Should I Use Kodi? Is it Legal and Safe?

Updated on October 19, 2023
Should I Use Kodi? Is it Legal and Safe?

Kodi is a robust and flexible media player that opens up a world of possibilities for movie and television buffs in an age where online streaming has become a vital part of our entertainment landscape.

However, this level of influence comes with consequences. Kodi’s extensive ecosystem of third-party add-ons, repositories, and customization tools provides users with a wide range of entertainment alternatives but also opens them up to potential security threats and legal problems.

If you’re new to Kodi and want to learn how to get the most out of it or an advanced user who wants to ensure you’re always in compliance with the law, this guide is undoubtedly for you.

What Is Kodi?

Kodi, formerly known as XBMC (Xbox Media Center), is a versatile, open-source media player and entertainment hub that has gained immense popularity among media enthusiasts. It is a software application designed to serve as a central platform for managing and playing your media content, including movies, TV shows, music, photos, etc.

Kodi can transform any device, such as a computer, smartphone, Roku, or even a Raspberry Pi, into a powerful and customizable media center.

At its core, Kodi offers a user-friendly interface that organizes and displays your media libraries, making it easy to access your favorite content. It supports various file formats and codecs, ensuring compatibility with multiple media sources.

Kodi is not just a media player; it also integrates with various add-ons and plugins that extend its functionality, allowing users to stream content from multiple sources, access online services, and even play games.

Is Kodi Safe?

Kodi itself is considered safe to use for its intended purpose as a media player and content management platform. It is open-source software developed and maintained by a community of volunteers. When you download Kodi from the official website and use it for managing your personal media library, it poses no inherent safety or security risks.

Should I Use Kodi?

The decision to use Kodi largely depends on your entertainment needs and preferences. Kodi can be a fantastic choice if you want a centralized platform to manage and enjoy your media collection. Here are some key reasons why you might consider using Kodi:

  • Customization: Kodi is highly customizable, allowing you to tailor the interface, add-ons, and skins to your liking. This level of flexibility enables you to create a personalized media center that suits your specific needs.
  • Multi-Platform Compatibility: Kodi supports many operating systems, making it accessible on almost any device. Whether you’re using Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, or even a smart TV, you can install Kodi.
  • Media Management: Kodi’s robust media library management system helps you easily organize and access your files. It automatically scrapes metadata, including movie posters and TV show information, to make your content visually appealing and easily searchable.
  • Kodi Add-Ons: Kodi’s extensive library of add-ons enhances its functionality. You can use add-ons to access online streaming services, live TV, sports, music, and more. These add-ons enrich your entertainment options.
  • Community Support: The Kodi community is vast and active. If you encounter issues or have questions, you can find assistance on forums and support channels.

Is Kodi Legal?

Kodi itself is entirely legal software. It is an open-source project developed to provide users with a legitimate means of managing and enjoying their media libraries. Using Kodi to organize and play your locally stored media is unquestionably legal.

The potential legal concerns associated with Kodi arise when users venture into the realm of third-party add-ons and repositories. While Kodi is not responsible for the content these add-ons provide, some users may choose to install and use add-ons that access copyrighted or pirated content without proper authorization. This is where the legal gray area exists, and all Kodi users should know it.

It is crucial to understand that copyright laws vary by country, and the legality of streaming or downloading copyrighted content differs worldwide. While some countries may have more lenient policies, others enforce strict copyright regulations.

To ensure you are using Kodi legally, follow these guidelines:

  • Stick to Official Add-Ons: Kodi offers a selection of official add-ons compliant with copyright regulations and legal content distribution.
  • Respect Copyright Laws: Avoid using third-party add-ons that provide access to copyrighted material without the necessary permissions. Engaging in piracy can lead to legal consequences.

Why You Need a VPN for Kodi

Why You Need a VPN for Kodi

Using a VPN with Kodi is a smart choice for several reasons. While Kodi is a legal and open-source media player, third-party add-ons can sometimes enter into a legal gray area. Here’s why you might need a VPN when using Kodi:

1.   Privacy and Security

Kodi users often access content from various sources, including third-party add-ons and streaming services. Your internet traffic is exposed without a VPN, enabling your ISP, government agencies, or hackers to monitor your online activities.

A VPN encrypts your internet connection, creating a secure and private tunnel for your data to pass through. This means your online activities, like the content you stream on Kodi, remain confidential and inaccessible to prying eyes.

2.   Geo-Restrictions

Many streaming services and websites enforce geo-restrictions, limiting content access to specific regions. A VPN lets you connect to servers in different countries, effectively “changing” your virtual location.

This allows you to bypass these geo-restrictions and access content as if in a different region. For Kodi users who want to enjoy content from around the world, a VPN is an invaluable tool.

3.   Anonymity

Your IP address is a unique identifier that can reveal your location and identity. A VPN masks your actual IP address with that of the VPN server you connect to. This hides your real identity and makes it challenging for anyone to trace your online activities back to you.

Anonymity is crucial, especially when using Kodi to stream content from various sources, some of which may have questionable legality.

4.   Preventing Throttling

Some ISPs throttle or intentionally slow down internet connections when they detect high data usage. This can lead to buffering issues and decreased streaming quality, frustrating Kodi users.

When you use a VPN, your ISP cannot easily detect the type of data you’re transmitting, making it less likely for them to throttle your connection. This ensures smoother streaming experiences, even when consuming large amounts of data.

5.   Accessing Kodi Safely

Using Kodi for legitimate purposes, such as managing your media library, is entirely legal. However, third-party add-ons can introduce legal uncertainties, as these add-ons might provide access to copyrighted content without proper authorization.

Using a VPN for kodi adds an extra layer of security to your online activities. This helps protect you from potential legal issues and ensures your privacy remains intact.

Are Kodi and third-party add-ons legal?

Are Kodi and third-party add-ons legal?

The legality of Kodi and third-party add-ons varies from country to country. Here’s an overview of the legal status of Kodi and third-party add-ons in different regions:

United Kingdom

Kodi is unquestionably legal and commonly used for media management in the United Kingdom. However, using third-party add-ons to access copyrighted content without permission violates copyright law. Users who engage in such activities may face legal consequences.

United States

In the United States, Kodi is widely recognized as legal software for legitimate purposes, such as organizing and enjoying your personal media collection. Nevertheless, using third-party add-ons to stream copyrighted content without proper authorization is unequivocally against copyright law.

It is important to note that in the U.S., copyright enforcement actions have been taken against individuals and entities that distribute or promote such add-ons.


Canada shares a similar stance with the U.S. in that Kodi is legal for personal media management. However, using third-party add-ons to stream copyrighted material without authorization exists in a legal gray area.

While flexible in some respects, Canadian copyright law still places copyright protection at its core. Consequently, some add-on developers have faced legal action.


Kodi is considered legal for personal use in Australia, providing a platform for managing media content. Nevertheless, using third-party add-ons to access copyrighted content without the appropriate permissions is a breach of copyright law.

Australia has a robust framework for copyright protection, and engaging in such activities may lead to legal consequences.


Kodi is legal for personal media management in India, similar to many other countries. However, using third-party add-ons to access copyrighted content without proper authorization is not in compliance with copyright law. India has established copyright regulations to protect the rights of content creators and owners.

TVAddons, Fusion, and legal alternatives

TVAddons and Fusion were once popular repositories for Kodi add-ons, offering a diverse range of third-party extensions. However, due to their involvement in hosting add-ons that provided access to copyrighted content without proper authorization, TVAddons and Fusion faced legal challenges.

Consequently, they have significantly reduced their offerings and faced legal action in various jurisdictions.

For Kodi users seeking legal alternatives to third-party add-ons, several official Kodi repositories and add-ons adhere to copyright regulations and offer a wide variety of content. Here are some noteworthy legal Kodi add-ons:

1.   YouTube

The official YouTube add-on provides access to an extensive library of user-generated content, including music videos, tutorials, vlogs, and more. As one of the most popular streaming platforms, YouTube offers a wide array of content, all within the bounds of copyright law.

2.   Tubi TV

Tubi TV is a legal, ad-supported streaming service offering diverse movies and TV shows. With Tubi TV’s official Kodi add-on, you can enjoy various genres and content while adhering to copyright regulations.

3.   Crunchyroll

For anime enthusiasts, Crunchyroll offers a vast selection of officially licensed anime and manga content. The Crunchyroll Kodi add-on is the perfect way to access this content legally and support the anime industry.

4.   BBC iPlayer

If you’re in the United Kingdom, the official BBC iPlayer add-on grants you access to a treasure trove of BBC’s TV and radio content. It’s a legal way to enjoy British programming and catch up on the latest shows.

Security Concerns with Kodi?

Security Concerns with Kodi

Kodi is a powerful media player and content management platform, but like any software, it has security concerns. Understanding and addressing these concerns is essential for a safe and enjoyable Kodi experience. Here are some of the critical security issues associated with Kodi:

Man-in-the-middle attacks

Man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks are a potential risk when using Kodi, especially if downloading and installing Kodi builds, add-ons, or repositories from unofficial sources. In an MITM attack, an attacker intercepts communication between your Kodi installation and the add-on or repository server.

It can allow the attacker to inject malicious code or capture your data, compromising privacy and security.

To mitigate MITM attacks, always download add-ons and repositories from reputable sources and use encrypted connections when possible. Consider using AstrillVPN to encrypt your internet traffic, making it more challenging for attackers to intercept and manipulate your data.

Malicious add-ons

One of Kodi’s most significant security concerns is using malicious add-ons. While the official Kodi repository offers many safe and legitimate add-ons, some third-party repositories may host add-ons that contain malware or collect user data without consent. These add-ons can pose serious security risks, including privacy breaches.

To protect yourself from malicious add-ons:

  • Stick to the official Kodi repository and well-known, trusted sources for add-ons.
  • Regularly review the permissions requested by add-ons and be cautious if they request excessive access to your system.
  • Keep your Kodi installation and add-ons updated, as developers often release security updates.

Devices with Kodi pre-installed

Some pre-configured devices or “fully loaded” Kodi boxes have add-ons and repositories that facilitate access to copyrighted content without proper authorization. These devices may be illegal in many regions and pose security risks. Pre-installed Kodi devices may contain hidden malware, and their sources are often unverified.

It’s best to purchase a reputable, blank device and install Kodi from the official website. This ensures complete control over the content and add-ons you install, reducing security risks associated with pre-configured devices.

ISP snooping

Your internet service provider (ISP) can monitor your online activities, including using Kodi. While using Kodi for legitimate purposes is entirely legal, ISPs may throttle your internet connection if they detect excessive data usage. This can lead to buffering and slower streaming experiences.

To prevent ISP snooping and throttling, consider using a VPN. AstrillVPN encrypts your internet traffic and hides your activities from your ISP, ensuring a smoother and more private Kodi experience.

Crackdown on Kodi and Fully Loaded Kodi Boxes Users

An operation in the United Kingdom in 2021 was aimed at illegal TV streaming, clearly showing that piracy is a serious crime. As part of this nationwide crackdown, cease and desist notices were issued to individuals suspected of providing illicit streaming services. The operation targeted properties in several regions, including Essex, Hertfordshire, West Yorkshire, and Pembrokeshire, underscoring the widespread nature of the issue.

The focus of these actions was on devices like IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) and Kodi boxes, which have gained popularity in recent years for their ability to enable users to stream premium TV content, including services like Netflix and live sports, often at a fraction of the cost of legitimate subscriptions.

Kieron Sharp, Chief Executive of the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), stressed the gravity of the situation. He emphasized that piracy constitutes fraud, and those seeking financial gain through such activities should be aware that law enforcement agencies are taking their actions seriously.

The crackdown came after a series of enforcement actions against individuals and businesses distributing these devices. One notable case from Teesside in 2017 involved Brian Thompson, a Kodi box trader, who faced legal consequences for selling these devices from his store, Cutprice Tomo’s TVs, located on Parliament Road.

The efforts to combat illegal TV streaming reflect the commitment of authorities to uphold copyright laws and protect the interests of content creators and rights holders.

Is Kodi completely free?

Kodi is an open-source and free media player software, meaning that the core Kodi software is entirely free to download and use. It is developed by a community of volunteers and distributed under an open-source license.

However, it’s important to note that while Kodi itself is free, the cost of using it may come from other sources. Here are some aspects to consider:

1.   Add-Ons

Many add-ons and plugins for Kodi are also free, and they extend the functionality of Kodi by providing access to various types of content. However, some add-ons may require subscriptions or have premium features that come with a cost.

2.   Content

The cost of content is separate from Kodi itself. For example, if you purchase or rent movies or subscribe to streaming services, you’ll incur charges associated with the content you access through Kodi.

3.   Hardware

While the Kodi software is free, you’ll need compatible hardware to run it. This can include a computer, smartphone, or dedicated media center device. The cost of the hardware depends on your preferences and requirements.


Is Kodi safe from hackers?

Kodi is a safe media player, but its safety depends on how you use it. Beware of third-party add-ons and repositories, as some may contain security vulnerabilities.

Is Kodi still the best?

Kodi remains a top choice for media management and customization. Its reputation as the best depends on individual preferences and needs.

Is Kodi better than VLC?

Kodi and VLC serve different purposes, as Kodi is a media center for organizing and streaming content, while VLC is primarily a media player.

Do I need a VPN with Kodi?

Using a VPN with Kodi is advisable, especially if you stream content from third-party add-ons or want to enhance privacy and security.

Is Kodi legal in UAE?

The legality of Kodi in the UAE is unclear. While the core Kodi software is legal, using third-party add-ons for copyrighted content can be problematic. Users in the UAE should exercise caution and consider the legal implications.

Who owns Kodi?

Kodi is an open-source project without a single owner. It is managed by the XBMC Foundation, a non-profit organization, and its development and maintenance involve a community of volunteers worldwide.

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About The Author

Arsalan Rathore

Arsalan Rathore is a tech geek who loves to pen down his thoughts and views on cybersecurity, technology innovation, entertainment, and social issues. He likes sharing his thoughts about the emerging tech trends in the market and also loves discussing online privacy issues.

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