Best VPNs for Kodi: Reviewed on Speed and Private Streaming

Kodi is one of the most user-friendly and extensible media players on the market. The free and open source software is available for nearly every modern device and makes it extremely easy to download and stream music, movies, and other media at home and on the go. Just search for content or load your own files and start watching.

Finding the best VPNs for Kodi2

Using Kodi isn’t without its caveats, however. Sending so much unencrypted data across the internet carries some privacy concerns, especially if you use torrent or P2P networks on a regular basis. This can set off red flags with your internet service provider and may even lead to account termination. Accessing geo-blocked channels and content is also difficult with an out of the box version of Kodi.

Fortunately, pairing a virtual private network (VPN) service with Kodi neatly tackles both issues. Not only does it provide encrypted, anonymous traffic, but VPNs also let you sidestep region blocked content with a quick click of the mouse.

Here are your top 3 picks for the best VPNs for Kodi

Updated: September 7, 2018

Evaluating the VPNs

Using a VPN with Kodi has a few special requirements over standard web browsing VPNs. Since you’ll be downloading and streaming a lot of large files, data speed is a high priority, as are bandwidth and file type limitations. We took these and several other factors into consideration when choosing our list of recommended VPNs for Kodi.

  • Logging and security policies – There’s no point in using a VPN that can store and sell your data. To keep privacy a top priority, we made sure each VPN service encrypts all traffic and has a strict zero-logging policy. Your location and your information will stay safe.
  • Traffic limitations – Some lower-tier VPNs like to block high-volume types of traffic from their service, including P2P and torrent files. This can cripple your Kodi experience by severely limiting what you can download and stream. All of the VPNs below support the widest range of traffic possible, including P2P and torrents.
  • Bandwidth limitations – Speed is crucial when streaming videos and music through Kodi. Some VPNs impose limits on how fast you can transfer files, often capping speeds after you’ve reached a certain threshold. All of the VPN services below feature unlimited bandwidth.
  • Geographical restrictions – One of the key benefits of using a VPN with Kodi is bypassing local censorship regulations put in place by governments or universities. These are especially troublesome when you travel or when certain content is blocked in your region. We checked the services featured below to make sure you have a range of options and can switch between countries without penalty.
  • Platform availability – Kodi is cross-platform and available on nearly all mobile and desktop platforms. In order to take advantage of your VPN, you’ll need to install their software on the same device you use Kodi. Each of the chosen services below provides custom software for a wide range of platforms, including desktop computers, mobile devices and the Amazon Fire TV Stick.

Best Kodi VPNs that work in 2018

1. IPVanish

IPVanish – best VPN for Kodi

IPVanish has a strong focus on speed, security, and privacy. The service delivers true anonymity by using over 40,000 shared IPs spread across 750 servers in 60 different countries. This unrestricted network also allows users to get around censorship efforts put in place by universities, employers, and governments. Unlimited bandwidth makes streaming movies a breeze, and IPVanish doesn’t restrict P2P or torrent traffic, opening up your entertainment options considerably. Add to that 256-bit AES encryption and a strict zero-logging policy and you’ve got the makings of a fantastic VPN tailor made for Kodi.

Whereas most VPNs are resellers, IPVanish is unusual because they are one of the few VPNs that own their own server network. This gives them more control over speed and security.

All IPVanish plans include the above features and can be billed by the month or annually. Device support includes Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, Ubuntu, Chromebook, and router software.
EXCLUSIVE DEAL: Addictive Tips readers can save a massive 60% here on the IPVanish annual plan.

2. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN aims to make VPNs a little more accessible to the general public. The service touts fast speeds and strong security along with instant set-up for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, routers, and Linux. There are servers in over 94 countries spread across the Americas, Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, great for anonymity as well as circumventing region locked content and censorship. You also get unlimited speed, unlimited bandwidth, and no restrictions on what types of files you stream or download. Finally, ExpressVPN boasts strong encryption, IP address masking, and zero-logging policies, making it a solid choice for anonymous and secure VPN usage.

ExpressVPN plans include all of the above service features for a flat monthly or yearly rate. Platform support includes VPN software for Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, iOS, routers, and even Blackberry devices.
There is a special offer running here which gives an extra 3 months access free with the annual plan. ExpressVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free and get a full refund if you decide against keeping it.

3. NordVPN

NordVPN is known for its unrestricted traffic policies and long lasting reliability. The service features double data encryption that does exactly what you’d think: encrypts data once, then encrypts it a second time. This, combined with a strict zero-logging policy, bitcoin payments, and an automatic kill switch to shut down software if your connection vanishes, makes NordVPN one of the best choices for security and privacy minded users. 783 servers in 57 countries give plenty of options for avoiding region blocks, and a complete absence of file type and bandwidth restrictions means you’ll be able to stream movies all you like.

All NordVPN plans include the entirety of the service’s features billed at a flat monthly or yearly rate. Device support includes Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Linux, Blackberry, and Android. NordVPN also boasts some of the lowest rates around, perfect if you’re looking to test the VPN waters without making too much of an investment.

DEAL ALERT: NordVPN ran a very popular year end deal which gave a 66% discount on the 2 year plan. The deal ended but is now back on the site here. There is no mention of an end date but we can confirm it works at the time of writing.

4. StrongVPN

StrongVPN is all about privacy and freedom. The service works to encrypt each connection with PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, and IPSec protocols for reliable anonymity along with a strict zero-logging policy. The server distribution covers 46 cities in 24 countries, which is a little shallower than some services but still provides plenty of options for getting around censorship or regional restrictions. Total privacy mixed with unlimited bandwidth also makes for a great torrenting and streaming VPN, which pairs nicely with Kodi.

StrongVPN features several VPN packages billed monthly or yearly. Software support includes Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. StrongVPN also features a StrongDNS option for users who need a little extra speed.

DON’T MISS THIS: StrongVPN is running a 15% discount here. You will also need to add the code ‘SAVE15’ at checkout.

How to Spot a Bad VPN

The age of privacy awareness has attracted a host of unscrupulous providers looking to take advantage of new users. This has led to a swarm of unreliable and dangerous services that collect, sell, and trade user information to turn a profit. Fortunately, a little research is all it takes to stay a step ahead of these bad eggs.

The first and most important rule for VPNs is this: free is always a bad idea. It may sound tempting, especially if you’re not sure if a VPN is really necessary, but it never pays off in the end. Free VPN services have no incentive to encrypt your data or keep it private. Most of them have hidden data caps, throttled download speeds, and blocked file types, which make using Kodi nearly impossible. As a rule, if a VPN offers free or nearly free service, you should pass. The privacy risks just aren’t worth it.

When researching a potential VPN, your first concern should always be encryption and logging policies. Anything other than full encryption and zero-logging is unacceptable, even when using Kodi. Check the provider’s FAQs and terms of service to see what their official word on the subject is. If no information is available, strike that VPN off your research list and don’t look back.

A special consideration for using VPNs with Kodi are file type and bandwidth restrictions. Good VPNs state up front that P2P and torrent traffic is unmonitored and unlimited. Although restricting these downloads isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, the vast majority of Kodi users find themselves relying on them from time to time. If there’s any doubt, search for your potential provider’s name with the phrase “torrent blocked” and see what other users are saying.

Do You Have to Use a VPN with Kodi?

While using Kodi doesn’t require using a VPN, it’s strongly recommended that you do. With online privacy becoming a greater concern, sending so much unencrypted personal data through the internet can raise red flags with your service provider, especially if you use P2P networks or torrents. Every online action leaves a trail of breadcrumbs, and that information can leave you vulnerable.

VPNs are inexpensive and easy to set up. They also provide extra features that work well with Kodi. Even if digital privacy isn’t a concern, using a VPN can give you access to content and streaming channels normally blocked in your region. Traveling overseas and want to keep watching your favorite show? Switch your VPN to a home server and you’re good to go. Certain Kodi extensions and channels also have region restrictions that can be sidestepped with a good VPN.

Setting Up a VPN with Kodi

Kodi can run on a wide variety of platforms, not just computers, laptops, or tablets. To encrypt and protect your privacy while using Kodi, you must have your VPN software installed on the same device. Not all VPNs will support some of the more unusual Kodi installation options (Amazon Fire TV Stick or Apple TV, for example), so you’ll need to take extra steps to keep your information safe.

To ensure your non-standard Kodi devices are protected, you’ll need to connect your router directly to your VPN service. The process will vary depending on your router brand and your VPN provider, but it generally involves opening a browser window to your router’s configuration page and entering server/protocol information for your specific VPN. It may sound complicated and technical, but the process is actually very straightforward.

Occasionally you’ll need a specific type of router or a stock router with special firmware installed. Check your VPN provider’s support pages for more detailed information on securing your connection. Some VPNs even sell routers with custom software and VPN information entered already.

Alternative to VPNs

VPN services have gotten much easier to use in the last several years. Most offer quick one-click installations for desktop and mobile devices, so all you have to do is sign in and you’re streaming safely. If you’re not concerned about data privacy and just want to access geo-blocked content, there are a few services that provide quick workarounds.

Two of the leading and reputable proxy services are Tunnelbear and CyberGhost. Both offer geo-blocking workarounds along with limited free usage for simple tasks like browsing or downloading a few files. If you’re using a bandwidth heavy program like Kodi, however, you’ll quickly use up the free download allocation and enter paid territory. It’s also important to note that proxy services won’t deliver the fast speeds or security advantages of a full VPN.

Read Best VPNs for Kodi: Reviewed on Speed and Private Streaming by Geoffrey Walters on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to Watch NFL on Kodi: Best 2018 Add-ons for NFL Live Streams

Kodi, formerly known as XBMC, is a free and open source media center that makes it easy to watch movies and TV shows from a variety of online sources. You can load your own video library directly into Kodi, catch a live TV stream from within the app, and even install add-ons that crack open countless new ways to entertain and distract yourself for hours on end.

Kodi’s real power comes from its unofficial third party add-ons, especially the ones that enable live streaming. With the right tools you can watch television shows and sports from around the world on nearly any device. There are even official and unofficial add-ons for viewing NFL content!

To access NFL game streams on Kodi you’ll need to install the right third party add-ons. Just like with MLB content, the process is a lot simpler than it looks, so keep reading for a complete guide on how to watch the NFL on Kodi.

Updated: July 7th, 2018, 23:50 GMT

Before You Download, Get a Good VPN

While the Kodi software itself is open source, free, and legal, some of the add-ons you can install access content in a manner best described as “legally gray”. Live streaming, TV, and movie plug-ins are especially prone being monitored and reported to government and corporate agencies by your local ISP, leaving you vulnerable each time you go online.

To protect yourself from snooping service providers all you need to do is use a virtual private network. VPNs act as a tunnel between you and the content you’re downloading. Normally, data such as your location, operating system, and which Kodi streams you’re accessing is sent in a raw format through your local service provider where it can be shared with or sold to third parties. With a VPN active, information that leaves your computer is sent to servers around the world and encrypted to make it unreadable.

Not all VPN services are created equal, however. Some throttle bandwidth, restrict the types of files you can download, put your privacy at risk by storing activity logs, or have crippling speed problems that make streaming videos nearly impossible. To ensure your VPN doesn’t negatively impact your Kodi content viewing, make sure the service places a high priority on the following features:

  1. Fast download speeds – All VPNs add some latency due to the extra distance data travels as well as encryption overhead. This can create a significant drop in the quality of the videos you stream, especially if you favor HD sources. Speed is a critical factor in choosing a VPN, so make sure your provider places a high priority on fast server connections.
  2. Zero-logging policy – In addition to encrypting and anonymizing data, good VPN services will have a strict policy against keeping records of user activity. This delivers an extremely high level of security, as your private information is never stored on an external computer. If a VPN doesn’t state its logging policy right up front, keep searching for a better provider.
  3. Allowing all traffic and file types – Some VPNs restrict which types of files and traffic users can download, including torrents and content from P2P networks. This can render Kodi practically useless. Good VPN providers have no file restrictions of any type.
  4. Good server availability – One of the key benefits of using a VPN is being able to change virtual locations to access geo-blocked content. The more servers a VPN has, the better.

IPVanish – The Best VPN for Kodi

One VPN provider that scores high on all of the above features is IPVanish. The service places top priority on user privacy and manages to deliver it without sacrificing speed. IPVanish also has a strict zero-logging policy, unlimited bandwidth, no file type restrictions, and over 750 servers in 60 different countries, making it a solid choice for a fast, high quality VPN.

The service supports all Kodi add-ons that we have tested, has all the benefits a VPN can deliver,  which really makes your NFL streams safe, private, and accessible no matter where you live.

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How to Install Kodi Add-ons

Once you install Kodi to your favorite device, a world of add-ons are suddenly at your disposal. Everything from music plug-ins to extra interface features, live television, and a variety of video streams are just a few clicks away. Kodi downloads usually come with built in access to Kodi repositories, giving you a set of official add-ons you can install and use right away. To grab the most useful sports related content, however, you’ll need to take a few extra steps.

Before you can install third party add-ons Kodi has to be able to retrieve files from external sources:

  1. Open Kodi and click on the gear icon to enter the System menu.
  2. Go to System Settings > Add-ons
  3. Toggle the slider next to the “Unknown sources” option.
  4. Accept the warning message that pops up.

Now that Kodi can install external files, you’re ready to begin. The basic process behind installing new add-ons is surprisingly simple. First, tell Kodi where to locate a specific repository, which is a bundle of add-ons stored on an external server. Next, add this repository to Kodi. With the repository in place you can browse its contents and install add-ons at your leisure.

Overview of how to install Kodi add-ons:

  1. Open Kodi and click the gear icon to enter the System menu.
  2. Go to File Manager > Add Source. You may need to click the double-dot at the top to move to the top of the directory.
  3. Type the URL of the add-on repository into the window that opens.
  4. Type a custom name for the repository you’re about to add and click “OK“.
  5. Go back to the Kodi main menu and select “Add-ons“.
  6. Click the open box icon at the top of the menu bar.
  7. Choose “Install from Zip File
  8. Select the repository you just added.
  9. Wait for the repository to install. A notification will appear when it’s ready.
  10. Go back to the Add-ons menu and click the open box icon again.
  11. Choose “Install from repository
  12. Find the add-on you’d like to install from the repository.
  13. Install the add-on and wait for the confirmation notification.
  14. Access your add-on from the main menu and enjoy your new content!

Watching NFL on Kodi – Official Add-ons

Most versions of Kodi come packaged with dozens of official add-ons. These provide everything from new interface skins to language packs, free video and music streams, and much more. There’s a lot of functionality built into Kodi from the start. You can even watch sports and NFL content!

To install the following add-ons, simply open your Kodi app, go to the main menu, then select Add-ons > Download. You’ll see a list of official Kodi repository offerings. Browse the list and find the service by name, then click to add it to your home menu.

Videos from NFL.com

The name says it all. This add-on is included with the official Kodi repository and lets you watch video highlights from NFL.com on any device. It’s the same as going to the website, only the interface is a little easier to use.

NFL Teams Videos

Another add-on that does exactly what its name promises. Watch videos from NFL teams’ official home pages, including highlights, interviews, and analyses of recent and upcoming games. A surprisingly convenient add-on, especially if you follow more than one team.

NBC Sports Live Extra

Watch all NBC Sports and NBCSports Network coverage of live events right from your Kodi installation, all completely free and legal. If you live outside of the United States you’ll need to use a VPN and change your virtual location, otherwise the content will be inaccessible.

NFL Game Pass

A convenient way to watch official streams from NFL Game Pass. Note that you’ll need to have an active account with NFL Game Pass in order to use this add-on.

Watching NFL on Kodi – Third Party Add-ons

AddictiveTips does not condone or encourage any violation of copyright restrictions. Please consider the law, victims, and risks of piracy before downloading copyrighted material without permission.

Unofficial third party apps are what make Kodi such an amazing piece of software. These add-ons extend the functionality of the base app to allow for streaming videos, music, and movies from sources around the world.

The downside to third party add-ons is that not all of them are reliable. Repositories are notorious for changing locations or disappearing entirely, streams are blocked or reconfigured on a regular basis, and some content is even obtained illegally. They can be a hassle, but the amount of content they deliver is worth the occasional bit of trouble.

The Kodi add-ons below have proven to be reliable sources for streaming sports, NFL content, movies, and other videos.

DON’T FORGET: Use a VPN when streaming through Kodi. IPVanish gives our readers an exclusive discount of 60% and you’ll only pay $4.87 a month to keep your browsing safe and private.

NetStreams SportsHUB – Live NFL and More

NetStreams is a fairly new unofficial Kodi add-on with a sharp focus on live sports. The interface it split between several major sports, including dedicated categories for live NBA and live NFL. Opening any of these sections reveals currently live streams with one or two archived pieces of content just for kicks. When it’s kickoff time, simply open the add-on and see what your options are. NetStreams can be a little rough around the edges, but the content is there, so you really can’t argue with that.

How to Install NetStreams SportsHUB

NetStreams SportsHUB is found in the Brettus Repository, itself archived in another repo. To install the add-on, simply follow the steps outlined below.

  1. Open a web browser and visit the following URL: http://toptutorialsrepo.co.uk/kodi/Repos/
  2. Download the repository named repository.Brettusrepo-#.#.zip. Be sure to save it somewhere easy to access.
  3. Open Kodi, go to the main menu and select Add-ons.
  4. Click the box icon at the top of the menu.
  5. Choose Install from Zip File, then select the Brettus repo you just downloaded.
  6. After adding Brettus, return to the open box menu and select Install from Repository.
  7. Select the entry named Brettus Builds Repository followed by the Video add-ons folder.
  8. Choose the NetStreams add-onfrom the list.
  9. Install NetStreams SportsHUB, then launch when you’re ready to stream.

Maverick Repository – Multiple NFL Add-ons

The Maverick repository is home to several sports-centric add-ons, most notably SportsDevil and the repo’s own Project Maverick. To access any or all of these NFL streaming sources you simply need to add the repository to your system, install the add-ons with a few quick clicks, then launch and enjoy. Below we outline some of the best NFL and football add-ons along with complete instructions for installing the repo.

Installing the Maverick Repo

Maverick is a fast installation, just like any piece of unofficial Kodi content. Once you add the zip file to your system you’ll be able to install as many of its add-ons as you like. Follow the steps below first, then choose which add-ons you need and install them individually.

  1. Begin by opening a web browser and going to the official Maverick repository.
  2. Download repository.maverickrepo-3.4.zip and save it somewhere convenient.
  3. Run Kodi, go to the main menu, then choose Add-ons.
  4. Click the box icon and select Install from Zip File.
  5. Navigate to where you saved repository.maverickrepo.zip
  6. From the open box menu, choose Install from repository.
  7. Scroll down and open the MaverickTV repository.
  8. Enter the Video add-ons folder.
  9. Select the add-on you want to install. See below for suggestions.

DON’T FORGET: Use a VPN when streaming through Kodi. IPVanish gives our readers an exclusive discount of 60% and you’ll only pay $4.87 a month to keep your browsing safe and private.

SportsDevil – NFL, MLB, NBA, and More

SportsDevil has long been one of the best sports streaming resources in the Kodi ecosystem. Part of the reason the service survives is that it keeps maintenance to a bare minimum, preferring non-curated lists of content streams to tightly organized categories. As soon as you install SportsDevil you’ll see a collection of streaming resources, only a few of which have categories for individual sports. Browse by channel and click to start the stream, then you’re ready for some football!

SportsDevil has it all. For NFL and other American football content, you’ll want to stick with the Live Sports category along with the reliable streams listed below.

  • Bundesliga-Streams.net – Live sports organized by starting time. If your NFL game is about to kick off, check here for a good source.
  • Dimsports.eu– A large resource with nearly 20 unique sports categories, including football.
  • LiveTV.ru– A general-purpose sports server with NFL, MLB, and NBA streams tucked safely within.

To install SportsDevil on your system, follow the instructions above for adding the Maverick repo, then choose SportsDevil from the add-ons list.

Project Mayhem Sports – Live Content

The Project Mayhem Sports add-on is the star of the Maverick repository’s offerings. This handy extension comes with dozens of reliable channels from around the world, including BT Sports, Sky Sports, Bein Sports, and Pac 12. You’ll also find several live content folders with live soccer and American football, though the selection can be limited when matches aren’t live streaming.

Install Project Mayhem Sports by following the repository instructions above, then select the add-on by name.

DON’T FORGET: Use a VPN when streaming through Kodi. IPVanish gives our readers an exclusive discount of 60% and you’ll only pay $4.87 a month to keep your browsing safe and private.

Using a VPN to Access Region Locked Content on Kodi

Kodi is location agnostic software, meaning anyone around the world can install and use it without limitation. Third party add-ons and the streams they draw from won’t necessarily share that same philosophy, however, especially when it comes to live sports. To ensure you never run into these frustrating limitations, make sure you run a VPN while streaming through Kodi.

VPNs offer a number of privacy and anonymity benefits that make them excellent tools for everyday use. They also give you the ability to select and change your virtual location with just a few clicks. Instead of attaching a local IP address when you go online, VPNs assign you an anonymous IP associated with one of their servers. All you have to do is choose which server you’d like to connect to and you’ll get an IP address associated with that country.

Using a VPN to access geo-restricted content is a simple but effective way to watch sports from around the world. Streaming services are notorious for blocking users in certain countries from watching their games, especially the NFL. With a VPN active and a Kodi installation with a few add-ons, you can easily circumvent these restrictions to watch whatever you want.

Is it Legal to Stream NFL on Kodi?

Third party add-ons in Kodi work by locating data streams from around the internet and collecting them in a central location. They don’t actually create or provide the content you’re watching, they simply point to streams and funnel everything together. When you watch an NFL game in Kodi you’re connecting to some unrelated site for the stream. This raises the simple question of which service is violating which law, the content provider or the content deliverer, and if the viewer is at fault when they aren’t aware of the source of the file.

The indexing nature of Kodi and its various add-ons places it in a legal gray area. The laws vary depending on your location as well as the type of content you’re accessing, meaning there isn’t a clear yes or no answer to the question. This hasn’t stopped internet service providers from targeting Kodi users for litigation, however, which is another reason why you should always use a VPN when watching streams.

Streaming NFL to Your TV

Kodi is available on a wide variety of platforms, including mobile devices, laptops, tablets, and dedicated TV boxes. This means you don’t have to huddle in front of your desk to watch a good quality NFL stream. One of the easiest ways to push Kodi content to your TV is to install it on an Amazon Fire TV Stick. The compact and inexpensive device plugs into your television for easy access to all of the add-ons and extras mentioned above.

Installing Kodi on an Amazon Fire TV is easier than you might expect. You can even add a VPN to the device for the ultimate in convenient, private streaming.

Let us know how it all works out for you, below.

Read How to Watch NFL on Kodi: Best 2018 Add-ons for NFL Live Streams by Geoffrey Walters on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter