What is Popcorn Time?
Popcorn time is the online, free and somewhat illegal variation of Netflix and BBC iPlayer. Under the hood, it is and BitTorrent client which is available for a large number of different platforms.
It has become popular from the amount of content it can access to also the integrated media player which makes all of this possible.
The most significant reason it is so popular is that as soon as there is new content, these movies and TV shows are quickly indexed and made available to the Popcorn time users.
How Does Popcorn Time Work?
All the infrastructure of the app is based around the BitTorrent protocol. What happens here is, it acts like any other torrent client and downloads the files the user selects.
In this case, they won’t search torrents sites, but the Popcorn Time web page or apps will list the links in the form of the media files that are often shown on other streaming services. Behind this will be the links.
What differs is that as soon as the file begins to download, it can be viewed through the player built into Popcorn Time.
At one point, it was shut down because of the nature of the content. However, this was when it went open source, and since then, it has risen to accept a large number of developers and contributors who keep improving it and keep it going.
Is Popcorn Time Legal?
There is a bit of a grey area here as to the legality of popcorn time. Because the app doesn’t store the content that is treading on copyright infringement, to a certain extent, it is just operating the same as some other P2P downloading sites.
It makes this content available via the links. But, as it uses its own media player, then it is deemed to be making use of the file, and thus, it is breaking the law.
Behind all this, the user in effect is breaking the law, and there is no question of this, as they are downloading these illegal files.
In essence, it is perfectly legal to stream as no content will remain on the system. This is the same for any torrent client.
But, it quickly turns to an illegal practice when you share this content. As these files stay on your system, they are uploaded to other users who wish to watch the same thing. You are unknowingly file-sharing of illegal content.
Is Popcorn Time Safe?
When it comes to users who use Popcorn Time, they look at it like any other streaming service but, as we have seen, it is very different.
A user who uses Popcorn Time without a VPN can find themselves in hot water and receiving a copyright infringement notice.
Numerous agencies work with the MPA, and also ISP’s, especially in Australia who retain data for two years, can see what users are doing.
This doesn’t matter if they are using a home network, or mobile and using the Popcorn Android app.
Aside from this, because Popcorn Time is open source, the code is readily available, and many developers can introduce a similar service that can easily infect systems by introducing malware.
The way this happens is these characters make content widely available to tempt users. It can be anything from current shows and movies, to watch UFC that is pay per view. It makes things too easy and too convenient.
Best VPN for Popcorn Time
Because of all the attraction that Popcorn Time gets, any user needs to make use of a VPN. There are too many interested parties, and any users can find themselves in big trouble.
The problem is, not all VPN’s are the same. You might ask, why pay for a VPN when I don’t pay for Popcorn Time? The answer to this is straightforward. Free VPN’s don’t offer full protection like a paid-up service.
In many cases, they are either restricted versions of the full service, or they use the service as a data harvesting tactic.
All your data will go through these VPN’s, so they see all your online activity. This makes it easy to target ads.
There is another reason why a VPN is useful. Services like Netflix and the BBC iPlayer have geo-restrictions in place.
This will stop any Australian viewer accessing their content. In some cases, the torrents for Popcorn Time may be from areas that are blocked, although you may not see it, it can deliver fewer sources.
A top-class VPN needs to deliver a full range of services that meet more than the needs of just providing a Popcorn stream.
Here are a few things to look out for.
- Fast speeds when streaming or downloading to Australia
- The service allows torrenting – if it doesn’t, then Popcorn Time won’t work.
- An extensive network of VPN servers
- Money-back guarantee if the VPN doesn’t work as advertised – not many do
- Highly praised in lots of VPN reviews
- Excellent customer support with live chat
- They can pass a DNS leak test and show your real IP address is hidden
- Bypass any geo-restrictions and not based in any 5-eyes or 14-eyes jurisdiction
This is just a few features and areas VPN providers need to be at the top of their game. The best VPN’s for Popcorn Time will cover all of this and more besides.
Here are two options that you can take a look at.
First, there is CyberGhost VPN.
This blocks ads, support quite a few devices, delivers high levels of security with strong
encryption. All of the above list covers, but there are some catches.
This VPN provider states they have a zero-logging policy, but if you visit the site to do anything, there are trackers built into the site code.
One other thing is a VPN connection will terminate after 3 hours of continual use. If you are away from your device when this happens, you will be exposed until you manually reconnect.
The second and best option is ExpressVPN. Straight off, all the list above it covers with ease. It is based off-shore so no jurisdiction.
It doesn’t retain any activity logs, and file sharing is optimised on specific servers. This can easily enhance any Popcorn Time experience in Australia.
There is a kill switch, so any leak test is passed with ease. The list of features goes on and on. One good thing with the VPN is their 30-day money-back guarantee. There are no questions as to why cancel, and you won’t be charged.
What this does, it offers 30 days to be a free VPN for Popcorn Time. You can use this time to check out all the features and watch as much Popcorn Time online for free.