For those who haven’t heard of it, Popcorn Time is a multi-platform, free software BitTorrent client that includes an integrated media player. As such, it provides a free alternative to subscription-based video streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max and so on. Popcorn Time uses sequential downloading to stream video listed by several torrent websites, with the ability to manually set third-party trackers. The legality of the software depends on the jurisdiction.
And that could be a problem, cause you may don’t know whether you have the legal right to watch some movie for free or not. With a VPN, you don’t have to worry about all that as it will effectively hide your online activity so that even your ISP doesn’t know what you’re doing on the Internet.
That being said, we should add that we don’t support piracy in any shape or form. Quite the contrary, we believe content creators should be paid for their work.
Anyway, if you are on the lookout for a good VPN for Popcorn Time, here are your best options:
- 5,000+ servers in the network
- Easy to use - install it and forget it
- One license is good for up to 6 devices
- Strict zero-logs policy
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Chrome extension is just a proxy
- You can't pay with PayPal
Its network includes more than 5,000 servers spread across 60 countries, which directly translates into faster speeds. NordVPN is also very secure, relying on the strong 256-bit encryption combined with secure VPN protocols (OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2/IPSec). But as a user, you get a seamless experience with all this technology "doing its thing" in the background.
NordVPN is well suited to pretty much every task you throw at it — whether it's accessing a banned site from some country that filters out the internet, torrenting, accessing streaming services, or just wanting to keep a low profile on the web. It also doesn't keep any logs.
We highly recommend NordVPN to anyone looking for reliable service.
- Feature-rich yet easy to use
- One of the best VPNs around
- Strong no-logging policy
- Reliable support you can reach 24/7
- Limited number of servers in Africa and the Middle East
- Kinda pricey
ExpressVPN has great desktop apps for Windows and Mac, mobile apps and browser extensions. Also, it is well suited for video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and others.
However, what makes it stand out is its ease of use. We can't emphasize this enough. One could tell a lot of time has been spent making sure even the advanced features are easily accessible. And we love it for that. Plus, let's not forget ExpressVPN's speed which tends to leave other services in the dust.
- It's super fast!
- Works with Netflix, BBC and others
- Easy to use apps, browser extensions
- You can try it for free!
- Some advanced features are not configurable
- Not the best for high-censorship countries
Furthermore, thanks to the availability of browser extensions - Hotspot Shield is also one of our top choices for Chrome and Firefox VPNs.
Your privacy is equally well protected, with the software only collecting some anonymized that help continually improve its service.
There is one caveat though - it won't work in high-censorship countries like China. If you don't need that in the first place, we highly recommend Hotspot Shield.
As that's typically the case with most VPN services out there, the longer you commit - the better deal you get. However, what makes Hotspot Shield even better is the fact that it offers a 7-day free trial of its service. A few other top VPN providers do the same. Plus, its money-back guarantee lasts for 45 days, making for a risk-free purchase. Cause, you can always get your money back. Sweet and just the way we like it.
- Reliable download and upload speeds
- Works with Netflix and BBC iPlayer
- Strict zero-logs policy
- Lets you use it on unlimited number of devices
- Low number of servers in Africa and Australia
You can rely on it for streaming and torrenting, with included extra features like CleanWeb and MultiHop, delivering a that much better — and more secure — experience.
Surfshark, the company, is based in the British Virgin Islands and with its zero-logs policy makes for a powerful combo to anyone looking to keep its web whereabouts under the radar.
The service is easy to use and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- One the best VPNs for torrenting
- Works well with Netflix
- Simple setup on all popular devices
- Strict zero-logs policy
- Doesn't work with BBC iPlayer
- Doesn't work in China
Its desktop apps are not among the prettiest ones, but they get the job done. The important thing is that installation is easy and straightforward, and that no logs are kept by the company.
When it comes to pricing, IPVanish is somewhere in the middle — it's not the most affordable option but also not the most expensive one. As noted, it will be most appreciated by heavy BitTorrent users, and — related — Kodi fans.
Popcorn Time beginnings
Following its creation, Popcorn Time received positive media attention, with some comparing the app to Netflix for its ease of use. But, soon afterward, it was taken down by its original developers on March 14, 2014, due to pressure from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
Since then, Popcorn Time has been forked several times with other development teams such as Time4Popcorn and the Butter Project maintaining the program and producing new features. Time4Popcorn reportedly gained millions of users within four months of launching in 2014 and became the first fork to bring Popcorn Time to Android devices.
In September 2014, Time4Popcorn became available on jailbroken Apple devices, and eventually non-jailbroken iOS devices via a Windows installation tool. The iOS version is no longer maintained, though.
Popcorn Time features
The Popcorn Time interface presents thumbnails and film titles in a manner similar to Netflix, allowing users to search and browse all content by genres or categories. It is this ease of use that helped make the app so popular in the first place.
When a user clicks on one of the titles, the film is downloaded via the BitTorrent protocol. As with other BitTorrent clients, as soon as Popcorn Time starts to download a film – it also starts to share the downloaded content with other users — or as they say it, it starts to seed the torrent to others in the BitTorrent swarm. The application continues to make the downloaded content available to others until the movie is deleted, which is normally done automatically once the application is closed.
Recommended Popcorn Time apps
Out of many apps that lets you tune into Popcorn Time, we suggest the following:
Endorsed by Popcorn Time’s original developer Federico Abad (A.K.A. “Sebastian”), Popcorn Time.app calls itself the “most official version” of Popcorn Time. It is available across platforms — including Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android and Android TV — and even supports streaming via Chromecast, Airplay, and DLNA.
Previously known as Popcorn Time.to, this is another reputable app that has been around for years. It too is available across multiple platforms, including the iOS — though it requires jailbreaking your device and installing Cydia to run. Popcorn Time.is is said to offer a larger catalog of TV shows than other apps.
A VPN has your back…
With a VPN running on your device, you can watch a movie or TV show without worrying that someone is looking at what you’re doing online. Again, we must repeat that we do not want to promote piracy — if you want to watch some movie or TV show that you know is not free, you should pay for it. It’s that simple.
Since Popcorn Time uses BitTorrent to do its magic, you may even get faster downloads with a VPN than without it. This happens because many ISPs are known to throttle — or even block Peer-to-Peer (P2P) traffic — but a VPN makes it impossible for them to know what you’re doing on the Internet.
And that’s just one piece of the puzzle, as a VPN could help in other areas just as well. Specifically, it will:
- Protect your privacy from the government and big corporations
- Bypass restrictions imposed by the government or various organizations
- Change your IP address so you get unrestricted access to Netflix, Disney+, iPlayer, HULU, and other video streaming services
- Encrypt and protect private data from cybercriminals
The top contenders that check all these boxes include the following: