What Do I Need to Watch Free Online Movies?

These are the most important components

Video streaming illustration

There are so many free streaming movies and downloadable movies on the internet right now that you can view hundreds of new movies and some old favorites. Watching these movies gives you more options, tons of convenience, and saves money as well.

To make sure that you get the most out of your movie watching experience, there are few things you need to consider so that everything goes smoothly.

Below are the software, hardware, and internet connection requirements that you need before you can start watching movies online.

Learn how to tell if the website is legal before you start watching or downloading any movies.

Necessary Software & Hardware

Illustration of man streaming from laptop with headphones around neck

Not all movie sites work the same, but regardless of the one you choose, they all require an active internet connection. You'll need the connection to be online and valid for up to a few hours depending on the movie you choose to stream.

Beyond that, you can watch most free movies from a variety of devices. Depending on the movie site you pick, you'll be able to watch the films with a computer, phone, tablet, smart TV, media streaming device, gaming console, etc.

If you're streaming from a computer, you'll need a web browser like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Edge, or Internet Explorer (the one you’re using now is probably fine). You might also need an updated version of Adobe Flash, though not all movie sites require this.

It doesn’t matter if you’re using a Windows, Mac, or Linux computer. As long as you have the appropriate browser and other software installed, it doesn't matter what operating system you're using.

Movie streaming from a mobile device is often possible from any kind: Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, etc. This works through a mobile app, which most movie sites offer.

High-Speed Internet Is Preferred

Illustration of man sitting on a speed indicator

Another important component for watching movies online is an internet connection suitable for video streaming. Streaming movies require an active connection so that your computer can reach the website you’re wanting to use for watching the films, but it also needs to be fast enough to stream videos without buffering too much.

The internet connection you're using right now is sufficient enough for viewing web pages, but it may or may not be ideal for certain videos. If you can't find a high-speed public network to use, you might need to upgrade your connection through your ISP.

Many websites that offer free movies, like Vudu and Crackle, have high-quality videos. Viewing these movies require a greater network speed, which is why high-speed internet is best for streaming most online movies. Lower quality films, on the other hand, are usually streamed just fine on a slower connection.

Many websites require you to have an connection capable of downloading at least 1 Mbps to avoid problems with videos buffering or skipping while you're trying to watch them. It's recommend that you get on a network with a higher speed if you know you’ll be watching high-quality movies.

You can see the speed at which your internet connection operates at by testing it with an internet speed test site such as Speedtest.net.

Of course, you could always try to watch movies regardless of how fast your connection is because they might play just fine if you give them plenty of time to load.