What Is Kodi And How Does It Work?
Kodi is a free streaming app with plenty of added extras for users. It is the preferred app for movies and TV shows among a global audience of fans. This open-source multimedia player can also record and live stream content. Kodi is also a nice way to view and manage photos, store and record multimedia content.
Originally developed for Xbox back in 2003, it was initially known as Xbox Media Center. Today, it's a universal app which can be used for streaming multimedia content on all devices.
Anyone can distribute and alter the open source code of Kodi, despite it being managed by the non-profit XBMC Foundation. The Kodi media player is easily installed on all operating systems, including Android, iOS, Linux, Windows, OSX, Xbox One, Smart TVs, Raspberry Pi, and CEC-compatible set-top boxes and TVs.
Kodi can easily be configured to function with game controllers and remote controls, making it ideal as a full media hub for a living room. Kodi is a great option as a gateway to online content, a central media hub in your home, or both.
When used as a media hub, Kodi content must be stored in the cloud, or locally. For streaming purposes, plug-ins and add-ons need to be installed. These make it possible to access on-demand video and live streaming content from different content streaming services.
What can you do with Kodi?
Thanks to an intuitive user interface, Kodi is ideal for use in local storage services and network services. This powerful media player includes many features such as:
- Recording and streaming of TV and live podcasts.
- Smart playlists and tags for arranging media libraries.
- Multiple video formats supported including H.264, ISO and 3D.
- Listen to live radio with various radio add-ons, including access to 7,000 international radio broadcasts across hundreds of genres.
- Tracking of online content including news, weather, sport, traffic, social media feeds.
- Easily setup a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection to encrypt online traffic for greater privacy.
- Play games with the Kodi ROM Collection Browser with the media centre, including Tank Warfare, Connect 4 and Kodi Blackjack.
- Easily import and add media files, fan art, video extras, trailers, posters, comments, reviews etc.
- Full streaming of online content such as YouTube, Vevo, MegaVideo, UWatchFree and others.
Kodi can be used for online and offline media. But since it was primarily designed for online sources, it is susceptible to privacy threats, malware, adware, trojans, viruses, and hacking activity. To guard against such threats, it is highly recommended that you connect to a VPN when using Kodi.
Why You Should Use A VPN With Kodi
Unprotected streaming of online content is associated with many potential dangers, especially from ISPs.
ISPs have a direct window into all content that you stream, view and access online and are legally entitled to sell that information. ISPs typically do not want to become embroiled in legal issues between users and others, so they often pass your information to third parties such as government agencies.
There are many other reasons why it's essential to use a reputable VPN service with Kodi, some of which are included below.
Major Considerations With Kodi
With some 40 million monthly users, Kodi has many security challenges to overcome so users can feel protected.
Open Source Software Can Be Hacked
Often apps which obtain multimedia content from dubious websites are to blame for most of Kodi's security issues. Many of these are unverified by Kodi and they serve as weak points in the security chain exposing users to keylogging and <man-in-the-middle attacks.
Plus, many add-ons which appear to be safe are not necessarily risk-free. If you use subtitle files, for instance, they may contain HTML code or Java. Unfortunately, hackers can easily infiltrate the open source code and create a pathway to upload malicious files and gain unfettered access to your device.
There is Zero Anonymity with Kodi
Kodi’s lack of anonymity is its Achilles Heel. Since your true IP address is readily available to every website you access through Kodi, you run the risk of security breaches every time you use the online software.
You May Be Prosecuted for Accessing Pirated Content Online
Many online movie and TV show streaming sites offer pirated content to users, including UWatchFree and 123Movies. VPNBase does not advocate using any of the online media streaming services or VPNs for accessing pirated content, restricted live sports events, or other geolocation-restricted content. However, there is no denying that many people use media streaming services and VPNs for precisely these reasons.
Be advised that you may be subject to prosecution (punitive measures or imprisonment, or both) if your IP address is found to be accessing online content illegally. Data security experts maintain that end users of software are not specifically targeted by law enforcement agencies, but you still may be caught up in copyright infringements and become a focal point of an investigation.
It's important to point out that copyright law agencies may begin prosecuting users for committing criminal offenses. As a case in point, in April 2017, the European Court of Justice ruled that even temporary reproductions of work protected by copyright law would be considered a breach of the right of reproduction. Many other countries are now considering following suit, including the US.
The Top Three VPNs For Kodi
There are dozens of world-class VPN providers available to users today. It's tough choosing between them, that's why our in-house VPN experts are providing the top VPNs for Kodi here. Feel free to read our full reviews of these VPN services to better understand how they can help you maintain your privacy, safety, and anonymity online
CyberGhost VPN is an internationally respected VPN service provider. With some 2,200 servers across 60 countries, it is a top choice for Kodi. Since CyberGhost VPN does not log any user information, it offers full anonymity to users.
This VPN provider is ideal for first-timers since it features multiple configuration options to get set up with no technical difficulties. The 45-day money back guarantee is the best in the business and another reason to pick CyberGhost VPN.
Pros of CyberGhost: optimized servers; 7 simultaneous connections; nice server range
Cons of CyberGhost: no free trial
If you're looking for high-grade encryption and a no-logs policy, IPVanish is for you. This VPN service will allow you to browse the internet anonymously, use Kodi at your leisure and not worry about tracking.
IPVanish features 1500+ servers around the world with acceptable connection speeds, watertight encryption, and easy connectivity.
Pros of IPVanish: Watertight security, very fast, easy to use
Cons of IPVanish: No live chat for customer support
NordVPN has been on the market for a long time, and during that time NordVPN always remained on top of the VPN lists thanks to its amazing features. The provider has been a faithful companion to users in countries with strong censorship and has helped millions of people reach better entertainment content, including on Netflix.
They even listed which servers to try in case you are experiencing problems with your connection.
Pros of NordVPN: Excellent security and privacy; affordable; free trial; nice server range
Cons of NordVPN: Occasional speed problems
Use A VPN With Kodi For Extra Security
Secure your online connection to Kodi by using a trusted VPN service. By redirecting your traffic through a secure tunnel, encrypting it and obfuscating your true IP address from prying eyes, all your data remains private. Only your VPN provider will know about your online communications and a no-logs VPN service will not even know that.
Using a reputable VPN provider for your standalone Kodi box prevents malware, viruses, and hacking activity from being transmitted to your network. Thanks to the encryption tunnel with your VPN service, your home network remains secure against all attacks. However, if you use Kodi on your PC your protections are somewhat limited in terms of hacker infiltration, still a VPN will reduce the chances of hackers infiltrating your PC.
For all of these reasons, it is strongly advised to use a reputable VPN service along with a streaming service such as Kodi. Recall that VPNs obfuscate all traffic between your IP address and the target website you are viewing by redirecting traffic flow through a VPN server. The target website only sees the VPNs IP address, not your true IP address.
Which Kodi VPN Service Should You Choose?
VPNBase’s selection of reputable VPN providers will all do the trick. The most important points to focus on our reputation, reliability, speed, connectivity and a no-logs policy. Any of these VPN providers is guaranteed to offer you quality streaming with no concerns.
We do not recommend using a free VPN service for Kodi since these are laden with security flaws or tight data restrictions. If you are going to be streaming TV shows, movies, music files and other multimedia content you need an ironclad VPN to protect you from cybersecurity threats, the prying eyes of the government, and hackers.
Pick a reputable premium VPN service that meets your needs and your budget. All of our in-house experts have tested the world's leading Kodi VPN services. Read our reviews and make your own decisions based on the facts.
We would love to hear from you. Have you used a Kodi VPN service? What are some of the challenges you have faced when streaming content online? What are some of your concerns? Feel free to connect with our community.