’s place more ferocious and tenatious than the last.

By the end of 2019 there were a countless number of shady streaming sites offering a similar service to 123Movies many of them are running from jurisdictions where criminal activity is not unusual, this means the people running the new sites are sometimes a different calibre criminal than the original owners of 123Movies.

The problem with streaming from a copycat sites is that some of the copycats are not as honest as the people who started 123Movies. Many of the new sites are riddled with annoying pop-under ads, cross-site trackers, malware and worse.

Watching a streaming movie online is arguably more dangerous now than is was when the original 123Movies was around. On one hand you have Hollywood and their cronies watching and recording your every move and on the other you have the possibly nefarious people who actually run the sites who want to take advantage of you. It’s enough to make you want to sign up for Netflix.

We’re not naive or egotistical enough to think that everyone will heed our advise and stay away from streaming sites. We don’t want anyone to be hacked or affected by malware so we took it upon ourselves to review and assess the most popular sites like 123Movies for cyber threats among other things. So without further ado, here is the list of top sites like 123Movies…

Top 10 Sites Like 123Movies to watch Movies 2020

The sites that follow have all been auided by our web secuirty teams and have been deemed safe when our guidelines are followed.

1. Lookmovie

URL: https://lookmovie.ag/

Lookmovie Image

At the top of the list is Lookmovie and for good reason. Design wise it certainly looks the part with a very slick Netflix feel. It also had the largest library of HD quality movies when we checked.

Similarweb has Lookmovie at around 14 Million unique users per month, a fraction of it’s predecessor 123Movies user count but in 2020 this makes it the leader in the field. It’s enough traffic to ensure it’s owners are making tens of thousands of $ per day.

Many of the 123Movie clones are not actually streaming sites. They are in just large catalogues linking to streaming content hosted on other sites. This means users never actually know where the streaming content is actually streaming from, this opens you up to trackers and cyber threats and other nefarious things.

Much like the original 123Movies though Lookmovies actually seems to host its own media and offers users an unbelievable selection of the latest movies and TV shows.

When 123Movies went down in flames Lookmovies emerged from the ashes. It seems to have taken the lions share of users from the start and has gone from strength to strength ever since.

Malware and Viruses

While we offer no guarantees of safety or security when our experts gave Lookmovie.ag their rigorous security check it over came back all clear with 0 malware or viruses detected. This does not mean that malware and viruses have not since been added to the site however so please proceed with caution and read the section on How to protect yourself when streaming media online.

Ad’s


The site also looks to be pretty much ad free at the time of review. Nothing to report.

Library Size

The largest library of media on the list.

Malware and Viruses

While we offer no guarantees of safety or security when our experts gave Lookmovie.ag their rigorous security check it over came back all clear with 0 malware or viruses detected. This does not mean that malware and viruses have not since been added to the site however so please proceed with caution and read the section on How to protect yourself when streaming media online. Ads

The site also looks to be pretty much ad free at the time of review. Nothing to report. Library Size The largest library of media on the list.

2. BatFLIX

Batflix image

BatFLIX is a fairly new contender for 123Movies crown. It emerged towards the end of 2019 but soon became a favourite with users. It’s very difficult to gauge traffic numbers for sites that are seen as somewhat nefarious but Similarweb pegs it at around 500k users per month, search volumes suggest it it much, much higher than this.

While some 123Movies copycat sites are riddled with malware and ads we suspect batflix.org’s popularity is down to it’s clean look and malware free reputation.

When our security experts checked it passes all checks with flying colours and there wasn’t an ad in sight.

Malware and Viruses

While we offer no guarantees of safety or security when our experts gave BatFLIX.org their rigorous security check it over came back all clear with 0 malware or viruses detected. This does not mean that malware and viruses have not since been added to the site however so please proceed with caution and read the section on How to protect yourself when streaming media online. Ads The site also looks to be pretty much ad free at the time of review. Nothing to report.

Library Size

A medium sized library that is growing at a fast rate.

3. Vmovee

Vmovee

Similarweb has Vmovee at about 2 Million unique users per month. This puts it above Batflix in terms of traffic, It’s the second largest streaming in terms of traffic on the list. Vmovee has a very big library but falls short of the two above it when it comes to design and UX. The design is literally a search box which means you are not presented with a selection of available films or shows to watch.

Malware and Viruses

While vMovee does seem to host its own media our security team picked up several trackers and scripts that were trying to run. These were not analysed but is definitely a black mark as far as users are concerned.

Ads

Some annoying popunder and popover ads.

Library Size

A medium sized library that is growing at a fast rate.

4. Cinewhale

URL: https://www.cinewhale.com/

Cinewhale

Similarweb has Cinewhale at around 700k unique users per month which makes it a popular site in terms of traffic but in our opinion it falls short of Lookmovie and Batflix where it comes to design and UX.

Cinewhale lives up-to its name though because it does have a very large library. It is also a hybrid of sorts in that it seems to host its own media as well as provide links to other streaming sites.

In the world of pirate streaming streams do tend to become unavailable at very short notice so having more than one option is not a bad idea.

Malware and Viruses

While vMovee does seem to host its own media our security team picked up several trackers and scripts that were trying to run. These were not analysed but is definitely a black mark as far as users are concerned.

Ads

Some annoying popunder and popover ads.

Library Size

Very large llibrary and growing fast.

5. HDBest (VIKV.net)

URL: http://hdbest.net/

Another very large site, HDBest stands at about 4 Million users per month according to Similarweb but again in our opinion it falls short of the top three in terms of UX and design. The media library is huge however and again it seems to host its own media.

Malware and Viruses.

Our security team did find several ad cookies but nothing in terms of malware or nefarious scripts. Malware and Viruses Ads Very annoying popunder and popover ads.

Library Size

Large library and growing fast.

6. WatchMoviesNow

URL watchmoviesnow.co

WatchMoviesNow is a relative newcomer appearing in late 2019. Late to the game it maybe but according to Similarweb it it already at 220K unique users per month, this trajectory is very steep so the growth does not seem like slowing down any time soon.

The design and UX is modern and slick and the selection is smaller than the top 5’s. There is however a good selection of foreign movies, especially Hindi movies which may explain the large share of traffic coming from India.

Our security team did find several ad cookies but nothing in terms of malware or nefarious scripts.

Malware and Viruses

Again cross site trackers were detected but nothing in terms of viruses or malware.

Ads

Very annoying popunder and popover ads.

Library Size

Medium library and growing fast.

7. FlixGo

Url: flixgo.club

Flixgo

Again a new-by on the scene, Similarweb has FlixGo at around 200k uniques per month, the impressive thing is that the site has only been live since November 2019.

The UX and design are very slick and it has very nice IMDB integration which makes finding something to watch a breeze. The only downside to FlixGo is the size of the library, its much smaller than the other sites further up the list.

Malware and Viruses

Cross site trackers were detected but nothing in terms of viruses or malware.

Ads

Annoying popunder and popover ads. Library Size Medium library and growing fast.

8. Onionplay

URL: onionplay.co

Onionplay

Onionplay is again a relative late comer to the scene, starting sometime in August 2019 but its rise has been meteoric with Similarweb estimating unique users at around 2.2 Million as of December 2019.

The design and UX are again very slick, with a Netflix vibe. The media library is not at as big as the top 5 however.

Malware and Viruses

Our security team did found 1 cross site tracker for google analytics but nothing else.

Ads

Annoying popunder and popover ads. Library Size Small-Medium library and growing fast.

9. Lunchflix

URL: https://www.lunchflix.com/

Lunchflix

Similarweb has it at around 170k unique users per month, it has a modest library compared to the top sites but does offer HD streaming.

Malware and Viruses

Cross site trackers were detected but nothing in terms of viruses or malware.

Ads

Annoying popunder and popover ads. Library Size Small-Medium library and growing fast.

10. Soap2Day

URL: https://www.soap2day.com/

Soap2Day

Soap2Day is a pretty horrible site so you may be surprised to know that in terms of traffic it’s the largest site featured in this list. Similarweb has it at an astonishing 17.5 Million unique users per month. The sites popularity may be down to it’s longevity, it has been around for a while and it also has a very large library of HD films and TV shows.

Our security team did notice a number of cross site scripts and trackers trying to run and also some very annoying pop under ads. It certainly does not live unto the sites at the top of the list in terms of UX and design.

Malware and Viruses

Riddled with cross site trackers, nothing in terms of viruses or malware but this does not mean it does not exist here.

Ads

Annoying popunder and popover ads. Library Size Very large library and growing fast. Honourable Mentions:

11. HiMovies

URL: https://www.himovies.to/

12. YMovies

URL: https://ymovies.to/

13. 1Movies

URL: https://ww1.1movies.is/

14. M4UHD

URL: http://m4uhd.net/

15. Streamlord

URL: http://www.streamlord.com/

16. OpenloadMovies

URL: https://openloadmovies.ac/

17. MovieGaga

URL: https://moviegaga.to/

18. Movie4You

URL: https://www1.movie4u.live/

19. AFDAH

URL: https://afdah.info/

20. MovieRulz

URL: https://3movierulz.ms/

That’s all we have about 123movies people.