"Team Kodi do not support, or recommend VPNs, and Kodi does not need one for its designed operation. The forums have not to be used for the discussion or promotion of VPNs for the purposes of bypassing geo-locking or accessing unlawful material. Any more generic discussions not in violation of the policy will be moved to the off-topic section, but will remain open for replies".
What is a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a client/server configuration used to extend a private network across the public internet via a secure tunnel. It allows the connected device to send and receive data across the public network as if it was connected to the private network.
Here we can break VPNs down into two categories:
- Corporate and personal VPNs - these allow access to a specific private network, be it the internal corporate intranet of a company or the local home LAN of the user. In both cases the servers are self-administered and reside within the private network itself.
- Commercial VPNs - these are paid-for (or sometimes "free") services that can be obtained on a subscription basis, and are not under the control of the user but often provide multiple servers in many locations as "jumping off" points so the user can have their device appear to be connected in a number of different countries.
Why use a VPN?
There are three reasons why VPNs are commonly used:
- To provide an IP address in another domain or country (where the device is in a different location to the server, the device will get an IP address from the location of the server, which could be a different country).
- To hide the activities and traceability of the local device.
- To secure a connection over an uncontrolled or insecure public network where other users (or the provider) could use tools to spy on the device's connection.
Why does Kodi need a VPN?
In short, it doesn't.
The use of a VPN to defeat geo-locking of a source (limitation of access to the IP address range of the local country of the source) is not something Team Kodi supports on this forum (reason 1 above), as such support is not a basic function of Kodi. Further, using a VPN to try and hide access to known illegal sources (pirated media torrents most commonly, or those blocked by ISPs under court order) violates the piracy policy.
Usage of a home-brew VPN server/client set-up to access media stored on your home network would be an acceptable usage, however it is assumed that anyone capable of setting up such a server would also be capable of supporting it. If assistance is needed in such cases then forums dedicated to the VPN software itself should be used to get help.
- Our policy for the forum is that we do not support them as Kodi does not need one to be used as intended. Any issue arising from their usage should be raised with the VPN provider, especially for commercial ones (you're paying for support as well as access). And any issues with Kodi that are caused by VPN usage are not supported - if the issue remains without using one then report it.
- We do not allow promotion or recommendation of commercial VPN services ("free" or subscription) as any such commercial promotion is already a violation of our Forum rules. Any such posts and links will be removed, and accounts created solely for the purpose will be banned as spammers.
- The use of VPNs to overcome geo-locking and other location restrictions put in place by legal and legitimate media providers is not supported by the Team, and discussion on this topic is not allowed on the forum (neither requests for support nor tutorials on how to do it).
- Whilst VPN add-ons are not classed as banned addons, their advertisement, promotion or support is not allowed here. Any thread requesting or providing such an add-on will be removed. Devices with them installed are still supported on the forum, provided that they otherwise do not violate the piracy policy in other ways.
- And remember, any VPN is only as secure and as trustworthy as the people providing it. And if it's a commercial entity they may still keep logs which can be obtained by law authorities or be used for other commercial purposes. And if it's a "free" VPN that goes double as they won't be providing the service from the goodness of their hearts. Nor are any VPN entirely and completely private and secure.
- General VPN related posts which do not violate the policy will be moved to off-topic but will remain open for replies.