6 Best Kodi Alternatives [2021 Review]

by
Frederik Lipfert
Dr. Frederik Lipfert Founder, vpncheck
Updated on 28 Nov 2021

6 Best Kodi Alternatives [2021 Review]

Kodi

Are you looking for a Kodi alternative? You’re not alone. Various former Kodi users are now looking for a substitute for this platform. Its history of legal issues, the consistency with which its add-ons get taken down and the regular fear of Kodi being shut down have forced them to abandon ship.

Luckily for such users, Kodi is far from being the only media service. Various other streaming services out there offer as many if not more features than Kodi. They’re also much easier to use and let you stream live TV, shows, movies and all the other stuff you used to watch on Kodi.

6 Best Kodi Alternatives

Here are the six best Kodi alternatives in 2021:

1. Plex

Plex

Plex’s user-friendly interface makes it one of the best alternatives for Kodi. It lets you create a central server, thereby allowing you to access all the media on your devices. Yet another thing that is excellent about Plex is its client-server design.

Apart from functioning in a simple way, Plex’s server doesn’t force you to be on the same wireless network. This means you can access it from anywhere in the world. All you’d need is a Plex client-server and an internet connection.

What’s more, Plex is supported on numerous devices such as Amazon Fire TV, iOS Devices, Android devices, and computers. It also lets you stream various official channels, some of which let you watch movies, shows, live TV and more.

Keep in mind that while Plex’s basic services are free, it requires you to pay in return for useful features such as Mobile sync, Live TV and DVR, Auto-Photo-Tagging, Downloading Media on Client Devices, camera upload, among others.

2. Popcorn Time

Popcorn Time

Popcorn Time is another great alternative to Kodi. If you want to watch free and unlimited TV shows and movies, this third-party streaming service is the right choice.

Originally, Popcorn Time was only Android-based. Over time, though, the list of operating systems it’s compatible with expanded. This software is currently supported across all major platforms, including Windows and iOS. If you’re a Windows user, don’t forget to install the Popcorn Time Windows app.

That’s where the good news ends. One of Popcorn Time’s major downsides is that it’s a 3rd-party service. This means you can never be sure whether you’re being monitored while using this software. Another downside is that Popcorn Time is blocked in some countries.

Fortunately, both these problems have the same solution: VPN. A virtual private network like ExpressVPN will ensure that your data remains hidden from the eyes of cybercriminals. It will also let you install the Popcorn Time app, regardless of where you reside.

3. Stremio

Stremio

Another great alternative to Kodi is Stremio. Some might even consider Stremio one of the best alternatives to Kodi, as they’re similar in various aspects. Just like Kodi, Stremio is a cross-platform media service that enables you to stream and watch TV shows, Live TV, Movies, and much more.  

There are two more similarities between Stremio and Kodi. Both support video streaming and come with multiple add-ons. However, while Kodi requires you to install the add-ons locally, you can install Stremio’s add-ons on its account. Here’s why that is great news. 

With the add-ons installed on the Stremio account, you can access this software from any compatible device. You won’t have to install the add-ons on the device you want to access Stremio on. Plus, since all add-ons are available in a designated section, they’re a cinch to find, too. 

Visit the ‘Featured’ section on Stremio if you want to know what is popular these days. Or else, if you’re in the mood for some discovery, check out the ‘Discover’ section. The ‘My Library’ section, meanwhile, lets you save and manage the content you want to stream. 

Stremio has its downsides as well. It has a limited number of third-party add-ons, unlike Kodi, which has hundreds. It is not as adaptable as Kodi, and you can’t customize its user interface. You can’t modify the display of Stremio, either, as it comes with only one theme, the one that comes built-in.  

But these small things that Stremio lacks doesn’t make it a bad Kodi alternative. If you’re looking for a friendly interface to stream your content, Stremio is a safe choice.

4. Emby

Emby

Emby is in line with Plex. It has a similar client-server design and lets you access your media from any remote client device. There are identical in two more aspects: both Plex and Embi let you access your server media through any client of your choice and are compatible with a wide range of devices. 

Aside from that, Emby is user-friendly and has an easy-to-understand interface. You can start streaming your favorite shows and movies in no time. Emby also allows you to manage your personal media and organize it however you prefer. A large Emby community is also there to help you with any issues. 

Keep in mind that Emby doesn’t own any of the content on its platform. It gathers content from different sources before making it available for its users. Still, it lets you install official and unofficial plug-ins, using which you can stream your favorite content. 

Like Plex, Emby also offers a premium subscription. Premium subscription gives users access to offline media, mobile and cloud sync, DVR and cover art, among other features. However, if you’re on a budget, the free version will suit you just fine.  

5. Universal Media Server

Universal Media Server

Universal Media Server is a simple solution to your streaming needs on DLNA devices. It works seamlessly across any smartphone, gaming console or TV. Even if your device does not support DLNA, you can still easily use Universal Media Server’s web interface to stream anything.

Its easy-to-use interface makes Universal Media Server incredibly user-friendly. This is excellent news for those of you who haven’t used similar software in the past. Thanks to the pointers on your screen, you won’t have any problem understanding and using this software.

UMS supports various video formats and automatically adjusts the bitrate of streaming video according to your internet connection speed. This means no buffering!

6. Media Portal

MediaPortal

Media Portal lets you convert your PC to a media hub. While it’s only available for Windows, you can still connect this software to external devices such as DVD players, TVs, Blu-ray players, among others. Plus, the fact that it’s lightweight means you can run it on old PCs, too. 

Media Portal currently has two versions: Media Player 1 and Media Player 2. Media Player 1 is a more stable but older version, while Media Player 2 is the newer but less stable. However, as per the developers, upcoming updates will make the Media Player 2 more stable.

Like Kodi, it also supports a variety of plugins. These plugins are perfect for watching movies, live TV, TV shows, and movies. You can also use them to listen to the radio and your favorite podcasts. All in all, if you intend to turn your PC into an entertainment hub, Media Portal is your best bet.

Conclusion

Despite its much-highlighted shortcomings, Kodi remains the best media streaming tool. We can say all we want about its drawbacks, but one has to admit that when it comes to streaming your favorite content, Kodi remains far ahead of its competitors 

Still, if you’ve got your hands burnt one time too many by Kodi, the list of Kodi alternatives we’ve compiled for you will meet your requirements. Almost all of them are much easier to use than Kodi and aren’t plagued by the issues that have hamstrung the popularity of this popular open-source software.