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The best streaming sites in 2023


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Streaming your favourite films and shows does not need to be a shady operation. You do not need to find an extremely risky looking site, navigate through inappropriate adverts, and select a stream that totally sucks. Is that clear?

You can actually watch films and TV for free through legitimate online streaming sites, and it's completely legal. So as much as you might feel like an international hacker when hunting down a barely watchable stream, it really isn't necessary considering the wide range of options out there. We're sorry to shatter your hacking dreams like this.

There are a lot of things to consider when selecting an online streaming service. You need to think about cost, download limits, and what exactly you can watch with the service. It's important to take your time and do your research before you jump in and commit. Fortunately, we can walk you through the process.

Do you need to pay for a streaming site?

The biggest and most recognisable names in online streaming will invariably offer free trials of their services. This means you can watch that series everyone is talking about for nothing. If you do choose to go down this road, it's essential that you cancel before the trial period ends, unless of course you want to continue with the service (for a fee). If you're just interested in the free trial, it's always a good idea to set a reminder for when the period is coming to an end. This way you won't get an unpleasant surprise.

You have even more options available to you if you are happy to shell out a monthly fee for unlimited access to films and TV shows online. It's unlikely to cost you more than £10 a month, and you can enjoy the best the web has to offer, including some new releases. Better yet, you won't have to risk infecting your laptop or desktop with a nasty virus ever again.

Are there different types of streaming services?

You can break down streaming services into sub-categories, and that's exactly what we've done:

Subscription streaming sites — The likes of Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney+ fall into this category. You'll need to pay a monthly fee to access a library of frequently updated content.

Box sets on demand — This streaming site business is all well and good, but if you're already paying for a TV package, you may be questioning why you need to then sign up for an online streaming service. Well, the good news is that you may be able to watch your favourite box sets on demand through your set-top box. A lot of these packages come with online services as standard. If you didn't know before, now you do.

Purchase or rental of new releases — Another means of legally streaming films and TV shows is through a one-off payment to certain sites, rather than signing-up to a contract. When a new Hollywood blockbuster is released, some sites offer you the chance to watch for a fee. It's usually around £5 a film, and sometimes you can download it to watch again at your leisure. If not, they are usually available for a set time period.

Free streaming sites — If you are looking for a streaming site that provides access to all the latest releases, then you'll need to pay up. We're sorry, but that's life. If you're actually content with watching older films and shows, you can sign up to some great online streaming sites without digging into your pocket. For example, you can watch loads of free box sets on Channel 4's catch up service All 4 and BBC's iPlayer, with some classic shows like Peep Show and Peaky Blinders available to watch whenever you want. Don't forget that you do need a TV license to watch iPlayer, though.

What should you consider before subscribing?

Before you make your selection, we have a final few words of warning. You need to consider which service suits your needs the best, how you are intending on watching the service, and whether your broadband is fast enough to cope.

Firstly, make sure you choose the one that best suits what you want to watch, so think carefully about how often you're planning to use it, how much you are willing to pay, and whether you need the latest releases. These are probably the most important factors to mull over.

Next, you've got to ensure that your broadband is fast enough to stream video content. It might seem obvious but your streaming service isn't much good if it's going to buffer through an entire movie. Also, if your broadband package has a download limit, make sure it's a generous one. Otherwise, you could end up with an unpleasant charge you weren't expecting.

Lastly, you need to think about how exactly you're going to watch whatever it is you're streaming. It doesn't have to just be through your PC or laptop. Nowadays, you can watch on your TV, smartphone, and tablet. If you want to stream directly onto your TV then you'll need to make sure it's a web-enabled smart version. Don't worry too much if you don't have a smart TV though, because you can still hook it up to your computer and watch that way.

Heed these warnings and stream your favourite shows without fear of repercussions. Your days as a dodgy hacker are over.

What is the best streaming site?

We have tracked down a selection of your best streaming options, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy all of that content. Take your pick from the likes of Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, and much more.

These are the best streaming sites in 2023.

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