Kodi The Ultimate Open Source Home Theater Software
Have you ever wondered that you will be able to stream whole lot of content variety through a single streaming player? No, right! Well, nobody thought so and that is what Kodi has done!
It has set a great standard, which is not easy to compete. Kodi and its add-ons allow users to stream movies, TV shows, Cartoons, Sports, News and many other live content varieties through a single platform.
Having earned a great reputation, Kodi is well renowned throughout the globe and a true streaming geek would have definitely used Kodi once in his life.
What is Kodi?
Kodi is an open-source media streaming application developed by XBMC foundation, 14 years ago. Kodi allows binge watchers and steaming geeks to watch their favorite movies, TV shows, Live TV, News, Live sports events, Music, Cartoons and much more. Kodi gained popularity because of the versatile content availability through its add-ons.
Numerous online streaming services available can be used for streaming variety of content but their limitations are the reason people do not opt for them. Streaming services like Hulu and Amazon are giants but Kodi being a software application has taken over them in online streaming race and audience coverage because of its capability of customization and its diversity.
Kodi‘s diversity is not only related to its content but also with the platforms and devices that it can be used with. Kodi can be installed in almost every device and almost every operating system. The official website of XBMC software is Kodi.tv
When was the last time you witnessed a single streaming application that can be used on various operating systems and applications like Windows, Android, Linux, iOS, Fire TV, Xbox, Roku, Raspberry Pi and on smart TVs?
This is the real competitive advantage that Kodi has over others.
Kodi has hundreds of add-ons that enable users to watch their favorite content in HD quality through a single click. The best thing about Kodi is that the Kodi add-ons available are dedicated add-ons for every category that makes it easy for users to choose any add-on that suits their needs.
There are specific Kodi add-ons for different regions that provide streams for that particular region, diversifying the Kodi using audience. This diversity of XBMC is why it has earned such a great reputation amongst people.
What Can You Stream/Watch on Kodi?
On Kodi, You can stream or watch almost everything that you can watch on your cable or satellite TV. It has a wide range of add-ons, each providing you a large variety of channels and streams to choose from.
Kodi provides its users access to live channels from various regions, allowing them to access streams of the content that is not available on their TV in their region. Unlike other online streaming devices like Amazon FireStick and Chromecast, XBMC does not host apps but it has add-ons which can be used to stream the content.
There are two types of add-ons:
- Official Add-ons
Add-ons, which are licensed by the content distributors and require subscription fee because the streams they provide are broadcasted and owned by them and they are not involved piracy. These add-ons are readily available in the official Kodi add-on repository.
You will not have to look for it anywhere on the web simply go to the Add-ons section and in there, open the add-on browser, go to Install from Repository option and the Kodi Add-on Repository will be there in front of you.
- Unofficial Add-ons
XBMC foundation or any certified and licensed company does not develop unofficial Add-ons, but freelancing developers and programmers develop these unofficial kodi addons.
Sounds like Piracy!
Yes, it does fall under the piracy flag because this is an upfront copyright infringement. However, it is not necessary that every third-party add-on of Kodi might be involved in piracy, because there are a few add-ons that offer premium-streaming links.
Now you would be wondering, why anyone would use a third-party add-on!
Well, the reason is quite simple and worth agreeing to! These add-ons are subscription-free and provide quality streams from almost every channel and for every content category. This reason is welcomed by many binge watchers and streaming geeks because they get the access to everything they wish to see, hence they opt for such add-ons.
After knowing that the content on these add-ons is free and are somewhat illegal, you might be thinking whether there is a way around for using these add-ons or not. Well, there is a safe way of using these add-ons and that is by using a good and trustable VPN service that provides quality security because there should be no compromise on digital freedom.
The legality issues and concerned raised against Kodi because of these add-ons is elaborated below. Make sure you go through them well.
Kodi is officially available on different platforms; here is the list with their download links:
|Windows||Download Kodi for Windows|
|OSX / iOS / MacOS||Download Kodi for OSX/iOS ; Download Kodi for MacOS|
|Android||Download Kodi for Android|
|Linux||Download Kodi for Linux|
|Raspberry Pi||Download Kodi for Raspberry Pi|
Installing Kodi and its add-ons on these platforms is very easy and in case you need any help, you can refer to our Kodi installation guides.
However, Kodi can be installed on a few other platforms as well. Yes, Unofficially!
Following are the unofficial platforms on which Kodi can be installed and I have linked my installation guides for those platforms for your convenience:
Installing Kodi on these devices is a bit complex that is why you can simply click on them and you will land on the installation guides.
Is Kodi Legal?
Kodi itself is legal in every aspect and the question regarding Kodi’s legality should be termed Null and void now. Because there have been many debates over it and many clarifications have been provided by streaming geeks and online privacy advocates.
The root cause of all these legality concerns over Kodi were raised because of the fiasco created by these third-party add-ons. Due to their involvement in piracy, allegations on Kodi were made and XBMC foundation had to face a lot of backlash over it.
Many regions imposed a strict ban over numerous streams and add-ons and some of them even started monitoring the sale and purchase of Kodi boxes.
But that didn’t stop there!
The authorities also started monitoring the use of Kodi software and Kodi boxes around the world and things started to worsen for the people selling illegal Kodi boxes when Regulatory bodies and content producers jumped in this pit.
Want to know the major regions which made strict moves against Kodi and Piracy; look at the list below:
Is Kodi Legal in Canada?
Kodi itself is legal in Canada but the sale of fully loaded Kodi boxes is illegal! Note that!
Few companies in Canada thought that selling Fully Loaded Kodi boxes would be fun and profitable without having the slightest of hunch what could go wrong. Fully loaded Kodi boxes are simply the Kodi boxes that have third-party add-ons or unofficial streaming content pre-loaded in them. Using such Kodi boxes is illegal because this falls under the banner of piracy.
Retailers and sellers like ITVBOX.NET, My Electronics, Android Bros Inc., WatchNSaveNow Inc and MTLFreeTV are the popular names amongst those who sold these fully loaded Kodi boxes.
These retailers and sellers of fully loaded Kodi boxes were confronted with lawsuits from the content producers and owners like Rogers Communications, Bell, Videotron and a few others.
The ban imposed by the Federal Court is still intact and no one is allowed to sell, buy or use any fully loaded Kodi boxes. The level of customization Kodi has is a bit alarming and hard to control for the authorities. One of the most prominent name to face legal actions was TV Add-ons, who had to shut his official domain down because of the federal notices.
However, old habits die-hard and that is why he has returned in the industry with a new domain. We will have to see how longer that survives.
Kodi is no longer a part of the niche market but rather a highlighted topic in terms of online streaming and piracy.
Not sure whether this is causing a trouble for the XBMC foundation or if it is a blessing for Kodi’s popularity.
Is Kodi Legal in USA?
USA is considered the largest potential market for online streamers and binge watchers and hence Kodi has been very popular in this region. However, the US government has called for strict actions against all those people engaged in illegal streaming and online piracy.
Even Hollywood has stood up against illegal use of XBMC!
Authorities have been very observant and are following a very harsh crackdown against people selling illegal Kodi boxes. Nevertheless, the use of Kodi software and its official add-ons is still legal and safe to use.
Many third-party Kodi add-on developers have received notices and warnings from the authorities and they have shut their services down in return.
Even eBay and Amazon have banned the sale of such Kodi boxes on their websites and the president of the US has called for a strict action against illegal streaming. Even the best social platform for selling these device; Facebook, has made it clear that selling such illegal stuff on Facebook is strictly not allowed.
Is Kodi Legal in Australia ?
Anti-piracy authority has been very active in Australia for past few years and has been doing crackdowns against the torrent sites and illegal streaming platforms. Recently, they attempted to try to minimize the usage of Bit torrent in their region, however they were not as successful as they expected. They were able to minimize and overall number of 20% newbie torrent users but the geeks were not discouraged at all.
Now they have started improvising their plan of action and have now shifted their focus more towards the fully loaded Kodi boxes which are illegal to sell all over the world.
Make no mistake about it, Kodi itself is legal in Australia, we are only talking about fully loaded Kodi boxes.
Recently, The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment and other partners have joined hands together in the operation against the illegal IPTV services providing streams for movies and TV shows without any copyrights. Anti-piracy authorities have also started targeting distributors of illegal Kodi boxes as well as users.
Is Kodi Legal in UK ?
A large number of audience uses Kodi and other online streaming service in UK. It is indeed a highly potential and cash generating region for such services. However, ever since the trend of online piracy has risen, authorities have their guards up and strict laws and legislations have been taken into consideration.
According a research carried out in the region, more than 5 million users use Kodi at their homes. Judging from this fact, we can gauge the amount of users that might be involved in copyright infringement and piracy.
UK has made its anti-piracy laws stricter and the jail sentences in such instances have been increased. Recently, Newcastle Crown court has sentenced four and a half years jail to two men who were involved in selling fully loaded Kodi boxes.
Both John Dodds and Jason Richards have confessed to it and according to the reports coming in, the both have sold hundreds of illegal Kodi boxes for streaming English premier league. UK is a region that is crazy for football and their own premier league is famous all over the world. These suspects were apprehended following the complaints filed by the Premier League.
Government agencies and anti-piracy authorities of all these regions are very much active right now in controlling online piracy and illegal streaming. UK Intellectual Property office and European Court of Justice have been very active in bringing the illegal streaming operations down.
Users who use Kodi and its third-party XBMC add-ons need to be safe and that can only happen by with the help of a VPN service. A protected network allows users to stream and surf the web without any fear of getting in trouble.
How to Use Kodi?
Kodi has a very well simple and organized interface that everyone can easily use and understand. Installing add-ons is quite simple and can be done within a few minutes. If you want to install an official add-on, you can simply do so by going to the official Kodi add-on repository that comes pre-installed.
You can access this repository by going to the Add-ons menu and clicking on the package installer icon. It will open a new window where you will see “Install from Repository option”, click on it and you will see a list of all the repositories. From here, you can go to the Kodi Add-ons repository and install all the official add-ons that you want to use.
Once you have installed the add-ons, you can enjoy streaming with them by simply going to the add-ons menu. The Add-ons menu has several categories like:
Just go to the category that your Add-on belongs to and you will easily find it there in the list. Most of the add-ons used for streaming are from the Video Add-ons category. However, the maintenance tools and respective add-ons are placed in the Program Add-ons category.
Other than this, if you wish to install third-party Kodi add-ons then you need to download their repositories. You can do so by following two methods:
Install Kodi Add-ons: Adding Repository Source
To install any add-on by adding repository source, follow these steps:
- Open Kodi on your device.
- Go to the settings menu by clicking on the gear icon present on the top of the left hand menu.
- Open File Manager from this menu.
- Now you will see Add Source option, click on the option from the left-hand list.
- A dialogue box will open; you will see fields for source URL and Name. Type the repository URL and Click OK.
- Then give a name to this source and Click OK.
- Recheck both entered values and Click OK again to close the dialogue box.
- Now return to the Kodi home screen.
- Head to the Add-ons menu by clicking on the Add-ons tab from the left hand column.
- Click on the Package installer icon (box shaped icon) from the top left corner.
- A new menu will open, click on “Install from Zip file”
- Scroll down the list and select the source by the name you added earlier. The folder will open and it will have a zip file, click on it and wait for a few seconds until a notification appears.
- Now click on the Install from Repository option, scroll the list, and open the repository you have downloaded for your respective add-on.
- Select your desired add-on and click Install.
The add-on will be installed and a notification will appear. Now you can easily access the add-on from the Add-ons menu.
Some of the best official Kodi Add-ons to try:
- Eurosport Player
- ESPN 3
- BBC iPlayer
Other than this, if you are looking for some third-party add-ons for streaming free content, try these:
- Neptune Rising
- Joker Sports
- Kick Off
- Pulse Fitness
- Ultimate IPTV
You can also install Kodi builds, which are a great way avoiding hassles like installing each add-on one by one. Builds are large in size and they have certain Kodi add-ons pre-installed in them. Users can easily choose whichever build has their desired add-ons in them and then they can easily install that build by following the same procedure illustrated above.
Builds do save time but they also cover a lot of system memory. I personally do not prefer Kodi builds because my experience with a few Kodi builds has not been very great as they slow down Kodi. However, a few builds run great and provide seamless streaming experience.
Another great thing users can try is Kodi skins, to modify their Kodi interface. Skins give a great new look to the Kodi dashboard and helps users to customize their Kodi as much as they want, the way they like.
Install Kodi Add-ons: Direct Download Method
Another way of installing an add-on is by downloading its repository Zip file directly from the source website and then installing it. This is relatively a short method and the geeks call it a Direct Download Method. Here is the procedure of installing any add-on with direct download method:
- Download the Repository Zip file on your Device.
- Run Kodi on your device and go the Add-ons menu.
- Click on the Package installer icon from the top left corner of your screen.
- Now click on Install from Zip file option.
- Browse the system and open the downloaded zip file. The repository will be installed and a notification will appear.
- Once the notification appears, click on Install from Repository option.
- Now open your downloaded repository and select the add-on of your choice.
- Now click Install and wait until the Add-on enabled notification appears.
There you have your add-on enabled via Direct Download method. Most of the users tend to install add-ons by using this method because is short and simple.
Kodi Reviews Reddit and Twitter
Kodi has a great fan following all around the globe. However, the reviews over Kodi are somewhat mixed as there are people who enjoy using Kodi and on the other hand, there are people who are against it. Take a look at these tweets and Reddit threads to see how people feel about Kodi.
Look at the positive side first
Lets jump ahead to some negative thoughts on Kodi.
|| Haha I’m on the episode where it’s Keith and jules wedding but I can’t watch them cause my mom has this device called Kodi it’s illegal to have them it stopped working on me half way through the episode of 16 so it sucks I gotta wait a week on Monday to try get the boxset. xD
— Nᴀᴛʜᴀɴ Sᴄᴏᴛᴛ (@NBAHotShot) August 19, 2018
Someone should tell this lad that Kodi is totally legal!
Here is a sensible statement, summed up everything in one sentence:
All Kodi boxes are legal – it's what someone puts in them that may be illegal.
— simonmel (@simonmel5) August 14, 2018
Kodi is a galaxy in itself as it enables users to go beyond the imagination. Its plugins and add-ons are what make it a thing beauty, allowing users to enjoy their favorite content from all around the world with a single click.
Kodi has set a benchmark in the online streaming and media playing industry, which is not easy to surpass. It does not matter how much the competitors of Kodi try to outrun it, the feedom it has provided to streamers can never be matched.