How to install Kodi 18 on Linux

The Kodi project has released Kodi 18, code name, Leia. This new release is out on Linux, as well as other platforms and is packed with excellent new features including things like retro video game support, an improved user interface, better music playback support, live TV fixes and much more! In this guide, we’ll show you how to install the latest release of Kodi, Kodi 18 on Linux operating systems like Ubuntu, Debian, Arch Linux, Fedora, and OpenSUSE. Also, we’ll show you how to get Kodi 18 on Flatpak if your OS doesn’t have Leia just yet.

Ubuntu Instructions

Kodi comes in the default Ubuntu Linux software sources. Despite this fact, Canonical and the Ubuntu developers haven’t gotten around to updating the package to version 18. So, if you’re managing your favorite TV shows, movies, and stuff like that on an Ubuntu PC and are interested in getting the newest version, you’ll need to take matters into your own hands.

The best way to install Kodi 18 Leia on Ubuntu Linux, as well as any Linux operating system that uses Ubuntu as a base, is to add the official third-party PPA for Kodi. If you add this PPA, you’ll quickly get access to the new release, as well as regular software updates and patches much faster than the Ubuntu developers can give you. To add the third-party software PPA, launch a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, enter the following apt-add-repository command below.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/ppa

After adding the new software repository to your Ubuntu Linux computer, you’ll need to run the update command, so that Ubuntu can finish setting up the new Kodi software PPA.

sudo apt update

Let the update run. Then, when the terminal prompt stops moving, enter the upgrade command to install any pending software upgrades and patches.

Note: if you already have Kodi 17 on your Ubuntu PC, the upgrade command will automatically update Kodi 17 to Kodi 18.

sudo apt upgrade -y

Upgrading usually takes a bit of time, so be patient. When the process is complete, it’s finally time to install Kodi 18 using the Apt package manager.

sudo apt install kodi

Debian Instructions

Though Debian Linux isn’t known for having the newest software, users will be happy to learn that the upcoming release of Debian 10 Buster (aka testing) has support for Kodi 18. Though, to get it working, you’ll need to use a third-party software repository.

Note: Debian 9 Stretch doesn’t have Kodi 18, and probably never will. Therefore, if you’re a diehard Debian fan looking to try the new Kodi, you must first upgrade to Debian 10 Buster. For more information on upgrading to new releases, click here.

Adding the third-party software repository for Kodi on Debian requires editing the /etc/apt/sources.list file. To start the editing, launch a terminal session by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T. Then, elevate your terminal to Root with the su command and open the sources file in Nano.

su - 
nano -w /etc/apt/sources.list

Once your sources file is open up in Nano, scroll all the way to the bottom of the file and paste the following code:

# Debian Multimedia Repo
deb buster main

Save the Nano text editor with Ctrl + O and exit it with Ctrl + X. Then, run the apt-get update command to set up the new software source.

apt-get update

When the Debian Multimedia repository is done updating, it’s time to set up the Multimedia’s GPG key.

sudo apt-get install deb-multimedia-keyring

Finally, install Kodi 18 on Debian.

sudo apt-get install kodi

Or, if you already have Kodi 17 installed on Buster, run the upgrade command to transition version 17 to 18.

sudo apt-get upgrade -y

Arch Linux Instructions

Strangely, Arch Linux doesn’t yet have Kodi 18 in their package repositories. However, if you’re on Arch and want to get your hands on Kodi 18 right away, it’s possible to install the Kodi development package, which is version 18.

Installing the Kodi development package on Arch Linux requires interacting with the AUR. The easiest and quickest way to do this is with the Trizen AUR helper, as it can automatically build and install the seemingly endless amount of dependencies required to run most software.

To get Trizen on Arch, do the following:

sudo pacman -S git base-develgit clone trizenmakepkg -sri

Now that the Trizen AUR helper is installed, you’ll be able to get the Kodi development release working quickly.

trizen -S kodi-devel

Please keep in mind that the Kodi Development package is unstable. If you have issues, we recommend waiting it out for version 18 to hit the central Arch Linux software sources. Or, try out the Flatpak release instead!

Fedora Instructions

Fedora Linux doesn’t have Kodi 18 in their primary software sources, as the Fedora project doesn’t distribute the Kodi Media Center application. With that said, it’s very easy to install the Leia release, as RPMFusion distributes it.

To enable RPM Fusion, open up a terminal on your Fedora Linux PC. Then, use the DNF package manager to install the RPM Fusion packages.

Note: please replace X in the command below with the release number

sudo dnf install -y

With RPM Fusion set up on Fedora, Kodi 18 can be quickly installed with:

sudo dnf install kodi -y

OpenSUSE Instructions

Both OpenSUSE Leap and OpenSUSE Tumbleweed do not have Kodi 18 Leia in their software sources. For this reason, we highly recommend uninstalling Kodi from OpenSUSE and instead using the Flatpak release. To uninstall Kodi 17, launch a terminal window and enter the Zypper command below.

sudo zypper remove Kodi

Flatpak Instructions

Version 18 of the Kodi Media Center is on Flathub as a Flatpak package. As a result, even if you’re using a Linux distribution that has yet to provide version 18, you’ll still be able to try it out. However, keep in mind that to install the Kodi Flatpak release, you must enable the Flatpak runtime on your system first. Unsure about how to set up Flatpak? Check out our guide on the subject!

When you’re done setting up the Flatpak runtime, you must open up a terminal window and enable the Flathub repository.

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub

Then, install Kodi 18 with:

flatpak install flathub tv.kodi.Kodi


Read How to install Kodi 18 on Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Expressvpn Netflix Unblocking Still Working in 2019? YES.

Netflix is a great streaming platform and is available in many, many countries. But, being available in so many countries comes with restrictions, so if you’re accessing Netflix from Germany, you’ll get an entirely different set of titles than you will in Netflix’s home country, the United States. A VPN can help you switch (or “spoof”) your IP address and get that access to the coveted U.S. Netflix library, but fewer and fewer providers can get through their blocks these days. ExpressVPN has a great track record of beating Netflix’s VPN-blockers, standing tall and matching Netflix punch-for-punch in the ongoing war.

But, given that Netflix has beaten so many other VPNs into submission, and continues to fight to protect their geo-blocked content, does ExpressVPN still function as a reliable Netflix unblocker? We’re going to give you that answer, hit on ExpressVPN’s best qualities, and show you how to beat and troubleshoot Netflix’s VPN ban. We’ll also talk about the how and why of Netflix’s anti-VPN stance, and finally show you how to setup your Netflix account if you haven’t already.

So can ExpressVPN unblock Netflix still?

The shortest possible answer is: yes. A more accurate answer, however, is: yes, most of the time. Although it’s not 100% clear how ExpressVPN has continued to defy Netflix’s VPN ban, we can easily speculate. First, ExpressVPN has a large network, with the resources to back it up. Second, ExpressVPN regularly cycles the shared IPs used to connect to each server.

What this means is that it’s harder for Netflix to identify IP addresses that come from one of ExpressVPN’s servers. And if Netflix isn’t noticing tell-tale signs of a VPN being used (i.e., many users having the same IP address), then it’s easier for ExpressVPN to continue helping users connect to other countries’ libraries from around the world.

ExpressVPN – Best VPN for Netflix

ExpressVPN is the #1 VPN for Netflix for good reason: they’re fast, big, and reliable. They came in #1 in our speed test, so alongside getting buffer-free Netflix streaming, you’ll get fast downloads and seamless browsing when you connect through ExpressVPN. Rounding out their performance package, they give you unlimited bandwidth and no speed caps or throttling – important when you stream a lot of bandwidth-heavy video. Plus, to make sure you get the fastest VPN available to you, they offer a built-in speed test.

ExpressVPN isn’t a heavy, interfering app to run, either – its software is lightweight, easy to use, and stays out of your way. Just pick your server and hit the “Connect” button – once it turns green, you’re good to go. Plus, ExpressVPN has best-of-the-best, nearly unbreakable 256-bit AES encryption – it would take actual millions of years for the worlds best supercomputer to crack the code and get at your data. And with 2,000+ servers available in 94 countries, there’s sure to be one in just about any country you care to connect with. And if you have trouble accessing a particular country’s Netflix library, just reach out to customer support – they’re available 24/7 and happy to help.

Learn more about ExpressVPN’s great qualities and ability to break Netflix’s VPN-blockers in our full ExpressVPN review.

How to unblock Netflix with ExpressVPN

If you haven’t used a VPN before or haven’t tried to unblock Netflix, you’re probably curious how to do it. Getting setup with ExpressVPN is easy – just follow these simple steps:

  1. Use our link to go to ExpressVPN’s website. Click “Save 49%”. You’ll be taken to their “plans page.” Select the center plan highlighted in green to get our exclusive discount. Next, fill out the requested information. You’ll create your username and password, too, so make a note of those for later use.
  2. Once you’ve successfully signed up, you’ll be taken to a page where you can download and install the app. If doing so on a mobile device like an Android or iPhone, use the link provided – it’ll take you to the app store, which you can of course do externally, but it’ll ensure that you download the correct application.
  3. Once you’ve downloaded and installed the app, launch it. If you didn’t exit at any point, ExpressVPN automatically logs you in once the app is installed; if you stepped away or find this isn’t the case, simply login with your username and password. ExpressVPN will automatically connect you to the fastest server available. Since you’re trying to unblock a different region’s Netflix library, you’ll need to change this. Visit ExpressVPN’s server list and search for your chosen country. You can then select a server in that country and hit ‘connect.’ It should turn green after a few moments, signifying that the connection has resolved.
  4. This next step is optional, but if you want to double-check that your connection was successful, open your web browser and visit The page will run an IP address lookup and should display your chosen country as your IP address’s country of origin (i.e. “United States”). If not, the connection wasn’t successful. Return to the app and try again, or contact support.
  5. Once ExpressVPN has established your VPN connection, visit and login with your account. You should now have access to the content library of your chosen country. Please note, no VPN can promise to work with the Netflix app, which employs different (much tougher) VPN blocking methods. Your best bet is to stick with your browser.

Won’t a VPN slow down my streams?

It’s true that using a VPN does reduce the speed of your Internet. Your connection speed is made up by a lot of factors, including the level of encryption provided by your VPN, your distance from the chosen server, and the current load on the server. The best VPNs work hard to mitigate these factors and provide users with the fastest online experience that they can.

But some providers are better at this than others, and we’re happy to say that ExpressVPN gives one of the fastest services in the world – plus some extra features to ensure you get the best speeds possible.

Getting the fastest speeds possible

Even if you unblock Netflix with ExpressVPN, there may be a day when you find yourself facing endless buffer-times and heavy lag – and that’s hardly any better than no Netflix at all. Lucky for you, ExpressVPN cuts this frustration out: a speed test. Although only available for Windows and Mac, the Speed Test checks latency and download speed of servers, ranking them in a Speed Index.

To do this, just run the Speed Test. You can find that in the menu icon on the upper left corner of the app. Click “Run Test” and the servers will be sorted to find the fastest ones by region. Pick the fastest one available in the U.S., and you’ll be good to go.

As some benchmarks, ExpressVPN offers some numbers recommended by Netflix for best speeds while streaming:

What to do if it suddenly stops working

Admittedly, ExpressVPN’s Netflix unblocking functionality is not foolproof. Sometimes, Netflix pulls ahead and you may find yourself unable to access the library you were able to just yesterday. This will eventually happen, if you use it for long enough — so what do you do when it does?

The first, and best, thing to try is to change servers. Start by searching the servers available in your chosen country and work your way through the list, connecting to each, then reloading Netflix. If Netflix has simply isolated a popular server and blocked it, you should soon find yourself back online. If not, though, try some of these other tactics:

  • Use a desktop – If you were trying to use the Netflix app, you may have better luck on a desktop (Windows, Mac, Linux). Although ExpressVPN is pretty good at accessing Netflix through the Netflix app, this isn’t always the case, especially on mobile devices, Fire Stick, or gamning consoles. So if you find that, try opening your web browser instead.
  • Wait and check later – You want to stream Netflix now, but sometimes it’s just down for a bit. Netflix won a round against ExpressVPN. This is just a fact of life, but with a little time, ExpressVPN is pretty good at finding a workaround. Try again later.
  • Contact customer support – If none of the above tips helped, try contacting support. They’re available 24/7 and you can walk them through what you’ve tried, what you haven’t, and what you want to do. They’ll have additional insight and are fantastic at helping you any way they can.
  • Other streaming services – Finally, if you’ve done everything and it’s a widespread block with no end in clear sight, but you still want to stream online – try a different service. Hulu and Amazon Prime Video are great places to start that are a little less restrictive about VPNs than Netflix.

How does Netflix block VPNs?

You may be wondering how Netflix blocks VPNs. Given their success in knocking off many VPNs that used to be able to unblock them, they must have sophisticated tech, right? For the most part, Netflix’s VPN-blocker is simple: it keeps a massive list of IP addresses that have been associated with VPN servers. When a user tries to access Netflix from one of these, it denies them. Netflix updates these regularly as VPNs expand, so only VPNs that are able to stay ahead of this list can bypass the block.

It’s even harder to get through the block with the Netflix app, though. Even so, ExpressVPN is consistent in its ability to unblock the Android and iOS apps.

Why does Netflix block VPNs?

With as popular as Netflix is, why don’t they just open up all their libraries? Aren’t they missing out on some major profit? Well, maybe. But Netflix doesn’t block VPNs without reason – they’re forced to because of copyright laws. Producers, studios, TV networks, and otherwise require Netflix to purchase licensing agreements for each show or movie in each country that it’ll be available in. This results in 2 things:

  1. Buying a licensing agreement for each of piece of content for each country can add up very quickly.
  2. Licensing contracts vary from country to country. For example, a studio may license a piece of content to be hosted by, say, Hulu in the U.K. This could mean that Netflix can’t host that piece in the U.K., too, because someone else already owns the license to do so. So they have to keep it removed from their U.K. library or face legal problems. The same is true for satellite and cable providers – if they have the rights to broadcast in a region, Netflix can’t.

Primarily due to those two things, Netflix employs VPN-blockers – it’s pure protection from extra liability, plain and simple.

What if I live outside the U.S. and don’t have an account?

Netflix is based out of the United States, so they cater the majority of their resources to that market. However, their service is available in more than 190 countries, so you’ll be hard-pressed to find somewhere that you can’t sign up for a Netflix account – even with no VPN connected. But in case you do live in one of these few places, or run into issues, there’s an easy workaround:

Gift cards and PayPal.

Netflix allows users to pay for subscriptions with gift cards, which are available across many online marketplaces (like Amazon). Just use one of those when you sign up and you’ll be in. Or, if you don’t feel like a gift card, get a PayPal account and use your information there. This allows you to blur the lines created by countries and make your account with ease.

Once you’ve got payment figured out, just visit, click sign up, and fill out the information requested. Than grab ExpressVPN (if you haven’t already) and start streaming from anywhere in the world.


ExpressVPN can still unblock Netflix; most of the time, quite reliably. In this guide, we showed you how to do so, how to optimize your speed, and what to do when the inevitable blockage happens. All you need to do now is pick up your subscription to ExpressVPN and start streaming Netflix from anywhere.

Have you used ExpressVPN to access Netflix? What has your experience been? Have you faced any problems, and were you able to overcome them? Tell us your story in the comments section.

Read Expressvpn Netflix Unblocking Still Working in 2019? YES. by Matt Seiltz on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Best VPN to Watch Region-free YouTube TV in 2019

YouTube has entered the live TV streaming market with its subscription-based YouTube TV. The service features over 60 networks from throughout the U.S. and Canada, complete with local sports and news programs for many areas. It’s also cable-free and doesn’t require any kind of hardware, making it perfect for cordcutters.

Getting worldwide access to free movies on YouTube is one thing, but catching the latest shows on YouTube TV is another. To really take advantage of all that the live streaming service has to offer, you need a reliable virtual private network. As soon as you hunt down the best VPN for YouTube TV, you can break free from regional restrictions and watch live movies and television shows on any device.

Getting the best VPN for YouTube TV

There are hundreds of VPNs on the market today, and countless more sitting on mobile marketplaces and browser extension sites. How on Earth are you supposed to figure out which VPNs are actually worth your time and which ones are just looking to make a quick buck? And will the best VPNs for YouTube perform just as well for YouTube TV?

Benefits of using a VPN with YouTube TV

Using a VPN with YouTube TV doesn’t just keep your data safe. It also adds a strong foundational level of security to your daily activities. Below are just a few of the benefits you can enjoy when using a top-tier VPN.

  • Watch YouTube TV from around the world, bypassing geo-restriction barriers with ease.
  • Keep your identity anonymous and your watch history private and secure.
  • Lock down your personal data so no one can ever tell what you do online.
  • Stream content from other cities or countries by switching servers.

VPN selection criteria

Getting the best VPN for YouTube TV means thoroughly researching the best products on the market, carefully evaluating each one for speed, privacy, and device compatibility. You can fire up a spreadsheet and do that yourself, or you can follow the criteria listed below, then check out our recommendations based on these features.

  • Fast speeds – Some VPNs can be painfully slow, which will make YouTube TV streaming practically impossible. The best VPN services work to maintain the fastest server speeds at all times.
  • Good device compatibility – YouTube TV works on a variety of devices, and so should your VPN.
  • Large server network – The more proxy servers a VPN operates, the better.
  • No traffic restrictions – Some VPNs block movie streams, P2P networks, and torrent traffic, or restrict how much you can download per month.
  • Zero-logging policy – If a VPN doesn’t have a zero-logging policy, it’s potentially harmful to your privacy since even secured records can be cracked or subpoenaed.

Best VPNs for YouTube TV

We did the research, tested the services, ranked the competition, and came up with a list of the top VPNs you can use for streaming on YouTube TV. The results are below, all of which are fast, easy to use, and safe.

1 – ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs on the market, making it an ideal choice for YouTube TV or any related streaming service. Anyone can log in and enjoy unlimited bandwidth and an anonymous internet connection with just a few clicks, no matter how experienced they are with computers. ExpressVPN also runs on most major device platforms (PC, Mac, iPhone, Android, etc). All it takes to enjoy a fast and safe connection is to download a single intuitive app, ExpressVPN will take care of the rest!

ExpressVPN offers a range of useful features so you can safely enjoy your TV streams around the world. Data is always secured with tough military-grade 256-bit AES encryption and backed by a strict zero-logging policy on all 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 alongside ExpressVPN’s huge network of over 2,000 servers in 94 different countries to give you a fast and secure connection anywhere in the world.

For more info, check out our ExpressVPN review, complete with speed tests and privacy audit information.

BEST FOR YOUTUBE TV: ExpressVPN is our #1 choice. They have excellent speeds and a simple interface. Get 49% off the yearly subscription, plus 3 extra months free.

2 – NordVPN

NordVPN is a popular VPN company that runs a fast and gigantic network of servers. Joining NordVPN gets you instant and unlimited access to over 5,320 servers in 62 countries, all available without a single restriction, including server switching and bandwidth. This massive amount of variety delivers great speeds no matter where you connect from, ensuring you always have a fast connection streaming, downloading, or surfing. This network also allows NordVPN to offer unique features like double encryption, protection from DDoS attacks, and onion routing over VPN for added privacy.

NordVPN’s software package comes with everything you need to stay safe online, as well. This includes 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. It’s extremely easy to set up and use on all of your devices, too, as the VPN supports PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and other platforms. When you need fast and reliable online protection to stream from YouTube TV, go with NordVPN.

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

3 – CyberGhost

CyberGhost delivers one of the best all-around VPN experiences you can find. It’s fast, easy to use, and extremely secure. It also runs on nearly every device imaginable, from iPhones and iPads to Android devices, PCs and Macs. As soon as you sign up you’ll be able to access CyberGhost’s large and growing network of over 3,390 servers in 60 countries, all with unlimited data and no restrictions on streaming speeds.

CyberGhost’s privacy features keep users safe with strong 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. There’s no easier way to unblock streams or to enhance your privacy online!

Learn more about CyberGhost’s great privacy features in our complete CyberGhost review.

4 – PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN is a fast, safe, and strong VPN that helps you stay secure anywhere in the world. With PrivateVPN running in the background you can surf and stream with complete anonymity. Use it on PC, iOS, Android, Mac, and plenty of other platforms, all thanks to the company’s lightweight and easy to use software. PrivateVPN lets you sign on and connect to the fastest server with just a single click, opening up a world of live TV options via YouTube TV.

PrivateVPN operates a small but reliable network of about 100 servers in 59 different countries. Data is locked down with 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. PrivateVPN is the perfect solution for watching Netflix or YouTube TV abroad, getting new IP addresses, or just keeping your daily surfing habits safe from prying eyes.

Read more about PrivateVPN’s stellar features in our thorough PrivateVPN review.

5 – StrongVPN

StrongVPN knows what VPN users are looking for, and it delivers it in a slim, attractive, and highly functional package. With StrongVPN you get immediate access to a safe and secure network that includes over 650 servers in 20 countries, supplying fast virtual location connections every time you sign on. This makes it extremely easy to enjoy YouTube TV in the privacy of your own home, even if you happen to be traveling around the world.

StrongVPN supports a variety of modern platforms, including Windows, MacOS, iPhone and iPad, Android devices, Fire TV, and even router installs for full home network protection. This gives you a ton of flexibility when it comes to taking your devices online. You’ll also take advantage of DNS leak protection and automatic kill switch features, making StrongVPN a great choice for fast and simple online security!

SPECIAL OFFER: StrongVPN brings you fast and safe streams from Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube TV. Readers get 42% off, plus an extra 20% with coupon code: TAKEOFF20.

Using YouTube TV for streams

Finding the best VPN is the hard part. Once you’ve joined the right service, all you have to do is set things up and enjoy a private connection to the web. Follow the steps below and you’ll be up and running in no time!

What channels are on YouTube TV?

YouTube TV currently advertises over 60 network and cable channels available on its service. You can see a full list at We’ve chosen a few of the more interesting ones below.

  • Basic networks like ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC
  • Sports channels, including NBC Sports, CBS Sports Network, ESPN, and Fox Sports
  • AMC, TNT, Cartoon Network, Bravo, IFC, FXX, SyFy, Sundance TV, Disney

In addition to the basic, unlimited streaming channels above, YouTube TV offers add-on networks you can subscribe to for an additional monthly fee. The channels below range from just $3 per month to $40 for the NBA League Pass. Check with YouTube TV for updated pricing and sales.

  • AMC Premiere
  • Fox Soccer Plus
  • NBA League Pass
  • Showtime
  • Starz

What devices does YouTube TV work on?

YouTube TV is designed to work on nearly as many devices as YouTube itself supports. This means most PCs, smartphones, tablets, laptops, and even some smart TVs and streaming media players will work just fine.

At the time of writing, YouTube TV supports the devices and platforms listed below. You can also check an updated list by visiting the YouTube TV help page on supported devices.

  • Personal computer – Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs and laptops running most modern browsers. Chrome or Firefox are recommended.
  • Android – Most Android L devices, including phones and tablets. You can try downloading the YouTube TV app from the Google Play Store to check Android compatibility.
  • iPhone and iPad – Most iOS devices running iOS 9.1 or newer.
  • Media players – YouTube TV works on Roku, Chromecast, Android TV, Apple TV with AirPlay, Xbox One, and Google Smart Displays.
  • Smart TVs – Vizio SmartCast, HiSense TVs, Samsung & LG brand TVs
  • Fire TV and Fire Stick – YouTube TV does NOT support Amazon’s devices. You can sideload apps to gain access, however, since Fire’s operating system is based on Android.

To use YouTube TV on many of these devices, all you need to do is download the app from the appropriate app store, or visit in a compatible browser.

Will YouTube TV work with a VPN?

YouTube TV states that it only works from devices located within the United States and Canada. If you’re from these countries and travel abroad, the service’s official stance is that you won’t be able to access streams since your IP address is different. A VPN lets you change that IP to make it appear as if you’re from the U.S./Canada, so in theory, most services should work just fine.

It’s worth noting that no VPN guarantees access to any website all the time. YouTube VPN may also block you if you try to access from behind a VPN, there’s no way to be sure. Your best bet is to follow the advice below to test everything out before signing up.

Is YouTube TV available in my area?

YouTube TV’s streaming services are limited to major metropolitan areas in the United States and Canada. Before signing up for the service, it’s a good idea to check and make sure it’s available in your home area. Follow the steps below to do just that.

  1. Go to the YouTube TV home page at
  2. Scroll down to where it says What’s included for $40/month.
  3. In the box above the channels, enter your 5-digit zip code.
  4. Click the Submit button and wait a moment.
  5. After YouTube TV checks your zip code, it will show a list of available channels in the area.
  6. Look at the list to see if your favorite networks are available.

Setting up your VPN to use with YouTube TV

Now that you’ve got your VPN selected, it’s time to sign up and download everything so you can watch secure streams at your leisure.

Step 1 – Download the VPN and connect

VPN apps are designed to be as easy to use as possible, which includes installation. Most services let you run a one-click app to add the software to your device, even on PC. Follow the steps below to get started. The details may vary depending on which platform and service you use, but the basic methods will remain the same.

  1. In a PC web browser, sign into your VPN account.
  2. Look for a downloads section in your account pages.
  3. Select the app for your device and download it. You may be redirected to a mobile marketplace to install apps for iOS or Android.
  4. Install the app on your device and launch it.
  5. Log into your VPN software using your login credentials. Some services may assign you a unique access code, but most simply need your account name and password.
  6. After signing in, your VPN app should automatically connect to the fastest server. This may be problematic if it connects outside of the U.S. or Canada, however. To maintain access to YouTube TV, manually switch to a server in Canada or the United States. You can do this by looking for the VPN’s server browser and clicking a location.
  7. Minimize the VPN app or simply let it run in the background. It will now keep you safe and secure while you browse the internet!

Step 2 – Verify your IP address

Now that you have your VPN installed, it’s a good idea to verify that everything is working correctly. The best and fastest way to do this is by running a quick IP leak test, which will determine whether or not you appear as if you’re using another IP address.

  1. Open your VPN software and connect to a server anywhere in the world. Remember which region it’s in.
  2. Launch a web browser on the same device and go to
  3. Wait for the page to load. It will automatically run an IP address lookup.
  4. Look at the box at the top of the page beneath Your IP addresses.
  5. Does the box show the country you connected to, not the country you’re in? If so, your VPN is ready to go!
  6. If you didn’t see the country you were supposed to, you may need to check with your VPN provider to resolve an IP leak error.

Step 3 – Join YouTube TV

If you haven’t already joined YouTube TV, now is a good time to sign up. New users get a free trial to test out the service, which is perfect for seeing if it works with your VPN.

  1. Visit on a PC web browser.
  2. Click the blue Try It Free button in the center.
  3. Choose the free trial option on the left, then click Next. You can also go ahead and pre-pay to save on a subscription, but we recommend trying the service out with your VPN before signing up.
  4. Complete the sign-up process by entering your Google account info and payment details.
  5. Return to and sign in. You’ll now be able to stream from over 60 live television channels!
  6. Repeat the installation and sign-in process on the other devices you want to use. This includes smartphones, streaming media players, and game consoles.


Getting reliable access to YouTube TV is a pretty easy affair. Finding the best VPN to run for fast, private access around the world is easy, too! Now that you’ve got everything set up, what channels or shows are you looking forward to streaming the most? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Read Best VPN to Watch Region-free YouTube TV in 2019 by John Bardinelli on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to Remove the Floating Widget from Fire Stick, Fire TV, Android

Fire TV, Fire Stick, and certain other Android TV users are no doubt familiar with the floating widget icon, especially if they’ve sideloaded content before. The icon is simply a notification from the ES File Explorer app letting you know a file on your device has been updated. The look and feel of the floating widget often varies, but the end result is always the same: an annoying icon that stays on the side of your screen no matter what you do.

Fortunately, removing the floating widget from Fire TV, Firestick, and Android devices is nice and straightforward. Below we’ll cover all you need to know with an easy tutorial and step by step guide on how to remove the floating widget icon, all without having to hack or jailbreak your device.

Remember to use a VPN on your device

There’s a growing online movement focusing on the perils of modern Internet privacy. Users warn people that government agencies can easily spy on our activity, ISPs can monitor which websites we visit, and cyber criminals can collect personal information with surprising ease. The good news is that with a reliable VPN, you can prevent all of these issues from becoming a problem, even on  your Firestick and Fire TV.

IPVanish – Best for Fire Stick and Fire TV

How to Set Up Fire TV for Beginners 5 - IPVanish

We used the criteria above to research and rank the top VPNs on the market, all to determine which was the best to use on Fire TV. IPVanish came out on top of all of our tests thanks to its incredibly fast servers, strong privacy features, and easy to use software. It provides both speed and security on virtually every platform, with custom apps that are lightweight and easy to use, even on Android and Fire TV. IPVanish’s installation is handled through the Amazon Appstore, which means you can install it with just a few clicks.

IPVanish keeps speeds high by providing a network of over 1,100 servers in 60 different countries, all of which deliver fast downloads and incredible movie streams. Your information is secured with 256-bit encryption along with a sturdy zero-logging policy, and your identity is locked down by both DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch.

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

For more information about the IPVanish experience, including speed test results, software comparisons, and Netflix reviews, check out our complete IPVanish review.

About the Fire TV floating widget

What causes the floating widget icon on Firestick and Android devices? Are there any dangers associated with the error? We cover all the basics below.

What causes the floating circle icon?

If you’ve ever seen the floating bubble on the side of your Android or Fire TV device, the first thing you probably felt was frustration. Where did this thing come from, and how can you get rid of it as soon as possible?

In this case, the cause of the bubble widget is simple: an app known as ES File Explorer. When a piece of installed software updates on your device, ES File Explorer sends out a notification in the form of the floating icon. This simply means an app has a new version ready. The only problem is the bubble usually sticks around far too long, prompting many users to seek out methods for getting rid of it.

How to remove the floating widget circle

Ready to tackle this annoying notification dot? Follow the steps below to completely disable it from your Android TV or Firestick device.

Step 1 – Open ES File Explorer

Since ES File Explorer is causing this issue, the first thing you’ll want to do is launch the app. Look on your device’s home screen for a white box with a blue and white file icon that says “ES” in a small cloud. If you don’t see it, you may need to navigate your device’s app drawer. Fire TV and Fire Stick users can check the Your Apps & Channels section beneath the Recent row of apps, then scroll right and click See All.

Step 2 – Choose the Settings tab

Inside ES File Explorer you’ll see a two-pane design. Tabs such as Favorite, Local, Home, and Downloads will be on the left, while icons with Cloud, Music, App, and Movie content will be on the right.

To make changes to how ES File Explorer handles notifications, you’ll need to visit the Settings tab on the left pane. If you don’t see it, scroll until it shows up. Fire TV and Fire Stick users may need to press left on the remote to highlight the pane before scrolling to Settings.

Step 3 – Disable the floating widget

In the Settings menu you should see a list of options on a blank screen. Scroll down or tap the one that says Logger floating widget settings. This will take you to a new screen with a few added options to see.

To disable the circle widget entirely, click Enable logger floating widget. The check box on the far right should turn white, meaning it has been disabled.

Step 4 – Return to your home screen

You can now safely exit ES File Explorer and enjoy your widget-free streaming experience. There’s no need to reboot the device or uninstall the app. The icon will have disappeared, and even if an app update is available, it won’t show up again.

Other ways to remove the floating circle

Changing the settings in ES File Explorer is the best way to get rid of the annoying notification bubble that appears from time to time. If this option doesn’t work for you, however, you can think about trying the alternative methods below.

Uninstall ES File Explorer

Nothing gets rid of an app’s notification services like uninstalling it from your device! Whether you use an Android TV set, Fire TV, or Fire Stick, you can physically remove ES File Explorer from your system to get rid of the floating widget for good. This means you won’t have access to ES File Explorer any more, of course, but it works in a pinch, especially if you can’t access the app for whatever reason.

Uninstalling ES File Explorer on Fire TV and Fire Stick:

  1. Open your Fire TV and go to the home menu.
  2. On the menu items at the top of the screen, scroll to the right and choose Settings. You may need to press up on the remote to highlight the menu before navigating.
  3. Scroll right and choose Applications.
  4. In the Applications menu, move down and choose Manage Installed Applications.
  5. Scroll until you find ES File Explorer in the alphabetical list.
  6. Select ES File Explorer and a new screen will open. Scroll down and choose Uninstall.
  7. A secondary screen will open. Choose Uninstall once again to confirm.
  8. After a moment, ES File Explorer will be deleted from your Fire TV device.

If you’re using an Android device, the uninstall process will be a bit different depending on the hardware you’re using. Smartphone and tablet users can simply find the ES File Explore icon, tap and hold for a brief second, then drag the app to the Uninstall label at the top of the screen. After confirming the deletion, both the app and the notification will disappear.

Android TV users will need to carry out the uninstall in a slightly different way. Follow these instructions to uninstall ES File Explorer on Android TV set top boxes:

  1. Turn your Android TV device on and go to the main menu.
  2. Select the settings icon to enter the options screen.
  3. Scroll to the Apps tab and open it.
  4. Wait a moment for the installed apps list to load, then navigate down and choose ES File Explorer.
  5. Select the app, then scroll to the Uninstall option.
  6. Confirm the deletion and your Android TV will remove it from your device right away.

Replace ES File Explorer with another app

ES File Explorer isn’t the only file navigation app on the market. There are several third party apps that perform comparable tasks as ES, including open source downloaders that can almost entirely replace ES File Explorer without the annoying notification dots. In the section below we’ll discuss a few of the best alternatives so you can avoid the floating bubble issue entirely.

Best alternatives to ES File Explorer

Most users who download ES File Explorer on Fire TV or Android TV are doing it so they can sideload apps. The good news is there are some handy pieces of software that can do the same tasks just as easily, and they don’t come with frustrating notification bubbles.


A straightforward sideloading app that’s one of the best replacements to ES File Explorer on the market. You can download the app directly from your Fire TV’s appstore, find links on the internet to apk files you want to install, then type them into Downloader’s interface. Two clicks later the app is installed, ready to stream at your command.

The downside to Downloader is it doesn’t come with a file explorer interface, meaning you can only use it to sideload, not manage your device directly. It’s hard to say no to something this straightforward, simple, and free, however.

To use Downloader, simply grab the app by installing it on your Fire TV. You can search for it on the device itself, or send it using Amazon’s appstore web interface.


Because Fire TV’s operating system is based on Android, the device can run a surprising amount of software not natively available on Amazon’s appstore. apps2fire takes advantage of this by letting you copy installed apps from an Android device directly to a Fire TV, essentially sideloading software without the need for cables or hacking.

apps2fire doesn’t offer any file navigation features, but it does let you add new sideloaded apps to your device with ease. Note that an additional Android device is necessary to make use of it. Install apps2fire on your non-Fire TV Android device by searching for it in the Google Play app store, or send it using this download link.


adbLink is designed for users who want more control over their Fire TV. The software is available for all major desktop operating systems and connects to Fire TV via Wi-Fi. When a link has been established, you can manage Fire’s cache, file structure, and so much more, all from the comfort of your desktop or laptop.

You don’t need to do anything special with your Fire TV to sideload with adbLink, and it’s arguably easier to use than ES File Explorer since you can access it from your PC. To get started, download adbLink for your PC’s operating system from the developer’s website.

Ghost Commander

A fantastic, free, and open source file explorer that can do everything ES File Explorer is capable of, and a lot more. The interface is more technical than some users will be accustomed to, but it definitely gets the job done, and without frustrating notification bubbles, too.

Ghost Commander is available for Android devices and can be sideloaded to Fire TV and Android TV with relative ease.

Is ES File Explorer safe?

ES File Explorer is a free app available for Android and Fire TV that lets users navigate their device’s file structure. It also includes useful features for sideloading content, making it easy to input a URL and install any apk to your Android or Fire TV device, all without having to hack, jailbreak, or add USB accessories.

ES File Explorer is perfectly safe to use, and it generally doesn’t cause any frustrations for users who have it installed. The blue circle widget is a notable exception to this, however. By following the removal instructions above, you can disable the floating icon without having to uninstall ES File Explorer. If you’re looking to anonymize your ES File Explorer download, or simply want always-on protection, activate your VPN as soon as you boot up your device.


The floating widget icon on Fire TV, Fire Stick, and certain Android/Android TV devices is a frustrating problem for sure. Fortunately, it’s a problem with a quick and easy solution. By disabling the notification circle within ES File Explorer, or by replacing or removing the app altogether, you can get rid of the blue dot hovering on the edge of your screen and get back to enjoying more movies.

Got any tips on getting rid of the floating widget on Fire TV? Know of another good replacement for ES File Explorer? Leave a comment below!

Read How to Remove the Floating Widget from Fire Stick, Fire TV, Android by John Bardinelli on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to Install PrivateVPN on Fire TV and Firestick

There are more threats to your online privacy than ever before, with ISPs collecting your traffic information, cyber criminals seemingly watching your every move, and even government agencies running mass surveillance and censorship programs. Even that innocuous streaming device in your TV can be feeding personal data to these third parties without you ever knowing about it. Today, we’ll show you how to regain control of your privacy by installing PrivateVPN on your Amazon Fire TV, Firestick or Fire Cube.

Of course, a VPN offers more than just protection. You’ll find an entire world of entertainment opens up to you when you spoof your IP to access geo-blocked content from other countries. Handy, right?

If you need a hand getting PrivateVPN up and running on your Fire TV device, this guide is for you. We’ll walk you through the entire process, from creating a VPN subscription to installing the software, getting started, and configuring your connection.

Why use a VPN on Fire TV?

Virtual private networks run in the background on your favorite devices to keep your data nice and secure. They encrypt every packet of information that leaves the hardware, and they provide basic anonymity by hiding your local IP address. The end result is a private tunnel between you and the Internet, one that you barely even have to lift a finger to put to use.

Why PrivateVPN?

PrivateVPN is one of the fastest and most reliable VPNs on the market. It works extremely well on Fire TV and Fire Stick, too, all thanks to custom software designed to be as lightweight and intuitive as possible. Using PrivateVPN means you’ll stay secure each time you fire up your streaming device. It also allows you to break through geo restrictions to watch movies from around the world.

Here are just a few great reasons to run PrivateVPN on your Amazon Fire TV:

  • You’ll be able to access to movies from other countries on Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and other streaming services.
  • You can sideload and run Kodi, SPMC, Stremio, or ShowBox without alerting your ISP.
  • You’ll have the ability to stream videos from sideloaded third party apps without giving up your location or identity.
  • You can prevent your ISP from artificially slowing down your connection.

What makes a good VPN?

Not all VPNs are made equal, especially when it comes to protecting your Fire TV. We used the following criteria to test out many of the best VPNs on the market to see which ones were best-suited for video streams. Spoiler alert: PrivateVPN came out on top, all because it scored extremely high in the following categories.

  • App availability – Your VPN has to run on Fire TV, otherwise it’s useless!
  • Good reputation – Can you trust your VPN? Using well-established services is a good starting point for keeping data secure.
  • Privacy extras – Does your VPN offer an automatic kill switch? DNS leak protection?
  • Zero-logging policy – VPNs can store logs of your activity. To ensure this doesn’t happen, go with a reliable service that has a strict zero-logging policy.

PrivateVPN – Optimize your Fire TV

PrivateVPN is a strong, fast, reliable, and safe VPN that will help you utilize a secure internet connection anywhere in the world. With PrivateVPN you can stream with complete anonymity, allowing HD and 4K movies, live sports, and unrestricted access to TV shows from around the world. Best of all, PrivateVPN installs directly to your Fire device without sideloading, making it incredibly easy to use!

PrivateVPN operates a network of over 100 servers in 59 different countries. Data is 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. PrivateVPN is the perfect solution for keeping your data safe while watching movies on Fire TV.

Read more about PrivateVPN’s excellent streaming features in our PrivateVPN review.

How to install PrivateVPN on Fire Stick or Fire TV

It can be a bit confusing installing some VPNs to Fire TV. The process often involves sideloading, a method of utilizing external software to “push” third party apps onto a Fire Stick. Fortunately, this isn’t the case with PrivateVPN. The service has an app custom built for Fire TV, available to use directly from the Amazon Appstore. No jailbreaking or hacking is required!

Step 1 – Create an account with PrivateVPN

Before you get started with PrivateVPN, you need to set up a subscription. Use our exclusive PrivateVPN link here to check out some of the discounts available on different plans, then click the Get PrivateVPN button to continue.

These deals may change over time, but right now our readers can score a 12 month subscription for just a few dollars per month, complete with a free extra month of service. Pick the plan that works best for you, choose a payment method, then complete the checkout process to activate your account.

Step 2 – Official guide to getting PrivateVPN

You should be automatically signed into your new PrivateVPN account now. If not, open a web browser on your PC and visit the website. Sign in using the available links, then click the Installation Guide tab at the top of the screen.

Scroll down the installation guide options and click the dropdown menu marked for Android. Next, click the link that says Amazon Fire TV/Fire Stick, then click the purple View Guide button next to where it says PrivateVPN APP.

The support page will offer a video walkthrough on how to install PrivateVPN to your Fire device. If you need this, play the video and follow the instructions there. You can also continue following our steps below for a faster walkthrough on installing the app.

Step 3 – Downloading PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN doesn’t offer its app installer directly from its website. Instead, you’ll need to download it from your Fire TV’s built-in app store. This is much faster, safer, and easier than manually getting an apk and sideloading it yourself.

Turn on your Fire TV and start at the home menu. Launch the Apps > Categories section, then scroll down to the Utility icon and browse until you see PrivateVPN on the list. You can also search for PrivateVPN manually, but it doesn’t always show up right away, especially if you use voice search. Click the store icon to visit the PrivateVPN apps page.

Now you can download PrivateVPN just by clicking the “Get” button on the app store. Your Fire TV will download the app right away. When it completes, the “Get” button will change to “Open”, meaning the app is installed and ready to go.

Step 4 – Launch PrivateVPN

With PrivateVPN installed on your Fire Stick, you can now continue the setup process. Don’t worry, you’re only moments away from locking down your device with a fast and secure VPN!

Launch the PrivateVPN app and you’ll be greeted with a blue login screen. Enter your PrivateVPN credentials here, including your username and password. Click the log-in button to sign in.

PrivateVPN will now show you a VPN server location screen. Choose a location from the list, selecting a server that’s closer to your current physical location for optimal speed. Select Connect and PrivateVPN will connect to the server. You will then see the connection screen displayed above, indicating your traffic is encrypted and your identity anonymous.

You can now safely minimize the PrivateVPN app by pressing the Home button on your Fire TV remote. The VPN will stay connected silently in the background to keep everything safe and secure while you stream. If you ever need to disconnect or choose a different server, simply launch the app to bring up the connection screen and go from there.

How to use PrivateVPN with Fire TV

Installation and setup was a breeze, right? Now it’s time to check a few settings to make sure you have the easiest experience possible!

Verify connection options

Launch the PrivateVPN app on your Fire TV and click the gear icon in the top corner of the screen. You’ll be taken to the settings page with a number of powerful privacy and app options at your disposal. The three we’ll be concerned with are Connect on Start, Start on Boot, and Reconnect. These options ensure your VPN launches whenever you reboot your Fire TV and stays connected even in case of an accidental disconnect

  • Reconnect – Toggle to the right (make sure it turns green)
  • Start on Boot – Move to the right (green means it’s active)
  • Connect on Start – Toggle to the right (green means it’s on)

With these options set, you won’t have to worry about manually turning on your VPN protection. It will launch when your device is on, connect automatically, and reconnect in case there’s ever a problem. Now you can just go about your streaming business as usual!

Switch server locations

Changing servers is extremely easy with the PrivateVPN app. Even though the software will connect to locations on its own, there are still times where you might want to change locations manually, like when you want to unblock videos from other countries.

To switch server locations, all you need to do is launch the PrivateVPN app, then click the Choose Server Location button near the center of the screen. Pick a new server from the alphabetical list, preferably one that’s close to your physical location for optimal speeds. Connect, then let PrivateVPN run in the background for all the VPN protection you need.

Log out of PrivateVPN

The vast majority of people will leave their VPN apps running in the background at all times. This is, after all, the most secure way to use your Fire TV. In case you need to sign out of PrivateVPN and don’t want to uninstall it entirely, there’s a somewhat hidden option to do just this tucked away in the configuration menu.

To sign out of PrivateVPN, first launch the app, then choose the gear icon to visit the settings page. Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see a red Log Out button. Click it and the app will immediately sign you out of the service, disconnecting you from all servers at the same time.

Uninstall PrivateVPN

Having trouble with the PrivateVPN app on your Fire TV device? While things will work perfectly for nearly everyone, there’s the slight change your results will vary. If you can’t get things to work, your first task should be to contact PrivateVPN’s support team to see if they can resolve the issue. Chances are there’s an easy fix, and they can help you find it!

If you still need to uninstall PrivateVPN, you can do so in just a few steps. It actually uninstalls in the same way as any other Fire TV app, simply follow the outline below.

  1. Open your Fire TV and go to the home menu.
  2. On the menu items at the top of the screen, scroll to the right and choose Settings.
  3. Scroll right and choose Applications.
  4. In the Applications menu, move down and choose Manage Installed Applications.
  5. Scroll until you find PrivateVPN in the alphabetical list.
  6. Select the PrivateVPN icon and a new screen will open. Scroll down and choose Uninstall.
  7. A secondary screen will open. Choose Uninstall once again to confirm.
  8. After a moment, PrivateVPN will be deleted from your Fire TV device.

Can you still sideload PrivateVPN?

Sideloading, the process of adding third party software to your Fire Stick without going through Amazon’s Appstore, is generally reserved for unsupported hardware that cannot be installed through any other means.

With that being said, sideloaded apps include any Android-compatible software. PrivateVPN does offer a stock Android version of its app, so you can technically sideload it if the need arises. We strongly advise against doing this whenever possible, however, as you’ll have to seek out the apk file on a third party site, which can be unreliable or even dangerous to your privacy. The Android version of the app also won’t be as easy to use with the Fire TV remote, so your experience will be a little clunkier by comparison.

If you’re completely unable to install PrivateVPN from the Amazon appstore, use the instructions below to send it to your device using the apps2fire sideloader.

  1. If you haven’t done so already, sign up with PrivateVPN and activate your subscription.
  2. On a separate Android tablet or smartphone device, open the marketplace and search for PrivateVPN.
  3. Install the app to your Android phone.
  4. On the same device, also install apps2fire.
  5. Run apps2fire and let it create a list of your local installs, which will include PrivateVPN.
  6. On your Fire TV, head to Settings > About – Network and copy the IP address on the right.
  7. Back in apps2fire, slide the menu and tap Setup at the end. Type in your Fire TV’s IP address in the box, then tap “Search Fire TVs”.
  8. Apps2fire will establish a connection with your device. Go to the Local Apps tab on the left and scroll until you see PrivateVPN
  9. Tap the PrivateVPN icon, then select “Install”
  10. The transfer will initiate. In a few moments the Android version of PrivateVPN will be sideloaded to your Fire device.


PrivateVPN is one of the easiest VPNs to install to your Fire TV or Firestick device. Once you start using it, you’ll find it’s fast, filled with great features, and is incredibly easy to use. Got any tips on using PrivateVPN with your Fire TV? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Read How to Install PrivateVPN on Fire TV and Firestick by John Bardinelli on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter