The Walking Dead is a TV series that has acquired quite a cult following since starting back in 2010. Based on a comic book series of the same name, it tells a story of survival and in a zombie post-apocalyptic world. A very popular show, it averages over 10 million viewers per episode. Here’s how to stream The Walking Dead online for free, 100% legally in 2017.
What is The Walking Dead?
The Walking Dead is a TV series developed by Frank Darabont based the hugely popular comic book series of the same name by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. It follows a group of survivors led by police officer Rick Grimes played by Andrew Lincoln who, after waking up from a coma only to find the world dominated by literal walking deads—which they call “walkers”, try to survive in the weeks and months after that zombie apocalypse, in search of a secure and safe home.
The show’s reception was amazing and season one broke rating records by reaching more adults in the 18-49 segment than any other show in TV history. Furthermore, the show, its actors, and artisans received a whopping 65 different awards throughout the years among hundreds of nominations. Now approaching its eighth season, the show has risen to cult status and has a huge fan base.
Three ways to watch The Walking Dead for free
We’ve searched the Internet to find ways you can watch episodes of The Walking Dead for free and legally. Luckily, we’ve found at least three ways. None are perfect but all will let you watch at least some of this great series.
Method 1: Watch past seasons on Netflix for free
Netflix is the best option if you want to watch past seasons of The Walking Dead. By leveraging Netflix’s 30-day free trial, you’ll be able to binge seasons 1-6 comfortably before it runs out. After it does, you’ll be able to decide if it’s worth continuing with a paid subscription. The monthly fees are quite reasonable, ranging from $7.99 to $11.99 per month, depending on the plan you choose. The higher-priced plans will give you HD and Ultra-HD.
Not all episodes of The Walking Dead are available on Netflix, though. As of this writing, it only has the first 6 of 7 seasons. The seventh season should be available a few weeks before the start of the next season, scheduled in October.
With 99 episodes having aired already, you could binge through all seven seasons in time for the season 8 premiere. You’d have to watch more than three episodes per day but it is totally doable.
While you’re trying Netflix, you might also want to check what else is available on the platform. There are literally thousands of titles available on Netflix, including several shows and films produced and distributed exclusively by Netflix. Some of their series—they call them “Netflix Originals”—have become very popular. Among them are well-known titles like House of Cards or Orange is the New Black, which won over 30 awards amongst countless nominations. Netflix also partnered with Marvel to produce superhero series’ like Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Daredevil, Iron Fist and the soon to premiere Defenders.
As for original Netflix movies, there are almost 40 of them. While they may not have enjoyed as much success as some of their TV series, some of them, including Okja, their latest film, have been met with critical acclaim. With so much high-quality original content, Netflix has become HBO’s only true rival.
Netflix is also available on many different platforms. There are apps for Android and iOS, gaming consoles, set-top boxes, and is now included in almost every Smart TV.
Method 2: Watch one episode live on DirecTV Now for free
The second method we found is to watch as they air live episodes on DirecTV Now, an Internet-based live TV streaming service run by AT&T. Just like Netflix, DirecTV Now is not free but also offers a free trial period. It’s only seven days, but that’s enough for you to watch at least a few episodes. After the trial period ends, subscriptions start at $35 a month.
Contrary to Netflix, which has mainly on-demand content, DirecTV Now’s strength is in its 120+ live TV channels. Among those channels is AMC, the network that airs The Walking Dead. If you want to watch older episodes, some are available. Unfortunately, there’s only a limited selection and the list of available episodes changes from time to time.
Besides a few episodes of The Walking Dead, DirecTV Now has quite a bit of on-demand content as well. Their website mentions over 20,000 available titles, which is about three times as much as what Netflix is rumored to have. Among their selection are shows like Brooklyn Nine Nine, Quantico, Chicago Fire or The Goldbergs. They also have movies from Cinemax such as Fifty Shades of Grey or Unfinished Business. Just like Netflix, DirecTV Now is also available on many different devices, although the number of possibilities is more limited. For instance, I don’t know of a single smart TV that comes with DirecTV Now built-in.
Method 3: Watch one episode live on Sling TV for free
Sling TV is another live TV streaming service, somewhat like DirecTV Now. AMC is part of their basic Sling Orange lineup, which is available for $20 a month. Luckily, there is a free 7 day trial period that will allow you to watch one live episode of The Walking Dead.
Somewhat like DirecTV Now, Sling TV also offer some on-demand content. The selection seems to be smaller, though. They only have some re-runs from channels they offer. And their selection of re-runs is limited. For example, they only have a handful of past episodes of The Walking Dead.
Sling TV’s offer and pricing structure are both flexible and complex, compared to the other two options. You start with one of the two basic plans: Sling Orange or Sling Blue. They differ in the number of channels each includes, and in the number of concurrent streams. Sling orange offers 30 channels while Sling Blue has more than 40—including localized sports channels—and allows streaming to multiple concurrent devices. Cost wise, Sling Orange is $20 per month while Sling Blue is $30 a month.
With the channel lineups in both packages being different, one may also subscribe to both plans and receive a $5 discount. As a bonus, subscribers to both services also get the Broadcast Extra.
Extras small themed packages that can be added to one’s channel lineup to customize programming. There are extras like Sports Extra, Comedy Extra, Kids Extra, News Extra, Lifestyle Extra, and Hollywood Extra. Each extra is available for $5 a month. Customers can also add individual premium channels at varying costs, depending on the channel.
Sling TV is not only available on Windows. It can also be used on Android and iOS, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Xbox, Roku and LG smart TVs.
If you like The Walking Dead, you might also like…
We have compiled a handful of programming suggestions you might also like. AMC produced three short web series that are available online, that cover mini side-stories within The Walking Dead universe. These web series provide additional insight and explore the lives and origins of some of the main characters in the series. There is also a spinoff or, as AMC refers to it, a companion series which is, in fact, a prequel to The Walking Dead called Fear the Walking Dead. Lastly, if you’re into zombie flicks, the Evil Dead franchise might also be something you want to consider.
The Walking Dead: Torn Apart
The Walking Dead: Torn Apart is a six-part web series that was released on AMC’s web site in October 2011, just before the start of The Walking Dead TV series second season.
This web series explores the back story of Hannah, also known as the “Bicycle Girl”, an infamous zombie from season one, who was shot by Rick Grimes in the first episode. She is one of the most celebrated “walkers” from the first season. The series explores her life before the zombie apocalypse, her struggles as the world start falling apart and her demise into zombie-hood.
The web series was created and directed by The Walking Dead Co-Executive Producer Greg Nicotero with teleplay by John Esposito. The episodes are short and the total run time of the series is less than 20 minutes.
The Walking Dead: Cold Storage
The Walking Dead: Cold Storage web series was released a year later, in October 2012, before the start of the third season. It is comprised of 4 five-minutes short episodes.
The series tells the story of a young man, Chase, trying to reach his sister in the early days of the zombie apocalypse. He finds temporary shelter in a storage facility run by a former employee named BJ. However, with a basement infested by “walkers”, Chase quickly finds himself fighting for his life.
This web series was also developed, produced and directed by Emmy Award winning special effects guru Greg Nicotero.
The Walking Dead: The Oath
The Walking Dead: The Oath is a three-part web series that was released in October 2013 on AMC’s official website, before the start of season four.
It is about the origin of the “Don’t Open, Dead Inside” paint on the cafeteria doors of the hospital where Rick Grimes awakes after the zombie-apocalypse. It follows Paul and Karina as they escape their zombie-infested camp in search of a medical station. But when they find it, it turns out not to be what they expected.
Like the previous two web miniseries, this one was also created and directed by Greg Nicotero. It comprises three episodes and its total run time is about 26 minutes.
Fear the Walking Dead: a companion series and prequel
Fear the Walking Dead is another horror drama TV series created by Robert Kirkman and Dave Erickson. It premiered on AMC in August 2015 with a six-episode run. The second 15-episodes season started in April 2016 and the third season just started a few weeks ago.
The series, created by The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, is set in Los Angeles and later in Mexico, and follows a dysfunctional family at the onset of the zombie apocalypse. With the help of others who join their group, they must reinvent themselves, learn new skills, and adopt new attitudes to survive as everything collapses around them.
With an average of 7.6 million viewers per episode for the first season and just over 4 million for the second, the series is not nearly as popular as its parent series. However, that didn’t stop AMC from ordering a fourth season to be aired next summer. As for critical reception, Rotten Tomatoes gave the show’s three seasons scores of 77%, 71%, and 88%, respectively.
The Evil Dead movies and TV series
If you like the horror/drama genre, Evil Dead, an American horror film franchise created by Sam Raimi, will likely interest you. It consists of four feature films and a recent TV series.
The Evil Dead movies
The first movie, Evil Dead, released back in 1981 introduces the main protagonist of the series and revolves around the Book of the Dead, an ancient Sumerian text, which wreaks havoc upon a group of cabin inhabitants of a wooded area in Tennessee.
The second movie, Evil Dead II, released in 1987 is the continuation of the original movie and takes off where Evil Dead left off. Like the first movie, it’s basically about Ash’s battle against demons and the Book of the Dead.
In the spring of 1993, a third movie, Army of Darkness, was released. This installment takes the main protagonist Ash back in time to medieval England. While the movie has horror attributes, it is based mainly on slapstick and action.
The last installment of the franchise is the 2013 movie Evil Dead. Considered to be both a reboot and a continuation of the franchise, the film does not feature Ash as its main protagonist and rather follows a new character named Mia Allen in her fight against demons.
Ash vs Evil Dead TV series
Ash vs Evil Dead is a STARZ original comedy horror TV series set in the Evil Dead universe. It acts as a sequel to the original trilogy. It premiered in October 2015 and up to now, two seasons have aired on STARZ with the third season set to begin next fall.
Set approximately 30 years after Army of Darkness. It starts with Ash living a seemingly ordinary life after returning from medieval England. However, he must soon renounce this comfortable life and become a hero once more. He’s joined by his friends Pablo and Kelly on his quest to save humanity.
Critical reception of the show was amazing with Rotten Tomatoes giving the first two seasons scores of 98% and 100%. In 2016, it won the Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Television Series with main actor Bruce Campbell winning the Best Actor on Television award that same year.