It looks like 2017 is all about cutting cords and ditching cable TV, as more and more people are switching to online streaming. One of the alternatives, Kodi, has been experiencing a booming popularity recently, counting millions of users worldwide.
Kodi, previously known as XBMC, is a free and open-source media player application that runs on a set top box, connected to your TV device, so you could enjoy movie theater perks in the comfort of your own home. Kodi lets you play music, podcasts, watch movies, videos, TV shows and stream live TV – essentially, almost any type of media content from your local library or the Internet. The application is constantly modified and updated by coders’ community with lists of over 1000 various add-ons that enhance the player’s functionality. They can all be accessed through official Kodi repository that is monitored and reviewed by the Kodi team.
Kodi’s legality is a bit controversial. The Kodi software itself is legal, but the third-party add-ons are what make things complicated. There are a lot of add-ons available in unofficial repositories that allow live sport broadcasting and access to the newest movies or TV series, in other words, the content that people should be paying for. Streaming of copyrighted content from unauthorized sources is a violation, and users engaged in such activities can be easily detected by their ISP, if no safety measures are taken. The answer to the question whether it is legal or not strongly depends on what the Kodi application is used for.
One of the main reasons for making Kodi so popular is that it brings ultimate flexibility to your TV watching experience due to its full control of content you want to see. However, geo-restrictions do apply for particular channels possibly making your favorite shows not available in your country. The good news is, you can safely bypass these restrictions and enjoy your favorite channels with a VPN service, like NordVPN, enabled. By hiding the real IP address and assigning a new IP address in another location selected from a list of VPN servers, giving you access to geo-blocked content.
In order to stream media on your TV via Kodi, you will also need a set top box. Kodi does not make any of its’ own, but there are plenty options in the market to choose from. Some recommended picks worth considering:
You should be aware that some sellers offer set top boxes pre-loaded with Kodi software and pirate add-ons, making subscription TV channels available to watch for free. Selling such fully loaded boxes is illegal, as they violate the copyright laws by providing unauthorized access to copyrighted content.
Being open-source, Kodi is not only available for improvement, but it also opens up to everyone with the know-how and bad intentions. Due to its’ growing popularity, Kodi has become a target for hackers and scammers attacks against users’ privacy. Here are some other risks to be aware of:
So if KODI is the player of your choice, we recommend to take all safety measures to prevent any privacy threats. Start by getting a VPN service, which keeps your online activity private by encrypting Internet traffic, hiding the IP address and protecting your sensitive data from being exposed. Careful selection of add-ons, a VPN service enabled, and staying away from pre-loaded boxes will help you be on the safe side when enjoying media streaming with Kodi.