American Gods is a new TV series that’s based on a Hugo award winning novel by Neil Gaiman. Like many of Gaiman’s stories, American Gods is a unique blend of science fiction, mythology and action. The plot revolves around an ex-convict with a murky past named Shadow. After Shadow gets out of jail, he tries to settle down and live a normal life with his wife. But when he finds out that his wife was killed in an horrible accident, things take a turn for the weird. On the way to the funeral, Shadow meets a mysterious man named “Wednesday” that flips his life upside down forever.
The Onion’s AV Club gave its premier episode an “A-” rating, calling it “loud, lush and brazenly bloody.” Other critics also gave the series praise. Overall, the show currently has a 77 rating on Metacritic.
Three legit (and 100% free) ways to watch it
If you torrent American Gods or stream it from an unlicensed source, you may be putting yourself at risk. To help you avoid trouble, we’ve taken a look around the web to find some completely legal and free ways to check out this hot new show.
Before we Proceed
Many of the streaming services listed below are intended to be accessed by American users only. If you're outside of the US, you'll need to use a VPN. We will discuss this more throughout the rest of the article, but our personal recommendation for the best VPN is IPVanish. It's fast, secure, and allows you to choose from IP addresses in 60+ different countries. To check out IPVanish, you can click here. It's also worth noting that purchasing a 12 month subscription will give you two months free.
Method #1: Sling TV
If you subscribe to Sling you can use it for free for 7 days, which is more than enough time to binge watch all the American Gods episodes. And after you’re finished, you can cancel and pay nothing.
If you go with Sling, the channel you want to order is Starz. Starz is the cable TV channel that produces American Gods, Outlander, Crash, Camelot and several other popular dramas.
How does Sling work?
Sling is a totally legal streaming service that allows you to watch paid cable channels online. Unlike normal cable TV plans that force you to choose from only a few different expensive bundles, Sling allows you to pick and choose from various low-priced mini-bundles.
The basic plan costs $20 a month and gives you access to 25 channels. “Sling Blue” costs $25 and gives you access to 40 channels. Or, you can get every channel on the menu for $40.
If you go with the $20 plan, you can upgrade to one of the themed “addon” plans. For example, you could get the basic plan and then pay an addition $5 to get the “Best of Spanish TV” addon, which has Cbeebies, Cine Sony, and Galavision and 20 other Spanish language cable channels. Comedy and Sports themed addons are also available.
Sling is compatible with almost everything
Sling works on MacOS, Windows and pretty much every digital TV player out there: Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, Chromecast, AndroidTV, Xaiomi, Leeco, AirTV, ZTE, Channel Master and more. Sling also has apps for Android and iOS.
Sling TV channels
Pretty much any channel you can get via a normal cable subscription is also available on Sling. Sling has all 3 ESPN channels, AMC, CNN, Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, the History Channel, TNT, TBS, BBC America, Fox, FX, USA, Bravo, BET, NatGeo, SyFy, and more.
Another very attractive thing about Sling is that there’s no contract that locks you into staying with Sling after your trial is over. Most big cable companies use a contract to force their customers to keep on paying.
The main complaint that Sling TV subscribers seem to have about Sling is the fact that its interface is somewhat crowded looking.
Here’s a screenshot of it:
The interface looks nice, but the thumbnails can slow you down when all you want to do is quickly flip through all the channels.
Can’t access Sling? Try this workaround
Unfortunately, Sling TV’s license agreements has forced the company to use geo-blocks to restrict content to the United States. But if you use an American VPN server to access Sling TV, you can easily avoid the block.
Recommended Article: How to Watch Sling TV Outside the U.S.
For example, I’m currently located in Hungary. So when I attempt to open the Sling TV website, I encounter this page:
But if I login while connected to an American VPN, I can get into Sling with no problem.
Pretty much any VPN will allow you to avoid geo-blocks. However, the one we always recommend is IPVanish. IPVanish has a huge network of VPN servers located all over the world. And, they are all very fast.
If you want to get Sling but you live somewhere other than the United States, it may make sense to get an IPVanish subscription so that you can geo-hop your way into getting cheaper cable.
Method #2: Starz
When most people think about paid streaming services, they don’t think about Starz. Starz doesn’t have quite as much content compared to the industry leaders, but it does have some interesting shows and movies.
Like Sling, you can get a 7 day free trial of the Starz app, binge through every episode of American Gods and then cancel when you’ve seen all the episodes. Or, you can stay on for $8.99 a month.
Other shows and movies you can watch on Starz
As mentioned above, Starz doesn’t have a massive content library. However, it does have some very good stuff. In addition to American Gods, these are the original series that are exclusive to Starz:
- Outlander – Like American Gods, Outlander is based on a critically acclaimed sci-fi / fantasy novel. Diana Gabaldon wrote the original 8 part series back in the early 90s. Outlander currently has a 73 rating on Metacritic and there are 2 full seasons available to watch. The third season starts in Fall of 2017.
- Ash Vs. Evil Dead – If you’re a fan of the Evil Dead movie series, you’ve got to check out this TV show. It stars Bruce Campbell, the original actor that played Ash Williams in the Evil Dead movies. Critics have given the show great reviews, which has earned it a 75 rating on Metacritic.
- Power – If you like Marvel superheroes, this show might be worth checking out. As its name suggests, this series is an adaptation of the Powers comic book. Powers currently has a mediocre 51 rating on Metacritic, but Metacritic users have given it generally favorable reviews.
- Black Sails – Black Sails scored a mediocre 58 on Metacritic, but the concept seems interesting. It’s a pirate tale prequel that’s an attempt to imagine what the characters in Robert Louis Stephenson’s novel Treasure Island had been up to before the events in the book took place.
- The Girlfriend Experience – This show is about a United States presidential election and a high class Manhattan area call girl named Chelsea. It has a 66 rating on Metacritic.
Lesser known Starz TV series: Survivor’s Remorse, Blunt Talk, Flesh and Bone, Spartacus, Party Down, The White Queen, Da Vinci’s Demons, Camelot, The Missing, Magic City
Hundreds of movies are available via Starz, including Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Inside Out, Guardians of the Galaxy, Cinderella, Big Hero 6, Fury, 22 Jump Street, Tomorrowland, Into the Woods, Annie, Pixel and more.
Starz is a nice little app with lots of content and some interesting exclusive TV series. However, it doesn’t have as much content as Netflix. What Starz does have, however, is American Gods. Netflix does not.
If you live outside the US, use a VPN to login to the app
Similar to Sling TV, you can’t access Starz content without a United States IP address. One easy workaround for this problem is “geo-hopping” with a VPN. If you login to a United States VPN server, you’ll be able to use the Starz app without any issues or problems.
Method #3: Amazon Prime Video
Yet another way completely legal way to watch American Gods for free is to stream it via Amazon Video. If you haven’t done so already, you can try out Amazon Video for free with Amazon Prime. The Amazon Prime trial period is 30 days, so that’s more than enough time to get caught up on American Gods.
Of course, during the trial you can also take advantage of all the other benefits of being an Amazon Prime member. With Amazon Prime, you can:
- Get free two day shipping or same day delivery on many Amazon items
- Have food delivered to your house for free (in some areas)
- Access Prime Music
- Borrow books via Prime Reading
- Enjoy discounts on video games via Twitch Prime
After your trial period is over, you’ll have to pay $99 a year to keep Amazon Prime. Or, you can pay $8.99 a month if all you want is Amazon Video.
Geo-blocked? Use a VPN to logon to Amazon Video
If you live in a country that doesn’t have Amazon Video, just login to a VPN server that’s located in one that is. You can use any VPN to “geo-hop” your way in. However, as mentioned above the VPN we always recommend is IPVanish. IPVanish has a trial period, so you can see for yourself if geo-hopping works for you risk free. And if you use our link to sign up, you can get a big discount on IPVanish if you choose to keep it.
Exclusive Amazon Prime shows
- Transparent – This is the show that put Amazon on the map for original content. It’s completely unlike American Gods, but it’s worth a watch if you like comedic dramas. It’s a story about a middle aged father that decides to become a woman. The show’s clever treatment of a complicated topic has earned it a rating of 92 on Metacritic.
- Bosch – Bosch is a gritty police procedural that’s based on a series of books from author Michael Connolly. The story revolves around a detective named Bosch that’s standing trial for shooting a serial killer. The show currently has a 71 on Metacritic.
- Into the Badlands – Critics have said that this show is a bit boring when the main characters aren’t fighting. But if you like martial arts action sequences, it might be worth checking out. Into the Badlands has a 54 on Metacritic.
- Hand of God – This TV series is more realistic than American Gods, but it’s just as bloody. It’s about a vigilante killer judge that takes the law into his own hands. Critics have said it’s brutally entertaining at times, but a bit predictable and over the top overall. It currently has a 44 on Metacritic.
You may not get much use out of a full Amazon Prime membership unless you do a lot of shopping online. Also, Amazon critics say that Amazon’s original series aren’t quite as good as Starz.
American Gods is available via Sling TV, Starz and Amazon Video. All three services have free trials. If you get one of the free trials, you can watch American Gods for free and then cancel once you’re finished watching. Each streaming service we found allows you to cancel at any time during your trial and pay nothing.
Which method is the best?
We think that the best way to watch American Gods for free is via a free trial of Amazon Prime. Amazon offers the longest free trial of the three. The other services only give you 7 free days, but Amazon gives you a full month. Also, Amazon Prime has a ton of great benefits that the other streaming services don’t offer.
After Amazon, Sling TV offers the best deal. You only get 7 days to try out Sling for free. But with Sling TV, you can tune in to watch American Gods live. Or, you can also watch previous episodes. Additionally, Sling TV offers a very attractive reason to stay on once your trial ends. If you’re paying for cable TV channels that you never watch, you could save a lot of money by cutting the cord and switching to Sling.
It goes without saying that the legal issues around streaming and torrenting are complicated. Sometimes the streams of shows that you may find via various streaming software programs are legit, but often they are not. Also, different countries have different copyright laws. What’s considered legal in one country doesn’t necessarily guarantee that it’s legal everywhere.
To make things even more confusing for everyone, new court rulings come out every day that flip everything upside down. For example, the European Union has recently decided that streaming unlicensed content is equally as illegal as downloading it. Prior to this ruling, it was okay to watch an unlicensed stream in the EU as long as you did so in the privacy of your own home.
If you get caught breaking copyright rules online, you could end up having to pay thousands of dollars in fees. American Gods is a good show, but it’s not that good. If you’d rather not put yourself at risk, these three methods are worth checking out.