Best Free Streaming Apps

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Streaming services are a great way of watching content and are often cheaper than cable or satellite TV. Whilst there are some great services from the likes of Disney, Netflix and Amazon, these are paid. In this article, we wanted to introduce you to some services that are free, all of which you can access using StreamLocator.

[Table of Contents]

  1. What is streaming?
  2. Should you pay for streaming apps?
  3. Best Free Streaming Apps
    1. BBC iPlayer
    2. All4
    3. ITV Hub
    4. The CW
    5. Pluto TV
    6. Crackle
    7. Pandora
    8. Filmrise
    9. Adult Swim
    10. The Roku Channel
  4. How to access free streaming apps
  5. How to access US free streaming apps
  6. How to access UK free streaming apps

What is streaming?

Streaming is when you watch TV or movies through an application or website.  As opposed to normal television, which often costs a lot for packages of channels you won’t watch, streaming allows you to watch content from channels for far less money.  Often, these services are run by studios, such as Disney+ which is owned by Disney, meaning they’re the best place to watch that studio’s library of content.  Other services, like BBC iPlayer, are run by networks.  The whole point of streaming services is to watch things in an “a la carte” way, that is to say, you can pick and choose things to watch at your own schedule.

Should you pay for streaming apps?

When it comes to picking and choosing streaming apps, you can be swayed by low monthly costs.  $9.99 per month here, $15.99 per month there, and maybe a $4.99 per month service for good measure.  We mentioned above that streaming services are cheaper than buying cable packages but, when the average number of services that a family has is 4, and the average cost is $11.99/month, you can see how it gets more and more expensive.  This is set to increase as more studios release their own services, especially if you live outside the US, where neither Paramount+, Peacock and HBO Max have launched.

How, then, can you reduce your overall monthly cost whilst still ensuring you get the most enjoyment out of the services you have?  The best way is by going free!  It might surprise you to know that there are plenty of free streaming services out there, such as BBC iPlayer, All4, Crackle, and more.  In this article, we’re going to go through 10 of our favourites.  The best thing?  Whilst these services are typically region-blocked to the US, the UK or some other key content markets, StreamLocator lets you browse and enjoy these services with ease, meaning your only monthly cost is the cost of StreamLocator.

What are the free streaming apps?

  1. BBC iPlayer

BBC iPlayer is an app that people in the UK are well familiar with.  It’s paid for through the TV licence and, because it’s a government operated service, it can’t run any adverts!  This means that, unlike other services we’ll discuss, this is completely free.  All you need to watch it is an account, which is a username, and you’re living.  What can you get with BBC iPlayer?  Well, it’s recently got exclusive rights to the new HBO Max Original Gossip Girl, as well as the entire back catalogue of the old show.  As well as that, you can watch live BBC channels, meaning if you’re a fan of football (soccer), there’s a good chance you’ll be able to watch the latest matches.  With the World Cup next year, you’re absolutely going to want to bear this service in mind, and you can access it for completely free with StreamLocator.

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  1. All4

Billed as “The UK’s Biggest Free Streaming Service”, All4 is another service operated by a network (Channel 4) in the UK.  As well as the ability to watch live channels, it also boasts an extensive back catalogue of both British and American series, including 90210.  If you don’t want to pay for Netflix just to watch The Great British Baking Show (The Great British Bake Off in the UK), you’re in luck!  You can watch the episodes as they air in the UK and catch up almost immediately afterwards, if the time zone differences don’t work out, meaning you won’t need to wait for Netflix to do a Friday upload.  With the StreamLocator App, Hub or browser extension, you’ll be able to watch them on Tuesdays when they air!

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  1. ITV Hub

From gritty crime dramas to sexy people in villas, ITV Hub has everything you could ever want.  Like the previous two, it’s run by a network in the UK. It also has entire seasons of so-called “originals” from other US services like Hulu, such as White House Farm, a fictionalised account of the real-life tragedy.  Starring Mark Addy, the show is about the gruesome crimes that occurred at the eponymous farm.  If you wanted to watch it in the US, you’d have to fork out at least $9.99/month for HBO Max.  With any of StreamLocator’s products, you’re able to watch it, and a bunch of other shows and live channels, for free!

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  1. The CW

When people hear the name “The CW”, they often associate that with low-brow, trashy and pulpy shows like Riverdale.  While that’s true to some extent, the streaming service (also helpfully named “The CW”) houses series you’ve probably forgotten about until now.  Fun comedies such as Suburgatory, which stars Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist lead Jane Levy, or more serious shows like the excellent Superman & Lois with Teen Wolf front-man Tyler Hoechlin.  As with a lot of US services, The CW also puts episodes on demand 1 day after they air on network, meaning you can catch the latest episode of All American the day after it premieres.  This is as opposed to waiting for the whole season to drop on Netflix in the US once it finishes airing, or as opposed to wondering what all the hype is about if you live outside the US.  I’m serious, this show doesn’t air in the UK and with StreamLocator, we’re able to laugh and cry at Daniel Ezra’s heartwarming and challenging sports drama.

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  1. Pluto TV 

Pluto TV’s lack of non-US presence is, honestly, a huge miss.  It’s got movies and shows that are extremely popular yet don’t have a home, such as Sacha Baron Cohen’s The Dictator, but it does it in an extremely clever way.  It acts very much like a cable package, with “channels” based around genres and airing titles at specific times, yet it’s completely online.  The good thing about Pluto TV is that it’s available on pretty much every single smart TV, set-top-box, streaming stick, games console, and via a website.  Whilst VPNs can work with some of these devices, they don’t work with all of them.  With StreamLocator, you can rest assured that if your device can connect to the internet and download the Pluto TV app, it will work.  Whether it’s a wi-fi connection or a wired one, it doesn’t matter!

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  1. Crackle

Crackle is a service that, much like Pluto TV, hosts a bunch of films and series that you’ve probably not seen on services elsewhere.  Also like Pluto TV, you’re only able to access this service in the US, meaning you’ll need StreamLocator in order to use it anywhere else.  What do you get?  Only the most iconic family films of all time, such as Spy Kids, or maybe you fancy yourself something more international, like Amelie.  Though its catalogue may be slightly more niche, and unpredictable, it’s always a good place to check if you’re truly undecided.  And, because it’s free, you’re not really losing out on anything!

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  1. Pandora

Pandora could’ve been what Spotify or Apple Music are now: iconic music streaming services.  It could have been what Tidal is trying to be, but it limited itself to the US.  I’m being slightly reductive here because, for what it’s worth, Pandora is a fantastic offering.  It pioneered the idea of a streaming service “radio” because its entire app is based around generating stations that learn from what you listen to, how long you listen to it, whether you repeat the song, or how soon you skip it.  All of this feeds into an algorithm that, from reviews, is stellar.  Like Spotify, there is a paid, ad-free option, but most people would love the idea of being able to listen to an explicitly curated list of songs.  By connecting your phone, laptop or smart TV device to StreamLocator, you can inject some randomness and variety into your music.

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  1. FilmRise

If you’re anything like me, you’ll know FilmRise from its extensive catalogue of the true-crime series Forensic Files, but the service hosts so much more than that.  From previous seasons of Hell’s Kitchen, to throwing it back with the original 21 Jump Street series, starring Johnny Depp, you’re able to be entertained, all for the low, low price of nothing.  Simply using StreamLocator opens up your watching options to a world of series and movies you probably wouldn’t have ever thought of watching or, in my case, rewatching!  There simply isn’t a reason not to get your StreamLocator because there are droves of unsolved cases that need your input!

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  1. Adult Swim

Running away is easy, but so is watching Adult Swim with StreamLocator.  Talking about the channel 5 years ago would’ve got you a few blank stares but, since Rick and Morty’s chokehold on everyone these past 3 years, the name “Adult Swim” has found its way into everyone’s vocabulary.  Adult Swim is a weird thing that we, in the UK, don’t really have. It’s “programming block” that’s basically a channel within a channel; in this case, it’s an adult-oriented time-slot on the Cartoon Network channel.  Aside from Rick and Morty, you can also catch the revived season of Tuca & Bertie, starring Tiffany Haddish.  Also, because of how weird and wild the channel itself is, you never know what surprise drops you might find on one of the live simulcasts.

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  1. The Roku Channel

Finally, we have The Roku Channel.  If you’ve ever owned a streaming device, the chances are that it’s either designed by Roku or branded by Roku.  Roku’s free channel is effectively a hub for a wide range of hit shows, such as Teen Wolf, and stellar movies, such as The Green Mile.  It also recently acquired the entirety of Quibi’s catalogue - you remember Quibi, right?  That streaming service that was only accessible via mobile phones that launched at the start of the pandemic, when everyone was stuck at home, in front of their TVs?  On top of that, they’re making big moves in acquiring cancelled network shows such as the aforementioned Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, and are ramping up their production of original titles.  I’d take advantage of this free service now because, at the rate they’re going, I doubt it’s going to be free for much longer…

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How to access free streaming apps

We’ve spoken about these apps and now I’ll bet you’re wondering how you actually access them.  Maybe not so subtly, I mentioned StreamLocator in almost all of those little descriptions, and that’s because there truly isn’t anything else like it.  From setup to use, StreamLocator is by far the best way of accessing those services.  Unlike VPNs, which are a mission to get working each time you want to use them, StreamLocator asks for a little bit of work in the beginning, and pretty much never again.  Because a lot of those services are only available in one region, StreamLocator takes the guesswork out of it and automatically routes you through that country.  If you’re in the US, it means that you can watch a service like All4 (because it’s only available in the UK) and still browse HBO Max without changing a single setting.  No need to switch wi-fi networks either; it all just works.

  1. Setup your StreamLocator Hub

Follow the simple instructions given to you when your device arrives: connect it to your main router, connect to it, and name your Hub.

  1. Head over to any of the services listed above

Whether that’s through your internet browser, your smart TV, or your mobile device, just go to a service!

  1. Start watching!

It’s really that easy.

How to access US free streaming apps

As I mentioned, a lot of these services are available in the US only.  Because of that, StreamLocator intelligently routes you through the US with no effort on your part.  You simply go to the service, select a title, and then you’re streaming!  There’s not too much more to it.  Given that you’re reading this, you probably already have services that you do subscribe to and those aren’t going away.  If you really like the Netflix catalogue in your home country, you’re not any worse off because, by default, StreamLocator doesn’t route you through any specific countries on services that are available around the world.

How to access UK free streaming apps

Much like the US apps, the StreamLocator routes you through the UK if the app is only available in the UK.  For apps like BBC iPlayer, All4 and ITV Hub, you’re able to watch them with no further effort after you’ve set up your StreamLocator.  Apps like All4 and ITV Hub may ask you for a postcode.  Apps in the US like to ask you for your ZIP code in order to give you specific live news coverage for your time zone.  However, because the UK is only one time zone, this isn’t anything serious.  You can easily Google some publicly available UK postcodes.  It doesn’t ask for an address so you won’t have to worry about any mail going to some unsuspecting homeowners.

So… what are you waiting for?!

Get StreamLocator today and unlock THE world of streaming.  Don’t think you’re locked into using the Hub, however.  As I mentioned, you can use the StreamLocator browser extension or apps when you’re out and about, and you still get the same unparalleled levels of speed and support that a VPN simply can’t match, including the automatic routing.

You can watch all of that free content using StreamLocator!