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Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) really is turning cable obsolete. Believe it or not, cable providers lost around 3.5 million customers in 2022 alone!
And it looks like you, too, have decided to give IPTV services a shot. But before you jump on the “cord-cutting” bandwagon with a monthly or annual subscription, you should start with something small, scalable, and, most importantly, FREE.
To help you out, I compiled a list of some of the best IPTV free trials on the market right now. Read on to see which one is worth trying!
- Trial Length: Philo and Fubo tend to offer week-long trials, while YouTube TV’s free trial is three times as long.
- AVOD Services: Advertising-based video-on-demand (AVOD) IPTV services can be a good alternative to free trials.
- Legitimacy: Not all IPTVs are safe or verified. It’s important to tread with caution.
The Truth About IPTV
Before jumping into the list of free trials, we need to cover some basics about the services’ types and clarify the legal situation a bit.
IPTV can be perfectly legal if the providers have a license for all the titles they put up on the service. Otherwise, they’re helping people stream pirated content.
The issue here is that there are a lot of sketchy IPTV apps and services out there. In fact, reports show that around 17 million people across the UK and EU used illicit IPTV services back in 2021.
In many cases, you won’t be able to tell for sure which providers are legal and which aren’t. Some even boast an insane number of channels—we’re talking tens of thousands!
Still, the risks (malware copyright infringement, etc.) aren’t worth it.
To stay on the safe side, I’d recommend sticking to the top names in the market, which are more likely to be legitimate. Think Fubo and Hulu+ Live TV.
With that being said, we can check out the different IPTV types and business models. This should help you understand what the providers are offering and find something that fits your needs.
After all, “IPTV” is often used as a catch-all term for any internet-based service that can replace traditional cable. But that doesn’t mean they’re all the same.
The most popular type is video-on-demand (VOD). This type could be transactional (TVOD), where you rent/buy titles separately, like Amazon Prime Video or Google Play Movies. However, it could also be based on a subscription model. Netflix is a prime example of SVODs.
A few VODs don’t take money from users at all. They offer the content for free and monetize from ads instead. I’ll share three great examples later in this post. Feel free to skip to the third section if this ad-supported service sounds more appealing than regular free trials.
But aside from the VODs, you also have live TV streaming IPTVs and time-shifted IPTVs. The former is quite self-explanatory, and the latter means that you get to watch episodes a few days or weeks after they air.
The fact is, the different service types aren’t mutually exclusive. Providers can (and often do) combine more than one IPTV service in a hybrid model to attract even more viewers. That’s a win for us because it means you’re more likely to find something that suits your needs!
Best IPTV Services With Free Trials
Don’t have time to go through the full list? Check out a quick comparison of the top picks:
|7 days (rare)
|No. of Plans
But those of you who have a couple of minutes to spare might want to check out the detailed list:
- Free Trial: 7 days
- Channels: 70+
- Starting Price: $25
I decided to start with Philo because there are two ways to enjoy the service without paying a cent. The first is, obviously, the trial period. However, the IPTV provider also offers free accounts with limited access.
Let’s focus on the trial first. To get started, you’ll only need an email (or a phone number), a payment method (for future billing), and a supported device. Luckily, Philo works on a whole lot of devices, from Roku to Apple TVs, so that shouldn’t be an issue.
One nice perk with Philo’s trials is that they don’t have to be second-tier. You can use add-ons like MGM+ and STARZ for a more premium experience. It’s even possible to access a large selection of feature-length films with the Movies & More add-on!
Now, we can move on to the free accounts. Those only cover 37 channels rather than the 70+ package. While you won’t be able to stream content from channels like AMC or BBC News, you do get a decent selection with USA Today, Crackle, and Vevo.
Note that Philo comes with unlimited DVR so you can record your favorite shows. Of course, if you were on a paid plan ($25 per month), you’d be able to save them for a whole year. But free accounts only get 30 days of DVR.
Just keep in mind that Philo, which is headquartered in San Francisco, is geo-locked. It’s currently only available for users in the US, Guam, the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa.
- Free Trial: Usually 7 days
- Channels: Varies by plan (200+ on the popular US plan)
- Starting Price: $74.99 (some limited-time offers might be available)
If you’ve just bought a smart TV from Best Buy, you might be able to snag a 30-day free trial. But don’t worry if you didn’t buy any eligible devices recently. You can still get a trial from Fubo itself, albeit a shorter one.
The exact number of channels changes based on which plan you’ll test and where you are. However, you can generally expect 70+ channels unless you try the Latino plan, which comes with ~64 channels only over two screens.
You need to start the sign-up process to see the free trials that Fubo is currently offering on the different plans, though. The thing is, the plan details change depending on your location. Some plans might not even come with a trial.
It’s a bit inconvenient to not know how long the trial will be until you start creating an account. However, I think the NFL coverage, stable video quality, and multi-device streaming make up for it.
Once the account is up and running, you can head to your “Account Details” to see how many days are left in your trial. This way, you can cancel the subscription before the trial is over to avoid getting charged.
Heads up: While you can always cancel your subscription, not all cancellations are the same. If you signed up for a trial through the website, a cancellation would mean losing access to Fubo immediately.
On the other hand, those of you who signed up through Roku can cancel the subscription and still enjoy access to the service for free until the trial period is up. I like this approach much better!
The service is currently available in the US, Canada, and Spain.
- Free Trial: Special offers only
- Channels: 32 on Orange plans and 42 on Blue
- Starting Price: $40 (some limited-time offers might be available)
While some Sling-compatible devices come with a one-week free trial, Sling itself doesn’t always offer free trials to new users. It’s more of a special offer.
Right now, there are no trials for the base plans (Orange and Blue). But this could change later. After all, the offer selection is always changing, and Sling TV did have a one-week free trial with add-on options before. Fingers crossed, you’ll be able to catch one!
So, you’ll want to keep an on the site and wait for them to run a free trial or at least a good deal.
In the meantime, you could check out Sling Freestream. Just as the name implies, this AVOD service is fully free. It has 400+ channels—not too shabby. However, you’ll need to put up with ads. See? IPTV providers don’t shy away from hybrid models!
On the flip side, this IPTV service is also geo-locked (US only). Plus, the Freestream isn’t super VPN-friendly.
4. YouTube TV
- Free Trial: 21 days (after a 20 min preview)
- Channels: 100+
- Base Plan: $72.99 ($22 off for the first three months)
With stable streams and real-time stats displays, YouTube’s “Season Ticket” is quite a catch for hardcore NFL fans. But maybe you’re not ready to subscribe just yet. In this case, it would be nice to just test out the base plan for a while.
From Food Network to Paramount, there’s a lot of content to watch on YouTube TV’s base plan. Sports fans won’t be disappointed, either. NFL Network, ESPN, and NBA TV are also thrown into the mix.
Much like other top IPTV providers, YouTube also offers DVR features. This time, I think the DVR will pay off nicely since you’ll have a long enough trial period to test the feature. Plus, the trial works for six accounts at a time, making it a good fit for families.
All that was about the base tier, but there’s also a Spanish plan to check out. While this one also has a free trial, the duration is much shorter, at only one week. The content is limited as well, with only 30-something channels.
Still, the plan also comes with DRV space and a six-account household coverage, just like the Base plan.
- Free Trial: 5 days
- Channels: 75+ to 140+ (based on plan)
- Starting Price: $94.98 (some limited-time offers might be available)
DirecTV has three main packages, and you can get them all for a free trial.
If your main goal is to watch local sports, the middle plan (Choice + Sports) would be more than enough. You can catch streams from NBA TV, ESPN, Golf Channel, Motor Trend, NFL Network, and much more.
If the channel list isn’t enough, you could use free add-ons, like Max, STARZ, Cinemax, Showtime, and MGM+. In fact, if you were to subscribe to a paid plan, you’d get three months of a few add-ons for free before they start billing you extra fees.
The IPTV also supports unlimited DVR cloud hours. So, you can record all you want. The recordings expire after a few months, but this shouldn’t be an issue if you’re looking for a short trial anyway.
That said, I’d like to point out that there are restrictions around trial eligibility. While returning customers could be eligible, you need at least a one-year gap between the last subscription and the next.
- Free Trial: 24 hours
- Channels: 24,500+
- Starting Price: $31.42 (for three months)
CalmaHUB is already budget-friendly compared to services like Fubo and Sling. To sweeten the pot, it also offers a free trial.
Guaranteed, the trial period isn’t long, but it’s still a chance to test the service before committing to a three-month subscription. The IPTV provider also claims their service fully supports VPN and anti-freeze technology.
As for the content, you can see the channel collection is shockingly large. You can expect TV channels from the US, UK, France, and Canada, plus 50,000–150,000 videos on demand.
Bonus Picks: Always-Free IPTVs
As we’ve seen, some IPTV providers (like Philo and String) offer free, restricted versions of their services on the side. However, other providers embrace the AVOD service and make it their sole business model.
So, yes, you could get a cable replacement fully for free—no trial-period counter hovering over your head.
Here are a couple of always-free IPTV services worth your attention:
First up, we have Tubi, a US IPTV provider running under Tubi Media Group (a Fox Corp. division).
What sort of titles can you watch on Tubi? Well, Batman, GoodFellas, John Wick, Annabell, and Last Knights, to name a few, but the list goes on and on. There are even some originals to check out. The live TV section is pretty rich, too.
All in all, Tubi supposedly has 200,000 movies and TV episodes, plus Tubi Originals and 250 FAST channels.
One thing I love about Tubi is the “Leaving Soon” section. It’s always such a disappointment to find out that a title I wanted to watch forever (but was putting off for some reason or another) got removed from my IPTV or streaming service.
If you’re like me, this nifty feature can give you a much-needed nudge to catch shows on your watch list while you still can!
The catch? You’ve probably guessed it by now—there are ads on the streams.
You can expect an ad to pop up every 15 minutes, adding up to 4–8 minutes of ad breaks per hour. That’s not too bad when you consider that primetime National TV on cable has 14 or even 17 minutes per hour on average.
While the Tubi Media Group operates as a division of the Fox Corp, Pluto TV is an Emmy award-winning service from the Paramount Company.
On Pluto, you can either watch live TV or stream a title from the on-demand section. The library includes hundreds of shows and thousands of movies, but there are no originals in sight.
Of course, since this is also an AVOD service, you’ll have to put up with ads.
One decent-ish workaround for the ads is linking up your Walmart+ membership with your Pluto TV account. The two are partners, and each month, they drop one season of a selection of six series that their users can watch ad-free.
It’s not much, but it’s at least something to look forward to every month. Keep in mind that you can get Walmart+ as a 30-day free trial as well. So, I say give it a go and link the two memberships!
3 Things to Look for in an IPTV Trial
Maybe you’ll pick a provider from my list or go with something different altogether. Either way, you’ll want to look for a few details before you sign up. Sure, it’s free, but you don’t want to waste time on a trial that isn’t a good fit.
Here’s what you need to keep an eye out for:
- Bill Total: Double-check that the test you’re going for is free and that your total is zero. Some providers have paid trials, like Xtreme HD IPTV’s 36-hour paid trial.
- Immediate Access: Sometimes, the provider will email your login details, which can take a few hours. Go with a service with immediate access instead.
- Advanced Features: Cloud DVR, electronic program guide (EPGs), and antifreeze are all great features to have in your trial.
- Device Compatibility: Most IPTVs work on Firesticks, Roku, Apple TV, gaming consoles, etc., but it’s better to double-check that your device is supported.
- Required Equipment: If you don’t have a set-top box (or don’t want to buy one just for a free trial), pick OTT-type services. Those are the ones that don’t need smart TVs to work.
Final Words: Make the Most Out of the IPTV Free Trial
Do you have your eye on an IPTV trial yet? If so, I’d recommend timing the beginning of the trial right before the weekend.
This way, you’ll have the time to put it to the test and decide if you’ll cancel the subscription early on before your card gets charged!
Michelle Harler is the founder of Guide2Free, a website dedicated to finding and sharing freebies, product testing opportunities, and other ways to save money. With over a decade of experience in the industry, her expertise in finding quality offers makes Guide2Free an invaluable resource for anyone looking to try new products and save money.