Is 123movies Safe Or A Risky Threat?

Is 123movies Safe

Is 123movies safe? Is 123movies Illegal? These are questions that arise in one’s mind often while using the site. 123movies has been at the forefront of illegal streaming of films for a long time. It was operated out of Vietnam and had millions of monthly visitors who would stream and download movies from this site until the site had to end its illegal run after an interference from the US and Vietnamese Governments.

This article will attempt at answering the questions that come to one’s mind as well as dive into details about the rise and fall of the world’s most popular illegal website.

What is 123movies?

Before moving on to “Is 123movies safe?” let’s understand the website and its origin.

123movies is one of the most popular websites used to stream and download movies to the users for free. The site is operated from Vietnam and the site has been shut down multiple times only for it to pop back up a few weeks later using proxy sites. 123movies has undergone numerous iterations of its name as every time the site is shut down it comes back with a new name to avoid the authorities.


The other names 123movies has used are MeMovies, GoStream, 123movieshub, or GoMovies.

The website had the original URL and name of before being changed to and The final iteration of the name before the site was shut down was “”. 

Everyone wondered Is 123Movies Safe? Since, its inception, the free go-to website to watch movies is apparently not safe (Illegal to be precise).

MPAA or the Motion Pictures Association of America in 2018,  called the website the “World’s most popular illegal site”. The site is said to have gotten around 98 million monthly viewers.

On March 19, 2018, a note was seen on the site announcing that the site has been shutting down and asked its viewers to “respect filmmakers by paying for movies and TV shows”. Months after the shutdown of the original website many other similar sites were seen to be popping up around the world. 

Shutting down

The majority of the viewers of 123movies were from the UK and the United States which made the owners of the website and the website itself cross paths with the MPAA or the Motion Pictures Association of America. MPAA called the website the “Most Popular Illegal Site”. 

In 2017, the US Ambassador to Vietnam had talks with the Minister of Information and Communication to shut down illegal streaming websites operated from Vietnam with 123movies being named specifically, according to TorrentFreak

Is 123movies safe to watch now? In 2019 the site was shut down following a Criminal Investigation in Vietnam. Soon after it shut down, mirror sites and replacements were online to fill the void 123movies had left and the combat against illegal piracy of films goes on even today.

Is 123movies Safe And Legal?

123movies is a website that allows the visitors of this site to access, view, and download Movies without having the need to pay for them. The website distributes copyrighted content for free without the authorization of the studio or the filmmakers.

The question of whether or not the website is legal depends on the copyright and intellectual property laws of the respective country however, most countries have similar laws for intellectual property which would make sites such as 123movies illegal as it is an infringement of copyright. 

Is 123movies safe? Streaming and Downloading Pirated Movies

Streaming or downloading movies from sites that do not have the authorization of the creators or the studio of the film makes it pirating which is also not legal.

It is a bigger crime to upload movies to such sites than to download or stream them. Moreover, the people who own this intellectual property do not get any sort of monetary benefit for the work they have done and instead go to people who do not deserve it.

Any website that provides streaming of copyright content for free is violating the copyright of intellectual property and is illegal to use such sites is illegal and a crime that could result in fines or even jail time based on the copyright laws of one’s country.

The original website has been shut down in 2018 due to the cooperation of the FBI and the US Ambassador to Vietnam with the Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Communications. However, since the shutdown, many copycat websites have popped up providing similar services. 

The website has been blocked in many regions of the world and is illegal and banned in the United States of America. 

Countries and their Stance on Piracy

The illegality of Piracy depends on which country one resides in as each country has its own set of laws for Piracy and Copyright Infringement and based on the law of the country it could either be a fine or could result in the user getting punishment ranging from Fines to Jail time even.

Legal or allowed (for personal use)Poland, Spain, Switzerland
IllegalAustralia, China, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, United States
Illegal, but individuals are not actively prosecutedArgentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Greece, India, Israel, Iran, Mexico, Netherlands, Philippines, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Uruguay

Conclusion: Is 123movies Safe?

123movies is an illegal file-sharing website and that itself could answer the question “Is 123movies safe?”. No. Since the aforementioned website is not legal it would be unsafe and could affect your device in a harmful way and it is not advised to download content from such websites that stream copyrighted content illegally.

The site could contain harmful malware and viruses which could be downloaded to one’s device while streaming or downloading from the website which would harm the device. There are many clone websites that are made strictly for the purpose of spreading viruses. 

While visiting the website there could be pop-up ads and malicious links which could be used to corrupt the device of the user. 

More than that, usage of such illegal websites could also result in one’s private data being stolen and sold to other companies. It is never wise to use such sites for streaming movies as it is unsafe and illegal and there are other legal and safe alternatives for streaming movies.


The alternative is to stream movies and TV shows from websites after providing a small fee for the monthly subscription. Subscribing to an OTT platform provides the user with an unlimited viewing experience without ads. These sites stream with the permission of the filmmakers and are legal and safe.

Some popular legal Streaming Sites are – 

  • Netflix
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • Disney+
  • Hulu
  • HBO Max
  • Apple TV+
  • Peacock 

Frequently Asked Questions on Is 123movies Safe

Is it illegal to watch 123movies?

Since the Website does not have the license to distribute copyright material but does it regardless it is a violation of copyright making it illegal. The site has been banned in many countries. 

Can you get fined for using 123movies?

The Copyright law varies from region to region. If the law of the country of the user is against piracy then the user could get fined or even get jail time. 

Does 123movies give you a virus?

Since the website is illegal there is a high chance for the website to be used to infect the devices of the user through malicious links and pop-up ads.

Do you need a VPN for 123Movies?

123movies is banned and restricted in a lot of countries, if that is the case then one would need to bypass these geo-restrictions and in order to do that one would have to use a VPN,


123 movies is an illegal file-sharing website that has been used by a lot of people to stream and download films without having to pay for them. Since it is illegal it could also be unsafe. Since the shutting down of the original website many sites have popped up to act as mirrors or as replacements which are even more harmful than the original as these sites are owned by individuals who could use them to infect your system or steal your data.

It is always advised not to use such websites and to stream movies from websites that are verified, legal and safe as nothing is ever truly free.

This article has attempted at giving an insight into the illegal website 123movies and why it is unsafe for one to use the said website. Hope this has been informative for the reader and will guide them in having a safer and legal online streaming experience!

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