While there's nothing illegal about Kodi as software or Kodi as a basic box, the advent of “fully-loaded” Kodi set-top boxes has made streaming football and TV shows for free a lot easier. It comes as no surprise then that companies like Netflix, Amazon, Sky, BT and even some sports associations have joined forces to lobby for a massive anti-piracy crackdown. That’s a lot of big-name corporations lobbying for something together.
As a result, the UK government has raised the maximum sentence for piracy from two to ten years in a sweeping move to combat illegal streaming. The Digital Economy Act is now law, and it targets primarily those who sell the said “fully-loaded” Kodi boxes and those who provide or sell digital content illegally.
What worries the regular Kodi streamers is the rumor that they, too, could be targeted.
The bad news is that the leading English Internet service providers are now tasked with pinpointing users downloading copyrighted content for free and nailing them down with infringement notices. Sky, BT, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media have already sent out their first batch of such letters.
It is believed that users who torrent and download copyrighted shows illegally are prime targets rather than those who stream content with Kodi. But those streaming the English Premier League might actually get targeted ahead of torrenters because the football association is going bonkers about losing a part of its streaming revenue.
It’s too early to panic since the infringement notice does not lead to prosecution but merely explains where you can download content legally. But we’ve yet to see what happens if you receive multiple letters and ignore them.
However, the crackdown on the traders of the “fully-loaded” Kodi boxes brings more bad news to Kodi users. The thing is traders get swept along with their customer databases. What do you think happens to their client list once it’s in the hands of law enforcement? It’s safe to assume the British ISPs will be closely monitoring users known to have purchased a fully-loaded Kodi box.
With that in mind, you are well-advised to use a VPN whenever you turn on your Kodi to stream. A VPN will protect you from:
It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially in the UK, so check out the following VPNs to protect your Kodi streaming.
According to YouGov, over 5 million Kodi boxes have been sold over the last few years, while their impact on the UK television and film producers is estimated at £820 million. That amount does not include losses of pay TV providers and sports rights holders. At least a quarter of Britons stream content illegally, according to FACT, which is a lot of money lost by the entertainment industry. So we might hear more news about the crackdown on Kodi streaming.
With hundreds of free and premium VPN services on the market, picking one for Kodi can be tantalizing. When compiling my roundup of the best Kodi VPNs, I have scrutinized VPNs through extensive testing, careful analysis of providers’ privacy policies, my interaction with providers’ customer support, and user feedback.
I’ve also narrowed down my search based on the following criteria crucial for a Kodi VPN:
Tip: it might be a good idea to zero in on a couple of VPNs and test their usability, speeds, performance, user feedback, and privacy policies before committing.
Proper research is necessary when choosing a VPN. Some of the VPNs you see as top recommendations on many websites are downright dangerous. Some claim to have zero-logs policy while not only logging customer data but handing it over to law enforcement. Some deploy weak or no encryption and leak your IP address and location. Others have seemingly superb security specs while a closer look at their background suggests they might as well be FBI honeypots. Not helping is an avalanche of paid reviews and free VPNs that spread malware or sell your data. With that in mind, you might want to steer clear of free VPNs like Hola, ZPN.im, Betternet, Onavo Protect, and Faceless.me. HideMyAss and Hotspot Shield have lost credibility while Cryptostorm could be an FBI honeypot.
IPVanish supports all the operating systems you could be using for Kodi streaming, and you can also set it up with Zomboided in Kodi. Top that off with an extensive server network in 60 locations worldwide and five simultaneous connections, and you get a pretty good deal in a long-term subscription. It’s ideal for Kodi if you are looking to bypass streaming geo-blocks since its speeds are superior. But it might be somewhat overpriced if all you need is encryption to keep your Kodi streaming away from your nosy ISP.
ExpressVPN is great for intense Kodi streaming and torrenting. It supports many platforms from Windows and Mac to mobile, Linux, Fire TV Stick, Xbox One, PlayStation, Apple TV, and routers. You can unlock pretty much any geo-restricted streaming service with its extensive network of servers across 94 countries. There are no free plans, and it only allows three simultaneous connections, but its speeds are superior.
I like CyberGhost for Kodi because it’s a no-logs company based in Romania, one of the few EU countries with pro-privacy laws. It’s also reasonably priced considering its top-notch features – fast servers and excellent worldwide coverage topped by an ad blocker, DNS leak protection, NAT Firewall, anti-malware protection, and a kill switch. A 7-day free trial lets you test the speeds, compatibility, and usability while long-term plans offer savings opportunities.
Switzerland-based VyprVPN owns its network, which is a great benefit performance- and security-wise. It’s one of the best VPNs for Kodi streaming since it provides excellent speeds and supports a wide range of devices. I also like it because it combines top-tier features with wallet-friendly subscriptions and transparent privacy policies (they delete connections logs every month and do not allow P2P).
NordVPN is an all-around solid choice if you want a reasonable mix of security, performance, and price. It offers double-hop configurations, an ad blocker, Tor-over-VPN, and six simultaneous connections. Its speeds may lag during peak hours, but considering its network consists of 2800 servers across 59 locations, you can always find a reasonably speedy connection.
Windscribe just might make the cut if you need a free VPN for occasional Kodi streaming because it offers 10GB/mo for free. Pair it with a cross-platform client, ad blocking, firewall, and encryption, and you can make do with a free account. You can’t connect several devices simultaneously, but its premium plans offer servers in 100 locations, lightning-fast speed, and multiple simultaneous connections.
TunnelBear has a zero-logs policy and runs a network of 900 servers in 20 countries. It is ideal for novice Kodi VPN users because its free plan (500MB per month) can be expanded by up to 5GB if you post links to TunnelBear on your social media.
First things first – no free VPN is good enough for binge-watching TV shows or sports events without buffering and at full speed. The below free VPN plans that I find safe to use are free versions of fully-loaded premium VPNs designed to give you an idea of the service quality and encourage you to subscribe. These free VPNs are suitable for occasional live streaming because they have data caps, and in some cases, speed limits. Some of them have limited server locations.
Steer well clear of free VPNs like Hola or Betternet because they log and sell your data, which is the last thing you need when streaming with Kodi.
Windscribe bundles 10GB for free complete with a cross-platform client and robust security specs (ad blocking, firewall, encryption). You can’t connect several devices simultaneously, but servers in 100 locations and reasonably speedy connection makes it one of the go-to VPNs for Kodi streaming.
Hide.me free plan offers 2GB data per month and servers in Canada, the Netherlands, and Singapore alongside fairly decent download speeds, robust privacy and OpenVPN support. It’s ideal for occasional streaming whenever you can fit into 2GB. It’s also a feasible solution for Canadian and Dutch expats occasionally looking to spoof into their home countries to watch their favorite sports championships for free. If 2Gb is not enough, Hide.me is one of the most affordable VPNs out there.
ProtonVPN has a free plan limited to VPN servers in three countries, but it has no bandwidth quota. It comes with a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and an ability to create custom profiles. The speeds here aren’t all that stellar, but you should be able to stream in low quality at least. Certainly, it’s not enough if you want to stream with Kodi on your Fire TV in full HD. If that’s the case, consider upgrading to a paid plan.
TunnelBear is exceptionally user-friendly and apt for novice users. Its free plan is limited to 500MB per month, so you won’t be streaming with it, but you can expand your allowance by up to 5GB by spreading the word about the provider on social media. 5GB is enough for a modest TV show geek. TunnelBear has a no-logs policy and runs a network of 900 servers in 20 countries.
Finch VPN comes with a 3GB free monthly data allowance, which could make the cut for occasionally streaming new episodes that launch once per week. But don’t count on HD live streaming with that cap. Finch VPN is cross-platform, easy to set up, and its security features are robust with military-grade encryption and anti-DPI protection ideal if you need to bypass firewalls.
Many Kodi VPN and streaming issues are typical and can be fixed easily. If you are having trouble getting your Kodi VPN or streaming to work, run through these first-aid fixes. Chances are the solution is quite simple.
Is your Kodi VPN not working for you? Luckily, more often than not you can fix a Kodi VPN bug or error by poking around in basic VPN or device settings and restarting things. Some of the fixes below are simple, others a little technical, but they will help you improve your Kodi VPN usability and streaming experience.
The first thing to check whenever your VPN is not working correctly with Kodi is your Internet connection quality. Have you ever noticed WiFi issues when it seems like there is a random packet loss and your connection gets unsteady and inconsistent, while your speed tests show excellent results?
Sometimes VPNs won’t work if the date and time set on your device are incorrect.
Sometimes servers get overloaded or experience other issues.
Some VPNs get blocked by firewalls and antivirus suites. Check your firewall settings to see if your VPN is granted access to the Internet. Alternatively, disable your firewall temporarily to see if that fixed your VPN connection issue.
Some VPN clients change your DNS settings when you first install them. Others might require manual tweaking. Changing your DNS settings to the values provided by your VPN company improves your Kodi speeds and helps you bypass geo-blocks. But some computers can’t connect to VPN DNS servers automatically due to various reasons. Here is how you can access and change the DNS servers IP addresses manually in Windows (you need to get the values from your VPN provider):
Your VPN provider should have detailed guides on changing DNS settings for each operating system.
Another fix that could do the trick is flushing your DNS and clearing your web browser cache because Kodi may be using values set by your ISP during your previous sessions. If so, those ISP-provided DNS entries might conflict with your VPN, but since your Kodi relies on them, you need to flush them.
You can uninstall your VPN using its in-built uninstall option, or you could use an app like Revo Uninstaller.
You can fix many Kodi streaming errors even if you don’t consider yourself a techie. Check the following troubleshooting tips for the most common Kodi streaming issues, such as cache is full, no stream available, no source links, and aggravating video buffering.
You can get the “Cache is full, empty your Cache” streaming error at any time, but especially when you stream HD videos on low-spec devices.
All you need to do is clear your Kodi video cache. Besides fixing the pending bug, it will improve your streaming quality overall. Kodi does it automatically at some point, but if you run into the error, here is how you can clear Kodi video cache manually using the Merlin Wizard through Super Repo on Kodi Krypton:
You have successfully cleared your Kodi video cache, and your streaming should be buffering-free now. Keep in mind, though, that the quality of your streams also depends on your ISP throttling, WiFi connection quality, and speed.
Sometimes streaming issues crop up when you run an outdated version of Kodi or your streaming addon. Other times, an update can break the addon, in which case you could fix it by uninstalling and reinstalling the addon.
If you install Kodi from Google Play (Android) or the official Windows Store (Win 10) instead of side-loading it, your Kodi can get automatic updates. Otherwise, you need to install your Kodi updates manually.
This is a biggie because unofficial streaming Kodi addons have been on a whack-a-mole spree lately. They appear, gain traction, then get shut down and replaced. For example, Genesis was replaced by Exodus, which was replaced by Covenant, which now has several forks (just like Poseidon was replaced by a direct fork, Neptune Rising).
The same is true for shut-down repos – uninstall any and all, and replace them with working alternatives.
If you have just installed a new repo or addon, sometimes restarting Kodi is all it takes to fix streaming issues.
When Auto-Play is on in your Kodi addon settings, your Kodi addon is selecting the first link for each video. If the link is broken, the video won’t play. To fix this nag:
Sometimes none of the links work, and selecting a source link doesn’t help. Clearing providers and cache for the addon might do the trick.
Check your addon settings or tools for a Clear Providers (or Clear Sources) and Clear Cache option. This way, you clear the source links cache allowing your addon to re-check for sources from scratch. It might even bring new source links.
Many ISPs will throttle your bandwidth when you stream. Some ISPs will block you from accessing sites that host video streams, effectively crippling many of your Kodi addons.
For example, users who have a router from Sky (a British ISP) have discovered that disabling Sky Shield or Sky Broadband Shield in their router settings removes that filtering block.
The best fix for ISP throttling and filtering, though, is to use a VPN with Kodi at all times. A VPN also minimizes your chances of getting a copyright infringement notice from your ISP.
By the way, if you are in the US, you ISP is authorized to sell your browsing history, so using a VPN is now more of a basic necessity for everything you do online rather than a precaution against DMCA notices.
If your Kodi shuts down, which is a common bug, remember the general rule of thumb – uninstall any and all repositories and add ons you are not using, and update Kodi.
Hopefully, this quick guide helps you get your Kodi VPN and streaming back into the working order. Feel free to drop me a line if you have questions.
Kindly note that neither BestVPN.org nor Kodi encourages piracy. BestVPN.org promotes the use of VPNs as efficient means of privacy and security protection.
Exodus is among the first add ons to populate your Kodi device if streaming is on your mind. Granting you access to a huge library of the most popular TV shows and movies, Exodus has angered many corporations in the entertainment business. TV and movie producers and cable TV providers are bleeding money with every Exodus download, and they aren’t happy.
In the UK, USA, most of the European Union, Canada, and Australia, streaming copyrighted content for free is illegal, so you are well-advised to use Exodus only with a VPN. In most of these countries, Internet service providers are tasked with tracking down Exodus users and sending them warning notices. Repeat offenders may face hefty fines.
While using Exodus through a VPN protects you from copyright trolls, unofficial Kodi addons have accumulated bad aura to them. While Exodus is currently considered safe, it wasn’t always so.
Last year, news broke out that Exodus developer tinkered with its code to insert malware and turn all of its users into Botnets to launch a DDoS attack against The Ares Blog. The said developer then reverted the changes and stepped down as the main developer of the popular addon. Various volunteers from the Kodi community keep updating it, so Exodus lives and is still considered one of the best Kodi addons.
So yes, Exodus keeps being safe, updated, mostly bug-free and works perfectly fine with pretty much all Kodi devices, including Xbox One, as well as with Kodi VPNs.
Among the working unofficial Kodi addons repositories offering Exodus are:
Note: Incursion is an updated fork of Exodus, which is also available through the above repositories.
Exodus is by far not the only movie streaming addon for Kodi, so if it is ever discontinued there are plenty of alternatives. In fact, new streaming addons crop up regularly:
Unlike Exodus, however, its alternatives tend to experience bugs and various performance issues. Also, repositories offering some of these streaming addons are regularly attacked by copyright trolls.
To be on the safe side, always run the latest version of Kodi. Installing Exodus from Kodil Repo is the easiest way to go since installing the addon from other repositories may cause bugs and errors and Exodus may fail to install altogether.
Here is how to install Exodus on Kodi 17.6 Krypton with Kodil Repo:
Don’t forget to enable your VPN before streaming with Exodus.