The question is Kodi legal receives a simple YES. However, what may be controversial is the use of the software to stream and view content through the installation of third-party add-ons. But, to begin with, what is Kodi? And why has it become so popular?
Before we immerse ourselves in a deep discussion on Kodi, here’s a list of the 5 best VPNs for Kodi in 2020
What is Kodi?
Before we answer the question is Kodi legal? We need to know what is Kodi in the first place. Kodi is a free open-source media player software application developed and released to the market in June 2004 by a non- profit technology consortium that goes by the name XBMC Foundation. The software is written in Python C++ and supports Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Android, iOS, FreeBSD and tvOS operating systems.
A Kodi box is a set-top box that you can easily install on a streaming stick like the Amazon Fire Stick. Millions of people are using the pirate Kodi addons as the ultimate pirate machine. Reliable sources estimate streaming services to be more popular than torrent sites.
The Craze around Kodi
The public all over the world is massively interested with the Kodi thanks to the infringing addons that enable the users to access free premium TV channels, movies, and live sports. The box has become a hit with those building a home media center using a laptop or desktop because it’s free, easy to set up and well supported. The open source nature means the development community has a field day consistently releasing add-ons that extend the capabilities and the power of the Kodi system.
Is Kodi legal and safe to use? What is the Law as Regards Kodi and Its Usage?
As stated above, Kodi is legal. The software is open-source that allows the installation on a broad range of devices. Many manufacturers across the world have taken advantage of the software to manufacture set-top boxes with add-ons that enable the user to gain access and upload, share or stream copyright-protected material for free.
Big Brands Have Joined the Fight Against Fully Loaded Kodi Boxes
Amazon, the largest online marketplace earlier this year announced the crackdown on fully loaded Kodi boxes that “suggest” or “promote” the easy facilitation to piracy. The same happens with eBay. The Premier League is also involved in a major crackdown on illegal streams fed to media players. The premier league even got a court order to go after the “Kodi pirates.”
Facebook has also joined the bandwagon. Its advertising policy bans explicitly any sale of a streaming device that encourages or facilitates access to digital media. And so the policy is tweaked to prohibit the sale of Kodi devices.
The UK Digital Economic Bill Increases Maximum Sentence for Copyright Infringement
In the Uk, the Digital Economic Bill became law on April 27. The new Act has increased the maximum sentence for those found guilty of copyright infringement from two to ten years. The move is causing panic among those selling Kodi with third-party addons. A trader in Middleborough, Brian Thompson was sentenced at Teesside Crown Court for one count of selling and one count of advertising devices “designed, produced or adapted for the purpose of enabling or facilitating the circumvention of effective technological measures.” He had originally denied the charges but later on, pleaded guilty to the charges.
Streaming Free TV, Sports, and Movies May Violate Copyright Laws in the US
In the US, the position is that anybody using Kodi to stream for free TV, sports, and movies may violate copyright laws. Its Popular addons such as Exodus, Sports Devil, 1 Channel among others that enable you to watch TV without paying are legally questionable. Using the third-party addons with Kodi to access copyright protected content may land you in serious trouble. However, that doesn’t make it anyhow illegal. Though the technology does not violate any laws, it is increasingly gaining a reputation as a “piracy facilitator.”
Who is likely to snitch you when you use Kodi illegally?
Those who sell or use Kodi with third-party addons that infringe on copyright protected material take a significant risk. If the Snowden- Assange revelations are anything to go by, it follows that our privacy is highly compromised and that our online activities are monitored without our knowledge.
Government agencies, copyright watchdogs, media corporations and even your ISP can track and monitor your online activities. We advise you take great care whenever you use Kodi that’s fully loaded with addons to access copyright protected material.
Popular Kodi Add-ons
Kodi’s popularity is rising by the day because of the constant release of the addons that enable the free viewing of paid content. We’ve answered the question is Kodi legal? We now briefly discuss some of the most popular addons that are fueling the craze around Kodi and causing a headache to law enforcement and copyright owners.
Exodus is the most popularly used video addon that has recently surpassed Genesis. The addon provides the users a simplified interface that makes it easy to navigate and find the videos of their choice. The app does not differentiate between legal and illegal content, and thus, if you are not careful, the app might get you in serious trouble.
Phoenix is a premier addon that is run by a team of developers. It has a hugely comprehensive list of content that is regularly updated by the developers. The addon is available through fusion. Phoenix has distinct sections for a particular audience that aims to appeal to the segment. For instance, to appeal to ladies, they have “Her Place” section.
Stream All The Sources (SALT) is a video addon for Kodi Media Centre that is an excellent alternative add-on to the Exodus. It enables users to stream content from a wide range of sources. The Salt addon supports trakt-tv integration that helps to keep collections and lists synchronized across devices. The add-on also supports library integration.
How to Use Kodi Safely?
Now that you understand the dangers of using Kodi to stream copyright-protected content, we now answer the question on everybody’s lips. How can I use Kodi Safely? The answer is simple. You either stream content using Kodi provided you have a subscription if it’s a paid service, or you stream your content securely and privately by using VPN.
The Best VPN for Kodi
The use of a competent VPN for Kodi is the best way to protect your privacy and security while accessing copyright protected material. A VPN for those who are new to the subject is a virtual private network that provides a secure tunnel for data transmission between a web server and a web browser. The VPN encrypts your data thereby protecting your identity from hackers, snoopers, and scammers.
When used with Kodi, the VPN will ensure that your ISP, the government, copyright watchdogs, and other law enforcement agencies aren’t able to trace your Kodi activities. The VPN will also enhance a Kodi users experience for it will enable the bypassing of geo-restrictions to unblock content from restricted areas. A good example would be the use of the best VPN for Netflix to unblock the entire Netflix US library overseas. Another example is the use of the best VPN for NBA streaming for those overseas as well as helping those in the US to bypass blackout restrictions.
We highly recommend the use of Kodi with VPN to guard against the Kodi security vulnerabilities.
The best VPN for Kodi should among other things:
Have Zero log policy
An excellent VPN for Kodi should be one that does not record and store an online user activity. We’ve had many cases where law enforcement agencies use a court order to demand the release of a user’s log. Where a VPN service doesn’t keep records, it means that they won’t have any to give.
Speed is of utmost importance because if you are going to be streaming content, you require a VPN that has blazing speeds as well as unlimited bandwidth so that you don’t experience the annoying buffering, throttling or even blocking.
Support for multiple devices and Number of Connections
When shopping for the best VPN for Kodi, we’d advise you go for a VPN service that supports not only multiple devices but also one that offers simultaneous use on more than one device. The feature can provide a great experience for families looking to stream content using Kodi.
Number of Servers
The number of servers a VPN service has and its location is an important consideration when it comes to unblocking websites. You can easily unblock content from your desired region by connecting to a server in the area you want to access the content and spoof your location thereby unblocking your desired content. More servers and server locations also mean that you can test the speeds of the different servers just to find the one that is perfect for you. When streaming Netflix, should a server get blocked, you just connect to another one.
Other factors to look out for are:
DNS leak protection
Internet kill switch
24/7 customer support
We have tested and found the following VPN service providers to be the best for using with Kodi
- NordVPN is a leading VPN service that offers a great balance between streaming and privacy. Nord has the following features that make it ideal for a Kodi VPN service.
Lightning speed- perfect streaming and browsing
Strict No Logs Policy
Automatic Kill Switch: Automatically shuts down any software or site you specify in advance
More than 1600 super worldwide servers
Double VPN technology: the tightest security that encrypts your data twice.
NordVPN special offer 75% discount @ $3.49/month
ExpressVPN is our best pick. Some of its excellent features include:
Blazing speeds and reliable streaming
Access all websites and apps from any country
Compatible with all devices
Excellent customer support by live chat
30-day money back guarantee
CyberGhost is an equally great VPN for Kodi. Here are some of its stellar features:
Access of all Kodi addons
Access Geo-restricted content from anywhere
Does not log its user activity
Kill Switch: Excellent at “killing” the Internet should the VPN Network loose connection.
Prevents ISP tracking and throttling
7-day money-back guarantee
Vyprvpn is a highly rated VPN service with fast speeds and NAT Firewall for extra security. Other features are:
Stops ISPs from performing deep packet inspection, and also throttling your connection speeds.
Easy to use, fast and stable apps for every device.
They write 100% of their software, manage their own network, own the DNS, as well as the hardware: all these can only mean super-fast speeds and privacy protection from end-to-end.
You get 700+ servers with more than 70 server locations and more than 200,000 IPs
Unlimited server switching.
TorGuard protects your privacy online with VPN and Proxy service. Constituent features include:
Anonymous VPN service
Anonymous Proxy to help you hide your IP address
Keeps zero traffic logs
Stealth VPN for bypassing DPI Firewalls, and VPN Blocks
Works from any browser
OpenPGP Email Encryption for email security
Is Kodi Legal and Safe to Use? Final Words
Kodi is legal in most jurisdictions except where third-party addons are used to access paid content for free. People like free things and so, the addons are fueling the popularity and demand for Kodi boxes. As the crackdown on Kodi addons led by the UK escalates, and so does the demand for the boxes.
Will law enforcement and copyright protection bodies win the war on Kodi? That’s a question that can only find answers with time. Currently, the crackdown on the boxes mostly targets the sellers as opposed to individual small-time users. The demand for VPN services has shot up in jurisdictions that are pushing hard for the war on Kodi. That can only mean that the use of Kodi addons is likely to go on albeit anonymously.