IPTV stands for Internet Protocol Television. This new inexpensive technology is replacing the traditional cable and satellite services for many families around the world.
Those who choose to use IPTV instead of cable or satellite can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars each year.
You can think of IPTV as cable television on steroids, through the Internet, but for a fraction of the price.
Most IPTV services provide thousands of live TV channels.
Some provide professional sports season passes for football, baseball, basketball, hockey, and Pay Per View sporting events.
IPTV applications are usually available as stand-alone apps that work best on inexpensive Android-based streaming devices such as Amazon Fire TV Stick and Android TV Boxes.
There are literally thousands of IPTV services available for purchase through the Internet.
This post reviews the most popular services available in 2021.
Is IPTV legal? Is IPTV safe? We will answer those questions and more in this article.
Below, we will cover everything that you need to know about IPTV in 2021.
High Speed Internet
Streaming live video from the Internet requires powerful bandwidth through a high-speed Internet service.
The suggested minimum download speed for IPTV is approximately 10 Mbps.
It’s important to note that using multiple IPTV devices at the same time will subtract from the total available download speed.
Most United States residents have access to high-speed Internet at an affordable price. If you live in a location where it isn’t available, satellite Internet may be your best option.
You can use SPEED TEST to measure your current download speed. If it doesn’t meet the minimums outlined above, an upgrade through your Internet service provider (ISP) is usually inexpensive.
Yes, you may need to upgrade to a faster Internet package for a few bucks but you will recoup that and more when you cancel your cable or satellite service.
Apart from high-speed internet, an IPTV service is required as well.
These come in all forms and we will dive deeper into this subject below.
Android-based Streaming Device
IPTV users will want to use an Android-based streaming device or IPTV Box.
Why Android? Because Android is an open system that allows for sideloading IPTV apps that might not be available through official app stores.
Apps and Best Firestick Channels.
Most Popular IPTV Streaming Devices Powered by Android
- Amazon Fire TV Sticks
- Amazon Fire TV Cube
- NVIDIA Shield
- MECOOL Android TV Boxes
- Chromecast with Google TV
- TiVo Stream 4K
- Generic Android TV Boxes
Generic Android TV Boxes are those that usually don’t carry a brand name and are running stock Android. These include the same operating system found on phones and tablets.
Many people make the critical mistake of purchasing the wrong streaming device when first getting into IPTV. TROYPOINT recommends avoiding the following devices at all costs, Roku, Apple TV, Raspberry Pi, and other non-Android systems.
What is the Best Device for IPTV in 2021?
Currently, the most popular IPTV streaming device is the Fire TV Stick 4K.
The Firestick’s popularity stems from the ability to install 3rd party apps that aren’t available through the official Amazon App store. This process is often referred to as sideloading or jailbreaking.
Some IPTV services offer an optimized application but subscribers must sideload the app onto the device.
Another big selling point of the Firestick is its low cost. As of this writing.
There are various models of the Fire TV Stick available but we recommend the 4K version due to its more powerful specs.
The Firestick also ranks at the top of our list of Best Streaming Devices.
Types of IPTV
We separate IPTV services into two different categories.
Verified IPTV Services
These are services readily available through popular app stores such as Amazon App Store or Google Play.
We assume that these are 100% legal due to the fact that they have been approved to be in these popular app stores. Both Amazon and Google would probably be liable for copyright infringement if they allowed illegal IPTV services.
Unverified IPTV Services
We then define unverified services as those that aren’t available within the popular app stores.
These are IPTV providers that require their subscribers to sideload an application that pulls in the live TV channels.
Due to the fact that STARTVLLC has no way to determine whether these services carry the proper licensing, we call them unverified services.
Some of these are definitely delivering channels that they don’t have proper licensing for.
Verified VS Unverified
Most cord cutters accessing this page are interested in the unverified IPTV services. This is where the biggest savings occurs and includes the most channels/content.
As of now, subscribers of the verified services are paying almost as much as they would have through the traditional cable/satellite packages. The big names in the business have basically moved their service over to the Internet and charge the same!
Unverified services usually offer thousands of channels, sports season packages, PPV, and more for $10 – $20 per month.
The biggest drawback to using an unverified service are legal questions and possible identity/security vulnerabilities.
We’ve seen numerous IPTV services get shut down over the years or hacked. What happens to your personal data when this happens?
The unverified services aren’t owned by a well-known company so people must be extremely careful when dealing with these unknown entities.
The first line of defense when streaming from an unverified provider is to use a Virtual Private Network or VPN.
Is IPTV Legal?
As mentioned above, some unverified IPTV services do not have the proper licensing so yes, they would be considered illegal.
It’s impossible for us (STARTVLLC ) to determine whether an IPTV service holds the proper licensing for the channels that they deliver.
Due to the difficulty in determining whether an IPTV service is legal or not, we take the following stance.
If a reputable distributor such as Amazon or Google includes an IPTV service in their official app store, you can be certain that it is legal. The same is true for Android TV Boxes which includes the Google Play Store.
Due to the resources available to these large companies, they can easily determine whether a service carries the proper licensing..
We haven’t seen a situation in which subscribers are targeted by law enforcement or lawsuits when an unverified IPTV service is terminated. How can IPTV subscribers be targeted when they assume they are purchasing a legal service?
In late 2020, Congress approved a bill that classifies providing illegal streaming services as a felony. This will do little to stop these unverified services because many of them operate outside of the United States.
People worldwide are done paying these monopolies absurd amounts of money each month. Change is definitely in the wind and millions of people are now enjoying unverified IPTV services while saving a boatload of cash.
The music industry went through this same transformation and now provides affordable options for consumers to enjoy unlimited music such as Spotify. It’s just a matter of time until the traditional cable and satellite companies are buried as well.
See our detailed guide below for more information on the legality of IPTV and everything you need to know before streaming.
The following terms are often used quite frequently when speaking about IPTV. The following glossary should help you get up to speed with the proper lingo.
Catch Up: A feature that allows you to view a past recording of a specific television show/event. Catch Up episodes are usually only available for a few days after the show has aired. IPTV services that do offer this feature usually only include popular channels. You can think of Catch Up as a time-sensitive DVR (digital video recorder).
Connection: The number of devices that you can use simultaneously on an IPTV service. Example: If your chosen package comes with three connections, you can use their service on up to 3 devices at the same time. Some IPTV providers offer multi-screen and each active screen counts as one connection. Additional connections can usually be purchased at the time of purchase through most services.
EPG: Electronic program guide. This is an electronic listing of upcoming/past shows laid out in a nice graphical interface.
IP Location Locked: Whether or not the service may be used in different locations than where it was first registered from. If the service is IP Location Locked, you may only use the service on the IP address that was used to register for the service with.
ISP: Internet Service Provider. This is the company that provides your Internet service.
M3U URL: A URL provided by an IPTV service that allows you to use with IPTV Players such as TiviMate, Perfect Player, and IPTV Smarters which we dive into more below.
An M3U URL looks like this – http://nameofiptvservice.net:8080/get.php?username=yTBvERG5&password=6578942&type=m3u_plus&output=ts
Similarly, a corresponding EPG URL is often provided as well which pulls in television listings for respective service.
PPV: Pay Per View sporting events. Popular airings include MMA, Professional Wrestling, Boxing, etc.
VOD: Video on demand. A video on demand section allows you to play movies and/or TV shows through the service. This is usually a limited number and includes most recently created works.
VPN: Virtual Private Network. Allows you to connect to the Internet anonymously by encrypting your connection. A VPN will mask your IP address and prevent your ISP, government, hackers, and app developers from logging what you are accessing online.
What to Look for When Shopping for IPTV
When it comes to selecting an IPTV Service, a little bit of research is required. Here are the things to look for before purchasing an IPTV Provider:
- Price & Payment Options
- Number of Connections (how many devices may be used simultaneously under the plan)
- VPN Compatibility (necessary for unverified services)
- Electronic Program Guide (EPG) Availability
- External IPTV Player Compatibility
- Customer Support
- Premium Sports Options
There are literally thousands of IPTV options. Many of these provide similar structure and content, but not all services are the same.
One thing to look for when searching for a provider is payment options.
Because of the uncertainty of these providers, STARTVLLC suggests paying for IPTV services on a month-to-month time frame or quarterly basis. That way, if your provider goes offline or you find a better service, you are not tied down.
Another thing to consider when choosing a service is the number of connections it offers.
Sometimes, users can view IPTV on up to five devices simultaneously, while others allow only one. (Oftentimes, different packages are provided with connection and price options)
IPTV Services come in all shapes and sizes and prices will vary. However, these usually range somewhere between $10-$20 per month, saving users hundreds of dollars each year.
Some of the higher-priced options may provide added benefits such as VOD (Video-On-Demand), 24/7 Customer Support, and more.
One of the more popular benefits of a higher-priced IPTV Service is a working EPG.
An EPG or Electronic Program Guide allows users to look up programs in advance and search for viewing content.
This is a similar guide to those available with a cable box or DISH/Direct TV installment, but for a fraction of the cost!
Many companies offer users the chance to test their product with a free trial.
Protect Yourself with a VPN
You shouldn’t use an IPTV service that doesn’t allow for you to use a VPN in conjunction with it.
Running a VPN will protect your identity and security when using IPTV applications that haven’t been vetted by a reputable organization.
In short, A VPN will make you anonymous while using the Internet.
One thing to note when testing different providers is whether or not their service works with a VPN. If the IPTV Service is not “location locked”, a VPN should work fine with the service.
A quality VPN will help evade censorship due to geographic locations, which is especially important for sports and MMA fans looking to watch the big events!
Its important to know that some ISPs block unverified IPTV services and the only way to access them is by using a VPN.
A VPN encrypts your connection to the Internet so it is impossible for your ISP to censor what you want to access online.
The most popular IPTV streaming device today is the Fire TV Stick. Learn how to install the best VPN on this device with our free guide below.
How To Install IPTV
As stated above, IPTV Services are available for installation on just about any Android-based device you prefer.
Usually, you can install these apps as a standalone APK (Android App).
For installation instructions, please refer to each service’s website for complete installation details. Simply search for the service’s name on Google.
After you register for an unverified service, you should receive an email with installation instructions.
The applications used to install most unverified IPTV Services are called Downloader or FileLinked. Your service will probably use one of these two applications to install.
If you are using a Fire TV Stick/Fire TV, Android TV Box, etc. you can install Downloader and FileLinked via tutorials indicated below.