After a troubled 2020, Flixtor is back, and it seems to be better than ever! Flixtor is an online streaming service which streams movies and TV shows direct to your browser window. It is noted for its excellent (if limited) free service, its great user interface, and the smoothness with which its content plays (although this will inevitably depend somewhat on your internet connection).
What is Flixtor?
Flixtor started life as a cross-platform open-source app which streamed content using the BitTorrent protocol. The code for this app is still available, but the app no longer works because it uses sources which are no longer available.
This would be easy enough for any developer to fix, although since the app does essentially exactly the same thing as Popcorn Time, there doesn’t seem to be much point.
When people talk about Flixtor these days, they are referring to Flixtor.to (or one of its mirrors or imposters). Flixtor.to is a web-based service which scans IPTV streaming sources and organizes them into a searchable database which is accessed from an elegant browser-based web interface.
Flixtor does not host the content itself, for clarity, is not legal content.
The genuine Flixtor
There is only one genuine Flixtor website. At the time of writing it is Flixtor.to. It is possible this will change, but if you visit flixtor.org a digitally signed message from the Flixtor developers states which domain is the genuine one.
A number of fake Flixtor websites exist, some of which actually work quite well. Given their very shady nature, however, we recommend only using the genuine Flixtor. A Flixtor app for Android is available on the Play Store website, but it has nothing to do with the genuine Flixtor and we strongly recommend avoiding it.
Anyone can use the basic Flixtor service for free just by visiting the Flixtor website. Free users, however, might see ads, and only have access to movies released within the last 6 Months and TV episodes released within the last 3 months. The first three episodes of the first season of all shows are also free to everybody.
Streaming resolution for free users is capped at 720p, and they can’t download content or cast it to a big screen device.
This aside, it’s free, it works well, it allows you to watch any recent movies or TV shows, and 720p streaming is plenty good enough for most people. As a point of comparison, basic Netflix subscribers are restricted to 480p, with HD (720p or 1080p depending on your connection and what your device supports) only available with the $10.99/m Standard plan (US price).
You can support the service and gain access to all its features (discussed below) by purchasing a VIP Key. Prices start at $12.95 for 30 days, depending on the payment method.
A small reduction is available for 90 days and a much bigger one for two years, but given the nature of this service (and its recent history) purchasing a longer-term key is probably not advisable. Indeed, paying for any Flixtor subscription is something of a gamble.
You can pay by PayPal, Bitcoin, or Premiumkey.
This makes Flixtor around twice the price of a basic Netflix subscription in most counties, but it does give you a much larger catalog of titles than any legal streaming service offers, and it's not restricted by regional copyright laws.
We’ll just note that Popcorn Time continues to flourish and is 100% free, as is Kodi.
VIP users enjoy the following features:
- Access to all movies and TV episodes
- Stream up to 1080p
- Download videos
- Google Chromecast and Apple Airplay support
- No ads
- Email requests for missing Movies and TV Shows
- Priority support
Access to all movies and TV episodes
Flixtor scans a number of different IPTV sites to source its content and therefore has a very large catalog titles on offer.
This includes many older titles. Unlike P2P-based alternatives such as Popcorn Time, this content is streamed directly from servers on which it is hosted. This means that older / or less popular content streams just as well as the latest blockbuster movie.
We couldn’t find a single movie that we searched for, no matter how old, that wasn’t available through Flixtor. TV shows fared less well.
Stream up to 1080p
VIP members can stream most content in full HD. This does rely on the content being available at that resolution, though. Older content, in particular, is often only available at lower resolutions.
Chromecast and Airplay support
VIP users can cast videos to their big screen TV’s using Google Chromecast and Apple Airplay.
Speaks for itself, although it has to be said that we never actually saw any ads when using the free service. This may change, however.
We don’t know anything about who runs Flixtor or where they are based, but that is par the course for a service offering “unofficial” content.
Flixtor is really just a (slick) third-party search engine and front-end for a number of other IPTV websites. IPTV, in general, is more private than streaming via P2P because you are not sharing your IP address with many other users. You are simply downloading content from a server, so only the IPTV server knows your real IP address.
Since Flexor provides the front end, all streams must be proxied by Flixtor. This means that its IPTV sources only see IP addresses belonging to Flixtor, and it is Flixtor who can see your real IP address.
Flixtor says that it doesn’t log anything except the email addresses of VIP members. We have to take its word on this, but given the nature of the service, knowing as little as it can about its users is a sensible strategy.
All content streamed via Flixtor is protected by HTTPS so your internet provider (ISP) can’t see what you are doing, although it can see that you have visited the Flixtor website.
The Flixtor website uses Cloudflare to protect itself from Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. This means that it is Cloudflare servers which are providing the HTTPS, so, depending on the setup chosen by Flixtor, Cloudflare may be able to see what you are watching.
“We collect End Users’ information when they use our Customers’ websites, web applications, and APIs. This information may include but is not limited to IP addresses, system configuration information, and other information about traffic to and from Customers’ websites (collectively, “Log Data”).”
Cloudflare promises to look after this data, but it can always be legally compelled to hand it over.
Is Flixtor legal?
The content offered by Flixtor is in clear violation of every copyright law ever written. In most countries, however, it is not illegal to simply watch (stream) infringing content.
It is usually illegal to download content. In theory, a case could be made that buffering data preloaded to memory while streaming counts as downloading rather than simply streaming. No attempt has yet been made to test this notion in court.
Ease of use
Ease of use is definitely one of Flixtor’s strong points. Anybody can visit the website, select a video they like, and it will just run in their browser. No downloads are required.
The interface is as slick on mobile devices as it is on desktop browsers, giving the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime a run for their money!
You can double-click a video to play it full screen on all platforms, and all videos come with subtitle support for a wide variety of languages. VIP users can cast to their Apple TVs or Chromecasts, or download locally to their device. On an iPad it is even possible to play video in Picture-in-Picture mode.
Depending on the IPTV source, it is usually possible to select video resolution in a desktop browser, or you can let Flixtor auto-select resolution based on your internet connection (recommended). In mobile browsers, the resolution is always auto-selected.
Videos can be searched or sorted in various ways to find or discover content. To help with this, Flixtor runs its own recommendation system, with the quality content, voted on by its users.
Flixtor is an incredibly easy to use unofficial streaming platform which features the slickest interface this side of Popcorn Time. It is probably somewhat connection-dependent, but videos played for us on all platforms.
The 720p resolution cap on free users is unlikely to worry most viewers, but the data restrictions on video content provides a very compelling reason to upgrade to a VIP account. The full movie catalog is huge.
VIP passes, however, cost around the same or more as premium subscriptions to legal services such as Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. There is also a very strong chance that action by copyright holders will result in the site suddenly disappearing forever, with no chance of seeing your money again.
Popcorn Time provides a similarly slick interface and catalog of titles and is 100% free but it requires downloading an app rather than just visiting a website in your browser. It uses the BitTorrent protocol which is less secure (you really do need to use a VPN with PT), and because it uses the BitTorrent peer-to-peer protocol the availability of content and its streaming performance is highly dependent on its popularity.
Although streaming using IPTV-based services such as Flixtor is less risky than using P2P-based apps such as Popcorn Time, we still think using a VPN for Flixtor is a very good idea.