The 10 Best Free Netflix Alternatives of 2020

Stream free movies and TV shows online

When your budget is tight, cut the cord and switch to entertainment apps like Netflix. There are several programs like Netflix that offer free TV streaming and free movie streaming.

You don't need a special streaming device to play free TV shows and movies. These services have mobile apps so you can start a show on your smartphone or tablet and cast the show to a smart TV.

While you won't pay a subscription to watch free streaming, these apps play commercials during movies and shows.

These are our favorite 10 free streaming apps that are easy to use, play on a variety of devices, and contain tons of viewing entertainment.

01
of 10

Watch Your Favorite Shows on Any Device: Pluto TV

Watch Your Favorite Shows on Any Device With Pluto TV
What We Like
  • TV shows and movies in dozens of genres.

  • Easy to browse TV channels and movie listings.

  • Mobile apps cast to a smart TV.

What We Don't Like
  • The app doesn't have a search function.

  • Need an account to customize your experience.

  • Ads play multiple times.

When you want free movie streaming and free tv streaming that you can watch on any device and have a ton of options, check out Pluto TV.

Pluto TV offers live and on-demand TV shows and movies. You’ll find over 250 live TV channels that broadcast news stations, comedy shows, sports events, music videos, horror shows, and indie flicks.

When you can't find something to watch in the live TV channels, search through the thousands of on-demand movies. You'll find action movies, top TV series, sitcoms, and drama.

Pluto TV also has a large selection of family-friendly programming. There's a dedicated family section, episodes from the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, and documentaries.

  • Do you have a connected TV? You may find Pluto TV on the list of TV and movie apps. Pluto TV is available on smart TVs, including Hisense, Roku, Samsung, and Visio.
  • If you have a streaming device such as Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation, or Xfinity, Pluto TV is one of your options.
  • The mobile apps for Android and iOS make it easy to find a movie on your tablet and cast the movie to a smart TV.
  • If you want to watch a movie on your desktop or laptop computer, Pluto TV has desktop apps for the Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac operating systems.
  • If you have a Chromebook or a Linux machine, watch Pluto TV in a web browser.

Download For:

02
of 10

Perfect for Streaming Devices: Tubi

Free TV and movie streaming from Tubi
What We Like
  • Great search function.

  • Educational shows for babies and preschool-age children.

  • Mobile apps cast to a smart TV.

What We Don't Like
  • Closed captioning text may be too small for some.

  • Need an account to set up shows to binge watch.

  • Movies sometimes magically rewind a few seconds.

Tubi offers thousands of on-demand movies and TV shows. As with most free streaming services, Tubi doesn't offer the latest releases of major box office movies. However, you will find some interesting titles. The search function in Tubi is awesome. Enter a few characters or a random word, and you're presented with a curious list of interesting and unfamiliar titles.

Tubi is available on ten streaming devices. You'll find Tubi on the popular Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox, Playstation, and Chromecast devices. It's also available for TiVO, Android TV, xfinity, and Cox Contour.

If you have a smart TV from Samsung, Sony, or Vizio, the Tubi app is installed on the TV. There are also mobile and tablet apps for Android and iOS, and you can watch Tubi in a web browser.

Download for:

03
of 10

Best for Smart TVs: Xumo

Watch Xumo on a smart TV
What We Like
  • Mobile apps cast to a smart TV.

  • Hundreds of TV and on demand channels.

  • Content changes frequently.

What We Don't Like
  • Can't watch shows in a web browser.

  • Search finds more TV shows than movies.

  • Not easy to pause movies and shows.

Xumo offers a variety of TV channels that are similar to those found on broadcast TV. The Xumo app opens with a list of about 200 channels of live streaming content. You'll find food and travel shows, comedy channels, lifestyle stations, music shows, and more.

The list of on-demand movies and TV shows is long. The best way to find a show is to browse the dozens of genres and collections. The search function doesn't work too well and doesn't return results for very many movies.

Xumo powers more smart TVs than other programs like Netflix. If you have an LG, Vizio, Sharp, Philips, Magnavox, Panasonic, or Sanyo smart TV, Xumo is available for free. Xumo also works with Roku TV, iOS devices, and Android devices.

Download for:

04
of 10

Free and Paid Shows and Movies: Vudu

Free and Paid Shows and Movies on Vudu
What We Like
  • A dedicated Free section that's easy to browse.

  • Not very many commercials.

  • Create custom playlists.

What We Don't Like
  • Need a free Vudu or Walmart account.

  • Some problems when casting from a mobile device to a smart TV.

  • Commercials start in awkward places during a show.

Not everything on the Vudu streaming service is free. Most of the movies and TV shows are available for rent. However, the free category has thousands of comedies, indie films, TV classics, anime, kids shows, and special collections.

Watch Vudu on your favorite device. Cast from Android, iOS, and Windows 10 devices to a smart TV. Use your Xbox or PlayStation game console. Or play on your Apple TV, Roku, or Chromecast streaming device.

Download For:

05
of 10

Search Other Streaming Services: Yidio

Use Yidio to Search Other Streaming Services
What We Like
  • Create a watchlist of shows to watch later.

  • Easy to access content on other streaming services.

  • Control multiple TVs that use Roku.

What We Don't Like
  • Difficult to search for only free movies and TV shows.

  • Commercials during shows and in the app.

  • Content for streaming apps isn't always current.

Many people have a collection of streaming apps on their devices. Instead of browsing through each app individually, use Yidio to search for a movie. Yidio shows which movies are playing in which streaming app. You can even start a streaming app from Yidio and watch the show.

Download For:

06
of 10

Find Original Content: Crackle

Find Original Content on Crackle
What We Like
  • Quality original content from Sony.

  • Mobile apps cast to a smart TV.

  • Few commercials.

What We Don't Like
  • Limited amount of content.

  • Search feature returns few results.

  • Some content loads slowly when cast to a TV.

If you're looking for original content, check out Crackle. Crackle is sponsored by Sony Pictures and offers new and iconic hits. You don't need a subscription to watch Crackle premium TV shows and movies, but a free account comes with fewer ads and the ability to watch a show across multiple devices.

Crackle is compatible with popular streaming devices such as Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Chromecast. It also plays on PlayStation, Xbox, smart TVs, and mobile devices.

Download For:

07
of 10

Queue Shows for Easy Binge Watching: FilmRise

Queue Shows for Easy Binge Watching at FilmRise
What We Like
  • Use the queue to play shows one after another.

  • Watch shows on the FilmRise YouTube channel.

  • Mobile apps cast to a smart TV.

What We Don't Like
  • Can't access or change the queue.

  • The search returns more results for TV shows than for movies.

  • Can't read show description when another show is playing.

The FilmRise library includes over 20,000 TV and movie titles. You'll find popular TV series, reality shows, and classic TV. You'll find comedy series from the 1990s, true crime stories, and cartoons.

You'll also find a long list of award-winning movies, including action movies, cooking shows, horror films, kids' TV shows, and documentaries. There's also live concerts and classic albums. If you've spent too much time indoors and want to escape to the outdoors without leaving the couch, check out the nature and outdoor life collections or the international film genres.

Here's where you can watch FilmRise:

  • Streaming devices: Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Xbox.
  • Mobile devices: iOS and Android.
  • Web: YouTube

Download For:

08
of 10

Watch Live Network TV: NBC

Watch Live Network TV at NBC
What We Like
  • Plenty of categories to browse.

  • Offers a full lineup of shows.

What We Don't Like
  • Movie pages don't have descriptions.

  • Need an NBCUniversal Profile or TV provider to watch some shows.

Many broadcast network TV stations also provide free TV streaming. Of these stations, NBC does it best. Along with current episodes of their lineup, NBC also streams movies. You'll find recent movies that you won't find on other streaming services.

Along with a movie category, NBC streams the current season of all its shows, selected past seasons of some shows, and all episodes in all seasons of selected throwback shows. Some shows are free to watch. Other shows are locked and require an NBC account or a TV provider.

The NBC app supports a variety of platforms. Use the app on a mobile device, gaming console, smart TV, or streaming device.

Download For:

09
of 10

Catch Up with Your Favorite Shows: The CW

Catch Up with Your Favorite CW Shows
What We Like
  • Links to social media account for all CW shows.

  • Don't need a subscription or cable account.

  • Get a push notification when a favorite show is available to watch.

What We Don't Like
  • Subtitles may not work correctly.

  • Can't fast forward or rewind shows.

  • Can only watch the last five episodes of some shows.

The CW is another free tv streaming station that plays the current season of its lineup. So, if you watch broadcast TV and miss an episode of your favorite TV show, you can stream the episode the next day.

If you want to binge watch older TV shows, The CW Seed is where you'll find them. You'll find shows like Pushing Daisies, Supernatural: The Anime Series, and Everybody Hates Chris there.

The CW is available for Roku, Chromecast, Android TV, AirPlay, Apple TV, Xbox, Amazon Fire TV, iOS, Android, and Windows.

Download For:

10
of 10

Watch True Crime and Biographies: A&E

Watch True Crime and Biographies at A&E
What We Like
  • Watch all seasons and all episodes of a show.

  • Find deleted scenes not shown on TV.

What We Don't Like
  • Content can only be streamed in the United States.

  • Lots of commercials.

A search for free TV streaming reveals specialized channels that cover a specific topic or genre. If you like crime stories and stories about people's lives, give A&E a try. If you choose to set up a free account with A&E, you also get access to their History, Lifetime, Vice TV, FYI, and Biography channels.

Watch A&E on iOS and Android devices, Apple TV, Roku, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, and Samsung TV.

Download For: