Putlocker has been a massively popular movie-sharing site since its launch in the early 2010s. The service went from over 800,000 to 1.6 million visitors per day in practically no time–staggering numbers that launched Putlocker to Alexa’s Top 250 most popular websites in the world. Although the original service was blocked and shut down by UK courts, alternatives and clones of Putlocker are widely available and easy to access. Due to the nature of the site and its standing in the legal community, however, you should only access Putlocker if you’ve got a good VPN. Keep reading for our guide on how to use Putlocker while staying safe, private, and secure.
- 1 Evaluating the Best VPN for Putlocker
- 2 How to Use Putlocker
- 3 How to Access Putlocker from the UK with a VPN
- 4 Where is the Real Putlocker?
- 5 Is Putlocker Down?
- 6 Is Putlocker Safe to Use?
Evaluating the Best VPN for Putlocker
Privacy is a top concern for most VPN users, as it should be for fans of Putlocker. Choosing the top VPN to keep you hidden online can seem like an overwhelming task, however. There are so many facts to research and numbers to compare, how in the world you find the best of the bunch? We’ve streamlined the process by providing a few recommended VPNs below. We made our selection using the following criteria, making sure you get the fastest and the most secure VPN for Putlocker and all your online movie streams.
- Logging policy – Logging policies are arguably the most important feature of a VPN. If a service tracks your activity, privacy isn’t guaranteed. To stay as safe as possible, always go with a VPN with a zero-logging policy on all traffic.
- Reputation – It’s tough to measure a VPN’s reputation, but at the same time, it should be a vital part of your decision. Trust is key when a single company handles all of your personal information. If a VPN is even a little bit sketchy, it’s best if you look elsewhere. Our recommended services below have been around for years and have a large base of satisfied (and safe) customers.
- Security features – Several security features can make or break your online privacy. VPNs should always have DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch, at minimum, but if protocol or encryption configurations are present, that’s even better.
- Payment methods – You want anonymity? Using a credit card or PayPal account to subscribe to a VPN won’t give it to you, as both methods tie your identity to the VPN. For heightened anonymity you should choose a service that accepts a cryptocurrency such as bitcoin.
1. ExpressVPN: Fast and User Friendly
Speed is the hallmark of the ExpressVPN experience, making it perfect for streaming movies through Putlocker. With ExpressVPN you’ll have access to over 145 servers in 94 different countries, providing a fantastic amount of variety for getting around geo-restrictions without sacrificing speed. The custom software is incredibly easy to use as well, delivering a big friendly “on” button that automatically connects you to the fastest server, no configuration required. You can also launch a speed test from several versions of the app to get detailed info on how well the network is performing.
ExpressVPN’s privacy options keep you safe no matter what you’re doing online, streaming movies or just surfing around. Data is locked down with 256-bit AES encryption and backed by a zero-logging policy on all traffic, DNS requests, and IP addresses. DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch provide a reliable safety net in case of an accidental disconnect, as well. With ExpressVPN you know you’ll have a fast and secure online experience each time you log in.
ExpressVPN features at a glance:
- Custom protocols for private, censorship-free connections in places like Russia and China.
- No restrictions on bandwidth, P2P network downloads, or torrent traffic.
- Easy-to-use apps for desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
- Reliable access to Netflix videos through the website and apps.
2. IPVanish: Total Anonymity
IPVanish specializes in providing fast servers and anonymous connections finely tuned for online video streams. It starts with 256-bit AES encryption on all data, creating a strong foundation to keep your online activity safe and secure. A zero-logging policy on all traffic ensures outside eyes can never match your identity to your activity, and with DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch in place, not even the faintest hint of your real location will ever be revealed. IPVanish also makes it easy to bump up the security by customizing a number of port and protocol options from its easy to use custom software.
IPVanish has a huge network of over 850 servers in 60 different countries with a combined 40,000 shared IP addresses, all of which add to your online anonymity. Built-in IP switching options even give you the ability to shuffle your IP address at regular intervals to boost your privacy, as well. You’ll be able to take advantage of all this privacy with unlimited bandwidth, no speed throttling, and unrestricted access to P2P networks and torrent downloads on every device.
Best IPVanish features at a glance:
- Watch TV shows and movies through P2P or BitTorrent with full anonymity.
- Custom software for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android devices.
- Full and private access to add-ons and streaming content through Kodi.
- Fast and reliable servers that are perfect for HD video streams.
3. NordVPN: The Largest Server Network
NordVPN has a lot of stand-out features, but the most impressive one is the size of its server network. The list is constantly growing, but at the moment it’s over 1,090 servers in 61 different countries, one of the largest in the business. NordVPN puts these to good use by providing unique services you won’t find with other VPNs, including speed-boosted P2P downloads and double encryption servers.
Another fantastic NordVPN feature is the company’s incredible zero-logging policy that covers everything from bandwidth to time stamps to traffic to IP addresses. None of your activity is ever recorded or shared with third parties, giving you an unprecedented amount of privacy and peace of mind. Backing all of these security features is 256-bit AES encryption on all data, an automatic kill switch, DNS leak protection, and a host of customizable encryption features to give you all the anonymity you could ever want.
More of NordVPN’s best features:
- A massive network with feature-specific servers that offer onion routing, dedicated IP addresses, DDoS protection, and more.
- Incredibly reliable access to Netflix streams even when other VPNs are blocked.
- Lightweight apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and more.
- Unlimited bandwidth and no restrictions on P2P or torrent traffic.
4. VyprVPN: Strong Privacy Features
VyprVPN goes out of its way to provide unique and highly effective privacy features you won’t find with any other VPN. The most noteworthy of the bunch is Chameleon, a clever protocol that helps lock down your online identity. Chameleon takes encrypted data packets and wraps their metadata in an additional layer of encryption to help defeat deep packet inspection (DPI), which is often used by ISPs and governments to spy on user activity. With Chameleon you can break through the toughest censorship walls without risking your own identity or privacy. All you have to do is switch Chameleon on and start surfing, it’s that easy!
VyprVPN also owns and operates its entire network of servers, over 700 in 70 different countries. On the surface this doesn’t sound like a huge privacy feature, but in practice it means third parties never have access to Vypr’s hardware. They control upgrades, they handle maintenance, no one else even gets in the door. VyprVPN backs this dedication to privacy with a zero-logging policy on traffic and DNS requests, an automatic kill switch, DNS leak protection, and 256-bit AES encryption for all data.
VyprVPN’s best features include:
- Some of the most user-friendly but customizable apps in the market, with versions for all modern desktops, tablets, and mobile devices.
- Chameleon protocol to help defeat censorship blocks and maintain open access in countries like China.
- Unlimited bandwidth and no restrictions on P2P or torrent traffic.
5. PureVPN – A Suite of Security Features
PureVPN doesn’t want to be just a VPN, it wants to be your one-stop shop for online privacy and security. With select versions of the PureVPN software you can switch modes and enable unique features such as anti-virus protection, malware shields, app blocking, and even DNS level website filtering to make sure scam sites never reach your web browser. Incredible measures like these in place you’ll be able to visit the roughest websites without giving up your privacy.
You won’t have to give up VPN protection to get these extra features, either. PureVPN provides excellent protection with a zero-logging policy on all traffic, an automatic kill switch, solid 256-bit AES encryption on all data, and DNS leak protection features. These work wonderfully with PureVPN’s self-owned network of over 750 servers in 141 different countries, providing a ton of options for fast, safe, and secure connections anywhere in the world.
PureVPN’s best features include:
- Support for all major operating systems and devices, including non-standard platforms with Chrome, Safari, and Firefox extensions.
- Added anti-virus protection, web filters, and anti-phishing features, even on mobile devices.
- No speed caps, no restrictions on torrent or P2P traffic, and unlimited bandwidth.
- Unlimited server switching and five simultaneous connections.
How to Use Putlocker
Putlocker is essentially a movie-streaming service built into a website. Anyone can visit the main page and search/browse thousands of TV shows and films in an instant. Streaming is as simple as clicking on the box art, letting the video load, then pressing “play”. You can even view similar titles or get basic recommendations while you browse, just in case you can’t find the perfect movie to stream.
Putlocker is pretty basic, but that’s one of its main appeals. No weird features or crazy gimmicks–just straightforward movies and TV shows ready to watch in your browser. Some of Putlocker’s main categories include the following:
- Featured films – Check out popular and highly rated movies.
- TV shows – New and classic series ready for binging.
- Genres – Browse over 20 different genres.
- Years – Look through the catalog sorted by release date.
- New movies – See what’s new on the site.
As far as content is concerned, Putlocker keeps a decent balance between popular and blockbuster releases and more classic fare. You’ll find plenty of new movies to stream, but you’ll also run into plenty of classics, both of which have multiple standard and HD sources ready to watch on any device.
How to Access Putlocker from the UK with a VPN
Putlocker originated in the UK and has endured a number of court orders and takedown attempts by the local government. In 2016 the site was officially blocked in the UK, though this was largely a domain block rather than filtering access to the site on a deeper level. Putlocker responded by taking its official URL to a variety of foreign countries, hopping across borders each time a court ordered its domain to be seized or shut down.
Depending on the active URL it may or may not be possible for streamers in the UK to access Putlocker’s content. VPNs work extraordinarily well to help evade these restrictions, however. Simply log into your software, choose a fast server outside of the UK, reload the site and pick your movie.
Where is the Real Putlocker?
The official Putlocker site is, strictly speaking, permanently offline. Clones and alternative sites have sprung up in its place to offer similar functionality, however. One group of sites currently considered semi-official by the Putlocker community. These are more reliable than many of the copycats and have a better interface and access higher-quality content.
At the time of writing (October 2017), the following domains will lead you to the most official version of Putlocker available:
Is Putlocker Down?
It’s not uncommon to find any number of Putlocker’s domains inactive or even blocked in your region. This is due to the site’s persistent battle with courts in the UK, EU, and abroad. In order to stay alive, they have to switch domains on a frequent basis. There’s no official source for news and site updates, so if you can’t access one of the above URLs your best bet is to hop on a search engine and find an alternative. It’s also worth firing up your VPN and switching to a new country of origin, especially if your default IP address is within the UK.
Is Putlocker Safe to Use?
As is the case with many movie streaming sites, Putlocker uses a handful of ads in an attempt to monetize its content. Most of these are of the pop-under variety, meaning a new browser tab opens and either switches you to it automatically or keeps it in the background until later. There are also a handful of built-in ads placed before certain videos, though this is entirely dependent upon the source of the show you’re watching.
We tested Putlocker with and without our standard set of browser security extensions enabled. The differences were minimal but certainly noticeable. Ad-blocking plug-ins managed to prevent the annoying pop-under advertisements, leaving the site clean and easy to navigate. We did have some mysterious browser crashes while using Putlocker without script blocking extensions, which could indicate other ads or even cryptocurrency mining scripts attempting to run.
On the whole Putlocker is a pretty safe site to use, provided you stick to the official links above, of course. You should take precautions to keep your browser as secure as possible if you plan on streaming movies, however. Follow the tips below to get your browser ready for the Putlocker experience.
- Use an ad-blocker – A good ad-blocker should be the first thing you install on your browser, especially if you’re using sites like Putlocker. uBlock Origin is the current leader of the pack and will keep you safe from a massive variety of ads, including the pop-unders we found on Putlocker.
- Install a tracker blocker – Some websites can use scripts that track your activity even after you leave the main page. To keep your identity secure no matter where you surf, install Privacy Badger and shut down the trackers automatically.
- Always keep your VPN active – Browser extensions can’t protect your data once it leaves your computer. VPNs help keep all activity safe and private so third parties can’t spy on your traffic and video streams.
- Avoid mobile browsers – Even security conscious mobile browsers can’t compare to a hardy desktop-based browser with the right extensions. Unless you have to stream on your smartphone or tablet, it’s best to use Putlocker from a PC browser.
- Use anti-virus software – A last line of defense for any computer should be a decent piece of anti-virus software. Most operating systems come with one pre-installed, which is good enough for our purposes. Make sure you keep it active and run regular scans, just in case.
Found any great movies on Putlocker you think everyone should watch? Does your VPN provide particularly fast access to Putlocker streams? Share your info in the comments below!