Are you among those who wonders that is Kodi illegal to use and want to find out more about it? Here’s a complete breakdown of everything you need to know about the open-source media streaming platform and the complexity around its legal status.
In the past decade, there has been a tectonic shift in the way users across the world enjoy entertaining content. The growth of infrastructure across developed nations, and the advent of wireless high-speed internet connectivity has paved way for online streaming entertainment. In a world of premium subscription services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and many others, Kodi media player has risen in popularity. Although Kodi is entirely different from the pay-to-view subscription entertainment services, the ability to stream content online is what has put so much focus on this open-source media streaming platform lately.
As the popularity of Kodi media player has risen, several Kodi media boxes for home entertainment have become readily available in the market. There are certain aspects of this platform that have come under scrutiny over the years, especially the ability of Kodi that allows you to install “Add-ons”. Some of the popular Kodi add-ons have been identified to distribute pirated content, which has led to serious crackdown from federal authorities. However, Kodi media player continues to hold it legal status, so here’s what you need to know about the media platform, is Kodi illegal to use with your devices, and everything in between.
To learn how to install Kodi on your devices, read some of our key guides:
The Backstory of Kodi
When the original Microsoft Xbox came out back in the year 2001, it came with a host of multimedia streaming features. However, Microsoft did not design the original Xbox for this purpose and kept these elements of the system on a lockdown. The Xbox user community, however, wanted more from the gaming console, which is why the concept of the XBMC (Xbox Media Center) was brought to life. As the community for an all-in-one media streaming platform has grown, Kodi has become increasingly popular, but attracted both, raving positive feedback, along with negative attention as well, raising the question that is Kodi illegal to use in the first place.
The strong demand for an open-source media player such as Kodi has attracted plenty of attention worldwide, which is why you can install the platform on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and even low-powered micro-computer devices like the Raspberry Pi. The software is now more than a decade old, but the millions-strong community behind it ensures that the service stays up to date at each and every step. More than just a streaming platform, Kodi comes with multi-format support, allowing you to connect all of your smart devices to a singular hub over the web.
Kodi is 100% Legal
Before you proceed any further to understand the clouded opinions around the legality of Kodi, we’re here to confirm that the Kodi media player is legal. The standalone open-source software, separated from its questionable and third-party add-ons, remains safe and legal to use. If Kodi media player in general was questionable in any way, you would not be able to find versions of the Kodi media player app on the official Windows Store, Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and other mainstream app marketplaces.
The question that is Kodi illegal comes into place due to the recent wave of bans on Kodi streaming devices. Popular online e-commerce websites such as Amazon have recently taken a stance against the streaming devices being sold on its website, which comes with Kodi pre-installed and ready for use. However, these Kodi media streaming boxes also come with a bunch of third-party Kodi add-ons installed right out of the box. Most of these add-ons are not endorsed by Kodi is any way, due to the fact that they allow users to access copyright content.
The open-source nature of Kodi allows developers to create and deploy their very own Kodi add-ons, which brings the ability to watch movies, live TV and more. Kodi media player may aid in the distribution of such content, but the XMBC Foundation behind it, neither endorses, nor advocates for the use of Kodi in such manner. Regardless of whether you find the ability to watch movies and TV shows freely using Kodi objectionable or not, the media streaming platform is absolutely legal to use.
How to use Kodi Legally
For those who want to take official route and want to use Kodi the way it is actually intended to be used, there are plenty of great things you can do. Rather than focusing on the shady add-ons that are available by the dozens, here’s how you can make the most out of the media player without having to wonder that is Kodi illegal to use freely:
Watching Local Content
While the tens of thousands of Kodi add-ons have bundled together an ocean of possibilities for the user, the core aspect of Kodi continues to be the same. The media streaming platform was, and still is intended to be a way for you to access, manage, and view content that you already have available. Read our guide that cover the best Kodi Addons.
Kodi media player gives you the ability to connect directly to services such as DirectTV NOW, Netflix, and many others, allowing you to legally stream content on Kodi using your premium subscription account. Additionally, if you own the original boxset to a movie or a TV show, you can watch it online using Kodi without any concerns.
Official Kodi Add-ons
The world of Kodi add-ons may have been taken over by a wave of unauthorized repositories, but XBMC Foundation continues to keep the dream of genuine and 100% legal Kodi add-ons alive. The official repository for add-ons by Kodi hosts thousands of plugins that can be installed directly from the Kodi media player itself and updated automatically.
You can find a wide range of entertainment Kodi add-ons for YouTube, music streaming through SoundCloud, enjoy open-source emulators for retro gaming, get direct access to the news through official broadcast add-ons as well. The add-ons included in the official Kodi repository are vetted by the developers, so you can rest assured knowing that they are official made available and legal to use at all times.
ExpressVPN for Kodi is Essential
So you’ve decided to try out the numerous add-ons available for Kodi media player, even if some of them may lie is the gray area. We’re not here to judge, but before you go ahead and start using some of the popular unofficial Kodi add-ons that are available, you need to be prepared for it. For most of the Kodi add-ons that offer premium entertainment content for free, you should have your guard up and employee a VPN service. By keeping your viewing experience anonymous at all times using a VPN, you can keep your online activity hidden from your ISP and prevent being flagged.
We recommend using ExpressVPN for Kodi due to the range of features that are tailored for you to have a satisfying viewing experience. Several Kodi add-ons are region-restricted to the United States, so enjoying them may not be a possible for users residing in other countries. ExpressVPN offers remote servers in more than a dozen countries across the globe, so you can set up a virtual location and browse anonymously from anywhere at any time. With military-grade encryption that has been put in place by ExpressVPN, you don’t have to worry about your browsing activities being flagged by your ISP or the federal authorities.
Since ExpressVPN is also available as a cross-platform service just like Kodi, you can install it on your Windows PC, Max OS X, Android, iOS, and even streaming devices such as Amazon Fire TV and Android TV devices. Because you’re going to use Kodi for media streaming, you need a VPN service that does not hinder the data transfer speeds. Compared to most VPN services out there, ExpressVPN has been tested to have little to no effect on the upload and download speeds across the different servers, making it the right choice for streaming entertaining content.
From being just a method to use the original Xbox as a media player, to becoming a global sensation in online media management – Kodi sure has come a long way. Out of all the open-source entertainment platforms out there, Kodi has been the one that has steadily grown with each passing year. The recent crackdown on the long list of Kodi streaming boxes has certainly put a dent in the reputation that Kodi media player has built. If the recent headlines have started to make you wonder that is Kodi illegal to use, then you don’t need to worry one bit, since Kodi media player is completely legal.
Do you use Kodi media player within its legal limitations with only the official Kodi add-ons, or have you decided to dive into the sea of unofficial Kodi add-ons that bring services such as live TV, movies, and TV shows for free? If you have any questions regarding Kodi or any of its related features, just ask away in the comments section down below, and we’ll get back to you right away.