The BK Links Build For Kodi: How to Install and Tour

The BK Links build for Kodi is considered to be one of the best Kodi builds available. The build boasts a futuristic and easy-to-use interface, along with some of the most popular Kodi add-ons which all come built in. Among them are add-ons such as Neptune Rising, Dothraki, Nemesis, Maverick TV, Death Streams, Placenta, Planet MMA, Supremacy, The Dogs Bollocks, Verdict, Wolf Pack, and several more.

BK Links Build Splash Screen

In this article, we’ll begin by showing you step by step how to install the BK Links build. As you’ll see, the process is similar to most build installations. And if you’ve never done it before, don’t worry, our detailed instructions will make it easy. And once we’re done installing the build, we’ll give you a short guided tour of its main features. This is a huge build son we probably won’t be able to cover everything but we’ll try to show you the essential.

For Better Privacy When Using Kodi, Use A VPN

Internet Service Providers have the bad habit of monitoring their users’ online activity. They say they need to ensure no one is violating their terms and conditions. And when they even just suspect someone might be, they can react by throttling down their speed, sending them infringement notices or even completely interrupting their service. To the annoyance of your ISP’s reactions, you should definitely use a Virtual Private Network when streaming content.

A VPN protects your privacy by encrypting all data in and out of your computer using strong encryption algorithms that make it virtually–no pun intended–impossible to crack. Anyone intercepting your traffic wouldn’t be able to see where you’re going and what you’re doing online. As a bonus, by choosing appropriately located servers, a VPN also allows users to bypass geographic restrictions.

There are many VPN providers to choose from and finding the best for your needs can be quite a challenge. Among the most important factors to consider, a fast connection speed will reduce–and sometimes eliminate–buffering, a no-logging policy will further protect your privacy, no usage restrictions will let you access any content at full speed and software for multiple devices will ensure the VPN works with all equipment you own.

The Best VPN For Kodi – IPVanish

Best VPN For Kodi - IPVanish

We’ve tested many–if not all–VPN providers. And the one we’d recommend with no hesitation for Kodi users is called IPVanish. With servers worldwide, no speed cap or throttling, unlimited bandwidth, unrestricted traffic, a strict no-logging policy and client software available for all popular platforms, IPVanish meets our criteria and offers excellent performance and impressive value.

IPVanish offers a 7-day money back guarantee which means you have a week to test it risk-free. Please note that Addictive Tips readers can save a massive 60% here on the IPVanish annual plan, taking the monthly price down to only $4.87/mo.

The BK Links Build Installation Step-By-Step

The build, which is from developer Mason B is installed from the Stream Digital Wizard. We’ll to install the wizard first, but not before adding the proper media source to the Kodi file manager.

Enabling Unknown Sources

Before installing any third-party add-on, repository, or build on Kodi, Unknown sources must be enabled.

Fron the Kodi home screen, click the Settings Icon. It’s the small icon that looks like a gear at the top left of the screen. Then, from the Settings screen, click System settings.

Click System Settings

From the System settings screen, click Add-ons on the left side and then, at the center of the screen. click the line that says Unknown sources to enable them.

Click Enable Unknown Sources

A message box will pop up. Read the warning and click Yes to close the box.

Unknown Sources Warning

Adding The Installation Source to The File Manager

Again from the Kodi home screen, click the settings icon once more. This time, click File manager.

Click File Manager

From the file manager screen, double-click Add source on the left side.

Double-Click Add Source

Click the line that says <None> and, on the next screen, enter the source path exactly as follows: http://streamdigital.org/wiz/ and then click OK.

Stream Digital Path

Back to the Add file source screen, make sure everything appears to be correct and click OK to confirm the addition of the file source.

Stream Digital Media Source

Installing The Stream Digital Wizard

Contrary to most other wizards which install through repositories, the Stream Digital Build installs directly from a zip file that you’ll find on the media source you’ve just added.

From the Kodi home screen, click Add-ons on the main menu on the left side. Then, click the Add-on browser icon. This is the one that looks like an open box at the top left of the screen.

Click Add-on Browser

From the add-on browser screen, click Install from zip file.

Click Install From Zip File

Next, click the wiz source you’ve just added and finally, click plugin.program.sdwiz.zip.

SD Wizard Zip File

The Stream Digital Wizard installation will start immediately and as soon as it completes, the wizard will be launched, ready for you to proceed to the next step.

Installing The BK Links Build

As soon as the Wizard starts, it displays its welcome page.

SD Wizard Welcome Page

Click Dismiss to close the page. There is nothing to be reminded of later; the other button is moot.

Next, the Wizard will present you with an options page. For the sake of simplicity, just leave the default selections as is and click Continue.

SD Wizard Options

The Wizard will then offer to take you straight to the builds menu. Since this is exactly what we nee, just click Build Menu.

Click Build Menu

Scroll down the Build Menu until you find the BK Links entries. There are two of them, corresponding to two different installation servers. You may choose either one. And once the download starts, if you find it too slow, you can cancel it and try the other server.

SD Wizard Build Menu

Once you click one of the two available sources, you’ll be taken to the build’s installation options.

BK Links Installation Options

To wipe your current Kodi setup and start anew, click Fresh Install. If you’d rather keep your existing add-ons, repositories, and other settings, click Standard Install. We chose to click Fresh Install as we wanted a clean slate. We strongly suggest you do the same.

If you click Fresh Install, you’ll be asked to confirm the restoration of the Kodi default settings. Just click Continue.

BK Links Confirm Defaults

The build installation will start right after the Kodi configuration is reset, which only takes a minute.

It is a two-part process. The build will first be downloaded, a step that can take quite a bit of time, depending on several factors. In my case, it took just over half an hour.

BK Links Download

Once the download completes, the actual installation is launched. This is much faster but still takes a while. On my system, it took the better part of five minutes.

BK Links Installation

Once the installation completes, you’ll be asked whether to reload the profile or force close Kodi. We suggest you click Force Close.

BK Links Force Close

Once you restart Kodi, you’ll be greeted by the BK Links Build user interface instead of the familiar Kodi interface.

A Quick Tour Of The BK Links Menu

While this article is not enough to give you a complete tour of every feature of this great add-on, we’ll at least have a look at what you can find in each section.

Main Menu And User Interface

The BK Links Build user interface is very sleek and simple. Like many other builds, there’s a menu bard towards the middle of the screen with widgets appearing above it when pressing the up arrow and submenu items appearing below it when pressing the down arrow.  At the top lest, you can quickly access your favourites, the build’s search functionality and power options.

BK Links Main Screen

The main menu options are numerous yet they are easy to understand. In all, there are ten of them, each with a name that rarely leaves any doubt about what you’ll find under it.

Movies

This section will likely impress every movie fan. There is so much content available. The widget in this section is called Monster Munch. It is a list of close to 700 movies that you can watch by simply clicking its icon.

BK Links Movies

As for the section’s submenu, there are options for quickly accessing the movies section of several of the build’s add-ons. Some of the best add-ons for movies are included such as Uranus, Placenta, or Supremacy.

Shows

If you prefer TV shows to movies, this section is just as good as the previous one and, again, it pulls content from some of the best add-ons. The widget displays the Popular movies section from the Neptune Rising add-on.

BK Links Shows

The section’s submenu has direct links to some of the best TV content. There’s Placenta’s By Network list, for example. Another interesting subsection is Catchup TV which has the latest episode of most current TV shows

4K Hub

If you’re into Ultra High Definition content–and you have the hardware to support it–you’ll be pleased with this section. The widget presents a selection of 4K movies from the Redemption add-on. there are just over 30 titles available

BK Links 4K Hub

And for even more UHD content, the section’s submenu has direct links to the 4K sections of several add-ons such as Dogs Bullock, Supremacy, Maverick, UK Turk Playlists, Star Tec, and Monster Munch. Together, this represents hundreds of titles.

Sports

This is the section for sports fans, as you might have guessed. The variety appears to be just as good ad the previous sections. As a widget, you have direct links to eight great sports add-ons. There’s Extreme Sports, Maverick Sports, Motor Replays, Planet MMA, PureSports, SportsDevil, The Loop, and Wrestling On Demand.

BK Links Sports

And if those are not enough to satisfy your craving for sports, the submenu has a few more options including a list of 133 live IPTV sports channels.

Live TV

For hard-core cord cutters, this will be a section of choice. And with reason. It includes content from the best add-ons for live IPTV. The section has no widget and the submenu is rather small but don’t let that put you off.

BK Links Live TV

There’s still a ton of content available in here. There are live TV selections from CCloud, Fluxus TV, TV One!, Midian, Maverick, and Star Tec. Together, this offers thousands of worldwide TV channels.

Kiddos

Kids will also find some content they’ll love in this build. And this is where it is. And best of all, it’s not just about movies. Of course, there are movies and the section’s widget, for instance, has over 15o titles.

BK Link Kiddos

But when you go to the submenu, you’ll have more variety. I particularly loved the retro toon section where you can watch cartoons from the past. Kids Fitness is another interesting options if you have active kids that need to move.

Music

Are you a music fan? You’ll find your fix in this section. The widget has the World’s Top 100 Singles. and the submenu has even more music selection.

BK Links Music

It has a mix of music video feed and audio-only selections. The MPS Streams subsection, for instance, has one of the greatest selection of audio feeds and offers thousands of titles.

Lounge

It’s hard to explain what the Lounge section is all about. You’ll have to see for yourself, I guess. The widget provides direct links to many movies collections from the Uranus add-on. There are, for example, Chick Flicks, Based on a Ture Story, Star Trek and War categories.

BK Links Lounge

As for the submenu, it has categories like Cooking, Reality TV, Workout, Kung Fu Flicks, or Red Light, an adult content section that is PIN protected.

Preview

I found this last content section somewhat disappointing. I was expecting to find movie previews of upcoming films but instead, I got a complicated structure that requires me to enter my TNT credentials. And to make matter even worse, I couldn’t find any information on the subject elsewhere in the build or even on the web. Perhaps one of you readers know what this is all about and would care to explain using the comments section below this article?

Tools & System

you won’t find any content in these last two sections. Instead, as their name implies, this is where all the tools and system settings are hidden.

Wrap Up

The BK Links build is another great build that many will love. Although its installation might take a bit of time, it certainly beats having to install each and every add-on it contains by hand. This is the main advantage of builds, You get everything set up in a single installation. As for content, the BK Links build leaves nothing to be desired. Each of its section proposes a great selection of content for all tastes.

Have you tried the BK Links build? What did you like best about it? Did you encounter any issues installing or using it? Please, share your experience with us using the comments below.

Read The BK Links Build For Kodi: How to Install and Tour by Renaud Larue-Langlois on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Elysium Not Working: Best Alternatives to Elysium for Kodi

One of the latest Kodi repositories to go offline is the hugely popular Noobs and Nerds Repository. Noobs and Nerds had been around a while and was home to some of Kodi’s most popular unofficial addons. Some addons have found new homes elsewhere, but for others, the loss of their repository has meant the end for them too. Those Kodi users who have discovered that the Elysium Kodi addon is not working at the moment have probably already guessed that it falls into the latter category.

Elysium was one of Kodi’s more popular all-in-one addons. Built as an updated version of the popular Zen addon, which is itself now also offline, Elysium offered a wide range of content principally focused on Movies and TV shows. It will be missed by many regular Kodi users. But as is always the case, when Kodi addon goes offline, there are always no shortage of alternatives ready to step up and fill the void they have left. This is the case with Elysium too and in this article, we will outline our pick of the best alternatives to the Elysium Kodi addon.

Always use a VPN when streaming content on Kodi

If you are planning to stream content using an unofficial Kodi addon such as the ones we have recommended here as alternatives to the Elysium addon, we strongly advise you to connect to a VPN first. This is because some Kodi users have found themselves in receipt of legal threats by copyright holders for streaming content on unofficial addons. It is claimed that such addons offer access to content in breach of copyright content. This is the reason why the Noobs and Nerds repository has gone offline and taken Elysium with it.

Some Kodi users have received legal letters or even faced further legal sanctions just for using addons like these. But a VPN offers you some protection by encrypting all of your online data and helping to hide your real IP Address while streaming on Kodi. This means your online activity is kept private and safe from prying eyes. A VPN is an essential online tool for Kodi users these days, but which VPN provider should you be using?

The Best VPN for Kodi – IPVanish

IPVanish offers fast and consistent connection speeds which are perfect for streaming content on Kodi. It combines these speeds with super-strong encryption and top-level privacy protections too, which include a no user logs guarantee that you can trust. IPVanish offers its users a choice of more than 850 servers in 60 countries around the world. And they also have no restrictions on either file types or data amounts you can use. Given that some addons use file types such as bittorrent and streaming can be very data intensive, this is essential. IPVanish offer dedicated apps for almost every device you might want to run Kodi on too, including the Amazon Firestick. SAdd all this up and it is clear that IPVanish is the best VPN for Kodi users right now.

IPVanish offers a 7-day money back guarantee which means you have a week to test it risk-free. Please note that Addictive Tips readers can save a massive 60% here on the IPVanish annual plan, taking the monthly price down to only $4.87/mo.

What to do about Elysium?

If you have already downloaded the Elysium Kodi addon onto your system, you may wonder what we are talking about. Your addon will most likely still be functional and it will remain that way for some time yet. There is no need to delete the Elysium addon, or indeed do anything if you already have it. However, in the mid to long-term future, this addon will begin to fail. It will no longer be updated as its repository is offline, so more and more links will be broken and bugs in the software will begin to multiply. There will come a time that Elysium will be unusable. But that may not be for some time yet, so feel free to continue to enjoy it.

The same is not true for Elysium’s repository, Noobs and Nerds. Offline repositories can be a security risk, especially if they have been taken down as a result of legal action, which is the case with Noobs and Nerds. Fortunately removing the Noobs and Nerds Repository from Kodi is a simple process. All you need to do is follow this short guide:

  1. On the Kodi home screen, go to Add-ons > My Addons > Add-on repository
  2. This brings up a list of your repositories. Find the Noobs and Nerds Repository on your list and click on its name.
  3. On the following page click on Uninstall which can be found in the menu at the bottom of the screen.
  4. A popup window will open asking you to confirm you want to delete the Noobs and Nerds Repository. Click on Yes and this will completely remove the repository from your system.

Best alternatives to the Elysium Kodi addon

If you haven’t already downloaded and installed the Elysium addon, the removal of the Noobs and Nerds Repository means that you will no longer be able to do so. But don’t fret, as there are plenty of excellent all-in-one Kodi addons out there which offer great alternatives. Here is our rundown of the very best of them.

Official Kodi addons

The main reason that the Elysium Kodi addon has gone down is because of legal action taken against its repository for breach of copyright law. They are not the first unofficial Kodi repository to face such action and the chances are they won’t be the last. If you are fed up of constantly having to switch between addons as they go offline, then the best bet for you is to turn to the official Kodi repository and use an official and 100% legal addon. These addons are all approved by the Kodi developers, the XBMC Foundation, and are fully legal. They usually offer high-quality content and there is little risk of them going offline, but the downside is that they rarely offer the range of content that some unofficial addons have available without there being a subscription price to pay. Nevertheless, if you want to find a legitimate and official addon to replace Elysium, here are a few you might want to give a try to.

Snagfilms addon

The Snagfilms Kodi addon is quite a rare thing, in that it is an all-in-one addon which holds official status and can be downloaded from the Kodi Repository. This completely legal addon has a variety of movies, TV shows, foreign films, and classic content available to stream online for nothing. While its selection of content doesn’t rival that which was available on Elysium, there is still plenty to choose from, with the added bonus that their streams all work well and there are no issues with copyright to worry about.

How to install the Snagfilms Kodi addon

The Snagfilms addon is available to download from the official Kodi repository. To do this, all you need to do is follow this simple guide:

  1. Open Kodi, and on the main menu click on Addons.
  2. Next, click on the Addon Browser icon which resembles an open box.
  3. Choose Install from repository, then select the Kodi Addon repository.
  4. Click on Video addons then scroll down the list until you locate Snagfilms.
  5. Click Install and wait for the process to complete.
  6. Snagfilms should now be listed in your Addon menu and be ready to enjoy.

Classic Cinema Online addon

This addon sources content primarily from the Classic Cinema website which itself pulls together content from several online archives, including Google Video and archive.org. As the name suggests, Classic Cinema Online is populated mainly with vintage movies which are no longer copyrighted. But despite that, there is a wide variety of content available across almost every conceivable genre. It is certainly not a place to head for new movie releases, but there is still a lot available for movie fans to enjoy with this addon.

How to install the Classic Cinema Online Kodi addon

The Classic Cinema Online addon is, like Snagfilms, available to download from official Kodi repository. Take a look at the instructions above to get started installing this great addon!

USTV Now

If you are looking for TV shows rather than movies, then another official addon worth taking a look at is the USTV Now addon. This addon takes advantage of the fact that a number of US TV Channels make their content available online for free. It offers both live streams and on-demand content and while there is perhaps a lack of premium content, there is certainly no shortage of popular TV shows available to enjoy. You can use this addon to enjoy content from such channels as ABC, NBC, Fox, and CBS. It’s all free, but if you want to pay out, there is a premium service which has even more content available, at a price.

To find out more about the US TV Now Kodi addons, take a look at our complete guide on how to Install the USTVnow Kodi Add-on and USTVnow Plus.

Unofficial Kodi addons

The unofficial addons we have recommended here have plenty to offer. But we have to be honest, they do not compare to the breadth and depth of content that was available on Elysium. The fact is that no official Kodi addon will ever be able to match that and most wouldn’t dream of trying. So, if you want to get close to a like-for-like replacement for the Elysium addon, you really have no choice but to opt for an unofficial addon.

Unofficial Kodi addons often have their drawbacks. They can be slow, unreliable, packed with broken links, and perhaps most importantly, illegal. But not all fit into this stereotype and some unofficial Kodi addons are quite simply a joy to watch. If you haven’t already done so, you will need to toggle one of Kodi’s internal settings before you are able to download unofficial Kodi addons onto your Kodi system. Don’t worry. This is a simple process which can be done as follows:

  1. On the Kodi home page, enter the Settings menu by clicking on the icon which resembles a gear wheel in the top left of your screen.
  2. Next, click on System Settings followed by Addons
  3. Toggle the slider next to the Unknown sources
  4. Lastly, accept the warning message which will pop up.

Note: Unofficial Kodi add-ons can source content from a variety of locations, some of which may not be legal in your area. Addictive Tips does not condone or encourage any violation of copyright restrictions. Please consider the law, victims, and risks of piracy before accessing copyrighted material without permission.

FTFA

FTFA is one of the new all-in-one addons which has stepped into the gap left by Elysium and other addons like it. FTFA is a big and bold addon which sources a huge amount of American and British TV channels and makes it available to enjoy in a simple and well-thought-out addon. With FTFA, you can stream movies and TV shows, watch documentaries and sports, and much more besides. It is already proving popular with a great many Kodi users, and it is easy to see why.

How to install the FTFA Kodi addon

The FTFA addon is currently available through the Brettus Repository. It is easy to download, although you will need to open up an external website to get a PIN number before being able to open it. This is a simple process however, but here is our easy-to-follow guide to help you through it:

  1. Open the Kodi home screen and click on the settings icon.
  2. Select File Manager > Add source and click where it says <None>
  3. Type in the following URL exactly: http://toptutorialsrepo.co.uk/kodi/Repos/
  4. Give it a name such as Top Tutorials and then click OK.
  5. Go back to your home screen and click on Addons > Addon Browser > Install from Zip File.
  6. Click on Top Tutorials, then on repository.Brettusrepo-x.x.x.zip. Wait for a moment, then you will see a notification appear in the top right of the screen once the source is installed.
  7. Go back to the Addon Browser menu and click on Install from repository
  8. Click on Brettus Builds RepositoryVideo add-ons and scroll down to FTFA 
  9. Click on it and then click Install.
  10. Wait for a moment, and you’ll see another notification that the add-on has been installed.
  11. Open the addon and a pop-up window will tell you you need to generate a PIN Number. Click OK to open up a new window which will link to the website to do this.
  12. Click on the blue Generate button to receive your PIN Number. Copy it and then paste it into the Kodi window.
  13. The FTFA addon will take a few seconds to validate this PIN Number after which the addon will open as usual.

Man Cave Flix

The new Man Cave Flix is an addon which follows Elysium’s lead in focusing primarily on Movies and TV Shows. As the name suggests, this addon is being marketed to a mostly male audience, but this is a little misleading as there are dedicated sections for women and children within it and it links to plenty of content which everyone can enjoy. It is a nicely designed and easy to use addon which makes finding and streaming content as simple as any Kodi user could hope for. The Man Cave Flix Kodi addon doesn’t quite hit the heights of Elysium yet, but it does get pretty close.

How to install Mac Cave Flix Kodi addon

The Man Cave Flix addon follows the recent trend among new Kodi addons of being available from its own Repository. However, the process to download and install it remains as simple and straightforward as ever:

  1. Open the Kodi home screen and click on the settings icon.
  2. Select File Manager > Add source and click where it says <None>
  3. Type in the following URL exactly: http://kodi.mancavekodi.com
  4. Give it a name such as Man Cave and then click OK.
  5. Go back to your home screen and click on Addons > Addon Browser > Install from Zip File.
  6. Click on Man Cave, then on repository.Mancave-x.x.x.zip. Wait for a moment, then you will see a notification appear in the top right of the screen once the source is installed.
  7. Go back to the Addon Browser menu and click on Install from repository
  8. Click on Mancave RepositoryVideo add-ons and click on the Man Cave Flix link.
  9. Click Install, then wait for a moment, and you’ll see another notification that the add-on has been installed.

Elementum

The Elementum Kodi addon is an addon which can rival Elysium for the amount of content that it has available, but which makes it available in a very different way. Elementum is a fork of the hugely popular Quasar Kodi addon and like its predecessor, it uses BitTorrent links to source almost all of its content. It scrapes these links from a number of different Torrent sites around the web and the result is that Elementum offers links to almost any movie and TV show you can think of. It requires a little bit of setting up, but once that is done, Elementum really could be the Elysium alternative of your dreams.

How to install the Elementum Kodi addon

Elementum is not an addon which you download in the usual way. Instead of using a repository, this addon is only available to download as a Zip File. The process for downloading it is actually even easier than using a repository, but the setting up of this addon is rather more complicated.

To find out how to download and install the Elementum Kodi addon, we therefore recommend you head over to our official review for full details.

Conclusion

The demise of Elysium is one which is mourned by many Kodi users. But in the current climate, the loss of popular addons is something that they just have to get used to. The flipside is that there are always plenty of alternative addons out there to be enjoyed. We have outlined our pick here, so why not share your thoughts on them with us. And if you have any other addons you think Elysium users might like to try too, why not share them with us using the comment box below.

Read Elysium Not Working: Best Alternatives to Elysium for Kodi by David Spencer on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to Route Plex with a VPN, Retain Your Privacy

Plex is a powerful media center service that lets you stream movies from a dedicated storage medium to almost any device you own. Got a TV series on your PC you want to watch on Fire TV? Set Plex up on both devices, then start streaming, it really is that simple. Securing your online connection with Plex can take a little configuration, however. You want to do everything you can to retain your privacy, which is why routing Plex with a VPN is always a smart idea.

Route Plex with a VPN 1

Using a VPN with Plex

The first step in setting up your Plex/VPN routing is to select a reliable VPN service. There are tons of options at your disposal, each with slightly different features, strengths, and weaknesses. Read on for more information about what makes a good VPN to use with Plex, then see our recommended VPNs below.

Why Use a VPN?

Using Plex with a VPN gives you two major advantages: virtual IP addresses and data encryption. The former allows you to bypass region restrictions on non-local streaming content. If a Plex Channel only serves users in certain countries, for example, you can often turn on your VPN, switch to a server in that region, then launch the stream as if you were a local.

Data encryption brings a whole host of benefits to your online experience, not just Plex streams. With it you’ll enjoy a massive amount of privacy, preventing things like ISP data harvesting, government surveillance, and identity theft from hackers. VPNs create a sturdy foundation for online security so you can surf and stream with complete peace of mind.

Choosing the Best Plex VPN

Each time you connect to the internet you put your data at risk. With a VPN in place, you won’t have to worry about that any longer. We’ve gathered some of the top services in the industry below, each one delivering fast speeds and incredible privacy measures. They’re perfect for general web surfing or Plex streaming on any device.

1. ExpressVPN – Best for Speed

Route Plex with a VPN 2 -ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is a fast, friendly, and secure VPN that comes with all the right features to make your online streaming experience as smooth as possible. Tough 256-bit AES encryption on all data keeps your streams hidden from prying eyes, a thorough zero-logging policy on traffic, DNS requests, and IP addresses keeps information secure, and both DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch make sure your identity remains a secret. ExpressVPN packages everything in easy to use software that runs on a variety of devices, making it an excellent choice for routing with Plex.

2. IPVanish – Excellent Security

Route Plex with a VPN 3 -IPVanish

IPVanish combines speed, security, and online anonymity into a fast and straightforward package. It starts with the company’s huge network of servers, over 950 in 60 different countries. This gives you a wide variety of options when you need a lightning fast connection. Data is kept safe with DNS leak protection, an automatic kill switch, and 256-bit AES encryption on every packet, along with a zero-logging policy on all traffic to prevent information from falling into the wrong hands.

EXLCUSIVE OFFER: Slash 60% off the price of an annual plan with IPVanish for a price of just $4.87 per month! Backed by a 7-day money back guarantee.

3. NordVPN – Powerful Protection

Route Plex with a VPN 4 -NordVPN

A lot of things stand out about the NordVPN experience, but none are more impressive than the size of the company’s network. Each user gets immediate access to over 3,300 servers in 59 different countries, allowing you fast connections around the world. You’ll also get a huge list of privacy features right off the bat, including double encryption, DDoS protection, onion over VPN, 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and an automatic kill switch! Finally, NordVPN has the most thorough zero-logging policy in the business that covers time stamps, DNS requests, traffic, and bandwidth, making it perfect for privacy-conscious individuals.

4. CyberGhost – Strong Privacy Features

Route Plex with a VPN 5 -CyberGhost

CyberGhost is a relative newcomer in the VPN marketplace, but it has already proven itself as a reliable, safe, and affordable solution. 256-bit AES encryption and a zero-logging policy on traffic, time stamps, and IP addresses keeps your data safe at the ground level. DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch provide an added layer of privacy over this. And when it comes to connection speeds, CyberGhost’s 1,290 servers around the world offer plenty of options, no matter where you live.

Routing Plex with a VPN

For the best in online security, you’ll want to lock down every connection on your home network, including streaming services like Plex. Our guide below will show you how to route Plex data through a VPN to keep your information safe and private.

Automatic Method (Easy)

Route Plex with a VPN 6 -Plex setup

There are a lot of variables at play when it comes time to connect Plex and your VPN to an outside network. Which ports you’re using, your router’s settings, how your VPN software is configured, and so on. The good news is that for some people routing Plex with a VPN is practically instantaneous.

Before you try the method below, see if your VPN naturally works well with Plex. Do this by signing up for a recommended service, then downloading their software for your device. You’ll need apps for both the device that’s hosting your Plex Media Center and the one you’re streaming to with the Plex Media Player. For example, if you push content from your PC and watch it on an Android tablet, make sure you download VPN software for both of these devices.

Once the apps are installed, log in using your credentials, then connect to a fast server. Most VPNs automatically choose the best one available as soon as you sign on. Do this for both Plex devices.

Now it’s time to run Plex. Open the Media Center and make sure it can still connect to the internet. Go to your Media Player and try streaming a video. If it works, and you’ve made certain your VPN software is active on both devices, you won’t need to do any additional configuration. Plex can route through a VPN automatically with some services, and you’ve got one of them!

If automatic routing doesn’t work, try the next method on your home network.

Router Method (Difficult)

Route Plex with a VPN 7 -Forwarding router ports

A secondary option if automatic routing doesn’t work is to use the router install method. Most VPNs offer configuration files or manual listings to help you encrypt and connect to their secure network directly from your router. This means every device in your home will gain the protection of a VPN without having to run individual apps. Just connect to your VPN-enabled router and start surfing.

This VPN method can be a bit tricky, especially if you aren’t used to doing manual configurations with your router. You also need a specific type of router firmware that works with VPNs, either Tomato or DD-WRT. A lot of people likely already have this on their router, but if not, you’ll either need to install it yourself or get a router that’s natively compatible.

Once the prerequisites are met, you can dive in and configure your router to use VPN encryption. The process varies for each VPN and router firmware, so if you get lost, consult your VPN’s support pages for a complete customized guide. The steps below should get you started well enough, however.

First, go to your VPN provider’s support page and look for a router installation tutorial. There will be a section devoted to creating config files (usually .ovpn). Generate one for your router, or take note of the information the VPN wants you to enter manually.

Next, go to your router’s admin page and log in. Navigate to Services > VPN (or the rough equivalent) and enable “Start OpenVPN Client”. Open the .ovpn from the router interface to add the necessary data, or simply copy the correct information into the boxes provided. Save your changes, apply them, reboot your router, and now your Plex installation and every device on your home network is now protected by a VPN!

Manual Method (Extremely Challenging)

Route Plex with a VPN 8 -OpenVPN and Plex

If both of the above methods fail, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and do things yourself. The manual configuration method requires a little more technical know-how than automatic or router connections. This is due to the fact that VPNs change your external IP address, which can be confusing to Plex clients trying to send or receive data. Fortunately you can bypass that by using OpenVPN and creating a custom configuration file. Follow the instructions below to do just that.

Start by downloading the free OpenVPN software for the device that hosts your Plex Media Server. This should be a PC running Windows, Mac, or Linux, and ideally it will be your main device that connects directly to your router. Install it after downloading. If you have Windows you’ll get an OpenVPN GUI along with this download. If you use Linux, you’ll need to stick with the command line, and if you use Mac, download Tunnelblick to gain access to an OpenVPN GUI.

Next, visit your VPN’s support pages and look for an area where you can generate a custom .ovpn configuration file. This is usually done to set up their service through your router, but we’ll be using the information for another purpose. Save the file somewhere easy to access, like your desktop.

Now you need to run OpenVPN using the custom connection file you downloaded. Most users can simply right click on the .ovpn file and choose Start OpenVPN on this configuration file, or, if the icon shows the OpenVPN logo, simply double click to run. If you can’t do either, open a terminal or Power Shell window and type in the following:

openvpn myconfig.ovpn

Next we’ll create a custom configuration file OpenVPN will use to route Plex traffic. Create a blank text file on your desktop and name it plexconnect.ovpn. It’s extremely important the file uses the ovpn extension. If you see something like plexconnect.ovpn.txt, the connection won’t work. Make the file in Notepad++ for best results, or simply choose “Save As” in any editor, change the file extension to “All Files”, and type .ovpn manually.

In this .ovpn file you’re creating, paste the following code exactly as it appears:

client

dev tun

proto udp

nobind

# PLEX over WAN routes

route 50.63.202.7 255.255.255.0 192.168.0.1

route 50.63.202.6 255.255.255.0 192.168.0.1

persist-key

persist-tun

ca ca.crt

tls-client

remote-cert-tls server

auth-user-pass login.conf

comp-lzo

verb 1

reneg-sec 0

crl-verify crl.pem

Save the changes to your file. Next you’ll need to move it to the right directory. OpenVPN creates a config folder somewhere on your system during installation. You can usually find it under the default location. For example, Windows stores these files in C:[your name]. Move your .ovpn file there.

Now we need to forward a few ports to let OpenVPN and Plex work. This method will vary depending on your router brand and firmware, but the basic premise is always the same. Log into your router admin panel and look for a Settings menu. Find a section labeled Port Forwarding. Add two entries here, one to forward UDP traffic and one to forward TCP traffic. Set both to port 32400, which is the port Plex uses by default. Save the changes and reboot your router for them to take effect.

Everything should be good to go now. Launch the Plex Media Server on your PC, then run the first .ovpn file to connect to your VPN provider. You may need to manually associate the second .ovpn file you create after launching the OpenVPN GUI, but otherwise it will connect and route everything as expected.

Conclusion

Plex is one of the world’s most popular home streaming services. It’s been around for years, and it works with a wide variety of third party services out of the box, including VPNs. Most people will be able to send their traffic through a VPN without having to go through complicated setup procedures. Just turn on your VPN, load Plex, and enjoy the show!

Read How to Route Plex with a VPN, Retain Your Privacy by John Bardinelli on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter