PrimeWire: Is it legal and safe in 2022? How to access it securely?

Aliu Isa Last updated: June 1, 2022
Disclosure

PrimeWire is a free video streaming website involving many risks. This article explains those risks and lists safe PrimeWire alternatives you can use to consume your favorite content.

Should you use PrimeWire? Key Takeaway:

The vast amount of content in free video streaming websites such as PrimeWire makes them a desirable option for users worldwide. But while many TV shows and movies available for no charge seem a good deal, there’s a price to pay for them, just not with money. Using this type of website could be illegal in your jurisdiction, for a start. Also, many such web pages are known to distribute malware through advertising and other means, and you could end up having a severe security problem. Hence, security-aware users prefer to connect to PrimeWire and similar sites through a VPN server. It allows them to remain safe and unlock access to the website in those countries where it’s banned.

The best VPN for this task is ExpressVPN. It’s fast and reliable, has many additional security features, bears a reasonable price tag, and offers a 30-day no-risk trial with a money-back guarantee.

If using PrimeWire sounds good to you, start by ensuring you’re not breaking any domestic laws. Then, consider using the many good alternatives to PrimeWire (some are even legal) instead. Yet, if you’ve decided that PrimeWire is your cup of tea, it would be good to find out the pros and cons of using it and learn about the legal alternatives and other relevant information. And that is what we will show you in this article.

What is PrimeWire and how does it work

PrimeWire is a popular free video streaming website that features thousands of TV shows and movies at no cost. If you’re already familiar with web pages such as Putlocker or Popcorn Time, you have a good idea of what we mean. The website has many aliases, among them 1Channel, and LetMeWatch, but the current “official” name (if it has one) is PrimeWire.

There are some disadvantages for PrimeWire users. The website works with popup ads that can promote anything malicious. So, you may end up downloading malware by clicking the wrong link. Besides, using this website could have legal and security implications for you. This article explores them in detail.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is meant for entertainment and informational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice, so it should not be construed in that way. Every domestic jurisdiction has its very own legislation, which can change at any moment. Therefore, you should comply with your domestic laws. IF you doubt the legality of digital activity, you must seek the advice of an expert conversant with the local legal framework. PrivacySavvy does not provide any legal advice.

The ugly truth about PrimeWire is that it is a website devoted to piracy, just as 123movies or Putlocker. This website streams content to your device; you do not download a file or a copy of the movie or show in question.

Unfortunately, this simple fact makes users deem it legal as they do not consider streaming videos a problem from the intellectual property point of view. This spurious impression is that no content remains on your device once you’re done watching.

Alas, this is not the case. Both downloading and streaming videos are forms of piracy because the creators remain without compensation for their work. Hence if you live in a jurisdiction where piracy is illegal (and yes, there are a handful of countries in which it’s not), you’re breaking the law by watching content from PrimeWire.

PrimeWire doesn’t stream any content to users directly. Instead, it’s a hub of links that will take a user to other locations on the web from which the video streams. But none of those streamers are any more legitimate. Unfortunately, that means you are liable to prosecution for breaching copyright laws.

Most of the world’s governments consider that they have much more important things to do with their resources than to punish their citizens for getting free music, tv shows, or movies online. However, some take this task seriously, pursue it and punish it. Take Germany, for instance. Fines can be thousands of Euros or even five years in jail. Granted, the worse penalties are rarely applied for watching videos online anywhere globally, but why risk it?

Now, let’s see what some other countries hold on piracy. We start with Switzerland, Spain, and Poland. These countries do not consider piracy a crime. So anything you download for free is legitimate as long as you keep it for your personal use and do not try to make it profitable. In contrast, countries like the US, South Africa, Portugal, Finland, Latvia, Russia, Italy, the UK, Japan, Germany, France, and China deem piracy illegal and pursue it aggressively. Finally, the middle of the road position includes other countries like Uruguay, Slovakia, Slovenia, Singapore, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Romania, Mexico, Greece, Canada, Israel, Iran, India, Egypt, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Argentina, Colombia, and Brazil. They have strict legislation against piracy but don’t enforce those laws aggressively.

So you can see a distinct pattern: most countries do not allow downloading or streaming of copyrighted content. Of course, some will do something about it, and some won’t, but the trend is clear.

And don’t allow the streaming vs. downloading argument to deceive you. Streaming is downloading. As you stream, you download the content in real-time while watching it. By the end, the download vanishes into the digital ether, and you don’t end up with a copy of the video in question. And it’s still a download–an illegal download that can get you in legal trouble in the wrong jurisdictions.


Is PrimeWire secure? How can I watch it safely?

PrimeWire
(Alamy)

As explained above, many governments advocate for copyright laws without doing much about them. Likewise, some other regions do not consider piracy a crime at all.

So, is it safe to use PrimeWire in such territories? You might ask. And the answer is no; it’s not. The environmental factors merely ensure that you will not get prosecuted, jailed, or fined. But security is a different thing altogether.

The most likely security threat you’ll have as a PrimeWire user has nothing to do with your government (hopefully). Instead, you expose yourself to viruses and other malware that may download on your device via malicious links or ads.

Also, remember that your video won’t stream from PrimeWire, but from a partner’s website that is not precisely legitimate. Many other websites provide the streaming component for PrimeWire users, and plenty of those are known to spread harmful software. That’s the risk you face in this network of streaming websites.

If you must use PrimeWire, consider using a good antivirus suite to keep your equipment safe from digital threats. For instance, BitDefender is a good option.

We suggest the one digital tool for you in PrimeWire is a premium Virtual Private Network (VPN). The best VPN services will also block malware and virii from downloading into your operating system, encrypt your traffic, hide your IP, and make it impossible for any external observer to figure out what you’re doing. We find that the best VPN you can use for video streaming (and any other task) is ExpressVPN. It’s a user-friendly VPN; its security features are above the competition, fast speeds, and relatively low price in the premium VPN market.

The mirrors

There is a recurrent story that keeps happening to websites like PrimeWire. As they come online and become famous, two things happen. First, they attract negative attention from law enforcement, and second, many imitators emerge online, putting forward website mirrors. Eventually, the original site goes offline because of legal problems, leaving behind the mirrors only.

So, indeed, PrimeWire is not online anymore, and the websites you can use instead (and under the same name) are mirrors of the original project.

The problem with mirrors is that they’re not exact copies. Instead, these websites reproduce the most useful bits of the original website and almost always add something to it. Most frequently, the extra stuff is malicious advertising and other means to spread malware and code that could allow a third party to track your activity and identify you well enough to steal your identity.

Thus, whatever the legal status PrimeWire has in your country, using it remains a risky proposition. Therefore, the best preventive measure to use this website (or its mirrors) is through a VPN.


Using PrimeWire safely

If using PrimeWire in your country is legal, you should still start by protecting your computer or device against digital threats. However, remember that being safe from legal liabilities doesn’t ensure your safety against cybercriminals, and you should act accordingly.

Here is how you can have a smooth PrimeWire experience that will still keep you safe:

  1. Choose a premium VPN service such as ExpressVPN or NordVPN. Also, it would be best if you had an excellent antivirus suite (Kaspersky is the way to go).
  2. Download and install your VPN app into the device you intend to use with PrimeWire.
  3. Launch your VPN app, log in, and pick a server near you.
  4. Make sure your antivirus is actively running.
  5. Point your browser to your favorite PrimeWire mirror, and start using it.

We strongly suggest that you avoid PrimeWire if you live in a country where it’s illegal.

Best PrimeWire VPN to enjoy safe streaming

Whether you choose to use a sketchy video streaming website or a legitimate one, a VPN will be the essential tool you should use alongside it. 

But what VPN is the right one? Unfortunately, the VPN market has become overcrowded over the last few months, and every vendor claims to be at the top of the industry. But, of course, most are not.

A good VPN for video streaming must meet specific requirements. First, it must have servers that can provide you with fast and reliable links so you won’t lose your connection in the middle of a movie. Then, it would also be good if the VPN in question could block unwanted ads and prevent malware infections –this is something that only the top-notch VPNs do. Last but not least, you will want a VPN with an excellent track record of evading geographic locks in video streaming services.

Several excellent VPNs deliver on everything outlined above. However, there is one that outperforms the rest: ExpressVPN. It’s the best VPN for literally every possible task, priced affordably, and is remarkably user-friendly.

With a premium VPN and antivirus, you can have a smooth and safe PrimeWire streaming experience. But let’s face it. Even in those conditions, PrimeWire is far from the best option for video streaming regarding picture and audio quality, reliability, and functionality. Moreover, some PrimeWire mirrors will keep annoying you with ads. Indeed, it has a comprehensive catalog to include everybody, but how much of it will you enjoy as a single viewer?

The reality in today’s internet is that a 100% legal and free service can’t possibly compete with a platform such as Amazon Prime, Netflix, or HBO Max. Furthermore, no free service can currently match your quality in paid video streaming services. And don’t even mention security and privacy concerns.

There are alternatives to PrimeWire out there; legal ones. Yes, you’ll have to pay for them, but if you carefully choose one or two such platforms, you can have all the video entertainment you need without breaking your piggy bank. In addition, the quality and functionality will be top-notch, and you’ll have no security issues.

But how do you choose a paid option? Each service offers a somewhat specialized catalog. So it will all come to the kind of content you enjoy the most and the price a platform asks.

YouTube TV and Hulu are streaming services that focus on network TV shows and some additional on-demand content. Sling TV allows you to see network TV through a stream. Some services are geo-blocked because they’re meant to serve the user base of a specific country only. Still, a VPN will bypass these blocks so you can see any platform from anywhere in the world. Again, top-notch VPNs such as ExpressVPN and NordVPN unblock most video streaming platforms available today.

In other words, if you want to find out a suitable platform, you’ll have to do your homework and research the pros and cons of every option. Alternatively, you can keep reading this article because we have already done the work for you.

1. Netflix: The all-around option

Netflix is undoubtedly the best-known video streaming platform having an extensive catalog of TV shows and motion pictures.

This streaming video market leader keeps releasing new titles. You can use it from any device, and the recommendations system will keep feeding you the content you will likely enjoy.

The problem with Netflix is that enjoying most of its advantages requires you to be based in the US. Fortunately, a top-notch VPN can bypass Netflix geolocation restrictions and allows you to access your favorite content library anywhere.


2. Amazon Prime Video: The best video streaming service you already have and don’t use

It isn’t the best video streaming service in the market. But it has so many advantages that it’s a good option nevertheless

First of all, if you are a frequent Amazon user, you probably already have a Prime subscription to get better shipping deals and other perks. One of the perks you have and didn’t notice yet is access to Amazon Prime Video.

The price is similar to Netflix, but you get a lot more from your subscription as an Amazon user.

The catalog is not as vast as on Netflix but has plenty of exciting TV shows and movies to enjoy.


3. Disney+: The family entertainment giant

Disney+ is not a site with a catholic catalog. Instead, it features Disney material, including traditional Disney titles and Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars movies and shows.

Having a lot of Disney content available poses obvious advantages for families with younger members. Another pro is that you can access this platform on many different devices.


4. HBO Max: The home of the Home Box Office

HBO has tried several ventures into the video streaming business over the years. While HBO Now and HBO Go were proprietary platforms, others featured HBO content in partnership with the cable giant.

HBO Max is the company’s latest effort to bring all its content (along with UEFA Champion’s League Football and the complete Warner Brothers catalog, including Friends) under a single umbrella.

If HBO classics like The Sopranos, Rome, or Game of Thrones are your cup of tea, this is a platform that you will enjoy for sure. Plus, the additional content from Warner Bros. and other providers brings a lot of high-quality entertainment to this platform. As a result, this is probably the best PrimeWire alternative.

HBO Max, of course, is only available in a handful of countries. So this is where your VPN will be your friend once more.


5. Hulu: The option for those who want to cut their cables off

The Hulu platform aims to give you the entire cable TV experience on any device. Live streaming TV offers more than 60 channels, including news, sports, and entertainment. If live TV is not your thing (we know, we hate ads, too), it also has plenty of on-demand videos for you to watch.


6. YouTube TV: Bring your DVR with you wherever you go

YouTube is the only name bigger than Netflix on this list. Its subsidiary, “YouTube TV,” streams live TV to its users, including many live channels focused on various genres like news and entertainment.

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of YouTube TV is the DVR storage service it includes. It’s unlimited, and you can instantly see your saved content from any device.

The problem with this option is the price: it’s about ten times more expensive than any other option. So unless the content and the service are very well suited to your needs, you should probably pick another option.


7. Sling TV: Live TV streaming on a budget

Sling TV is a live TV video streaming, like YouTube TV but at less than half the cost.

If you want something that allows you to get rid of your cable subscription, this is a good option. This service gives you a good balance between price and live TV content.


Free alternatives to PrimeWire

PrimeWire includes plenty of features that are of concern. Malware, viruses, too many adult ads, and other risks are not what you would want from your sources of entertainment.

Fortunately, there are other free streaming options that, while still illegal, do not pose so many concurrent risks to their users. And most of them offer as much content as PrimeWire. So you’ll be doing yourself a favor by trying one of the following sites before pointing your browser to PrimeWire.

But before we move forward, remember: you should still be using a good antivirus and a VPN with all of the following sites.

1. Popcornflix

It’s been around for eleven years, and it’s one of the best alternatives to PrimeWire; you can see it from many devices, including gaming consoles.

Popcornflix catalog is as vast as in PrimeWire regarding shows and movies, so you will not be likely to miss anything.

There is a con, of course. You’ll need to bear with many ads each time you sit down to watch a new title. But it’s still a better experience than PrimeWire.


2. 123Movies

When many streaming websites went down, many users arrived at 123Movies to see their movies instead of PrimeWire. 

The site’s design is contemporary and well done, the catalog is impressive, and the media player support is far beyond what most other websites can manage, PrimeWire included.

While this site has ads, the team working behind it is transparent about them. So, you don’t need to fear losing your identity or control over your gadgets because of them.


3. PutLocker

Putlocker looks outdated compared to most other websites of its kind. But, appearances can deceive you. So, it’s a good site with a lot of fresh content that balances the newest stuff with classic tiles.

This website will even allow you to find a few rarities. Since it has an international bend, you can enjoy the content usually overlooked elsewhere.


4. SolarMovie

The SolarMovie team is committed to high quality in its content. So while its catalog is good, its functionality and video resolution are above the average. Where PrimeWire gives you camera videos, SolarMovie offers Blu-Ray quality.


5. Vumoo

This one is not as friendly as the other websites in this section. However, it has a search engine that will make life easier for you.


6. YesMovies

YesMovies adds value to its website by providing access to the latest shows and documentaries. So that makes it very similar to PrimeWire, except that it doesn’t have so many ads.


7. Niter

The Niter team sympathizes with you. They know you don’t have time to waste, whereas the whole point of this kind of website is to have a good time, not become an expert user. Consequently, it makes everything easy for you. Just pick a poster, click on it, and press play. Done!


Conclusion

Many video streaming websites offer a lot of content at no charge and without geographic restrictions. However, they all have mediocre streaming quality and, more importantly, are illegal almost everywhere globally. PrimeWire is one of them.

PrimeWire’s legal status could get you in trouble, depending on where you live. But even if you should be on the safe side regarding legal issues, you will remain on the risky side of digital threats. Therefore, it’s a good idea to stay away from this website. Ensuring your safety on websites like PrimeWire requires using a VPN service and an antivirus suite. Also, both need to be top of the line.

For many users, the differential advantage of PrimeWire is that it updates its catalog with fresh content very quickly. Well, paid services are even faster because they don’t have to pirate a show before releasing it.

In short, there are too many cons to PrimeWire. Hence, it’s wise to choose a paid service that fits your entertainment needs at a reasonable price. Many excellent video streaming services work within a budget without threatening your digital identity and security. And the one thing we want for each of our readers is, quite simply, for them to stay safe.

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About the Author

Isa is a Nigeria-born professional writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience under his belt. Having worked with some of the most renowned organizations worldwide, he’s been able to produce and publish hundreds of high-quality articles across a wide range of niches. Over time, Isa has developed an immense interest in digital security and privacy. He has always been a privacy enthusiast, and now, he's giving it all to educate people on privacy, security, and geo-blocking issues around the world.

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