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Navigating Free Streaming Services

todayApril 1, 2021 14

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Diamond Marie Pedroza
Web Content Contributor

I love streaming and how it has diversified my interests in films and television shows. However, streaming can get expensive, so here is a list of free streaming services I have tried out:


Though you have to provide your email to create an account, Peacock doesn’t require your credit card information. There are commercials, but the quality content makes sitting through the commercials worth it. You have the option of paying a subscription fee if you don’t want commercials.

What you get: TV shows, films, original content, and live TV

Recommendations: “John Wick” 1 & 2, “Harry Potter” franchise, “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” (TV show), and “Heroes” (TV show)


With a Texas State ID or library card, you can access Kanopy. There are no commercials, and the list of films covers semi-recent releases, like “Midsommar.” You can also watch tons of Criterion Channel films on Kanopy.

What you get: films and docuseries’

Recommendations: Criterion films, “Lady Bird,” and “Melancholia”


You don’t have to create an account to access Tubi, but you will have to sit through commercials. Tubi offers an eclectic selection of films and a moderate amount of TV shows. In terms of foreign releases, they have a good amount of foreign films and foreign TV shows. 

What you get: TV shows and films

Recommendations: “Train to Busan,” “Mommy,” and “Alias” (TV show)


Developed by Sony, Crackle offers a decent selection of dated films that you don’t need an account to access. However, you will have to sit through an excessive number of commercials that can double the time it takes to get through a film. 

What you get: TV shows, films, and original content

Recommendations: “Charlie’s Angels” 1 & 2 and “Mother”

CW App and CW Seed 

If you love CW shows or would love to explore some, the CW App is for you. You don’t have to create an account, but there are commercials. I believe it is worth it, because they upload episodes of shows the day after they premier on TV. The CW Seed is their sister app, where you can find some great shows from other networks, like Pop TV and the SYFY channel.

What you get: TV shows and original content

Recommendations: “In The Dark” (TV show), “Lost Girl” (TV Show), and “Schitt’s Creek” (TV show)

The Roku Channel 

Despite its name, The Roku Channel does not require a person to have a Roku device to gain access to it. You don’t even need to create an account for The Roku Channel. You will have to sit through commercials, but there is always something good to watch.  

What you get: TV shows, films, and live TV

Recommendations: “Poseidon” and “24” (TV show)


YouTube offers the chance to purchase films, including recent releases, but also offers a variety of free films. YouTube has the tendency to include a lot of commercials in its free films, but if you don’t mind that then this is a great option for you.

What you get: films

Recommendations: “The Beauty Inside” and “Just Wright”  

Pluto TV 

I recently used Pluto TV and it was very easy to get the hang of. You don’t have to create an account and there are commercials, but its live TV options are a game changer for a free streaming service to provide. If you don’t have cable, this is a great service to check out.

What you get: lots of live TV shows and films

Recommendations: “Palo Alto” and “Sing Street”

Extra Options:

Paid streamers usually offer free trials before you have to pay a subscription fee. Some of them may offer a free trial, but still charge you a dollar, like The Criterion Channel. 

Here are paid streamers that offer free seven-to-30-day trials, and won’t charge you during trial periods: Paramount+, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV +, and many more.

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