The Best Free VPN for Kodi
Kodi is one of the best multimedia players around and can convert your computer screen into a home cinema while helping you keep track of all your favorite tunes, photos, movies, and TV shows.
The only problem is that Kodi users must rely on add-ons which are often peppered with flaws and malware that could turn your dream of free content into a nightmare. Did you know that a rogue subtitle file could cause malware mayhem or that crypto jackers could be mining your resources?
The best way to stay secure while using Kodi is by using one of the best VPNs for Kodi. Unfortunately, these all come at a price, albeit an affordable one, which may be off-putting for some. The perfect alternative, of course, would be a free VPN that works as effectively. Let’s find out whether such a mythical beast exists or if it’s merely a pipedream.
The Best Free VPN For Kodi
There’s a lot to like about TunnelBear, not least of which is its cutting-edge encryption and no-logging policy. The biggest problem with the TunnelBear free VPN service is that it’s limited to just 500 MB so, if you were hoping to watch the latest season of Game of Thrones, you probably won’t get past the lengthy opening credits. Fortunately, even free users can win themselves a little extra bandwidth by sharing their TunnelBear experiences on Twitter, which will gain them an additional 1 GB. Even then, however, it won’t be enough to streaming movies or TV series.
TunnelBear is a reputable VPN provider that has gone a long way to improving the public perception of free VPNs. Participating in the Center for Democracy and Technology’s Signals of a Trustworthy VPN initiative, TunnelBear states that “our free service gives people a way to try TunnelBear without having to provide any personal information and serves as a marketing tool, rather than a revenue generator”.
When it comes to privacy, TunnelBear is arguably the best free VPN for Kodi, and won’t collect any information, not even your IP address which Hotspot Shield clearly does, even if it doesn’t store or share it. TunnelBear is also exceptional in terms of its ease of use and attractive user interface which gives you a lot more than just the bare necessities. Free users get exactly the same benefits as premium users and can connect to any server while also having access to the VigilantBear ad blocker and the GhostBear feature which makes encrypted traffic behave less conspicuously.
Unlike Hotspot Shield, TunnelBear is compatible with almost every device, including Amazon Firesticks, although getting it installed on Kodi will require the intervention of the Kodi VPN manager add-on. Nevertheless, it’s straightforward and doesn’t require a degree in computer science and users get the additional benefits of super-cute graphics showing bears tunneling their way across the globe. Unfortunately, that won’t stop the buffering that is liable to disrupt your Kodi streaming experience.
While ProtonVPN’s free product will keep you safe and protect your privacy, it doesn’t go so far as to give you unlimited access to all its servers and being limited to just three could be counterproductive depending on your needs.
Once your account is set up, you’re in for more disappointment as the free service doesn’t work with Kodi directly and speeds are also pretty limited, making it difficult to stream without interruption. Having said that, when testing ProtonVPN’s free Windows app, Kodi worked smoothly and without a hitch, so there is a workaround that will give you Kodi access and protect everything else on your device at the same time.
Some aspects of ProtonVPN’s free package are excellent, as its encryption and kill switch, not to mention its unlimited bandwidth. Other aspects aren’t so appealing, like its tediously slow speeds when browsing and its lack of torrenting or P2P capabilities.
ProtonVPN doesn’t have the most imaginative user interface, but it’s a lot more user-friendly than Windscribe’s diminutive window. Users can also activate split tunneling so safe traffic can circumnavigate the VPN tunnel, helping to improve speeds while maintaining security where it’s needed.
While ProtonVPN is a good free VPN for Kodi, it may be too slow for streaming addicts, if you want to get robust protection for free, it’s an excellent choice and, even though it won’t work directly with Kodi, its cross-platform apps will protect the device as a whole, and therefore your Kodi content as well.
#3 Hotspot Shield
This VPN provider has both premium and free services available with its free VPN giving users 500 MB per day, amounting to an impressive 15 GB per month, which is a lot more than most other free VPNs. Unfortunately, getting Hotspot Shield working with Kodi isn’t the easiest, although, if you’re using a PC, Mac, Android or iOS device, you can download the appropriate app and protect all your activities, including streaming with Kodi.
If you’re looking for a free VPN for Kodi on an Amazon Firestick, a smart TV of any description, a Windows or Blackberry phone, Roku, Kindle, and various other devices, you’ll need to look elsewhere as Hotspot Shield is not compatible with these devices. Because Hotspot Shield uses its own proprietary VPN protocol, it can’t be configured for unsupported devices which is a serious drawback.
While free users can only connect to servers in the US, this means they can access all the Kodi extensions available in the US, although the Hotspot Shield Free VPN isn’t capable of circumnavigating geographical restrictions like those used by Netflix and other popular streaming sites. Nevertheless, testing the product proved that, on Windows at least, it will work with Kodi and at speeds fast enough to make streaming viable.
As with most free VPNs, Hotspot Shield isn’t quite as dedicated to user privacy as a paid alternative and users of the free option will have to accept the fact that there will be some element of logging, and a few adverts are liable to interrupt their Kodi moments.
Windscribe is one the fastest free VPNs to set up with Kodi or any other app or device. It has a huge array of apps designed to get along with the most common operating systems, and additional guides on how to get Windscribe up and running on devices like Amazon Fire TV and Nvidia Shield, as well as Kodi itself.
Although not quite as generous as Hotspot Shield, Windscribe’s nevertheless one of the most popular free VPN providers of the moment and it’s 10 GB free monthly data is sufficient for light users. Unfortunately, Windscribe’s free version doesn’t have the wherewithal to bypass content restrictions on Netflix or Hulu, for example, so while its bandwidth is generous, the content you can access isn’t.
Windscribe is as simple to use as it is quick to install, although it’s tiny user interface may be a bit of a stumbling block for those with less than 20/20 vision. It’s not the fastest when it comes to establishing a secure connection either but manages speeds fast enough to make it a good free VPN for Kodi.
Windscribe is one of the few free VPNs that gives users the additional security of a firewall, although, in reality, this is just a kill switch feature that most VPNs offer to safeguard your device and activity in the event of a VPN connection failure.
Despite its advantages, using Windscribe with Kodi was a frustrating experience during which the connection dropped several times and, even when connected, failed to play anything, even a short five-minute clip. Of course, this could be the fault of the internet connection itself, the wind speed or even a low-flying griffin except that, the moment we disconnected from Windscribe, everything started functioning normally again.
While there are some benefits of using Windscribe, particularly in terms of the amount of data you get for free, if you can’t use that data for streaming on Kodi as you’d planned, it proves pretty pointless in the end. Both Hotspot Shield and TunnelBear worked smoothly and effectively so if you’re not a patient person or a particularly adventurous one when it comes to technology, Windscribe is probably not the best choice.
Paid vs Free VPNs
It almost seems unfair to compare the free VPNs above with paid alternatives as the latter is always going to come up smelling of roses. Why? Well, primarily because you’ve paid for it! Every VPN provider needs to make money somehow and if they’re not doing it by charging you for its service, it’s probably doing it by some other means, many of which may not be advantageous to the user.
According to a recent report, “over half the most popular free VPN apps are run by secretive companies with hidden Chinese ownership. Very few do enough to earn the trust of the privacy-conscious”. Worrying, to say the least. Furthermore, with over 80% of free VPNs failing to provide comprehensive privacy policies, many users are lulled into a false sense of security while their VPN provider quietly tracks their online activity and lucratively shares it with third parties.
The best VPNs are those that are completely open and transparent about their parent companies, their approach to user privacy and the security measures they have in place. ExpressVPN leads the pack with its impressive zero-knowledge approach which guarantees users are not logged and that their information remains completely private at all times. ExpressVPN is so security-conscious, it can’t even hand over user information, like an IP or email address, simply because it doesn’t have access to that type of data.
Similarly, Surfshark VPN reduces user vulnerability by using private DNS on each of its servers to prevent leaks while its physical location in the British Virgin Islands means it’s not obliged to log or store any information about its users or their online activities. Even the best VPN for Kodi will struggle to compete with the likes of these VPN giants.
A Brief Guide to Kodi Security
One of the benefits of Kodi is that there are so many add-ons to choose from, including popular ones with a wealth of content, like The Magic Dragon and the once-technically challenged but now smooth-operating Loki. The only problem is, not all add-ons are legal, and using illegal ones, even by accident, could expose you to various cyber threats, from crypto-jacking to malware.
Even a free VPN for Kodi offers an effective way to safeguard yourself against the security flaws inherent in Kodi but is even more effective when paired with one of the best antivirus apps, which can help prevent infections and warn you about malicious add-ons. According to one cybersecurity expert, “often uninformed of the risks, users of this software are baited into trying something they think is free or cheap but comes with a hidden cost: malware”.
While cybersecurity tools like VPNs and antivirus software can help reduce the risk and minimize vulnerability, some level of user responsibility is also important. For example, using services like Hulu or Amazon may require you to install an extension to enable that content on Kodi and can cause additional vulnerabilities in your system.
Although free VPNs are always tempting, especially with their elaborate claims of high speeds and cutting-edge security, there is almost always a downside to the service, be it limited servers, slow speeds, or logging information that impacts negatively on user privacy.
While some free services, like TunnelBear VPN, for example, can do a decent job of keeping your IP address hidden and accessing blocked content, limited bandwidth means limited capabilities.
The add-on/repository infrastructure of Kodi is a benefit in that it gives users access to a huge range of content, but negative insofar as it has numerous security flaws. Cybersecurity tools, like ExpressVPN for example, can go a long way to limiting user vulnerability and protecting them against potential cybersecurity threats. A reliable antivirus is another important tool in terms of protecting you against malware bundled into Kodi add-ons.
Kodi users can help protect themselves against crypto-jacking and other cyber threats by avoiding unsecured and illegal add-ons and carefully assessing each one before downloading.
While the best free VPNs for Kodi can offer some level of protection, the limitations often make them unworkable, while the number of ineffective free VPNs means finding one that’s legitimate, effective, and dedicated to user privacy is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
For guaranteed online security and a safe Kodi viewing experience, a leading VPN like ExpressVPN or Surfshark VPN is a much better alternative and, with prices starting at just $1.99 per month, won’t leave too much of a hole in your bank account and, given the potential costs of a malware infection, represents excellent value for money.