You may have recently tried installing popular third-party Kodi addons like Fen, Venom or The Oath only to find frustrating error messages and connection issues. Unfortunately, all three of these beloved addons seem to have mysteriously stopped working.
As an experienced Kodi user yourself, you likely know these names well. They were some of the most installed and highest-rated addons among the community. According to Kodi analytics sites like Kodil.co and Kodiapps.com, each had been actively installed by hundreds of thousands of users before going offline.
So why did these big three suddenly stop working? And what alternatives are out there for users abandoned by their favorite addons? I‘ll explore the possible reasons these addons went dark and suggest replacements to fill the void.
A Closer Look at Each Popular Addon
First, let‘s recap what made Fen, Venom, and The Oath so popular before their demise:
Released in 2019, Fen quickly became a favorite for its clean layout, robust providers, and inclusion of premium services. According to Kodi forums, it had over 300,000 active installs before disappearing.
Fen interconnected with top indexers like Easynews, Premiumize, Real-Debrid, and Trakt to populate its large catalog of streams. Its intuitive interface made finding working links effortless. Fen was hailed as an ideal "one stop shop" addon.
As a fork of the venerable Exodus addon, Venom inherited much of the functionality that made its predecessor a staple of Kodi setups. But Venom‘s developer improved on the original formula in many ways.
According to statistics from Kodil.co, Venom had over 500,000 active installations when it stopped working. The addon stood out for its broad content catalog, advanced filtering and sort options, Trakt integration, and robust scrapers.
While many addons focus strictly on video content, The Oath also appealed to cord-cutters seeking live TV with its selection of 1000+ working channels.
Introduced in 2020, The Oath amassed over 400,000 active users before its demise. Fans praised The Oath for frequent scraper updates, inclusion of niche categories like "World of Wrestling", and handy features like IMDB ratings.
Key Features of Top Addons
|Fen||300k+ installs, clean interface, easy to find quality links|
|Venom||500k+ installs, Exodus fork, great filters and Trakt integration|
|The Oath||400k+ installs, 1000+ live channels, constant updates|
As this comparison shows, all three offered expansive media libraries and constant innovation – winning over legions of devoted followers in the process.
The Fatal "Unable to Connect" Error
Now when users try installing any of these formerly popular addons, we are greeted by this ominous error:
This "could not connect to repository" message indicates the repository that houses the addon files itself cannot be reached. Repositories function as hosts where addons are stored for installation. If the repository goes down, the addons within will cease working.
At first, Kodi forums speculated temporary issues like server outages or maintenance could be causing the connection problems. But the sustained downtime points to the repositories being permanently taken down or blocked.
Needless to say, this came as a disappointment to the many Kodi users who relied on Venom, Fen, and The Oath for streaming. But why would the repositories for three popular addons suddenly disappear all at once?
Are Legal Threats to Blame?
Copyright complaints seem the likely culprit behind these mysterious connection issues. Streaming copyrighted material through third-party addons is unambiguously illegal. Given this fact, addons and repositories taking down content or shutting down entirely in the face of legal threats has become a common occurrence.
In fact, The Oath‘s developer himself seemed to imply legal trouble was behind his addon‘s demise. After The Oath went offline, he commented on a Kodi subreddit:
"I got a takedown request from a rights holder….Be aware, fellow add-on developers/maintainers."
While no official explanation was given for Fen or Venom‘s collapse, it‘s reasonable to assume they faced similar legal pressures. Streaming movies, shows and live channels through addons like these exists in a legal gray area at best.
There is precedent for copyright holders going after emerging Kodi addons and repos. In 2017, the operators of TVAddons – the largest Kodi repository at the time – were slapped with a massive $19.5 million lawsuit. Spooked by legal threats, many other repositories preemptively shut down around that time.
So there are good reasons to think recent legal actions similarly precipitated the end of these three heavy hitters. But the question remains – where should former users of Fen, Venom and The Oath turn now?
5 Alternatives to Replace Your Favorite Addon
Here are some of the top options suggested across Kodi communities for replacing these fallen addons:
1. The Crew
The Crew consolidates links from respected sites like PrimeWire, RARBG, YTS, and EZTV into one searchable hub. Over 200,000 users have it installed.
Umbrella earns praise for frequently updated scrapers and a polished, easy-to-navigate interface. It
3. Scrubs V2
A successor to the popular Scrubs addon, Scrubs V2 couples tried-and-true scrapers with useful features like Trakt integration and 4K streaming. It has quickly gained traction.
4. Cinema APK
If you want to move beyond Kodi, Cinema APK offers a slick APK experience. No need for a VPN or Real-Debrid. Cinema has an intuitive layout and regular updates.
For a polished media server setup, Plex now includes ad-supported movies and shows. Plex makes organizing and streaming your content painless.
There are also plenty of specialty Kodi addons for categories like sports, music, and kids content. And legal apps like YouTube TV provide cable TV alternatives. The key is finding a replacement that aligns closely with your viewing preferences.
How to Protect Your Privacy
Whenever you stream copyrighted material, using a VPN to conceal your IP address is highly recommended. Without one, your ISP can see your streaming activity and even throttle your connection. Copyright agencies can also obtain your IP and identity from sites you visit.
A VPN like Surfshark or NordVPN will anonymize your internet traffic, prevent throttling, and encrypt data. VPNs provide an added layer of protection if streaming from questionable sources.
Don‘t Get Left Behind – Stay Informed!
The downtime of so many beloved Kodi addons serves as an urgent reminder – the third-party streaming landscape changes rapidly! Keeping up with the latest developments is crucial.
Be sure to subscribe to my weekly newsletter where I cover all things streaming – addon news, shutdowns, new releases and more. Together, we can navigate these turbulent waters!
The demise of Fen, Venom and The Oath marks the end of an era. But with so many options out there, this is an opportunity to discover new go-to addons and apps. Now is the time for exploration!
Feel free to reach out with any questions or suggestions for future reviews and tutorials. Stay safe out there and happy streaming!