FMovies is a website that allows visitors to stream thousands of movies and TV programs for free. It’s only been around for a few years, but in that time has become hugely popular. This is partly because of the number of titles it offers, and partly because it’s easy to use, and looks like a legitimate site such as Netflix.
Is FMovies legal?
That’s a tricky question, mainly because the law is different in different countries. However, FMovies has had several judgements against in the US for things like trademark infringement, copyright infringement, and false advertising. It has had to change domains, moving, for example, to fmovies.co, several times and move from country to country to stay ahead of the law. The simplest answer to the question is ‘no, probably not’.
Is FMovies safe?
This is the crucial question. After all, if it’s only streaming movies to your computer it can’t do any harm, right? Wrong, sadly. On each occasion we visited FMovies to test it, whenever we tried to watch a movie it opened a new window or displayed a pop up claiming Adobe Flash Player was out of date and we should click the link in the window to update it. This is a classic malware tactic. The only place you should ever download a Flash update from is adobe.com. Any other location is likely to download malware to your computer. None of the ‘offers’ to update Flash we encountered on FMovies linked to adobe.com. FMovies will download malware to your computer.
FMovies is not safe to use. Taking a cold-headed, common sense view, it seems quite obvious. After all, why would any website allow you to watch brand new movies for free? What do they get from it? The answer, almost always, and certainly in the case of FMovies is that they download malware to your computer and use it to either display adverts or try and extract a ransom from you to get rid of it.
What should I do if I’ve used FMovies?
First of all, don’t panic. If you haven’t noticed any unusual behaviour from your Mac or Windows PC since you used FMovies, it’s unlikely that it has come to any harm. Obviously you should avoid using it again – it’s designed to trick you into clicking links that may harm your computer, and that’s never a good thing.
As a precaution, however, you should scan your computer for malware. If nothing else, it will put your mind at rest. There are a number of options for checking for malware. If you’re using a Mac, CleanMyMac X has a malware tool that can scan your Mac and identify malware, including anything you may have inadvertently downloaded from FMovies. Using it is as simple as downloading and installing CleanMyMac X, clicking on its malware module and following the instructions. If it finds anything, it offers to remove it and you can do so at the press of a button.
You could also use an antivirus tool to scan your Mac or PC. There are several available for both platforms that can be downloaded for free and will scan your computer at no cost. Some tools will then require payment if you want to remove anything they find.
Should I use FMovies?
You’ll have to decide that for yourself. However, it seems clear that FMovies hosts malware and is a threat to your computer. In addition, it seems to breach several trademark and copyright laws in many countries, and so regularly moves domains. If you do decide to use it, despite all of the above, you should at the very least, be vigilant and not click on any link in a window or tab that opens when you visit the site.
FMovies looks like a legitimate streaming site on the surface, but dig a little deeper than the images of the latest releases on its homepage and it’s not as clearcut. As with many things on the web, if you’re not paying for a service, then providers will look to extract money from you in other ways, either by serving adverts or downloading malware to your computer. And this seems to be the case with FMovies.