- Internet & the Web
How to Use Popcorn-time SE
Popcorn-time is the Netflix-like, free, P2P application that allows you to watch current TV shows and recent movie releases totally free. The interface is slick and akin to Netflix looking. Peer-2-peer is a newer sharing app that is nearly impossible to trace. Is it illegal? I think that answer depends on who you ask and your view on the topic. Can you get caught? If you do not use a VPN with the app, your ISP will probably over time, see something suspicious going on and threaten to shutdown service unless you stop. If you use VPN, this will not happen, as the ISP sees only a local IP address.
For the most part, the app works fine and the variety is large – even TV shows that are currently on TV, and movies that are only a month or so old. Since P2P relies on users to share files on the same show or movie, the higher the number of users the better. Along the same rule is speed. The higher the speed the better. You usually need a speed of 400 mbps so that the stream speed stays ahead of the user speed (the speed you are watching). This is shown at the bottom of the screen with a ruler type gauge. The stream speed is the blue line (the rate the show is streaming at) which should always be ahead of the user rate (otherwise, the video will stop). Sometimes, you may have to pause the video stream and allow the blue line to advance ahead much further before resuming play. In this context, the more users watching and streaming the same show increases the streaming speed, which is why as a rule you want at least 100+ users (this is shown on the screen). If you have more than 500 users, most likely the speed will be high. While you can watch the show with only 50 users, you will need to pause the show to allow the stream speed to be ahead considerably before resuming play.
Popcorn-time SE is based in Europe. The American version was shutdown. Many have indicated that malware infiltrates as you watch invisibly. Having used the app for a year, I can confirm this. One time, after I had watched a show using it, my computer acted as if it was being controlled remotely plus my camera was activated!
The remedy to this fear is to use Malware Bytes. The free version is good for removing malware AFTER the infection. However, using the pro version ($25 a year), the software defends from incoming and outgoing malware during operation. When using Popcorn-time, depending on your connection, one can see instantly when malware is blocked going in either direction even with VPN on. In one case, 20 malware bugs had been stopped from entering my computer, while 5 were stopped from exiting it. After watching the movie, I simply deleted the malware that was stopped. Malware Bytes provides the IP addresses of where the bug originated from. Tracing them yielded many came from Asia, India, Europe.
The moral to this story is that Popcorn-time is a great free way to watch current movies and TV shows. It is the Netflix P2P app. It does not matter where you live. But, you need VPN and you should use Malware Bytes pro. Then, you can relax and enjoy without fear from your ISP or malware hackers.