Kodi is a free and open source software entertainment hub and media player. Among the many media types that can be used with Kodi, Kodi streaming is one of the most popular. No matter how big or small the device you want to use, or which operating system it works with, you can install Kodi and enjoy hours of entertainment wherever you are.
Kodi can be installed on Windows, OSX, Linux, Android and iOS. It also features a 10-foot user interface that can be used with TVs and remote controls.
Keep all your digital media in one place with this entertainment hub that is open source and 100% free.
Although being open source, Kodi is supported by a huge community and a committed team of volunteers. Extensive Wikis and forums contain a huge knowledge-base with suitable information and help aimed at everyone, from application developers to new users. Kodi can also be customized to get exactly the look and feel you want. View or play Kodi streaming TV, podcasts, music, most videos and many other types of digital media file from the internet and network and local storage.
Pictures and images can be imported to a library and then browsed with different views, or as a slideshow. You can also use a remote control to filter and sort your libraries. Live TV can be watched and recorded easily by using Kodi’s powerful user interface. Numerous back-ends including MythTV, MediaPortal, Tvheadend and NextPVR are supported.
Use the huge range of skins to change the appearance of the interface to suit your taste and needs. Kodi uses a JSON-RPC based remote interface. This enables the use of 3rd party tools, web browsers and remote controls to take Kodi to a level seldom seen in any media player. You can control media any way you want with the support provided for hundreds of CEC-compatible TVs, remote controls, or one of the many Tablet and Smartphone Apps.
How to use Kodi addons
Kodi’s real power comes from the huge selection addons created by user. Once you have installed Kodi, you can download and install whichever add-on you want right from the user interface. Addons will be updates automatically when new versions become available. Kodi has an impressive catalogue and a wide range of different categories for its addons:
- Context menus
- Game addons
- Information providers
- Look and feel
- Music addons
- Picture addons
- Program addons
- Video addons
- Web interface
Video and Audio addons allows internet content to be streamed, the look and feel of the interface can be changed with Skins, Services and Programs contain tools that may be helpful, while Web interfaces are used to control Kodi remotely.
Why you should use a VPN with Kodi
When you download any content from the internet, there is always the danger that there is malware embedded in the download, and this has significant security and privacy risks. With Kodi addons, the ones available in the official repository are vetted before they are released, and the probability that they contain malware is therefor much lower, although it is still not guaranteed.
Even trusted download sources such as Google Play Store occasionally inadvertently release downloads that contain malware, although this happens very rarely. If you do download Kodi addons from any other source, the risk increases exponentially.
Downloading addons from shady sources
Apart from the threat of malware, downloading addons for Kodi from sources other than the official repository could contain illegal, pirated content. Kodi does not allow any addons that uses pirated content to be added to its own repository. Some content has limitations on where and by whom they may be used. One example would be BBC content that may only be viewed by users with a valid TV License residing in the UK.
To protect your computer to snooping and hacking, or malware attacks, and to get access to content that is only available in certain countries, VPN software can be used. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) will protect your data and prevent hackers from seeing usernames, passwords and your internet activity. The VPN will encrypt all data going from and to your device. This will ensure that no one, not even your ISP, will be able to monitor your internet activity. Here are some VPNs that we recommend: NordVPN, ibVPN, PureVPN, ExpressVPN.
Never, ever use Kodi without installing a VPN first!
Although so called “man-in- the-middle” hijacks will be stopped by a VPN, malicious addons containing viruses or malware will not. It is therefore important to still be vigilant and always make sure you have the latest and best anti-virus installed, and that it is updated regularly.
5 Best Kodi addons for streaming
The 5 Best Kodi addons for streaming presented in the list below all stream fully legal content. Although many other Kodi streaming addons are very popular and provide excellent content, they are often illegally pirated. The same content can be obtained legally, but it does obviously come at a cost.
PlayOn allows you to integrate paid streaming services into Kodi. Services supported include Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Netflix. PlayOn is a streaming DVR that saves video files to an MP4 format for playback. PlayOn will cost you $2.50 per month and it has a handy feature that allows you to skip ads automatically. A Windows PC is required for recording the video, but the add-on can run on any operating system.
YouTube is still a very popular source for movies and TV shows. Anything you can find on YouTube is available on this add-on. The biggest advantage of using the YouTube add-on rather than using the site through a web browser is that you can bypass all video suggestions and side banners. Even annoying advertisements that play before videos don’t show when using the addon.
PlayStation Vue is the TV streaming option from PlayStation. Once you have signed up for an account, it can be accesses through Kodi streaming TV by using the addon. This service is fairly expensive at $39.99 per month, but it offers a DVR option for recording movies and shows, as well as on-demand TV show and movie streaming, similar to a cable subscription service.
If you want to watch tons of films legally, this addon may be just what you’ve been looking for. FilmRise is a TV and film distribution company that purchases licenses and then offers the content free online. FilmRise lists more than 7,500 titles on YouTube and these are available through Kodi. There are different FilmRise Kodi addons – the one we recommend is FilmRise – YouTube.
5. Internet Archive [Video]
If you like classic, license-free films, this addon is for you. It consists of a massive online database brimming with all kinds of content, from music to software. It also has a huge number of videos that can be accessed through Kodi. With no subscription fees, you can easily to watch classics such as As You Like It and His Girl Friday for free.
Although this Kodi addon is fully legal, it is not available in the official Kodi Addon Repository, but it can be found in the SuperRepo addon repository. If you do decide to use SuperRepo, be careful as it has both unofficial and official addons.
Using the best streaming addons for Kodi can open a whole new world of entertainment that you can enjoy anywhere, anytime. The best part is that it’s free, or in some cases, at a very reasonable low cost.
Take care though and make sure that you only use legal addons. Other articles on the internet will contain lists of the best Kodi streaming addons that are not legal, or could contain malware. For your own safety, always use a VPN and make sure your anti-virus is up to date.