So, are you thinking about using Kodi to watch your favorite show?
While Kodi is undoubtedly a great way to stream media on a variety of operating systems, to get the best from it, you may want to think about using a VPN.
When choosing a VPN to use with Kodi it is especially important that your VPN is fast enough to stream video and that it has servers in the countries you want to access.
Because of this, we have taken a look at some of the best VPNs out there to see which is the best VPN for Kodi.
Top Picks: Rated VPN Providers
What is Kodi?
Kodi is home theater software. It was formerly known as XBMC (Xbox Media Center), and ran on the Microsoft Xbox. It has evolved from those days, and is now in no way associated with Microsoft.
You can use it to view video or listen to music from sources from across the internet, as well as your own computer and network. Using the various Kodi add-ons that are available you can watch anything from Netflix and movies on your hard drive to streams from various sources across the internet.
The best thing about it is that it allows you to access all this media from one app. Another good thing about it is that as it is open source it is a completely free piece of software!
That’s not to say that it hasn’t had any negative press and/or controversy. Due to the fact that anyone can make an add-on to allow users to watch any streams on the internet, there are many add-ons that allow you to watch pirated content.
While Kodi itself is perfectly legal, watching content on the add-ons that access pirated content is much more of a grey area. In fact, you will be breaking the law just as much as if you downloaded a torrent.
Video: Kodi Explained And Setup
Why Would I Want To Use A VPN With Kodi?
There are two main reasons to use a VPN with Kodi and they are basically the same reasons as if you use a VPN to watch any kind of content. They are:
1) Accessing geo-restricted content
Accessing Geo-Restricted Content
If you use Kodi there are many unofficial addons to watch content such as BBC iPlayer and Netflix. While the service you get from these companies won’t be any different to that you receive from using their website, it can be nice to have all you content available in the one place.
However, these services still have the same location restrictions as they would if you used your browser to access them. That essentially means that unless you are based in a country where you can watch these services you will need to use a VPN with a server in one of these countries.
If on the other hand, you choose to use Kodi to access pirated video content, then you may also choose to use a VPN to hide your IP address from your ISP and the authorities. While it is by no means a guarantee, using a VPN to access content online can make it harder for people to see what you are browsing.
A VPN can help you access geo-restricted content and give you anonymity by routing your data through a VPN server in a location of your choice. When it does this, your ISP will only see that you are accessing the VPN and the website you are accessing will only see the IP address of the VPN and will, therefore, think the traffic is coming from the country that the VPN is in.
How Do I Choose Which VPN To Use?
When searching for a VPN to use, there are a few things that you must watch out for. While there are many functions of a VPN, today we will focus on those related to streaming content.
So, the most important thing if you are planning to stream video content is that your VPN provides speeds that are fast enough to stream media without buffering.
It is all well and good if you VPN allows you to access the content, but unless it is fast enough to stream it properly it isn’t much use.
Servers In The Locations You Need
If you want to access geo-restricted content it is absolutely necessary that your VPN has servers in the country that you need to access. Due to the fact that these servers can get congested or even go down from time to time, it is probably best that the VPN you choose has multiple servers in the countries you plan to access most.
It is also a good idea to ensure your VPN doesn’t log your data if you want to use it to protect your identity. If a government agency asks your VPN provider for data, pretty much the only way that it can reject this request is if it doesn’t have your logs in the first place.
As such, if anonymity is a priority, when choosing a VPN you should try to choose one that doesn't keep any data logs.
When choosing a VPN it can be a good idea to install one with a NAT firewall. When you access the internet with a VPN your connection tunnels through your router which means you lose the benefits of NAT on your router.
Checking that your VPN has a NAT firewall (or installing a VPN on your router) will ensure that you don’t access the internet without this firewall protection.
Are There Free VPN Options?
Yes and no. There are plenty of free VPNs out there that you could use to access Kodi. However, we don’t recommend this for two reasons.
Firstly and most importantly, free VPNs have a very bad reputation for stealing data and using your connections for illicit purposes. When you use a VPN all your data passes through the VPN server. This means that hackers could hack the VPN server and have access to all the VPN tunnels, including yours. Paid for VPNs generally have better security in this area, although, there are no guarantees.
Free VPNs are also potentially more likely to steal a user’s information than a paid for VPN.
As well as this free VPN software is more prone to having, at best, cookies that can target adverts to your computer, and at worst, various types of malware.
Of course, it isn’t necessarily the case that all free VPNs are bad and all paid for VPNs are good. However, the fact is that running a VPN costs money, and as such if you aren’t paying any money for it, you have to wonder if you are paying for it in other ways.
The second reason is that free VPNs often just simply don’t offer a good enough service to be useful when streaming video. We all know how annoying it is when your videos buffer and this is far more likely to happen if you are using a free VPN.
As well as this, it is likely that if you use a free VPN you may have fewer server options and less reliable servers. Both these things can negatively affect your Kodi experience.
How Do I Set Up A VPN On Kodi
How you setup a VPN to use with Kodi is basically really easy. Unless that is, you have bought a Kodi set-top box or want to use a service like Chromecast.
Windows, iOS, OSX, Android
Basically, for Windows, Android, iOS, OSX all you have to do is install the VPN on your device as you would normally and all your traffic will be streamed through the VPN.
1) Download the app for your VPN
2) Install the App
3) Turn the app on
4) Choose a server
5) Press connect
Once you have connected to your VPN you simply have to use Kodi as you normally would and all your traffic will go through your VPN.
Set-top box, Chromecast, etc (Devices that won’t let you install a VPN)
While the above was really quite a simple process, no different, in fact, to how you would use your VPN with any other program, using a VPN with a set top box is a completely different story.
Your first option is to find a VPN that has a dedicated Kodi app. However, these are few and far between and you may struggle to find a quality VPN that also has a Kodi app.
The second option is to set up a VPN on your router so that all the traffic on your network goes through the VPN. This can, however, be an arduous task for those less tech-savvy, that involves installing new firmware on your router before setting up a VPN.
Best VPNs For Kodi Use
If you want extra security, NordVPN is worth a go.
It has the Double VPN feature, that uses two servers to encrypt your data en route to the final destination.
There’s no logging here, a Kill Switch and up to 6 devices can be used at the same time with one account (with no limits). Pretty cool.
A 3 day trial is available and 30 day money back guarantee.
Owned by Golden Frog, VyprVPN is a very popular VPN service with a few nice features up its sleeve. It uses its own ‘Chameleon’ technology, that evades DPI (Deep Packet Inspection), thus avoiding VPN blocking. Think of when Netflix and other streaming providers block traditional VPNs (OpenVPN, PPTP etc). Chameleon gets around that.
It’s also provides the option of NAT Firewall, helping to stop attacks that are normally stopped by your router (using a VPN takes away that router security).
A 3 day free trial is available.
With servers in over 100 countries, ExpressVPN is one of the ‘big guns’ I the VPN world.
No free trial here, but there is a 30 day money back guarantee available.
You want strong encryption (AES 256-bit with OpenVPN), a Kill Switch and no logging? IPVanish is an option for you.
If you’re wanting free trials or 30 day guarantees, I’m afraid you’re out of luck here. There is however a 7 day money back policy to tempt you to part with your cash.
PIA (Private Internet Access)
AES 256-bit encryption, a Kill Switch, and a NAT firewall are all the features that make this VPN provider all the more popular…
It’s just a shame that IPVanish only offer a 7 day money back guarantee. We’re pretty sure it puts some people off. But hey, the short return period also shows just how confident PIA are in their product.
Using a VPN with Kodi can be a great way to access all the video content that you need. It is, of course, crucial that you choose the best possible VPN as any problems with your VPN can result in a frustrating video watching experience.
The most important thing to watch out for is that the VPN is fast enough to stream video and that it has a server in the location that you need to access. As well as this, making sure that it doesn’t keep logs and that it has an app available on the operating system you want to use Kodi with can save you a lot of hassle in the future.
Hopefully, you have all the information you need from article. Please feel free to ask any questions in the box below if you need to know more.