Kodi, the multi-platform home theater software called XBMC, can be customized with a range of content repositories, tools and programs for a tailor-made entertainment experience. It overlays any computer, Android device and even Raspberry Pis with an easy-to-use interface compatible with remote controls and gamepads.
Let’s take a look at the best VPNs for Kodi in 2018 that will protect your privacy and security without slowing down and ruining your streaming experience. We will run through which VPNs have apps for which devices so be sure to find a good fit for your favorite device. The VPNs on this list should help you have fun with Kodi knowing that your ISP or hackers are not spying on your business.
The real charm of Kodi lies in addons that extend Kodi’s capabilities. That is to say, video addons allow Kodi users to play videos from a wide range of sources. These include popular streaming services like BBC iPlayer and third-party add-ons that mainly offer pirated content. Most Kodi users use a VPN to hide their activity from their ISP when viewing pirated content, but there are many valid reasons why everyone should use one.
Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN encrypts all Internet traffic on your Kodi device and routes it through an intermediate server to a location of your choice. This allows you to unlock geographically limited content such as BBC iPlayer outside the UK. It also protects users from certain types of attacks and common vulnerabilities in third-party add-ons while maintaining their private activity.
Many VPNs are available, but we have selected a list of three VPNs that we believe are the best worldwide VPNs for Kodi users. We will note the types of devices compatible with each VPN, including Android and OpenELEC.
While many VPN providers try to stand out with their free plans and low-cost commercial products, IPVanish talks more about the quality of service. It is “the fastest VPN in the world”, says the website, with over 40,000 shared IPs, over 850 VPN servers in over 60 countries, unlimited P2P traffic, five simultaneous connections and more.
IPVanish is our best recommendation for Android-based Kodi devices, including Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. For users who do not have access to Google Play, IPVanish allows you to simply download the APK file from your website and install it directly on your device without having to go through an app store. IPVanish now lists its app in the Fire TV app store via Amazon and, at the time of writing, is the only one on this list to do so. Linux users, however, will need to manually configure the VPN.
The Fire TV version is optimized for use with the Fire Stick remote control, making it easy to set up and connect to the chosen server. There are over 1,000 servers to choose from, with fast and reliable service for most locations around the world. You will also get solid security thanks to 256-bit encryption and a no-logs policy.
Clients are available for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS, and the company also has configuration instructions for Chromebooks, Amazon Fire TV / Fire Sticks, Linux, routers, and more.
The initial price for a month is $ 10 (£ 8), this drops to $ 8.99 (£ 7.20) for the quarterly plan, or $ 6.49 (£ 5.20) if you pay for a full year . This is a bit more expensive than the NordVPN’s $ 5 (£ 4), a little cheaper than VyprVPN’s $ 7.29 (£ 5.80), but quite typical for a premium service.
There are no plans or free trials, even if you receive a seven-day refund without strings. And we noticed something else you can try: if you go to the payment page, leave it open for a while, choose a payment method and then switch to another browser tab, you will be offered a 20% discount on the first billing for some plan.
Some VPN providers explain their registration policy in detail. IPVanish focuses mainly on simple titles: “Zero Traffic Logs !!” – but dig around and eventually you will find this most significant statement:
“We have a strict policy against the collection of connection and activity logs, but we will never store metadata about your VPN session or information about how you used the service.”
As expected, IPVanish states that it does not record the websites you visit or details about what you are doing online. The most interesting thing is that, unlike some providers, IPVanish does not seem to record session data such as connection times, incoming and outgoing IP addresses, bandwidth used and more. This is a plus for privacy.
The wide range of payment methods is also welcome. If you want to avoid traces of cards or PayPal, you can choose Bitcoin, Giropay, CashU, DineroMail and more.
VPN providers sometimes try to bury key details in their terms of service and the IPVanish page is so long – almost 4,000 words – that we wondered if there was something to hide.
Look beyond the long-winded legal jargon, though, and the contract is very similar to any other. If anything, there are fewer catches than you might expect. For example, there is no bandwidth limitation with the seven-day trial and there is no need to justify why you might want to cancel. Just ask within the first seven days and until you have used a payment method that supports refunds, you will get your money back.
Every web service has problems with the registration problem, but lethargic support is more than a problem. If you are a customer, you will be able to solve it quickly, do not worry.
Once you are able to log in, the IPVanish website proved to be clear and direct. A download page worked as a central point where you can start the service on almost any device. Windows 7, 8 or 10, using OpenVPN, PPTP or L2TP.
The Android client is full of features and looks more like a complete application than the simple apps used by other VPNs. The connection is not just a double click on the flag, you can select individual countries, cities or servers and the locations can be filtered by country, response time or load. You can choose locations from a map or list and there’s a simple system of choice for your most commonly used servers.
A complete Settings page allows you to start the client on startup, optionally connecting to the server selection. Switch to network lock if the connection is interrupted and an automatic reconnect option to restore the VPN as soon as possible.
Within regular intervals, reducing the possibility for you to change your IP address.
Low-level settings include the ability to choose protocol (options include OpenVPN UDP or TCP, PPTP, L2TP), set up OpenVPN port, obfuscate OpenVPN traffic, browse OpenVPN connection logs, accept IPVanish DNS servers or use their own.
If you are a beginner VPN or you are not interested in any of this, change the client to Simple Mode and reduce the interface to a lowercase button.
While this sounds great, there are problems. For example, the customer initially selected a US server for our first connection. The Quick Connection and Server List tabs do not have a simple “Nearest Server” option that will always choose the most likely location.
IPVanish has also struggled in our stress tests. In some situations we found out that the connection via IPVanish left us to access any website, but if we closed the client and connected via another VPN, everything was fine.
Our speed tests are very positive, with IPvanish excellent download speeds from 30 to 35 Mbps from our nearest server in the UK and a very similar 28 to 34 Mbps from neighboring European servers.
IPVanish did not need any manual assistance when it came to our privacy tests, at least. The service successfully blocked DNS, WebRTC and other potential losses.
Why IP Vanish ?
- Access to the world’s fastest VPN
- 40,000+ shared IPs, 1,000+ VPN servers in 60+ countries
- User-friendly apps for all of your devices
- Anonymous torrenting
- Zero traffic logs
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited P2P traffic
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Access to censored apps & websites
- Unlimited server switching
- SOCKS5 web proxy
- OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP/IPsec VPN protocols
- 5 simultaneous connections on multiple devices
- 24/7 customer support
- 7-day money-back guarantee
ExpressVPN fastest VPN on Earth, “reads the headline engraved on the ExpressVPN homepage.This is a huge demand for any VPN, but ExpressVPN backs up your request with a 30-day non-quibble reimbursement guarantee in a space where seven days is the standard and is one of the few VPNs that works with Netflix and all the other streaming services we have tested to date.
Launched in 2009, ExpressVPN has grown to become one of the most popular premium VPN services in the world.
ExpressVPN is not for users with a small budget. The base monthly price is $ 12.95 a month, while an annual subscription reduces to $ 8.32 a month. This places ExpressVPN firmly in the higher price range. ExpressVPN accepts payments by credit card, PayPal, Bitcoin and various third-party payment gateways.
To make ExpressVPN as accessible and not intimidating as possible for inexperienced users, it has eliminated some changes and features available on some more configurable competitors. Cryptographic levels are not negotiable, for example; you can not speed up the connection by sacrificing security.
The latest update of the ExpressVPN app added a “network blocking” feature that interrupts all Internet traffic when the connection to the VPN decreases. This prevents DNS losses and works effectively as a kill switch. In addition, ExpressVPN forces all DNS requests on the IPv4 protocol instead of the less secure IPv6.
The ExpressVPN app includes an integrated speed verification tool to see which servers offer the fastest download times. The tool provides latency and download speed for each server location on the ExpressVPN network. This sounds great in theory, but it can take a few minutes to finish, and the results may change from one hour to the next.
The tunneling split was recently added to the Mac version, which allows you to choose and choose which apps and services to tunnel through the VPN tunnel and which are sent on the default ISP network.
After registration, the user can download and install the VPN client. At the first run, you will be asked to enter an activation code, which differs for each device. A link to a web page containing this code is included in the confirmation email, so be sure to save it. Even if it’s a bit boring to enter the activation code for each device separately, it means you’ll never, or at least rarely, waste time logging in. As soon as you start the app, it’s ready. During the installation process, the user can choose to share anonymous connection data to improve speed.
The app is probably the most intuitive and simply designed VPN software we’ve ever used. Simply select a server, mark it as if you want to access it quickly later and press Connect. Some basic settings can be optimized in the options menu, such as the protocol you prefer to use, but anything that can be ignored if you do not need it. The intuitive plug-and-play interface makes ExpressVPN the ideal choice for novice users or for people who need something their children or old family members can use.
If you prefer not to leave the ExpressVPN GUI open, it will run silently in the taskbar. You can quickly connect to your favorite servers, log out and access options from there as well.
Mobile apps require the same activation process and are equally simple. ExpressVPN has clearly thought a lot about the design of idiot-proof apps.
A disadvantage comes into play when you want to use a fourth device. I have two PCs, a tablet and a smartphone, for example. If I leave ExpressVPN connected on three devices, then I can not connect on a quarter. Instead of simply starting a computer from the network, I have to manually disconnect it. This means that if I leave ExpressVPN connected to an office computer and forget it is on, I would not be able to connect three devices at home. We would like to see a mechanism in which the old connection is started to make room for the new one.
In addition to desktop and mobile apps, ExpressVPN also makes the firmware that can be used by some popular models of wifi routers. You can purchase a preconfigured router with ExpressVPN or install the router app for free if your existing router is compatible. With VPN setup on a router, all devices connected to the home wifi will have their Internet traffic routed through a VPN. The router counts as a single device, so an unlimited number of devices can use the VPN on a regular subscription, pending bandwidth.
If you want to flash the ExpressVPN firmware on your router, first check that it is compatible. Otherwise, you could brick your wifi router so that it is unusable.In 2017, ExpressVPN added a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox to its repertoire. After adding the plug-in to the browser, you will be able to check the VPN connection and position from a simplified version of the native app. Note that it is still necessary to have the native app for MacOS or Windows installed to work. This is not a standalone extension like the HTTPS proxy extensions offered by other VPN providers. Sorry, Chromebook users. Instead, extensions are simply another way to control the native app.
- Access any content.Ultra-fast VPN servers in 94 countries. Instantly unlock sites and apps you love.
- Safe and anonymous
We are fanatical about your privacy and security. Avoid being hacked or tracked, using powerful encryption.
- 24 hour customer service
Get help in seconds, not days. Ask us anything through live chat support!
- Fast VPN speeds
Huge 1700+ global VPN server network optimized for fast connections. Unlimited bandwidth, no limitation.
- Easy-to-use VPN service for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Router and Linux
Get ready in minutes on any device. Download, install and connect to ExpressVPN by pressing a button.
- Without restrictions
Stream or download anything from any of our servers, anywhere on Earth, with your IP address hidden from prying eyes.
- Offshore privacy protection
Based in the British Virgin Islands, a tropical oasis with no data retention laws. No activity log. No connection log.
- Serious security
Protect yourself from hacking and surveillance with 256-bit AES encryption, DNS / IPv6 leak protection, kill switches and split tunneling.
- 30-day refund guaranteed
Give ExpressVPN a test drive. All plans are fully refundable, no questions asked.
- Content from anywhere
Watch, listen, stream, and enjoy the contents of censored and blocked websites all over the world, even while traveling.
- 148 server positions
Choose from 148 locations of VPN servers in 94 countries around the world with unlimited switch servers.
- Speed test
Accelerate ExpressVPN with the integrated speed test function. Choose the location of the fastest VPN server for your network.
- App for each device
ExpressVPN has award-winning apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, routers and Linux.
- Live chat support 24 hours a day
True humans are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via email and live chat to help you set up and solve problems.
- Tunneling split VPN
VPN split tunneling allows you to route some of your device’s traffic through a VPN, allowing the rest to access the Internet directly.
- AES 256-bit encryption best-in-class
Your data is protected by advanced mathematics in AES-256, the encryption standard used by security experts around the world.
- No activity log, no log of connections
ExpressVPN will not record and will never store traffic data, DNS queries or anything that could be used to identify you.
- Masking the IP address
It is not necessary to reveal your true IP address and your position; change your IP address through one of ExpressVPN‘s secure VPN servers.
- Anonymous browsing
ExpressVPN allows you to be anonymous online. You can also pay with Bitcoin and use Tor to browse the hidden Konon site of ExpressVPN.
- OpenVPN and other protocols
Let ExpressVPN choose the best VPN protocol for your network, or choose manually if you are an experienced user.
- DNS with zero knowledge
ExpressVPN runs its own encrypted private DNS on each server, making connections both safer and faster.
- Active blog
Safety tips, digital freedom and Internet privacy news from around the world. Stay informed with the official ExpressVPN blog.
- Internet privacy guides
Detailed guides on topics like how to browse anonymously, delete Google search history and use Tor to stay private online.
- Stream Sport Guides
Do not lose your favorite sports just because you can not go on TV the day of the game. Stream online, in private and in security.
- 30-day refund guaranteed
Each subscription is backed by a 30-day money back guarantee. Get a full refund within 30 days without asking questions.
NordVPN supports Windows, MacOS and Linux. I’ve also reviewed the iPhone NordVPN and Android VPN apps: there are more details on Android, iPhone and Mac clients below. NordVPN’s mobile clients both allow you to purchase full subscriptions through their app stores. It is also possible to configure some routers for connection via NordVPN, and in doing so provides coverage for all devices on the network.
In addition to these devices, NordVPN provides a Chrome plug-in and, more recently, an add-on for Firefox. The browser plug-ins for VPNs are becoming more common and it’s a development I appreciate. When they are active, they only protect data transmitted through the browser, leaving the rest unchanged. This is a compromise in security, but it can be more efficient for some tasks, such as large file transfers.
The Android client for NordVPN has undergone a facelift since I last reviewed it. It’s more suitable for mobile devices now, with handy buttons on the bottom to access important parts of the app. The large raised central button takes you online quickly and with minimal effort.
NordVPN is committed to providing a family experience on all the devices supported by the company, but each customer is optimized to work best on each platform. On Android, for example, you can still access the company’s excellent specialty servers from the hidden left tray. But you can control your service and enable and disable the VPN from the notification bar, which is always accessible.
NordVPN got excellent scores in my latency tests, where he got second place. It was the fourth in the download speed, which still puts it at the end of the average in this important category. He had the second best upload speed score, which is always a difficult category. In general, you do not have to worry about speed issues when using NordVPN on Android. NordVPN is also a choice for editors for Android VPNs.
The VPN of the NordVPN browser lacks the granularity of the full client on Firefox and Android. You can not connect to specific servers, for example, only locations. However, these plug-ins are easy to use, lightweight and include all of the company’s CyberSec protection, which I will discuss below. They also have the ability to block WebRTC, which can leak information about your activities. That said, I prefer TunnelBear plug-ins, one of which acts as a VPN connection and the other as an optimized ad blocker.
NordVPN offers three price levels: $ 11.95 a month, $ 42.00 every six months or $ 69.00 a year. The company accepts credit cards, of course, but also Bitcoin, PayPal, Paysera and Webmoney. NordVPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee, but only applies if the NordVPN service does not work. Not accepting the service does not entitle you to a refund.
NordVPN offers a free three-day trial, but the activation of the trial is more than complicated. The company has offered the free trial for years, but has not yet made it easy to access. There are many capable and generous free VPN services out there. TunnelBear and other services offer free versions with a limited amount of data available a month or sometimes a day. AnchorFree Hotspot Shield Elite offers a unique arrangement, in which VPN access through some of its browser plug-ins is free and totally unlimited.
The most technically inclined certainly appreciate the fact that, while NordVPN still supports PPTP and L2TP protocols for legacy devices, it has mainly moved to new and higher options. The representatives of NordVPN tell me that all its servers now support IKEv2, so you can manually configure your Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS and Linux devices to connect using this protocol. Phase 1 keys are generated for AES-256-GCM for encryption and SHA2-384 hashing. The company is also able to implement a perfect forward secret with the 3.072-bit Diffie Hellmann keys. Currently, MacOS and iOS VPN clients support IKEv2 by default and the Android client will soon follow the example. The company also supports OpenVPN on all platforms except iOS and uses it by default in the Windows client. I prefer OpenVPN in general, for its security and for being open-source.
This is a lot of security alphabet soup, but the big takeaway is that NordVPN is using the best and latest technology and is not afraid to talk about it. This is something I really appreciate, especially when it comes to companies that impose themselves in terms of security.
NordVPN allows you to select one from a list of 56 countries, including approximately 2254 servers at the time of writing. This is an excellent improvement and welcome. It is worth noting, however, that private Internet access has over 3,000 servers available worldwide. While VPN services create new servers as needed, I still think these numbers are important. The more diverse the server location, the more options you’ll have to spoof your position. It is also more likely that you can find a server nearby when you travel, which generally results in better VPN performance. The number of servers is also important; the more servers there are, the less people connect to the same server, giving each user a wider slice of the bandwidth pie.
The best feature of NordVPN, however, is the variety of specialized servers it offers. These include servers for using P2P and BitTorrent. Other VPN services have selection tools to help you solve specific problems, but NordVPN goes further with unique offers such as double encryption, TOR anonymization network connection and anti-DDoS server.
One of the advantages of using a VPN is that your current IP address is hidden from the outside world. But some users may request a static IP address, which NordVPN can also provide. With a fee of $ 70.00, you can protect a dedicated IP address on a NordVPN server in Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom or the United States. This large selection of IP addresses in the United States and Western Europe means that they are unlikely to be blacklisted when using the new static IP. Other services such as TorGuard VPN $ 9.99 on TorGuard and VPN Unlimited also offer static IP addresses and other additional components.
Recently, NordVPN has announced that its servers are accessible from within China. This means that anyone within the country could evade government control over websites. This is particularly noteworthy, because the so-called Great Firewall of China greatly limits the sites that can be accessed from the borders of the country. Access is only available to Windows users, although other platforms will be added, the company says. We will see how this hampers China’s recent efforts to limit the use of the VPN.