Best VPN for Kodi (& How to Install) - Unblock Everything in 2021

by
Frederik Lipfert
Dr. Frederik Lipfert Founder, vpncheck
Updated on 24 Oct 2021

Best VPN for Kodi in 2021 (Latest Reviews)

In this Kodi VPN guide, we’ve put together a list of the 5 best VPNs (based on VPN reviews from industry experts) that will let you stream in private without any speed or security worries. With a vast selection of VPNs to choose from for your streaming needs, finding a quality VPN to use with Kodi can get confusing. The table in this guide summarizes how each of the top 5 Kodi VPNs performs under certain important criteria. 

For a VPN to be the best Kodi VPN, it has to be fast, secure, and unblock geo-blocked content. We purchased the best VPNs on the market and tested them so that you will know which VPN to use (and how to install it) to enjoy Kodi without exposing yourself to risks from hackers or your ISP tracking your activity.

Top 5 VPNs to Use With Kodi

Our expert team’s top five choices of VPNs to use with Kodi: 

  1. ExpressVPN
  2. NordVPN
  3. Surfshark
  4. CyberGhost
  5. IPVanish 

Each of these VPN services will give you a smooth and safe streaming experience, but we will go through all of them in detail so you can make the very best decision. First, let’s get you a summary of their best features.

ExpressVPN - Almost Flawless

ExpressVPN’s expansive infrastructure allows you to enjoy quality streams at incredible speeds. It might be slightly more expensive than most, but between the speed, no-log policy, and ease of use, the experience is well worth the cost. 

Check out our thorough appraisal of this VPN’s features: ExpressVPN Review.

NordVPN - Comparable Runner-up

NordVPN has a robust server network of over 5,200 servers in 60 countries. The network enables NordVPN to give its users consistently excellent speeds. And, it also has a no-log policy and military-grade encryption to keep user data safe from prying eyes. 

Read more about our NordVPN review by industry experts.

Surfshark - Good Value for Money

Surfshark is yet another great VPN to use with Kodi. Although relatively new on the scene, Surfshark offers you comprehensive security and fast speeds for streaming. It does not have nearly as many server locations as NordVPN, but users have a great experience even in strict censorship areas. To get the very best speeds, you might have to stick to servers physically close to you, but the ease of use and security are good value for money.

For a comprehensive review with detailed findings by industry experts of essential features of a VPN service, click here: Surfshark VPN Review.

CyberGhost - Great Presence Around the Globe

Cyberghost has over 7000 servers in 91 countries to help its clients have the very best experience. It will even tell you which servers to connect to for an optimal streaming experience, and it can unlock content from over 35 popular streaming platforms. It supports many different devices and gives reliable performance and security.

Read more about our thorough Cyberghost review.

IPVanish - How to Unblock US Content

Last but not least, on the list of VPNs to consider for Kodi is IPVanish. IPVanish owns and operates its entire server network, which allows for a much superior VPN experience for users. In terms of security, users enjoy industry-leading protection, which they can make the most of as they unblock content from selected leading streaming services in the US.

Find out what our experts think about this VPN: IPVanish Review.

How to Choose the Best VPN for Kodi - 4 Important Criteria

Here are four main qualities to consider when deciding the best VPN to go with your Kodi.

Security

The main reason why you would want to use a VPN with Kodi is to protect your privacy while you stream. Ensure your VPN has robust encryption, preferably with a no-log policy in place so that none of your online activity is stored.

Speed

Speed is the second most crucial factor to consider when choosing your VPN. Depending on the VPN you choose, your stream could be seamless from start to finish, at whatever quality, or you could have terrible buffering and skips throughout your show.

Ease of use

How easy your VPN is to use can make all the difference to your streaming experience. As much as security and speed are vital, you don’t want a VPN that will give you a headache for trying to set it up.

Reliability

Last but not least, you also want to prioritize reliability as you pick your VPN. Consistent overall performance, a good history, and excellent support must factor into your decision-making.

If you keep the four points above in mind as you pick your VPN, you’re bound to get an exceptional streaming experience, whichever VPN you choose.

Comparative Table: Top 5 VPNs for Kodi

 

ExpressVPN NordVPN Surfshark CyberGhost IPVanish
Security High High High Industry-standard Average
Encryption • Top-level encryption standards for maximum privacy

• Onion over VPN

• Military-grade encryption with excellent user anonymity

• Onion over Tor

• Standard VPN protocols and encryption (includes a privacy-preserving implementation of WireGuard)

• Onion over VPN

Standard VPN protocols Standard encryption but no advanced security features like malware and adblocking
No-logs policy Audited no-log policy No-log policy with a Panamanian jurisdiction, sustained by a PwC audit No-log policy (not audited) No-log policy (not audited) Zero logging policy (not audited) 
Speed/Streaming Performance Unmatched speed Exceptional speed with less than 10% drop in upload/download rates Fast VPN.  Speeds depending on server locations Decent for streaming and gaming but not the best speeds Decent to impressive rates depending on the server location
Servers Over 3,000 servers 5,200+ servers in 60 countries 3,200+ servers with some in strict censorship areas 7,000 servers across 91 countries 1,900+ servers across more than 75 locations
Geoblock Bypass Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Disney+, DAZN, iTV Player, and almost all streaming services Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, HBO Now, Disney+, DAZN, and more Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, HBO Now, Disney+, DAZN, and more Netflix (up to 4K only), Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, HBO Now, Disney+, DAZN, and more Netflix US, Disney+, and several US-based streaming services
Ease of use Easy to understand interface & navigation even for the least tech-savvy user The interface might be challenging for first-time VPN users Easy-to-use, simple interface with a uniform theme that makes changing platforms seamless Simple interface but tends to be unclear Requires tutorials to navigate the interface
Compatibility with multiple devices Windows, macOS, iOS, Android,Linux, Home Router, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Firestick, Android TV, etc. Windows, macOS, iOS, Android,Linux, Home Router, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Firestick, Android TV, etc. Windows, macOS, iOS, Android,Linux, Home Router, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Firestick, Android TV, etc. Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux (not as intuitive as their other client apps), Home Router, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, etc. Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV and Fire Stick; Linux & Home Router need manual configuration
Reliability • Excellent customer and feature support with extensive options

• 30-day money-back guarantee

• Standard customer support

• 30-day money-back guarantee

• Standard customer support

• 30-day money-back guarantee

• 7-day free trial on Android and iOS

• Fast customer support

• 45-day money-back guarantee and 1-day free trial without a subscription

• Excellent customer

• 30-day money-back guarantee

Drawbacks • Expensive compared to other VPNs

• Limited device connections at a time

• Browser extensions require the ExpressVPN client app

• Low transparency into practices and background

• Expensive subscription renewal

• Not user-friendly with complex tutorials

• Inefficient Windows client

• Inconsistent feature support across supported platforms

• Questionable split-tunneling

• No dedicated IP

• No private DNS

• No third-party audits

• Struggles to provide consistent performance

• Complex Linux clients

• Expensive monthly subscription

• Questionable logging practices

• US-based service

• Slow compared to top VPNs

• No Bitcoin Support

3 Reasons Why You Need a VPN for Kodi

A Kodi VPN Keeps You Cyber-Safe

As you might well know, VPNs work by encrypting your data and moving it through a private and secure server network. The encryption keeps data hidden and safe from hackers, your ISP, and web monitors tracking online activity. It also hides your IP address so that anything you watch or do cannot be linked back to you.

Being able to hide your activity online is vital if you do not want to end up in legal trouble. A good VPN will give you the peace of mind you need to enjoy the best Kodi addons and builds without any worries that someone might find out what you’re streaming.

More than just protecting you from the authorities, VPNs are vital for protecting you from hackers and other nefarious characters while using Kodi. The third-party apps we mentioned earlier are a massive security risk and could leave you severely compromised if you are not careful.

Kodi is perfectly safe, but the third-party apps you can use with it leave you vulnerable. Developers could effortlessly turn their apps into trojans for carrying out attacks on your data and devices. It might not even be the developers; expert hackers can use vulnerabilities in third-party apps to get you to you directly.

Primarily this would happen in the form of a man-in-the-middle attack. Simply put, this is where a hacker accesses a router your data is traveling through and siphons off your data.

A quality VPN will protect you from this type of threat by collapsing the encrypted and reestablishing your connection via a new set of routers. Without a VPN, you could stream and browse the whole day long without ever knowing that your data was compromised. In the wrong hands, that could have devastating consequences for you.

Make sure you always have your VPN on whenever you use Kodi.

A Kodi VPN Protects You When Streaming Unlicensed Content

Kodi is a revelation for avid streamers looking to take their entertainment to the next level. Its extensive capabilities make it one of the best media players around, but as always, with streaming, the legal side of things can get blurry.

Streaming via official Kodi apps is not illegal. The XBMC Foundation vets them, and using them will not land you in any trouble with the internet police. There are many, but some of the most popular Kodi apps include:

  • YouTube
  • Twitch
  • Dailymotion
  • Soundcloud 
  • Vimeo

The problem with Kodi begins when you start talking about unofficial apps. Third-party apps are not vetted by XBMC and allow users to stream copyrighted content illegally.

Third-party Kodi Addons and the Legality Issues

Streaming copyrighted content illegally can have dire consequences. In the UK, it carries a punishment of up to 10 years behind bars.

To date, no one has faced such a steep punishment. But, globally, the noose is tightening on illegal streaming or distribution of copyrighted content. 

If you ask those of us who only want some quality entertainment, ten years in prison is a bit overkill for streaming, but luckily there is a solution.

If you want to do some not-so-legal streaming on Kodi, you have to get a VPN.

A Kodi VPN Allows You to Unblock Geo-blocked Content

Geo-restricted content is one of the most frustrating things about streaming. But VPNs offer a fix for that pesky annoyance.

The very best VPNs will have you tuned in to your favorite stream in seconds, no matter where you are in the world. All you have to do is set up your connection through a server in the permitted country, and just like that, your stream is ready to go.

For official streaming platforms, you will still need to pay the relevant subscriptions to watch the content.

The best VPN for Kodi: ExpressVPN

All the VPNs in our top list should work well with Kodi, but for an optimal experience, we recommend using ExpressVPN.ExpressVPN Logo

ExpressVPN is our leading option for Kodi because of its unmatched speed and compatibility with multiple devices. You can use the VPN across Windows 10, macOS, iOS, and Android devices without experiencing any usability issues. The VPN client also has a compact build, so it will not take up too much space on your device or hog processing power so that other operations suffer when using it.

In terms of reliability, ExpressVPN is the best you could hope to use. They might not have as many server locations as NordVPN, but at over 3000 server locations, they can also provide fast speeds for your streaming pleasure.

Another major plus for ExpressVPN is the ease of use it allows. The user interface is easy to understand. It is simple to navigate so that even the least technologically inclined user can find their way through everything. The platform also offers more advanced settings so that tech-savvy users can unleash all the capabilities they need to maximize performance.

Lastly, ExpressVPN’s security and reliability are right up there with the very best in cyberspace. They are yet to have a breach. And, they have an audited no-log policy, so even if a breach occurs, there would not be much to find.

How to install ExpressVPN?

Installing ExpressVPN on your device is simple, and you can have it done in 3 simple steps. For this article, we will focus on installing ExpressVPN on Windows, Mac, or Linux devices. 

Step 1: Sign in to your account

To install ExpressVPN on your device, log in to your ExpressVPN account dashboard. Please note that you need to have purchased a package to install the ExpressVPN client on your device. If you have not bought an ExpressVPN package, there will be a link to their current offers on their website.

Sign In option on ExpressVPN

Step 2: Download the version for your device

From the dashboard, download the version of ExpressVPN for your operating system.

Do not close your browser window; you will need to get the activation code from there to complete the setup process.ExpressVPN installation option on Firestick

Step 3: Set up the VPN app

To complete the setup process, launch ExpressVPN on your device and follow the in-app prompts and instructions.Amazon Firestick connection request screen

For a complete walkthrough on how to install it on Android, iOS, or your router, you can visit the ExpressVPN website for a detailed breakdown: How to Download & Install the VPN App

A Detailed Look Into the Other 4 VPNs for Kodi

NordVPN - #2 in the Top 5 Best Kodi VPNs

As we have already said, NordVPN is a solid choice for users with a streaming penchant. Its robust feature package and massive server network make it a reliable solution for all of its users. And, users enjoy impressive download and upload speeds that rarely ever drop significantly.And, users enjoy impressive download and upload speeds that rarely ever drop significantly.

In terms of security, NordVPN is a good bet. They have a no-log policy in place, so all your online activity leaves absolutely no traces whatsoever. And, NordVPN has no virtual servers, which guarantees peace of mind for you regardless of the countries your data moves through.

A review of NordVPN showed that at no point during usage is your IP address exposed. And, on top of that, no one can see that a VPN is in play and try to counter it. NordVPN also uses open-source protocols, which boosts their transparency and highlights their commitment to rapidly fixing any vulnerabilities that might compromise their customer data. 

To enjoy maximum protection, you have to set up your VPN and use multi-factor authentication, and that is it.

The only drawback to using NordVPN is the UI. Its design does not encourage regular use. Instead, the focus is on setting it up correctly the first time, forgetting it exists, and letting it do its thing. For people with VPN experience, this is probably great. But, if you are not familiar with VPNs, you will struggle. 

The VPN client is low on tutorials and walkthroughs, so you’ll have to trawl the internet for the video tutorial they’ve made for it. It’ll be infuriating, but hopefully, NordVPN addresses this soon.

Surfshark - #3 in the Top 5 Best Kodi VPNs

Surfshark is a VPN newcomer that packs a punch. It offers top-level speeds and performance at much better prices than other VPN providers out there. You’ll also get many additional features to give you an altogether better experience than most VPN providers can match.a screenshot of Surfshark’s home page on desktop with an 81% discount offer

In terms of usage, Surfshark comes with a user-friendly interface that is clean, playful, and perfect for getting into the world of VPNs. There is minimal jargon, so even the VPN-uninitiated can get by without having to get support. Once set up, users can see the fastest or nearest servers to suit their needs. They can also save them for easy across multiple devices.

Security-wise, Surfshark also makes a strong case for itself. They are yet to have a security incident, although they haven’t been around as long as other VPNs. Inspections reveal no flaws users should be worried about, and Surfshark’s commitment to security is inspiring.

Overall, Surfshark is great, but they would make a stronger case for themselves with an exhaustive third-party audit to bolster transparency and put any lingering questions about their logging policy to bed once and for all.

CyberGhost - #4 in the Top 5 Best Kodi VPNs

CyberGhost is a solid VPN, and most basic users will be satisfied by how it performs. Dedicated servers for torrenting, streaming, and gaming are just some of the reasons that make CyberGhost an attractive option.a screenshot of CyberGhost’s home page showing a 4.8-star rating from Trustpilot based on 10,760 reviews

In terms of security, CyberGhost is decent. Lookyloos won’t be able to see that you’re using a VPN, and tests showed that at no point was user privacy compromised. CyberGhost did have a vulnerability scare in 2018, but that was a while ago.

Depending on what you’re looking to get done, CyberGhost can be underwhelming. You will have to put up with buffering on streams with 4K quality and above. And, the speeds leave a lot to be desired. They are well below the averages of other top VPNs, and they experience bigger drop-offs too. 

The best thing CyberGhost has going for it is its ability to unblock geo-restricted content. If all you want is to access your favorite series, the questionable performance at the demanding end of things might not matter much to you.

IPVanish - #5 in the Top 5 Best Kodi VPNs

With most of its servers in North America, IPVanish’s best feature is making US streaming content available to you, while trying to keep your connection fast enough.a screenshot of IPVanish’s home page on desktop featuring their use of WireGuard and a 59% savings in a yearly plan

For basic demands, IPVanish does its job, and that’s why it made our list of VPNs to use with Kodi. It’ll offer you the essential features you could expect from a VPN, so you’re not just browsing unprotected. On most servers, you will experience decent speeds. But it can drop by as much as 60% when things get bad. 

You shouldn’t expect from IPVanish the same level of security ExpressVPN provides. However, they have acceptable protocols in place, and they are currently in the process of adding more. Their no-log policy is questionable as they have never been through a third-party audit. In 2018, there was some vulnerability in their system, but that is close to three years ago, and IPvanish’s developers weren’t directly at fault.

IPVanish’s user interface takes some getting used to, but it’s not so complex as to scare away the first-time user.

Can You Use a Free VPN for Kodi?

It is possible to use a free VPN with Kodi, but you should ask yourself if it is helpful or worth it?

The short answer is NO. As we’ve already mentioned, all the third-party apps you’d probably use with Kodi present untold vulnerabilities to you and your devices. Free VPN service sounds nice, but you won’t enjoy the features you want for absolute peace of mind that you are safe from all threats.

Beyond the security concerns, most free VPNs aren’t known for their performance. You will have to put up with low speeds and way too many ads to enjoy your TV shows properly. Not to mention, it probably won’t be very long before you find out that unblocking geo-restricted content is only for paid users.

At around $8.32 a month for a 1-year ExpressVPN package, why would you put yourself through the torture of endless buffering and annoying ads? Plus, all ExpressVPN packages come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you’re not happy after about a month, you can always get your money back.

How to Install a VPN for Kodi?

Below are the steps for installing a VPN for Kodi on different operating systems and platforms.

Installing on Firestick

  • Search for the name of the VPN on your Amazon Fire TV Stick using voice commands or by typing it in the search bar
  • Select the VPN and choose the download option
  • Open it and proceed with the set-up process

Installing on Windows

  • Download Kodi app from Windows Store
  • Choose VPN 
  • Sign in to VPN
  • Connect to Kodi
  • Open Kodi

Installing on iOS

  • Download and Install VPN from Apple Store
  • Log in to VPN and connect to Kodi
  • Open Kodi

Installing on RetroPie/OpenELEC

  • Open Kodi’s Settings on OpenELEC Krypton or Isengard.
  • Click Add Sour
  • Enter the URL of the Kodi VPN app.
  • Click Done.
  • Back on the Kodi home screen, click Add-Ons.
  • Click Add-On Browser.
  • Install it from your zip file.
  • Once the app install is complete, click Program Add-Ons.
  • Click VPN.
  • Click Add-On Settings.
  • Sign in.
  • Connect to your VPN

Best Kodi Apps

There are hardly any limits to the apps you can install on your Kodi and the amount of content you can enjoy. However, if you want to be sure you get the best possible option performance and security-wise, we made a specialized top with the best apps for LiveTV, Movies and TV shows, and Sports.

Best apps for LiveTV

PlutoTV 

Pluto is one of the best, if not the best live tv apps for Kodi. It has over 250 channels showing content from every genre you could think of, and it’s all in high-quality video.

TVOne

TVOne is a Kodi streaming app that allows for streaming in multiple languages. It has several categories from entertainment and movies to news and doccies that will keep you watching all day. And, there is even a large selection of kids shows too.

cCloudTV 

cCloudTV is a no-fuss app that allows users to watch the news, sports, documentaries and movies without paying any subscription fees. Sometimes links don’t work, but the simplicity and consistent reliability make it worth the shout.

Best apps for Movies and TV shows

The Oath

The Oath is a quality streaming app that will work with all the versions of Kodi including the latest – Kodi 19.1 (also known as Kodi Matrix). Streaming buffs will love it; it fetches countless quality streaming links at a time. For the best experience, you should use The Oath with RealDebrid. 

Asgard

Asgard is an all-in-one streaming app that lets you watch all your favorite movies and tv shows, plus a whole lot more. More than just movies and series, you can watch anime, sports, documentaries, and even stream live events.

Morpheus

Morpheus is a relatively new Kodi app, but it offers quite the streaming experience. You will find it in the Fracture repository, and you can use it to watch all your movie and tv series favorites. It even shows some of the more obscure titles for the niched viewers.

Best apps for Sports

ApeX Sports

ApeX is the most reliable on Kodi. It is simple to use, lightweight, and effective for most sports streaming needs. You can use it to watch both live events and replays if you miss the shows.

Sportowa

Sportowa does not offer many streaming options, but those it does are always excellent quality.  It allows streaming across multiple sports and has a wide range of live sports channels too.

Mad Titan Sports

MTS is the ultimate solution for true sports buffs. It offers a wide variety of sports from the NFL and NBA to niche sports like MMA. You can even use it to watch premier European soccer leagues too.

Conclusion

Kodi is a fun streaming solution. It is a whole new world of entertainment for those that have never experienced the wealth of options its offers. But, one should still be mindful of the risks attached to using it. It is not entirely legal when used with third-party addons, and many hackers and nefarious types out there are waiting to capitalize on the vulnerabilities of you using them. Be sure to use a quality VPN, so you never find yourself regretting your streaming because of attacks or answering for copyright infringements.

FAQs

Why do you need a VPN for Kodi?

Most “unblocked” third-party online streaming is not legal, and you do not want to leave a trail of online activity showing you were infringing on copyrights. Using a VPN for Kodi also protects you from the vulnerabilities of using unvetted third-party apps.

What is the best VPN to use for Kodi?

ExpressVPN is by far the best VPN to use for Kodi. It offers you maximum protection and privacy without compromising on speed and performance.

Should I use a free VPN for Kodi?

No! Free VPNs do not offer maximum protection against threats. And, you will likely experience poor speeds, countless ads, and restricted access to features you need for unblocking geo-restricted content.

Does Kodi work on Firestick?

Yes, Kodi works on Firestick.

Is Kodi legal?

Kodi is a free and open-source media player software application developed by the XBMC Foundation. It is perfectly legal to use in its original state and so long as you stream publicly available content.