As technology continues to evolve, so does the popularity of home theatre software platforms like Kodi. The great thing about Kodi is that it’s versatile enough to install on all your favorite TV boxes and operating systems, including Raspberry Pi, Roku, iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, Mac, Windows, NVIDIA Shield, Android TV Boxes, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV Stick and Amazon Fire TV.
However, there have been concerns about the software’s safety with an increasing number of users asking, is Kodi safe? Read on to find out.
Are Kodi and Kodi Addons Legal?
Kodi is legal, open-source software that’s easy to install and it’s available for free. The best part is that it’s compatible with pretty much any device you can think of and gives you numerous legal add-ons to choose from.
However, there’s always a temptation to look outside of the collection of available legitimate add-ons at some less-than-savory options. This is usually when the trouble starts for most users because you get exposed to all sorts of illegal and dangerous add-ons.
The problem with these third-party add-ons is that they typically infringe on copyright laws and there’s no telling whether or not the content you’re watching is legal or not. If you’re going to use third-party add-ons then you should also watch out for the fact that they source their content mainly from unlicensed websites, pirated IPTV streams, and torrents.
It’s illegal in the US to download and stream copyrighted content without permission. But, there’s no legal precedent as to what the repercussions would be if one were to break the rules. The regulations are also quite unclear because they don’t specify what type of files fall under this law.
Selling a TV box or similar device with third-party add-ons already installed can earn you a hefty fine in the UK. These devices are known as “piracy boxes” and selling or using them is seen as an infringement of copyright law. However, UK officials haven’t fined anyone for watching illegal content through third-party add-ons on a Kodi device. But, you never know when this might happen so it’s not worth taking the risk.
Besides, there are other consequences for watching Sanctuary or Exodus content. You could face bandwidth throttling from your ISP and get bombarded with threatening settlement letters. Although we don’t recommend it, if you’re going to watch content from third-party add-ons then you should at least use a VPN like IPVanish to hide your activities.
There’s a loophole within Canadian law that sort of permits the streaming of copyrighted content, so long as you’re watching temporary reproductions of it. Because video streaming translates to a temporary copy of the original work being created, this allows for an exemption to the rule that somewhat “legitimizes” the streaming process. Therefore, it would be extremely difficult to enforce the current legislation on Kodi users.
There’s currently no standard to set the stage on what should be done for watching pirated content in Australia. No one has been charged or sued for that even though it is illegal to download and stream copyrighted content without prior permission.
It’s worth noting that the government has recently amended the Online Infringement Act of 2015 which allows ISPs to block sites that offer pirated content.
India is the only country from this list that allows its citizens to stream pirated content. That said it’s still illegal to host, upload, download and torrent content online. But, it is safe to stream content, which means Kodi users are in the clear.
Attention: Read before you continue
Governments and ISPs across the world monitor their users online activities. If found streaming or browsing content on your Fire TV Stick, mobile or PC, you could get into serious trouble. Currently, your IP is visible to everyone. We strongly recommend you to get a good VPN and hide your identity so that your online experience doesn’t take a bad turn.
We use IPVanish which is the fastest and most secure VPN in the industry. It is very easy to install on any device including Amazon Fire TV Stick. Also, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like their service, you can always ask for a refund. IPVanish also runs a limited time offer where you can save 57% on your VPN and they allow you to use one account on unlimited devices. This is a flash sale that can expire at any time.
What Are the Legal Alternatives to TVAddons and Fusion?
Rumors are rife that one of the biggest third-party Kodi addons is going legit. The Fusion repository and TVAddons website went down for some time but people are saying that they’re focusing on offering non-pirated content.
It’s interesting to note that Phoenix, SALTS and other well-known add-ons went offline around the same time and there’s reason to believe that they are going to come back with the same anti-piracy practices.
We all know that the Fusion/Indigo repository is home to a lot of shady add-ons. That’s why it went through a rather infamous court fight which effectively chased away most of its user base. That’s why the site is trying to rebuild and clean up its image at the same time. But it’s going to be tough without enough data backups.
In the meantime, we’d like to recommend the following legal add-ons which come from the legal Kodi repository. That way, if someone asks “is Kodi safe?” you can confidently answer yes.
- YouTube – Synchronize your YouTube account with Kodi and watch your favorite channels.
- Trakt – Allows you to track, share and manage your Kodi content.
- LazyTV– Enables you to keep track of what you watch.
- HDHomeRun – You can use it to stream over-the-air and cable signals.
- Vimeo – Works similarly to YouTube but with fewer videos.
- Twitch – The best platform for live gaming.
- iPlayer WWW– Ideal for catching up on BBC content from your Kodi.
- DailyMotion – Similar to YouTube because it hosts user-uploaded content.
- FunimationNOW– Great for watching cartoons and anime.
- Crunchyroll – Cartoons and anime.
- Crackler – It’s great for watching Crackle TV shows and free movies.
Should You Use Kodi?
So, is Kodi safe? Well, it’s important to understand that Kodi is a volunteer-managed project. As hard-working and dedicated as these volunteers are, it’s impossible to expect them to fully protect users from hackers all the time. If you’re going to use Kodi then you should be proactive and use a VPN to protect yourself from threats like:
- Malicious add-ons
- ISP snooping
- Pre-installed piracy boxes
- Main in the middle attacks
ISP snooping and man-in-the-middle attacks, in particular, can happen during data transfers such as when you’re streaming content on Kodi. For best results, use a Virtual Private Network to encrypt all of your online traffic and hide your location and identity. A good quality VPN allows you to hide your activity when using Kodi and IPVanish is the best VPN for Kodi users.
However, you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. Pair your VPN with a good quality antivirus to prevent malware and malicious add-ons. Defencebyte comes highly recommended for its ability to protect your online presence without affecting the device’s performance. It’s affordable too.
Using Devices That Come with Pre-Installed Kodi
It’s super simple and easy to install Kodi granted you have a compatible device. Alternatively, you can purchase a device with the pre-installed Kodi software. The only problem with devices that come with pre-installed Kodi is that they almost always come with loopholes that are easy for hackers to exploit.
The worst part is that it can be tough to get rid of those loopholes once you have the device. In such cases, it might be a good idea to wipe and reboot the entire system so you can reinstall Kodi on a clean slate.
You’ll often come across piracy boxes on eBay or from YouTube sellers and you can always tell that they’re shady. Obviously, these devices can damage your device and they don’t really work well at all.
What About ISP Snooping?
A lot of the well-known Kodi addons are infamous for streaming from shady sources. This includes unknown IPTV streams, torrents, and illegal streaming websites.
This attracts attention to you and you might end up getting monitored by agencies that work for copyright holders. As soon as the person or agency has collected enough affected IP addresses, they can submit it to the ISP involved which will then take further action.
The ISP will take over from there and take punitive action. If you get affected, don’t be surprised to find an email from your ISP asking for a settlement to compensate the copyright holder, who might actually be a troll. Your ISP might also ask you to cease and desist streaming the copyrighted content and/or throttle your data.
Using a VPN with Kodi
To use your VPN, simply start up the app, find a preferred server to connect with before you launch Kodi. Should your VPN connection get cut off for whatever reason, then it’s a good idea to activate the kill switch. This will automatically stop all traffic flow in order to maintain online security and protect your identity.
Is Kodi safe to use on a device that isn’t compatible with VPNs? Yes, as long as you use a Wi-Fi router, you can set up a VPN separately. You can use a physical router to configure the VPN or go the virtual router setup using a laptop. It might also be a good idea to flash new firmware like DD-WRT and Tomato if your physical router is incompatible with VPNs as well.
Well, there you have it! Now you’ll know what to say when someone asks you is Kodi safe and legal. The answer is, of course, it depends on how you use. Hopefully, this article has been helpful at providing you with all the tools you need to keep your Kodi activities above board.
Let us know in the comments section below if you have any question regarding Kodi or Kodi addons!