Popcorn Time is a free BitTorrent application for watching movies and TV-shows with a huge selection. In contrast to torrent downloading of the past, the user experience of is much like that of paid for streaming services such at Netflix or HBO; pick something from the menu, hit play and wait a few moments for the selected movie or episode to start.
Please be aware that Popcorn Time and similar applications might be illegal to use depending on the laws that apply to your situation. Much of the content is copyright protected material that is being shared without the rightful owners permission. Thus, downloading as well as sharing it is most likely a violation of said copyright.
If you still decide to make use of the applications mentioned you do so at your own risk. The content on this website is for informational purposes only and you are encouraged to use legal streaming services.
How Popcorn Time works
At the core of Popcorn Time you find the BitTorrent protocol which makes it possible and easy for users to share files with each other over the internet. This is also known as P2P file sharing which is short for peer-to-peer. The BitTorrent protocol was invented in 2001 and has evolved to being the most used method for file transfer.
In the old days, individuals wanting to download movies or TV-shows using BitTorrent had to install a client application and then go to websites such as The Pirate Bay to find torrent files that subsequently could be opened with the client which would initiate the download of the actual video file. While the BitTorrent protocol is brilliant, many have simply been thrown off by the somewhat complicated process of which has prevented torrent downloading from truly reaching the masses.
The Popcorn Time developers have revolutionized torrent downloading by taking this process and streamlined it tremendously. As a user, you aren’t confronted with the technology behind serving the menus and delivering the content. The menus are populated by “harvesting” information from popular torrent indexing sites (EZTV and YTS) showing not only what’s available to watch but also provides options for subtitles and quality as well as descriptions and ratings.
A single click or tap on “Watch Now” starts the download and shortly after – when the download speed is sufficient for a smooth viewing experience – playback begins. Once playing, you’ll find common playback options such as pause, resume, search etc., just like you would in any paid (and legal) video streaming service. The process of searching, downloading and watching videos with torrents has been simplified so much that anybody can do it.
Several Popcorn Time forks to choose from
Popcorn Time is an open source project which means the program code is openly shared. Consequently, there are several versions or forks to choose from – most claiming to be the official and/or best – which can be confusing.
Learn more about the forks and where to download Popcorn Time.
What devices/platforms is Popcorn Time available for?
Popcorn Time is available for most devices and platforms such as Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, iOS (iPad and iPhone), Android and Android TV. It can also beam/stream/cast video using Chromecast, Apple TV with AirPlay and DLNA.
Is Popcorn Time illegal?
Unlimited free access to thousands of movies and TV-shows makes most wonder if it’s legal to use Popcorn Time. There’s no simple answer to the question as laws regarding filesharing aren’t the same across the world. In the end it’s up to the courts to interpret the law and decide what’s legal or not.
However, it is certain that if your country’s laws prohibit unauthorized downloading and/or sharing of copyright protected material; using Popcorn Time to watch such content is definitely in violation to those laws. But since using Popcorn Time doesn’t necessarily violate any copyrights, the application itself should be perfectly legal, at least in theory.
To be completely sure what rules apply to your current situation, you should seek legal council or at least check up on the laws under which jurisdiction you live.
Learn more in our article about the subject: Is Popcorn Time illegal to use?
Can Popcorn Time be used anonymously?
Yes, a VPN for Popcorn Time makes it impossible to trace users by hiding their IP-address.