Millions of people use Kodi today, and millions more have at least heard about it and would like to learn more about Kodi.
Are you one of those people? Then this article is for you!
It will tell you about everything that you need to know:
- what Kodi is;
- what Kodi addons are and how to use them;
- the best addons to use in 2019;
- the legality of Kodi and its third-party plugins;
- the best VPN services for Kodi.
Without further ado, let’s get going!
Despite Kodi being one of the trendiest things nowadays, there are still some misconceptions about what it is.
So what, in simplest terms, is Kodi?
Kodi is a media player for home theater PCs (HTPCs) that plays various media file formats and allows organizing one’s media collection effectively.
That’s pretty much it.
That may not sound too exciting. But that’s where Kodi addons come into play.
Kodi itself does not provide any media content to its users. It’s made abundantly clear by this note on its official website:
Actual content has to come from some other place. It can be anything from a DVD to the Internet.
And to enable streaming content from the Internet on your Kodi, you need addons.
A Kodi addon is a small program installed on top of Kodi that expands its functionality in some way. It can provide a different interface, allow downloading images from certain websites, and, most importantly for our discussion, allow you to stream video and audio content.
The open-source nature of Kodi makes sure that third-party developers can make their own plugins.
How do I install addons for my Kodi?
With great ease, in fact.
All Kodi addons are generally installed the same way. Here’s how it’s done:
- Launch your Kodi.
- On the left, select the Gear icon (System).
- In the next menu, pick File Manager.
- Double-click Add source.
- Select None:
- You will be prompted to type in (or paste) the path to the addon’s repository. In the section about the best Kodi addons, you will see a few examples of these.
- Then, you’ll need to enter a name for this repo. It’s best to use its official name not to get confused.
- Then you click Ok and go to System->Add-ons.
- Click Install from zip file:
- If it’s an unknown source, you will be taken to the following menu. Just check the Unknown sources box.
- Click on the name of the repository that you’ve typed.
- After you get a message that it’s installed, click Install from repository and choose the addon category (Video add-ons, etc.) and its name.
- Wait for the Addon installed message to pop up.
- In the Addons menu on the left, choose the addon you installed:
- Click Install and confirm it.
- After the installation is done, you’re good to go!
Despite having been lambasted for enabling piracy, Kodi is 100% legal. It “enables” piracy the same way the Internet does: pirated content can, theoretically, be accessed through it.
But as you know, Kodi is just software. Its addons are what’s important.
And some of them DO grant access to copyrighted media in a less-than-legal way so it’s possible to get in trouble by using them.
While we do not condone copyright infringement, we will tell you how this threat can be avoided in one of the following sections of the article because, in informational purposes, there are some not 100% law-compliant Kodi addons on our list.
In this section of the article, I’m going to show you some of the best Kodi addons for movies, sports, TV, and other content. Bear in mind that all these addons work as of the time of writing this article (October 2019) but it may change in the future so stay tuned for updates about the latest changes.
Pretty much everyone who is using Kodi to stream movies has heard about the addon called Exodus. The reason for it is its superb choice of media including recent titles, great word-of-mouth, and excellent layout.
When the developer support for this magnificent addon stopped, it seemed like streaming with Kodi will never be the same. However, recently, this project was adopted by another developer and has been going strong since.
What’s so cool about Exodus?
Well, apart from its comprehensive scrapers (that is, search mechanisms that scan websites for the content you search for), great categorization that lets you choose movies by genre, network, actors, box office, and other parameters, it is the Exodus’s ability to find you high-quality links for both older, like The Sopranos (2000), and more recent, like The Irishman (2019), movies and shows:
Repo path: http://mega-tron.tv/transform/ (be sure to pick the repository.kodibae-1.0.0.zip archive when you Install from zip file.
As I mentioned earlier, the original Exodus was at one point discontinued by its developer. Looking at the name of this addon, it might seem like it is just a pretender trying to get in the limelight by riding coattails of another project.
However, thanks to the free and open-source nature of Kodi and its addons, the situation is quite different. What happened with Exodus Redux is known as “forking”: that is, taking a copy of the source code of a program and developing it independently from the original.
Just like Exodus, Exodus Redux provides a metric ton of movies and TV shows of all genres. In fact, by the virtue of being its successor, Redux shares its filtering options which are really convenient.
Repo path: https://i-a-c.github.io/
The Magic Dragon
The Magic Dragon is another among the best Kodi addons that find and display movies and TV shows. What makes it different from a few others that we’ve discussed already is its super-detailed category system:
It does not only include genres but also broader categories like chick-flicks, movies for kids, movies in the 4K quality, director cuts, Oscar winners and so on.
The interface is a little bit off-putting, I have to admit. It only uses approximately one-third of the screen space for actual information and the use of different colors for different categories may become grating. However, it’s not a big disadvantage of this Kodi addon.
The Magic Dragon also allows you to listen to a number of radio stations. Some of them are called just Radio 1, Radio 2, etc. but others like Jazz FM or BBC Radio Scotland are present, too.
Repo path: http://repo.rubyjewelwizard.com/
Don’t let its edgy imagery annoy you because Deceit is one of the best live TV addons you can get on Kodi.
In its Live TV directory, Deceit offers tons of live channels including major US ones. Moreover, it gives you access to TV from all around the world:
Besides, there are also some categories like religion and science but, frankly, they are few and far between. It would be great to see some additional division by topics in the future.
But Deceit doesn’t only provide access to live TV.
One of my favourite features of it is called TV Catchup. This category lists all the TV show episodes that aired recently so it’s very easy to, well, catch up on those series you’ve missed.
Deceit is also quite a powerful addon for watching cartoons. Its libraries contain Disney Junior, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network, among other channels.
Repo path: http://onenation.info/Repo/ (select One Nation Repo in the Install from repository menu and Deceit in the Video addons menu).
Its name may not be in English, but it’s easy to guess what this Kodi addon specializes in: sports. Despite originating from Poland, Sportowa doesn’t focus on Polish sports exclusively, instead giving you access to a lot of international sports channels. Keep in mind, though, that most of them are European.
With Sportowa, you can stream such channels as Liverpool TV, NBA TV, Chelsea TV, Eurosport 1 and 2, and many others.
In the LiveTV.sx directory of this addon, you can choose a sports event by category, including not only the traditional sports like football (or soccer, for the American audience) but also e-sports:
So, if you want to watch live sporting events on your Kodi, Sportowa TV is a very solid addon to choose.
Repo path: http://mega-tron.tv/transform/
Wonderful Subs: Anime Subs & Dubs
If you like anime, this Kodi addon has a lot to offer.
As its name implies, each title has both subbed and dubbed versions so whatever your preference is, WS has got it covered.
This addon comes with an airing calendar that shows all the upcoming releases – great for people who watch many titles concurrently. Besides that and the ability to search for the anime you want, you can also browse the Latest, Popular, and Random categories as well as all the titles in alphabetical order.
Very nice is the inclusion of genres and tags (some of them I won’t repeat here for the sake of keeping this article at least somewhat family-friendly) which you can combine to search for specific content.
Repo path: http://mega-tron.tv/transform/ (pick the repository.kodibae-1.0.0.zip archive when you Install from zip file)
Khan Academy is an educational Kodi addon. It provides video lectures and documentaries on natural sciences as well as humanities.
The topics it covers include:
- careers and many more.
It is an official addon that can be found in System->Addons->Install from repository->Kodi addon repository.
Straightforwardly enough, this addon turns your Kodi into a great tool to watch YouTube videos and streams using the same interface as for everything else.
With the YouTube Kodi addon, you can do everything you can on the website itself while having much greater customizability. There’s an option to log into your profile and have several user accounts and switch between them.
- Recent live;
- Upcoming live;
Also, obviously, this addon lets you search YouTube as you normally would.
It comes with a handful of settings that allow choosing the thumbnail size, whether or not you want to see recommended videos (take a hint, YouTube.com!), use safe search and to what extent, and more.
You can get it from the same repository you get Deceit from, which is quite convenient.
Repo path: http://onenation.info/Repo/
There are many music addons for Kodi but few of them are as good as this one. MP3 Streams gives you access to a truly huge music library divided by genre, artist, or album.
But that’s far from the entire story! With this addon, you can also create your own playlists and add any song or album you like into Favorites for easy access. There are also tons of charts and top singles and albums lists for all genres of music from country to metal.
I especially like how precise the categories are, making it easier to find the exact type of music you want. For example, you’d expect to see all folk artists in the same place but MP3 Streams goes one step further and subdivides this category by nations and regions:
Repo path: http://androidaba.com/addons/ (choose repository.kodil.zip when installing from zip file)
While not as exciting as addons that let you stream videos and movies, Indigo is a must-have tool for your Kodi. This program addon makes the technical side of the player much easier.
Among its features are:
- restoring default settings;
- Internet speed test (allowing tests with different file sizes and providing very detailed information);
- system scanning for cryptocurrency miners;
- error logs viewing and uploading;
- Kodi backup;
- sports listings for the US and the UK.
It’s installed automatically with Exodus.
Repo path: http://mega-tron.tv/transform/
I didn’t like this addon, how do I delete it?
While experimenting and looking for new Kodi addons, you can have a situation when a certain plugin doesn’t work anymore or simply is not up to its advertising. What do you do in this case?
While the installation process, as you know by now, takes some time to get used to, the reverse of it is much simpler. Let me show you.
Just right-click on the addon icon and select Information:
Then click Uninstall in the bottom row:
And confirm your decision:
When using third-party Kodi addons, it’s necessary to always keep your security in mind. Various entities from your Internet service provider to rightsholders may not appreciate your watching copyrighted content for free.
And while the former will throttle your bandwidth and the latter can even sue you, their methods of finding you are the same. They require matching your unique IP address to your activity online.
The best way to prevent this is to use a VPN for Kodi, or virtual private network. This technology lets you hide your real IP and encrypts your Internet traffic. This way, when anyone looks at your Internet activity, they will see an IP address located not in your country but in a different one of your choosing.
Moreover, even if any bad actor can intercept your traffic, all they are going to get is encrypted data. If the encryption of the VPN service is strong enough, no hacker will be able to crack it.
What should a good VPN for Kodi have?
- No-log policy. VPN logs contain information about various aspects of a person’s use of that service: time of connection, websites they visit, servers they connect to, their real IP address and more. If sold to a third party, such logs can become a serious problem for the user. By keeping no user logs, a service ensures that your activity cannot be linked to you.
- No IP leaks. The main purpose of using a VPN with Kodi is to prevent your ISP from seeing what you do and to avoid throttling and potential legal action. Not all VPNs cope with this task and some leak their users’ real IP addresses.
- Good security protocol. Currently, OpenVPN is considered to be the most reliable one. It can be called a golden standard of cybersecurity but there are VPN providers that do not implement it.
- Safe jurisdiction. Best VPNs are based outside of surveillance alliances such as the 14 Eyes. Obviously, they also shouldn’t be located in China.
- Platform support. Depending on what device you plan to use Kodi on, you should pay attention to the platform support a VPN service provides to its customers.
- Kill switch. This feature shuts down your Internet traffic if it becomes decrypted when the VPN tunnel fails.
- Fast speed. Because of the encryption, a VPN always drops your Internet speed. To stream video content on Kodi in HD, you need high speeds.
- Good coverage. The more servers a VPN has, the fewer users are going to connect to each one. This improves the speed.
- Affordable prices.
There are so many VPNs in the market today that it’s hard to choose the right one to protect your use of Kodi. But don’t worry: I’m going to tell you about 5 best services right now!
This Panama-based VPN is one of the market leaders, and for a few good reasons:
- 5500+ servers in 59 countries;
- Doesn’t keep logs, which is confirmed by independent audits;
- Has a kill switch;
- Good jurisdiction;
- No IP leaks;
- Good speeds;
- Supports OpenVPN;
- Available on many platforms including routers.
This service does also have some imperfections, though:
- Its price is a bit steep: $6.99/m if you buy it for 1 year and $11.95 for the one-month subscription;
- No free trial except on mobiles.
On its website, CyberGhost claims to work perfectly with third-party Kodi addons. And indeed, it is a great VPN:
- 5300+ servers in 90 countries;
- Romanian jurisdiction;
- Has a kill switch;
- No IP leaks;
- No logs;
- Supports TV platforms such as Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV.
The disadvantages of CyberGhost include:
- Free trial is only 1 day long;
- A little too pricey: $12.99/m for the 1-month subscription and $5.99/m for the 1-year subscription.
Surfshark is another provider that is great for protecting your Kodi activity. Have a look at the list of its advantages:
- Keeps no logs;
- 7-day free trial & 30-day refund guarantee;
- Supports OpenVPN;
- Super cheap if buying it for 24 months ($1.99/m);
- Safe jurisdiction in the British Virgin Islands;
- Supports Fire TV, Amazon Fire Stick, etc.
But like any other VPN, Surfshark isn’t without some drawbacks:
- It has fewer servers than its competitors: 1040+ in 61 countries;
- No free trial for Windows.
Private Internet Access
PIA is a VPN that enjoys a good reputation and loyalty of many users. Here’s what its pros are:
- Doesn’t leak your real IP;
- 3375 servers;
- It is fast;
- Stores no logs;
- A 7-day money-back guarantee;
- Uses OpenVPN;
- More affordable than many of its counterparts: $3.33/m on the 1-year subscription.
Several bad things stand out about PIA. Here they are:
- Based in the US;
- 32 countries isn’t that impressive.
IPVanish makes its compatibility with Kodi one of the main selling points of its service. But that’s not to say it doesn’t have any other strengths:
- OpenVPN support;
- Provides detailed guides on how to install it along with Kodi on different platforms;
- 7-day refund;
- No IP leaks;
- Fast speeds.
A pretty good service overall, IPVanish also has some issues you should know about:
- Its US jurisdiction is a bit concerning;
- Not as many servers as other VPNs (1300);
- Prices could be better: $6.49/m for a 1-year subscription, $10/m for a 1-month subscription.
It’s hard to overestimate the convenience of Kodi and its addons. Whether it is movies or TV shows or music that you want to stream, Kodi is one of the, if not the best option you have.
You now know 10 of the best Kodi addons that will enhance your experience with it. However, experimenting with new ones is part of what makes Kodi so fun so be sure to check more addons out. Just don’t forget to use a VPN to protect your activities!