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 PureVPN – Helpful P2P features
PureVPN is another option if you’re trying to decide which VPN to use with Kodi. The sheer range of server locations is a major bonus, with coverage in 141 countries worldwide. However, they’ve had issues with security in the past, as their records were used by the FBI to catch accused cyber-stalker, Ryan Lin.
Additional features: As they claim to keep no logs that can be used to identify a user on their website, it’s clearly a sketchy area if you’re planning to watch illegal streams. PureVPN attempt to ‘set the record straight’ in a blog post found here.
While the FBI has no interest in your Kodi and chill sessions, it’s best to stick with a VPN provider that won’t hand over your info when prompted.
- One month: $9.95
- Six months: $7.95 per month
- 12 months: $4.95 per month
For more information on PureVPN features, read our extensive PureVPN review.
#4 IPVanish – Fair Speed for a Fair Price
IPVanish makes the list thanks to their reliable speeds and their zero logs policy. It’ll keep you free from the clutches of anyone who wants to see what you’re up to while you’re online, making it ideal for use with Kodi. Pricing puts it in line with the competition if you’re looking for a budget provider, and speeds were slightly faster than ExpressVPN and NordVPN.
Additional Features: It’s quick enough for streaming with an average connection, and you won’t see any lag during your session. One big flaw is that their money-back guarantee is only valid for seven days, so you’ll have to be quick if you’re aiming to get a refund.
- One month: $7.50
- Three months: $6.75 per month
- 12 months: $4.87 per month
For more information on IPVanish features, read our extensive IPVanish 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.