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How to Install a VPN on Kodi

Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

Simon is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times, CNet and more. Read full bio

Installing a VPN on Kodi is essential for streaming securely and anonymously. In this step-by-step guide we'll show you how to easily setup a Kodi VPN on any device.

Graphic showing VPN connected to Kodi

Kodi is an open-source media center which allows you to play all your media in one place, regardless of format.

If you’re using Kodi then you need to be running a VPN. Without a VPN your streaming activity will be visible to a wide range of ‘snoopers’, including your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and copyright trolls.

There are many devices that support Kodi, and installation differs between platforms. The same is true of installing a VPN. Luckily, neither is difficult.

The methods below will get you set up with Kodi and a secure VPN on your device. Follow the instructions carefully and you’ll be able to hide your IP address and stream with Kodi add-ons anonymously.

What You’ll Need
The requirements for setting up a VPN with Kodi vary by device, but in general you will need:

  • A subscription to the VPN of your choice
  • Something to run Kodi on (this really can be pretty much anything – a computer, a tablet, a smart TV, an Xbox, a phone, etc.)
  • An internet connection

Why Do I Need a VPN for Kodi?

Whatever you intend to use Kodi for, it is really important that you protect your data.

A VPN will protect you from:

  • Accidently exposing your IP address to copyright trolls
  • Surveillance by your ISP
  • Scams or spying from criminals

At the same time, a VPN will give you access to geo-restricted content, really opening up the possibilities of streaming with Kodi.

What's the Best VPN for Kodi

In addition to a reliable, private no-logs policy, for Kodi you’ll want a VPN which offers consistently fast download speeds and allows P2P traffic on the majority of its servers.

Beyond this, you will need to make sure it features a native app for your chosen platform. If this is PC or Android you’ll have lots of options, but Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Linux operating systems are more limited.

Most VPNs will work with Kodi, but very few are actively maintained to be fully compatible.

Our favourite VPN for Kodi is IPVanish – especially on Amazon Fire TV Stick. Many VPNs are compatible with Kodi, but IPVanish is one of the few we’ve seen with an active focus on Kodi.

You can find out more in our list of the best VPNs for Kodi.

How Do I Use a VPN with Kodi?

How you use a VPN with Kodi depends very much on the device you are using. There are as many methods of setting up a VPN with Kodi as there are devices which can run Kodi – in other words, a lot.

In general we do not recommend running your VPN within Kodi – as this can be difficult and limits the protection on offer from your VPN.

For some devices you only need to download Kodi and your VPN from the appropriate App Store and you will be ready to go, but others are much more involved.

Scroll down the page or use Ctrl+F (on Windows) or Cmd+F (on Mac) to find detailed instructions for your device of choice.

Method 1: Sideloading Kodi onto an Amazon Fire TV Stick or Fire TV with VPN

Putting Kodi on a Fire TV to make an all-in-one media player is only getting more popular, and it’s made easy with our step-by-step instructions.

First, you’ll need to install Kodi on your Fire TV Stick.

Kodi isn’t available directly from the Amazon App Store, but is still easy to install. Simply:

  1. Turn on your Fire TV Stick or Fire TV
  2. Navigate to Settings, then Developer Options and select Enable apps from unknown sources
  3. Search the Amazon App Store for the Downloader app and install it
  4. Open Downloader and search for the Kodi app
  5. When prompted, select the Android version, and then the 32-bit version of the app
  6. Once the VPN app has finished downloading, click Install

Once you’ve done this it’s time to download your VPN onto your Fire TV Stick or Fire TV.

There are several ways to do this, the simplest of which is to navigate to the Amazon App Store and find your VPN app, then download it as you would on any other device.

Other methods include sideloading the VPN through an APK or installing the VPN on a router. For step by step advice of achieving each method we recommend reading our guide: How to Install a VPN on Amazon Fire TV Stick.

Your Fire TV Stick is now set up for use with Kodi and VPN. Make sure the VPN is active before you launch Kodi.

Method 2: Using Kodi with a VPN on Your Mac or PC

This is one of the most straightforward ways to get Kodi working with a VPN. First you will want to install your VPN of choice onto your desktop or laptop computer.

If you have trouble with this, you can follow our guide to installing VPN on Windows, or our guide to installing VPN on Mac.

Once your VPN is installed, go to http://kodi.tv/download and install the correct app for your operating system.

Method 3: Using VPN Add-Ons for Kodi

It is also possible to install a VPN as an addon within Kodi on PC, Mac or Linux.

This allows you to change your VPN settings without exiting Kodi but comes with two notable drawbacks: not all VPN providers support this setup and it can be a tricky process.

The benefits of this setup are limited – mainly it allows you to run your VPN without exiting Kodi – so we only recommend it for advanced users who know exactly what they want.

Our guide below assumes you have already installed Kodi on your Linux, Mac or PC.

Whenever possible we recommend using Zomboided VPN Manager – which works on Windows or Linux and is supported by the greatest number of VPN providers including Private Internet Access, IPVanish, VyprVPN, ExpressVPN and NordVPN.

Because this is a popular method of installing a VPN add-on for Kodi, there are also countless tutorials and forum posts to help you if you get lost along the way.

See below for step-by-step instructions to installing a VPN within Kodi using Zomboided:

  1. Open Kodi, then navigate to the Settings menu – represented by a gear symbol
    Click the gear symbol
  2. Select System
    Select system on the bottom right of the screen
  3. Click on the Add-ons tab, then turn on the Unknown sources toggle
    Toggle the unknown sources tab
  4. You will be presented with a warning message; read over it and then press Yes
    Read the warning message and click Yes if you are ok to proceed
  5. Download the latest release of Zomboided to your computer
  6. In Kodi, navigate to Settings, then Add-ons
    Click the add-ons tab in settings
  7. Click on Install from zip file
    Select the install from zip file option
  8. Find and select the Zomboided ZIP file you just downloaded – probably in your “Downloads” folder
  9. Linux machines running on LibreELEC or OpenELEC 7 or newer can skip to step 13, but for Windows devices and many other Linux devices you will need to install OpenVPN
  10. Exit Kodi
  11. Download the appropriate OpenVPN installer for your system from https://openvpn.net/community-downloads/
  12. Run the installer, making sure you choose the following Destination Folder when prompted
    C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\
    You should be leave the destination as the default
  13. Right click on Kodi and select Run as administrator
  14. Click the magnifying glass Search icon, then Select add-ons
  15. Type in “VPN Manager for OpenVPN” and press Enter
    Find and install VPN Manager for OpenVPN
  16. Click on VPN Manager for OpenVPN and then select Install
  17. An Installation Wizard should start automatically
  18. The wizard will ask you to Select your VPN provider, followed by your login details if these apply
  19. Complete the on-screen instructions for your VPN and you will now have a working VPN ad-on

If you don’t want to use Zomboided, or if you have a Mac, the main alternative is OpenVPN for Kodi – which works on Mac or Linux. OpenVPN for Kodi requires you to manually download an OpenVPN config file for each provider or server location, so its utility is slightly limited compared to Zomboided.

Method 4: Using Kodi with a VPN on iPhone or iPad

Apple devices (excluding Macs) are generally harder to set up on Kodi than devices from other manufacturers. But it is still very doable, and our step-by-step guide makes it even easier – you won’t even need to jailbreak your device.

Before you install Kodi, we recommend installing your VPN. In most cases you will only need to download their app from the iOS App Store, then log in. For more detailed instructions you can read our guides ‘How to Install a VPN on iPhone’ or ‘How to Install a VPN on iPad’.

Kodi is not currently available on the App Store, but can be sideloaded easily enough using Cydia Impactor for Windows or Mac.

Something to keep in mind when sideloading Kodi onto your iOS device is that unless you have access to a paid developer account (which costs a steep $99 a year) you will need to redownload the app every seven days.

This isn’t a difficult process but much more of a pain than installing it on an Android device.

Here are instructions for using Cydia Impactor to sideload Kodi onto iOS:

  1. Download Cydia Impactor to your PC or Mac
  2. Download the latest Kodi IPA file, which you can find here, to your computer
  3. Connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer and close iTunes if it automatically opens
  4. Open Cydia Impactor and drag-and-drop the Kodi IPA file into it
    The Cydia Impactor interface
  5. Select your iOS device from the drop-down menu (it will probably be the only option), then select Start
  6. Enter your Apple ID when prompted (this will be the email you signed up with)
  7. On your iPhone or iPad navigate to Settings, then General, then Profiles & Device Management
  8. Click the profile with your Apple ID, then click Trust
  9. Kodi is now ready to use (but don’t forget to activate your VPN before launching it)

Method 5: Using VPN with Kodi on Chromebook or Chromebox

Chromebook and Chromebox are both very simple options for setting up a VPN with Kodi.

Both your VPN and Kodi should be available to download as apps from the Google Play Store.

That’s all there is too it – just make sure your VPN is properly turned on before launching Kodi.

A VPN and Kodi in the Google Play Store

Method 6: Using Kodi with a VPN on an Android Phone or Tablet

An Android phone or tablet is just about the easiest place to set up Kodi with a VPN. Just search for Kodi in the Google Play Store and select the Kodi App, then press Install.

Next do the same for your VPN of choice. In both cases make sure you are downloading the correct app.

Kodi and a VPN in the Google Play Store on Android

You will want to make sure your VPN is active before booting up Kodi to ensure you are fully protected.

Method 7: Installing a VPN on Your Router

Installing a VPN on your router is a great way to protect Kodi without having to install the VPN on the same device.

This is a great method for devices where VPNs are not supported with native apps, as well as situations where you want to run Kodi on more than one device, as it secures all the data on your local network.

Generally you have two options when it comes to putting a VPN on a router. Either you can buy a pre configured router for your specific VPN provider, or you can manually configure a compatible router yourself. We recommend reading our guide to how to install a VPN on your router.

Because it adds privacy and security to all the internet connected devices in your home, installing a VPN on your router is highly recommended.

Of course, before using Kodi in this manner you will need to install it on the device of your choice. You can find device-specific advice for installing Kodi elsewhere on this page.

For most devices it is as simple as downloading the Kodi App from your device’s App store – but there are exceptions, notably on iOS, Amazon Fire TV Stick/Fire TV and Apple TV.

Method 8: Using Kodi with a VPN on Xbox One

Before it got its current name, Kodi was known as Xbox Media Centre. It wasn’t until December 2017, though, that it received a native app for the Xbox One.

You can download Kodi directly from the Xbox One store. Simply search for the app and press Get.
Kodi in the Xbox One store

With the app downloaded you need to make sure your VPN is properly set up.

Unfortunately there is no native support for VPN on your Xbox One, but you can easily get around this by installing a VPN at router level (see Method 7, above, or our full guide on how to install a VPN on a router).

With a VPN installed at router level you can boot up Kodi and securely enjoy all your media in one place.

Method 9: Using Kodi with a VPN on Android TV Box, Mi Box, NVIDEA Shield or Google Nexus Player

These media hubs all run on the Android TV operating system and so have similar set up processes.

Both your VPN and Kodi should be available to download as apps from the Google Play Store. Once you have these downloaded turn on your VPN and setup will be complete.

If for any reason you cannot access the Google Play Store from your device, you can also install the APK files manually:

  1. On your media player/box/TV, go to Settings, then Security and Restrictions and select the option to allow apps from unknown developers
  2. On your computer go to your VPN provider’s website and download the appropriate APK file (if you have trouble finding this most good VPN providers have live chat support)
  3. Go to http://www.kodi.tv/download, then click on the Android logo and select Google Play to download the Kodi APK file
  4. Download these onto a USB flash drive
  5. Plug the USB drive into your player/tv/box
  6. Navigate to the USB stick and install both apps
  7. Open your VPN and follow on screen instructions to get it fully set up
  8. Kodi will now be installed and protected by your VPN

Method 10: Using Kodi on Apple TV (4th or 2nd Generation)

Apple TV is another device which does not have a native Kodi app on its App Store.

As long as your Apple TV is second or fourth generation it is possible to get Kodi on your Apple TV, although the process comes with some drawbacks.

Most inconveniently, on fourth generation TVs, unless you have access to a developer Apple ID you will need to download Kodi again every seven days.

For fourth generation Apple TVs follow these instructions for Mac or PC using Cydia Impactor – if you don’t already have one, you will need to purchase a USB-C to USB-A adaptor:

  1. Download the latest version of Cydia Impactor onto your computer
  2. Get the latest Kodi DEB file for Apple TV
  3. This is a DEB file, but Cydia Impactor only works with IPA files, so you will need to convert it using 7-zip
  4. If you haven’t already, download and install 7-zip
  5. Right click on the DEB file and navigate to 7-zip > Extract files…
    Drop-down menu demonstrating how to extract files in 7-zip
  6. Press OK, then open the new folder and repeat this process with the data.tar file
  7. Navigate through data > var > mobile > Applications until you see folder named Kodi.app
  8. Create a new folder called “Payload” (with a capital P)
    The Payload folder
  9. Drag the Kodi.app folder inside this new Payload folder
  10. Right click on your Payload folder and navigate to 7-zip > Add to archive…Drop-down menu showing how to compress files in 7-zip
  11. Make sure the filename finishes in .ipa and the Archive Format field says “zip”, then press OK
    Correctly filled in "Add to Archive" window from 7-zip
  12. Good news: you now have a Kodi IPA file. Open Cydia Impactor and drag and drop your new IPA file into the window
  13. Make sure you have plugged your Apple TV into your computer, select your TV from Cydia Impactor’s drop-down menu and press Start
  14. When prompted enter your Apple ID Username (this will be the email you signed up with) the press OK
  15. If everything has gone to plan you will now have a Kodi app on your TV

Second generation Apple TVs are thankfully more simple to set up (and don’t have the same seven day limitation as fourth generation devices):

  1. On a Mac press (cmd + space), then type in “Terminal” and press Enter
  2. Double click Terminal to open
  3. Type in ssh root@YOUR.APPLE.TV.IP.ADDRESS and press Enter
  4. If you have not changed it, the password will be alpine
  5. Type each of the following then press Enter
    • apt-get install wget
    • wget -O- http://apt.awkwardtv.org/awkwardtv.pub | apt-key add -
    • echo “deb http://apt.awkwardtv.org/ stable main” > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/awkwardtv.list
    • echo “deb http://mirrors.kodi.tv/apt/atv2 ./” > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/awkwardtv.list
    • apt-get update
    • apt-get install org.xbmc.kodi-atv2
    • reboot

Kodi no longer officially supports second generation Apple TVs, so your Kodi will be missing some newer features and any other features that might be added in the future, but otherwise it will now be ready to go.

If that all seems too much there are alternatives available direct from the Apple TV App Store (such as MrMC Lite) but these do not have Kodi’s plugin functionality.

Method 11: Using Kodi with a VPN on Raspberry Pi

The easiest way to set up Kodi on Raspberry Pi is to install an Operating System which already has Kodi integrated within it, such as LibreELEC, OSMC or XBian, but it can also be done from Raspbian.

First things first, you want to get your VPN up and running:

  1. Go to your VPN provider’s website and download the appropriate installer onto your Raspberry Pi
  2. Open terminal
  3. Navigate to your installer file, eg. cd~/Downloads/
  4. Extract the installer by typingsudo dpkg -i FILENAME.deb
  5. Open a new terminal window
  6. Type YOUR VPN activate and press Enter
  7. Enter your activation code or log-in details

Now that your VPN is up and running, you will need to install Kodi. The easiest way to do this is to install LibreELEC:

  1. Go to https://www.libreelec.tv/downloads/
  2. Select Linux 32-bit or Linux 64-bit based on what your device is running on
  3. Follow on-screen instructions to finish installation

Is It Possible to Set Up Kodi on PlayStation?

Unfortunately it is not currently possible to install Kodi on Playstation. However, there are alternatives such as Plex which serve a similar purpose and can be downloaded directly from the PlayStation Store.

Can I Get Kodi on My 1st or 3rd Generation Apple TV?

As of right now, there is no known way to get Kodi on a first or third generation Apple TV. If you have a second or fourth generation Apple TV, you can read our guide further up this page.

About the Author

  • Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

    Simon Migliano

    Simon is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times, CNet and more. Read full bio