There are more than 300 different cordcutting services available today. You can easily watch the television shows and movies that you want across an array of different platforms. Naturally, most of these cost money.
However, there are some free cordcutting services out there. In fact, there are some that not only don’t require you to buy a subscription but actually don’t even require you to sign up for an account.
Just Like The Good Old Days, But Better
Remember the days when you had a television set in your living room, you turned it on, and there were shows that you could watch for free? If you didn’t have cable then you didn’t sign up for any specific account. The shows just appeared at their scheduled time. That’s kind of what it’s like with these free cordcutting services.
What’s better, though, is that we have so many more options today. There are basic streaming services that offer those original core channels. But there are also services that have such a diverse array of different movies and TV. There are free services that you can also add pay-for channels to perfectly craft the viewing experience you wish to have. It’s the best of the good old days plus more.
5 Free Cordcutting Services, No Account Required
There are many, many free cordcutting services. If you count the ones that have free trials, there are many more. But most of them require an account. If you’re looking to sign up for free cordcutting services that don’t require an account, your choices are a bit more limited. There are still choices there. Here are six of them:
Locast is currently available in about one dozen cities. San Francisco is one of those cities. Therefore, I’ve tried out Locast for myself. It was really easy to download the app and sign in. It was clear to see that I could start streaming local TV immediately. However, there were pros and cons to the account.
It was simple, free, and easy to begin. There were more channels than I expected (about four dozen.) I immediately saw a show that I wanted to watch. I clicked on it and got a brief “thanks for watching with Locast,” which was fine.
But there’s where the problem came in: they periodically interrupted the show to promote Locast. You don’t have to pay for Locast but they thrive off of donations. I don’t have any problem with their asking for donations. If they interrupted like a commercial does, at an appropriate break, it would be fine. But they cut directly into the show, which meant that I missed minutes here and there. It made for a less-than-enjoyable viewing experience.
So, Locast is a good option as far as free cordcutting services go, but they do have some kinks to work out.
2. Pluto TV
Pluto TV has a very straightforward tagline: “It’s Free TV.” You can watch on the website or through any number of apps including Apple and Android devices, Roku, and Chromecast. The website basically looks like a traditional TV guide grid, the kind you’d find on the guide or menu page of your cable TV. It appears to have hundreds of free streaming TV shows.
There is also an on-demand section. You can find free movies and TV shows to watch through that tab. It’s all very simple. This might actually be one of the best free cordcutting services available.
3. Tubi TV
Go to Tubi TV, find a movie or TV show that you want to watch, click on it and it begins. Like most free cordcutting services, it’s ad supported. However, it’s not any more annoying than watching ads or commercials on any other platform. There’s a wide array of different content here, so you’ll find a lot to watch at no charge.
Tubi TV allows you to watch without an account. However, if you sign up for an account, then you can create a queue. Sometimes that’s helpful so you don’t have to figure out anew what you want to watch each time. An account will also show you your watch history. The account does not require a credit card or any fees. And it’s not obligatory, but it shows how signing up for an account sometimes does offer benefits.
You can watch Tubi TV on the website. You can also watch it across different apps and platforms including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox, PlayStation, Apple, and Android devices.
There’s a bit of a caveat with this one. You can only watch it without a new account if you already have an Amazon, Facebook, or Google account. Since most of us do have at least one of those, I’m including it on the list. However, if you don’t have one, then you do need to create an IMDbTV account. That said, the viewing is still free.
IMDbTV offers access to both TV and movies. You don’t have to stream directly during the time the show is airing. These are saved and you can watch them at your leisure. There are some fun IMDB Originals, which feature coverage of major events including the Emmys, SxSW, and ComicCon.
5. Limited Viewing on Major Networks
If you want to get a taste for what cordcutting is like then you might start with the major networks. ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and The CW all offer free streaming for a limited number of shows. In some cases, they restrict you to a specific total number. (For example, after five shows, you have to create an account.) In other cases, only certain shows are free. This is a good place to start if you want to figure out if cordcutting services are for you.
- Cord Cutting: How to Save Money on TV
- Is Cord Cutting a Frugal Choice? Tips for Reducing the Cost of Streaming TV.
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