Best VPN service for Kodi

If you’re going to use Kodi, you should use a VPN.

However, not all VPNs are ideal for this purpose.

A VPN encrypts the websites you browse and the information you watch, protecting it from prying eyes such as your ISP and other third parties. Additionally, a VPN enables you to access information that is often banned by your location.

We have examined the best VPN for Kodi that will safeguard your privacy and security without compromising your viewing experience. This is based on extensive testing of hundreds of different VPN services in real-world scenarios.

We’ll go through which VPN offers applications for specific devices so you can be certain to discover one that works well with your device. For instance, not all VPN providers provide a Firestick app.

The VPN suggested should ensure that you may enjoy Kodi without fear of your ISP or hackers’ eavesdropping on your behavior. Notably, we rejected VPNs that retain connection records or do not provide enough privacy and online security protection to prevent your actual IP address from being leaked.

There are several VPNs available, but we’ve reduced it down to six that we feel are the best for Kodi users. We’ll also mention which devices each VPN supports, including Android and OpenELEC. If you’re unsure which to choose, see our article on how to configure a Kodi VPN.

How to use a VPN in conjunction with Kodi

The simplest way to use a VPN with Kodi on smartphones, PCs, and streaming devices such as the Amazon Firestick is to install the VPN provider’s app. You’ll need to reduce Kodi and install it on the underlying operating system to do this.

How to configure a VPN for Kodi:

  1. Download and install the VPN client from the website of your provider (we suggest NordVPN) or an official app store (Apple, Amazon, or Google Play).
  2. Launch the app and sign in using your account credentials.
  3. Connect by selecting a location and clicking the Connect button.
  4. Once a VPN connection has been established, relaunch Kodi and use it normally. All internet traffic on your device will be tunneled via VPN.

How to select the best Kodi VPN

We rate VPNs according to a variety of characteristics to provide readers with a full and up-to-date picture of what to anticipate. Along with daily usage, we put VPNs through a battery of tests to determine their performance, security, customer service, and ability to access region-locked content. Our testing includes the following:

  • Compatibility with Kodi add-ons
  • Speed
  • Streaming
  • Protection against leaks

Additionally, each VPN must exceed our quality criteria for logging policy, encryption strength, and app design.

Best VPN for Kodi

NordVPN

NordVPN has a global network of over 5,000 servers in several countries. Numerous of them are capable of unblocking geo-restricted streaming services such as BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Netflix. Android users who do not have access to Google Play may download the NordVPN APK file straight from the NordVPN website. NordVPN may be customized manually for a variety of different protocols.

The firm employs 256-bit encryption and strictly adheres to a “no-logs” policy. The speeds are adequate, and the connections are dependable. While the default map interface may not be suitable for those that use Kodi through remote control, you can also convert to a list view of accessible servers.

Apps for Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android are available.

Methodology for VPN testing

When selecting a VPN for Kodi, users need to take a lot of variables into account. They include the following:

  • Compatibility with devices: Ascertain that the VPN you pick supports the device on which Kodi is installed. If your gadget runs Android, such as an Amazon Fire TV Stick, you’ll have a plethora of options. On the other hand, OpenELEC customers have far fewer alternatives.
  • Speed: Rapid access to VPN servers ensures smooth, continuous viewing. Slow VPN connections result in frequent buffering and lengthy load times. Increased speeds enable the streaming of higher-quality video.
  • Privacy: Strong encryption and a no-logs policy protects your connection from surveillance by your ISP, government agencies, and hackers. A VPN ensures that no one can see what you’re viewing or where you’re seeing it.
  • Capability to unblock region-locked videos: Many official video sources are region-locked, limiting access to them for people from certain countries. A VPN tunnels your internet connection through a different location, allowing you to circumvent these limitations. Certain streaming services have recognized this strategy and implemented attempts to prevent VPN users from viewing them, but the best VPNs can unblock them anyway.
  • Customer assistance: While 24/7 live chat support is desirable, not all VPN providers provide it. This is quite handy for configuration and troubleshooting.
  • Ease of use: Purchasing a VPN subscription is pointless if you’re unable to find out how to use it. The VPN we suggest, provides a money-back guarantee, allowing you to try it out before committing.

Do I need a VPN to use Kodi?

Kodi, originally known as XBMC, is a multi-platform home theater software that can be configured with a variety of content repositories, tools, and apps to create a personalized entertainment experience. It adds an easy-to-use interface compatible with remote controllers and gamepads to any PC, Android smartphone, or even Raspberry Pi.

Kodi’s true attraction is in its add-ons, which increase Kodi’s capabilities. To be specific, video add-ons enable Kodi users to stream video from a variety of sources. This category includes well-known streaming services such as BBC iPlayer and third-party add-ons that mostly provide stolen content. While many Kodi users utilize a VPN to conceal their activities from their ISP while watching unlicensed streams, there are several good reasons why everyone should.

A VPN, short for Virtual Private Network, encrypts all internet data sent and received by your Kodi device and sends it via an intermediate server in a location of your choice. This enables you to access geo-restricted content, such as BBC iPlayer, from outside the United Kingdom. Additionally, it safeguards users against specific sorts of attacks and vulnerabilities prevalent in third-party add-ons while maintaining the privacy of their behavior.

Avoid downloading APK files from third-party sources.

If your Kodi device is Android-based but lacks Google Play, installing the VPN program you want might be difficult. The alternative is often to download the APK file and enable your smartphone to install applications from unknown sources. However, we strongly advise avoiding obtaining APK files from sources other than the VPN provider’s website.

A quick Google search would undoubtedly reveal various third-party APK hosting websites. This should be avoided at all costs. Because the APKs were not included by the developers, there is a significant danger that the software has been changed to contain malware. Even if the APK is secure, it is often out of date, which means it may lack critical functionality or have unpatched security flaws.

Download APKs straight from the VPN provider’s website whenever feasible. Another possibility is to “sideload” the program from another Android device that supports Google Play.

VPN router configuration for Kodi on Roku, Chromecast, and FireTV, among other devices.

If you’re running Kodi XBMC on a device that does not allow VPNs, you may still benefit from a VPN subscription by manually configuring it on your wireless network. These steps vary based on the firmware version of the router, therefore we suggest that you Google the setup instructions to discover how. Once configured, all internet traffic originating and terminating on the router will pass via the VPN server.

If the router’s standard firmware does not allow VPN connections, you may need to change it. This is referred to as “flashing,” and it should be carried out with extreme caution. If you fail to correctly flash the latest firmware or use the wrong firmware version for your router model, you risk permanently damaging, or “bricking,” the router. Several of the most common router firmware packages that allow VPNs include the following:

  • DD-WRT
  • Tomato
  • AsusWRT

If you have access to a PC or Mac laptop, a safer and quicker approach is to install the VPN and build a wifi hotspot on it. This is referred to as a virtual router, and the vast majority of current laptops are capable of establishing one. By connecting your laptop to the VPN and broadcasting a wifi network from it, you can connect your Kodi device to the VPN, ensuring that all streams pass via it. You can find instructions for creating a VPN-enabled virtual router on the PC here, and for the Mac here. Additionally, we’ve included our Fire TV Stick VPN setup instructions for Amazon Fire TV Sticks 2nd generation and later.

Is it possible to utilize a free VPN with Kodi?

While free VPNs are prevalent, they are often incompatible with Kodi. If you’re using Kodi to stream videos, cheap VPNs lack the essential bandwidth and data to stream videos consistently. You’re likely to experience poor visual quality and significant buffering. Free VPNs often place a limit on the amount of data you may use or throttle your bandwidth.

The majority of free VPN providers do not provide applications for Amazon Fire TV or other Kodi-enabled devices. Since their customer service is almost non-existent, don’t expect assistance in finding a workaround.

With free VPNs, online privacy is also an issue. They have to generate money somehow, and many turn to data collection, ad injection into websites viewed via your browser, and other dubious practices. Several have even been accused of spreading malware to consumers.

Additionally, security might be lacking. Numerous VPNs utilize antiquated encryption or possibly none at all. They may expose your behavior to other parties by leaking data beyond the VPN tunnel.

In short, use a commercial VPN service to ensure Kodi has the performance, security, and support it requires.

Is Kodi a legal media player?

Kodi is an entirely legal open-source media center application developed by a nonprofit organization. You have every right to download and install Kodi from the official website, as well as to use any of the legally sanctioned add-ons.

It is permissible to purchase or sell devices pre-installed with Kodi, as long as they do not include third-party add-ons that stream content from illicit sources. We prefer WeTek’s machines, which include a fresh installation of Kodi devoid of third-party add-ons and running the OpenELEC Linux distribution.

Kodi users run afoul of the law when they expand Kodi’s list of supported streaming sources with unofficial, third-party add-ons or when they purchase “Kodi boxes” from third-party vendors that come pre-installed with these add-ons. These sources include pirated IPTV broadcasts, torrents, and websites that host content without the authorization of the copyright holder.

Consumers may be unaware of which add-ons stream from legal sources and which do not. This is particularly true for Kodi boxes that come pre-configured. In one instance, a man in the United Kingdom was fined £250,000 for selling Kodi devices equipped with various add-ons that streamed video from unlawful sources, despite his assurance that the boxes were “100% legal.”

So how can you ensure that you remain on the right side of the law?

To begin, understand that the XBMC Foundation, which developed and maintains the Kodi software, is not engaged in the selling of Kodi boxes in any manner. Indeed, Team Kodi has said that the boxes, often sold on eBay and by YouTubers, which come pre-installed with third-party add-ons, are “death to Kodi.” However, since Kodi is an open-source application, XBMC has no control over who installs it on what.

We strongly advise against buying any gadget that comes pre-installed with Kodi and third-party add-ons. Not only may you face copyright infringement charges, but you could also infect your device with malware that was put on the system before purchase. If you purchased an Amazon Fire Stick or other device that came pre-installed with Kodi, we suggest doing a complete wipe of the whole system and starting again.

Second, the legality of third-party streaming differs by nation. Some may be legal but require viewing from a particular country or region. Others may exist in legal limbo. As a result, we always advise you to verify your local laws and regulations and to use a VPN to conceal your activities from your ISP and other agencies.

Choosing a Kodi media center

While you may install and operate Kodi on a desktop operating system such as Windows or MacOS, the majority of Kodi users prefer to utilize a dedicated media center device. These devices are often referred to as Kodi “boxes,” and they are available in two flavors: Android and Linux.

The VPN we suggest provides Android applications in the form of downloaded APK files that you can install straight onto your device without using Google Play. While not all Android versions are the same, the majority should operate these VPN applications without issue.

Among the most popular Android-based Kodi boxes are the following:

  • Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
  • Nvidia Shield
  • Gem Box
  • Razer Forge TV
  • Matricom G-Box

While Kodi is compatible with a wide variety of Linux distributions, the most popular for tiny, low-power devices such as these is OpenELEC. OpenELEC is a Linux distribution optimized for use with Kodi boxes. While some VPN providers provide Linux programs compatible with OpenELEC, a more general approach is to setup the VPN manually. Users of OpenELEC Kodi may also connect to a VPN with a Kodi add-on such as VPN Manager for OpenVPN or OpenVPN for Kodi. Inquire with your VPN provider for the configuration files required to get started.

Among the popular devices that run Kodi through OpenELEC are the following:

  • Wetek Play, Play 2, and Core
  • Raspberry Pi 3
  • CuBox-i

There are plenty more, but be cautious of devices that come pre-installed with non-stock Kodi variants. Numerous sellers will provide pre-configured “piracy boxes” that include a slew of pre-installed add-ons. This is particularly frequent among third-party retailers selling Kodi-enabled Amazon Fire TV sticks. While these may seem like a good bargain at first since they eliminate the need for you to install Kodi manually, they often include spyware, botnets, and other malicious software that compromises your security and internet usage.

If your gadget does not come pre-installed with Kodi, you may easily install it. A guide on how to install Kodi on Fire TV can be found here, as well as a tutorial on how to install a VPN on Fire TV. These instructions should also work on other Android-powered smartphones.

VPNs for Kodi FAQs

Which Kodi add-ons are the best for sports streaming?

DAZN, Fox Sports Go, and Sportsnet Now are just a few of the top Kodi add-ons for sports streaming. Take a look at our comprehensive, up-to-date list of the finest Kodi sports add-ons for 2021.

Is Kodi equipped with a built-in VPN?

No, Kodi does not include a VPN. Outside of Kodi, you must install and use the VPN program. While using Kodi, the VPN will remain connected in the background.

Is there an ExpressVPN app for Kodi?

No, ExpressVPN does not have a Kodi-compatible app or add-on. As with any other VPN, you must install the ExpressVPN program on your operating system before using it with Kodi.

While a few VPN providers claim to provide VPN add-ons for Kodi, the ones we tried were unstable and not something we would suggest.

PrivacyExplore does not condone or promote any copyright infringement, including unauthorized streaming using Kodi. Kodi is an amazing platform for a variety of wonderful, legal internet streaming uses. Before downloading or streaming copyrighted content without permission, please examine the law, the victims, and the hazards of piracy.

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