When you decide to cut the cable and move to streaming, the biggest challenge is deciding which of the many premium streaming services to get. The things you want to watch tend to be distributed across several, which means hefty monthly subscription fees. What can you do to get access to all the content that you want for an affordable price? You can try an IPTV service.
IPTV services give you access to live TV, on-demand content from all the most popular streaming services, and even access to live TV events like PPV fights for one subscription. However, they do function in a legal gray area, so finding one that is consistent and trustworthy can be a challenge. But don’t worry, we have you covered.
As well as taking you through exactly how IPTV services work, we’ll recommend the best IPTV services currently active in 2022.
What Is An IPTV Box?
IPTV stands for Internet Protocol TV, so it simply refers to entertainment that is delivered via the internet rather than over the air or traditional cable services. This means that things such as Netflix and Sling TV are IPTV services.
But while that is the original meaning of the term, this is not how it is used day-to-day. The term IPTV box is usually used to refer to a fully loaded TV box. This means that instead of you having to subscribe to and pay for a swathe of different streaming services to get access to the latest movies, shows, and things like PPV sporting events, these are already available on your TV box.
Not long ago, IPTV services mainly sold fully loaded boxes with their application already installed. But these days, you can subscribe to their service remotely and download their application onto any Android TV box that allows sideloaded applications.
This means that the application will work with an Android or Fire TV device that has developer options enabled, but you won’t be able to get the application working on something like a Roku device, which does not enable sideloading of apps from outside its app store.
But how do IPTV boxes and services give you access to so much content so cheaply?
Premium subscription services have formal licensing deals with copyright holders to let you stream content from their service. IPTV services don’t have these agreements. Rather, they get access to content for cheap, sometimes through individual subscriptions, and then let you see this content as a secondary user by “spilling” the content over and letting you “observe” it.
If this sounds legally dubious, it’s because it is. Technically the law does not cover this activity since no copyrighted content is being downloaded or displayed publicly. But it is clear that this type of activity is inconsistent with the spirit of the law, and it may only be a matter of time before the law catches up.
Does that mean that it is risky to use an IPTV box? Well, yes and no.
You are very unlikely to find yourself in legal trouble for using an IPTV box, especially if you protect your anonymity with a VPN. Legal authorities will be more concerned with going after the distributors of the content than you.
Your biggest risk is that the IPTV service provider will go out of business and you will wake up one day without access to all your content. You would be very unlikely to be able to pursue them legally.
5 Best IPTV Services In 2022
Considering this risk, you want to sign up to an IPTV service that is reliable. To help you do that, we have chosen the five best IPTV services currently active in 2022. They offer reliable services with huge amounts of content available.
Kemo IPTV is definitely one of the slickest and most reliable IPTV services currently on the market, with access to more than 7,000 live TV channels and 9,600 on-demand options.
- Starts at $70 per year
- 24-hour free trial
- 7,300 TV channels and 9,600 on-demand videos
- Based in the United States
Kemo stands out as one of the most transparent services when it comes to who is behind the service and how it works. That is reassuring given that channel lists are not provided with any IPTV service (see why in our buying guide).
This company is based in the United States and is easy to use. Simply download the APK onto your device(s) and enter your credentials. The guide to find what you are looking for is excellent. You can also favorite content, so you don’t have to go through all the channels to get to the ones you watch the most. It also has one of the best live TV catch-up services, with a full seven days available.
Kemo also lets you restream from your own server to up to ten different devices if you wish for a small fee.
- We like how user-friendly the Kemo IPTV interface is and also the relative transparency about the service in comparison to competitors.
- At only $70 per year, this service appears cheap at first, but this is for one device. If you want to watch on your TV, smartphone, and your computer, your annual subscription will add up quickly.
Despite pricing issues, this is still our top pick for the best and most reliable IPTV service currently on the market.
Xtreme HD IPTV is probably one of the best known names in the IPTV market, and they offer a comprehensive service that boasts 20,000 live channels before even considering VOD (videos on-demand).
- Starts at $15.99 per month
- 36-hour trial available for $3
- 20,000 live channels
Xtreme HD IPTV is around the market average when it comes to price, but you certainly get a lot of bang for your buck. The fantastic interface means that you can find the content that you are looking for easily, and browsing is a relatively fun experience (this is not true of all IPTV services).
It works on most devices with an APK download and log-in, and you can try the service before you buy for just $3 for 36 hours. They also offer anonymous payment options if you prefer to keep your online activity private (don’t forget to use your VPN as well).
- We really like the online interface for this service both when it comes to the TV guide and managing your subscriptions. It is a lot more user-friendly than many competitors.
- We don’t like the way they oversell their service in terms of the number of channels available. They have just as much content as everyone else, but I challenge you to find 20,000 channels!
Despite a little bit of over-the-top promotion, this is still a very good deal when looking for a complete entertainment package.
Beast IPTV is one of the most affordable IPTV services on the market, starting at just $10 per month. It’s significantly cheaper if you sign up for a longer term contract.
- Starts at $10 per month
- 24-hour free trial
- 12,800 live channels and 25,000 VODs
Just because you are paying a little less doesn’t mean that you get less content. The service boasts 12,800 channels and 25,000 VODs. Sports fans will appreciate that this includes 380 football and sports channels.
This is easy to install on pretty much any device with the APK, and you can also restream channels to others for a small fee, which could make a nice business for big PPV events. The company is US-based, and you can make anonymous payments if you prefer.
- We like that Beast IPTV offers very affordable solutions and you can get the bare bones if that is what you want. You can just get what you need rather than having to get everything.
- Their user interface may not be as slick as some of their competitors, and we’d like to see them work on this as the service progresses.
If you are looking for an affordable service to just deliver the basics, then Beast IPTV is one of your best options.
IPTV Trends stands out for the quality and usability of its interface both when it comes to watching and when it comes to managing your subscription.
- Starts at $18.99 per months
- 36-hour trial available for $3
- 20,000 live channels
When you log into IPTV Trends, it feels very much like a user-friendly cable TV interface. And this extends to the section where you manage your account and can check for things like service outages.
It works on most devices with an APK download and log-in, and you can try the service before you buy for just $3 for 36 hours. You can connect up to five devices with your subscription, though each adds just a little to the cost. It is also one of the services with the best live TV catch-up applications.
- We think this user interface is one of the best and were very impressed with the quality of their TV catch-up, which is notoriously bad on IPTV.
- We don’t like that every small addition also sees a small addition in cost; it feels a bit misleading.
SpaceX has been in business for quite a few years, but they are still working hard to expand their customer base, including offering a three day free trial period.
- Starts at $50 for six months
- 3-day free trial
- 2,000 live channels
SpaceX feels like a more focused service. It doesn’t offer the tens of thousands of channels that some services boast, but you won’t feel like anything is missing. Their UHD and 4K channels are also impressive.
It can be a bit confusing when you sign up as there are scores of different options based on where you live and what you want. Also, some people will find it concerning that they are based in China. But the quality of the service is as good as any other on this list.
- While 20,000 channels might sound good, that means browsing through a lot of things that you don’t want to find what you do want. We appreciated SpaceX’s more focused service.
- We didn’t like how many different options there were to choose from; it just felt overwhelming when signing up.
If you are looking for a service that is affordable, has been in business for a while, and lets you make anonymous payments, SpaceX will tick a lot of boxes for you.
Buyer And User Guide
Choosing a good IPTV service can actually be really challenging because they provide so little information before you sign up. They tell you that they have tens of thousands of channels and on-demand videos, but you can’t see a list of what those are until after you join.
This is because they act in a legal gray area, and publicly advertising that they are sharing content that should only be available on services such as Netflix and Prime Video could be problematic for them.
But the truth is, most IPTV services offer the same content, which is all the popular TV channels and everything available on the mainstream streaming services as they are all based on the same model.
More important than what channels they offer is how reliable the service is. To get your head around this, you should look for recommendations. Only people who have used the services before can tell you how reliable it is in terms of uptime, video lag, and how easy it is to use.
All services work in the same way. You download an APK to the device(s) that you want to watch on, and this connects to their servers. This does mean that when it comes to TV boxes and smart TVs, your device needs to be jailbroken so that you can sideload apps since these APKs aren’t available in app stores.
This means that you will be able to install IPTV services on Android TV boxes and even Fire Sticks but not on something like a Roku box or a Sony TV as they don’t allow sideloading.
When you download the APK, you will find that there are tens of thousands of channels, but that this is less impressive than you might expect. Not only do you have channels from all over the world that you won’t be interested in, but you tend to have multiple versions of each channel. You may have an SD, HD, FHD, and 4K version of some channels. This is why some services can boast that they have 20,000 channels.
What is the difference between an IPTV box and an Android TV box?
All TV boxes are designed to connect your TV to the internet so that you can stream content directly to your big screen. The difference is that Android does this in the same way as your smartphone. You download apps to get access to the content that you want, and you need to pay for subscriptions to premium apps such as Netflix. An IPTV box, on the other hand, comes with an app already installed that lets you get access to all the latest content in one place without additional costs. These services do act in a legally gray area.
What are IPTV service providers?
IPTV boxes don’t work on their own; they need to connect to the servers of an IPTV service provider to give you access to content. IPTV service providers let you see so much content by taking out affordable individual subscriptions to premium services and then letting their feed spill over so that those who have access to their services can also see the content.
Is using IPTV legal or illegal?
IPTV services act in a legally gray area. Technically, there are no laws surrounding their work. Laws focus on the downloading of copyrighted content and public showings of copyrighted content, neither of which apply. But while the law might not currently have specific language to deal with IPTV, it is clearly not within the spirit of the law.
Do you need a VPN when using IPTV?
While you are not technically doing anything illegal by accessing an IPTV service, it is still best to protect your anonymity by watching by using a VPN, which masks your online identity and makes it impossible for others to see what you are doing online. All VPNs drain internet speed a little and IPTV services tend to use a lot of bandwidth, so choose a VPN that offers the best speeds.
If you want access to all the latest entertainment content without having to subscribe to a bunch of different applications, let alone pay for them, then an IPTV service could be exactly what you are looking for.
When you sign up to an IPTV service, you gain access to their servers where you can watch live TV, including premium and PPV channels, and stream on-demand content usually only available with premium subscriptions.
While IPTV services function in a legal gray area, the risks are minimal, especially if you use a VPN. If this interests you, check out our recommendations for the best IPTV services.