When it comes to enjoying a good movie in your living room, one of the best software platforms to support your home theater system in this day and age is definitely Kodi. This free media player makes movie streaming a delight, without overcomplicating everything. You just connect to the internet, load up your movie and grab the popcorn. But sometimes the lighthearted movie marathon hits a roadblock, as certain sites resort to restricting their content. That’s why the seasoned movie veterans use VPN services to enhance their privacy protection, as well as unlock all the content they want.
What is Kodi?
Kodi, previously known as XBMC, could be described as the Windows Media Center for smart TVs. It handles all kinds of media in one place – whether it is music, films, clip shows or anything else. Kodi is the child of the XBMC Foundation, who intended to use it with the Xbox game consoles, as a free program that manages your media content when you stop playing in favor of a movie. But the program became so popular, that the creators made it available for other platforms as well. Nowadays Kodi is a proud cross platform application, meaning that it’s compatible with every major operating system, including Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS and Android. It’s widely used by smart TV users as well.
Kodi holds many benefits that enhance the movie experience. The menu’s looks can be freely customized by “skins” , which can change the background, modify the settings’ layout, add different pictures to menus, etc. There are countless skins available for download, thanks to the keen modding community. Although it has a bit harsher system requirements than Windows Media Center, most home theater systems and modern TVs are able to easily run it. This is coupled with the fact that Kodi supports localization, and it’s available for free in 74 languages!
Using Kodi with a VPN
Kodi is meant to be a 100% legal app, compatible with all popular devices and operating systems, simply aiming to make watching movies convenient for you. “So why would I need VPN?” you ask. There are multiple reasons for doing so. No matter whether you acces the internet on your desktop or smart TV, you often encounter regional blocks on content, even more so if you don’t live in the U.S. A VPN tunnels your connection through a proxy server of your choice, masking your IP and encrypting your data flow in the process. The new ID you get this way would fool the authorization system, granting you access to a wider variety of movies and series on Netflix, for instance. Although not every VPN supports smart home devices, but their top ranking contestants do provide means to encrypt your router, and thus create a protected connection.
Best VPNs for Kodi
The other relevance of VPN is that it protects your identity. Even if you don’t use Kodi for something suspicious, open-source communication protocols like WebRTC could cause some serious security issues for you. Because of their multiplatform nature, these applications often have holes through which your personal information can leak. Getting hold of your vital personal information or digital DNS is a serious threat for your privacy. VPN services use high-quality encryption to encode your data flow, effectively preventing third parties from making use of their “catch”. Plus, the best VPN providers use their own clients, instead of open source programs, ensuring that they won’t make mistakes.
Kodi with Smart DNS
In case you don’t like the idea of using a VPN, but still determined to unlock some juicy content, then consider the idea of smart DNS. It’s an alternative solution that supports Kodi. Just like a VPN, smart DNS also tunnels data through a proxy server, but doesn’t encrypt it. On one hand, this greatly increases the connection speed, which comes in handy when streaming movies. On the other hand, the lack of encryption means increased security risks, and your IP won’t be changed either. Smart DNS is mainly used to fool authorization systems that determine your access according to your geographical location. In short, smart DNS is just as useful to widen your possibilities as a VPN is. Still, we highly recommend not giving up on the idea of privacy protection. Some VPN providers – like Golden Frog or Overplay – combine the two services together, allowing you to bypass content while staying anonymous.
In case you are convinced to seek out a VPN provider, you should be aware of the fact that there are countless offers out there. To prevent you from being buried under their marketing blurb, we present you with three noteworthy choices.
PureVPN is the right choice for you if you prefer a huge variety of virtual locations, as it offers an astonishingly large server network that covers 141 countries. This means more than 80,000 possible IPs for you! Other than this, they support all kinds of encryption protocols, coupled with the kill switch function that stops all programs from accessing the internet if the VPN connection drops. And it supports smart TVs as well.
If you are looking for one of the best VPN providers in the market, IPVanish won’t disappoint you. It will protect your sensitive data by encoding it with the help of PPTP, L2TP, and OpenVPN protocols. Not only do they own their servers themselves, but they also create their VPN sotware by themselves as well. Managing your service is very easy, even without tech-know-how. Plus, you get to choose from more than 225 servers from 60 countries.
IronSocket (previously also known as HideMyNet) is a reliable VPN provider that fully supports smart home systems. Its compatibility makes it a perfect choice for streaming services, like Kodi. Admittedly, their proxy network isn’t that big, but the unlimited bandwidth they offer makes up for it. They also incorporate a smart DNS feature, while keeping up with the security trends, offering all popular protocols. Not to mention IronSocket doesn’t keep your traffic logs, a step that also ensures privacy.