One technology that helps us easily access the world of video entertainment is IPTV. But what is IPTV ? Is IPTV legal and safe? How can I use it to watch TV and movies? We’ll answer these questions and more in this article.
What Is IPTV?
IPTV stands for Internet Protocol Television, a seemingly strange-sounding but actually quite straightforward acronym. IPTV is simply any form of television that you may get online. The communication protocol that enables the internet to work is known as Internet Protocol, or IP. In other words, IPTV is a TV that transmits content via IP rather than more conventional technologies like satellite or cable.
IPTV is more frequently referred to as online streaming or video on demand. Because they provide on-demand access to television programming, IPTV services are widely used. Unlike standard live TV, they don’t have a predetermined schedule. You may pick what to watch anytime you want, as opposed to having to wait till a specific hour to view your favorite TV show.
Attention: Read before you continue
Governments and ISPs across the world monitor your online activities. If found streaming copyrighted content on your device, you could get into serious trouble. Currently, your IP 220.127.116.11 is visible to everyone. I strongly recommend you get a trustworthy VPN and hide your identity so that your movie-viewing experience doesn’t take a bad turn.
I use ExpressVPN, the fastest and most secure VPN in the industry. It is very easy to install on any device, including Amazon Fire TV Stick, Smartphones, PC, macOS, iOS, and more. Also, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like their service, you can always ask for a refund. ExpressVPN also has a special deal where you can get 3 months free and save 49% on an annual plan.
Is IPTV Legal?
The service in question determines whether IPTV is lawful or not. As long as the service provider has the appropriate licenses for every piece of content it offers, IPTV is legal. To host broadcasts of TV shows, movies, or other work that is protected by a copyright, an IPTV provider must obtain the owner’s consent.
It’s entirely legal to use services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. For the streaming content they offer, they are in possession of the necessary licenses. There are thousands of additional IPTV providers, though, that smuggle in TV shows and movies without the required permission from content owners. These IPTV service providers are illegal. You are also breaching the law if you utilize their services.
What Are the Laws Surrounding Illegal IPTV?
Different countries have their own laws surrounding IPTV , so the legal ramifications for hosting or using one of these illegitimate services will depend on where you live.
The law on illegal IPTV in the United Kingdom
In 2017, the UK passed the Digital Economy Act, which strengthened penalties for those found guilty of copyright infringement. Users and service providers of illegal IPTV might receive 10-year prison terms as a result.
Police have occasionally given mass warnings to suspected illegal IPTV users, threatening legal action if they kept using them, even though no one has yet been convicted solely for using such services (the legislation has primarily been used to target those who run them).
The law on illegal IPTV in the United States
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, originally passed in 1998, is the main statute addressing copyright infringement in the US. Anyone who distributes copyrighted content online without the necessary authorization faces fines and penalties under the DMCA. Yet, because the DMCA only applied to downloads, streaming constituted somewhat of a legal loophole.
Yet, this gap was just recently closed. In December 2020, a comprehensive COVID relief package that contained provisions that made illegal streaming a crime was passed. According to US law, utilizing unauthorized IPTV services might result in 10-year prison terms.
It has since been made clear that the Protecting Lawful Streaming Act’s author intended for it to be used to prosecute those who run unlawful streaming services rather than those who use them.
The law on illegal IPTV in Canada
2015 saw the implementation of a system in Canada allowing copyright holders to send warning letters to alleged IPTV users via their ISP (internet service provider). Many of these warnings up until recently contained requests for a financial payment to avoid prosecution and higher fines.
Due to considerable outcry over the fact that those who received these letters were under no obligation to pay the settlements, many Canadians were forced to pay fines they did not have to in 2019, the law governing these notices was altered. Also, there were other instances where those who were falsely accused of unlawful streaming were coerced into paying the fines.
The 2019 amendments meant that copyright holders may no longer request settlement costs or seek for personal information in these warnings. Users of unauthorized IPTVs run the risk of being prosecuted and subject to even larger fines, even if copyright holders may no longer demand payment.
How to Tell If an IPTV Service Is Legal or Illegal
The majority of legitimate IPTV providers are well-known, established companies like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, thus it is simple to identify the biggest legitimate IPTV services based solely on their reputations. But how can you tell whether an IPTV service is legitimate if you’ve never heard of them?
There are a few warning indicators you should watch out for. First off, it’s likely unlawful for an IPTV to give its services for free. The majority of reputable IPTV systems require a membership to use, while some TV networks have their own unique IPTV that may offer free streaming services (Channel 4’s All4 service in the UK is one example).
It’s a good idea to research the typical cost of these services. Although some illegal IPTV services do charge subscription prices, they are much cheaper than those of legitimate IPTV services because the illegal ones don’t have to pay for license or production, thus they can charge much less.
A few further indicators that you may be utilizing an unauthorized IPTV provider include:
Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies are being requested as payment
Because they are more difficult to trace than traditional currency, cryptocurrencies are perfect for illicit services.
International channels: The majority of legally streaming IPTV services only offer channels and content from your country. Access to content that is often region-locked is a sign that an IPTV service might not be what it claims to be.
Low-quality streams: Legitimate IPTV services with the proper permissions obtain their content in its best quality directly from the copyright holder. Illegal IPTV services must acquire their content through other channels, which frequently causes noticeable reductions in the quality of the video or music.
Pop-ups and deceptive buttons: If an IPTV service bombards you with pop-up adverts as soon as you launch it, it probably isn’t real. Fake playback controls that access external URLs rather than stopping, playing, or altering the volume may also be found on illegal IPTVs.
Is It Advisable to Use Illegal IPTV Services?
Simply put, no. You run the risk of being prosecuted, paying fines, or possibly receiving a jail sentence if you use an illegal IPTV service. You also run the risk of several other safety risks.
You have no control over who receives your financial information if an IPTV service requests the details of your credit card in order to process the payment. Your information could be sold to scammers or hackers, placing your finances in serious jeopardy. It can also simply fail to deliver the service you paid for; even when you pay, there’s no assurance you’ll get access to any IPTV material.
Every gadget you use to access illegal IPTV services may also be used to gather data. Again, you have no control over who receives this information, which leaves you vulnerable to scammers.
A further risk to your devices’ security is posed by unlicensed IPTV services. Viruses and other malware are frequently hidden as download links for the media you wish to watch on unauthorized streaming websites, which are frequently stocked with them. False playback buttons might potentially serve as links to external websites that aim to infect your device with malware.
Finally, using an illegal IPTV provider can violate the terms of service set forth by your ISP. Often, your ISP will offer you a warning before taking further action if it suspects that you have been utilizing illegal streaming services. But, persistent warnings may finally result in the termination of your internet connection, depriving you of access to all online services, whether they are legal or not.
Using a reputable VPN (virtual private network), such as ExpressVPN, is a good option if you have any concerns about the security of the IPTV services you use. There are several advantages to using a VPN: In addition to giving your device an additional layer of security against hackers, viruses, and malware, it conceals your online behavior, preventing websites from collecting your data and your ISP from tracking your activity. (How to set up antivirus on a FireStick is provided here.)
Also, a VPN enables you to change the location from which you access the internet, which might help you view region-locked content on legitimate IPTV services without using any illicit methods.
Examples of Unverified IPTVs
Because of the sheer number of IPTV services, it’s very difficult to keep track of all of them and to verify which ones hold the correct licenses for the content they offer. However, some examples of unverified IPTVs include:
- 247 Stream
- Kemo IPTV
In addition to the sites I just listed, another big name in illegal streaming is Kodi. Kodi itself is perfectly legal. it’s an open-source media player that allows various addons to be installed to personalize the user experience. However, some illegal streamers use Kodi as the foundation of Kodi boxes, which plug into your TV and give free access to IPTV subscription services like Netflix. These Kodi boxes are illegal and could lead to police seizing the devices and users of the devices being prosecuted.
Recommended Legal IPTV Services
The best way to enjoy IPTV is through the many well-established, legal options. Some of the best IPTV streaming services include:
- Netflix: probably the most well-known online streaming service and among the first big streaming services to take IPTV mainstream. Netflix has a huge amount of licensed content, as well as its own original TV shows, movies, and documentaries.
- Amazon Prime Video: Amazon’s IPTV service offers a wide range of content to subscribers, and if you’re willing to pay extra, you can also access addons like additional TV channels, including Starz TV and Shudder. You can also buy or rent additional TV box sets and movies to add to your digital library.
- Disney+: Disney has recently brought its own IPTV service onto the market, pooling together thousands of TV shows, movies, and documentaries from across its media empire. Alongside Disney classics, you’ll find content from National Geographic, 21st Century Fox, Star Wars, Marvel, and much more.
- HBO Max: HBO’s IPTV platform lets you stream HBO originals as well as a variety of other TV series and movies. Notably, Warner Bros. used HBO Max to release its full slate of movies during COVID restrictions that limited cinematic releases.
- Apple TV+: Apple is also breaking into the streaming market, and similarly to other IPTV services, Apple TV+ offers a whole host of different TV shows, movies, and documentaries, including Apple originals that aren’t available elsewhere.
Conclusion: What’s the Best Way to Use IPTV?
There are hundreds of IPTV services out there, and not all of them are reliable. Don’t let promises of cheap or free content draw you in. Many of the sites making these promises are illegal and unlicensed. Using them opens you up to legal action and endangers your private information and the security of your devices.
If you do decide to use one of these unverified IPTV sites, it’s at your own risk. For some peace of mind and extra safety, you should consider using a VPN if you go this route.
The best option, however, is to stick to legitimate, well-established IPTV services. Legitimate IPTV subscriptions may be more expensive than using illegal sites. But it’s a fair price to pay to enjoy high-quality on-demand streaming without the risk of finding yourself in legal trouble, being hacked, or getting malware on your device.