Kodi is an open-source media center platform, with a particular interest in streaming; Streaming copyrighted content, that is. Kodi is rife with piracy, and while its intended use doesn’t fall into that category, that’s where many users land. With any of our best VPN for Kodi, though, you can avoid these legal issues.
The full power of a VPN is harnessed when coupled with Kodi. Add-ons such as Covenant or Elysium house a library of movies and TV shows, all available to stream immediately. While it seems innocent enough, you’re still taking part in an illegal action no matter how clever your means are.
A lawyer won’t shoot you a copyright infringement letter in the mail when using a VPN, and that’s the obvious advantage, but there are others as well. Our best Kodi sports add-ons, for example, feature games from all around the world. Based on your region, you may not be able to watch these games, or ever recaps for that matter.
Geoblocking, as it’s known, is used by companies to prevent one country from accessing the content of another. Netflix only shows House of Cards in certain locations, and non-UK residents are locked out of BBC iPlayer.
A VPN circumvents these blocks. Instead of your location showing up, you can connect to any of the servers in the network to show that location instead. The best VPN providers have a large selection of servers around the world that grant access to content abroad.
Over these next couple thousand words, we’ll guide you through the best VPNs for Kodi and why you need to have one in place. ExpressVPN is the best for avoiding geoblocks while maintaining a steady stream, so take a keen look at it when choosing the one for you.
Top 5 Best VPNs for Kodi 2018
What Makes a VPN Best for Kodi
You could pick any ol’ VPN and be on your way, but you’re probably going to run into some issues. You see, VPNs hit your internet speed when you connect to them, no matter how good the provider is, and that doesn’t mesh well with Kodi.
Add-ons scrub a laundry list of sources, each with consistently low credibility, so there’s no way to know if a particular stream will load quickly or not. You need to use the fastest VPN possible with Kodi unless you enjoy watching a spinning circle all day.
Usually this means a wide server network, which has another significant advantage for Kodi: you can bypass geoblocks only if there’s a server in the location you’re trying to spoof. If you want rugby from Zimbabwe, you’ll need to connect to a server in South Africa.
Most importantly, though, we kept security in mind. A VPN is supposed to protect you in case any legal disputes arise when using Kodi. It’s dressed differently, but streaming with Kodi is still piracy.
Because of that, we ensured each provider upheld a strict no-logs policy so there’s no record of you ever connecting in the first place. You’ll go completely incognito so you can stream while lawyers debate whether Kodi is legal or not.
Best VPN for Kodi: ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for just about anything (including our best VPN for Netflix if legality is an issue) and Kodi is no exception to that. Servers in 94 different countries make geoblocks easy to bypass, conveniently placed in media hubs of the world. It’s expensive, but provides everything you could want out of a VPN for Kodi.
Speed is the most impressive, though. We observed, at most, a 10 percent decline in speeds when connected. That’s huge for Kodi, especially with the goal of a smooth 1080p stream. WIth ExpressVPN, you’re unlikely to notice a difference.
There’s also a massive server network to back it up. You can stream all the international sports you want, or find a Korean subbed version of the latest Marvel film without concern of location.
Other Reasons We Like ExpressVPN
However, there’s a lot more to like about the service. It has applications for mobile and desktop included with each plan so you can encrypt all of your connections. For Kodi, there’s an application you can install directly on the box, or one on your router for all traffic on your local network.
The company is based in the British Virgin Islands, and is the best in the business for encryption. Even in China where VPN detection methods are advanced, ExpressVPN flies under the radar.
Combine that with a strict no-logs policy and you’re protected from any sort of prosecution due to copyright infringement.
ExpressVPN is the best of the best with a massive server selection, strong security and no sacrifice in speeds. Techies will rejoice at the amount of options and attention to detail of the service despite its cost. Read our ExpressVPN review to see how it rounds out the VPN spectrum, or just try out the service for yourself with a 30-day money back guarantee.
- Servers in 94 countries
- Mobile & desktop apps
- Only supports three devices
NordVPN cuts down on the options ExpressVPN has, but at the gain of a lower price point and more simultaneous connections. You won’t get the extensive list of servers, but there are still servers in 54 different countries.
Those 54 different countries house more than 800 servers. While you aren’t optimizing speeds based on location as much as ExpressVPN, there are still plenty of choices to circumvent geoblocks.
Speeds take dip from the lack of servers, though. ExpressVPN will ensure no more than a 10 percent drop, making it comparable to your home connection. NordVPN can maintain speeds to stream Kodi without breaks in video, but doesn’t have the brawn for tasks like online gaming.
Specifically for Kodi, the service poses no issue. Streams for BBC iPlayer or Covenant come through quickly with little to no breaks throughout, even at 1080p, which is why Nord is one of our best VPN for BBC iPlayer, too.
Other Reasons We Like NordVPN
NordVPN covers all the bases with applications for Windows, iOS, MacOS and Android natively. There is an application for Linux, but it must be installed manually, a lengthy process, especially if your Linux machine happens to be a router.
You’re safe from any legal issues as well. NordVPN is based in Panama, a country that holds no law over internet services to maintain logs, and it takes full advantage of that. It keeps a strict no-logs policy, with 256-bit AES encryption to ensure you’re protected during and after the fact.
- Applications on all major OSes
- Up to six simultaneous connections
- Choice in VPN protocols
- Slower speeds
- Manual installation on Linux
Private Internet Access, or PIA, is one of the most popular VPN options on the market today. It has a minimalist design that allows newbies an easy entry point, with enough options for techies to enjoy as well. It’s also our best VPN for Linux because of its excellent client and smooth installation process.
There are over 3,000 servers located in 28 different countries around the world, so you’ll have no issues navigating most geoblocks. While the bases are covered there, speeds do take a bit of a hit.
Though not as much as NordVPN. PIA sits in between ExpressVPN and NordVPN in terms of speed, still taking a decent dive, but not one that will impact much of what you do online. For Kodi, you’ll still receive streams without buffering issues the majority of the time.
Other Reasons We Like Private Internet Access
The main draw is price. PIA is a far cry from ExpressVPN’s rates with up to five simultaneous connections, payment via BitCoin and unlimited bandwidth. You can even use those eight Starbucks gift cards you received as gifts to pay, which is a nice way to clear out the bulk.
- Five simultaneous connections
- Decent speeds
- Not much server selection
CyberGhost has over 1,300 servers in its network, and Kodi takes full advantage of that. The servers touch down on six continents, with a particular focus in the UK so iPlayer is completely viable for those outside the country.
Speeds are good, too. It’s important to choose a server with the fewest amount of users possible to get a steady stream with Kodi, but we noticed little issues either way. You may need to dig a bit more when choosing a server, but the upside for Kodi is tremendous.
It uses an anti-fingerprinting system so nothing that you do can be traced. Browser fingerprinting is one the most difficult forms of tracking to bypass, especially with the lack of options in Kodi. This system means that, even when connected remotely, nothing is tied back to you.
Other Reasons We Like CyberGhost
CyberGhost is one of the best when it comes to privacy. They publish a transparency report each year, detailing things like the number of law enforcement inquiries and DMCA requests. Their heart is in the right place, and CyberGhost should be commended for that.
There are applications for every major operating system including iOS, Windows, MacOS and Android. Installation is possible on Linux, but must be done manually. While the process takes awhile, CyberGhost has an extensive writeup detailing how to do it.
While the options of ExpressVPN and low price of PIA don’t meet in the middle here, CyberGhost is still a great service that provides plenty of value for Kodi. You can read our CyberGhost review to learn more or jump straight in with a 30-day money back guarantee.
- Wide server network
- Desktop app is problematic
IPVanish hits in most of the right areas, with a strong focus on anonymity, a wonderfully designed interface and servers around the world. It wants you to use it for Kodi, with detailed articles explaining how to set it up directly on the box.
Censorship is easy to get around with a network of more than 1,000 servers in 60 different countries. Every major media sport is hit on with honors. No matter where you’re located or what you’re trying to stream, you can do it with IPVanish.
For Kodi specifically, IPVanish has an app for Amazon’s Fire TV. Since you can sideload Kodi onto the device, this is one of the easiest ways to set up and use a VPN without manual installation.
Other Reasons We Like IPVanish
The interface is particularly impressive. The app displays all available servers and the locations of each, with suggested options based on where you’re located. You can still search and choose for yourself, with filters for region, keywords and more.
Apps for iOS and Android carry that wonderful design, optimized for both mobile platforms. This is an area where a lot of other VPN providers fall short, so it’s nice to see with IPVanish.
Prices are on the high end, but IPVanish has a seven-day money-back guarantee if you want to jump in the cockpit and try the service out for yourself. If you need a little more time to ponder, make sure to read our IPVanish review to learn more about why the service is so good.
- Intuitive interface
- Very secure
- Server filtering options
The wild-west days of Kodi may soon be behind us, but VPNs provide a way to still enjoy the streaming platform. Outside of that, a VPN will keep everything you do online anonymous, a huge plus with or without Kodi, especially in the States.
Now that you have a VPN rocking, make sure to check out our Kodi archive where we have tutorials, best-of lists and more. Which VPN provider did you choose? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.