14 Best Netflix alternatives in 2021 (Free and paid)

Best Netflix Alternatives

Netflix is probably the top streaming service right now, filled with thousands of movies and TV shows. However, if you’re bored of the content and looking to explore more, we have rounded up some of the best Netflix alternatives available for free or paid subscriptions.

While they may not be as popular and only cater to a particular niche genre, they’re worth checking out. These services also provide ad-supported access to Live TV, and some even offer original content. Let’s take a look.

Best free Netflix alternatives

  1. YouTube
  2. Peacock
  3. IMDb TV
  4. Plex
  5. Tubi
  6. Crackle
  7. Vudu
  8. Pluto TV

1. YouTube: Watch, Listen, Stream

YouTube iPhone and iPad app

Live TV: No | Registration required: Yes | Supported devices: Mobile, web, smart TV

YouTube is one of the most popular and the largest free video content library on the internet. Apart from the millions of free videos, you can also gain access to original shows and other paid content by subscribing to YouTube Premium.

There aren’t a lot of movies available here. So, if you’re looking for movies, you may check the below listed free streaming alternatives.

What to watch?

12 Angry Men, Jonathan, The Neighbor, travel vlogs, educational content, news, and whatnot!

Pros

  • Millions of hours of video
  • Premium has good original content

Cons

  • Not enough movies
  • Plenty of ads

Price: Free | YouTube Premium: $11.99/month

Download

2. Peacock

Peacock TV- Stream TV & Movies iPhone and iPad app

Live TV: Yes | Registration required: Yes | Supported devices: Mobile, smart TV, web

NBC-owned Peacock is a free alternative to Netflix that offers an excellent catalog of movies and TV shows. Since this streaming service is free, you will have to sit through commercials. But I loved that it doesn’t require a credit card during the signup as against Netflix.

Moreover, the home section of the platform is quite similar to other major streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney+. Thus, making it a breeze to navigate through it. It also has a kids’ page with a reasonable content library, but you definitely can’t compare it with giants like HBO Max.

Well, the free collection is limited. So, if you want to access everything on Peacock, you can either subscribe to Premium (less than what Netflix charges and is worth it), which unlocks everything but keeps the ads, or to Premium Plus, which removes ads as well.

What to watch?

Parks and Recreation, Downton Abbey, 30 Rock, Two and a Half Men, and Everybody Loved Raymond

Pros

  • Over 13,000 hours of free content
  • Robust free version
  • Live channels
  • Next-day access to a few NBC shows
  • Set parental controls

Cons

  • Doesn’t have old shows or movies like Friends and Seinfeld
  • Doesn’t have user profiles and mobile downloads

Price: Free | Premium: $5/month | Premium Plus: $10/month

Download

3. IMDb TV

IMDb- Movies, TV Shows iPhone and iPad app

Live TV: No | Registration required: Yes | Supported devices: Smart TVs, web, mobile apps, gaming platforms, streaming media devices, Blu-ray players

IMDb TV, owned by Amazon, boasts an impressive collection of movies and shows for a free, ad-supported streaming, making it a worthy Netflix alternative. I especially liked how this platform retained the essence of IMDb by displaying the shows and movies by their popularity and ratings. However, that also means you can’t find genre by recommendation. There’s a Hidden Gems section too. Neat!

Its prominence lies in its flexibility to work with almost any device or platform, from Apple TV and iPhone to Firestick, blu-ray player, smart TVs, desktops, and beyond.

While it has a decent library, it can’t beat Peacock or Pluto TV in terms of quantity. Besides, if you are looking to stream original content, IMDb TV is not for you. Unlike paid streaming platforms like Netflix or Amazon Prime, IMDb TV has limited original content, which hasn’t attained the cult status yet!

The only major drawback is that it is currently only available in the United States.

What to watch?

Schitt’s Creek, Zero Dark Thirty, The Amityville Horror, The Hunger Games, Lincoln, Desperate Housewives, LA Confidential

Pros

  • Decent collection of TV shows and movies
  • Supports multiple platforms and devices

Cons

  • Not many hit shows
  • Limited original content

Price: Free

Download

4. Plex

Plex- Movies, TV, Music & More iPhone and iPad app

Live TV: No | Registration required: Yes | Supported devices: Mobile, web, smart TV

Plex is a popular media server that has been around for a very long time. In recent times, the company also started offering a streaming service to its users. You will get access to free movies, TV shows, documentaries, and more. If you live outside the US, the library will be much more appealing to you.

Users will be able to stream content whenever they want, but with ads. It is very easy to create an account and get started. You may even have different profiles, which lets you watch what you like. Parental controls are also available for profiles, making it very child-proof. Plex continues to add new content to its library every now and then.

What to watch?

Minority Report, Zodiac, Wheels on Meals, Jungle Book

Pros

  • Well-designed user interface
  • Free to use
  • Parental controls are available

Cons

  • No Playlist support yet

Price: Free

Download

5. Tubi

Tubi - Watch Movies, TV Shows iPhone and iPad app

Live TV: No | Registration required: Yes | Supported devices: Web, mobile, smart TV

Tubi is another ad-supported free streaming service that houses a large library of movies and TV shows. You will find popular movies from studios such as Paramount, MGM, Warner Brothers, and Lionsgate. The service features an easy-to-navigate interface that lets you find movies and shows with ease.

Of course, you may not find the latest content over here, but there are plenty of movies to keep you busy. Tubi also offers categories for movies which makes it unique. It doesn’t offer any original shows or movies as of now, but there are rumors that Fox Studios may produce some original content for the service in the future.

Although there are a couple of ads played during a movie or TV show, they are usually short and not annoying. And if you find an ad you dislike, simply choose not to watch that ad again.

What to watch?

The Terminator, Foxcatcher, Kill Bill, Duck Dynasty, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Blood Diamond, Memento, Donnie Darko, The Passion of the Christ, The Fugitive, The Click

Pros

  • Content from major film and TV studios
  • Simple user interface
  • Not many ads

Cons

  • No original content
  • Content library has older movies

Price: Free

Download

6. Crackle

Crackle - Movies, TV iPhone and iPad app

Live TV: No | Registration required: Yes | Supported devices: Mobile, Smart TV, Web

Crackle is a free streaming service that has plenty of content to enjoy, like great Hollywood classics, popular TV shows, and some original content. Similar to other free platforms, you will have to sit through some ads.

The service features about 150 movies, 75 shows, and some original content as well. It is currently managed and owned by Sony Entertainment and Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Although you’ll gain access to more features if you sign up, the service doesn’t force you to. However, if you sign up and create an account, you will be able to save progress on movies or shows and even tag your favorite content for free!

The service also has a bunch of original content, 21 shows, and 17 films, to be exact. The ads on the streaming service aren’t too much but can get annoying at times. For example, if you’re watching an ad on a movie, you can’t switch to a new tab. If you do, the ad pauses and continues when you switch back to the Crackle tab. This happens on the browser.

The user interface is clean and to the point. Clicking a movie or TV show will immediately start playback, pretty much like Netflix but with an ad at the start. To get more details about the movie or show, you’ll need to scroll down from the playback window.

What to watch?

Hell’s Kitchen, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Cable Guy, Train to Busan, Star Trek: Generations, Air Force One, Chinatown, Concussion, Sin City, Predestination, Charlie’s Angels Series, The Ellen Show, Bewitched, Starsky & Hutch, Hell’s Kitchen

Pros

  • No registration required to stream content
  • Offers some original content

Cons

  • Lacks high-quality content
  • Doesn’t have full HD streams

Price: Free

Download

7. Vudu

Vudu - Movies, TV iPhone and iPad app

Live TV: No | Registration required: Yes | Supported devices: Mobile, web, smart TV

Vudu is a free video streaming service owned by Walmart and houses a large collection of movies and TV shows. Around 10,000 titles are available on Vudu for you to enjoy. The service makes money by playing ads during streaming and also by offering a premium package with more content.

Unlike some services that don’t require registration, Vudu urges you to create an account to stream the free content. The signup process is fast and simple; even faster if you have a Walmart account. It asks for credit card information, but you can skip it.

The user interface of Vudu is simple, and it works well across most platforms. The free content is nicely separated from others, making it easy for you to choose. You can also quickly switch between movies/TV shows and arrange content using options such as Most Watched, Release Date, and even Genre.

What to Watch?

Troy, The Prestige, All Is Lost, Hoosiers, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Apocalypto, Fifty Shades of Grey, Highlander, Night of the Living Dead, Maggie, Grounded for Life, Transformers (Animated series)

Pros

  • Over 10,000 free movies and TV shows
  • Simple user interface with parental lock
  • Has some original content, with more coming soon

Cons

  • Limited original content or critically acclaimed movies

Price: Free

Download

8. Pluto TV

Pluto TV - Live TV, Movies iPhone and iPad app

Live TV: Yes | Registration required: No | Supported devices: Mobile, web, smart TV

If you’re looking for a streaming service that features a good collection of live TV, you should probably check out Pluto TV. This streaming service is owned by ViacomCBS, which gives the service access to over 250 live TV channels. The service also offers on-demand streaming, which consists of several popular movies and TV shows.

Users can easily browse through live TV channels such as VH1 Reality, MTV Teen, TV Land Drama, and many others. The service doesn’t require any registration. It boasts a simple user interface that allows for fast navigation between different services such as live TV and on-demand content.

If you don’t want to pay for Cable TV and are happy with a shortened version of some live TV channels, Pluto TV is for you. The on-demand movies are not bad either.

What to watch?

Star Trek channel, CSI channel, NFL Channel, James Bond 007 channel, Wolf of Wall Street, Almost Famous, She’s Out of My League, The Big Short, The Truman Show, Ice Road Truckers, Cold Case Files, Mountain Men

Pros

  • Offers a cable-live experience with access to live TV channels
  • Free to use, no registration needed
  • User interface is similar on both mobile and web

Cons

  • Newer episodes for shows not available
  • No way to save a live TV stream
  • Shorter versions of live TV channels

Price: Free

Download

Best paid Netflix alternatives

  1. Apple TV+
  2. Amazon Prime Video
  3. HBO Max
  4. Disney+
  5. Hulu
  6. Acorn TV

1. Apple TV+

Apple TV Plus iPhone and iPad app

Live TV: No | Registration required: Yes | Supported devices: Mobile, web, smart TV, Apple devices

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to Netflix, Apple TV+ is a great choice. It costs $4.99 a month and gives you access to high-budget original TV shows, programs, and a bunch of movies as well. There’s no Live TV here, but you get some access to some nice shows.

The Apple TV+ streaming service is particularly new, and therefore doesn’t have a large selection of content. However, what you get is high-quality content.

You will have access to 4K HDR content that is ad-free and will look great on high-resolution screens as well as the new iPhone 12 series. If you purchase a new Apple product, you get a 1-year free subscription to Apple TV+, which is great.

You can access the app via iPhone, and it’s super easy to navigate. Choose a show, and you’re ready to dive deep into it. Of course, the library isn’t anywhere close to what Netflix offers, but you do get excellent original content. It is also available in more than 100 countries.

What to watch?

The Morning Show, Ted Lasso, See, Servant, For All Mankind, Ghostwriter, Greyhound, The Banker, Amazing Stories, Dickinson

Pros

  • Excellent original content
  • Cheap subscription plans
  • Available in 100+ countries
  • Free with new Apple product purchases

Cons

  • Lacks content from big studios
  • No profiles for users
  • Limited library

Price: $4.99/month

Download

2. Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video iPhone and iPad app

Live TV: No | Registration required: Yes | Supported devices: Mobile, web, desktop, smart TV

Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service is one of the best alternatives to Netflix when it comes to original shows and movies.

It features several popular movies, great TV shows and is also cheaper than Netflix. The best part is that the Prime Video service is included for all Prime users. Even if you don’t have an Amazon account or Prime membership, you can sign up directly for Prime Video.

The service offers more than 200 original shows and plenty of movies. It has under its belt several Emmy-nominated and winning shows that you must watch.

The user interface is pretty straightforward but can get confusing at times. You can, however, search for your shows based on your preferred genre and type. The content is usually ad-free, but you may see an ad for another Prime Video show or movie at the start of some streams.

To keep you interested in the service, Prime Video will tell you about all upcoming shows and even provide trailers/teasers for the same.

What to watch?

The Grand Tour, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Boys, Fleabag, A Very English Scandal, Good Omens, The Man In The High Castle, Borat, Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle, The Big Sick, Manchester By the Sea, Late Night, and The Report

Pros

  • More than 200 original shows and movies
  • 4K and HDR streaming options
  • Offline download available
  • Included with Amazon Prime subscription

Cons

  • Menu can be confusing
  • Episodes not available as soon as they air

Price: $9/month for Prime Video only | $13/month for Amazon Prime

Download

3. HBO Max

HBO Max- Stream TV, Movies iPhone and iPad app

Live TV: No | Registration required: Yes | Supported devices: Web, mobile, smart TV

While HBO Max is the most expensive Netflix alternative on this list, it does have a lot to offer. This service is offered by AT&T and features over 45 years of HBO content. It boasts a library that consists of more than 10,000 hours of shows, documentaries, movies, and more.

You’ll have access to hit TV shows and blockbuster movies. HBO Max will also get all 17 Warner Bros movies planned for 2021 on the same day as their theatre release. This makes HBO Max a feature-packed streaming service where you’ll find plenty of new movies and shows.

The app is user-friendly and works great on Apple devices, including iPhone. It has easy navigation options/menus and categories.

What to watch?

Friends, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Chernobyl, Game of Thrones, Six Feet Under, Silicon Valley, South Park, The Big Bang Theory, Sesame Street, Happy Feet, Sex and the City, Joker, The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter series, The Matrix, 2001: A Space Odyssey

Pros

  • 10,000+ hours of shows and movies
  • 7-day free trial
  • Easy to use apps

Cons

  • Expensive
  • The TV app isn’t easy to use

Price: $14.99/month

Download

4. Disney+

How to Cancel Disney+ Subscription from iPhone, iPad and Mac

Live TV: Yes | Registration required: Yes | Supported devices: Mobile, web, smart TV

If you love Disney content, you should use Disney+. Period! Moreover, with the contract between Disney and Marvel, you now have access to not only Disney content but also other popular movies.

The subscription is cheaper than other services and offers a large library of content. Users can stream on up to 4 devices at a time, which is nice, and also lets you set up up to 7 different user profiles. The app is easy to use on all platforms, with clear market categories and selections.

The service also recommends movies and TV shows based on what you watch, similar to other streaming services listed here. I loved that I could watch the Star Wars series and all of Marvel’s movies at any given time. You can also download content on your device for offline viewing.

What to watch?

All Pixar movies, The Mandalorian, Arrested Development, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Lady and the Tramp, Finding Nemo, Aladdin, The Lion King, Toy Story, Cars

Pros

  • Disney, Star Wars, Marvel content
  • Supports family sharing and parental controls
  • Allows offline downloading

Cons

  • Not many originals
  • Interface can be buggy sometimes

Price: Free | Premium – $7.99/month

Download

5. Hulu

Hulu- Stream movies, TV shows iPhone and iPad app

Live TV: No | Registration required: Yes | Supported devices: Web, mobile, smart TV

Hulu has been around for a long time now, and therefore, is home to plenty of shows. The service is available with two subscription plans, one where the basic plan has ads and the other that doesn’t include ads. The basic plan is cheaper when compared to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and a few others.

Users can add up to 6 profiles to Hulu, which is nice, and its content library is growing every passing day. The service also boasts plenty of 4K HDR titles, making it a pleasure to watch on good screens.

However, Hulu’s menus and general navigation can be annoying at times. It offers a personalized home page and your playlist option, but it gets pretty confusing.

Moreover, it is only available in the US and Japan, making it less accessible than Netflix.

What to watch?

Seinfeld, ER, Handmaid’s Tale, Futurama, Parasite, Palm Springs, The Mindy Project, Veronica Mars, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, High Fidelity, Saturday Night Live, Bob’s Burgers

Pros

  • Good collection of familiar shows and programs
  • Low monthly price
  • New shows available immediately as they air

Cons

  • Not enough original content when compared to Netflix or Amazon Prime Video
  • Navigation menus aren’t that great
  • Only available in thew US and Japan

Price: $5.99/month (with ads) | $11.99/month (without ads)

Download

6. Acorn TV

Acorn TV iPhone and iPad app

Live TV: No | Registration required: Yes | Supported devices: Mobile, web

Acorn TV is another popular streaming service that has been around for some time. However, it’s not widely available as some of the other services on this list. It features a vast library of TV shows from all over the world. If you’re a fan of British shows, then you’ll love Acorn TV as it has plenty of Brit shows!

As of now, Acorn TV is only available in the US and Canada, with around 250 titles. Also, you cannot download the shows to watch them offline.

I found the interface easy to navigate and also loved how quickly the scrubbing bar worked. You can simply fast forward, and there won’t be any glitch, as long as your internet connection is good.

However, the 720p resolution for some or most of the shows is kind of annoying, especially when we’ve got platforms that offer 4K HDR support. Still, a good service to check out and subscribe to for British show fans.

What to watch?

Sherlock, IT Crown, The Great British Baking Show, Deadwater Fell, Manhunt, Midsomer Murders, Detectorists, Foyle’s War, Mayday, Lost Kingdoms of Africa, The Politician’s Wife.

Pros

  • Low cost of subscription
  • Original content available
  • A free trial can be opted for before paying for the service

Cons

  • Restricted to US and Canada
  • No offline viewing or download
  • Shows only available in 720p resolution

Price: $5.99/month

Download

FAQs

Q. What is similar to Netflix but free?


You can try out the apps we’ve listed in the free Netflix alternatives list, such as Pluto TV, Peacock, Vudu, Tubi TV, Crackle, and Plex.

Q. What’s better and cheaper than Netflix?


I wouldn’t call any of these better, as each has its own catalog of shows and movies. However, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and Apple TV+ are all cheaper than Netflix.

Q. Do you get Netflix free with Amazon Prime?


No, you don’t. Both of these streaming services are different, and you have to subscribe to them separately.

Did we miss anything? And which streaming platform do you use? Share in the comments below.

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