How to Watch TV on Mac for Free – Safely

watch tv online for free

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It used to be that we all knew our MacBooks to be impenetrable. No virus would get through their robust defenses. We didn’t need to worry about malware or spyware. That was the domain of Windows users.

Today, that’s arguable at best. 

Remember the security vulnerability Thunderstrike back in 2015? Then there’s the Mac.BackDoor.iWorm back in 2014. We can’t ignore ransomware – KeRanger code by Bitdefender being a rather recent one.

Earlier this year, McAfee Labs released their “Threats Report”, and guess what? There has been a drastic increase in new malware affecting Mac OS.

Now, in addition to malicious software, there’s also the issue online activity being tracked, and whether or not you’re doing something unlawful, invasion of privacy is a serious matter.

Still think Mac OS users are untouchable?

Thought so.

Related reading: Do Macs Need Antivirus Software?

Having established the fact that you can’t go online feeling like bulletproof Superman, impervious to security issues, let’s talk about cable cutting. Watching TV online. Streaming.

First thing that comes to mind is Netflix, I’m 99% sure. However, not everything can be found on Netflix, and you dont’ want to pay for 10 different streaming services – that would defeat the purpose of cable cutting. So what do we do?

So what do we do? Watch TV online for free.

This is where things get tricky. Netflix and the other paid services are practically 100% safe, but when you watch TV on Mac for free, your safety is not only not guaranteed but is highly likely to be compromised.

Still, there are a bunch of ways to watch TV online for free safely. Let’s take a look.

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How to Watch TV on Mac for Free – Safely

Skip Project Free TV

Project Free TV is an option – if you don’t want to shop around. It aggregates content from around the web and sorts it into an easily searchable database. However, while the site itself is light on dodgy advertising, the links it offers are not. Not only is it not safe, it’s downright frustrating. To watch an episode you have to click through a million hidden ads, before finding out whether you’ve chosen a quality source.

Try Popcorn Time

Popcorn Time is popular because, unlike Project Free TV, it streams from torrents. Instead of downloading the torrent first, it buffers what is necessary and does the rest as you watch. It has a pretty nifty media player, and an easy to use set-up.

Is Popcorn Time safe? There is always the possibility of malware, but it isn’t that high. The more pressing issue is the legality of the material. Copyrighted material is often on the table and is distributed without permission. Popcorn Time’s disclaimer:

Depends on where you’re from, really. Once again: we’re using torrents, so if you really care, you’d better google what the legal situation around this protocol is where you live.

They also advise using a VPN to protect your identity and activity.

Here are free, safe, and legal alternatives

Popcorn Time may be the Netflix of free streaming, but it is shady at best. Check out the following options below:

Some drawbacks:

  • The TV shows available on these sites may not be the trending ones. There are still popular shows, though and you’ll find some hidden gems.
  • Most major networks offer free viewing of some of their popular shows for a limited time. If you can live without binge-watching, then you’re golden.

Note: You will need a VPN to watch certain channels depending on your location.

The bottom line on how to watch TV on Mac for free: You may opt for the first option (Popcorn Time) but beware the consequences – both legally and potentially with safety issues. Be patient and go the legal route and be more secure.

Picture of Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.

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