How to Watch NBA Games Without Cable (FREE Option Included)

Watching NBA games without cable isn’t an easy task – unless you are using a VPN, Kodi or both. Follow our guide for step by step instructions on picking a VPN, installing the right Kodi addons, and staying say and private while you do.

If you live in the US and you have a cable subscription, it’s easy to watch all of the key NBA games on the ESPN channel if you have that included in your package, so you can cheer along with every pass and every thrilling moment. But what if you’re a basketball fan who lives outside of the US? In that case, it can be hard to find NBA games to watch if the sport isn’t popular in your country. Even if you have a cable sports package, there’s no guarantee that they will show the NBA games you want to see.

And what about those in the US or abroad who don’t have a cable subscription but still want to watch sports? It’s increasingly common now for people to give up their televisions and to only use their computer for entertainment instead. Cutting the cord makes sense for a lot of reasons – it saves money, you can choose only the subscription services you do want instead of having to pay for whole packages of channels you don’t want, and it lets you have a more customised watching experience. But it is tricky for a sports fan to see the games they want without a cable subscription.

So today we’re here to help! We’re going to show you how to watch NBA games without cable.

Watch NBA With a League Pass

For the official NBA experience, you can get an NBA League Pass from the NBA site at http://www.nba.com/leaguepass/. This pass will give you access to the website where you can watch live games, plus see the latest updates and scores as well as real-time stats. You can also watch some games on demand after they have happened from the Playoffs and All-Star Games series. An advantage of a League Pass is that you can also watch on your mobile device, smart TV or gaming console using the apps available for iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, Playstation 3 and 4, and Xbox One. There are three different tiers of access, starting at $8.99 per month (see section below how to get the best prices).

However, despite these advantages there are some drawbacks to using League Pass. Firstly, there is the issue of blackouts. Which games are available to watch live is dependent on a complex set of laws and policies about where you are watching from. Most frustratingly of all, you can’t watch the live games of your local team! This is determined by the postcode from which you are currently watching. This makes the proposition of paying a fairly large sum for monthly access to be much less appealing.

A secondary problem is if you travel a lot and want to watch your games while you are away from home. Because the availability of games to stream live is based on your current location, when you travel you may find that you suddenly can’t access games that you could previously. Especially if you travel outside of the US, this is a major issue.

Thirdly, some people find that $17.99 per month or more is just too much to pay for access to watch only one sport. Especially when compared with streaming services like Netflix which offer far more content for a lower monthly fee, some viewers do not find the League Pass a compelling option.

Get Around League Pass Restrictions and Get a League Pass For Cheaper With A VPN

Fortunately, there is a way to get around all of these problems with League Pass, and that is by using a VPN. You install a small piece of VPN software onto your device, whether it’s a laptop, smart TV, or mobile phone. Then, whenever the VPN is active, it will encrypt all of the data which your device sends over the internet. This encrypted data is sent to a server run by your VPN provider in the location of your choice, where it is decrypted and sent on its way.

The advantage of this encryption is that not only does it improve your security, but it also allows you to make it appear as if you are accessing the internet from another location. When the data is decrypted, it appears to any site you visit as if you are located wherever the server is, as opposed to where you are actually browsing from.

So what’s the advantage of this for NBA fans? It means that when you have your League Pass, you can get around blackout restrictions on local games by connecting to a server somewhere else in the country before loading the site. The site will think that you’re accessing it from the server location as opposed to your actual location and allow you to watch local games.

You can use this same method to keep accessing your League Pass content when you are travelling. Wherever you are in the world, you just need to connect to a server back home and you’ll be able to see your content as per usual.

Finally, you may want to use a VPN when signing up for League Pass in order to take advantage of the much cheaper International League Pass options which are available for sports fans who live outside of the US. In fact, not only is the International League Pass cheaper, but it also has no restrictions, which means no blackouts and no missed games. All you have to do to get an International League Pass is to use a VPN to connect to a country outside the US – the UK is a popular choice for this – and then visit the NBA website to sign up as usual. Once you’re signed up, make sure your VPN is connected to the UK before you open the site and you’ll be able to enjoy the full international experience.

This is how using a VPN can give you a better and cheaper League Pass experience. But which VPN provider should you use? Here are our top recommendations:

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is a favourite among power users, known for its super-fast connections and excellent security. The security features include 256-bit encryption to keep all of your data secure from prying eyes, plus a no-logging policy to ensure that your data will never be shared with anyone else.

The large server network of over 3,000 server in 145 locations in 94 different countries means that you’ll have plenty of options from which to pick a server to get around blackout restrictions, and the fast connection speeds mean that you can stream video in high definition with no problem.

The software can be installed Android, iOS, and Blackberry, plus Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. There are also browser extensions for the Chrome, Safari, and Firefox browsers which you can conveniently use when watching League Pass.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

Pros

  • Unblocking Netflix, iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime
  • Super fast servers (minimal speed loss)
  • Torrenting/P2P allowed
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Great customer service via chat.
Cons

  • Slightly pricier than competition.
BEST FOR NBA: ExpressVPN easily unblocks geoblocked NBA games with blazing fast connection speeds. Get 3 months free and save 49% on the annual plan. 30-day money back guarantee included.

2. NordVPN

NordVPN is the top choice for users whose number-one concern is security. The NordVPN service includes the option to use double VPN, in which your data is routed through two different proxy servers in order to give you the maximum possible protection. Of course, the company has a no-logging policy to complement their high security system. The massive server network covers nearly 5,800 servers in 60 different countries, so you’ll find a server to meet your needs easily.

The software is available for both old and new versions of Windows, plus Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Chrome OS, Android, and Windows Phone.

Read our full NordVPN review.

Pros

  • Servers optimized for unblocking Netflix
  • 5,400+ servers globally
  • Torrenting/P2P explicitly allowed
  • Extra-secure Double VPN for data encryption
  • 24/7 Live Chat.
Cons

  • Some servers can be slow and unreliable
  • Refund processing can take up to 30 days.
BEST BUDGET VPN: Get a huge 75% discount for signing up for the 3-year plan, taking the monthly price down to only $2.99. Also note that all plans come with a “no hassle” 30-day money-back guarantee.

3. IPVanish

Some of the speediest connections of all can be found at IPVanish, with zippy fast servers which are ideal for watching high definition video. The security offered is great too, with 256-bit encryption and a strict no-logging policy so that you can stream in peace. The server network has more than 1,300 servers in more than 75 locations worldwide, which is plenty to find one and get your blackout-free basketball viewing started.

The IPVanish software supports lots of platforms so that you can protect all of your devices, including Windows 7, 8, and 10, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Android, Fire TV, Windows Phone, and Chromebook.

Read our full IPVanish review.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: AddictiveTips readers can save a massive 60% here on the IPVanish annual plan, taking the monthly price down to only $4.87/mo.

Watch NBA Games Live With Kodi

If you don’t want to sign up for League Pass, there’s another way which you can watch NBA games without cable. Kodi is a piece of open source media centre software which you can install on a whole range of devices. Using the Kodi media centre software, you can watch live TV channels over the internet using add-ons. We’ll show you two different add-ons for Kodi which you can use to live stream ESPN, letting you watching NBA games live with no restrictions.

You just need to find out when games are on by checking this site: http://www.espn.com/nba/schedule and then you can use Kodi to tune into ESPN and watch your games for free.

Why You Need A VPN To Use Kodi Add-Ons

As you can imagine, the add-ons for Kodi which allow you to stream paid cable channels like ESPN are often not fully legal. The specific laws about streaming content different around the world, but it is certainly risky to stream paid content illegally over an unsecured internet connection.

If you’re going to use these Kodi add-ons, then it’s important that you use a VPN to protect yourself. As well as letting you spoof your location as we described earlier, a VPN will also ensure that your ISP cannot observe your internet usage and so they cannot know if or what you are streaming.

Kodi users should ensure that they have a VPN installed before using these add-ons. You can see above for our recommendations for VPNs that you could use, or check out our dedicated guide to the best VPNs for Kodi.

Watch NBA Games On ESPN With The Project Cypher Add-On For Kodi

A popular TV channel streaming add-on is called Project Cypher and is created and maintained by the Cypher Media Group. This add-on gives you access to a massive number of TV channels from around the world which you can stream at any time, including ESPN to watch NBA games.

How To Install The Project Cypher Add-On For Kodi

  1. Start on your Kodi home screen
  2. Select the settings icon, then go to File Manager
  3. Click on Add source
  4. Click on the box where it says <None>
  5. Enter this URL into the input box: http://cypher-media.com/repo/ It’s important that you make sure to type it exactly as written, including the http://, or it will not work correctly
  6. Give the source a name – today we’re going to call it cypher
  7. Click OK
  8. Go back to your home screen
  9. Click on Add-ons
  10. Click on the icon that looks like an open box
  11. Choose the option Install from zip file
  12. Go to cypher, then click on Cypherslocker-1.0.2.zip
  13. Wait for a second and you’ll see a notification that the repository has been installed
  14. Now go to Install from repository
  15. Go to Cyphers locker
  16. Go to Video add-ons
  17. Click on Project Cyper and you’ll see a screen of information about the add-on
  18. Choose Install from the menu at the bottom
  19. Wait for a second and the add-on will be installedproject cypher installed

How To Use The Project Cypher Add-On To Watch NBA Games on ESPN

Once the Project Cypher add-on has been installed, it’s easy to use it to watch ESPN:

  1. Start on your Kodi home screen
  2. Go to Add-ons
  3. Go to Video add-ons
  4. Click on Project Cypher
  5. Scroll down to Cypher IPTV Channels and click on it
  6. Click on Cypher Mobdro
  7. Click on Sports
  8. Scroll down to ESPN and click on it
  9. Wait for a second and the ESPN stream will begin

Watch The NBA On ESPN With The Cerebro IPTV+ Add-On For Kodi

Another add-on which is useful for streaming TV channels is called Cerebro IPTV+. IPTV stands for Internet Protocol Television and, as you can image from its name, Cerebro IPTV+ has a whole bunch of channels that you can watch through the internet – including ESPN for watching NBA games. Here’s how to install it:

How To Install The Cerebro IPTV+ Add-On For Kodi

  1. Begin on your Kodi home screen
  2. Click on the settings icon, then go to File Manager
  3. Click on Add source
  4. Click on the box where it says <None>
  5. Enter in this URL: http://kdil.co/repo/ Make sure to type it exactly as written, including the http://, or it won’t work
  6. Give the source a name. We’ll call it kdil
  7. Click OK
  8. Go back to your home screen
  9. Click on Add-ons
  10. Click on the icon that looks like an open box
  11. Click on Install from zip file
  12. Click on kdil, then on zip
  13. Wait for a moment and you’ll see a notification once the repository has been installed
  14. Now go to Install from repository
  15. Go to .www.Kodisrael.co.il Repository
  16. Go to Video add-ons
  17. Click on Cerebro IPTV+ and you’ll see a screen of information about the add-on
  18. Click on Install from the menu at the bottom
  19. Wait a second and the add-on will be installedcerebro iptv installed

How To Use The Cerebro IPTV+ Add-On To Watch NBA

Once the add-on is installed and ready to be used, here’s how you can watch ESPN:

  1. Begin on your Kodi home screen
  2. Go to Add-ons
  3. Go to Video add-ons
  4. Click on Cerebro IPTV+
  5. Click on IPTV
  6. Click on Mobdro
  7. Find ESPN (you might need to scroll down a bit) and click on it
  8. Wait for a second and the ESPN stream will begin

Conclusion

Basketball fans without cable subscriptions, don’t despair! There are still ways in which you can watch live NBA games without having to shell out for a cable subscription. We’re shared some different options for watching NBA games on your computer, phone, or tablet.

Firstly, you can try the NBA’s official League Pass service. The blackouts on this are frustrating but you can get around them with a VPN. You can even save some money by getting an International League Pass instead of a US one.

Secondly, you can use add-ons for Kodi like Project Cypher or Cerebro IPTV+ to watch live streams of ESPN for free, meaning you can catch any NBA games when they’re shown on the cable channels without a subscription.

Are you an NBA fan without a cable subscription, and if so how do you watch your games? Have you tried out any of these methods? Then let us know what you thought about them in the comments below!

Read How to Watch NBA Games Without Cable (FREE Option Included) by Diego Villena on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Best VPNs for Streaming in HD, 4K and Beyond: Stream Movies and TV Shows, Safely and Fast

In a world of endless entertainment options, are you dead certain your media devices are secure? Today, we’ll cover the best VPN for HD and 4k streaming enthusiasts. Our recommendations strike the perfect balance between privacy provisions and performance, so you never drop a frame behind your wall of VPN encryption.

As recently as the early 2000s, HD streaming videos were a luxury only a few people could afford. As time and technology progressed, internet speeds became faster, hardware matured, and suddenly HD streams were commonplace. In recent years, even HD has become somewhat obsolete with things like 4K videos and ultra HD quality movies hitting the market.

Streaming hi-def shows carries privacy risks just like any online activity, however. Fortunately, you can protect your connection against throttling and lock down personal information by using a virtual private network. Read on to find the best VPNs for streaming in HD, 4K, and beyond.

Evaluating the Best VPN for Streaming in HD

To watch HD, 4K, and ultra HD video streams, you need all the speed you can get. In the world of VPNs, however, speed often comes at the price of privacy, which is an unacceptable trade-off to most users. For these reasons and more, it can be difficult to pick the best VPN for streaming in HD. We’ve made the process simpler by providing a list of recommended services below. Each was selected based on the following criteria, ensuring you always have the fastest VPN service possible, all without sacrificing your online privacy.

  • Speed – VPNs are, on average, anywhere from 10 to 20% slower than a standard internet connection. To maintain your top speeds for HD content, you need a VPN that puts a high priority on fast downloads across its entire server network
  • Bandwidth limitations – A few VPNs still limit the amount of bandwidth you can use per day, week, or month. This can quickly put a cap on your HD video watching, so always make sure your VPN features unlimited bandwidth
  • Traffic restrictions – A surprisingly common practice among low-tier VPNs is to block certain types of downloads, especially traffic from P2P networks and torrents. Both of these technologies are routinely used to stream HD videos
  • Logging policy – Online privacy hinges on a VPN’s logging policy. If logs are kept, data can be stored for an indefinite amount of time, allowing government agencies or other third parties a chance to get access. If no logs exist, your information is safe, plain and simple
  • Device compatibility – Watching HD streams doesn’t just happen on your desktop PC. Make sure you’re protected on every HD-compatible device by using a VPN that offers custom software for a wide variety of platforms, including tablets, laptops, and smartphones

Here is our list with the best VPNs to watch hi-def streaming in HD or 4K.

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN has some of the fastest servers on the VPN marketplace. The company strives to deliver incredible download speeds without skimping on privacy features. It succeeds by deploying a relatively small network of 3000 servers in 94 different countries, a list large enough to provide location variety but small enough to allow for better hardware. No matter where you live or where the server you connect to resides, with ExpressVPN, you’ll get a solid, lag-free connection. There’s even built-in speed test software to help you verify ratings and switch to a new server.

As for privacy, ExpressVPN uses the industry standard 256-bit AES encryption, locking information down to keep prying eyes at bay. Data that passes through servers is further protected by a comprehensive zero-logging policy that covers traffic, DNS requests, and IP addresses. Local software comes with DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch, both of which are designed to keep your identity hidden should your internet connection suddenly disappear. All in all, ExpressVPN manages to provide top speeds and strong privacy features, all in an easy to use package.

ExpressVPN’s best features include:

  • Custom software and apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS devices
  • No restrictions on bandwidth, P2P network downloads or torrent traffic
  • Break through censorship barriers in countries such as China
  • Consistent and reliable access to Netflix streams

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

Pros

  • SPECIAL OFFER: 3 months free (49% off – link below)
  • 3,000+ super fast servers
  • Torrenting allowed
  • Keeps no logs of personal data
  • Customer Service (24/7 Chat).
Cons

  • Slightly more expensive than some other options.
BEST FOR STREAMING: ExpressVPN is our top choice for streaming in hi-def. Get 3 months free and save 49% on the annual plan. 30-day money back guarantee included.

2. NordVPN

NordVPN delivers exactly what users want from their VPN: fast speeds, strong privacy, and a huge network of servers. At the time of writing, NordVPN has over 5000+ servers in 61 different countries, a list that’s constantly growing as the days go by. You can access the entirety of this network with unlimited bandwidth, unlimited server switching, and no restrictions on P2P or torrent traffic, as well.

NordVPN has one of the most all-inclusive zero-logging policies around, covering everything from traffic to time stamps, bandwidth logs, and even IP addresses. This is in addition to 256-bit AES encryption (with select servers that offer 2048-bit encryption), DNS leak protection, and an automatic kill switch on multiple versions of their custom software. With NordVPN you always know you’re getting the fastest connection possible, and you’re not giving up your privacy to do it.

More of NordVPN’s best features:

  • Specialized servers that offer faster P2P downloads, double encryption, onion routing, or DDoS protection
  • Reliable access to Netflix streams despite constant attempts at blocking VPNs
  • User-friendly apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and more
  • Unlimited bandwidth and no restrictions on P2P traffic or torrents

Read our full NordVPN review.

Pros

  • Best Budget Choice
  • Over 5,400 servers in 61 countries
  • Up to 6 simultaneous connections
  • Strict zero logs policy on both traffic and metadata
  • 24/7 Chat Support.
Cons

  • Very little
  • Can’t specify City or Province in App.
BEST BUDGET VPN: Get a huge 75% discount for signing up for the 3-year plan, taking the monthly price down to only $2.99. Also note that all plans come with a “no hassle” 30-day money-back guarantee.

3. IPVanish

IPVanish is the best VPN for fast speeds and anonymous HD streams. The network is powered by over 850 servers in 60 different countries, featuring an astounding 40,000 shared IP addresses. This ensures you’ll always be able to find a great connection in the region of your choice, all while staying hidden in a crowd of other users. DNS leak protection and automatic kill switch features help make sure your identity doesn’t slip through the cracks, as well.

As for privacy, IPVanish doesn’t take shortcuts, either. The service delivers 256-bit AES encryption to secure everything from end to end. A zero-logging policy on all traffic ensures your activity doesn’t stick around for third parties to take a peek. All of this adds up to the perfect amount of online privacy and anonymity, and you get access to it without sacrificing even a little bit of speed.

IPVanish features at a glance:

  • Watch anonymous HD streams on Kodi without alerting your ISP or tipping off copyright trolls
  • Download movies and TV shows through BitTorrent with full anonymity
  • Easy to use apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android devices
  • Secure servers with fast connection speeds for incredible HD videos

Read our full IPVanish review.

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4. VyprVPN

VyprVPN takes some unique tactics when it comes to preserving your online privacy and anonymity. The most useful of these features is Chameleon, an exclusive protocol that defeats deep packet inspection (DPI) deployed by ISPs and governments to throttle speeds or spy on user activity. Chameleon wraps packet metadata in an extra layer of encryption to obfuscate the origin and destination. This lets more traffic slip through censorship barriers and region blocks, making VyprVPN incredibly useful for areas like China, Russia, and the Middle East.

VyprVPN also owns and operates their entire network of servers, over 700 in 70 different countries. This means the same company controls all hardware maintenance and software upgrades, preventing third parties from gaining access to servers. Add a zero-logging policy on all traffic, 256-bit AES data encryption, and both kill switch and DNS leak protection features, and you’ve got an ideal VPN service that’s both private and secure.

VyprVPN also includes the following:

  • Anonymous and private web browsing and HD video streaming anywhere in the world
  • Easy and free custom apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS smartphones
  • Unlimited bandwidth and no restrictions on P2P traffic or torrent downloads

Read our full VyprVPN review.

READER SPECIAL: All plans include a 30-day money back guarantee at only $5/month.

5. PureVPN

PureVPN does more than just provide encryption, virtual location switching, and other VPN exclusive services. If you’re looking for an all-in-one internet security suite, PureVPN is definitely the choice for you. Some of its more notable extra extras include a built-in ad-blocker, web filtering options, malware protection, anti-phishing features, and even anti-virus scanners. To use all of these incredible bonuses, all you have to do is download PureVPN’s software, sign in, and start browsing.

As for its VPN specific features, PureVPN doesn’t pull its punches. You’ll get complete kill switch and DNS leak protection, as well as 256-bit AES encryption to lock down all of your information. PureVPN also owns and operates its entire network, over 750 servers in 141 countries. Third parties never have access to your data, and with PureVPN’s excellent zero-logging policies, you’re guaranteed a safe and reliable connection to the internet.

PureVPN’s best features:

  • Extra features include anti-virus protection, web filters, ad blocking, and anti-phishing measures
  • Custom apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and even Chromebooks
  • No restriction on torrent or P2P traffic and completely unlimited bandwidth

Read our full PureVPN review.

HUGE DISCOUNT: Pick the 2-year plan which will take a solid 74% OFF the price taking it down to $2.88 per month if you do the math.

How to Defeat ISP Throttling with a VPN

There are hundreds of ways to access HD movie streams online, everything from Netflix to YouTube, Amazon Instant Videos, and Kodi. Depending on the method you use, your local ISP might deploy throttling efforts to help them save on bandwidth costs.

These throttles silently decrease your download speed whenever you start streaming a movie. If your HD videos frequently buffer despite having fast internet service, you could be a victim of ISP throttling.

Fortunately, VPNs generally make quick work of artificial slowdowns of this nature. A VPN’s encryption alone is often enough to defeat ISP filters, as it masks the type of traffic you’re using by default. Instead of “Kodi stream from X website”, your ISP simply notices the traffic and passes it along unhindered.

DID YOU KNOW? How to Watch Netflix with a VPN

Even with encryption, some ISPs can persist in throttling HD video streams, often resorting to slowing down all VPN traffic. Follow the tips below to stop ISP throttling so you can resume your high quality movies without interruption.

  • Change ports – Port monitoring is a common method of controlling internet traffic. If you use a different, unmonitored port, however, you’ll often get by without being noticed. If your VPN software allows it, try switching to TCP port 80 or TCP port 443
  • SSH tunnels – A more complex method of bypassing VPN blocks is to wrap your traffic in an additional layer of encryption, obscuring the fact that you’re using a VPN. You can quickly make an SSH tunnel on Linux and Mac systems, though Windows will take some extra configuring
  • SSL tunnels – An alternate to SSH tunnels above that accomplishes nearly the same thing. SSL tunnels are offered by NordVPN, but you can also download the stunnel software and set things up from there. It’s more complex than the other methods and can be a little slower, but it’s practically guaranteed to bust through VPN throttling efforts

Need a more detailed guide? Follow our tips on how to bypass VPN blocks to get your HD streams back on track.

RELATED READING: How to Bypass Verizon Hotspot Throttling

Get More Speed from Your VPN

ISP throttling isn’t the only thing that could be slowing down your connection. There are a dozen or more weak points between your screen and the stream you’re downloading, and if any one of them fails, the only thing you’ll be watching is a buffering image. If you’ve ruled out throttling but still aren’t getting the speeds you should be, try the tips below.

  • Experiment with different encryption types – VPNs rely on the OpenVPN protocol to manage traffic, as it offers the best balance of speed and privacy. You can switch to other protocols if you’re willing to trade a bit of privacy in exchange for speed. If your VPN offers the option, try switching to L2TP/IPSec or PPTP protocols
  • Switch VPN servers – Factors such as server load and physical distance can have a tremendous impact on connection speeds. If you don’t need access to a particular country’s IP addresses, pick a VPN server closer to your location to help reduce lag. You can also try a less populated server to see if that speeds up your stream
  • Use a different device – Not all hardware can handle HD, 4K, or ultra HD content, especially tablets and smartphones. If your video playback is stuttering instead of buffering, chances are it’s a hardware issue, not a problem with your connection speed. Try the same stream on a laptop or desktop PC to see if that solves the issue
  • Plug in a network cable – Wireless internet is convenient, but it’s notoriously spotty, especially if you’re far away from the broadcast point. If you’re watching a stream on a computer and experience frequent buffering, grab a network cable and plug directly into the router. Wired connections are far more reliable than Wi-Fi, and often faster, too.

INTERESTING READ: Is NordVPN FREE? Here’s how to get a FREE trial

Watch HD Movies and TV Shows on Kodi

One of the best ways to stream HD movies to your device is through Kodi, the free open-source media center software. Kodi is powered by third-party add-ons that provide access to content you didn’t even know existed. Interested in high-quality foreign films? HD sports streams? Entire TV series for a good binge watch? Kodi’s add-ons can hook you up!

Finding a reliable add-on for the content you need is the real challenge. We’ve scoured the web in search of the best Kodi add-ons for HD, 4K, and ultra HD content. Whether it’s blockbuster movies or old TV shows you’re interested in, the links below can help you find good-quality videos.

Read Best VPNs for Streaming in HD, 4K and Beyond: Stream Movies and TV Shows, Safely and Fast by Geoffrey Walters on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to Watch the NFL on IPTV – 2019 Guide

Trying to watch NFL games online can be a challenge. In this article, we’ll guide you through several easy, legal ways to stream the NFL via IPTV – even if you’re not in the US or Canada.

Specifically, we’ll cover your best streaming options and explain how a VPN can unlock NFL games from anywhere in the world. We’ll also talk about Kodi – a free service that brings NFL games and videos to a variety devices without breaking the law. Your struggle to find a reliable IPTV NFL stream stops here!

Before you download, get a good VPN

On one hand, live streaming NFL games and watching replays is often free for residents of the US, Canada, the UK, etc. On the other hand, many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and government agencies may assume you’re streaming illegally with little evidence. While we strongly urge you to stay on the right side of the law, we also understand you can get in trouble whether you did anything wrong or not – and so we’re giving you fair warning. If you want to stay out of trouble while streaming NFL online, it’s best to use a VPN; especially if you’re traveling.

The first thing a VPN can do for you is enable region switching via IP spoofing. In simple terms, this means you can make it look like you’re logging in from anywhere in the world. If you’re outside the US – for example, at a military base or traveling for business – this will help you watch NFL games on IPTV providers as if you were in America. The same applies to permanent foreign residents. With a VPN, you can watch any content you please – including NFL games – from your country of residence. In addition to this, a VPN will encrypt your data, preventing your ISP and state from finding out you’re using the app at all. Either way you look at it, the best and surest way to use Kodi safely and without getting in trouble is through a VPN.

IPVanish – The best VPN for IPTV, Kodi, and everything else

IPVanish consistently ranks as the best VPN provider for streamers. For starters, it has 1,300+ servers in 75+ locations worldwide, meaning you can access an unparalleled number of content libraries from any country you might reasonably want. Second, it’s P2P friendly with a zero-logging policy; absolutely no file type restrictions; unlimited bandwidth and speed. Last but not least, the service is highly secure, using 256-bit AES encryption that’d take millions of years for a supercomputer to crack. Having tested IPVanish for ourselves, we strongly recommend that this is the provider you use for watching NFL games online.

BEST FOR NFL: IPVanish is tailor-made for streaming over Kodi, IPTV, or anything else. Our readers get an exclusive 60% off the yearly plan.

Best IPTV channels for watching NFL games

DirecTV – NFL Network package deal

The #1 official option is DirecTV’s NFL Network package, which lets you watch all NFL games live. Also included in the package is the RedZone channel, which features exclusive game-day content. DirecTV’s service is compatible with iOS and Android devices, macOS, Windows, Linux, AppleTV, Roku and a selection of video game consoles. There are just three downsides to the service. First, it’s only available in select cities. Second, it’s only available if you happen to live in a multi dwelling unit like a condo, an apartment, a student dorm, etc. Third, subscribing to the service costs $199-$359 per season, or $55 per month, which makes it prohibitively expensive for many viewers.

DAZN – NFL Game Pass, Red Zone, NFL Sunday Ticket, and more

DAZN started out as Europe-only IPTV service focused primarily on soccer and other sports. However, as of 2017, DAZN secured over-the-top (aka direct-to-consumer) rights to stream NFL games to Canadian subscribers. Also included is unlimited access to NFL Game Pass, RedZone, NFL Network 24/7, and NFL Sunday Ticket. Unfortunately, if you’re in any country other than Canada, you’ll be blocked from this offering by default. But, with a VPN, you just need to connect to a Canadian server with low latency, and you’ll be able to stream to your heart’s content! DAZN is available for $20/month, or $150/year, with a free trial available. For all-you-can-watch NFL, we call that a steal.

Lower-cost IPTV services

There are other ways to watch NFL games while paying less. PlayStation Vue subscribers can access streaming games depending on their location. Hulu Live features broadcasts from NBC, CBS and ESPN, including NFL games – and only costs $40 per month. YouTube TV also costs $40 per month and lets you stream CBS, FOX, ESPN and Fox Sports. The first caveat is that if you want to stream NFL Network-exclusive content, you’ll be unable to do so using any of these services. The second is that most content is location-exclusive, meaning that you’re not guaranteed to get the programming you want.

OTA tuners

Looking for a cheap way to get HD-quality NFL streams live on your device? An over the air tuner might be just the solution for you. Truth be told, OTA is not actually an IPTV solution at all. If you’re not familiar with the concept, it might sound like a blast from the past. Essentially, an OTA antenna is a device that you hook up to your computer or media streaming device that picks up local broadcast signals–in other words, it’s bunny ears for the modern age! It works perfectly if you’re like so many cord-cutters who lack the ability to tune into local stations. Please note, this won’t help you if you’re living abroad, unless your local broadcasters happen to be covering NFL games. If you need help dialing into the right channel, hop on over to antennaweb.org to make the process simple. A basic OTA device can be had for as little as $10, though we recommend you look around the $50-$150 price point for clearer signals and an expanded list of extra features, including Plex connectivity.

Unofficial alternative – Kodi Media Center

Looking for an alternative to the above services? We recommend you try a free, legal, and open-source media center called Kodi. Kodi features a wide selection of official and unofficial NFL add-ons. With these add-ons, you can watch NFL games, get exclusive content, access the RedZone channel, and more. Even better, Kodi is compatible with any device you can think of: macOS/Windows/Linux desktops, iOS/Android mobile devices, routers, game consoles, Smart TVs, and the Firestick. The only problem with Kodi is that not all of its add-ons are available everywhere. To enjoy the service to its full potential, you’ll want to get a VPN that lets you get an IP address from a major US city, unlocking as much content as possible. As an added bonus, a VPN will make sure you don’t get in trouble with the law in countries that prohibit or restrict live streaming by preventing government and ISP tracking. Below, we’ll cover the best VPNs for NFL streaming with Kodi – and go over the specific add-ons you’ll want to get for the service.

How to install Kodi and its add-ons

Downloading and installing Kodi couldn’t be easier. Here’s how you do it. First, go to kodi.tv/download and scroll down, then download the version(s) of the app you need. Once you’re done with that, open the file and follow the simple instructions to install Kodi on your device.

Choosing and installing add-ons can be a little more complicated. For starters, once you install Kodi, you’ll notice that there’s a virtually endless stream of add-ons for you to choose from. This can make it difficult to pick the ones you want. In addition to this, there’s a number of Kodi repositories you can download from. We’ll start with the basic and necessary step of unlocking access to these repositories:

  • Open Kodi.
  • Click the gear icon to enter System Settings
  • Hover over the add-ons menu, then toggle the switch on Unknown Sources
  • Accept the warning message
  • Click the “back” button to return to the previous screen

Now you’ve enabled Kodi to access and install external files. It’s time to move on to installing the specific add-ons that will help you watch NFL highlights, games, replays and more. We’ll go over each specific add-on below, but first, here are the general instructions for downloading them:

  1. From the System Settings menu, click through to File Manager.
  2. Once inside, go to “Add Source”. If necessary, click the double dot at the top to go to the top of the directory.
  3. Enter the URL of the add-on repository you’re downloading an add-on from.
  4. Choose a custom name for the repository you’ve entered and click “okay”.
  5. Go back to Kodi’s main menu. This time, choose the “Add-ons” section.
  6. Click the open box at the top of the menu bar and choose to install from a Zip file.
  7. Choose the appropriate custom repository name you just added.
  8. The repository will install and let you know once the process is complete. You can then proceed to the next step.
  9. Go back to the add-ons menu and click the open box again. This time, choose “install from repository”.
  10. Choose the add-ons you want and install them.
  11. Wait for a notification to inform you that the installation is complete.
  12. Go to the main menu and access your add on to enjoy your new NFL (or other) content!

Which NFL add-ons are the best for Kodi?

When installing Kodi, you’ll find that it tends to come with a wide array of pre-installed add-ons. This means that most of the time, you can get right into watching NFL content without having to take any further steps. Having said that, you may have a version of Kodi that came with no pre-installed apps – or you may want to install some extra ones to enhance your viewing experience. Either way, here are the top apps recommended for watching the NFL on Kodi.

NFL.com

This app comes pre-installed on most Kodi versions. It lets you watch highlights and replays from NFL.com on a variety of devices. Its features and content selection are the same as NFL.com’s, meaning they’re both legal and professionally edited.

NFL Teams

Like the previous add-on on our list, NFL Teams comes pre-installed on most devices. You can use this app to watch content from specific NFL teams, including interviews, replays, analyses, color commentaries and highlights. Especially convenient if you follow several teams, or want to keep tabs on what your #1 team is doing.

NFL Game Pass

This add-on lets you view NFL Game Pass content using Kodi. It’s a convenient way to stream to your router, mobile device, desktop, etc. Bear in mind that you’ll need an active NFL Game Pass account in order to use this add-on.

NBC Sports Live

With this app, you can stream NBC Sports Network and NBC Sports content directly from Kodi. A lot of this content is also available using the above apps, but some of it is unique, making this app worth a download – especially if you watch major sports leagues other than the NFL.

NBC Sports Live

With this app, you can stream NBC Sports Network and NBC Sports content directly from Kodi. A lot of this content is also available using the above apps, but some of it is unique, making this app worth a download – especially if you watch major sports leagues other than the NFL.

Sparkle

Sparkle does things a little differently; it scrubs Acestream links directly from Reddit, where users are continuously posting their favorite sports streams. While the availability and variety of streams is vast, you have to watch out for legality, as there’s no way for Sparkle to control which countries links are posted from. Using a VPN is a good way to anonymize your connection and mitigate some of this risk, but it’s up to you to make sure you are only picking out lawful streams. NFL is well-represented on Spark, as are many other sports including MMA, Boxing, NBA, and so many more. Find the add-on on iwannabelikemike’s GitHub, then simply click “Clone or download”.

NetStreams SportsHUB

NetStreams SportsHUB is a top Kodi add-on for sports content. In addition to watching NFL content you can enjoy football, cricket, basketball, golfing and more sports. The interface is a little less polished than with the official apps above, but the content selection is top notch, making the add-on worth your while. To install, use the repository URL, http://streamarmy.co.uk/repo and go to Stream Army Repository > Video Add-Ons > NetStream Sports Hub. As with the above plug-in be mindful of international laws and your rights when using NetStream SportsHUB.

Is NFL streaming with Kodi legal?

Here’s the simplest way to check if you’re breaking the law while using Kodi. If the content you’re watching is available to you already, you can likely watch it legally. This applies in most (but not all) cases, even when you’re using a VPN to watch content you’re paying for – but which wouldn’t usually be available where you are. This is because Kodi doesn’t actually host content. It simply lets you watch content from a variety of sources via its add-ons. This means that if you watch content you’re legally entitled to, you’re almost always in the clear.

Depending on where you are, this means one of two things. In countries with lax copyright laws, you can almost always watch everything you find on Kodi discretely, knowing you’re safe. In countries with extreme copyright laws, you should be careful and avoid criminal activities – but a VPN can help you stay out of trouble while using streaming services like Kodi.

Depending on where you are, this means one of two things. In countries with lax copyright laws, you can almost always watch everything you find on Kodi discretely, knowing you’re safe. In countries with extreme copyright laws, you should be careful and avoid criminal activities – but a VPN can help you stay out of trouble while using streaming services like Kodi.

Staying safe with Kodi

Kodi works regardless of where you happen to be. Having said that, many of the add-ons on Kodi, and a lot of the content, is only available to individuals living in specific countries. This is where a VPN comes in handy, letting you get a US IP from outside the US, a UK IP from outside the UK, etc. This is one way in which a VPN helps view the NFL content you want; you can get access to it, for free, as if you were in the US.

You should also be mindful and careful when using non-official add-ons inside the EU, the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Using add-ons like SportsHUB can get you in trouble with the law, even if you legally own the content you’re watching. This is another reason having a VPN is so useful. With a VPN, you can enjoy privacy and anonymity regardless of where you are, and watch the NFL content you want to enjoy without fearing for your safety. Put simply, you should have a VPN when you’re watching Kodi. It will unlock local content for you no matter where you are, and also keep you safe.

Conclusion

Cord-cutters rejoice! The days of needing expensive cable packages to enjoy your favorite sports streams are over, and IPTV is here to offer up a solution you can use from any Internet-connected device. Of course, there are limitations based on your geographical location–but that’s what a VPN is for. We’ve shown you some of the best IPTV channels for streaming NFL, plus a look into the Kodi media center as an alternative solution.

Using this guide, you can now watch NFL videos, replays, highlights, documentaries and more while being safe and secure on the internet. If you have any tips, comments or questions, let us know in the comments below!

Read How to Watch the NFL on IPTV – 2019 Guide by Diego Villena on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Roku vs Firestick Compared: Which One Should I Choose?

Both the Firestick and Roku deliver budget-friendly streaming services everyone can use. But which is right for me? Our Roku vs Firestick comparison will answer just that.

Fire Stick vs Roku 1

We’re spoiled for choices these days, aren’t we? If you want to stream a movie, there are dozens of apps you can use. If you want to watch an old TV show, you can usually find it in a few seconds. Watching media on our phones or computers isn’t always the most convenient, however. Sometimes you want a smart, inexpensive streaming solution to get shows to your TV. That’s where hardware like Fire TV Stick and Roku come into play.

The differences between Roku and the Firestick are subtle but important. If you need help deciding which hardware is best for you, Roku or Fire Stick, check out our complete guide below.

1. Streaming Options for Roku and Fire Stick

Both the Roku and Fire Stick were made to stream. Each offers a wide selection of channels and apps you can install, allowing access to a huge variety of content from across the web. Movies, TV shows, live sports, you name it, they stream it!

Streaming TV Shows

Need to binge watch a classic series? How about catching up on new shows or checking out a new pilot? Fire Stick and Roku both offer easy access to some of the most popular TV streaming services around. You can even get access to live channels!

Hulu

The TV-oriented subscription service offers a bigger variety of TV series than most of its competitors, all thanks to strong licensing deals with content distributors. Hulu has brand new shows released the day after they air, a decent selection of movies, and optional add-on content like Showtime and live TV. Hulu runs perfectly on both Roku and Fire TV, as well, so no matter which device you choose you’ll be set for TV.

Sling TV

The “a la carte” TV streaming service lets you watch only the channels you’re interested in. No weird packages or crazy upgrade schemes, just pick out your favorite content and pay for it, plain and simple. Sling TV is a staple on both Fire Stick and Roku. It’s easy to use on both devices and runs smoothly even with HD content.

HBO Go and HBO Now

If shows like Game of Thrones are all you need, HBO’s streaming apps are must-haves. Both the standalone service and the subscription companion app are available on Fire TV’s appstore and Roku’s channel browser. Prices are the same on both platforms, too, meaning there’s practically no difference between the devices.

Movie Streams

If movies are your thing, both Fire Stick and Roku offer access to some of the biggest resources around.

Netflix

The biggest video streaming service out there has a strong presence on both Roku and Fire TV. In fact, there’s very little difference between the app on either device. If you’re familiar with the look and feel of Android’s Netflix app, Fire Stick’s version might be more comfortable to use. Otherwise, if Netflix is your main source for movies, either Roku or Fire TV is a great choice.

Amazon Instant Video

If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, you get access to tons of free content on Amazon’s Instant Video service. Movies, TV shows, foreign content, and so much more. New freebies are added on a regular basis, too, meaning there’s always something new to watch. Even if you don’t use Amazon Prime you can use Instant Video to buy or rent movies and TV shows at a fair price. The app works great on both Roku and Fire Stick, though a lot of people swear it runs a little faster on the latter.

Crackle

Are free movies more your thing? Crackle offers tons of free films, both new releases and classic. You’ll need to sit through a few commercials before the movie’s over, but hey, free is free, right? Crackle is available in almost identical formats for both Roku and Fire TV.

Other Streaming Channels

Neither Roku or Fire Stick stop with just the biggest streaming services. Along with the likes of HBO and Netflix, you’ll also find apps for user-made videos, live streams, and so much more.

YouTube

The go-to service for all kinds of videos. YouTube is crammed with hundreds of millions of pieces of content, enough to keep you staring at the screen for the rest of your life. Roku has a clear advantage here, as YouTube is no longer available on the Fire TV platform. You can sideload YouTube on Fire Stick, of course, but it can take some time. On the other hand, Roku runs YouTube out of the box without any added installation required.

Twitch

Streaming live video games and eSports is becoming more and more popular as the years go by. Amazon-owned Twitch is the main platform for this, and the app is available on both Roku and Fire TV. The Roku version feels like it’s a little more up to date than its Fire Stick competitor, even though both run just fine on either device.

Video Streaming Winner: Roku

Roku and Fire TV each offer an incredible variety of movie and TV channels, both free and subscription based. All the big ones are there, and dozens of secondary services are easy to install, too. Roku slightly edges out Fire Stick in this department, largely thanks to its bigger selection of third party channels. Browsing Roku’s offerings can turn up some real gems!

Fire Stick vs Roku – VPN Selection

No matter what streaming device you use, keeping your data private and secure is a high priority. Which of the top tier VPNs work with which device, though, and which one gives you the most options?

Using a virtual private network is a different experience with Fire Stick or Roku. Since these devices aren’t made to run a lot of apps, you’ll often have to use secondary means to get the VPN working just right.

Things are a little bit easier with Fire TV. The device runs an operating system based on Android, which means you can sideload a VPN onto Fire Stick without too much hassle. Roku, on the other hand, doesn’t support VPN installs, and there’s no way to add them externally. For this device you’ll need to set your VPN up with a router to protect your entire internet connection. It’s not difficult, but the extra step can be frustrating.

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is a fast, friendly, and secure VPN. With ExpressVPN you’ll have access to hundreds of servers across 94 different locations, all of which are locked down with tough 256-bit AES encryption to keep it hidden from prying eyes. A thorough zero-logging policy on traffic, DNS requests, and IP addresses keeps information safe, and both DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch ensure your identity is never compromised.

ExpressVPN has the clear advantage of offering a dedicated VPN app for Fire TV and Fire Stick devices. Once you sign up you can install it directly from Amazon’s appstore, no need to sideload or root your device. ExpressVPN does support Roku protection as well, but you have to use the service with a third party rerouter. ExpressVPN walks you through the process, but it’s more complicated than just clicking and installing.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

Pros

  • Unblocks American Netflix, iPlayer, Hulu
  • Super fast servers (minimal speed loss)
  • Torrenting/P2P allowed
  • No logs for personal data
  • 24/7 Chat Support.
Cons

  • High cost for month-to-month users.
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2. NordVPN

NordVPN is a stable, trustworthy, and reliable service with one of the largest networks in the industry, currently over 3,300 servers in 59 different countries! This huge selection gives you some unique features other VPNs can’t offer, including double encryption, onion routing, and DDoS protection. NordVPN also provides a strict zero-logging policy on bandwidth, traffic, time stamps, and DNS access, along with an automatic kill switch, DNS leak protection, and 256-bit AES encryption.

Although NordVPN’s speed and security are second to none, the service itself can be tricky to use with Fire TV and Roku. Dedicated apps aren’t available on either platforms. To use it effectively, you’ll need to install NordVPN on your router.

Read our full NordVPN review.

Pros

  • Unblocks US Netflix, iPlayer, Amazon Prime and other streaming services
  • Most VPN servers with different IP addresses
  • Torrenting/P2P explicitly allowed
  • Based in Panama
  • Live chat support is available.
Cons

  • Some servers can have average d/l speeds
  • They can take 30 days to process refunds.
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3. IPVanish

IPVanish combines speed and security into one of the best VPN experiences for any streaming device. The service delivers full access to 950 servers in 60 different countries, each one lightning fast and easy to use. Your data is kept secure with DNS leak protection, an automatic kill switch, and 256-bit AES encryption, and on top of that is a superb zero-logging policy that prevents information from falling into the wrong hands.

IPVanish is extremely easy to use with Fire TV and Fire Stick. All you have to do is sign up, install the app from the Amazon appstore, then you’re set. Roku users will need to set IPVanish up with their router to get streaming protection.

Read our full IPVanish review.

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4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost offers the perfect selection of online privacy features that keep you safe while surfing, streaming, and downloading. 256-bit AES encryption locks down your information from the very beginning, and a zero-logging policy on traffic, time stamps, and IP address ensures no data sticks around in server archives. Both DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch protect your identity from accidental exposure, as well.

CyberGhost operates a large network of 1,320 servers in 60 countries, which is more than enough for your streaming needs. The downside is the service doesn’t support Fire TV or Roku natively. To use it with your Fire Stick you’ll need to sideload it manually, and to use it with Roku you’ll have to install it to your router.

Read our full CyberGhost review.

Pros

  • Works with Netflix
  • P2P allowed on any server except in US and Russia
  • Not in the 14 Eyes
  • Private: Strong no logs policy
  • 24/7 Live Support.
Cons

  • Doesn’t unblock all streaming services.
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VPN Selection Winner: Fire Stick

Fire Stick is the clear leader in terms of overall security. The Android-based device can run several high quality VPN services without any problem. You can even install them straight from Amazon’s appstore. To use a VPN with Roku, however, you have to resort to secondary setup procedures like router installs and MediaStreamer DNS rerouting, which isn’t the most convenient solution. If security is a top priority, go with Fire Stick.

Hacking and Sideloading

Adding new, third party content to your streaming device is icing on the cake. Even though Roku and Fire TV offer a massive selection of services, there’s always something new you can add to get even more use out of your device!

Running Kodi on Roku and Fire Stick

The most popular media center app in the world has to be Kodi. The free open-source software gives you access to such a massive variety of content it’s hard to wrap your head around it. Kodi lets you stream live TV, watch sports from around the world, check out blockbuster Hollywood movies as they’re released, and so much more.

Kodi doesn’t natively support either Fire TV or Roku devices. Again, because Fire TV runs an Android operating system, you can sideload Kodi without too much hassle. With Roku you’ll need to run Kodi on another device and mirror your screen, a process that works smoothly but requires added hardware.

Using Plex

Plex is a free media streaming service that’s frequently compared to Kodi. Plex doesn’t focus on add-ons or video sources, however. It’s dedicated to getting your content from one device to another, like streaming movies from your PC to your TV. Plex is preferred by Roku members for getting access to external content, and the app works on Fire TV as well.

Sideloading Winner – Fire Stick

Both Fire Stick and Roku allow external installs. It’s a little easier with Fire TV, however, since the device supports Android content by default. Roku simply can’t compete with that kind of variety, making Fire Stick the clear winner.

Hardware and Price

Software and app considerations aside, which device is simply more powerful and more affordable, Fire Stick or Roku?

Model Differences

Fire Stick and Roku are more than just two devices. Each comes in a variety of flavors with different prices and features. Roku’s stick streaming hardware is split into Express, Express +, the Streaming Stick, and the Streaming Stick +. Fire Sticks are more straightforward with a numbered set of releases. For the sections below, we’ll compare Fire Stick’s latest release with the regular Roku Streaming Stick, as both are roughly the same in terms of price and specifications.

Size Comparison

Although both Fire Stick and Roku are small, pocket-sized devices, the Roku is shorter and narrower than Fire Stick. That could make a real difference depending on your entertainment setup and travel plans. The Roku remote is also shorter than Fire TV’s standard remote, though it is considerably chunkier.

Price

The Roku and Fire Stick are competitively priced at around $39-$49. You’ll see a lot of variation depending on the store and model you’re looking at. It’s easy to find new models available at the same price, so there’s really no functional difference between the two. If HD streams aren’t a top priority, you can even get cheaper Roku devices at around $29.

Speed

Fire Stick and Roku are about equal in terms of actual specifications. The Fire device does have a faster processor and a lot more storage, however, which is good if you plan on installing a lot of third party apps. Both devices play HD videos flawlessly and have lag-free interfaces.

Smartphone Apps

Companion apps for Android and iOS devices are great ways to extend your streaming hardware’s functionality. Both Fire Stick and Roku are supported by several third party remote apps along with an official bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled remote app.

Hardware and Price Winner: Tie

As you can see below, the Fire Stick and Roku Streaming Stick are almost even in terms of hardware specs. There’s practically no difference between the navigation speed or video streaming abilities, either. For this category, there’s no clear winner.

Fire Stick Roku Streaming Stick
Size 0.5 x 3.4 x 1.2 inches 0.5 x 3.3 x 0.8 inches
Weight 1.1 ounces 0.6 ounces
Video Output 1080p 720p, 1080p
Remote Voice remote & apps Voice remote & apps

Fire Stick vs Roku – How to Decide

Still on the fence as to which device is right for you? It’s not an easy decision, both pieces of hardware are great at what they do. If comparing the features hasn’t helped, use the sections below to make your final decision!

Get a Fire Stick If…

You enjoy sideloading content, you want to play games on your TV, or if you can’t live without Amazon’s dedicated video streaming service.

Get a Roku If…

You want a variety of free third party channels, you want more hardware options, or you just really need YouTube on your streaming device.

Conclusion

Fire Sticks and Roku streaming sticks are incredibly convenient devices. Either one gives you access to more movies and TV shows than you could ever hope to watch. Deciding which one is best for you comes down to preference. Try one out and see what you think. Both have a low price tag, so there’s no harm in trying them both, either!

Read Roku vs Firestick Compared: Which One Should I Choose? by John Anthony on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Mullvad VPN not Working with Netflix? Here’s What You Should Do

If you’re experiencing trouble unblocking Netflix with Mullvad VPN, we have a workaround that will help you bypass this restriction so you can continue binge-watching your favorite TV series no matter where you travel to.

Few things are more frustrating than going on vacation, opening up Netflix, and discovering you can’t watch your favorite shows. Netflix doesn’t allow users to watch content from other countries, meaning you have to run a VPN to access movies from home. Furthermore, the Netflix proxy error often shows up when running certain VPNs, further locking down various streams.

If you’re a regular VPN user, chances are Netflix has blocked your streams on at least one occasion, regardless of which provider you use. Most services work to bypass this restriction by switching up the list of IP addresses they use. However, there are many instances where you can utilize a few tricks to restore streams yourself. For the full scoop on how to do that with Mullvad VPN, check out our guide for the 2019 “Netflix blocked” workaround below.

Why doesn’t Mullvad VPN work with Netflix?

Don’t worry, it’s not just you. Mullvad, like most VPNs, is almost always blocked by Netflix. This is due to the company attempting to prevent worldwide access to its various region-specific movie catalogs. Before you can unblock Mullvad VPN, you need to know a few things about how and why this restriction even exists in the first place.

IP addresses and geo-restrictions

An IP address is a string of numbers assigned to every device the moment it connects to the internet. Each IP is unique, serving as a sort of mailing address for digital data. If you want to send a file or a movie stream to someone, you need to know where it goes, right? That’s how Netflix streams content to your smartphone, PC, and Fire Stick.

The other fact about IP addresses is that they contain location information. By looking at the numbers themselves it’s surprisingly easy to determine what city the IP comes from. This is used by websites and streaming services to know where each connecting customer is located so they can be served content from their area.

VPNs change your IP address

VPNs do something unique with your public IP address: they hide it. When you connect to the internet through a VPN, your real IP address gets swapped out with an anonymous one. If you connect to a VPN server in Japan, for example, you will be given an anonymous Japanese IP address, fooling sites you visit into thinking you’re sitting in Japan.

It’s easy to see how this benefits Netflix users. Not only do you gain the ability to instantly change your location for worldwide movie access, but you can do so without divulging your actual location. You stay hidden, but you don’t have to sacrifice usability in the process.

Netflix blocks VPNs

Due to licensing contracts, Netflix must restrict which movies and TV shows are available in different parts of the world. One show may not be streamable in your country, for example, but it shows up without a problem on Netflix America. You could physically move to the U.S. to watch the show, or you could simply run a VPN, pick an American server, and enjoy.

Here’s the catch, however: Netflix has started blocking VPNs. They do this by keeping a master list of IP addresses associated with popular VPN services. If your anonymous IP matches something on that list, you’re denied access to every stream, forcing you to disconnect before you can watch a movie.

Proxy blocks aren’t perfect

The good news is that even if Mullvad VPN or another services is blocked by Netflix, there’s likely a workaround you can use. This is due to the incomplete nature of these proxy blocks and the fact that VPNs can often provide access through new IP addresses before Netflix can block them.

Mullvad VPN blocked by Netflix? Here’s a workaround:

The battle between Netflix and VPNs of the world will never be won. As soon as new IP addresses and servers open up, Netflix will try and blacklist them. As soon as that happens, the VPNs will find another way to break through. This is great news for Mullvad users, as it means you may still be able to access Netflix even if the VPN is blocked.

Use Windows, Linux, or Mac

Netflix deploys two different methods to block VPNs from accessing their streams. One is the IP address filter mentioned above, while the other is a more robust DNS-based proxy blocker. The former goes into effect whenever you connect to Netflix through a web browser, no matter which device you’re on. If you stream on a mobile app, Fire TV, Android TV, gaming console, or Apple TV, however, you’re being tracked and restricted using the DNS proxy blocker.

Only a few VPNs can break through the Netflix app blocking restriction (see below). Unfortunately, Mullvad isn’t one of them. This means that if you want to watch Netflix from behind a Mullvad proxy wall, you cannot do it on your mobile device. Try switching to a secure web browser on Windows, Linux, or Mac, logging into Netflix, and trying again.

Switch VPN servers

Mullvad runs hundreds of servers around the world, each with their own IP address listing. The company is always adding to and modifying this list. It would be impossible for Netflix to block all of these brand new IPs, which means if you run into the proxy error while connected, you may be able to switch to a different server and restore access. This method is, of course, never guaranteed to work, and if you want Netflix from a country where Mullvad only has a few server options, you may be out of luck.

Try again later

The sad truth is that Netflix is usually better at blocking VPNs than VPNs are at bypassing the blocks. Given time, however, services like Mullvad can find workarounds. If you’re unwilling to switch to a different VPN and the above tricks don’t work, all you can do is try back at a later time.

What to do when Mullvad fails – Mullvad VPN alternatives

Mullvad is a good VPN with a strong focus on privacy, but it isn’t necessarily the best choice for reliable Netflix access. Consider one of the recommended VPNs in the following section for better streaming resources. Each provider is fast and easy to use, making them perfect to unblock all of your favorite movies on Netflix with just a few clicks.

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is one of the fastest and most reliable VPNs in the world, and it’s extremely easy to use, as well. The service offers lightweight apps that instantly connect you to a fast server on a variety of devices, keeping you safe and secure on PC, Mac, iPhone, Android, and more. With ExpressVPN you can sign in and start streaming Netflix in a matter of seconds with some of the highest rates of unblocked servers around.

ExpressVPN secures all data with military-grade 256-bit AES encryption and backed by a strict zero-logging policy on traffic, DNS requests, and IP addresses. Information stays protected by an automatic kill switch and DNS leak prevention features, as well. All of these work together with ExpressVPN’s network of over 3,000 servers in 94 different countries to give you a fast and secure connection anywhere in the world.

For more info about this VPN and its great features, check out our ExpressVPN review.

Pros

  • Unblocking Netflix, iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime
  • Super fast servers (minimal speed loss)
  • Torrenting/P2P allowed
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Great customer service via chat.
Cons

  • Slightly pricier than competition.
BEST FOR NETFLIX: ExpressVPN is our top choice. They have specialized Netflix servers that are blazing fast and provide powerful protection in one app. 30-day money back guarantee included on all plans.

2. NordVPN

NordVPN is a safe, fast, popular, and incredibly reliable VPN that runs an impressively large network, currently over 5,400 servers in at least 61 countries. Each node is available without a single limitation on speed or bandwidth, allowing you to sign on and enjoy endless Netflix, Hulu, or YouTube streams from any device. This massive amount of server variety also allows NordVPN to offer unique features like double encryption, protection from DDoS attacks, and onion routing over VPN for added online privacy.

NordVPN’s software comes with everything you need to stay safe on any device, from PC to Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Fire TV, and more. You also get 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, an automatic kill switch, and a zero-logging policy that covers time stamps, DNS requests, IP addresses, and traffic when you join. It’s extremely easy to set up NordVPN and use it on all of your devices, as well, making it the perfect choice for unblocking Netflix.

Learn more about the NordVPN experience in our full NordVPN review.

Pros

  • SPECIAL OFFER: 3-year plan (75% off – link below)
  • 5,400+ servers globally
  • 256-bit AES encryption with perfect forward secrecy
  • Extra-secure Double VPN for data encryption
  • 24/7 Customer Service.
Cons

  • Some servers can be slow and unreliable
  • Refund processing can take up to 30 days.
EASY TO USE: NordVPN is the best budget-friendly VPN for Netflix. You can try it risk-free thanks to a 30-day money back guarantee on all plans.

3. CyberGhost

CyberGhost delivers an amazing VPN experience for newcomers, and it delivers enough customization for advanced users to appreciate the service, as well. CyberGhost is fast, easy to use, extremely secure, and runs on nearly every device imaginable, from iPhones and iPads to Android devices and laptops. As soon as you sign up you’ll be able to access CyberGhost’s massive network of over 3,300 servers in 60 countries, all with unlimited data and no restrictions on download speeds.

CyberGhost’s privacy features keep everyone safe with 256-bit AES encryption on all data, a zero-logging policy on traffic, time stamps, and IP addresses, and both DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch. These features hide your identity whenever you go online, allowing you to connect with fully encrypted data and an anonymous IP address no matter where you live. It makes reliable Netflix streaming access a breeze!

Learn more in our complete CyberGhost review.

Pros

  • LOW PRICE: 6 EXTRA free months (79% off – link below)
  • Fast, constant speeds
  • 7 simultaneous connections
  • Strict no-logging policy
  • 45-day no-quibble money back guarantee.
Cons

  • Can’t unblock some other streaming sites.
READER EXCLUSIVE: CyberGhost is a reliable easy to use Netflix unblocker. Get an insane 79% discount on 18 months of service with our offer – $2.75 / mo.

4. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN is a strong, fast, well-liked, and safe VPN that makes it easy to keep your data secure on the internet. With PrivateVPN running in the background you can surf and stream with complete privacy on a wide array of devices, including PC, iOS, Android, and Mac, all thanks to the company’s lightweight and straightforward software that connects to a reliable server with just a few clicks.

This provider operates a sturdy network of about 100 servers in 59 different countries–not as extensive as some, but singularly well-equipped to unblock U.S. Netflix. Data is locked down and secured with strong 256-bit AES encryption to keep your connection safe, and an automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection along with a zero logging policy on all traffic ensure your privacy is never at risk. It’s the perfect solution for streaming movies to your favorite devices.

PrivateVPN’s app makes it incredibly easy to unblock Netflix. Simply look on the server list and find a location marked with the Netflix icon. These are verified to be unblocked, so you can connect and stream without all the trial and error.

Read more about PrivateVPN’s stellar features insp our complete PrivateVPN review.

SPECIAL DEAL: PrivateVPN provides consistent access to Netflix you’ll find. Our readers get the yearly plan 65% off, plus an extra month free at just $3.82/mo.

How to use a VPN to unblock Netflix

Once you get the best Netflix VPN, your next step is to set everything up and start streaming some movies. If this is your first time using a VPN, don’t worry, we’ll walk you through the entire process, step by step.

Step 1 – Get a Netflix subscription

No matter which VPN you use, none of them can let you stream from Netflix without an active, paid account. The good news is it doesn’t matter where in the world your account is registered or where you really live, as long as it’s in good standing. If you don’t have a Netflix subscription, use the steps below to activate an account. If you already joined, simply skip to step 7.

  1. Go to the Netflix website and click the red Join Free for a Month button.
  2. Click See the Plans on the next screen to continue.
  3. Netflix offers Basic, Standard, and Premium plans, shown on the next screen. If you just need simple online movie access, Basic will do fine. Standard lets you watch in HD and on multiple screens, which is good if you have a family, but it costs more.
  4. In the next screen you’ll enter an e-mail address and a password to create your account.
  5. Choose a payment method. Note that if you’re new to Netflix, you’ll get a free month of service and won’t have to pay until that ends.
  6. Complete the checkout process and your account will be activated.
  7. Go to the main Netflix website and sign in. Congratulations, you’re ready to watch some movies!

Step 2 – Install your VPN

Before streaming you’ll want to sign up with one of the VPNs recommended above, or use your Mullvad VPN account if you like. After that, open a PC web browser and log into your account. Visit the VPN’s downloads section and choose the app for your device.

Download and install the VPN software, then launch the app and sign in using your login credentials. Most VPNs will automatically find the fastest server and connect as soon as you run the software. This is the best choice for most users, though because of the nature of Netflix proxy blocks, you may need to switch later.

Step 3 – Verify the VPN connection

Go ahead and verify your VPN connection to make sure there are no IP address leaks, which endanger your privacy by letting your real identity show. With your VPN active and connected to a server, open a web browser on the same device and go to dnsleaktest.com. When the page loads, it should show your IP and the IP addresses’ country. As long as your real country doesn’t show, it means you’re safely behind a wall of encryption.

Step 4 – Try Netflix

Once you’re connected and safely behind a VPN, it’s time to try Netflix. Open the Netflix website and start browsing Netflix’s catalogue of videos. You’ll notice the selection has changed based on your chosen IP location, as Netflix allows you to browse and queue items even if you’re behind a VPN. Search for something you know isn’t available in your physical area, then begin streaming.

Did the movie start playing? If you used one of the more reliable VPNs listed above, you should be good to go. If you saw the “Whoops!” proxy error screen, however, continue to the step below and try one of the alternate content access tricks.

Step 5 – Change servers and try again

If your original server choice failed, there are two things you can try: wait and connect later, or switch servers. Netflix can’t block all IP addresses from all VPNs all the time, and because VPN companies are constantly looking for new ways to restore Netflix access, chances are you’ll be able to connect again soon.

Open your VPN software and look for the server browser. Choose another node located in the country of your choosing and connect. Once it resolves, go back to the Netflix website, reload, and try streaming. You can repeat this as many times as you like to find a connection that works. Sometimes it can take a few tries!

If you use the Netflix app on smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, or streaming devices, it may be impossible to access while your VPN is active. This is due to the way the app prevents streaming from VPN IP addresses. If you can’t connect, try the same server setup on your PC using a web browser, see if that fixes the problem.

Conclusion

Mullvad is an incredible VPN with a strong stance on digital privacy rights. The service can’t always access Netflix, however, due to the frequent IP address blocks enacted by the streaming giant. With these 2019 workarounds for Mullvad VPN on Netflix, however, you might be able to break through those restrictions and watch any movie you want, any time.

Got any other tips or tricks for accessing Netflix on Mullvad VPN? Let us know in the comments below!

Read Mullvad VPN not Working with Netflix? Here’s What You Should Do by John Anthony on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter