Is It OK To Use Popcorn Time Without A VPN? (Quick Facts)

Popcorn Time is one of the most popular video-sharing sites, allowing you to stream a wide range of movies. It has grown popular for a huge catalog of movies and television shows that you can choose from. But will you need to use a VPN to access this site? 

Accessing Popcorn Time could constitute questionable activity in some countries. Because of this, you should take some steps to conceal your identity, so the ISPs can’t track your online activity. The best way to do this is with a good VPN. This can also be a good way to get around throttling, so you won’t need to wait for the stream to buffer. 

Accessing torrents, like Popcorn Time, is one of the most popular reasons why people use a VPN. Keep reading to learn more about how this technology protects your identity online. 

The 3 Reasons to Use a VPN When Accessing Popcorn Time

There are plenty of reasons why you might want to use a VPN to access this site. Let’s go through some of the biggest advantages. 

1. Getting Around Geo-Blocking

Sites like Popcorn Time operate in a grey area, legally speaking. Some of the content has been uploaded with permission from the creators. But a large portion of the catalog consists of copyrighted materials.  

Because of this, some countries have tried to ban access to the site. This includes proposed laws in the United States. There is currently legal action being taken in the United States which, if successful, could force Google and ISPs to block all references to Popcorn Time. This would make it difficult for US users to gain access to the site. 

When you use a VPN, you will be able to get around these restrictions. All you need to do is pick a server from a country that allows for access to this content. 

2. Removing Throttling Limits

Many ISPs will use throttling to help manage demand for their services. They do this by limiting the speed at which your content will be displayed. There are a few signs that your ISP is throttling your service, including: 

  • Buffering on streaming services
  • Slower internet speed during high-demand times. This is most commonly seen at night. 
  • Speeds change between ports. Often, your computer will use different ports to connect to content. For example, you will use one port for gaming and another for streaming movies. You can observe the speed at each port, seeing if there are any irregularities. 

When you use a VPN, you will be able to eliminate the throttling limits that have been placed on you by your ISP. 

3. More Privacy

Without a VPN, every site you visit and what pages you click on there will be visible to your ISP. This data is stored and might be made available to the 3rd parties if they ask for it. A good way to preserve your privacy is with a VPN. In this case, the ISP will get a limited amount of information.

They can still see things like the size of the files you are downloading. But the contents of those files, where they came from, the sites you browsed through, will all be kept hidden. With the data encrypted, it will be almost impossible for them to pinpoint your online activities. 

The protection provided by VPNs is also valuable when it comes to protecting yourself from hackers. The VPN will help conceal your details. It’ll also make it harder for them to track your real IP address. 

Using Popcorn Time

The legality of Popcorn Time will depend on how you are using this site. In most cases, accessing the site is perfectly legal. The issues start to arise, though, when you are using the site to access materials which may be copyrighted. 

This is the reason the ISPs have chosen to ban the site. The penalties for accessing this material can vary. Sometimes, you will get a warning. At other times, you might be facing a fine. Penalties may raise for repeat offenders. It should be noted that it will still be illegal, even if you are using a VPN. 

There are a few parts of the world that have earned a reputation for actively targeting people that download copyrighted materials. These include: 

  • The United States
  • The United Kingdom
  • Australia
  • Russia
  • Japan
  • Italy

However, there are some countries, like Switzerland, that have a more relaxed approach to copyright laws. In these places, if you are downloading the material for personal use it’s often viewed as a victimless crime. Because of this, there won’t be any penalties. In other parts of the world, this is still considered a crime, but the offenders won’t be actively prosecuted by the police. 

Whether you will face any repercussions for using this site will often depend on the precautions that you are using. If you don’t use a VPN, your IP address will be visible to ISPs. They will also be able to gather data on the type of things that you were looking for. This will usually be enough to build a strong case and prosecute. With a VPN, though, it will be a lot harder to prove what you were streaming. 

Is it Safe to Use Popcorn Time? 

Outside of being tracked by 3rd parties, one of the biggest concerns with using Popcorn Time is whether the torrents will be safe. In most cases, they will be fairly secure. But there is still a risk that you will be exposed to a virus. There are a few ways that you can make sure that this doesn’t happen to you: 

  • Set up a good firewall. This will be your best defense. This technology should be sophisticated enough to know when you are downloading something that has malware. 
  • Get antiviral software. It’s also important to make sure that you have good virus protection software. If you do end up with a virus, they will be able to help you remove it from your computer. 
  • Use a trusted server. Finally, you want to be selective about where you are sourcing your files from. There are some internet forums, like Reddit, that are designed to make it easy for you to stay up to date with the best locations to download it. 

How to Access Popcorn Time

Once you have these precautions in place, it’s time to start the fun. You’ll first need to download the app. There are plenty of formats that you can choose from. Some of the most popular options are: 

Once you have the app installed, accessing content should be fairly easy. You’ll be able to scroll through until you find something you like. In this respect, it is similar to Netflix. Once you have a program you like, you can start streaming. 

Since the authorities keep trying to ban Popcorn Time, it’s common for new forks and variations to appear frequently. You might need to do a little research to find how to download the right one for your device. From there, you just need to install it, like you would any other app. 

Final Thoughts

Popcorn Time has become a hugely popular torrent site. It can give you access to almost any TV or movie ever made. With such a huge selection, you’ll always have something to watch. Plus, you won’t need to pay a subscription fee. However, access to these sites is often limited by the authorities. Sometimes, authorities might even try to prosecute people who access the site and download materials that may be copyrighted. The best way to get around these regulations, and enjoy private browsing, is by using a VPN.