Using a VPN for Kodi is now essential for unblocking restricted content while also protecting yourself from ISP snooping and potential copyright violation issues.
This guide will show you how do you find the best VPN for Kodi amidst a sea of mediocre (and sometimes unsafe) VPN services.
In testing dozens of Kodi VPN services, I found that many popular VPNs do not work well. This is usually due to traffic leaks that expose your IP address to third parties, low-quality apps that crash, and slow speeds from server congestion. In this guide we will reveal which Kodi VPNs performed the best in testing, while also showing you which ones to avoid.
Important note: Streaming Kodi without a good VPN could pose a serious risk to your privacy and security. In some areas, authorities are targeting people for copyright infringement with large fines and potential jail time. (We’ll show you examples below.)
What is the best VPN for Kodi?
The best VPN for Kodi, which is based on extensive testing, user feedback, and careful analysis, is ExpressVPN.
Right now you can also get an exclusive ExpressVPN coupon to get three months for FREE (the coupon is applied on the checkout page).
There are also some other great options to consider when looking for the best VPN for Kodi in 2018.
Here are the final rankings, which we will examine in further detail below:
(30 day refund)
(30 day refund)
(7 day refund)
(30 day refund)
WARNING: Some of the Kodi VPN providers you see recommended on different websites are actually dangerous and insecure due to data traffic leaks which will expose your IP address and online activities. We will discuss which Kodi VPNs have been found to be unsafe further below.
Kodi VPN guide overview – In this in-depth Kodi VPN guide we will be covering the following topics:
- Best VPNs for Kodi overview table (above)
- Why you need a VPN with Kodi
- Using a VPN with Kodi
- 5 minute Kodi VPN easy setup
- Kodi VPN addons
- VPN for Kodi box
- Kodi VPN router
- Best VPNs for Kodi (in-depth comparison)
- VPNs to avoid with Kodi
- Kodi VPN tips
So let’s get started!
Why you need a VPN with Kodi
In the past few years, governments around the world have really started cracking down on copyright infringement. There are three major problems we see unfolding around the world:
- New laws which threaten jail time and massive fines for any form of copyright infringement, which includes accessing unofficial Kodi channels and streams. The US and UK both have laws threatening 10 years in jail for copyright infringement.
- Censorship and actively blocking access to websites, Kodi add-ons, and streams. This is a huge problem in the UK and Australia. The blocks are often carried out by your internet service provider (ISP) on behalf of the copyright holders (industry) – but a VPN will easily get around these blocks.
- Lawsuits, DMCA notices, and other legal action for alleged copyright violations. This is a rapidly growing industry whereby “copyright trolls” (lawyers) target Kodi users with threatening notices and demanding you pay up (settle the suit) or face even higher fines. The scary thing here is that your internet provider will gladly hand over evidence of your online activity (if you’re not using a VPN).
Here are just a few recent headlines to illustrate the trends we see unfolding:
And here was a recent headline warning Kodi users in the United Kingdom:
Fortunately, a good VPN is the solution to these risks because it will encrypt and anonymize your internet connection, while also giving you full access to all Kodi streams and third-party add-ons.
Disclaimer: Restore Privacy does not condone copyright infringement. We recommend VPNs and other privacy tools to improve the user’s privacy and security, which will also protect them from other known risks.
Using a VPN with Kodi
A VPN is the ultimate solution for Kodi streaming and protecting yourself from the risks above. A good VPN service will allow you to easily:
1. Encrypt and anonymize your online activity
A Kodi VPN will encrypt and anonymize all your internet traffic. This means that your internet service provider, authorities, hackers, and various third parties will not be able to spy on your browsing and online activities because your traffic is unreadable (thanks to encryption).
The graphic above from ExpressVPN illustrates how a VPN protects your traffic from third parties, such as copyright trolls.
2. Access blocked Kodi addons
Chances are, many of the Kodi add-ons you want to access may be blocked by your internet service provider. This is especially the case in the UK, but it’s being slowly rolled out elsewhere too. To get around this problem, simply connect to a VPN server and access any blocked Kodi add-on or stream.
With any of the recommended Kodi VPNs on this page, you will have instant access to a worldwide network of servers. Since these are regional restrictions, connecting to a VPN server outside your country will unlock whatever you need.
This is the exact same technique used by people in China to access blocked websites.
3. Stay safe online
A VPN is an important security tool to protect your data whenever you are online – whether you are streaming Kodi or not. Hackers regularly exploit public wireless – such as in cafes, airports, and hotels. Using public WiFi without a VPN leaves you exposed to these risks, which could result in identify theft, fraud, or personal documents/passwords being stolen.
VPN services are also necessary for privacy since your online activities are being tracked and recorded by various third parties. A VPN will give you the online privacy you need when streaming Kodi.
Is a VPN with Kodi legal?
Perhaps you are thinking: ‘Sounds great, but is this all legal?’
Yes. VPNs are perfectly legal and are used as a basic privacy and security tools by thousands of private individuals and business every day. We see VPN services becoming mainstream all around the world. That being said, what you do with your VPN would fall under the laws of the country you are in.
Kodi streaming can be a grey area when it comes to copyright infringement and DMCA issues. While many streams are perfectly legal, others scrape content from unofficial sources. Nonetheless, we still strongly recommend always using a VPN with Kodi to stay safe and allow you to stream with privacy and security.
What streams you access is entirely your business. But never forget, you have a fundamental right to privacy, which extends to all your Kodi streaming!
How to use a VPN for Kodi streaming
Setting up a VPN for Kodi is quick and easy if you are using a good VPN service provider. The Kodi VPNs recommended on this page all provide custom apps you can use on different operating systems and devices. This makes it easy to download and setup a VPN in just a few minutes.
To use a VPN with Kodi you basically have two different methods.
Method 1: Using a VPN to stream with Kodi separately
Using a VPN with Kodi separately just means your VPN is running in the background, encrypting all your internet traffic, while you stream with Kodi as normal. This is the most common option that will work well on many different platforms and devices. It also offers the most security against leaks by keeping your data completely secure through the native VPN application. We will go over setup instructions in the Kodi VPN Setup section below.
Method 2: Using a VPN within Kodi via add-ons/apps
Using a VPN within Kodi via addons or apps is not an option for most devices (as of now). This VPN Kodi setup is limited to Linux-based platforms (OpenELEC and LibreELEC), Mac OS, and Raspberry Pi 3. We will cover setup steps in the Kodi VPN Addon section below.
5 minute Kodi VPN setup
The steps below will show you how to install a VPN for Kodi. With this setup, your VPN will be running in the background and encrypting all internet traffic (using the VPN app) while you stream with Kodi as normal.
You can use Kodi on the following platforms:
- Windows – See the official Kodi downloads page.
- Mac OS – See the official Kodi downloads page.
- Android – Available on the Google Play Store or via manual APK installation.
- iOS – See the official Kodi downloads page for jailbroken installation.
- Linux – See the official Kodi downloads page.
And finally, you can also use Kodi on the following devices:
- Nvidia Shield – To use Kodi on Nvidia Shield, simply download the Kodi Android app.
- Amazon Fire Stick – To use Kodi on your Fire Stick, check out this guide.
- Chromebox – To use Kodi on Chromebox, check out this guide.
- Google Nexus Player – To install on Google Nexus Play you will need a separate installer – see here.
OK, so you have Kodi setup and working on one of the devices/platforms above. Now let’s use Kodi with a VPN by following these four steps:
Step 1: Subscribe to a good VPN service
In this tutorial, we will be using ExpressVPN because it offers the largest selection of Kodi apps that are reliable and secure. It is the best VPN for Kodi in 2018 based on the most recent test results.
Step 2: Install the VPN app for Kodi
The next step is to simply install the VPN application on the device you will be using to stream Kodi.
Note – If you are using one of the many Android-based Kodi boxes, you can simply install the Android VPN app on the device. If you have questions, simply ask ExpressVPN’s 24/7 live chat support, and they will walk you through the installation process.
Setting up a VPN for Kodi will be different depending on the device you are using.
Step 3: Connect to a VPN server
After installing the VPN on your Kodi device, the next step is to login and connect to a VPN server.
Tip – Connecting to the nearest server possible will maximize both speed and reliability. If streams or websites are blocked in your country, connecting to a server in a nearby country should get around these restrictions.
With your VPN connection activated, you are now ready to stream with Kodi.
Step 4: Open Kodi and enjoy your streaming
Now that you have your VPN connected, you can stream anything you want with full privacy protection. Everything you stream on Kodi will be encrypted and secured by your VPN, making your online activities unreadable to third parties.
As you can see, using Kodi with a VPN is actually quite simple.
Kodi VPN addon
Another way to use a VPN with Kodi is through addons. With this option, you can control your VPN from within Kodi. Unfortunately, however, this setup is limited to only a few platforms (listed below).
Another major drawback is that this method is generally less secure than using a dedicated VPN app outside of Kodi. That’s because dedicated VPN apps offer stronger privacy and security features to protect your data and these features will not be accessible when used within Kodi. And finally, setup will likely be more complex.
Below we will discuss two options for using Kodi VPN addons.
OpenVPN for Kodi
The OpenVPN for Kodi addon from Brian Hornsby is one option. This open-source VPN add-on seems to work alright and does not require you to download any repositories.
Unfortunately, the OpenVPN for Kodi add-on is limited to the following platforms:
- Mac OS
- Raspberry Pi 3 (Linux)
Zomboided VPN Manager
The Zomboided VPN Manager is another option for controlling your VPN directly from within Kodi.
This VPN addon supports many different services (including all VPNs recommended on this page). The Zomboided VPN Manager works with OpenVPN and can be used on the following operating systems:
- LibreELEC (7.x onwards)
- OpenELEC (5 onwards)
- Other Linux-based installs (e.g. OSMC)
- Windows (Windows 7 tested)
Unfortunately, the Zomboided VPN manager is limited to only these platforms. Consequently, you won’t be able to use it with most Kodi boxes, which run on Android. The GitHub page also lists all of the VPNs that have been tested and found to work with this VPN addon.
Below are the basic steps for installing up Zomboided VPN Manager on Kodi. (Note: these are general instructions – the exact steps may be different for your situation and setup. See the Zomboided GitHub page for more info.)
- Download the Zomboided repository and transfer it to your device for uploading to Kodi.
- On Kodi, open SYSTEM > Add-ons > Install from zip file
- Navigate to where you downloaded the Zomboided repository, and then select it.
- Wait for the add-on enabled notification, then select Install from repository > Zomboided Add-on Repository > Services > Install. Now wait for the add-on enabled notification (it make take some time).
- In the VPN Configuration Window select your VPN provider, then enter your VPN username and password for authentication.
- Select the VPN Connection tab, select First VPN connection (optionally used to auto connect during boot).
- A pop-up window should appear and you will be able to select the location to connect to.
- The option Second VPN connection should appear. This will allow you to add different VPN server locations. The same applies for more connections, with up to 10 different VPN locations.
Kodi VPN add-ons conclusion – Installing VPN addons inside Kodi can sometimes be tricky – but it all depends on your setup. If you are having trouble installing one of these Kodi VPN addons, you may just want to use Kodi and your VPN service separately (method 1 from above).
VPN for Kodi box
Many people enjoy streaming Kodi through a Kodi TV box. Installing a VPN on a Kodi TV box is quite easy in most cases. This allows you to unlock any blocked or restricted add-ons, while protecting your privacy at the same time.
The most popular TV boxes are those based on Android.
Android Kodi Boxes
When it comes to using a Kodi box with a VPN, Android-based boxes are a great choice. First, there is a very large selection of high-quality, high-performance Android Kodi boxes on the market. Second, using a VPN directly on your Android box is usually pretty simple. That’s because all of the VPNs on this page provide Android VPN apps that you can easily configure onto your Kodi box.
Below are some of the best Android-based Kodi boxes that can be used with a VPN:
- Amazon Fire TV – Runs on a modified version of Android.
- Amazon Fire Stick (Only second generation or later will work with a VPN)
- Nvidia Shield TV Pro (see also the non-Pro version here)
Here is a quick setup video for installing ExpressVPN with Nvidia Shield:
ExpressVPN Setup for Nvidia Shield.
There are also setup videos for Fire Stick and other devices on the ExpressVPN website.
Kodi VPN router
Using a VPN on a router is another smart option for Kodi streamers. A good VPN router setup allows you to:
- Secure your entire network and all devices with the VPN (everything that connects to your router).
- Use any Kodi box or other streaming option without having to install any VPN software on the device.
- Have more flexibility with your home network by having one regular (unencrypted) router and one VPN router for Kodi streaming (with the two router VPN setup explained here).
VPN routers can get somewhat complex, depending on your setup. Check out the VPN router guide for more information.
Best Kodi VPNs for streaming in 2018
Now we will check out the best VPN providers for Kodi.
All of the VPNs below were tested and found to be fast, secure, and ideal for Kodi streaming.
ExpressVPN earns the top spot as the best VPN for Kodi. ExpressVPN gives you the largest selection of high-quality apps that can be used on all devices (Android Kodi boxes, Windows, Mac OS, iOS, routers, and more). All plans come with a 30 day money-back guarantee as well as premium 24/7 live chat support.
Aside from just streaming, ExpressVPN is an excellent VPN service that can be used for many other purposes. Whether you want more privacy and security online or access to unblock websites, ExpressVPN is a solid choice. ExpressVPN’s applications come with a great lineup of privacy and security features. These features include smart DNS and IP leak protection, a good kill switch (network lock), and secure servers to keep your data safe.
ExpressVPN is also a great VPN for Netflix and other streaming services such as BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Sky Go.
- User-friendly and reliable apps
- Exceptional speeds throughout the server network
- 30 day money-back guarantee
- Split tunneling feature (for Mac OS, Windows, and routers)
- Works with Netflix and other streaming services
- 24/7 live chat support
- Slightly more expensive (but currently offering a 49% discount)
Passed all tests
Another solid choice for Kodi is NordVPN. It is based in Panama and offers a huge server network and decent apps for a very competitive price. In testing out NordVPN for the latest update to the review, I found everything to work well without any major issues or concerns. NordVPN offers some great privacy features, including double-hop VPN configurations, Tor-over-VPN servers, and an ad blocker.
NordVPN’s updated server network is good for streaming Kodi, although I found the speeds to be somewhat variable with different servers. If speed is a primary concern, ExpressVPN or IPVanish would probably be better choices. NordVPN is still a great option, however, with excellent 24/7 live chat support and a 30 day money-back guarantee.
77% NordVPN discount – NordVPN is still offering a massive 77% discount which drops the price down to $2.75 per month (making this the cheapest Kodi VPN we recommend). You can get the exclusive 77% discount here >>
- 30 day money-back guarantee
- Double-hop VPN servers
- 24/7 live chat support
- No logs
- Competitive price
- Ad blocking feature
- Variable speeds with some servers
Passed all tests
The third Kodi VPN that earned a recommendation is VPNArea. This Bulgaria-based provider performed well in the latest update to the VPNArea review. VPNArea gives you great speed and excellent applications with great leak protection features.
VPNArea also continues to work well with Netflix, BBC iPlayer and other streaming options. For privacy, VPNArea is a zero logs company with good privacy features and ad blocking DNS servers. With every subscription, you get a 7 day money-back guarantee as well as 24/7 live chat support.
- Zero logs
- Excellent speed and reliability
- Works with Netflix and BBC iPlayer
- Anonymous payment options
- Strong security features, with self-hosted DNS
- Ad blocking
- Dedicated IP addresses available
- Large server network
- 24/7 live chat support
- Limited number of Netflix streaming servers (but still works well)
6 (can be shared with others)
Passed all tests.
2 server configs
The final VPN for Kodi we will check out is VyprVPN. VyprVPN is a Switzerland-based provider that offers very secure applications and great performance. It’s a great choice for Kodi streaming due to the performance aspect and large selection of applications. VyprVPN owns ever server in their network, which is a benefit for both performance and security.
It is one of the faster VPNs I have tested, which makes it popular for streaming both Netflix and Kodi. VyprVPN is also very affordable with the current discount below, dropping the prices down to only $3.75 per month for the basic plan, or $5.00 per month for the premium plan.
25% YyprVPN discount – VyprVPN is currently offering this 25% discount on all plans >>
- Entirely self-owned and operated server network, including secure DNS
- Excellent network security
- Great speeds and reliability
- Obfuscation features to defeat VPN blocking (Chameleon protocol)
- User-friendly applications for many devices/platforms
- Minimal connection logs (no activity, erased every 30 days)
- Torrenting (P2P downloads) discouraged
Passed all tests.
*VyprVPN deletes all connection data after 30 days.
VPNs to AVOID with Kodi
As you know by now, streaming Kodi with unofficial addons can sometimes be risky business. Consequently, it is very important to use a safe, secure, and reliable VPN service. After all, a VPN that leaks your data will leave you exposed.
Here are a few different VPNs that you may want to avoid – for various reasons.
PureVPN – PureVPN is a service that markets itself as a privacy-focused VPN with a “zero logs policy”. Unfortunately, PureVPN was found to be logging customer data and providing this to the FBI (US authorities). Also concerning, when I tested PureVPN’s applications I found them to leak IPv4 addresses, IPv6 addresses, and DNS requests. The PureVPN review explains all the problems I found in detail.
Hidemyass – HideMyAss is a very large VPN provider that is based in the United Kingdom (bad privacy jurisdiction). Unfortunately, like PureVPN, HideMyAss was caught logging customer data and turning this over to authorities – according to Invisibler.
Betternet – Betternet is another large VPN provider that is based in Canada. When I tested out the applications for the Betternet review I found numerous IP address leaks and DNS leaks. Betternet was also found to be embedding malware into their applications to collect user data according to this study.
IPVanish – IPVanish was recently found to be logging customer data and providing this to US authorities, despite claiming to be a “no logs” VPN service.
Of course, there are many VPNs that should be avoided – particularly all the malicious free VPN apps that steal your data (when something is free, you are the product).
Kodi VPN tips
Use a good VPN. There are a lot of dangerous VPNs on the market right now, along with various VPN scams and even “free VPNs” that will steal your data and sell it to third parties. At the end of the day, you typically get what you pay for with VPN services. Choose wisely.
Test your VPN. It’s good to periodically test your VPN to make sure it’s protecting your identity and keeping you safe online. See this VPN test guide.
Connect to the closest server. Connecting to the closest possible server will give you the best speed and reliability. If you are in the UK, for example, and need to connect to a US server for a Kodi addon, it would be better to choose a VPN server in New York than one in Los Angeles.
Always use a VPN. If you have been streaming unofficial Kodi channels without a VPN, you should be careful. Lawyers love to target people suspected of copyright infringement. Your internet service provider is most likely recording your activities (US, UK, and Australia), so be smart and always use a VPN to conceal your identity and online activities.
Be careful with Kodi addons. Downloading third-party software always comes with risks. Before downloading unofficial Kodi addons, do your research. Some Kodi addons may contain malware or other security problems. Tip: you can upload any file to VirusTotal to test for malware and other threats before installing anything.
Consider your VPN protocol. VPN services usually offer a variety of protocols to choose from. Typically, the stronger the encryption the slower the speeds. OpenVPN provides a good mix of speed and security. PPTP is considered insecure but will be faster than OpenVPN.
Enjoy Kodi with the best VPN service
The overall trends in online privacy and streaming freedom are clearly getting worse throughout the world. This is especially true when you consider the heavy fines for copyright violations and all the blocks and restrictions you see going up everywhere.
But don’t let these trends discourage you.
A good VPN service is your key to restoring your privacy and unlocking the freedom to access any Kodi stream or add-on you want.
And even if you are not streaming Kodi, a good VPN will have the added benefit of protecting your privacy and securing your private data from third parties.
Enjoy your Kodi streaming and stay safe!
RECAP: Best VPNs for streaming Kodi
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