Kodi allows users to stream video content from local and internet sources, stream music and podcasts, and much more. However, you may have noticed that some content is only available in the country you live in.
A VPN is required to access otherwise region restricted.
Using a VPN with Kodi and its vast library of third-party plugins, such as accessing Netflix, Hulu and Pandora streaming content, as well as other internet radio streams.
In addition, a VPN keeps your Internet data and activities private from advertisers, your ISP and from Kodi third party plugins, which may leave you open to attacks from those who would enjoy stealing your info. However not all VPNs are made equal, so selecting the right VPN for your streaming needs is highly important.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the 5 best VPN services that have shown the best ability to enhance and protect your Kodi-related activities.
How to Use a VPN To Protect and Enhance Your Kodi Activities
To use a VPN with Kodi, do the following:
- Subscribe to a quality VPN provider. (NordVPN is my #1 choice.)
- Install the VPN’s app(s) on your favorite Kodi-compatible device(s).
- Log into the VPN service.
- Select a VPN server located inside the country whose streaming content you wish to access. Or, if you’re simply looking to protect your in-country content access, select a server inside your own country.
- Grab your remote control & enjoy the show!
Best VPNs for Use With Kodi
The 5 best VPN services have proven to provide the best VPN protection and enhancement for Kodi use:
- NordVPN: This provider offers the best protection for your Kodi-related online activities. The VPN also does an optimal job of enhancing your Kodi viewing thanks to its fast connection speeds and comprehensive global server coverage.
- Surfshark: This low-priced provider offers unlimited simultaneous connections, while also providing access to geo-blocked media content around the globe. This is all delivered at a budget price, making Surfshark an excellent VPN option for budget-minded users.
- ExpressVPN: ExpressVPN is a well-rounded provider that offers fast speeds, extensive global server coverage, great content-unblocking power and high-end security and privacy.
- CyberGhost: This provider’s easy-to-use apps are perfect for first-time VPN users, and for users who are looking for a quick way to connect and enjoy the show. Kodi users will also appreciate the provider’s streaming-optimized servers, scattered around the globe.
- PrivateVPN: This provider offers excellent access to streaming channels around the globe, despite a somewhat spread-thin global server network. Kodi users will also appreciate the provider’s high download speeds, allowing for stutter-free streaming.
You’ll find that all VPN providers have their own particular set of strengths and weaknesses. While some providers offer super-fast connections, they may lack optimal multi-platform support or comprehensive global server coverage.
When ranking the best VPNs to use with Kodi, I considered the following factors:
- Access to popular streaming services
- Global server coverage
- Download speeds
- Online security
- No-logs privacy protection
- Native app support
Here is my list of the top 5 best VPNs for fast, secure and safe Kodi streaming:
NordVPN is the top choice for the best VPN to use with Kodi. The provider offers reliable access to numerous streaming services via super-fast connections.
At last check, NordVPN provides access to Netflix in the U.S., Canada, Germany, Japan, the U.K., the Netherlands, Australia, Spain, France and Italy. A helpful Netflix page is available on the provider’s website, providing information about using their service to access the streaming service.
The provider also offers access to Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and other popular streamers.
The provider’s 5,500+ servers are spread out among 59 countries. The provider offers information for which servers offer the best access to popular streamers on their help page. Simply search using the name of the service.
NordVPN offers the fastest download speeds on this list, and the fastest overall of any VPN provider, period. Their download speeds are easily up to handling HD and 4K video content from any streamer. No data caps to worry about here.
Your online privacy is well protected at NordVPN thanks to the provider’s strict no-logs policy and cryptocurrency subscription payment option.
Most popular device platforms are protected thanks to the provider’s multi-platform app support, including devices on the iOS, Android, Android TV, macOS, Linux, Amazon Fire and Windows platforms. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are available.
The provider also offers a SmartDNS service that enables devices that are not compatible with VPN apps, like gaming consoles and some set-top boxes, to access international content. However, it doesn’t encrypt your online activities like the VPN service does.
Platforms not covered by app support can be protected via the provider’s compatibility with numerous routers. Up to 6 concurrent connections are allowed using a single set of login credentials.
- Servers in 59 countries
- Unblocks numerous streaming services
- High-speed connections
- Optimal security and privacy protections
- Budget-priced options
- User-friendliness is not NordVPN’s strong suit
BEST VPN FOR KODI:NordVPN is the best VPN for protecting and enhancing your Kodi-related online activities, as well as your other online antics. The provider does a top-notch job of unblocking geo-blocked streaming services, while providing 4K-capable, well-protected connections. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of NordVPN.
Surfshark is the best bet on this list for budget-minded Kodi users who are looking for reliable and good VPN service without breaking the bank.
This provider not only unblocks Netflix in many countries, it also opens access to Amazon Prime Video content (in the U.S.), HBO Go, BBC iPlayer and other services.
The provider has 3,200+ servers located in 65+ countries, more than double what it was offering last year.
Surfshark delivers connections with plenty of speed for streaming, gaming and sharing files, and no data caps of any kind are ever imposed.
Those connections are protected by banking-grade encryption, as well as kill switch and ad blocking protection. “Multi-Hop” protection offers the option of routing your internet connection through twin VPN servers for added protection.
Surfshark keeps no logs whatsoever and accepts Bitcoin to keep your payment info anonymous.
Native apps are available for the Linux, iOS, Android, Windows, macOS and Fire TV platforms. Firefox and Chrome browser extensions are available. Extensive router support is also available to protect all of your connected devices.
No matter how many devices you or your family or friends (or townsfolk) own and use, you can simultaneously connect them to Surfshark’s servers, thanks to its unlimited simultaneous connections policy.
- Connects to multiple streaming services
- Champagne service for a beer-bottle pocket
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Top-notch security and privacy protections
- Apps lack some advanced features that advanced users may miss
BEST FOR BUDGET:Surfshark delivers reliable Internet access to numerous streaming services for a low price. An unlimited concurrent connections policy will prove attractive to users with multiple devices and/or multiple users. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Surfshark.
ExpressVPN performs at a reliably high level in multiple areas at once: content-unblocking, global server coverage, connection speeds and more.
The provider has 3,000+ fast servers in 94 countries, providing excellent access to all sorts of content around the globe.
ExpressVPN provides more than enough horsepower for 4K and HD video streaming, online gaming and any other online activity. With unlimited bandwidth streaming, you also never have to worry about daily or monthly data caps.
Your internet connection is well protected thanks to military-grade encryption, an automatic kill switch option, and IPv6 and DNS leak protection. Plus, the provider’s split-tunneling option allows you to protect your Kodi activities using ExpressVPN’s encrypted tunnel while leaving the rest of your device’s activity out in the open.
ExpressVPN saves no user logs on its servers, and a Bitcoin payment option keeps your payment info undercover.
Native apps are available for the iOS, macOS, Windows, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Chromebook and Linux platforms. Browser extensions for the Firefox and Chrome platforms are also available.
ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer DNS service for game consoles, set-top streaming boxes and smart TVs allows those devices to access geo-blocked content. However, please take note that the MediaStreamer service does not provide encrypted protection for your connection like the provider’s VPN service does.
While the provider limits simultaneous connections on a single login to 5, its router feature allows you to protect all of your connected devices via a single access point.
- Unblocks most streaming channels
- Excellent global server coverage
- HD- and 4K-capable connections
- Comprehensive app support
- More expensive than many comparable providers
- Only 5 simultaneous connections allowed
ALL-AROUND GREAT VPN:ExpressVPN is a solid provider, offering wide-ranging global server coverage, speedy and reliable connections, satisfying security and privacy protections, and support for a multitude of devices. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of ExpressVPN.
CyberGhost is an excellent option for novice VPN users, or Kodi users who simply want to be able to quickly connect to streaming- or file sharing-optimized servers without a big hassle.
CyberGhost has streaming-optimized servers stationed around the globe, providing access to numerous streaming channels, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and many more. In addition, the provider also offers plenty of servers that are optimized for file sharing.
The provider’s global server coverage is well above average, with more than 6,700 servers stationed in 90 countries.
The provider’s streaming speeds are well above average, providing more than enough oomph for HD and 4K streaming, online gaming and sharing of large files.
Those connections are well protected with government-grade encryption, a kill switch, and IPv6 and DNS leak protection. Tracker and Ad blocking is also available, as is the option to force websites to serve up HTTPS versions of their pages if they’re available.
Privacy is also well protected thanks to the provider’s strict no-logs policy and its Bitcoin subscription payment option.
Easy-to-use apps are available for the Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, Linux and Windows platforms. Browser extensions protect Chrome and Firefox browser users. Other devices can be protected thanks to the provider’s excellent router compatibility.
The service allows up to 7 devices to connect simultaneously while using a single set of login credentials.
- Streaming- and file sharing-optimized servers in numerous locations
- Fast, 4K-friendly download speeds
- No logs kept, accepts Bitcoin
- Comprehensive connection protections
- Advanced users might want more control
- Doesn’t work in China
STREAMING-OPTIMIZED VPN SERVICE:CyberGhost is a good VPN service for users who have little experience with VPNs, or who are looking for easy Internet access to streaming-optimized connections to numerous streaming services. A 45-day, no-risk money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of CyberGhost.
PrivateVPN delivers reliable access to multiple streaming services and other geo-blocked content, despite a somewhat limiting global server network.
Netflix and other streaming channels (including Hulu, Amazon Prime, CBS, iTV, HBO and BBC iPlayer) are accessible with PrivateVPN.
While their server count of 150+ is admittedly low, the provider has located them strategically, spreading them among 60 countries around the globe. My only concern is that some server locations may get a bit overloaded, so you might want to take advantage of the provider’s 30-day money-back guarantee before committing to the provider.
PrivateVPN connection speeds are above average, delivering more than enough horsepower for HD and 4K streams, online gaming and more. No data caps to worry about with this provider.
Your online privacy is well protected thanks to the service following a solid no-server-logs-ever policy, as well as offering a Bitcoin subscription payment option.
This provider’s protected connections offer military-grade encryption, kill switch protection, and IPv6 and DNS leak prevention. The provider’s “Stealth VPN” option hides your VPN activity by disguising it as normal browser activity.
PrivateVPN’s device support is somewhat more limited than the other providers on this list, but still provides protection for the top platforms. Amazon Fire, Android, iOS, macOS and Windows apps are available, and Linux can be manually set up to use the service. Router support for quite a few makes and models is also available.
Up to 6 streaming devices at once can access the service on a single login.
- Opens Internet access to multiple streaming services
- High connection speeds
- Excellent security and privacy protections
- Server numbers are spread thin
- Multi-platform support could be better
STEALTHY KODI PROTECTION:PrivateVPN unblocks numerous streaming providers on up to 6 devices at once. Stealth VPN protection makes the provider’s fast, well-protected VPN connections appear to be typical browser traffic. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of PrivateVPN.
Can I Use a Free VPN With Kodi?
This is what I sound like when my cat begins scratching on my furniture: “NO! NO! NO!” Did you get that last part? NO!
While there are several reasons you should not use a “free” VPN for any reason, when it comes to the Kodi usage scenario, perhaps the most important one would be that of convenience and efficiency.
First, convenience. When you connect to a free VPN service, you could find yourself stuck waiting in a queue before you’re allowed to connect to a VPN server. This delays showtimes.
Once you’re allowed to connect, you might find that you are faced with a severely limited selection of server locations, or you’re automatically connected to a server of the provider’s choice. Goodbye, choice of geo-blocked content.
Now for efficiency. Netflix and other streaming services are always on the lookout for users who are accessing their servers through a VPN service. When they discover an IP address that a VPN is providing, they will almost always block that IP. Goodbye, access to that provider.
When this happens, it’s up to the VPN service to set up a new VPN server sporting new IP addresses. This requires the VPN provider to have the deep pockets necessary to continue the inevitable back-and-forth battle with the streaming provider.
It may not surprise you that many free VPNs are run on a shoestring and simply do not have the resources to compete in this game of virtual whack-a-mole, resulting in unreliable access to streaming services.
Privacy is also a losing proposition with a “free” VPN. Many freebie VPNs will make money by tracking their users’ online traffic, Kodi activity included, and selling that information to advertisers and other nosy third parties.
Other sans-fee VPNs have been caught injecting unwanted ads and tracking cookies into their users’ browser sessions. (And those cookies continue tracking your online antics, even after you’ve disconnected from the VPN.)
So yeah, if you enjoy danger, go for it. But those of you with an ounce of common sense will want to spring a few bucks per month for reliable and secure VPN service.
What Else Is a VPN Good for?
In addition to protecting and enhancing your Kodi-related online traffic, a VPN also offers features to protect and enhance all of your other online activities.
Its ability to spoof your device’s IP address means it allows access to streaming services (yes, outside of Kodi too), provides access to gaming servers and content you might normally not have access to, and even provides advantages for business users by providing access to websites and services that might not be available for security reasons.
A VPN also prevents your Internet Service Provider (ISP) from monitoring your online activities and throttling or blocking your connection simply because you’re streaming from “unapproved” sources (such as those available in Kodi) or because you’re sharing files via P2P file sharing.
That same encryption comes in handy when you’re forced to use an unprotected public Wi-Fi hotspot, such as those found at coffee shops, hotels and other public places. This provides protection to hide your online identity against hackers who love it when public Wi-Fi users use the hotspot to pay bills, shop online or do some online banking.
It’s a big, wonderful world full of streaming content out there, and Kodi gives you access to it. By using a Virtual Private Network – like my #1 choice, NordVPN – you can view all of the content you’d like without being worried about being tracked or blocked or hacked by rogue third-party Kodi plugins.
NordVPN delivers fast, well-protected connections via a comprehensive global fast server network. The provider offers apps for most popular streaming device platforms, and its excellent router compatibility keeps all of your connected devices protected.
For more information, visit the NordVPN website.
Kodi Media Player Q&A
Is Downloading the Kodi Media Player Legal?
Downloading the stock Kodi Media Player is completely legal. (After all, it’s available in the Microsoft Windows and Xbox One Stores. Those stores aren’t going to offer an illegal app on their virtual shelves.)
The Kodi Media Player allows users to extend the abilities of the player by installing add-ons. These add-ons allow users to stream content from various sources. Where some users get into trouble is when they download and install the wrong add-ons. If a user sticks to the official repository, called the Kodi Add-on Repository, they’ll remain totally legal.
However, third-party repositories contain many add-ons that illegally access streaming services, or that access copyrighted content that has not been properly licensed. Streaming content in this way is clearly illegal.
Is Using Kodi Without a VPN a Big Risk?
It depends on what you’re using it for. If you stick to legal add-ons that access legal materials, you won’t be running the risk of being cited for accessing copyrighted materials. However, you are depending on the developer of any add-on to know exactly what are and are not legally accessible materials.
Plus, security is an issue when using third-party add-ons. There is no way to know if a developer has either inadvertently or on purpose, left open security holes that could allow hackers to monitor your online streaming activity.
Also, without a VPN, your ISP can monitor all your Kodi-related online activities, and throttle or block your connection if they decide you are streaming from “unapproved” sources.
How to Stop My Internet Provider From Blocking The Kodi Box?
As I mentioned in the previous section, your internet service provider can block or throttle your connection if they believe you’re streaming from certain sources or engaging in other “unapproved” activities. By using a VPN, you are encrypting your internet connection, preventing your ISP (and any other outsiders) from monitoring your online activities. This prevents them from blocking your Kodi-related online activities.
- How to Use a VPN To Protect and Enhance Your Kodi Activities
- Best VPNs for Use With Kodi
- 1. NordVPN
- 2. Surfshark
- 1. ExpressVPN
- 4. CyberGhost
- 5. PrivateVPN
- Can I Use a Free VPN With Kodi?
- What Else Is a VPN Good for?
- Kodi Media Player Q&A
- Is Downloading the Kodi Media Player Legal?
- Is Using Kodi Without a VPN a Big Risk?
- How to Stop My Internet Provider From Blocking The Kodi Box?