Best VPN for Kodi 2017 and how to set it up

If you’re using Kodi then a VPN is now almost a requirement. In this guide I’m taking a look at the Best VPN providers for Kodi that will allow you to access blocked and restricted content.

Kodi on its own is a great little service but when you access certain content you’re blocked from viewing either because it’s not available in your country or for numerous other reasons.

This can severely limit what you watch on Kodi but the good news is that when using a VPN you can access content from all regions and even content that is normally completely blocked.

How to use a VPN with Kodi

The easiest and most popular way to use a VPN with Kodi in 2017 is to use the OpenElec add-on with the OpenVPN feature installed.

To complete this task you’re firstly going to need the following :

  • Set your skin to Confluence
  • Install OpenElec 6 or newer version
  • A VPN service from a supported provider such as IPVanish.

Once you’ve got all the above requirements you’ll need to install OpenVPN from the OpenELEC repository. Below you can find a step-by-step guide on how to achieve this.

Go to the main screen of OpenElec and go to System, Settings and then Add-ons.

Select Search and in the box that opens type “unofficial“. Press Done.

Press OpenELEC Add-ons (unofficial).

Now press Install.

Go to the add-ons main page again by using the back button in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.

Press Install from repository.

Select OpenELEC Add-ons (unofficial).

Press Program Add-ons.

Press openvpn add-on.

Press Install and then write down the path shown in the description. It is likely to be “/storage/.kodi/addons/network.openvpn/bin/openvpn~” but you should write it down if different as you will need to use it later.

The installation is now complete. You will now need to set up your VPN provider of choice. In the example below I’ve used IPVanish because it’s our Editor’s Choice top rated VPN service but you can also set up others.

How to set up IPVanish with OpenElec

Go to the home screen and then System, OpenElec and Services.

Enable SSH if it is not already enabled.

You will need to download the required server configuration from your VPN provider. In this example I’m using one of IPVanish’s London servers and the config file is located at:

https://www.ipvanish.com/software/configs/ipvanish-UK-London-lcy-c01.ovpn

You will also need to download the certificate file from:

http://www.ipvanish.com/software/configs/ca.ipvanish.com.crt

You can browse through the full list of server configurations using the IPVanish Config Page.

Next download and install Notepad++.

Launch Notepad++ and create a new file with the name pass.txt.

In the pass.txt file on the first line enter your IPVanish username and on the second line your IPVanish password. It should look like the following image below.

Notepad Password Example

Save the pass.txt file.

Open the IPVanish server configuration with Notepadd++. In this example ipvanish-UK-London-lcy-c01.ovpn.

Edit the following lines to match the screenshot below.

IPVanish Kodi Config

Save the file. You can give it a shorter file name if you wish so it’s easier to remember.

You should download and use an FTP client such as Filezilla and connect to your OpenElec Kodi box.

Use the IP Address of your OpenElec box to connect and the username : root and password : openelec, use port 22.

If you need to find the IP Address of your box then you should visit System, Settings, Network.

Once connected find the location you downloaded both the IPVanish server config and the certificate file in the left hand side window.

Then in the right side window locate /storage/.config/vpn-config.

If there is no “vpn-config” folder then simply right click in the “.config” folder and create a new “vpn-config” folder.

Drag the IPVanish server config, the certificate file and the pass.txt from the left window into the right window “vpn-config” folder.

Most of the set-up is now complete. All we need to do next is install Brian Hornsby’s OpenVPN add-on.

How to install the OpenVPN add-on

Installing OpenVPN is the best way of connecting to multiple servers so you’re not just limited to one.

On OpenElec go to System, Settings, Appearance, File Lists. Click “Show hidden files and directories.”

Next download the OpenVPN add-on from Github using this link.

Using Filezilla or another FTP client copy the downloaded file to your OpenElec box and then to “/storage/downloads/”. Again if the download directory does not exist you can right-click and create it and then copy the file.

Go to your OpenElec box and System, Settings, Add-ons.

Click “Install from zip file”.

Go to the Downloads folder and select the OpenVPN file. Press OK.

Go to My Add-ons. Click Program Add-ons.

There will be two OpenVPN options, select the one with the capital “O”.

Press Configure.

Under the OpenVPN tab under OpenVPN Settings ensure the path is correct from earlier on in this article. If it isn’t then change it to the path you wrote down.

Under OpenVPN Configuration select Import OpenVPN Configuration File.

Navigate to the location you saved the config file (/storage/.config/vpn-config) and select the configuration file you downloaded earlier. In my example it was ipvanish-UK-London-lcy-c01.ovpn.

Give the server a name, this can be anything to help you remember which server it is, for example; IPV-London-1. Then press Done. Press OK.

Now go back to the main Kodi screen and select Programs.

Select OpenVPN with the capital “O”.

Select the configuration file that you just named, eg; IPV-London-1.

If connection is successful you will get a notification in the bottom right hand corner letting you know connection has been established.

You’re now free to access geoblocked or restricted services. You can of course use other server configurations to connect to different countries and locations and access other blocked services.

Best VPN for Kodi 2017

If you’re looking for the Best VPN for Kodi then below I’ve rounded up my top three options to give you some choice and help you make a purchasing decision.

Rank Provider Lowest Price Review Link
1IPVanish Small Logo≈£4.22 ($6.49)
per month
2ExpressVPN Small Logo≈£5.41 ($8.32)
per month
3PrivateInternetAccess Small Logo≈£2.25 ($3.33)
per month

1. IPVanish

IPVanish Small Logo

We reviewed IPVanish at the start of 2017 and as we found previously they are certainly the best VPN provider on the market.

The service was so good that we awarded them our Editor’s Choice award for the second year running.

Speed is a massive plus of the IPVanish service and they’re one of the fastest on the market. This means if you’re streaming movies, sport or anything on Kodi then you’re unlikely to suffer from buffering or stuttering.

They have VPN servers in more than 60 different countries that will allow you to unblock services from around the world such as Hulu, CBS, BBC iPlayer, SBS, Foxtel Go, Sky and a whole host of other entertainment solutions from many different countries.

IPVanish doesn’t store logs nor do they monitor their traffic so you are free to stream whatever you wish on Kodi without any issues. As they don’t store logs and use high level encryption it means what you watch on Kodi remains private.

Software and apps are available for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS which means you can easily use Kodi with any of those systems and if you have a Kodi box then use our guide earlier in this article.

IPVanish costs just $6.49 per month (approx £5.33) when taking an annual account and is our number 1 Best VPN for Kodi.

You can read our IPVanish 2017 review here or visit their website using the button below.

Best VPN for Kodi 2017

2. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN Small Logo

ExpressVPN also makes a very good choice for use with Kodi and are supported with the OpenElec and OpenVPN add-ons.

VPN servers are available in more than 87 different countries around the world but the service is a little more expensive so consider if you really need access to the extra locations.

ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee which is one of the best features of the service because it allows you to stream movies, sport and other content on Kodi to see how the service stands up. If you’re unhappy within the first month then you can get a full refund.

The service keeps no traffic logs which means what you watch on Kodi and what you access remains private. Like IPVanish there are no restrictions on speed or bandwidth and you can switch servers as often as you wish.

If you get stuck then ExpressVPN have a live chat option which is available around the clock.

Paying annually will set you back $8.32 per month (approx £6.83) and you can visit the ExpressVPN website using the link below.

3. PrivateInternetAccess

PrivateInternetAccess Small Logo

PrivateInternetAccess round up my selection of Best VPN for Kodi and are slightly cheaper than the above options however they also have far fewer servers.

PIA as they are otherwise known offers access to just 24 different countries so you’ll need to consider if paying less is worth the big drop in server numbers.

While the service is good they are also slightly slower than both IPVanish and ExpressVPN because many customers use the service.

That said, the fact many customers use PIA is a testament to the quality of the service and the number of users who trust PIA to keep their privacy secure.

PIA is also compatible with the OpenVPN OpenElec add-on so set-up is relatively straightforward.

If you take a yearly service then PIA will cost you just $3.33 per month (approx £2.73) so it is considerably cheaper than most but make sure you check the server selection is suitable for your needs and remember that if you want faster speeds it’s best to choose IPVanish.

Resources

If you’re after some other helpful and useful resources then check the links below.

Easy VPN Manager for IPVanish and PrivateInternetAccess

http://openelec.tv/forum/unofficial-openelec-addons/79666-vpn-manager-for-openvpn

Apple, Linux & Raspberry Pi OpenVPN

http://brianhornsby.com/kodi_addons/openvpn

OpenELEC

https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/forum/discussion/9622/how-to-use-pia-on-openelec-with-kodi-previously-xbmc

https://seo-michael.co.uk/tutorial-how-to-install-vpn-for-openelec-on-kodi/

http://openelec.tv/forum/12-guides-tips-and-tricks/78044-how-to-set-up-a-vpn-using-brian-hornsby-openvpn-addon

IPVanish for Kodi

https://forum.ipvanish.com/viewtopic.php?p=5003