Is 123Movies Safe to Use?
Is There Any Danger to Using 123Movies?
Updated on Jun 1, 2022. 123Movies is a popular resource for anyone looking to enjoy some free movies from time to time, but surely there must be a downside to free entertainment? In today’s guide, we’re going to explore whether or not 123Movies is safe to use and what you can do to ensure that your time on 123Movies is as safe as possible. First off, let’s start with a short introduction.
Is 123Movies Safe?
In the vast majority of countries, 123Movies is technically illegal, but whether or not legal action will be enforced depends on exactly where you live. While you may have heard horror stories of pirates getting slapped with fines in the thousands of dollars, these fines are usually levied against the people hosting the content.
Since torrents use a seeding system, you’re technically providing illegal content to people when you torrent files, and this leads to people getting heavily fined for piracy. On the other hand, watching content through a site like 123Movies isn’t technically that illegal because you’re only consuming the content.
However, this is still an illegal activity that can technically be punished harshly, so it’s usually a good idea to be as safe as possible when you’re using 123Movies. One of the safest ways to do so is by using a VPN to mask your identity:
Using a VPN to Watch 123Movies Safely
If you live in a country where you can expect to be actively persecuted for using 123Movies, then you’ll want to use a VPN to hide your identity. It probably comes as little surprise that we here at PinpointVPN would recommend using a VPN, but the facts don’t like, VPNs keep you safe.
To do this, you’ll have to sign up for a premium VPN that won’t keep logs about your activities, protecting your privacy, unlike many free VPNs.
We like using ExpressVPN because of its user-friendly interface and how the service shuffles its servers so that you don’t end up getting blocked because of a detected VPN. Here are the steps to using ExpressVPN so that you can safely watch 123Movies without fear of legal trouble:
1 – Sign up for ExpressVPN and download the application.
2 – Enter your login credentials in the ExpressVPN app.
3 – Select a nearby server on ExpressVPN to ensure that your connection is as consistent as possible.
4 – Press the power button to start up ExpressVPN and hide your identity while using 123Movies.
Note: Keep in mind that you can use other VPNs, including Surfshark or IPVanish, to perform the same steps.
Are There Other Safety Concerns on 123Movies?
Another thing to consider is the possibility of running into adware or potentially malicious ads while on a site like 123Movies. Ads can be a threat on 123Movies because there is no particular official domain name for the site, since the official one shut down a few years ago.
This means that the actual 123Movies site that you visit can vary based on the rehoster that’s providing access to it. Some rehosters may use legitimate ads but others may run ads that can potentially infect your computer with malware, so it’s a good idea to have an active antivirus program.
Windows Defender is a popular choice because it comes included with all modern versions of Windows, though you can also opt for another form of antivirus that you have more faith in, like Avast or McAfee.
How Do I Find 123Movies Now?
Due to how illegal its operations were, the original 123Movies was taken down back in 2018, and the only sites still functioning with their name are mirrors. These mirrors can have the same purpose as the original site, sharing pirated films in return for a small amount of ad revenue, but others can be a bit more dangerous.
Some 123Movies mirrors exist to spread malware or adware, so it’s a good idea to go through the mirrors that you have available and to pick out a reputable one. The only issue is that Google knows that 123Movies mirrors are illegal, and many of them won’t even show up on a search results page.
If you want to find the best 123Movies mirror, we’d recommend searching for “123Movies mirrors” on Google so that you can find a page where all of them are linked. What’s ironic is that Google blocks direct results to 123Movies mirrors but still allows you to access sites like these, where all of them are compiled in one place that’s easy to access.
Is There a Difference Between Downloading and Streaming Copyrighted Material?
You may have heard that people aren’t punished as harshly for using 123Movies because they’re streaming the movies they watch instead of downloading them. While it may be true that many people don’t get punished for using 123Movies, it isn’t because there’s some sort of distinction between streaming and downloading copyrighted things.
Whether you stream something or download it, you’re still watching it illegally if you haven’t paid the rights holders their just due. However, streaming movies on a platform like 123Movies isn’t quite as illegal as torrenting because torrenting involves distributing the copyrighted files as well as downloading them.
Whenever you download a torrent, you’re uploading the files that you’re downloading at the same time. This is how a torrent network works, by sharing files between people looking for them and people seeding (uploading) them. Since the law frowns even more on distributing copyrighted works, this is why people think that downloading is so much more punishable.
However, if the authorities are going to persecute someone for using a streaming service like 123Movies, they’ll merely go after them for consuming the pirated material and not redistributing it. While this means that using 123Movies isn’t as risky as torrenting, it’s still illegal in the vast majority of countries.