With over 35-million users worldwide, everyone with an interest in streaming should have a vague idea of what Kodi is used for.
It’s a free open source media center, which is used to access content on a range of different devices, including laptops, tablets and TVs.
It started off as the Xbox Media Player in 2002, morphing into what we now know as Kodi by 2014. It’s primarily used to watch streams from popular channels across the globe via third-party add-ons and preloaded boxes. The software is versatile, and it’s able to play a range of audio and video files with no errors. You can also use it to stream content over the internet.
However, it does come at a price, as there are a bunch of security risks to worry about if you want to watch streams without a VPN.
Why You Need a VPN for Kodi
As laws surrounding the use of Kodi boxes have begun to tighten, several add-ons have been directly affected. Major third-party addon Navi-X called it a day midway through 2017, saying: “The main reason why the decision was made to discontinue the Navi-X service is the current legal climate surrounding Kodi.”
As for the user, they’re not free from being targeted. In the UK, Crimestoppers has made it clear there’s no grey area when it comes to viewing illegal streams, and they’re actively seeking information about resellers. There’s also a chance of a letter in the post from your ISP warning you to stop streaming or face legal consequences.
If you’re asking yourself, ‘do I need a VPN for Kodi?’ the answer is clear.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) works to ensure that you have a private connection while you’re online. You connect to their servers, and all the data is encrypted so your ISP won’t be able to keep tabs on what you’re up to. It’s the safest way to use Kodi, although you’ll have to be careful when selecting a VPN.
How we Selected the Best VPNs for Kodi
We’ve gone through several top providers to bring you the best VPN for Kodi. They all claim to be the fastest and the most secure, but what are they like in terms of performance, and are they good enough to use for streaming?
If you’re still not sure about which VPN to use with Kodi, connection speeds are a key factor, as well as reliability, secure encryption, and server locations that are ideally near you. We’ve looked at pricing and any available deals, so you’ll be better equipped to make your decision.
Unfortunately, even the best free VPN for Kodi will struggle to keep up with live content, while many have several restrictions on speeds and data.
Best VPNs For Kodi
#1 ExpressVPN – The Ultimate Solution For Kodi
ExpressVPN is perfect because of the speeds on offer, and they actively advertise using Kodi on their website. In practice, it’s quick and easy to connect to their US servers, and we had no issues throughout the testing phase. Encryption is handled with AES-256 keys, which are the strongest available. You can trust them to keep your data safe and secure, and they keep no logs.
Additional features: They’re the fastest of the providers on our list, and it is reflected in the price. $12.95 is expensive for a single month, so you might be better off checking out a longer deal if you want the best value for money. You’ll also be covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
If you do run into any issues, they have a range of guides as well as 24/7 live chat features to sort it out quickly.
Overall, it’s one of the best VPNs that money can buy, and we’d highly recommend it for use with Kodi.
- One month: $12.95
- Six months: $9.99
- 15* months: $6.67 *Three months free
For more information on ExpressVPN features, read our extensive ExpressVPN review.
#2 NordVPN – The Perfect Mix Of Security & Speed
NordVPN is another great provider that performed well during testing. They offer a great mix of speed and security, so if you’re planning on using a VPN with Kodi, it’s well worth looking at.
Additional features: With over 2,000 servers to choose from around the globe, it’s never difficult to find a reliable one with decent connection speeds. Their UI is intuitive and simple to get started with, and NordVPN also has a range of guides for getting started with Kodi. Their longer deals are some of the cheapest available, so it’s great value for money if you want premium speeds at a more affordable price. They offer the industry standard 30-day money back guarantee.
- One month: $11.95
- 12 months: $5.75
- 24 months: $3.29
For more information on NordVPN features, read our extensive NordVPN review.
#3 Surfshark – Affordable Plans for Premium Service
This ultra-fast VPN service offers over 800 servers in 50 countries and military-grade protection so that you remain safe at all times whilst online. With OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols, security is covered well and there is 24-hour live chat customer service, no matter which plan you decide to go for. Compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and your router, there are also extensions for Firefox, Safari, Edge, and Chrome.
Additional Features: With the CleanWeb feature you can surf the net without worrying about trackers, ads, malware or any phishing attempts. Unlimited simultaneous connections also means that you can secure the whole household for any online activities.
- $11.95 a month
- $5.99 a month for a yearly plan
- $1.99 a month with a two-year plan
- 30-day money-back guarantee
For more information on Surfshark features, read our extensive Surfshark review.
#4 CyberGhost – Fast Speeds for Carefree Streaming
One of the strongest VPN companies in the world, CyberGhost has lightning-fast speeds as well as airtight security which make for the ideal Kodi experience. With over 3,000 servers around the globe, CyberGhost offers customers seven simultaneous connections and has no issue unblocking streaming sites from abroad, such as Netflix. The interface is beginner-friendly, but if you have any issues there is live chat available 24/7.
Additional Features: There are cool features to explore such as allowing CyberGhost to discover the best shopping rates when online. One of the best features that CyberGhost offers customers is the 45-day money-back guarantee. If you’re unhappy with the service, just contact the team and you’ll get your money back, no questions asked.
- $11.99 a month
- $7.99 a month for a 6-month plan
- $2.75 a month for an 18-month plan
For more information on CyberGhost features, read our extensive CyberGhost review.
#5 Windscribe – The Best Free VPN
Windscribe offers something slightly different, as they have both a free and premium VPN service on offer. The freemium version isn’t too bad, but you’ll only be able to use up to 10GB of free data per month. (A free 10GB is amazing compared to most providers, but it won’t last long if you’re streaming with Kodi.)
Additional free features: The uncapped paid version is ideal for Kodi, with none of the limits and decent speeds. Security-wise, they’re trustworthy in terms of getting rid of your data, while their yearly deal is competitively priced.
If you choose to upgrade, this is the pricing:
- One month: $9.00
- 12 months: $4.08 per month
For more information on Windscribe features, read our extensive Windscribe review.
How to Install a VPN on Kodi
Using a VPN with Kodi shouldn’t be too difficult for the average user, but we’ve prepared a quick guide to ensure that there’s no confusion.
*You’ll need to sign up with a VPN provider and have Kodi ready to use.
Here’s how to install a VPN on Kodi.
- Download the VPN client, and open the program/app once it’s complete.
- Enter the login details you were given when you signed up with the VPN.
- Once signed in, you’ll be asked to select a server location. Go for the one with the lowest ping for the best results.
- Now you’re connected to the VPN server, you should be ready to use Kodi.
- Open the Kodi app on your device to begin using it safely.
Is Kodi Legal?
Kodi itself is perfectly legal as it’s open source software. Problems begin to arise when you throw in the use of third-party add-ons, as they’re the key to accessing illegal, copyrighted content such as sports streams and new movies.
A new anti-piracy alliance forced many third-party add-ons offline after a coordinated campaign late in 2017. They went after developers with a mix of letters and threats, successfully getting rid of a few major players.
Kodi has made pains to distance themselves from anything illegal in the past, and they can’t be responsible for what developers do with their software.
Get a VPN for Kodi
Do I need a VPN for Kodi?
As the laws regarding third-party Kodi apps continue to get harsher, and broadcasters attempt to defend their rights more vigorously, it’s best to stay away from any potential trouble. A VPN is the best way to do so with minimal hassle.
Above all, it’s worth remembering that downloading and using Kodi is legal, but rights holders will never make it easy to watch illegal streams.
Using Kodi without VPN protection is possible, but it’s inadvisable.