At some point or the other, we all had to choose a VPN to use with Kodi. As simple as it may sound, choosing a VPN isn’t an easy task. To make matters worse, there are a hundred different options available in the market. This makes you wonder which one you choose and which ones you should avoid. Today we are going to solve this problem for you. We will look at 6 different VPN providers, their pricing and their advantages. This will not only make your decision easier but will also choose the correct one. But before that we need to talk a little about what Kodi and VPN are because not everybody is familiar with it.
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What is Kodi?
Kodi is a free open source media center software. It can run on almost every platform which includes Android, iOS, TV, Raspberry Pi, Tablet, PC, etc. Kodi allows you to access all types of content. This includes music, photos, videos and even live television. Kodi has its own user interface and can work with your local storage services as well as your network storage. One thing to note is that Kodi doesn’t come with any content out of the box. You have to add your own content. However, there are multiple add-ons that let you add multiple services to your Kodi. One of the best features of Kodi is that it uses online databases. Databases such as The TVDB and TMDB to properly categorize and organize your content. Let us now see what a VPN is
What is a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a service that gives you online privacy and anonymity. It creates a private network from the user’s internet connection. A VPN routes the users’ connection through a remote server. This way it masks the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the user making them virtually untraceable. Most important, a VPN service establishes secure and encrypted connections. This provides far greater privacy and protection than a regular connection. Here’s a technical definition of a VPN from Wikipedia:
A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private networkacross a public network and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. Applications running on an end system (PC, smartphone etc.) across a VPN may, therefore, benefit from the functionality, security, and management of the private network. Encryption is a common, though not an inherent, part of a VPN connection.
What is the need for a VPN for Kodi?
Now most of you will be asking why you need a VPN for Kodi? Is it not possible to use Kodi without a VPN? Well it is not that Kodi can’t be used without a VPN. It’s just that it is way safer and more functional to use a VPN. Let us see why.
1. Access all Kodi Addons
For those who are not aware of this, not all the Kodi add-ons are available in a particular region. In fact, most addons aren’t available outside the US. So if you are someone living outside the US you might not be able to access all of the Kodi plugins. A VPN solves this problem for you. Using a VPN you can access all add-ons and plugins in the world, no matter where you are.
2. Hide your streaming activity
Kodi on its own doesn’t violate any of the copyright infringements. This however doesn’t mean that none of the addons will violate the copyright infringements. There’s always a chance that one or the other addons might get you into trouble because of their content. So you as a user, need to make sure your identity is protected in case that happens. This is where a VPN can help you. Using a VPN your connection remains private and anonymous. This way your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or Governmental agency won’t be able to track you. They will not be able to link your session with your IP address. This makes your connection totally secure.
3. Bypass ISP throttling
Most Internet Service Providers (ISP) intentionally slow down the speed of a user’s broadband internet connection. This is usually done by the ISPs and other types of communication networks as a measure of Network regulation. This is done to regulate a network’s traffic and to alleviate network congestion. As a result of this throttling, most users don’t get the speed they paid for. Lower bandwidth speed leads to a lower resolution of the content that is being streamed. This can be bypassed by using a VPN. A VPN routes your connection through their secure tunnel, preventing your ISP from throttling your connection.
4. Unlock Geo-Restricted Content
This is pretty much self-explanatory. There are many Tv Sows, movies or Sports streams that are not available in a particular country. This includes content on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and other streaming services. So how do you watch such content? Well, that’s very easy to achieve. You simply use a VPN. With a VPN you will be able to access any content whether or not it is available in your country or not.
How To Pick The Best Kodi VPN
Now that we have seen why a VPN is needed, we will see what makes a VPN better than the other VPNs. We will take a look at the different aspects of a VPN that defines how good a VPN is. Each of the criteria will be explained in detail.
Privacy: You can never be too safe when it comes to using Kodi. You may not do it intentionally, but you might still end up violating something without even knowing. The addons and plugins that you use may result in copyright infringements without you even noticing. This might get you in trouble. So a VPN that provides you the most secure connection is the one that is preferred. The best VPN should not have a zero-logging policy. It should protect you from DNS leaks and have a secure encryption method. A VPN that has all these and more will be considered as one of the best VPN.
Speed: If your primary goal is to stream content, then a high bandwidth is an essential requirement. Without a high-speed connection your streaming experience will be very poor. You will be repeatedly disturbed by the buffering prompt. A poor speed connection becomes very apparent when streaming High Definition content. According to Lifewire, here are the recommended speeds required to stream contents:
- 0.5 Mb/s to view standard definition movies on a laptop computer. While you can stream at speeds of 0.5 Mb/s, the quality is grainy on a large screen, much like watching an old VHS movie. Netflix recommends at least 1.5 Mb/s.
- 3 Mb/s to view standard definition video (480p) on a TV.
- 4 Mb/s to view high definition video ( 720p, 1080p ).
- 5 Mb/s or more for the best 1080p experience.
- 15 Mb/s to stream 4K (but 25 Mb/s is preferred). Also recommended is a 4K Ultra TV with an HEVC decoder.
So for a VPN to be considered a good VPN, it has to at least meet these above requirements.
No of Servers: Even though the no of servers may not seem that crucial, it actually is. Now you may argue that how are more servers relevant to you. You will hardly use even a small percentage of those servers. So it isn’t that beneficial for you. Well let me tell you why you are wrong. There are two reasons why large no servers are helpful.
- First, more no of servers means that you can switch between servers in case one of the servers isn’t working. So you can find a server that best suits your requirements.
- Secondly, a huge no of servers would mean that there will be less congestion in a particular server. As a result you will get better speeds.
So any good VPN should have a large no of servers spread across the globe.
Location of Servers: Having a server in multiple regions and locations would mean that we can access unblocked content in all these regions. So a VPN that has a server present in multiple countries is considered to be a good VPN.
Pricing: After all is said and done, it’s the pricing of a VPN that decides how much value it will provide. No matter how many features you have, if the pricing isn’t right a VPN won’t sell. So for a VPN to be considered good, it has to have the perfect performance to price ratio.
So, now that we know why a VPN is required and what makes a VPN better than an ordinary VPN. Here are the best VPN that pass our criteria. All of these provide great performance and are perfect to use with Kodi.
Best VPN for Kodi
The VPN’s that we have selected will meet your requirements. They will provide you with an all-round protection. Each of the VPN has some advantages over the other. However, they are all worth your money. You can select the one that best suits your requirements. So without any further ado, let us see what are the best VPN for Kodi.
1. NordVPN – Best VPN For Kodi
When it comes to VPN, NordVPN is one of the leading providers out there. They pretty much excel in almost every aspect. Let us see how they fare against our criteria.
NordVPN is based in Panama, which doesn’t have any data retention laws. So that means your data won’t reach any authorities or government agencies. So that’s a plus. Moreover, NordVPN has multiple protocols that will secure your connection. It supports the following protocols:
NordVPN also has many other features that ensure you are always protected.
Kill Switch: If your VPN connection is ever interrupted or if the connection fails, NordVPN will make sure to immediately stop any kind of traffic from either entering or leaving your device. So your personal information including your IP address will not be exposed to your ISP or any other prying eyes.
Private DNS: NordVPN uses its own private Domain Names System(DNS). This means all the DNS queries of the users will go through an encrypted tunnel. These queries are then resolved on the same VPN server the user is connected to. So there will be no activity logs, no connection logs, no DNS blocking and no third parties.
Advanced Encryption Standard (AES): NordVPN uses AES encryption in all their connections. They use 256-bit key encryption along with AES. They also use a 4096-bit RSA key to privately communicate with all your devices.
Double VPN: NordVPN will pass your data through multiple servers. It will encrypt your data at every sever. So all your data is protected with an extra layer of encryption which makes it even harder to decrypt.
Strict No log Policy: NordVPN claims that they don’t log any of your online activity. They do not store connection timestamps, session information, used bandwidth, traffic data, IP addresses, or other data.
With features like this NordVPN provides you with a secure and safe streaming experience while using Kodi.
NordVPN currently has a total of 5679 servers spread across 59 countries. Each of these servers has a dedicated IP address. They also have, what they call, Obfuscated servers. So if you’re located in a country that has a strict restriction on Internet access, you can use these servers. All of these servers have a high-speed bandwidth, so streaming on Kodi won’t be a problem.
NordVPN has a few quite affordable plans. They have 4 different plans:
Monthly: This is the shortest and the most expensive of all its plans. It costs $ 11.95 for a single charge. For a one year period it will cost $ 143.40. This plan is billed once every month.
1 Year plan: The subscription for this plan is priced at $ 83.88. This comes with a 41 % discount which saves a total of $ 59.52. The per month cost for this plan is $ 6.99 which is almost half in price compared to the monthly plan. This plan is billed once every year.
2 Year Plan: This is an even longer plan with an even better saving. The subscription for this plan is priced at $ 119.76. This comes with a 58 % discount which takes the savings to a total of $ 167.04. The per month cost for this plan is $ 4.99 which is less than half the price of their monthly plan. This plan is billed once every 2 years.
3 Year Plan: This is the best plan that NordVPN has to offer. The subscription for this plan is priced at $ 125.64. For an additional $ 5.88 you get an extra year of subscription. This plan comes with a 70 % discount which takes the savings to a total of $ 304.56. The per month cost for this plan is $ 3.49. This plan is billed once every 3 years.
- It doesn’t have a free trial. However it makes up for it with its 30-day money-back guarantee.
- NordVPN doesn’t have a dedicated app for Fire Stick. So if you were planning to use Kodi on a Fire Stick, you have to look for another VPN.
2. ExpressVPN – Powerful & Fast VPN For Kodi
ExpressVPN is the other big name when it comes to VPN. Like NordVPN they also have been leading the market for some time now. Let us see what ExpressVPN has to offer.
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ExpressVPN is based in British Virgin Islands which has no data retention laws. ExpressVPN supports the following protocols:
- OpenVPN with UDP
- OpenVPN with TCP
A few more features of ExpressVPN are:
IP address Masking: ExpressVPN uses an encrypted tunnel to connect your device and the internet. During this it masks your IP address with its own IP address. This makes it impossible to trace your internet activity back to you.
Network Lock: Network Lock is to ExpressVPN what Kill Switch is to NordVPN. So whenever your VPN connection is disturbed, Network Lock comes into act. It blocks all internet traffic. This prevents your IP from being exposed.
Zero-knowledge DNS: ExpressVPN has its own DNS that it runs on each of its servers. That means that your activities are totally private. This is because your personally identifiable data is never stored on any server. So there will be no activity logs, no connection logs, no DNS blocking and no third parties.
VPN split tunneling
This is a feature using which ExpressVPN excludes certain traffic from the protection of its VPN encryption. According to their official website, with a split-tunneling VPN, you can:
- Stream foreign movies while using web services from local IP addresses
- Download safely without slowing down your other web activity
- Access your network printer while surfing the internet securely
So using Split Tunneling you protect only that traffic that you need to protect.
Best-in-class Protection: ExpressVPN uses AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) with 256-bit keys to encrypt your information. Also known as AES-256, it is used by security experts worldwide to protect classified information. This means that your data is totally safe with ExpressVPN
Bypass ISP throttling: ExpressVPN also lets you bypass the throttling that your ISPs impose. It lets you use the full bandwidth no matter how many times your ISP throttles your speed.
Servers: ExpressVPN has around 3,000+ VPN servers in 160 VPN server locations in 94 countries. In fact, ExpressVPN is the only VPN that has a server in 90+ countries. All their servers have a pretty high speed that lets you stream Kodi, buffer-free.
ExpressVPN has three different plans.
Monthly: This is priced at $12.95 and is the most expensive among all its plans
6-month plan: This plan costs $59.95 and is billed once per 6 months. The per month cost for this plan is $9.99
15-month plan: This is their most popular plan. It costs $99.5 and is billed once in 15 months. The per month cost for this plan is $6.67.
- No free trial. But like NordVPN it also has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- A little on the expensive side.
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3. Surfshark – Cheap VPN For Kodi
Based on British Virgin Islands, Surfshark is a relatively new VPN. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t as effective as the other known VPNs. In fact Surfshark performs surprisingly well as compared to those other VPNs. Let us see what it has to offer
Strict logging policy
Surfshark has a really strict logging policy. Here’s what’s written on their official website:
Surfshark does not keep track of your online whereabouts or actions in any way. This includes:
- IP address
- Browsing history
- Used bandwidth
- Session information
- Network traffic
- Connection timestamps
Personal information that we collect
- Email address and encrypted password
- Basic billing information and order history
This is a reasonable policy. None of the data that Surfshark collects can be used to identify and track you.
SurfShark also supports the following protocols. Here’s what their official website says about these protocols :
- IKEv2: IKEv2 (short for Internet Key Exchange version 2) is a fast and secure protocol that tends to work best when the server you’re connecting to is physically nearby. It was developed by Cisco and Microsoft security engineers and it is very popular among mobile users.
- OpenVPN: OpenVPN is an open-source protocol, which means that it is constantly being developed and improved by security professionals around the world. It’s fast, secure, and often works best for long-distance connections or desktop operating systems.
- Shadowsocks: Shadowsocks is an encrypted proxy that was designed specifically to help people overcome the restrictions of the so-called Great Firewall of China. It works great for that purpose, but if you are not in a restricted country, you’re better off using either OpenVPN or IKEv2.
Surfshark uses Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption to encrypt all user’s connection. They use a 256-bit key for this. they also use a 2048-bit RSA key to privately communicate with all your devices.
Private DNS: Surfshark also uses a private Domain Name System(DNS). This means the DNS queries of the users go through an encrypted tunnel. This is then resolved on the same VPN server the user is connected to.
VPN Kill Switch: Surfshark has a VPN Kill Switch that blocks all traffic from going in and out of the network. This takes place every time the VPN connection is interrupted.
Servers: Surfshark has around 1040+ servers in 61+ countries. All these servers are encrypted and provide you with a secure and protected connection. The speeds of these servers are also very good. We never encountered any buffering issues while testing it out.
Surfshark has one of the most affordable plans by any VPN.
Monthly: This plan costs $ 11.95. It is billed monthly and costs $ 143.40 for a full year.
1 Year Plan: The plan costs a total of $ 71.88. The per month cost for this plan is $ 5.99. This plan accounts for a 50 % saving which is a total of $ 71.52. This plan is billed once every year.
2 Year Plan: At $ 47.76 for 2 years this is the as good a deal anyone can ever get. The per month cost for this plan is an unbelievable $ 1.99. The plan is billed once in 2 years.
- Allows P2P from all servers which reduces speed in some cases.
- Weak social media presence
IPVanish is based out of the United States. It is one of the best VPN services for Kodi. Let us see a bit more about the VPN.
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IPVanish supports all of the industry stand protocols ensuring the users’ connection is secure.
SOCKS5 web proxy: IPVanish provides a SOCKS5 proxy to mask the users’ private IP addresses while making P2p and VOIP connections.
256-bit AES encryption: It provides a 256-bit AES encryption that makes it very hard for anyone to decrypt the users’ data.
Strict no-logs policy: IPVanish doesn’t store any of the users’ metadata. None of the activities of a user is tracked.
Servers: IPVanish has a total of 40,000+ shared IPs and more than 1,300 VPN servers in around 60 countries. Each of the servers is fully encrypted and serve high-speed bandwidth. Like the other VPNs, IPVanish provides a high-speed buffer-free streaming experience.
IPVanish has the following subscription plans
Monthly: At the time of writing this, there is a 59% discount on this plan. At $5.00 per month, this is the cheapest monthly plan out there.
3-month Plan: With a discount of 63%, the total cost for this plan is $13.50. At $4.50 per month, this is yet another great deal and makes it very affordable.
1-year Plan: This is the most affordable plan among all its plans. It costs $39.00. The per month cost for this is $3.25 per month which is also one of the most cheapest plans out there.
- Windows client seems to have a few bugs
- Complex User Interface
- No trial. There is a 7-day money-back guarantee available in case someone wants a refund.
5. PureVPN – Affordable VPN For Kodi
PureVPN is based in Hong Kong and is one of the most affordable VPN providers. It has a widespread server coverage and provides a good enough bandwidth speed. Let us see what its highlights are.
PureVPN has many features that provide the users with a secure connection. It supports the following protocols:
- OpenVPN TCP
- OpenVPN UDP
No Browsing Logs: PureVPN does not store any of your online activities, period. This means that whatever you do online is only known to you.
Hide Your Online Identity: Keep your physical identity off the radar at all times.
Encryption: PureVPN secures your all online activities by using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256-bit encryption. This makes sure that all your data is encrypted and that no third party can decrypt that data.
Internet Kill Switch: If your VPN connection is ever interrupted or if the connection fails, the VPN will make sure to immediately stop any kind of traffic from either entering or leaving your device. So your personal information including your IP address will not be exposed to your ISP or any other prying eyes.
Split Tunneling: PureVPN has a split tunneling functionality. It lets you route some of your device or app traffic through the encrypted VPN tunnel. The other devices or apps access the internet directly. So only those apps that require protection will have access to the VPN connection. You can choose which app you want to exclude from using the secure VPN connection.
WebRTC Leak Protection: PureVPN masks your real IP address. Instead, it uses one of its own dedicated IP address. This protects your real IP from leaking at websites and web services. No one will able to trace your activities back to your real IP address.
Servers: PureVPN has a total of 2000+ VPN servers in 180+ spread across 140+ countries. Yes 140+ countries. PureVPN is one of the few VPNs with the most no of servers. All its servers are encrypted and have a dedicated IP address. It claims it has state-of-the-art servers engineered for an optimum mix of performance and speed. It also has Dedicated Streaming Servers which offer insane streaming speeds. This helps in watching online content without buffering.
This is where PureVPN really shines. The following are its offerings.
1 Month Plan: Like most other VPNs, this is its most expensive plan. It costs $10.95 which is still cheaper than what the other VPNs offer.
1 Year Plan: This is the more affordable plan. It costs a total of $69.96 for its yearly plan. The cost per month for this plan is $5.83. This plan is billed once every year.
2 Year Plan: This is the most affordable plan from PureVPN. At $3.33 per month, it costs $79.92 for 24 months. This plan is billed once every 2 years.
- It doesn’t have a free trial. However it makes up for it with its 31-day money-back guarantee.
The last VPN on our list isn’t necessarily the weakest VPN. In fact it gives all the other VPNs a tough competition. It also has servers in most no of the countries among all the other VPNs. So let us see what HideMyAss has to offer.
Smart Kill Switch: HideMyAss has a Kill Switch which makes sure there are no data leaks of a connection drops in any of the VPN servers. You can also designate apps to automatically launch HMA whenever you start them up.
Split-Tunneling: With HideMyAss’s Split-Tunneling you can choose which applications go through HMA VPN, while everything else connects to the web normally. So you can stream movies from another country while still accessing your local e-shop.
IP Shuffle: Using IP Shuffle, HideMyAss randomizes your IP addresses anywhere from every 10 minutes to once a day based on your choice. Trackers won’t be able to keep up as you jump from IP address to IP address in any of the 290+ locations of HideMyAss.
Leak protection: HideMyAss uses its own no log HMA DNS servers to handle all the DNS requests, which keeps users private and encrypted and protects them from dangerous malware and phishing sites.
Military-grade encryption: HMA uses only the highest encryption standard: 256-bit AES. On Windows and Android they implement OpenVPN protocol in Galois Counter Mode (AES-256-GCM), with 4096-bit RSA keys for handshakes, authenticated with SHA256. On Mac and iOS, they implement it with IKEv2/IPsec, built atop Apple’s stack, to ensure the best compatibility.
DDoS protection: HideMyAss has servers that themselves are strengthened against DDoS attacks. This provides users with robust protection against any attackers trying to take them off the web.
HideMyAss has 1000+ servers in 290+ locations across 190+ countries. All of its core data centers have servers capable of 20 Gbps throughput. Most of the other locations have servers with 10 Gbps throughput. This provides the best online experience. Streaming content in Kodi is also lightning fast and doesn’t buffer at all.
HideMyAss has the following subscription plans:
7-day trial: This is the only VPN on our list that has a free trial. The rest is self-explanatory.
1 Year Plan: This plan costs a total of $83.88 for 12 months. The per month cost for this plan is $6.99.
3 Year Plan: This plan has the best value out of all the other plans. At $3.99 it costs $143.64 for 36 months. Compared to the other VPNs in the list, this is a bit expensive.
- The VPN logs some of the user sessions.
- It has a limited configurability
- This is a little bit on the expensive side
- It has a below-average support website
So these were our pick for the best VPN to use with Kodi. Do let us know which one you decided to use for your Kodi setup.
* The prices of each of the VPNs are subject to change. The price mentioned here is the price of these VPN at the time of writing this article.