Popcorn Time is similar to Netflix, only free. This streaming service is a little illegal, because the entertainment it delivers is nearly all copyrighted. The organizers don’t make any attempts to monitor video access, collect payments, pay for broadcast rights, or negotiate permits from copyright holders
You might wonder how the people who run Popcorn Time earn the money to buy and run the massive servers needed to store and distribute such a large library of videos. The answer is that there are no Popcorn Time servers. All of the videos are held on the computers of Popcorn Time users. If you join Popcorn time, it saves the videos you watch temporarily on your computer. As each segment arrives, it instantly boomerangs off to other members who want to watch it. The delivery methods of this streaming service are based on BitTorrent. This is a torrent peer-to-peer (P2P) system that streams video, rather than downloading it permanently.
A team of volunteer programmers developed Popcorn Time. They created the system as a hobby project rather than a commercial product. Due to the dubious legality of Popcorn Time, the original developers tried to remain anonymous. Communications tended to be attributed to the team mascot, Pochoclín. There are only two certain facts about the originators of Popcorn Time: they were from Argentina, and they quit the project in March 2014. At that time, they posted an announcement on Medium that Popcorn Time had shut down. In the farewell message, Pochoclín gloated that Popcorn Time “… got installed in every single country on Earth — even the two that don’t have internet access.” That’s quite an achievement!
Don’t worry if it seems that you missed the party. Popcorn Time was an open source project, which meant that anyone could download the source code for it. Many did, and when the original developers shut down their distribution channels for the app, new versions (called “forks”) started to appear. Thus the death of Popcorn Time generated an army of Popcorn Time clones. While a few were better than the original, many were commercialized travesties of the original, and some deserved to be legally restrained.
A big problem with the Popcorn Time clones is that they are all completely illegal. Nowadays, copyright holders are determined to stamp out illegal access to their intellectual property. If you live in a country where access to The Pirate Bay is blocked, and those that manage to get through are threatened with legal action for downloading content with BitTorrent, then you’ll be equally harassed for using Popcorn Time.
If you’re determined to walk on the wild side and deprive copyright holders of their hard-earned royalties, then you had better get privacy protection for your Popcorn Time activities. Fortunately, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can keep you safe from prosecution. However, you need a very strong, reputable VPN for cast-iron protection. Not all VPNs are good enough to mask your Popcorn Time activities.
Here at BestVPN.com, we have examined the legions of VPNs out there and arrived at a list of the five best VPNs for Popcorn Time. Simplify your VPN search by focusing on the following services.
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- Not the cheapest but worth it
Buffered is the best VPN for popcorn time. Located in Hungary, it keeps no usage logs and uses shared IPs, which makes it impossible for anyone to identify the user. It has amazing speeds, and so has earned the crown in this list. In addition, Buffered offers a generous six simultaneous connections and compatibility with plenty of platforms. This means that you can use the VPN to torrent on just about any device you own. Other perks of the Hungary provider include servers in 46+ countries worldwide and a sweet port discovery feature for public WiFi, a techie feature that no other VPN has. Support is 24/7 live chat, so any problems you can reach them quickly, and a generous 30 day moneyback guarantee if you don’t like anything and want a refund.
Check out the best VPN for Popcorn Time!Посетить Buffered »30-day money-back guarantee
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Good for P2P
- Double-hop option
- Allowance of six simultaneous connections
- No logs
- Customer support can be slow
NordVPN is a solid VPN for accessing streaming services. It's also a great pick for those who like to download with torrents. These two qualities make it a strong choice to use with Popcorn Time. The service is very cheap if you catch the two-year subscription offer. You get an allowance of six simultaneous connections with this VPN, which will enable you to share an account with friends.
- Fast speeds
- Easy to use
- P2P: Yes
- Strong encryption
- Based in US
- Limited support options
IPVanish has performed consistently well in our reviews, and this time around is no exception. The tier 1 network and fabulous speeds don’t need another introduction, though they definitely deserve it. Some new app features are worth mentioning, as they improve an already quality service even more. Give IPVanish a try using the link below.
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Free version with unlimited data
- Optimization for specific tasks
- A system-wide kill switch, plus options to monitor specified apps
- Strong encryption
- Can't get into Netflix
CyberGhost is a fun VPN, which is a joy to use. The app has a pre-screen that lets you select activity preferences. It then adjusts the VPN's settings to suit your intended connections. Two of those optimization options are "unblock streaming" and "torrent anonymously." You can play around with these settings to see which gives you the best performance.
There is a free version of CyberGhost that doesn't have any data throughput limits. This is a great free VPN and it made it onto the BestVPN list of the five best free VPNs.
- Seven-day money-back guarantee
- No logs
- Specialized servers for P2P downloading
- Allowance of six simultaneous connections
- Based in Switzerland
- Live chat for support not available 24/7
VPNArea gives you an allowance of six simultaneous connections and is fine about customers sharing accounts with friends. It's also happy about users engaging in torrent downloading. The company keeps no logs, and its headquarters in Switzerland will also protect you from prosecution for copyright infringement. In Switzerland, downloading copyrighted material without paying is not illegal, as long as it for personal viewing.
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Best Popcorn Time VPNs: Considerations
In Search of Popcorn Time
Whenever you install a new program, it’s important to find the right version, and not a fake app that sounds similar. There are several versions of Popcorn Time out there and it isn’t clear which one is the official version. In fact, as the original Popcorn Time shut down, it could be said that all current versions are fakes!
Popcorn Time’s successors all claim to be the “real” one. Each group puts out false accusations about the others.
The Original Popcorn Time
The creators of Popcorn Time ran a website at getpopcornti.me and made their code available at a GitHub repository. The fact that the source code was available for anyone to see enabled the originators to demonstrate that the system didn’t contain any malware. The availability of the code also made it possible for enthusiasts all over the world to suggest enhancements. When this Popcorn Time shut down, the source code was removed from GitHub. The Popcorn Time website forwarded visitors to the Medium article that contained the explanation of the termination of service.
However, as the source code had already been downloaded by other developers, two new versions of Popcorn Time instantly appeared. These were the open source popcorntime.io and the closed source time4popcorn.eu.
The Time4Popcorn crew lost their URL in October 2014. However, they simply bought a new address – popcorn-time.se – so that the system could remain available. This address also came under investigation, so the group set up popcorn-time.to. The popcorn-time.se address now forwards visitors to popcorn-time.to. The group also operates popcorn-time.xyz.
Although this version was dubbed a “closed source” project by rivals, the Time4Popcorn group publishes its source code on its own website.
Rivals of this version of Popcorn Time claim that it is full of malware. The availability of source code means that those who are suspicious of the program offered for download can simply copy the source code instead, and compile that to get the app. Unfortunately, those who aren’t familiar with programming constructs are unlikely to have the skills or the patience to detect malware.
The Time4Popcorn team developed a browser version of the player. This relies on a BitTorrent browser extension for its stream delivery mechanism. The extension is called Torrents-Time and is recommended by The Pirate Bay for live streaming from its site. Popcorn Time Online originally launched with the address popcorntime-online.io. However, it is now available at popcorntime-online.tv.
Torrents-Time says that it has a VPN integrated into its code. However, it gives no details of this protection and there aren’t any specs available for it on the web. Therefore, it’s advisable not to rely on this VPN for your security if you want to use Popcorn Time Online.
Flaws in the Torrents-Time browser extension feed the rumors that the Time4Popcorn fork is full of malware. The Torrents-Time group claims that many of the security flaws highlighted by critics are simply procedural necessities. The Torrents-Time developers say that initial bugs have now been fixed and that the system has no more vulnerabilities than any typical BitTorrent client.
The Time4Popcorn group doesn’t engage in the mudslinging that characterizes the marketing strategies of its rivals. The download site iosinstaller.com/popcorn-time/ is officially approved by the Time4Popcorn team as a source for its software for iOS devices.
The designated heir of the original Popcorn Time was popcorntime.io. This version emulated the first Popcorn Time exactly and made its source code available on GitHub. This player was closed down in October 2015, in the face of court action. The next month, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) seized the popcorntime.io address and put it out of action.
Popcorntime.io created its own privacy service, called VPN.ht. However, this VPN is not a very competent implementation, and should be avoided.
The developers of popcorntime.io split. Some of them started up again with popcorntime.sh, while others created the Butter Project (see below). Popcorntime.sh is probably the most successful clone of the original Popcorn Time and it is still in circulation today. This group reinforces its legitimacy with a Reddit forum and a Twitter feed. These information channels are some of the main sources of accusations against popcorn-time.to, which is this version’s main rival.
On its Twitter page, this group only takes responsibility for the popcorntime.sh address. It frequently claims that this is popcorntime.io, just moved to another address. The operators of the Community Edition (CE – see below) accuse popcorntime.sh of being riddled with malware. The CE group accusations specifically identify the Sape.Heur virus as being an integral part of the popcorntime.sh installer. Another CE group claim is that popcorntime.sh was set up by the MPAA as a honeypot. The theory goes that anyone using the .sh service exposes personal details to this copyright action group and will face arrest.
This version also inherited VPN.ht from popcorntime.io. When you download the client software from the popcorntime.sh site, it will prompt you to go to VPN.ht to buy the VPN. As you can see from this report, you have many other options when it comes to a VPN for Popcorn Time. The five best VPNs for Popcorn Time in our list will give you top level security for all of your online activity. They all outrank VPN.ht.
The Butter Project
As the developers behind all of the versions of Popcorn Time keep themselves anonymous, there is some confusion over the precise origin of each fork. Many claim that the popcorntime.io team split, with the popcorntime.sh team simply switching the .io code over to a new address, while the Butter Project team revised Popcorn Time processes to remove all illegal copyright infringement capabilities. Others claim that the .sh team sat back and waited for the Butter Project to come up with cleaner code then copied it and put all the copyright infringement stuff back in.
Either way, the Butter Project and popcorntime.sh are very similar. However, the .sh version enables users to download copyrighted material without permission, whereas the Butter Project enforces digital media rights.
The philosophy behind the Butter Project is that the Popcorn Time concept is a good one, and the system should be available for those who want to share their own copyrighted material, or want to add in some sort of payment collection system to allow the use of Popcorn Time with the permission of copyright holders.
The Butter Project’s good intentions make this version a little-used media streaming client. Popcorntime.sh is much more widely used.
Popcorn Time Community Edition One
Confusingly, there are two groups that claim to be the official community edition of Popcorn Time. One makes its source code available at GitHub.com/PopcornTimeCommunity. The other has its code repository at GitHub.com/ptce-public. The first of these groups used the web address popcorntime.ag but now has its site at popcorn-time.is. This group claims to be the “official community edition” of Popcorn Time. It is the source of much of the bile thrown at popcorntime.sh and popcorn-time.to. This CE group accuses both of being fronts for money launderers.
The group behind popcorntime.sh has a much slicker PR operation. They hit back at the CE version, claiming it is full of malware. Both teams illustrate their righteousness by producing the same relationship diagram of the Popcorn Time inheritance, but color each box differently. They put in different slander for the description of each version.
Popcorn Time Community Edition Two
A Google search may produce the following URLs, which are or were properties of the second “official community edition” of Popcorn Time:
Of these, popcorntime.ml and popcorntime.tk are no longer operational. Popcorntime.sh and popcorn-time.is report the popcorntimece.ch address to be the main site of this second community edition. However, that address is not currently active.
The popcorntime.ws site redirects to popcorntimes.ws, which does have content. This site contains advertising provided by Google Ads. Popcorntime.sh has nothing bad to say about this site officially. However, its followers frequently post warnings about popcorntime.ws on the .sh version’s Reddit forum. These jibes include the claim that the download slips in malware. A post from 2016 claims proof that the .ws site’s client installer includes the Trojans Vobfus and Artemis, along with BetterSurf adware.
The CE One group claims that popcorntimece.ch includes Opencandy adware and that it, along with popcorntime.ws, is also a front for money launders via anonymousvpn.org. There is no mention of AnonymousVPN on the popcorntimes.ws website.
All of the references to the site name on popcorntimes.ws refer to the name popcorntime.ws. It seems that the web pages were simply readdressed without any changes to the text. The download page includes a disclaimer that states the software was not developed by popcorntime.ws and the site bears no responsibility for it(!).
Other Popcorn Times
Popcorn Time Brazil waxes lyrical about the system. Many pages urge you to Download Popcorn Time. However, those highlighted words are just rendered in bold typeface. There are no download links anywhere on the site. There are plenty of adverts on every page, though. At first glance, this seems to be the motivation for the site.
An online movies page seems to be taking you somewhere towards actually getting to Popcorn Time. However, when you click on an available movie, a player opens in the site to stream it directly. A pop-up tells you that you first need to register to watch. This seems fair enough. All that it requires is the entry of your email address. You might expect that the next stage would involve a welcome email with a confirmation link in it. However, all you will receive is spam email.
The video player back at the site still won’t show you a movie. Instead, it displays an overlay asking for your credit card details. It says it won’t charge you because this is just for identity confirmation. Inexplicably, all of the text in this screen is written in French. It is entitled “Streaming Direct.” This overlay cannot be dismissed. You should just close the page down – the main aim of Popcorn Time Brazil is obvious.
Popcorn Time Netherlands is just an information site. It contains no links to enable you to download the software. A disclaimer at the bottom of the page explains that this site has no affiliation with the player’s developers. There are a couple of broken links in the site that were intended to take you through to other film-related websites.
Popcorn Time Free just has a redirect through to the Video Download Converter website.
Best Popcorn Time VPNs: Conclusion
There seem to be four solid heirs to Popcorn Time. All of them will enable you to stream video by using the BitTorrent protocol. In every case this involves copyright infringement. Don’t rely on any of the VPNs that each version tries to foist onto you. The secret, hidden VPN of Torrents-Time may not even exist.
Whether you choose to install Popcorn Time from popcorntime.sh, popcorn-time.is, or popcorn-time.to, or use the Torrents-Time browser extension to watch movies on popcorntime-online.tv, you are breaking the law when you watch content. Not only, that, but even though your decision process may be the result of “eeny-meeny-miney-mo,” your selection will draw you into a tribal argument, which seems to be getting increasingly vitriolic.
When hatred breaks out among competing groups involved in illegal activities, things usually don’t end well. The best advice you will get about Popcorn Time is that you should stay away. If you do risk it, make sure that your firewall and antivirus software are up-to-date and turned on before you download and install the player. Never access Popcorn Time without having a good VPN installed and operational. Protect yourself from prosecution and Popcorn Time fanatics by using one of our recommended Popcorn Time VPNs.
Best VPNs for Popcorn Time: Side-by-Side Comparison
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