Do you use Kodi and wonder why you might need a Kodi VPN service? With everything going on in the world, like over-reaching government agencies, mass invasions of privacy, and powerful anti-piracy coalitions, it’s more important than ever to use a VPN, especially when using Kodi. In this post, I will give you four good reasons why you should use a VPN for Kodi on your streaming TV box, PC or stick.
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What is a Kodi VPN?
So, there really is no such Kodi add-on or VPN service called “Kodi VPN”, but instead, when I say “Kodi VPN”, I mean a VPN service to be used with Kodi. A Kodi VPN runs alongside Kodi and doesn’t actually run inside of Kodi, but I’ll get into this a bit more toward the bottom of this post.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) service takes all of your device’s network connectivity, encrypts it, and routes it through a proxy server. On your local end, it looks like all your web browsing, streaming, downloading, and uploading is directed at the one proxy server and it’s all encrypted. On the remote end of the web server that you’re browsing from, they see you as being in the location of the proxy server that you selected.
Kodi VPN for Kodi Streaming Add-ons
Okay, so now you know what VPN is. Now, what does this have to do with Kodi? Let’s talk a bit about unofficial Kodi add-ons for used for streaming.
If you’re a cord-cutter like me and ditched your cable or satellite bill, you’re probably aware of how many options there are out there for streaming TV shows and movies.
Besides the mainstream paid streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, Apple TV, and Google Play Video, you’ve probably discovered the holy grail of streaming… Kodi, the open source home theater software that you can run on just about any device.
Kodi by itself is pretty basic and really only lets you play your own local media files and stream video from a selection of official add-ons.
However, a whole world of unlimited video streaming opens up to you when you start looking at unofficial add-ons.
Unofficial add-ons are developed by people who have no association with the Kodi core team, but they write add-ons that are intended to work on Kodi. There is a vast amount of unofficial add-ons you can select from (we all have our favorites), and the decision to install those add-ons and what you do with those add-ons is up to you (legally and ethically speaking).
US and EU Piracy Laws About Streaming
Several readers have commented that streaming is not illegal according to US and EU law, and it would only be illegal if you download and/or sell the content for profit.
While that might be true in the law today, there are lots of large media organizations lobbying to change the law to crack down on streaming cutting into their profits. I would rather err on the side of caution because we don’t know what will happen in the future. I don’t want my detailed traffic activity logged on my ISP’s servers if it doesn’t have to be.
Read more about the laws around Kodi streaming in my post, Is Kodi Legal? Streaming vs Downloading vs Selling.
On the other hand…
Update: Back in Jan 2017, news came out that people in North Wales are starting to receive letters from their Internet providers when they have detected that users have been streaming pirated content.
Sky, BT, Virgin Media and TalkTalk, among others, are due to start sending out the first batch of letters on from […] Tuesday, January 17.
With all that said, and without any further ado, here are my 4 reasons why Kodi streamers need a VPN…
1) Keep Your ISP’s Eyes Off of Your Traffic
If you are using unofficial Kodi add-ons to stream TV shows and movies for free, I really recommend you use a VPN. I personally use IPVanish VPN when using Kodi.
Don’t let your ISP (Internet Service Provider) see and track everything you’re streaming and from where. A VPN will encrypt all of your data in and out of your Kodi box or even your entire home. It also passes your data through a VPN server anywhere in the world… you can choose.
This makes your ISP’s peering eyes blind to the contents and source of your Internet traffic. With ISPs sending letters to people who are pirating content and US government legislation allowing ISPs to sell your browsing history, this reason is becoming more important than ever.
2) Stream From Servers Anonymously
The other side of the coin is being able to browse, download, and stream anonymously. Not only is your ISP blind to your traffic, but the server you download from is blind to who you are and where you’re from.
Your IP address can’t be tracked by the servers you’re downloading from since the servers just see the VPN proxy server that your traffic is routing through.
3) Access Geo-Blocked Content or Internet Censorship
Some Kodi streaming servers may be geo-blocking, meaning they are only going to serve streams to users in a certain set of countries. With a VPN, you can choose a server in the country of your choice, and then those servers will think you are from there, and they will serve the content accordingly.
This is a huge issue for those using mainstream paid streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc. They are notorious for having a ton of their content geo-blocked to allow for only certain countries due to all the partnership they have and all the agreements they must abide by.
Fortunately for you, using a VPN is a great way to get around that.
Update: Netflix and Hulu have wised up to the VPN workarounds and have started detecting the use of VPNs and blocking them. But, I’m ok with that because I can find just about anything in Kodi add-ons.
4) Early Access to New Releases
Another popular use for VPNs is getting access to new releases before everyone else.
For instance, if there’s a brand new video game coming out and it’s releasing at midnight on a certain day, if you’re in the United States, you can set your VPN to connect to somewhere in Asia to get access to download and play the game almost a day earlier than the rest of your friends.
Find the Right Kodi VPN Provider
There are a ton of Kodi VPN providers out there. Where do you even start to pick the best one?
IPVanish is the Best VPN for Kodi
I can help you out there by saying that I personally use and recommend IPVanish VPN.
It works great out of the box with a one-click setup. If you want to dig deeper, it has a nice interface for you to be in complete control over your server selection and a bunch of other advanced settings.
IPVanish is one of the biggest and best VPN providers. With over 500 servers around the world, you shouldn’t notice any drop in speed while keeping you safe online.
Try it Out… 25% Off Coupon
Also, keep in mind that IPVanish comes with a 7-day money-back guarantee. So, try it out and make sure it works well for you. If it doesn’t do what you want, you have a full week to decide and cancel to get your money back.
How to Install a Kodi VPN
After you sign up for VPN service, simply download the app on each device that you want to have covered by the VPN.
The best VPNs for Kodi will offer their VPN app in all the major operating systems like Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. IPVanish has you covered there.
Once you’ve downloaded and installed the app on a device, just launch it and login to your account using your username and password that you used to sign up.
Once logged in, you’ll have a “Connect” button. Just press it and it will take care of choosing the best server for you and connecting to it.
Can You Install the VPN as a Kodi Add-on?
While there are some add-ons that offer this functionality, they are often very difficult to get working. Some people who try have reported running into errors and couldn’t ever get it working.
However, I think using the OS-level app is much better than anything you can do inside of a Kodi add-on because the app actually controls the device’s network adapter to route all internet traffic through the VPN’s virtual network adapter. Kodi has no control over the network adapter so it would only affect Kodi traffic and nothing else (if you could even get it working).
Do I Need to Connect to the VPN Before I Launch Kodi?
No, you don’t need to start the VPN before opening Kodi.
You could have Kodi already open and simply turn on the VPN, and all Kodi traffic will switch over to the VPN connection automatically.
If you’re in the middle of a stream, that can cause the stream to stop or at least pause for a moment.
How to Know if Your VPN for Kodi is Really Working
Before connecting to your VPN, go to https://myiplocation.org and see what IP and location it says. This is how the Internet sees you without a VPN. The location is usually very approximate to somewhere in your city, usually where your ISP is based.
Now, connect to your VPN and then refresh that same website in your browser. You should see the IP address and location change to match the server that you have selected in the VPN app. This is how the Internet sees you when you’re connected to your VPN.
Installing a Kodi VPN on a Fire TV Stick
I’ve received a lot of feedback from readers like you trying to setup a Kodi VPN on an Amazon Fire Stick.
It is now possible to install IPVanish VPN on a Fire TV Stick! It just has to be the latest one “with Alexa Voice Remote”. The 1st gen Fire Stick is not compatible. Check out my simple installation tutorial here.
I always love to hear from you.
How has your Kodi VPN served you? Do you need some help troubleshooting an issue? I always try to help.
Leave a comment below. Thanks!