The most effective way to keep your Kodi streaming private and your files secure is to use a VPN. Staying below the radar of copyright trolls is useful, too. So let’s look at how you can install a VPN on various Kodi devices. 

For the record, BestVPN.org does not condone copyright infringement but promotes the use of VPNs as effective means of privacy protection.

​Desktop Platforms

Most VPNs now support a wide range of platforms, so you can install a native VPN app on pretty much any device. If you run Kodi on a computer, setting up a VPN on Windows or Mac is hassle-free with most providers offering native VPN clients.

  • The first thing you need is an active VPN subscription, be it a short-term free trial or a purchase backed by a money-back guarantee.
  • The next step is to log in to your client area with your VPN provider and locate the downloads. In most cases, Downloads are accessible from providers’ main page, in others – only to registered users.
  • Once you locate the installation files, choose your operating system, its version, and download the installer. Then proceed with the installation and follow the prompts of the installation wizard.
  • I always recommend making a copy of the End User License Agreement. Nobody really reads it during the installation, but it might be a good idea to gloss over it at a later point to make sure you are dealing with a thorough and trustworthy provider.
  • After the installation, launch your VPN client and log in. It is worth noting some providers assign you a VPN login and pass combo that’s different from the credentials you use to access your client area. That’s good because it helps you protect your identity while using your VPN client. But it also means you need to keep your VPN credentials in an orderly manner to avoid confusion.

I firmly suggest that you familiarize yourself with your VPN client before streaming with Kodi.

  • Locate your VPN settings to see the available VPN protocols, a kill switch, and NAT firewall. 
  • See if your VPN has pre-configured profiles for streaming, torrenting, or for boosted security.
  • Study your list of servers and run speed and DNS leak tests.
  • If everything works as advertised, you are ready to stream with Kodi through your VPN.

​Mobile Platforms

If you run Kodi on a mobile device, Smart TV, or a Kodi Android box, you should have no problem installing a VPN client to protect your Kodi streaming.

The easiest way is to go with a VPN provider that offers a native VPN app for mobile. As is the case with installing a VPN on desktop platforms, you will find your detailed installation instructions in your VPN provider’s knowledge base. But here is an outline of how things work on most Android devices.

  • You can find your VPN app installation file either in Google Play or the provider’s downloads repository. If you download the VPN app from Google Play, ensure you follow the download link from your provider’s website rather than searching for the app manually. Many scam VPN apps emulate the names and design of popular VPNs to spread malware among unsuspecting users.
  • Once you’ve located your VPN app in Google Play, proceed with the installation, as usual, granting the app necessary permissions. A VPN app typically requires extensive permissions to route your traffic through its servers.
  • After you’ve installed the app, log in using your VPN credentials. Now take a moment to study your VPN settings and the list of servers. Also, run your speed and DNS leak tests. If everything works fine, you’re all set to stream with Kodi.
  • If your VPN app is not on Google Play, you need to download an APK file from your provider’s repository and sideload it (install it manually). First, download the APK file and make a mental note of where it’s saved.
  • Next, go to your device’s Settings → Security → Unknown Sources (allow installation of apps from sources other than Google Play) and enable this option.
  • Now you can tap on your downloaded APK file and install your VPN client manually following the prompts of the installation wizard. The only difference is the VPN app icon may not appear on your home screen after the installation. In which case, just go to your apps, locate the VPN and drag its icon to your home screen.

​Raspberry Pi OpenELEC

OpenELEC is also a popular platform among Kodi aficionados. Even though installing a VPN takes a little more mingling with it, most well-established providers have detailed installation guides for all supported platforms.

  • In most cases, you need to download a Zomboided VPN manager and get the configuration files from your VPN provider. The config files work like your VPN smart card – they carry the information about your VPN servers, and in some cases, even your VPN credentials.
  • Your config files are in a compressed folder, so once they are downloaded, extract the ovpn.zip and your Zomboided Master.zip to your OpenElec device. If it’s connected to your local network, you will be able to move files to its shared folders. Otherwise, use a USB flash drive to transfer the files.
  • Once your VPN manager and config files are moved, open Kodi and go to Addons → Addons browser (at the top-left) → choose Install from the zip file.
  • A window that opens next allows you to browse files, so navigate to the folder where you saved the VPN manager and the config files. In most cases, it’s either in your Home folder or Windows network (SMB).
  • Install your VPN manager and go to Addons → Program addons → launch your VPN manager.
  • Then go to Addon Settings → select VPN configuration tab → scroll down and choose User Defined import wizard.
  • The wizard lets you import select files or the entire directory of your config files. I don’t know if you need them all – in some cases, there are hundreds of them, depending on a provider. I would suggest manually selecting the files of interest instead.
  • After importing your configuration files, your VPN provider is set to User Defined automatically.
  • Now you can enter your VPN username and password, choose VPN Connections and launch your VPN.
  • If you use more than one provider, merely add its config files the same way. You can switch between locations and servers, or providers, to get a better idea of which connection works best for you.