Streaming Tips

Internet Archive Is Full Of Movies You Can Watch For Free (And Without Ads)

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For those unaware, the Internet Archive is a great destination for movies that you can watch for free and without having to sit through ads. While there are already plenty of streaming services that offer access to free movies and shows, they all tend to be heavily reliant on ad breaks.

For many, the Internet Archive will be better known for its Wayback Machine that makes it possible to see a snapshot of a webpage at an earlier point in time. However, archiving web pages is only one of its purposes. In the same way it records websites and stores those recordings, it does so for books, software, music, and even movies.

All of which does mean the Internet Archive can be a good resource to keep in mind when looking for a movie or episode to watch for free and without ads.

Internet Archive’s video catalog

One of the first things to be aware of is that you are unlikely to find the newest movies available to stream through services like Netflix, HBO Max, and Hulu. After all, the purpose of the Internet Archive is to build a digital library and preserve content, not to function as a streaming service.

New movies and shows aside, the catalog is substantial. So much so that it can be a little difficult to navigate. For example, and in addition to feature films and TV shows, the Internet Archive also offers access to a ton of home movies, movies trailers, ads, vlogs, government videos, and more.

Some of the video categories that you might want to check out probably include:

Even though the selection of videos won’t suit everyone, it is still a good resource to keep in mind, and may just prove handy when a particular movie or show is hard to find. For example, after binging a bunch of murder mystery movies one weekend, I added 1976’s Murder by Death to my Google TV watchlist.

Google TV Watchlist
My Google TV Watchlist

That was months ago, and 204 (I counted) watchlist additions later, Murder by Death is still unavailable to watch through all of the streaming services I’m subscribed to. However, after a quick check of the Internet Archive, there it was, ready to stream for free, ad-free, and finally ready to be removed from my watchlist.

For those unfamiliar with Murder by Death, it is the Knives Out or Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery of its time, featuring an impressive cast that includes Peter Falk, Peter Sellers, David Niven, Maggie Smith, Alec Guinness, and Truman Capote.

Here’s the trailer:

Streaming Internet Archive on a smart TV

Unlike most other streaming services, the Internet Archive doesn’t currently have an app you can download to stream its movie catalog. Instead, the service is primarily accessed via a web browser.

For desktop and laptop users, this won’t be too much of an issue. Likewise, visiting the Internet Archive using a mobile browser makes it possible to watch a movie on an Android phone or an iPhone.

While accessing a web browser is more difficult on a smart TV, it is possible to cast a video from a mobile device to the smart TV, providing both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network at the time.

Once the user has found the movie they want to watch and opened it using the website’s media player, they will need to click on the cast icon in the control row.

Internet Archive cast button

It is then just a matter of selecting one of the nearby devices to cast to. This method not only makes it possible to stream to smart TVs, but also most streaming players, smart displays, and many other devices.

Internet Archive cast smart TV
Internet Archive casting

Once connected to a smart TV, the viewer can then use the actual TV’s remote to control playback. While the functionality will be more limited compared to other apps, viewers can still pause, rewind and fast-forward through the video.

Internet Archive cast to TV
Casting Internet Archive to a Sony TV

A good addition to streaming

Again, the Internet Archive is not going to replace the various subscriptions you are already paying for. It also won’t replace Pluto TV and Tubi, or any of the other free streaming services that you might be using.

However, what it is, and should be viewed as, is another free resource that’s available to you. If, like me, you have a watchlist that’s full of random movies that you can’t seem to stream without purchasing or renting, it might be worth quickly checking the Internet Archive.

John Finn
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John Finn

By John Finn

John Finn is the Founder and Editor of Streaming Better, a platform created in 2019 to help consumers navigate the complicated live TV streaming and subscription service market.

John has been covering technology for various online publications since 2014. After originally covering the wider tech industry as a writer and editor, John now spends his time focusing on the emerging video-streaming market, including live TV streaming, SVOD, AVOD, FAST, and TVOD services.

In a bid to keep up to date on the industry, John actively subscribes to multiple streaming services at the same time. However, John continues to advocate that the best approach for consumers is to rotate between streaming services as needed.

A Psychology graduate from England, who now lives in the US, John previously worked in the aviation industry as an airline reviewer. While reviewing airlines isn't quite the same as reviewing devices and streaming services, John brings the same analytical eye to all of his reviews and industry analysis, along with a special emphasis on what's best for the consumer.

Connect with John
X: @J_Finns

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