It has been a difficult year for Kodi fans and as it becomes clear that another serious crackdown on unofficial Kodi addons is underway, user privacy when using the popular media player software has never been more important.
Which is why we have compiled this short guide to explain how best to protect your privacy when streaming on Kodi.
The new Kodi crackdown
Earlier this year, a number of popular unofficial Kodi addons shut down swiftly after facing the threat of legal action from a number of media corporations. The US-based Dish Network filed an action in Texas against the popular Zem TV addon as well as the huge TVaddons repository.
Both shut down, although TVAddons has since returned as a 100% legal addon repository.
In recent days, the MPA/MPAA led Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, which represents all of the biggest Hollywood studios as well as Sky TV, Netflix, and Amazon has hand-delivered ‘cease and desist’ letters to more addon developers.
This has resulted in another hugely popular repository, the Colossus Repository, going offline and taking some of Kodi’s best-known addons, including Covenant, with it. The Ares Wizard has also gone offline this week too.[See Also: Our Best VPN for Kodi on Firestick guide]
Many of these addons and repositories did indeed allow users to access copyrighted content, so it is no surprise to see their developers being targeted. As much as users will miss the addons that have gone, history shows us that new ones will likely quickly appear to plug the gap.
Regular users being targeted too
What regular Kodi users have to worry about is their own privacy. Because it is not just developers who have been targeted by this conglomeration of multinational media companies. Individual users have also received legal notices, and some have even seen further action being taken again them.
As we have previously reported, there have been rumours about various Kodi addons and repositories downloading spyware and monitoring software to keep track of Kodi users viewing habits. This has been vigorously denied by most of those implicated, but the rumours persist, and the fact remains that these copyright lawyers and trolls are getting their information from somewhere.[See Also: Our Is Kodi legal in 2017 guide]
With the threat of having your privacy invaded, what you watch being recorded, and the possibility of ending up with a fine or further legal action, protecting your privacy is critical for Kodi users. So, whats the best way to do it?
Use a VPN to protect your privacy when streaming on Kodi
The best tool that Kodi users can turn to in order to protect their online privacy when using Kodi is a VPN. Connecting to a VPN will ensure that all of your online data is encrypted meaning that prying eyes keen to see what you are up to will not be able to see anything.
A VPN also makes it difficult to trace your online activity directly back to you. It does this by pushing all of your online data through an external server. This data is then tagged with the IP Address of the server rather than your internet connection. As this IP Address is the main way your online activity is tied to you, this makes that process significantly harder.
Using a VPN is increasingly essential for all Kodi users who value their privacy, especially those who make use of unofficial addons like the ones being targeted in this latest crackdown.
What is the best VPN for Kodi users?
In our expert opinion, IPVanish is the best VPN for Kodi users.
IPVanish offers some of the strongest encryption available on the market right now as well as excellent privacy provisions and a no user logs guarantee. It has great connection speeds, a huge range of servers to choose from, and no limits on either data amounts of file types you can use, both of which can become very annoying for Kodi users.[See Also: Our latest IPVanish Review]
Importantly, IPVanish is also available on just about every device you may ever want to run Kodi on. This includes the Amazon Fire Stick, with IPVanish being the only big-name VPN to offer a dedicated Amazon app which works on that device.
As well as using a VPN, users are also advised to keep abreast of the latest Kodi news to see which addons are still trustworthy and which may have been taken over by copyright lawyers and other interested parties. It is also advisable not to download any addon without researching it to ensure it is legitimate first.
But a VPN is by far the most important and effective step you can take to help ensure your privacy when using Kodi. And IPVanish is the provider which does the job the best.