At the end of 2017, Flixed was one of the first cord-cutting blogs to notice something fishy about the popular streaming service startup Set TV. After researching the company, we learned that founder Jason Labossiere attempted to use YouTube videos to market an illegal diet plan. Other information we found—such as the Better Business Bureau’s “F” rating—also seemed like red flags.
When we reached out to Set TV’s customer support team to find out if it had indeed purchased the broadcast rights to the more than 500 channels it carries, the company refused to establish their legitimacy. Several months later, Dish Network and others took the company to court. the to rule: Set TV has been ordered to pay $90,199,000 in damages to Dish Network.
Related: Set TV is definitely not a legitimate streaming service
Set TV is just one of the many illegal IPTV services that have been shut down by the authorities over the past several months. But lawsuits and crackdowns don’t seem to lead to a phased influx of pirates. A cursory glance around the web reveals that there are now loads of them. These shady service providers use increasingly sophisticated techniques to market to people who are tired of paying high cable prices.
A billion dollar black market industry
According to 2018 Stady Published by Canadian broadband management company Sandvine, 5.5% of US and Canadian households use pirated IPTV services. The black market industry is valued More than a billion dollars all over the world.
The fact that many people are willing to buy IPTV subscriptions has made it profitable for pirates to invest in Google and Facebook ads. Because some illegal IPTV services seem legit on the surface (with all the bells and whistles, including digital TV broadcast guides), it is difficult to prevent TV pirates from taking advantage of paid ad networks.
The appeal of a lower priced black market TV is easy to understand. according to USA TodayTraditional cable subscribers still pay about $85 a month for the service. At the same time, wages in weAnd Europe And Canada remain stagnant. On the surface, the promise of more entertainment for less money seems like a good way to save.
Authorities are hunting down IPTV scammers
Even though you may cut money off your entertainment bill with an illegal IPTV service, you will leave the bag if it disappears overnight.
After Set TV was shut down by copyright enforcers, all of the company’s subscribers lost access to the TV — and no refunds were made. Many of them likely paid upfront to take advantage of subscription discounts.
The Set TV campaign is part of a larger trend. In December last year, The Royal Canadian Mounted Police raided the home of a pirate in Canada And seized 150 pieces of devices. in Europe, Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN is training police on how to identify and track down illegal TV services.
The illegal services that have managed to evade the authorities so far probably won’t be around for long. Onsist, FAST, and Copyright Hero are just a few of a growing number of agencies that specialize in identifying and tracking down copyright infringers. They are using increasingly sophisticated technologies to shut down unauthorized streaming services.
Content creators are developing new ways to protect their intellectual property, too. Legal watermarks And digital fingerprints They are just a few of the techniques that are being used to make the work of IPTV hackers more difficult.
A legitimate watermark allows content owners to include unique serial numbers in their streams. Once embedded, authorities can use software to scan the internet when they want to check to see if broadcasts are being distributed illegally. Digital fingerprinting is more convenient because it can be implemented without modifying the source stream in any way. The algorithms that power digital fingerprinting programs can instantly recognize the unique aspects of any type of copyrighted content.
Cons of IPTV hacker
The problem of having to constantly switch between providers is one of the major downsides to using illegal IPTV services to watch TV. Some IPTV hackers inject malware into the software that their customers download. Once malware infects your computer, it can compromise your privacy or even hijack your bandwidth. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to downloading software created by a stranger on the Internet.
Some types of malware produce cascading pop-up ads that refuse to go away. These pop-ups are often associated with adware, which hackers misuse to make money using hacked devices. A new type of malware called ransomware can lock your computer forever. Other issues with piracy IPTV services include inconsistent service, limited features, and poor customer support.
How to identify a pirated IPTV streaming service
- Subscription plans too good to be true. This may be the biggest novel of all. IPTV pirates do not have to hire employees or customer service representatives or pay the license cost. All they do is capture streams from legitimate streaming services and resell them to their customers. This gives them the ability to offer dirty cheap subscription plans for thousands of pirated TV channels. Real streaming services have all kinds of expenses that hackers don’t even have to think about. In 2018, Netflix spent $13 billion Only to license and reproduce its contents.
- The brand name was not mentioned in the news. If a Google News search doesn’t return any results for the streaming service you’re considering joining, that’s definitely a red flag, too. Tech bloggers and cord cutters follow all the legitimate streaming services closely and report on every move they make.
- The list contains a large number of international channels. If a streaming service gives all of its subscribers access to channels from all over the world regardless of their location, it probably isn’t legitimate. Many channels have exclusive deals that limit their availability.
- Websites looking for hobbyists or websites dedicated to cookies. If a streaming service’s website looks generic or if you notice a lot of spelling and/or grammatical errors, it’s probably illegal.
- There is no channel list. Although some illegal IPTV services add channel logos to their websites, many simply list the number of channels they offer with each subscription option. Those that do not specify which channels they carry may be trying to avoid unwanted attention from anti-piracy groups.
- There is no website at all. Some illegal IPTV services use locked Facebook groups, private Discord chat rooms, and other closed communication channels to keep in touch with their customers.
- Broadcasting is the only service offered. As mentioned earlier, running a legitimate streaming service is expensive. This is why most of the companies are owned by big companies like PlayStation, AT&T or Dish Network and others that offer more than just streaming. Very few startups have enough purchasing power to compete for broadcast licenses.
100+ Hacked IPTV Streaming Services
If you’re considering signing up for a streaming service, check the list below first before handing over your credit card information. If you see the name of the service you’re considering, it’s probably not legitimate.
247 TV Stream
Boss Stream TV
Crazy Monkey TV
Da Fire Streams
IPTV dual proxy
Express IPTV Services (Sonic)
Greenlight Streaming IPTV
IPTV Prime channels
J&B Enterprise TV
My WiFi TV
On Time TV Plus
Alternative SFP TV
cable tv guy
X Streaming TV
XTreme HD IPTV
Four excellent legitimate streaming services
None of the pirated streaming services mentioned above have much of a future. Fortunately, there are a growing number of legitimate streaming services to choose from. A competitive market is great for TV consumers because it means lower prices and more choices for everyone.
There are all kinds of licensed cable alternatives out there now, from sports-focused streaming services to full-featured services that offer a little something for everyone. Here are some of our favourites.
If you don’t like spending money on entertainment but love watching TV from time to time, Philo is one of the best options out there. For just $20 a month, you get 58 channels. His list includes AMC, Animal Planet, History Channel, HGTV, MTV, VH1, TLC, and many other popular channels. Although Philo’s subscription price is lower, its features are competitive. Other streaming services limit you to a limited number of hours of recording, but Philo lets you record as much TV content as you want. The company is building its own social network, which will allow Philo subscribers to watch TV with their friends and family.
Related: Philo Review – The Low Cost Leader in Broadcast TV
fuboTV is a streaming service designed with sports fans in mind. More than half of the 90+ channels you get with your $55 per month subscription are sports channels. Many of them are not carried by local cable companies and other streaming services. The other half of fuboTV’s lineup includes general entertainment channels like FX, Nat Geo, Food Network, and many more. Another benefit of fuboTV is 4K. No other streaming service broadcasts live in 4K, but fuboTV does.
Related: FuboTV Review – Sports with a side of basic cable
If the idea of only paying for the channels you watch appeals to you, Sling TV might be the streaming service for you. When you sign up for the service, you can choose from two different basic plans for $25 per month — or you can get both at a discount. From there, you can customize your experience by choosing from a large variety of different channel add-on packages. The add-ons are grouped into topics such as Kids’ Entertainment, Sports, and Lifestyle TV.
Related: Sling TV Review – An alternative to cable that looks a lot like cable
Hulu with Live TV
Hulu with Live TV gives you all the benefits of Hulu, with the addition of access to live TV. No other streaming service has on-demand content like this one. Local TV station coverage is another strong point, as Hulu along with Live TV carries most of the local CBS, NBC, FOX, and ABC affiliates. This makes it an excellent choice if you like the idea of getting all your TV entertainment through one app. Another unique feature of Hulu with Live TV is the Unlimited Screens upgrade, which lets you stream to an unlimited number of devices simultaneously on your home network.
Related: Hulu with Live TV Review – A streaming service worth checking out
Alex Moncacchi is a freelance writer, game developer, and robotics enthusiast. You can find his blog about robotics news and reviews at robotfanatics.com.