What is Kodi?
Kodi is the most powerful app of its kind and is available for a vast number of devices. It is a home theatre app by nature, and it has pushed the meaning of this to the limits through the enormous amount of developers who spotted its potential to be much more early on.
It has been around for almost 15-years and was initially called XBMC and was for turning Xboxes into media players. At this time, it played XBMC movies from a user’s gaming box or on their PC.
In 2010 there was a massive change inside the XBMC; it was here the use of third-party add-ons was introduced. Now users could tune into free TV streaming. This created a lot of attention and then came legal troubles.
In 2014 there was a switch to get away from the legal worries, gone was XBMC, Kodi was the new name, and the app is still growing to this day.
Now with Kodi and these add-ons, viewers can tap into thousands of free movies and TV shows. This now attracts even more attention than before, and the add-ons face a continual clampdown.
In this Kodi review, we take a look at how to use it, and how to get the best from it while protecting yourself against any form of prosecution.
- What is Kodi?
- Kodi Uses
- How to Install Kodi
- What is the Best Kodi Build?
- What are Kodi Add-ons and Repositories?
- What are Kodi Skins?
- Is Kodi Legal?
- Why you need to use Kodi Anonymously
- How to Use a VPN with Kodi
Kodi streaming is only a small portion of what Kodi is capable of doing. It offers so much more functionality on your device, to see what it is capable of.
You might think how does Kodi work aside from just watching online content, so, here are some of the things you can use it for.
- Movies and TV shows – All of your libraries can be stored and viewed using Kodi rather than other media players. All of your files are listed with artwork and detailed information of each title you have saved. You can stream free movies from any location, or any device.
- Music – If music is your thing, a Kodi media box makes a great audio player, you can sort and filter music in any way you wish. Lists or tracks playing are also shown with visualisations or band artwork, song listings and group information.
- Web Interfaces – These web interfaces can be used inside the Kodi app; these interfaces expand how Kodi works. They enable you to connect to different services, a good example being to install add-ons, connect to a home media hub (Wi-Fi) or to connect a remote control.
- UPnP – Kodi isn’t restricted to just playing content from the device where it is stored. Connect two computers, and either computer can view the other content library.
- Live TV and PVR – You can use Kodi as your primary TV internet box; this enables the chance to watch live TV shows and the opportunity to record these shows or movies.
Pictures – This is one of the Kodi features which isn’t used to its fullest, Kodi can be used to access your photo library. Now there is no need to have a second app installed to create your photo albums.
- AirPlay Streaming – This is Apples streaming technology; it is compatible with macOS and iOS. Kodi supports this so you can easily stream content from your Apple device to your smart TV device where Kodi is installed.
How to Install Kodi
Kodi is compatible with a massive number of devices; these are desktop-based like Kodi on PC or mobile devices and to an Amazon FireStick. This makes it a fantastic option for media on the go, as long as you have a decent internet connection or a supply of stored media.
This isn’t a Kodi for dummies run down as it is straightforward to install on most devices, the most complicated being Kodi on Mac or other Apple devices, this though Kodi for beginners can show how to install it on all devices.
Before a short Kodi tutorial on how to install Kodi on other devices, we will show the basic Kodi instructions on how to install the Kodi app for Windows.
Official Kodi Requirements
As mentioned, Kodi runs on a vast number of devices, older PC hardware included. However, there are specific requirements to make your Kodi experience pleasant.
With the latest version of Kodi (Leia 18) close to being released, you should check the requirements below to make sure your Kodi system requirements are sufficient.
- Windows Version – Windows 7 or higher. XP became unsupported 3 years ago.
- CPU – Nearly all x86 or x64 processors are sufficient to run Kodi. Intel or AMD processors made in the last 10 years are sufficient.
- RAM – Obviously more is better, but the minimum requirement is 1GB of RAM with 2GB being the recommended minimum.
- GPU – Any device that has support for DirectX 9 is supported, this is most hardware which spans back over the last 10 years.
- Hard Disk Space – the Kodi app requires up to 200Mb of space on its own. For streaming only you need around 500Mb, but if you have your digital library, this can quickly amount to terabytes for some users.
Install Kodi on Windows
Option 1: Via the Official Site
This takes a look at how to download Kodi and then install it via the exe file from the official Kodi web page. There is a second option for Windows users which will be looked at after.
- First is the downloading of Kodi’s installation file.
- Navigate to official page kodi.tv/download. This has all the various files for differing versions.
- Click on the Windows icon to open the Windows download page; this shows the versions available.
- It doesn’t matter if you’re using Windows 10 or a version back to Win 7, there is a single EXE file used to install Kodi.
- Navigate to Release > Installer (32bit). You’ll see another button here named ‘Windows Store’. Ignore that for now.
- Your Kodi installation file will download. It’s only around 80Mb in size so it shouldn’t take long.
- When downloaded, navigate to your download location.
- Double-click on the Kodi EXE file. Now the installation wizard begins. Just follow the steps until the installation has finished. You’ll see the option to run Kodi. Check this then finalise the installation.
- That’s all you need to install Kodi on a PC.
Note* There are two branches. Release and Nightly select the release branch. The other is development versions which are still in development.
Option 2: Install Kodi via the Windows Store
You can also install Kodi by using the Windows Store. This isn’t applicable for Win 7 users.
- Open the Windows Store. Launch the Start Menu and type ‘Store’. Windows will search for Windows Store. Click its icon to open.
- Use the store’s search field. Enter ‘Kodi’ and hit Enter. You will see different results, select the app created by the XBMC Foundation.
- Once you click on the Kodi icon, all you need to do is to click the ‘Get’ button.
- This way, Kodi is downloaded and installed in the background.
You might wonder why there are two ways to install Kodi; in some instances, apps are restricted from the Windows store. Kodi is the same whichever way you install it. For new users, option 2 and the windows store can be the easier way to set-up Kodi, and to keep it updated automatically.
Installing Kodi on Other Devices
Not all Kodi installation methods are the same; here is a brief rundown of installation methods of how to configure Kodi on the main other platforms users use for streaming.
Setting up Kodi on FireStick needs you to allow the FireStick to accept third-party applications.
This method uses an app called Downloader.
- Navigate to the top left of the screen on your Fire TV, enter the search option. Type Downloader and then install it.
- In the Downloader home screen enter Kodi’s URL: http://kodi.tv. Then continue.
- After installation scroll down until you see the Android icon (Green robot)
- Next, find the blue button which says: ARMV7A (32BIT)’.
- Click and wait while the download completes.
- A new pop-up is shown, press on install in the bottom RH corner.
- Once done, click open, and you are ready.
Kodi on MacOS
The Steps are similar to how to install Kodi on Mac, navigate to the official site and download the DMG file. Once downloaded, install this to your Mac applications folder.
To install Kodi on Mac, open the downloads folder and then you will see the blue Kodi Icon. Drag and drop this to your applications folder and wait for the installation to finish.
Kodi for Android
This can be added via the Google Play Store – installation is automatic.
Kodi for iOS
This is the most challenging method and requires the use of third-party developer tools to install the Kodi app on your iOS device.
You can be using an Amazon TV box which functions the same way as the FireStick or a dedicated Kodi box setup which makes it an easier option to run Kodi on a regular TV or a Kodi Apple TV.
These Kodi boxes can all require a slightly differing installation method. The Kodi complete set-up is pretty similar between many devices and only differs in the way the device functions.
What is the Best Kodi Build?
For new users or users who like to make use of many different add-ons, there is an easier way of installing these than doing so one-by-one. Setting up Kodi can be almost automated by using one of the vast numbers of Kodi builds.
These are a great way of filling Kodi with all the add-ons you need, and newer users can save lots of time by not having to read Kodi tutorials on all of the differing add-ons, and how to install them.
The question is, which Kodi build do you opt for? To help you decide, here are a few of the latest
Kodi build options which still work and provide a plethora of content.
- BK Nox Build – This gives your Kodi a sci-fi interface and brings with it Nemesis, Skynet, Pure Sports, Maverick and many other great Kodi add-ons.
- Maze Kodi Build – This is a newish build which makes use of the Aeon Nox Skin and weighs in at only 178Mb. This is coupled with some of the best-trusted add-ons currently available such as Maverick TV, Placenta Rebirth, Supremacy, A kids zone and live TV.
- Durex Kodi Build – This build keeps coming in the top 3 build lists of Kodi software. It brings many popular add-ons such as Argon live TV, Pure Sports, Neptune Rising, Uranus. It is also one of the fastest builds available.
- Fire TV Guru Kodi build – With the Xonfire skin being used, it presents users with a clean interface. It is available in the TV guru repository. To install it you need to use the fire TV wizard. Its primary focus is on movies; TV shows live TV and sports.
What are Kodi Add-ons and Repositories?
Add-ons to Kodi are self-explanatory, these are additional bits of software which bring changes or differing uses to Kodi.
They are much like Kodi programs which can deliver more content, or change the usability of Kodi or perform maintenance tasks along with many other things that developers consider worth introducing to Kodi.
Some of the Kodi add-ons available might only perform specific tasks, and a good example being a Kodi add-on for anime. This would only deal with finding anime-streams rather than accessing regular movies or TV shows.
Here is a quick look at 5 of the best Kodi add-ons for specific functionality:
- Best for TV – cCloud TV provides viewers with countless options when it comes to Kodi TV channels. A lot of these are from the UK and the USA. It also has many other sections and includes a none English/ International section that allows streams from around the globe. (Here’s how to install cCloud TV Kodi)
- Best Add-on for Android – Mobdro is the number one add-on for Android; it offers plenty of free streams directly to your Android device. It does have 2 very minor drawbacks; the first is you need to enter a pin every 4-hours, although this isn’t a big thing, the second is they have 2 versions, a premium one (paid for) and a freemium version which contains ads. This aside, for streams from around the globe, it is the very best of TV streaming apps on the go.
- Best for Sports – The name continually gets mentioned around the Kodi community. SportsDevil has been around for ages and comes with many sports categories which lead you to live sporting events and much more. Because of the popularity of this add-on, it is the favoured sports access Kodi add-on you can find.
- Best for Movies – After sports, this is one of the most significant reasons users turn to Kodi, and not to disappoint Genesis Reborn. If you have a good enough connection, this best movie app for Kodi allows you to stream 4k or HD content. (Here’s how to install Genesis)
- Best for Cartoons – Cartoon Crazy has to be one of the top Kodi apps for kids. It has plenty of cartoon content, and even adults can like it for the number of anime streams it contains. Just on the anime side, there are over 25,000 episodes you have access to, many of these already dubbed into English.
All these add-ons deal with content, but as mentioned, there are plenty which offers maintenance such as the fantastic Ares Wizard, with this you can even tweak your connection to prevent buffering, clean the cache etc.
Now, how to get Kodi add-ons? This is where repos (repositories) come into play. These are the homes of all the add-ons you can find. They are websites where these add-ons are accessed from.
- Super Repo
- Kodil Repo
- Maverick TV
To keep ahead of the clampdowns, many add-ons change repos; this means their addresses might differ when you look how to install apps on Kodi.
There are some top-class repos which contain many add-ons, here are some of the best repos which offer everything from sport, maintenance to some of the best TV streaming apps currently available. (Check out our top repositories for Kodi guide)
What are Kodi Skins?
Skins for merely change the aesthetics of the Kodi screen and don’t offer much to the overall functionality. This being said, some of the best Kodi skins can make the Kodi app run faster. This can be a great way to improve the overall experience of older or underpowered hardware.
When choosing a skin for Kodi, you need to look at your Kodi version. For quick reference, here are Kodi 17 skins which can transform your Kodi app.
- Aeon Nox
- Xperience 1080
- Black Glass Nova
One of the best not included on the above list is Amber. This is one of the best skins for Kodi which runs on older devices while making the experience a joy to use.
Is Kodi Legal?
For all Aussie movie buffs who use Kodi, there is one massive question which is continually asked. Is Kodi legal in Australia? The answer to this is not so clear-cut as it should be, and much of this comes down to the wording in the laws.
Downloading of copyrighted material is illegal, and is illegal in many other countries apart from
With this though, users aren’t downloading any content by using the add-ons in Kodi, and because of this, it leaves the distinction between what is legal, and what isn’t.
It is for this area of uncertainty users of Kodi should take precautions; other countries such as the UK have already banned the sale of Kodi boxes on Amazon and eBay. (Read more on the recent Kodi crackdown)
Why you need to use Kodi Anonymously
Following on from the previous section, we will look at why you need to use Kodi anonymously in Australia.
All through the Kodi add-ons which have been produced, there are many which have been victims of a Kodi crackdown. Hence the banning of Kodi boxes being sold in the UK.
The problem stemming from this, and even if the law leaves a grey area in Australia, your ISP monitors what you are accessing when you’re online. They can see all the websites you visit, streaming content you access and much, much more.
To top this, data retention laws in Australia is currently standing at 2-years for your ISP. When the clampdown begins filtering down to end-users of Kodi, governing bodies are not shy at handing out copyright infringement notices for prosecution.
With all this, Kodi as an application is legal, it is the add-ons and the content they serve, which are the problem.
How to Use a VPN with Kodi
There are two methods of using a VPN with Kodi. One is the official method, and as Kodi is so flexible in its operation, there is an unofficial Kodi VPN add-on.
Here are both methods of how to use a VPN, but first, you should check which VPN meets your needs.
Here are the 3 Best VPN for Kodi
Installing your VPN to Work with Kodi
Here we will look at 2 ways of doing this:
- Sign up for your VPN of choice.
- Receive an email with login and password details.
- Download and install the client app.
- Before opening Kodi start your VPN client
- Make sure you are connected – some VPN’s have an optimum server connection. For geo-blocked content, change the server. e.g. US Netflix – change server to a US server.
- Open your Kodi app
- Now all of your systems are protected.
Any of the three VPN providers don’t recommend this because it doesn’t protect all of your devices; it only secures your connection form Kodi.
Now, let’s look at the steps on how to install VPN on Kodi.
- Download the Zomboided Repository.
- Launch your Kodi app.
- Click the ‘Settings’ icon.
- On the home screen, select Add-ons.
- Click on the Package Installer Icon in the top left corner.
- Navigate to where you placed the Zomboided repo. Select install
- Wait for the add-on enabled notification.
- Select Install from the repository.
- Select the Zomboided Add-on Repository.
- Select Services > VPN Manager for OpenVPN > then Install.
- Wait for the notification
- When prompted to set up a VPN provider, click ‘OK’.
- Choose your VPN Provider from the Configuration Window.
- Enter your VPN account’s Username and Password.
- Now go to the VPN Connections tap > First VPN Connection
- The VPN Manager now attempts to establish a connection to your VPN provider. If successful, you’ll see a list of all the VPN server locations your provider offers.
- Select the VPN server that suits you most.
- A popup message appears that gives details of your new IP address and the VPN server.
Kodi won’t play anything
This can be down to your connection, or there is a problem with the Kodi streams sources. On many occasions, this can be when the add-on no longer works (taken down).
Kodi website down
If the site is down, it won’t affect your viewing. All you can do is wait until the problem is fixed. There are many other places you can search for Kodi help if needed
Kodi won’t play movies
This is more often than not a source problem. It is advisable to try another add-on to see if that resolves the issue. This can be the same for any media and not just movies.
How to update Kodi
For Windows, go to the website and select the latest version of the Kodi app. This overwrites the old version but keeps your Kodi settings as they were
How to clear the cache on Kodi
Many of the maintenance add-ons can perform this function much easier than doing it manually. Install Ares Wizard and look for the clear cache option.
How to reset Kodi
You can install the Indigo add-on in the same way regular add-ons are installed. Go to Program add-ons then click on Indigo. Select Factory restore in the menu and click on yes.
How to get subtitles on Kodi
Download a subtitle add-on, install the same way as an add-on. Install from repo then select Opensubtitles.org. (this needs an account to be created) Pause your movie or show and use the right key to choose the subtitle option. Hit enter and then select download subtitles.
How to restart Kodi
If Kodi freezes in Windows, you need to open your ‘task manager’ Ctrl + alt + delete. Select the Kodi entry in the list and then end task. One it has closed, click on the icon to restart.
Why is Kodi so slow
This can be the sign of too many add-ons or repos installed. These run in the background. Delete unneeded add-ons and repos. Go to My add-ons right-click, select information and click uninstall from the next menu.
How to Reboot Kodi
For the FireStick, disconnect the cord from the device and wait a few seconds. Plug it back in and restart. The remote can also be used.
Press and hold select and play/ pause buttons at the same time for 5 seconds