Is 123Movies Safe to Use

Is 123Movies Safe? Is it Legal? WARNING!

Published on: November 12, 2023
Last Updated: November 12, 2023

Is 123Movies Safe? Is it Legal? WARNING!

Published on: November 12, 2023
Last Updated: November 12, 2023


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If you’re looking to download and stream movies and even tv shows, you’ll probably have come across sites like 123Movies and Flixtor.

The original site was extremely popular but closed in 2018.

However, many alternate versions of the site have appeared since.

Before you start using it, or one of the alternate versions, you need to ask “is 123Movies safe?”, and “is 123Movies legal?”

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This guide is for informational purposes only. EarthWeb and its sponsors does not condone illegal streaming or torrenting, nor does it own or operate any streaming service. We do not host or distribute any applications. We do not and cannot verify whether streaming or torrenting services, or app developers carry the proper licensing. The end-user shall be solely responsible for media accessed through any device, app, addon, or service mentioned on our website.

USER WARNING: We recommend you use a VPN to safeguard yourself against potential issues caused by websites on this page. We recommend NordVPN, which is rated #1 in privacy and safety tests.

Is 123 Movies Legal?

It is generally illegal to download or stream movies and television series without a proper license. That’s why streaming giants, such as Netflix, charge subscribers money.

In short, they need to cover the cost of paying film and tv producers royalties.

123Movies and the subsequent clone sites, don’t have the proper authorisation, making the use of them illegal.

On a positive note, most countries don’t prosecute the streamer, even though they are technically allowed to. They will go after the supplier.

It’s safe to assume that 123Movies isn’t legal in your country. That includes the many subsidiaries associated with this site, such as:

  1. GoMovies
  2. 123movieshub
  3. Gostream
  4. Memovies

All these sites are likely illegal in your country. You can verify whether this is the case by checking the laws in your country, specifically on piracy and copywriting.

For example, if you live in any of the following countries it’s illegal to pirate movies.

  1. United States
  2. United Kingdom
  3. France
  4. Germany
  5. Australia
  6. Italy
  7. South Africa
  8. Japan
  9. Finland
  10. China

The list is not exhaustive.

You should note, in recent years there has been a more determined effort to stamp out the viewing of copyrighted content without payment.

In short, you’re more likely to be caught and punished, regardless of whether it’s 123Movies or another free streaming or downloading service.

Is 123Movies Safe?


You may think that the biggest issue is the risk of prosecution and a hefty fine. But, that is only part of the issue.

Even if you live in a country that allows, or tolerates, the use of pirated content that doesn’t mean 123movies is safe to use.

It is best to assume 123Movies is not safe to use. This is not just due to the possibility of malware and viruses.

The fact that the original site is now closed means access is only possible through alternate sites.

You have no way of knowing if the third-party supplier you choose is affiliated with 123Movies or not.

This site, its alternatives, and other websites offering similar services are notorious for malware and spyware.

In short, your device can become infected, giving you all sorts of operating issues. Spyware can be used to monitor what you are doing on your device and even steal information.

That’s going to cause you a lot of issues.

Fortunately, you can use a VPN to protect your data. VPNs encrypt the data between you and the service. They also hide your location.

Some of these services even operate kill switches. These are designed to break the connection between you and the site when the VPN drops out.

It can be frustrating but is an excellent way to protect your personal information.

Best VPNs for 123Movies

Of course, just as 123Movies isn’t safe, there are plenty of VPN services that offer dubious services. You need to choose a good VPN service.

Here are the best.

  1. NordVPN – 🏆 Winner!
  2. Surfshark
  3. Atlas VPN

1. NordVPN


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NordVPN is one of the best-known VPN operators in the world. It has an enviable reputation and is considered one of the most secure services available.

Although there is a free trial period, this service does cost. But, the monthly charge is surprisingly cheap.

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NordVPN will encrypt your data, allow you to choose what country you appear to be working from, and it offer two kill switches.

They also check for malware when you’re downloading. It’s difficult to be safer wherever you are on the web.

It’s worth noting signing up for an account allows you to protect six different devices.

2. Surfshark


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Surfshark is another extremely well-known VPN service. It can be used with virtually any device and there are no limits to the number of devices you can protect.

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  • Strict no-logs policy
  • 3200+ servers in 95 countries
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  • Great for: private browsing on a budget
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone & iOS, Linux, FireFox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and more

It also encrypts your data and allows you to select a location. Ad and malware protection is also included in your subscription.

Surfshark is a little cheaper than VPNNord, making it a viable alternative.

3. Atlas VPN

Atlas VPN

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A third option worth considering is Atlas VPN. This service offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Naturally, it encrypts your data and allows you to select a location. It also offers anti-virus and malware, including scanning your emails.

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The encryption offered by Atlas is the highest currently available on the web and you can protect as many devices as you want with just one subscription.

It even blocks ads, allowing you to browse or stream in peace.

Even if you’re not planning on using 123Movies or one of its mirror sites, investing in a VPN is a good idea.

It can protect your identity and your device from an array of threats, including identity theft.

Although a VPN should make you anonymous that shouldn’t stop you from following the law in your country.

Accessing 123Movies

Viruses are abundant on the web, it’s not just sites like 123Movies. Before you do anything online you should add good anti-virus software.

One of the best currently offered is Norton or Bitdefender.

But, Surfshark and Nord offer their own anti-virus software which can be included with your VPN subscription.

A VPN will also help when you access 123Movies as there is no longer a direct route. You need to access the site via a third-party site.

Unfortunately, doing it this way means that there is no guarantee the third-party site has any real involvement with the original site.

In short, it’s difficult to hold any site accountable, even if they are stealing your data.

The following steps should be taken when accessing 123Movies.

  • Download and install your chosen VPN for 123Movies provider
  • Make sure all your anti-virus and malware software is up to date
  • Check whether it is legal to access 123Movies in your country
  • Access the 123Movies site via your chosen third-party mirror
  • Stream or download the desired content and enjoy – the VPN will keep your data safe

Don’t forget, there is no guarantee of quality when downloading or streaming in this way. You may be disappointed with the results.

What Happens If You’re Caught Using 123Movies?


The exact consequences will depend on where you live. The first thing to note is that legally there is no difference between streaming and downloading.

But downloading is easier to trace.


When you stream content you are accessing a live stream. That means data is sent to your device, you watch it and then it disappears from your computer.

It’s harder to trace as the only evidence you’ve streamed is hidden in your computer files.


In contrast, downloading puts the content on your hard drive.

You can access it anytime but the file will also show anyone looking that you have been downloading illegal content.

The penalty for downloading or streaming illegally depends on where you live. In most cases, it is a fine. However, penalties can be more severe.

When streaming nothing is left on your computer as evidence. But, your IP address can be tracked while the streaming is in process.

This allows investigators to locate your home and prosecute.

If you’re found to be streaming illegally it is possible, even in a country that prosecutes, they will ignore you and focus on the suppliers.

But, is that a risk you want to take when the punishment could be a fine, imprisonment, or worse?

Dealing With A Virus After Using 123Movies

It’s possible to get a virus or malware from almost any website. However, it’s much more likely when using 123Movies or one of its mirror sites.

Any device can be infected and, if this happens, you’ll probably notice one of the following:

  • Your default browser has changed – you may not even have heard of the new browser before
  • The device is working much slower than normal and appears to be busy even when you are doing nothing
  • A lack of storage space – viruses often eat through the available storage to make it impossible to use your device
  • Your system regularly freezes
  • A personal email account sends messages to contacts without your notice, inviting them to open an attachment. It’s the virus trying to spread.
  • If you suspect you have a virus or any sort of malware, whether you’ve been using 123Movies or another site, you need to do the following:
  • Disconnect from the internet to deprive them access to your system
  • Restart your device in safe mode
  • Scan using your pore-installed virus and malware scanner. If you don’t have one you’ll need to install it before you disconnect
  • Search your program list and remove any unknown programs
  • Reconnect to the internet and re-scan your device
  • If necessary, save all your vital files and then wipe the computer and reload the original operating system

Legal Sites Like 123Movies Worth Considering

The appeal of 123Movies and similar sites is obvious. You get to see the latest movies and television shows and you don’t have to pay for the privilege.

It’s much faster than waiting to view the same thing on an official channel.

But, the fact that these sites are often illegal, the content is poor, and there is a large risk of viruses and malware means you may prefer to use a legitimate viewing option.

After all, sometimes waiting is half the fun. The following legal sites are good 123Movies alternatives and will provide regular updates on upcoming titles.

1. Netflix

How Many Subscribers Does Netflix Have

Netflix offers a wide array of programmes and movies. Much of the content is original but you’ll find some Hollywood blockbusters.

There is simply a delay before they make it to the streaming site.

The site offers plenty to keep you interested. It’s affordable and, most importantly, completely legal and virus free.

They may not have the latest Hollywood blockbusters but they do have some great options.

Netflix has a low monthly cost but this increases if you want to use it on multiple devices at the same time.

2. Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime also has an extensive collection of original films. This is a video-on-demand (VOD) service.

Simply pay a monthly fee and access as many films and programmes as you wish, without any extra charge.

There are 100+ channels available with content from a variety of third parties, including Paramount.

The monthly charge is reasonable and you can use it on multiple devices.

3. Disney

Disney Plus

Disney is one of the biggest entertainment names in the world.

It’s the perfect subscription for anyone who is a fan of Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, Disney products, and National Geographic.

That’s just a small selection of the content available.

Disney allows you to create an array of profiles on one account. Every member of the family can personalize their access and ensure they are seeing what they want to see.

Disney allows you to view programmes from four different devices at the same time. That makes it a great family option.

Summing Up

When asking if 123Movies is safe or not, the bottom line is simple. It’s not.

In many cases, it’s not even legal. That means the decision whether to use it or not is entirely yours.

Whatever you decide, it’s worth adding a VPN to your devices. This will allow you to safely use legal and illegal streaming and downloading services.

In fact, it will protect you when you visit any site on the internet.

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You can also use the VPN to change your location.

This helps to keep you safe from scammers and allows you to access legal streaming services not available in your country of residence.

123Movies is now only accessible through associated sites. That increases the risk of viruses and malware significantly.

The safe option is to avoid this streaming service and use one of the paid ones mentioned above.

It may cost you financially but that’s less than a fine or dealing with the fallout from a virus attack.

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Written by Trevor Cooke

Trevor Cooke is an accomplished technology writer with a particular focus on privacy and security. He specializes in topics such as VPNs, encryption, and online anonymity. His articles have been published in a variety of respected technology publications, and he is known for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and accessible manner.

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