This guide covers everything you need to know about VPNs and Kodi. Let's get straight to the point, so as not to waste your time - click the links below to get the answer to your specific question/issue:
ExpressVPN is the best in the business. ExpressVPN users get super fast speeds along with tight privacy protection encryption. The speeds are consistent across all server connections, which is ideal for Kodi users, since smooth streaming is priority number one. It also helps that the actual software is really user-intuitive and simple to setup.
ExpressVPN was actually developed with Kodi VPN users in mind. They have a specific guide on the topic titled “How to use Kodi with ExpressVPN on Android.” This guide shows users how they can setup Kodi with ExpressVPN in as little as five minutes, which is a convenience that most other VPN providers don’t offer to members of the Kodi community. Their guide states that their support team is available for immediate assistance if they are having trouble getting Kodi working on ExpressVPN. However, the four steps outlined are very straightforward, so it is highly unlikely they will have any problems.
ExpressVPN users have recorded download speeds as high as 122,000 kbps. Since Kodi users need to transfer files at least 6,000 kbps to have a relatively streamless service, they shouldn’t have any trouble streaming content over ExpressVPN. Even if you are connecting to an ExpressVPN server in Kazahkstan, you should be able to download files fast enough to have a decent streaming service with Kodi, because those servers have recorded speeds over 8,000 kbps.
One of the other major benefits of ExpressVPN is that it is very well known for protecting user privacy. They have a zero logs policy, so they have no information to provide to the authorities if they were even subpoenaed. ExpressVPN is also based in the British Virgin Islands, which has exceptional privacy laws. They have no interest in responding to government subpoenas and there is very little likelihood the BVI High Court would order them to do so. This can be a very important benefit if you are watching copywritten materials over Kodi.
Since Kodi only purchases the rights to stream certain content in one or two countries, you will want to choose from a breadth of different servers. ExpressVPN users can choose to connect to up servers from over 90 countries. This gives them plenty of opportunities to stream content that may not be available everywhere. Check out the ExpressVPN website to learn more and try them out.
- 30 day money back guarantee offered
- Fully dedicated apps for all mobile devices
- Multiple payment options given
- Super fast to setup and connect to
What are the other Best Kodi VPNs?
#4 Private Internet Access
NordVPN is one of the most well established providers in the VPN space. This reliable, inexpensive service provider give users consistent speeds, albeit slightly slower than the aforementioned two providers, across all servers. Privacy-protection wise, NordVPN proudly boast zero-logs, meaning that all of your online activity is untraceable back to you when connected.
NordVPN is arguably the best Kodi VPN when it comes to speed. Independent tests have shown that it is slightly faster than even ExpressVPN, which is really saying something.
NordVPN is based in Panama, which is another country with very strict user privacy protections. Since Panama rarely cooperates with courts in the United States or Europe, you don’t need to worry about government subpoena requests if anyone alleges that you streamed copywritten content on Kodi. NordVPN also has a zero logging policy, so you shouldn’t have to worry about your privacy while using their service.
Finally, NordVPN also has some impressive security protections you won’t find with most competitors, including the CyberSec. CyberSec blocks access to harmful websites, which can be useful in case someone tries tricking you into accessing a cloned version of Kodi. It also blocks malware and other malicious content.
So why isn’t NordVPN at the top of our list, if it is possibly the fastest VPN and has a great reputation for protecting user privacy? Well, some of the other features aren’t exactly ideal for Kodi users.
The biggest issue with this VPN is that you can’t select the server that you want to connect to like you can with most VPNs. You can still choose the country that you want to connect to, which is important (especially if you need to connect to a U.S. server to access content that would be inaccessible elsewhere). However, sometimes you want to connect to a specific city when you connect.
This isn’t the biggest downside in the world. You can always change your server if you want another city or feel that the one you connected to isn’t fast enough. This can still be an inconvenience, but it pales in comparison to using VPNs that constantly drop and need to be reconnected to leak your personal IP information out of the VPN tunnel. Head over to the NordVPN website to learn more and try it out.
- Money back guarantee is given for first 30 days
- Multiple, simultaneous connections are offered
- BitCoin payment is offered, giving higher level of privacy protection
- Customer Support is fast and top-notch
- Due to super great encryption levels, speeds can drop at a times, which is not great for streaming
- Android app not supported right now
All users of IPVanish get a really great service provided to them. A huge positive for IPVanish is that they offer a really large number of server locations, which in turn gives users access to practically any and all geo-restricted content from anywhere in the world, including the notoriously difficult to access IP addresses of China. Great for Kodi users looking to access channels off the radar.
While there are definitely some benefits of using IPVanish, there are some drawbacks that it is important to be aware of as well. One of the biggest issues is that it is a U.S.-based company. Why is this a big deal? There are two issues:
- The company is required to respond to subpoenas from U.S. courts.
- The United States has a very hostile policy against privacy. There is a good chance that they could pass stricter privacy laws that would force U.S. based VPN providers like IPVanish to start logging their user activity in the future.
They still have a good policy on protecting user privacy. IPVanish have a strict zero logging policy, which is encouraging if you are trying to protect your privacy while using Kodi, especially if you are trying to access copywritten content. Just make sure you monitor changes in the political landscape so you don’t get blindsided by a new law that reverses their zero logging policy.
The other issue that we found with IPVanish is its speed. Speeds aren’t terrible by any means, but they certainly don’t compare to ExpressVPN, NordVPN or the other services listed above. They are also highly dependent on the servers that you connect to. You really need to connect to the fastest possible server if you want to use IPVanish to stream content on Kodi, because the service may have a lot of lags otherwise.
- Speeds of servers are great
- Solid customer support
- Huge server database
- All major operating systems and mobile devices are supported
- Zero logging policy is verified
- The actual VPN client is not very user-friendly
- Although good speeds, they can vary depending on the distance of the server location to your physical location
PIA is one of the oldest VPN providers around. They have had many years to refine and tighten their service, listening to their users and adapting accordingly. The speeds are - for the most part - good, although not on the level of the four aforementioned providers in this top 5 list. However, their customer service is great. All in all, you could do a lot worse than PIA for Kodi.
Just the same, there are some things that you need to be aware of. One issue that many people complain about is dropped connections. They warn that connections drop every hour and reconnect. I didn’t notice it with this frequency, but enough other people complained that it must be a valid issue. The good news is that this VPN has a kill switch to keep your personal IP and other data from leaking out of the VPN tunnel. However, the kill switch will immediately sever the connection, which means that any content that you are streaming on Kodi will be lost.
If you want an interrupted experience with Kodi, then PIA may not offer what you are looking for.
Again, we have to emphasize that it is by no means the worst VPN on the list. Overall, the service is pretty good, especially considering the exceptionally low cost. So it still earns a place on our list of the five best Kodi VPN services.
- You can use a completely free version of this VPN service that is on par with some paid VPN service providers
- When you get an account, you get free cloud storage instantly
- Very user-friendly interface across all popular operating systems
- Although great nowadays, PIA did have some DNS leaks, equally some flaws in their privacy protection
- User interface is not the most intuitive
PureVPN is one of the oldest VPN service providers to hit the marketplace. This provider offers speeds comparable to ExpressVPN while also keeping them consistent. Where this provider really shines is in its customer support and overall user-friendly interface. This is run by a medium-sized team, which also allows the service to make improvements very quickly.
If you are a Kodi user and are on the fence between choosing PureVPN or another VPN not on this list, I suggest you read their guide “How to Do a Kodi Stream with Geo-Blocked Content.” It clarifies the benefits of using their VPN service and gives some guidelines on using it for Kodi streaming.
PureVPN is also recognized for having decent download speeds. Recent tests have shown that PureVPN users can expect an average download speed of 7.52 Mbit/s, which is significantly faster than most other VPNs. If you want a pleasant experience on Kobi, this is going to make a big difference.
PureVPN also has servers in over 50 countries and the list is continuously expanding. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have servers in over 50 countries within the next few years. You shouldn’t have difficulty streaming content that is restricted to certain countries.
Update December 11th, 2017: PureVPN have recently been exposed to having some serious DNS leaks on their service, which is a big deal if you are considering your data privacy protection as a high priority when choosing a VPN to use on Kodi. Be aware!
- Encryption is top notch
- Service is improving almost daily
- Speeds are fast, great for media streaming
- Friendly interface that's easy to use and setup
- Have been known to have some DNS leaks.
- Although stellar and super smart, the customer support could be a little faster
All in all, any of the above VPN service providers will deliver the geo-restriction bypassing you require to get the most out of your Kodi service. However, where providers like ExpressVPN and BufferedVPN stand apart for the rest is in both the speed of service (to give flawless streaming) across all server locations offered.
The best VPN Kodi users can go for is ExpressVPN, however if your budget cannot stretch that far then you could do a lot worse than going with any of the more inexpensive providers mentioned in this breakdown of the top 5 best VPN Kodi users should use.
How to Install a VPN on Kodi [Infographic Included]
One of the biggest questions that people have when they are considering getting Kodi and a VPN is how they can be installed and work together. The setup tends to be quite simple overall, and you are still going to be able to connect to your current WiFi, but you can also go through the VPN-secured router, which will allow you to unblock Kodi streams.
To give you a super quick walk through on how to do this entire process, we created an easy-to-follow infographic that shows the steps while also answering a couple of common questions regarding using VPNs on Kodi. Check it out below:
Share this Infographic with this Code:
For a bit more detail on the specifics of the process, here is some more colour to help you through it...
Setting up the VPN in Router-mode (to have your entire home internet connected to the VPN):
After you choose the best VPN for Kodi for your needs and budget, you will set up the VPN router in repeater mode, which will essentially extend the existing WiFi network securely. After you have the VPN set up with the router, whether it is at home with your main router, or you have chosen a small travel router, you can then simply connect through the VPN to the WiFi and the services that you have available, including Kodi. This should allow you to stay on the web while watching and streaming anything you like, including content that might normally be geo-blocked, without worrying about your security and privacy.
Adding channels while connected to the VPN:
Adding channels on Kodi with the VPN is free and simple. This device, because it runs on open source software, does not have any channels stored in the library when you start to use it. You will be required to install the addons that you want into Kodi. While this might take a bit longer than a device that has items pre-installed, you will find that this tends to be a better option overall because you have more control over it. In addition, it really only takes a short amount of time to get new channels added to Kodi, and it is very easy to do.
To add a channel, you will launch the Kodi player. While you are in the main menu, you will scroll along the left portion of the screen until you find videos. You will then see options for File, Playlists, and Video Addons. Go to the Addons button, click, and a range of icons will appear including those for news and sports. You can also click on the Get More button. When you click that, you will have a range of channels from which you can choose, such as ABC Family, for example. Click on the channel that you want to add, follow the instructions on the screen to add the channel, and then click on it so you can install.
Watching channels on the VPN connection:
Once it is downloaded, you can click on it to activate it, and the Kodi will show that it is ready for streaming at this time. At that point, you can start to look for the content that is available through that channel. Find something that you like, click, and watch. Even if that content would typically be blocked because of geo-restrictions, if you have one of the best VPNs for Kodi up and running, it is going to bypass these restrictions. This means you can watch whatever you like.
How to Setup VPN for Kodi Fire Stick
The Firestick from Amazon is essentially a means by which you can connect screens, television and computer screens alike, to run a wide range of applications through Amazon’s helpful little device. It is possible to add Kodi to the Firestick, which is a huge boost for those who are looking to use this streaming service.
Of course, you will still need a quality VPN for the Firestick and Kodi to work properly and to provide you with a fully secure connection. Make sure they are compatible with one another. Fortunately, you will find that it tends to be relatively easy to get things set up and going.
For how to setup a VPN for Kodi on Fire stick, go through the following simple 10 steps:
- Go into the settings section of the device
- Then, click on System, followed by Developer Options
- Turn on the ABD Bugging and Apps from Unknown Sources
- Next, you will return to the home screen
- From there, go to Apps, scroll to the Collections button and click on New Releases and Updates
- Look for an App called Downloader (this is a free app, so do not worry)
- After the app has downloaded, you will open it
- Click on the browser option and change the web address to the VPN provider web address that you want to use
- Then, you can add the VPN to the device right through this browser and install it onto your Firestick
- You can then log in with your user ID and password to use the VPN while you are using the Firestick
This is a simple way to get a VPN onto the Firestick to enjoy the benefits that it offers, and even though it will take you a few extra steps, you will find that it is well worth it given the benefits that Kodi with a quality VPN service backing it up can offer.
Once you have Kodi on the Firestick you will find that you can stream a range of services from Kodi through this device and service. This includes television shows, movies, news, sports, and more.
How to Setup a VPN on other Kodi Boxes
There are many devices that you can use Kodi on other than the Amazon Fire Stick. These are known as "Boxes"
In addition, there are other types of devices that will work with a VPN quite similarly to the Kodi Firestick. They are called Android boxes or Kodi boxes, and the installation process for those, while they might vary from model to model, will work similarly to how you would install the VPN for Kodi and the Firestick. They turn any regular television into a smart television, without the need for a specialized Blu-ray player or a gaming console to do it.
Many of the Android boxes on the market have functionality that is quite similar to what you might expect from an Android smartphone. One of the reasons these types of boxes tend to be so popular is the fact that Kodi is available in most of the versions out there. Getting started and installing is very simple thanks to this.
What to do:
You will simply be able to download the app through the Google Play store, or you can download the APK file for the software directly. Then simply refer to the above "VPN for Kodi on Firestick" steps in this guide to complete the setup on any of the boxes.
All of the 5 VPN providers listed in this guide offer an app on Android are going to work with an Android box, which means you can use it with Kodi. However, it is also possible to set up the VPN manually for your network if you prefer, and you want to have more choices available to you. As always, you will want to make sure you are getting the best VPN for Kodi.
Commonly Asked Questions Regarding VPNs on Kodi
Q: Do I need to use a VPN with Kodi?
A: For those who are unfamiliar with VPNs, a common question is whether or not they truly need to even have a VPN. Wouldn’t they just be able to use Kodi without needing to go through a virtual private network? With Kodi, a VPN is not necessary. It is not something required from the streaming platform. However, it you were to use the service without first making sure that you have a VPN in place, it could cause some problems for you when it comes to privacy, security, and more.
Consider the fact that many of the third-party addons that are used with Kodi happen to make use of the Bit Torrent protocol. This has the potential to lead to copyright problems, as many ISPs will monitor for any activity that they feel might breach copyright.
Even though you do not have to use a VPN, consider some of the other factors discussed in this article regarding Kodi. It’s an open source program, which means you are going to be more susceptible to hackers, who can get a hold of your personal information. It quickly becomes easy to see that even though you might be able to use the service without one, it is always better to add a VPN to Kodi. It is a simple and safe way to stream what you want.
Q: Is using a VPN with Kodi legal?
Using a VPN is 100% legal. Using Kodi is also 100% legal.
Where things get a bit "grey" regarding legalities is when you actually start downloading and using the channels that Kodi allows you to watch. These channels in many cases are being illegally streamed from various third-party sources.
As mentioned in the previous question above - using a VPN while watching the hundreds of available Kodi channels not only allows you to protect your personal identity and location, but also allows you to access geo-restricted content and channels that you otherwise would not be able to access from your physical location.
Q: Why should I pay for a VPN when free VPNs are available?
A: This is covered in the infographic displayed earlier in this guide. Scroll up to see the visual answer.
Essentially, free VPNs are free because they are much, much, much less effective at doing their job of protecting your online privacy and unblocking geo-restricted content. Not only are 99% of free VPNs terrible at this; most of them actually sell your private data and activity to third-parties in order to finance the terrible VPN service they are offering in the first place.
Be safe. Be sensible. Use a Premium VPN. All of the 5 VPNs we mention in this guide are of the best you can use. With ExpressVPN being the best option for you.
Enjoy your VPN-enable Kodi!