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Kodi has exploded in popularity recently. Some of the increased interest is as result of its undeniably fantastic features, but some derives from negative media coverage surrounding the illegal “fully loaded” Kodi boxes.

As the the software has grown in popularity, so too have the number of lies, myths, and pieces of misinformation. A quick look at the Kodi Facebook page or forums reveals the developers are constantly battling complaints from uninformed and misinformed users.

If you’re just beginning your Kodi journey 7 Essential Kodi Tips for New Users 7 Essential Kodi Tips for New Users If you're just starting out on your Kodi journey and don't have a clue where to begin, we're here to help with these essential Kodi tips for newbies. Read More , read this article. It’ll ensure your expectations are aligned with the reality of the situation, so you won’t be left disappointed when something doesn’t work as expected.

Here are seven of the biggest myths about Kodi, debunked.

1. Kodi Boxes Are Illegal

Kodi boxes are a minefield of misinformation. They’ve been in the news almost non-stop of late as an increasing number of countries pursue the sellers of fully loaded boxes in the courts.

And therein lies the crux of the matter: only fully-loaded Kodi boxes are potentially illegal What Are Kodi Boxes and Is It Legal to Own One? What Are Kodi Boxes and Is It Legal to Own One? With Kodi boxes becoming increasingly popular, we set out to explain what Kodi boxes are and offer you a definitive answer on their legality. Read More . Fully-loaded boxes typically promise free access to the latest TV series and Hollywood films, pay-per-view sports events, and a vast library of back-dated on-demand video content How Netflix and On-Demand is Changing TV Forever How Netflix and On-Demand is Changing TV Forever Read More — all for a one-time fee.

kodi box fully loaded

Clearly, it’s too good to be true. Bottom line: making, selling, and using fully-loaded boxes is illegal in many countries.

A regular Kodi box offers nothing illegal. It’s an empty shell, waiting for you to populate it with your own content. There’s nothing illegal about buying or using one.

2. Users Cannot Be Prosecuted for Pirated Material

If you’ve bought a fully-loaded box, or you’ve populated an empty Kodi box with illegal content, you could find yourself in trouble with the law. Although the courts have focused on the providers of the content thus far, users are now in the crosshairs as well.

Here’s what Kieron Sharp, hief executive of the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), told the U.K.’s Independent newspaper in June 2017:

“There’s the manufacture and importation of [illegal] devices, and then the distribution and selling of those. We’re also looking at the people who are providing the apps and add-ons. We’ll also be looking at the end user. The reason for end users to come into this is that they are committing criminal offenses.”

Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

3. Clearing the Cache Improves Performance

Let’s move away from the legality of Kodi and instead look at the software itself.

One of the most oft-repeated tropes about poor Kodi performance is that clearing the cache will magically improve performance and reduce buffering. It doesn’t. This myth originates from the early days of Kodi, when computers were not as powerful.

Back then, an average machine might not have had more than 256 MB of RAM. Even a high-end computer wouldn’t have offered much more than 512 MB. As a result, Kodi cached data to your hard drive instead. It was called the “zero cache” method.

kodi maintenance

Today, technology has moved on. If you head to the shops, you’ll struggle to find a machine with less than 4 GB of RAM. Even most smartphones have at least 2 GB. As a result, Kodi’s caching methods have changed. Now, it caches directly to RAM by default.

Due to the nature of RAM, you never need to empty the cache. Your computer will do it automatically. Save yourself time and give cache management add-ons a wide berth.

4. Unofficial Add-Ons Can Replace Cable TV

Kodi and its official repository are a fantastic tool for anyone who’s looking to cut the cord Should You Cut the Cord or Keep Your Cable TV? Should You Cut the Cord or Keep Your Cable TV? If you're still holding on to your cable subscription, but are debating if its time to make a change, we're here to help. This guide should help you make your mind up. Read More .

For those who don’t know, the official repository is a Kodi-approved list of reliable, legal, maintained add-ons. Kodi monitors the repository religiously to uphold quality standards. Within it, you’ll find add-ons for BBC iPlayer, SoundCloud, Plex, PlayStation Vue, Bravo, ABC Family, and more.

Away from the official repository, you can find masses of unofficial repos. While some add-ons within them are functional, useful, and legal, the repos are also the home of all the illegal content we mentioned earlier.

kodi addons

Because developers aren’t getting paid for their work, and most of them are creating add-ons as a hobby, the quality of the unofficial add-ons can vary drastically. Many just plain don’t work. Furthermore, something that works today may not work next month; the developer could stop supporting it or even just remove it from the repo entirely.

If your eyes lit up when you saw the content on the unofficial repos, you should temper your expectations. Keeping a reliable set of functioning unofficial add-ons running on your Kodi app can be both time-consuming and frustrating.

5. Clearing Thumbnails Makes Kodi Run Faster

This myth isn’t even Kodi specific. It can just as easily be applied Android maintenance, Windows maintenance, and every other operating system you can think of. However, deleting thumbnails on Kodi is particularly short-sighted.

Some people claim that deleting thumbnails every time you boot Kodi makes it start faster. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, you can test it yourself using a stopwatch.

kodi thumbnails

If you delete the thumbnails, Kodi is simply going to rebuild them. For locally-saved content, that’s going to eat up processing power, thus negatively impacting Kodi’s speed. For streaming content, it’s going to use your bandwidth unnecessarily, making streaming slower and potentially giving you a surprise bill at the end of the month.

Deleting thumbnails makes Kodi worse. Don’t do it.

6. Kodi Is Easily Available on iOS

You can easily install Kodi on Android 5 Reasons to Install Kodi on Your Android Right Now 5 Reasons to Install Kodi on Your Android Right Now Kodi, formerly known as XBMC, is a fantastic media app for Android, and you're missing out if you haven't downloaded it yet. Read More , Windows, Mac, and Linux using the installation files off Kodi’s website or accessing the software in the appropriate app store. But iOS is trickier.

For reasons beyond Kodi’s control, you won’t find the app in the mobile version of the Apple App Store. If you want to install it on your iOS device, you have two options:

Neither of these methods are easy to understand, and non-tech savvy users might find the process daunting. Assuming you don’t want to risk bricking your iPhone, consider using Plex instead.

7. Kodi Costs Money

If you’re ever asked to part with money for anything pertaining to Kodi, shut the conversation down immediately — you’re probably being scammed. The only piece of equipment you should ever pay for is a Kodi box How to Choose the Best Kodi Box for Your Needs How to Choose the Best Kodi Box for Your Needs Want to buy a Kodi box but unsure which one you should choose? In this article, we recommend particular boxes for particular needs, helping you narrow your choices. Read More , but most casual users won’t ever need one.

The XBMC Foundation owns and operates Kodi. The foundation is a non-profit technology organization and doesn’t charge end users for anything. The Kodi app (for all operating systems), the add-ons, the repositories, the support communities, and everything else relating to the app are free.

Bust Some Kodi Myths!

These seven Kodi myths are some of the most common we’ve seen perpetuated. And if you’ve never used Kodi before, you might fall for them. Hopefully, by reading this article, you’ll be more informed about Kodi and therefore avoid falling into any traps.

If you’re a Kodi expert, which lies and untruths would you add to the list? What are the most common false tropes that users fall for? Please consider leaving your thoughts in the comments below, or share the article with other Kodi enthusiasts keen to bust some myths.

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  1. Annalisa Hudlin
    July 19, 2017 at 2:10 am

    Good night, I have a smart tv and installed kodi but I'm not seeing a listing of the add ons. What can I do to rectify this???

  2. Robopop
    July 18, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    This article keeps referring to Kodi boxes. There is no such thing as a Kodi box, just boxes capable of running the Kodi app. The boxes (usually Android boxes) have nothing to do with Kodi but are just able to run the Kodi app along with most other Android apps. Lets keep it real folks.

  3. Glen
    July 18, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    I thought it was so-so on Windows, but recently installed it a Linux, WAY better...plays smooth, no buffer wait time, and easy fast forward, reverse function

  4. William F
    July 18, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Kodi can easily be side loaded onto IOS without having to jailbreak or compile code. It is a matter of downloading the Kodi application, installing it with a application developer tool (Cydia Impactor) and signing it with your Apple ID or Apple developer ID

  5. Zhong
    July 14, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    Wasn't there also a media player software that's named the same thing? Are those related?

  6. Illrigger
    July 13, 2017 at 7:48 am

    While not illegal, buying a box with Kodi pre-installed does violate the Kodi Terms of Service. If you go to their forums for support, don't expect any help, and in fact expect to be treated very badly. If you want support, grab a supported version on supported hardware (I recommend a Shield TV for the best experience, a 2nd generation Fire TV if you are not willing to pay that much, witb PC, Mac or one of the Linux forks as good but more expensive alternatives). Supported platforms do not usually have the buffering issues mentioned so often, FYI.

  7. Knitestarz
    July 13, 2017 at 6:15 am

    Wow is this article one big line of fear mongering crap, lol. But hey, if it keeps me people away and stops them from running their traps and overloading the servers, who am I to complain? ?

  8. Tony Red
    July 13, 2017 at 3:08 am

    Kodi is ok just not as smooth as advertised. Always something to do before or during watching. Too good to be true. But still better than $200+ for stinking cable !!!!

  9. Liam Espinosa
    July 12, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    Some people are concerned that streaming movies and tv shows using addons from unofficial repositories is illegal. In Europe, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that it is legal to create temporary or cached copies of works (copyrighted or otherwise) online. The same applies in the US, although the creators of the movies and TV shows have been hounding congress to illegalize copyrighted streaming. If congress passes such a law, streamers are protected from conviction by the prohibition of ex post facto laws punishing illegal activity before it was illegal, at least in the US. However, streamers should use a VPN in order to hide their activity from their ISPs in order to avoid any trouble in the future.

    • Dan Price
      July 20, 2017 at 10:14 pm

      That's not true anymore. The CoJ changed their minds in April. Now, a temporary reproduction of a copyright-protected work is not exempt from the "right of reproduction".

  10. Daniel A Miller
    July 12, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    I have used kodi for 2 months and experience audio problems daily especially in the pm. Audio stops every few seconds while video freezes. My tech guy thought clearing cache would solve problem but this did not help at all.

    • Peter
      July 12, 2017 at 11:26 pm

      You need to adjust your cache settings -- default cache is usually too low.

      Do a search for "fix buffering in Kodi." There are some excellent tutorials online.

    • John
      July 18, 2017 at 2:16 pm

      I tried a couple of inexpensive boxes that came with Kodi, and they just would not play properly with the different kinds of content I threw at it. My primary use for such a device is to play video files from a hard drive.

      Finally, I got a used PC with an HDMI output, gave it 8 gig of ram, the latest Linux Mint, and it now plays everything with no problem on my TV.