For those not familiar with Kodi, it’s one of the most popular media players around thanks to its excellent interface, not to mention the fact that it’s free and open source – and boasts some impressive capabilities when it comes to add-ons which support various streaming services.
Some of those add-ons are perfectly legal, and others – not so much. Naturally, here at TechRadar, we don’t endorse any form of piracy or illegally viewing copyrighted material.
How to choose the best VPN service for Kodi
As ever when it comes to streaming content – particularly if it’s HD – you want one of the best VPNs which gives you fast download speeds to avoid those dreaded pauses while the ‘buffering’ icon hogs the screen. A large web of server locations also helps as you’ll have more options to find the fastest connection possible.
Without further ado, let’s have a look at our five top VPN services for Kodi.
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Best all-round VPN for Kodi
Number of servers: 950+ | Server locations: 60+ | IP addresses: 40000+ | Maximum devices supported: 5
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IPVanish provides superb performance levels complemented with a wide range of server locations. In testing, our download speeds improved by around 15% compared to our normal rates.
The service offers native clients for Windows and Mac, along with Android and iOS, plus it has setup instructions for other platforms. The native Windows client, in particular, is a sterling effort with an intuitive interface and a bundle of advanced features (although on the downside, we found it could potentially be susceptible to more network issues than rival VPN software).
IPVanish has a strict no logs policy and all the necessary security in place for a smooth and carefree VPN experience. If there’s one thing that somewhat spoils the fun, it’s the cost of the service as it’s a bit on the pricey side. There is no free trial available, but the three plans include a 7-day money-back guarantee. The 1-year subscription is the best and most affordable option. The packages available are:
Best VPN for HD streaming
Number of servers: 700+ | Server locations: 70+ | IP addresses: 200,000+ | Maximum devices supported: 3-5
Streaming content requires a fast connection and it doesn’t get much better than VyprVPN in this respect. Our performance tests revealed that this provider offers superb download speeds – twice as fast as the rates we get with the VPN turned off, in fact. Add the firm’s widespread server coverage and you have a service tailored for HD and 4K content.
There are easy-to-use clients for all relevant platforms and devices, supported by strong security aspects. Along with the expected range of protocols and encryption, the provider’s own Chameleon technology aims to defeat VPN blocking and throttling for a faster connection. A kill switch, NAT Firewall, and VyprVPN’s own DNS solution complete the efforts on the security front. On top of that, there is no logging of traffic or online activities, but there is some logging occurring in the form of recording connection times and IP addresses.
Would-be users have a free 3-day trial at their disposal, which is particularly useful as VyprVPN doesn’t allow refunds. Commercial plans are based on monthly and annual billing, with the monthly plans carrying an expensive price tag. Your best bet is the Premium plan with annual billing as it includes all the bells and whistles (like the Chameleon protocol) for a reasonable price. The packages available are:
- Basic: $9.95 monthly or $5.00 per month billed annually
- Premium: $12.95 monthly or $6.67 per month billed annually
Most secure VPN
Number of servers: 2029 | Server locations: 61 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 6
NordVPN offers an impressive level of overall server coverage, being one of the largest VPN networks around. Its performance is far from shabby, too, providing consistently fast connections throughout much of that expansive network.
This provider also has user-friendly applications for all major operating systems. These are packed with useful features, along with plenty of beef on the security front. There’s Double VPN (double encryption) for maximum privacy, Onion over VPN, a CyberSec feature for blocking intrusive adverts and malicious online threats, an automatic kill switch, and more besides.
NordVPN has a ‘no logs’ policy, but it’s unclear whether session logs are maintained or not, so some logging of this nature may go on.
There is a free 3-day trial to take this VPN for a test spin, but it’s rather hidden away on the website. With the monthly billing being rather pricey, the cheap 2-year subscription provides the best value for your money. The packages available are:
Best VPN for desktops
Number of servers: 275+ | Server locations: 100+ | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 5
This Singapore-based VPN proved to be consistent in our testing. The service delivered fast and reliable connections even over long distances with almost no difference compared to our regular download speeds. Ivacy's desktop clients are novice-friendly, but also offer more than enough settings to tweak for more advanced users. Unfortunately, the mobile apps are a different story, being overly basic and rarely updated.
There are no logs kept here, and the service handles privacy and security quite well. Still, you may want to pay attention to the 7-day refund policy as there are some conditions attached to it. Namely, it doesn't apply if you've used Bitcoin or Paymentwall to pay for the service, or if you have used more than 7GB of bandwidth, or connected more than 30 times.
Ivacy offers three subscriptions that could use a bit more variety, although they all have a 7-day money-back guarantee. The 2-year plan is really cheap, and the packages available are:
- [$9.95 a month] 1-month
- [$7.49 a month] 6-months - $44.95
- [$2.04 a month] 2-years - $49.95
- Download Ivacy here
Best VPN for novices
Number of servers: N/A | Server locations: 35 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 5
Hide.me has the smallest server selection of any VPN on this list, but makes up for it with great performance – in our tests, it actually increased download speeds by just a touch compared to our normal rates.
The service provides clients for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, and there are setup instructions for other platforms. The Windows client is compact and quite simple to use, and with just one click you can connect to the fastest server currently available. There is a strict no logging policy in place, too.
The service offers a 2GB per month free plan which is more than enough to properly test things out. If you want unlimited data, then you’ll need the Premium plan, but it’s rather expensive. Otherwise, the only other option is the Plus package which has certain restrictions (75GB data allowance, no port forwarding, a miserly one simultaneous connection, and other limitations). The packages available are:
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