Entertainment Security

How to Set Up a VPN on Kodi and Why You Should

Christian Cawley 16-05-2017

You’re using Kodi. Perhaps it’s on your PC, or your Android device, or some other hardware. You might be using it to stream video that you shouldn’t or you might be using it legitimately. Either way, it’s a good idea to use a VPN like ExpressVPN.


This isn’t about avoiding the scrutiny of the law. If you’re watching content via Kodi on your mobile app, using a VPN will protect your data while watching over free Wi-Fi. Alternatively, it can be used to beat region locking for services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, or even YouTube.

vpn kodi iplayer

With an active VPN, your data is automatically encrypted before it leaves the device, and is routed via a secure server. There are many other reasons to use a VPN 11 Reasons Why You Need a VPN and What It Is Virtual private networks can protect your privacy. We explain what exactly they do and why you should use a VPN. Read More , but these are the main ones when it comes to the Kodi media center software.

Now that you know why it’s important to use a VPN with Kodi, I’m going to show you how to set one up.

Which VPN Should You Use?

Many VPN services are available. Some of these are free 8 Totally Free VPN Services to Protect Your Privacy Free unlimited data VPNs don't exist unless they're scams. Here are the best actually free VPNs around that you can try safely. Read More while others are paid. For regular use, and streaming video data, we would recommend a paid VPN service The Best VPN Services We've compiled a list of what we consider to be the best Virtual Private Network (VPN) service providers, grouped by premium, free, and torrent-friendly. Read More .


vpn kodi diagram
Image Credit: arka38 via Shutterstock

The optimal VPN for Kodi will provide support for P2P file transfers How P2P (Peer to Peer) File Sharing Works Wondering what peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing is and how it got started? We explain what you should know. Read More , as some Kodi add-ons use peer-to-peer for faster downloads. Your chosen VPN should also support OpenVPN, which is arguably the best VPN protocol currently available The 5 Major VPN Protocols Explained OpenVPN, SSTP, L2TP: what do they all mean? We explain the major VPN protocols so you can choose the best one for your privacy needs. Read More . Most VPN providers offer OpenVPN support.

As noted, the selection of VPN services on offer is vast. If you want a quick recommendation, however, our current favorite is ExpressVPN.

When You Need a Kodi VPN Add-On

Being able to successfully set up a VPN add-on for Kodi on your device depends on establishing whether you actually need one.


In short, if the device you’re using to run Kodi doesn’t have a dedicated VPN client, you need a VPN add-on. Windows, iOS, and Android users: you can simply run your usual VPN, then launch Kodi. Job done.

On platforms where no VPN client is available (and this will differ depending on which VPN service you select), an add-on is required. Consoles, for example, benefit from this approach, as do Linux-based Kodi media centers.

If you find that neither of the suggested methods below work out for you, then the most sensible option is to use your router to access your VPN, rather than a client app.

Note: The following steps are based on the default theme for Kodi 17.01. The location of some menu items may differ in your chosen theme.


Adding OpenVPN Support to Kodi on a Games Console

To get OpenVPN functionality on Kodi on a console, you’ll need to install the Open VPN for Kodi add-on. Kodi includes support for a vast number of add-ons, some offering unique televisual experiences, others for podcasts, and many that replicate popular services such as Netflix or Hulu.

vpn kodi fusion

Next, open Kodi and go to System > File Manager, and click on Add Source. Select None, then enter the address http://fusion.tvaddons.ag. Click Done, then enter the name as fusion. Click OK, then return to the Home screen. Here, click System > Add-ons > Install from ZIP file, then fusion.

vpn kodi repo


Continue by clicking XBMC-repos > English > metalkettle-x.x.x.zip (where the “x.x.x” will display the latest version number) and wait until you see the Add-on enabled pop-up box. Click MetalKettles Addon Repository, then Program add-ons where you’ll find openvpn. Click Install and wait for the Add-on enabled pop-up.

OpenVPN on a Linux-Based Kodi Box

If you’re running Kodi on a Linux PC, you’ll need to install the VPN for OpenELEC add-on, also from the metalkettle repository. Follow the instructions above, up to installing openvpn. At this point, simply select and install VPN for OpenELEC.

Configure Your VPN

From this point on, it should be simple to configure your VPN. Whichever add-on you’re using, click on the Run icon, and find the setup menu item. You’ll be prompted to browse through the list of VPN providers. If yours isn’t listed, there should be a custom option.

Next, you’ll be prompted to enter your VPN account’s username and password, so add these (take extra care if you’re not using a physical keyboard) and click OK when done.

You should then be able to select from the list of servers, so select your favorite (or most appropriate for your purposes) and wait until it connects. Your Kodi box is now connected to the internet via a VPN!

How to Enjoy Overseas TV With a VPN on Kodi

You’re now able to overcome region blocking. For instance, if you’re in the U.S. and desperate to catch the latest episode of Doctor Who, Line of Duty, or other big-hitting TV show in the U.K., you can now watch online with ease.

Use the VPN server selection screen in your VPN plugin to select a server in the U.K. Once the server has connected, check that your IP address has changed (you’ll find an add-on to check this). If everything is running as it should, you could then use the appropriate add-on to view the TV show you’re looking for.

It’s really that simple. Of course, it might have its downsides. For instance, choosing a VPN thousands of miles away may result in some stuttered streaming. As such, if there is a download option available, it might be wiser to use this!

Your VPN Is Running: Kodi Is Now Private and Secure

With these steps completed, you now have a VPN on your Kodi device. Better still, you can switch between multiple profiles, a useful option if you’re planning to avoid region blocking.

Again, Kodi proves just how flexible it is, and why it is the number one open source media center software in the world. While we can hope for a simpler method of setting up a VPN in future, for now this is as straightforward as it gets.

Now that you have a properly configured VPN, it might be a good time to make sure your Kodi setup is also proper and optimized How to Use Kodi: The Complete Setup Guide Our beginner's guide shows how to install the Kodi software, how to navigate through the initial setup, and how to load add-ons. Read More .

Related topics: Kodi, VPN.

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  1. An jello
    July 19, 2017 at 11:56 am

    addon on kodi, you can download it through it and run it like a regular addon. if they don't have an addon, you can always configure them over router. and even those that have an addon can be set up that way. in the second case, there is neither a use for your vpn app nor the kodi addon. the third case is the simplest. most of the providers today like ivacy, pia, express and others your provider has an app for the device you're using kodi on, like say, android or windows, you can just run your app and connect before running kodi and all of this complexisty can be avoided.

    June 9, 2017 at 6:06 pm


    I was trying to play bbc player through openvpn. I was unable to run through vpn. I was not getting run or custom option

  3. Sunny
    May 17, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    Follow all the instructions above and then it says "this is a console-only addon "

  4. Carlos MANJARRES
    May 17, 2017 at 4:39 am

    I can't get my to work , it says " this is a console-only add on "
    Don't let me go any further...

    • Mertsi
      May 17, 2017 at 8:02 am

      I get the same message when I try to run the installed Openvpn Kodi addon on my android tv (Sony Bravia).
      I have, however, installed Openvpn on my tv from google play store and that works with my vpn provider.

      But it would be nice to get an android addon for Kodi that works.

  5. Ivan
    May 16, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    Can confirm. I have ExpressVPN and Kodi works perfectly.