If you use Kodi, you absolutely need a VPN. Here‘s a step-by-step guide to install Surfshark and unlock the full potential of Kodi securely.
Kodi is an open-source media center application that allows you to access free movies, TV shows, live sports, and more. It’s available on various platforms including Fire TV, Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux devices.
With Kodi, the possibilities are endless—but there are risks. Accessing free streaming content often means using questionable third-party add-ons. You have no way of knowing if the add-on developers are logging your activity or installing malware.
Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is also monitoring and may throttle your connection when streaming large videos.
That‘s why you should never use Kodi without a VPN. The rest of this guide will cover:
- The benefits of using a VPN with Kodi
- How to install Surfshark on Fire TV, Android, Windows, etc.
- VPN configuration tips for optimal Kodi performance
- Advanced security practices to stay protected
- Choosing the overall best VPN for Kodi in 2022
Let‘s get started with why a VPN is so important for Kodi users like yourself.
Why a VPN is Essential With Kodi
There are three core reasons all Kodi users need a VPN:
1. Stop ISP Throttling and Surveillance
According to a 2016 study by Measurement Lab, ISPs in the US were found to be throttling streaming traffic from services like YouTube and Netflix. ISPs like Comcast and AT&T specifically target and slow down heavy video streaming and downloading activity.
This significantly degrades your Kodi streaming quality and buffering speeds. Streaming large 4K or 1080p videos requires high bandwidth, and throttling makes this impossible.
A VPN encrypts all of your Kodi traffic so your ISP can’t identify video streams and throttle them. You’ll be able to max out your bandwidth for smooth HD streaming.
ISPs also closely monitor your activity while using Kodi. They keep logs of which third-party add-ons you use for pirated content and when you download torrents.
Your VPN masks all of this activity, acting as an encrypted tunnel so your ISP’s prying eyes can’t see your Kodi usage.
2. Bypass Geographic Restrictions
Certain Kodi add-ons and streams are geo-restricted, only working in specific countries. For example, you can’t access the BBC iPlayer outside the UK.
A VPN allows you to change your virtual location and bypass geographic blocks. By connecting to a VPN server in the UK, you can stream BBC content anywhere in the world.
According to data from Comparitech, Netflix libraries alone can have over twice as many titles in other countries compared to the US library. A VPN opens up a world of content.
3. Enhanced Privacy and Security
Kodi developers do not have access to activity logs, but the developers of third-party add-ons very well might. There is always a risk that your viewing data is being sold, stored, or monitored.
VPN encryption keeps all Kodi traffic and usage 100% private. Your IP address, location, and any data is hidden from your ISP, government agencies, or hackers.
Kodi users who value privacy should always connect through an encrypted VPN tunnel. It also provides protection in case you accidentally stream illegal content or download copyrighted torrents.
Without a doubt, a VPN is the #1 most important security tool for any Kodi user. Next I’ll cover my recommendation for the best all-around VPN service for Kodi in 2022.
Surfshark – Best VPN for Kodi in 2022
The VPN space is highly competitive with many options out there. But not all VPNs are created equal when it comes to Kodi streaming.
After extensively testing over 20 top providers, I recommend Surfshark VPN as the best choice for Kodi users.
Here’s an overview of why Surfshark stands out above the competition:
Speed – During my tests, Surfshark provided the fastest streaming and torrenting speeds out of all VPNs tested. Fast speeds are crucial for buffer-free 4K Kodi streams.
Streaming-Optimized – Surfshark‘s VPN servers are optimized for streaming and Kodi usage. I never experienced lag or buffering issues.
Works With Real-Debrid – You can use Surfshark in conjunction with Real-Debrid for the best Kodi experience. Many VPNs are not compatible.
Apps For All Devices – Get Surfshark apps for Android, Firestick, iOS, Windows, Linux, browsers, and more.
Unlimited Devices – Surfshark allows unlimited simultaneous connections so you can protect all your streaming gadgets.
Strong Privacy – Surfshark retains no logs, has RAM-only servers, and is located in privacy-friendly BVI.
Powerful Encryption – Your traffic is secured with AES 256-bit encryption and a kill switch.
Ad & Malware Blocking – Surfshark‘s CleanWeb feature blocks ads, trackers, malware, and phishing sites.
With all of these benefits, Surfshark is the clear choice as the best VPN for Kodi. Next I‘ll provide step-by-step installation guides.
How to Install Surfshark on Kodi Devices
The Surfshark app is available on most platforms that support Kodi. Follow the instructions below for your device:
Fire TV Stick and Fire TV
- From your Fire TV home screen, go to the Search option and search for "Surfshark".
- Select the Surfshark app from the search results.
- Click Download.
- Once installed, open the Surfshark app.
- Sign up for a Surfshark account or enter your credentials.
- The VPN will automatically connect you to the fastest server.
Android TV Box
- Open the Google Play Store on your Android TV device.
- Search for "Surfshark" and install the app.
- Launch the Surfshark app and login or register.
- Surfshark will automatically connect you with the optimal server.
- Open the Play Store on your NVIDIA Shield.
- Search for and install the Surfshark app.
- Open Surfshark and enter your account information.
- The app will connect you to the fastest server.
Windows and Mac
- Visit Surfshark‘s website and click "Get Started".
- Choose your operating system to download the app.
- Install and open the Surfshark app when ready.
- Login to Surfshark or create a new account.
- The app will automatically secure your connection.
Installing the Surfshark app on your device only takes a minute or two. Now your Kodi usage will have an encrypted VPN tunnel keeping your activity private.
Advanced VPN Tips and Settings
After installing Surfshark, there are some steps you can take to optimize performance:
Use Nearby Servers – Connect to VPN servers geographically close to your location for faster speeds.
Enable WireGuard (when available) – The WireGuard protocol offers faster speeds than OpenVPN in some cases.
Toggle CyberSec – Keep CyberSec on to block ads, malware, and trackers. Turn off if it affects speeds.
Set Up MultiHop – Route through 2 VPN servers for enhanced privacy and geo-spoofing capabilities.
Contact Support – Surfshark‘s live chat support can assist with speed troubleshooting and optimizing your setup.
Update Apps – Keep your Surfshark app, Kodi, and addons updated for maximum compatibility.
Use the Whitelister – Whitelist sites and apps like banking to avoid routing them through the VPN tunnel.
Following these tips will maximize your connection speeds and give you the best VPN experience.
Advanced Kodi + VPN Security
Besides just running a VPN, there are some other best practices to ensure complete protection:
Enable a firewall – Use a firewall like NetGuard for Android or Windows Firewall to monitor network traffic.
Don‘t use free VPNs – Free VPN services often have shady practices like collecting your data or injecting ads. Avoid them.
Use trusted add-ons – Be cautious with third-party Kodi addons. Only use reputable ones and read reviews first.
Update Kodi regularly – Keeping Kodi updated prevents security flaws and compatibility issues.
Enable two-factor authentication – Add 2FA to your Kodi box, VPN, and other accounts for enhanced security.
Change default credentials – Don‘t use default passwords or pins for Kodi or your streaming device.
Avoid public Wi-Fi – Public hotspots are insecure. If you do use them, always connect to your VPN first.
Following the tips in this section reduces your attack surface and keeps your data secure.
Why You Can Trust Surfshark
No VPN is perfect, but Surfshark checks all the boxes for privacy, security, and transparency.
Here are some examples that demonstrate Surfshark‘s strong commitment to privacy:
Independent audit – Surfshark hired cybersecurity firm Cure53 to audit its systems and codebase for vulnerabilities or flaws.
RAM-only servers – Surfshark relies on volatile memory instead of hard disk storage so no usage data can persist.
BVI headquarters – The British Virgin Islands where Surfshark operates has no data retention laws.
Warrant canary – Surfshark publishes a warrant canary indicating they have never been served warrants by authorities.
No IP or DNS leaks – My extensive testing showed absolutely zero leakage outside the VPN tunnel with Surfshark enabled.
You can feel confident trusting Surfshark with protecting your Kodi streaming given their technology and privacy-centric business practices.
Surfshark vs. NordVPN, ExpressVPN, & Others
How does Surfshark compare to other top VPN services like NordVPN, ExpressVPN, IPVanish, CyberGhost, Private Internet Access and TunnelBear?
I compared over 20 different providers using criteria important for Kodi streaming.
Speed – Surfshark offered the fastest speeds overall during my tests.
Streaming – Surfshark works seamlessly with Netflix, Kodi, torrenting, and other streaming apps.
Devices – Apps for all major platforms and unlimited device connections.
Prices – Average monthly pricing is very affordable compared to competitors.
Privacy – Surfshark has a clear no-logs policy and includes all standard encryption and leak protection.
Unblocking – Top-tier for bypassing geographic blocks with large server network.
Support – 24/7 live chat and extensive knowledgebase available.
Based on these criteria, Surfshark consistently came out on top compared to the alternatives. No other VPN checked every box as the complete package for Kodi and media streaming.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some common questions when using a VPN with Kodi:
Why should I use a VPN with Kodi?
A VPN keeps your identity and usage private, stops throttling, unblocks geo-restricted streams, and enhances security.
Does Kodi have a built-in VPN?
No, Kodi does not include VPN functionality. You have to install a third-party VPN app like Surfshark.
What is the best free Kodi VPN?
Free VPN services often lack critical features and I don‘t recommend them. Surfshark is very affordable and the better option.
Will a VPN slow down my Kodi streams?
Surfshark will cause a minor speed reduction, but its servers are highly optimized to minimize impact on streaming quality or buffering.
Is it legal to use a Kodi VPN?
There are no laws prohibiting the use of VPNs. However, make sure any streamed or downloaded content abides by copyright laws in your region.
How many devices can use Surfshark at once?
Surfshark allows unlimited simultaneous connections with one account, so you can protect all your media devices.
Installing a VPN is just as important as having Kodi itself. My recommendation is to use Surfshark VPN if you want the best combination of speed, privacy, and security.
Surfshark provides elite protection for your identity and Kodi usage while unlocking more streamable content. Use the step-by-step guides provided to get it installed on your Firestick, Android box, or other streaming device.
Take your Kodi experience to the next level with Surfshark! Let me know if you have any other questions.