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The best VPN for Kodi 2022: These VPN services will protect you and your privacy online

It’s the open-source video software that everybody’s using but it's very important to get some VPN protection while you watch

Kodi is a free open-source media player that’s designed to work across a wide range of devices. Originally created for the Microsoft Xbox, where it was called Xbox Media Centre, it has grown in popularity and spread across Windows, Android, macOS and Linux devices. You’ll find it on PCs, Android phones and tablets, Android TV boxes, NAS appliances and streaming sticks, where it’s used alongside a huge library of add-ons to stream music and – particularly – video from sources in the home or on the Internet.

A VPN, meanwhile, is a service that creates a secure virtual network link between your PC, laptop or other device and a VPN server situated elsewhere. When you connect, all traffic between you and the server is encrypted, and so can’t be snooped on. Your IP address is disguised, hiding both your real identity and your real location – you appear to be connecting from whatever physical location the server is in.

READ NEXT: Best VPN services

Why do you need a VPN to watch Kodi?

The simple answer is that you don’t – but there are good reasons why you might want to. You might want to stream video in privacy, without worrying that your ISP is logging where you look and what you watch. You might want to stream video from websites or services that block users from the UK, or from anywhere outside the United States. Some Kodi add-ons are now geoblocked, which means that US users can’t access UK content and vice versa, for example. Users may also have concerns about the legal ramifications of using these and the websites that they link to. Obviously, we don’t condone the piracy or illegal streaming of content, but using a VPN makes it a lot harder for ISPs and media companies to track and send threatening letters to those who do so – not to mention prosecute them.

What do you need to use a VPN with Kodi?

If you’re using Kodi on a PC, Mac or Android device, then most VPNs will do a decent job. One thing you might want to check is whether your chosen VPN will work with services you plan to use, such as Hulu or Netflix.

Many users, however, prefer to use Kodi on a device like a streaming stick or Android TV box that connects to their TV. In that case, you need to be sure that the service will work well with Kodi and that there’s a VPN app or client for the service that will install on the device you’re planning to use. If this has presets for streaming with or using Kodi, all the better.

Bear in mind that installing and configuring a VPN app is easier on some devices and operating systems than others and that you may need to either use a mouse or install a virtual mouse app on some streaming sticks and Android TV boxes. Many VPN services have good FAQs that can take you through the process.

READ NEXT: How to install a VPN on the Amazon Fire Stick

The Best VPNs for Kodi

ExpressVPN: The fastest VPN for Kodi and streaming content

Read our ExpressVPN review

ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN of all the ones we’ve tested. This is especially useful when streaming content because you don’t want a VPN that tends to constantly buffer or lag when you’re watching something, especially live sports. Another great reason we recommend ExpressVPN is because it has great speeds to far-off locations. This means that if you’re in the UK and want to watch US content, ExpressVPN will make the connection instantly and let you watch cross-Atlantic content. We’ve noticed that other VPNs take longer to establish this connection and our streams periodically stopped to buffer.

It also has a dedicated team to ensure that other services don’t block its usage, so you can use it to watch Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO, Hotstar or any of the streaming websites you use. Apart from that, you can install it on a wide range of devices, there’s 24/7 live customer support, you get a 30-day no-questions-asked money-back guarantee and you can save 49% if you purchase its 12-month plan.

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IPVanish: A great VPN with support for most Kodi devices

Review our IPVanish review

With in-depth settings and masses of options, IPVanish is our pick of the VPNs for power users, but it also makes a lot of sense if you’re running Kodi. Apps are available for Android and FireTV as well as Windows, Linux, macOS and iOS – and there’s a version you can install on a router if that suits you better. IPVanish doesn’t maintain any connection logs and has some powerful options to protect your privacy, though it is based in the US. It doesn’t unblock a lot of geo-restricted content, including BBC iPlayer and Hulu. Netflix support is also limited because only a few servers work. Looking to ensure your viewing privacy? IPVanish goes the extra mile.

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NordVPN: The best all-round VPN – and great for Kodi

Review our NordVPN review

With advanced privacy features, specialist servers for streaming and file-sharing, and rock-solid performance, we rate Nord VPN as the best all-round VPN. It’s a good bet for Kodi, too, with VPN clients for Windows, macOS, Android, Linux and Android TV, and there’s now a version available for Amazon Fire and Fire TV devices. NordVPN is based in Panama and doesn’t log any identifiable information about customers or their activities, and the pricing is fine if you’re prepared to pay for a year upfront. It also does a fine job of unblocking US streaming services.

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PureVPN: The best Kodi VPN for Fire TV users

Review our PureVPN review

PureVPN is one of the best options for Fire TV users. For one thing, there’s a Fire TV app available, so you don’t need to mess around with any VPN clients. For another, PureVPN has a simple, goal-based approach where you can pick a usage mode – there are modes for file-sharing and streaming – then pick a location or a streaming service, giving you the best connection for, say, watching US Netflix. Experienced VPN users might find that kind of thing unnecessary, but it greatly simplifies matters when you just want to sit down and watch something UK Netflix doesn’t offer.

Pure also goes big on features and options, and its safe search and filtering tools work well if you also want to use a VPN on your PC. Built-in ping tests steer you away from slow servers and show you which are good for peer-to-peer traffic, and it’s a fast VPN, particularly with connections to Europe. While it’s an expensive option if paid monthly, there are some fantastic deals to be had on annual plans.

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Windscribe: The best free VPN for Kodi

Review our Windscribe VPN review

Most free VPNs have speed or bandwidth restrictions that make using Kodi near-impossible, but Windscribe is fantastic, giving you up to 2GB of data usage gratis and unlimited usage if you’re happy to pay up. Better still, there are apps available for Android, FireTV, macOS, Linux and Windows, while you can use theVPNManagerKodi plug-in for devices that run on an unsupported OS. Windscribe won’t currently unblock Netflix in the US, and while it’s based in Canada it doesn’t keep any personal data or usage logs, deleting any information within minutes of you disconnecting. This is a free VPN done the right way – and an excellent pick for Kodi users.

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