A Review of the Free Streaming Movie Website Yidio
My Thoughts on Yidio, a Free Movie & TV Show Streaming Service
Read more of this review to learn how to find free movies and to read my experience with advertising and video buffering, among other details.
Some Movies & Shows Aren't Free
Because Yidio gathers movies from Amazon, Netflix, iTunes, Crackle and Vudu, not every movie on the website is free to watch - some require a one-time payment and others require a subscription to the service.
Fortunately, however, there is a "Free" section of the site that shows just the free movies. Some of the genres you can look through are Romance, Classics, Horror, Animation, Documentary, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Comedy, Cult Movies, Western, Action, Adventure, and Drama, among several others.
You can also apply a rating filter to show just R, PG-13, PG, G, NR, or NR-17 movies, which is a unique feature that I haven't found in many other movie streaming websites.
Something I really don't like about Yidio is that even after you've filtered out the movies that cost, all the remaining films aren't necessarily free. Yidio claims that this is the case but it's definitely not.
To find free movies on Yidio, you have to unfortunately click on the movie and look for the "FREE" section under the cover image. If there isn't a section for free sources, then it's not free to watch, regardless of it being in the results of the free list.
If there is a section for free movies, you'll either be able to watch the film on Yidio's website or a link will take you elsewhere to watch the movie, like Popcornflix. There's even a dedicated portion of Yidio's website that shows you free movies on Netflix.
Yidio's TV shows are bit similar to the movies except that it's much easier to explicitly list just the free shows versus ones that cost. You can select a TV show by its genre or channel, like Syfy, ABC Family, Nickelodeon, NBC, Disney, Comedy Central, Lifetime, USA, A&E, HBO, AMC, TLC, or History Channel, and many others.
Once a TV show is selected, you can choose "Free Sources" from the dropdown box to be shown websites that host episodes for free, which is normally the website of the channel that originally aired it.
The majority of the TV shows I tried watching from Yidio did not have every episode available to watch, though there were many that had several.
Popular and newly added videos can be viewed from Yidio's homepage.
Yidio Has DVD Quality Videos
All of the movies I tested at Yidio that were hosted on Yidio's website were of standard quality, much like a DVD.
Some of the films and TV shows that were linked to other websites, and not Yidio's, seemed to be of a higher quality.
Yidio's Player Options
There aren't many specifically interesting features of the video player for movies hosted on Yidio's own website like you may find in other movie streaming services. Instead, much like Popcornflix, there's volume control, a full screen button, and video scrubbing capability to rewind and fast forward.
However, there is also a handy button you can click to rewind the video 10 seconds. This is useful if you want to replay what you just watched but without having to use the video scrubber.
You can also share the video over Facebook or Twitter and copy the embed link if you wish to embed the video into your website.
There may be more video player options like subtitles for the movies and TV shows that are hosted on a website other than Yidio's.
Advertisements Are In Every Video
Likely every website that offers free movies can only do so through the use of displaying advertisements, and Yidio is no different.
Longer movies will have more advertisements than shorter ones, but there are still multiple ones in any video you decide to watch. For example, a few of the movies I watched that were 1 hour 30 minutes long had eight to ten advertisements.
I didn't find any of Yidio's advertisements to be overwhelming, though, and none lasted too long, which is good.
My Video Buffering Experience With Yidio
I didn't run across any buffering issues while using Yidio. I tested out several videos and none of them resulted in a random pause or skipped playback.
The main reason any video streamed online will have buffering problems is if your browser, computer, or internet connection is slower than recommended, which means experience will vary from person to person.
If you're having buffering issues with videos, it could also mean Yidio's website is having issues, and not necessarily your own computer or network. Though, again, of the several times I've used Yidio, I haven't had any difficulties.
Yidio's Mobile App
Yidio has a dedicated mobile free movie app for watching videos, but because some of the content is hosted on other websites, you'll sometimes be told to install another app to watch the movie on your device.
This can get annoying and may seem like a hassle, but it's actually nice that Yidio provides one place to visit to find free movies from all over the internet.
Just like on the website, you can filter the videos by website source and show movies only of a particular MPAA rating. Among other things, you can also filter the films by premiere date and hide ones you've already seen.
Yidio: Final Thoughts
I like Yidio because it's more useful than most other video streaming websites. Instead of just showing movies and TV shows Yidio alone is hosting, it tells you what many other websites have available as well, and links directly to them, which means you don't have to spend loads of time searching through other websites for free films and shows.
I also like that you don't have to have an account to watch videos. You can open the app or website right now and begin finding tons of free content. Sometimes, though, you may have to provide your date of birth to verify that you can watch a film intended for mature audiences.
As I mentioned above, not all the movies Yidio lists as free are in fact free, which means although the site as a whole is intended to save you time in finding free movies, the fact that you can't trust the "Free" filter is disappointing.
With that being said, it's still a great platform for putting tons of movies and TV shows together in one place. If you have to click on a few movies only to find that they aren't actually free, I think using Yidio is still worth it considering much of the content is indeed free.