In case you’re interested in expanding your knowledge on Kodi, or if you’re an inexperienced user, you’ve come to the right place. Here at TechNadu, we are passionate users of this application and we are always happy to help. By the end of this article, you won’t only get to know what is Kodi but more than that. Welcome to our Kodi 101 guide!
Before we dive deeper, here’s an overview of what to expect. You will get to learn what is Kodi, how you can use it, how to install this application, and how to take full advantage of this amazing home theater software. So, let’s jump right in.
Disclaimer: We will be talking about software developed for Kodi – which is based on open-source code. However, the following software comes from unofficial third-parties. In addition, it is publicly available and free of charge. TechNadu doesn’t claim any responsibility for how our readers decide to utilize the following software. Please note that we don’t condone sharing pirated content and copyright infringement. TechNadu is not affiliated with the software mentioned in this article in no way. Make sure to carefully read the above-said disclaimer and ensure the proper use of the software.
WARNING: Before You Continue…
Even without your explicit consent, your ISP (Internet Service Provider) is collecting and filtering your Web browser data. This means that using Kodi to stream copyrighted content might get you into legal trouble. Also, your ISP might block access to specific streams, which leads to Kodi errors, or entirely blocked and throttled streaming. This is why users of Kodi should always use a VPN to make sure their identity and privacy are protected while streaming.
TechNadu’s editorial team uses and strongly recommends ExpressVPN. This is, by far, the fastest and most reliable VPN with the power to unblock any website and service. Once activated, ExpressVPN encrypts your Web traffic and makes it anonymous – keeping it away from your ISP’s prying eyes. In fact, you will become invisible on the Web since your user logs, and your traffic history isn’t stored on any server.
Make sure your Web browsing and streaming aren’t used against you. Subscribe to ExpressVPN and enjoy using Kodi without any restrictions!
Kodi 101: The Basics
Before we start digging any deeper, it’s important to know the basics about Kodi. We will talk about the possible uses of Kodi, what this application can do, as well as why you should consider using it. This will help us to build a sturdy foundation that we’ll easily expand soon.
What is Kodi?
At its core, Kodi is a home theater software. This means that it’s designed to play your family movie clips, commercial movies, music, photos, and more. As such, it can be installed on a wide range of devices. This includes computers, smartphones, tablets, media streaming devices, and even compatible TVs.
There is also another way to look at Kodi. You probably already have a selection of media stored on your computer. However, these files are stored in different locations. For example, you keep your music in one folder, your movies in another, and your photos in some third-party application. Well, Kodi can replace all of those applications. Instead of having your media library all over your computer, you can keep all your files (and play them) within Kodi. Sounds interesting, right? Keep on reading to learn more.
What Can Kodi Do?
Kodi can store and play a whole bunch of files. This includes video files, music, and photos. However, what’s interesting to note is that Kodi can be used to organize those files. This means that Kodi acts as a playable media library.
Once you add the movies you already own, Kodi will add plenty of additional information by downloading them from the Web. For example, those are movie posters, information about actors, synopsis, tags, and more. So, if you click on an actor’s name, you can see all your movies where that actor stars. In other words, Kodi is an incredibly intuitive application that does a lot on its own.
We also shouldn’t forget to mention that there are addons for Kodi. These act as applications within Kodi and can perform all kinds of things. The majority of them are designed to stream media from the Web. Therefore, you can install Kodi on your smart TV and stream files without occupying any storage space.
Why Do You Need Kodi?
Being such a comprehensive application, Kodi is being used for different purposes. However, here are some of the possible reasons why you might need Kodi.
- You want to store your personal media collection and play it;
- Next, you might want to finally organize your family’s media and keep it on an external hard drive. Then, you can connect the drive to your TV (with Kodi installed) and play it whenever you want;
- Finally, maybe you’ve decided to go cord cutting. Kodi can be an excellent way to watch on-demand videos as well as live TV over the Web.
As you can see, there are many different uses for this application. No matter which category you belong to, keep on reading to discover more.
What the Future Holds for Kodi?
At the moment, developers behind Kodi are working on a brand new, major version of this application. More precisely, Kodi 18.0 Leia is getting closer to the release date as we speak. Aside from the highly polished interface, Google Assistant integration, and voice input, we expect from the new Kodi to be better than ever before.
Kodi 101: How to Install Kodi?
As you can imagine, the first step to using Kodi is installing it on your preferred device. This application brings an incredibly wide compatibility with different platforms, systems, and devices. It is safe to say that pretty much every popular device is covered. Here are TechNadu’s installation guides.
- Desktop Platforms: You can install Kodi on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Click on any of the links to check out detailed installation guides;
- Mobile Platforms: Kodi can be installed on Android, Chromebook computers, as well as on iOS. You should know that there’s the official version for Android available via Google’s Play Store. However, you’ll have to be a bit creative to install Kodi on an iPhone or iPad. There is an official iOS app, but you’ll need to use developer tools to ‘sideload’ the app;
- Media Streaming Devices: If you own one of the popular media streaming devices, there’s a chance that your run Kodi natively. If not, there’s a way to use screen mirroring and share Kodi from your computer. Here’s how to install Kodi on Roku, Nvidia Shield TV, Razer Forge TV, Apple TV, and Amazon Firestick devices;
- Gaming Consoles: At the moment, you can install Kodi on Xbox One. This goes for both of the currently available models (Xbox One S and X);
- Other Devices: You might be surprised to know that you can install Kodi on Raspberry Pi. In fact, this can a good way to dive into the world of mini-computers since you can build your own. Finally, you can also install Kodi on compatible smart TV models.
How to Update Kodi?
You should know that Kodi doesn’t come with an automatic updater. This might be surprising to hear, but there’s no way to update the application using a built-in tool. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t update Kodi.
What you need to do is to repeat the installation steps. This includes downloading a new version from the Web and installing it over the existing installation. This will update Kodi without deleting your media library files. For more information, make sure to read our guide on how to update Kodi.
Kodi 101: Initial Configuration
After installing Kodi, there are a couple of things you need to do. First, you need to create a media library using the files you already own. Then, we’ll talk about configuring settings and making sure your Kodi runs at its best.
How to Create a Media Library in Kodi?
Once you install Kodi on your device of choice, you will be greeted by its beautiful interface. However, the application will be empty. Therefore, the first step is to populate its library with the content your already own. So, let’s take a look at how to create a media library in Kodi.
- First, organize your videos into folders and then import videos to Kodi. Use the provided link to learn how it’s done;
- The same applies to music. Since this application works with a huge variety of music files, you can even play some exotic file types. Here’s how to add music to Kodi;
- A certain portion of Kodi users doesn’t know that you can create rich photo libraries and use Kodi to preview them. Learn how to add photos to Kodi.
How to Configure Settings in Kodi?
Once you have your Kodi up and running, you can visit its Settings and make sure the application runs the way you want it to. For example, this could be setting up a new language, making sure your Kodi can speak with other devices, and disabling unneeded options. You can find helpful advice on how to do all of this and more in our Beginner’s Guide to Kodi. If this is the first time you’re using this application, we highly recommend checking out our Beginner’s Guide.
Kodi 101: Addons, Skins, Builds, and Repositories
Until now, we told you how to install Kodi and how to populate its library with your media. Now, it’s time to begin talking about advanced features. This is where terms like addons, skins, builds, and repositories come into play. Let’s break this down into easily digestible bits.
What Are Skins for Kodi?
As their name implies, skins bring a fresh coat of paint over your default Kodi UI. Even though we believe that Kodi looks amazing on its own, not all of us like the same things. Since Kodi is based on open-source code, this means that third-party developers are free to contribute.
You first need to know what skins can do. In essence, these bring a bunch of cosmetic changes. However, these changes can be quite dramatic. You can completely change how Kodi looks like, including the position of its menus, typography, and the way information is presented. So, it’s best if you know what to look for instead of trying out different skins on your own. Therefore, here’s our guide on the best Kodi skins, freshly updated.
What are Addons for Kodi?
You can think of addons as apps that run within Kodi. These can do all kinds of things. For example, you can stream media from the Web, watch live TV programs, perform maintenance tasks, or use addons to install other addons. Here’s an interesting piece of news – the upcoming Kodi version will let you stream retro games. Yes, you read that right. You will be able to use Kodi for some light gaming. Sounds amazing, right?
How to Install Kodi Addons?
There are three ways to install addons for Kodi. Since this depends on an addon, we are dedicated to bringing detailed installation guide for every addon that we review. Here’s what you need to know:
- Kodi brings a large set of official addons. These are approved by the team behind Kodi and you can install it within the application itself;
- Then, there are unofficial addons. These addons are created by volunteering developers who dedicate their time and effort into creating and maintaining their addons. In addition, you install them from a Web location. In simple terms, they are not the easiest thing to install. However, you’ll see that it’s manageable once you install one or two addons;
- Finally, there’s also a third way to install unofficial addons. You can use the newly launched GitHub browser. Use the provided link to check out that installation method.
IMPORTANT: Before you proceed with downloading and installing addons, you need to make sure that your Kodi accepts third-party software creations. So, make sure to know how to enable unknown sources on Kodi. Use the provided link to read our quick guide.
Which Kodi Addons to Try?
There are hundreds of available addons. However, not all of them work as they should. That is where TechNadu comes into play. We test newly released addons and check if they work. If that’s the case, we provide detailed installation instructions so you know how to install them. For starters, we highly recommend you to check out the best Kodi addons you can find at the moment. Then, you can start to expand your collection.
- We have numerous movie-related addons as well as IPTV addons and live TV addons. These let you watch on-demand videos and live-stream TV channels from all around the world. Also, you can check out addons for documentaries;
- Then, there are live sports Kodi addons. In case there’s a sports discipline you like to follow, check out some of the following guides: NFL addons, WWE addons, MLB addons, UFC addons, boxing addons. Finally, you can also watch football on Kodi;
- We also shouldn’t forget to mention carton addons for Kodi, and there are also addons for anime content;
- Next, why not check out some of the niche options? For example, Kodi addons for Chinese movies, Bollywood addons, Korean addons, as well as Tamil Kodi addons;
- Last but not the least, here are the best HD video addons. And if your Internet connection is capable enough, you can dive into 4K Kodi addons.
How to Uninstall Kodi Addons?
Even when you think that you’ve found the perfect Kodi addon, you will find something better around the corner. This is why it’s important to know how to uninstall addons so they don’t take precious space. Here’s our guide on how to uninstall Kodi addons.
What Are Kodi Repositories?
In case you’ve tried to install any of the previously mentioned addons, you saw that they come with an important requirement. The most important piece of information when installing third-party addons is a Web address (URL). That’s because you instruct your Kodi to use a certain URL to look for a ZIP file. This URL and the ZIP file acts as a repository – a place that hosts numerous addons.
Even though they are a complete necessity when installing addons, repositories tend to change over time. They can stop working, forcing you to look for an alternative. This is why, here at TechNadu, we want to bring the latest and the most up-to-date repositories. So, go ahead and check out some of the best repositories for Kodi – recently updated.
After installing a repository, you need to open it in your Kodi and discover a number of different addons. This is how you can try them on your own – and perhaps discover the next best thing.
What Are Builds for Kodi?
Finally, we mustn’t forget to mention Kodi builds. After all, these are the main reason why numerous Kodi users install and use this application on their devices. Before we continue, we first need to make sure that you understand what are repositories, addons, skins, and builds. So, here’s a quick rundown:
- Repositories are URLs that contain ZIP files. Once you add one of those URLs to your Kodi, you add a repository that can contain hundreds of installable addons;
- Addons are apps within Kodi. They can let you stream on-demand videos, watch live television, perform maintenance scripts, and more;
- Skins are cosmetic changes to your Kodi’s user interface. They can change the way Kodi looks like and they can bring new kinds of functionalities. However, they don’t bring any content to Kodi;
- Builds are combinations of addons and skins. Instead of manually downloading a bunch of addons, you can install one of the available builds. This is how your Kodi will be transformed thanks to an all-new skin, and you will have access to dozens of addons. As you can see, this can save you a lot of time and effort when installing Kodi for the first time.
If you’d like to try a new build, we recommend checking out the best builds for Kodi. This is where you’ll find an up-to-date list of the best builds.
Kodi 101: Troubleshooting
In general, we don’t expect you to face a lot of troubles with Kodi. The application is highly polished and works great even on older machines. However, certain problems may arise. These can be noticeable when installing a bunch of different addons. In case you’re having any issues with these, here’s what you need to know:
- First, make sure to clear cache on Kodi. Use the provided link to learn how to install an addon named Indigo. This is a very helpful maintenance tool;
- Next, there’s also a well-known Failed to Install a Dependency error. This one usually happens when installing third-party addons. Go to the provided link to check for a solution;
- In case you can’t find a solution using our previously mentioned articles, we have another solution for you. Read our Kodi Troubleshooting Guide, where you’ll find a bunch of fixes to the most common issues with this application.
Kodi 101: The Legality of Kodi
Many of you might be wondering if Kodi is legal to use. After all, we have been hearing a lot of troublesome news lately. For example, a product named TickBox TV is having legal troubles. In addition, officials from the UK government are determined to fight Kodi boxes. And there were reports that some Kodi addons contain malware. This is why we wanted to clear your doubts and see what’s legal about Kodi and what isn’t.
In our article on how to use Kodi legally, we talked about the ‘safe side’ of Kodi. On its own, this application is perfectly safe for use. That’s because it’s designed to host your own media collection. However, problems arise when third-party addons come into play. These tend to use copyrighted material on the Web, which means that you shouldn’t use them. However, there are numerous grey areas surrounding Kodi. For example, it might be legal to stream a movie that you’ve previously purchased. It all depends on where you live, and what is your country’s stance on streaming and sharing digital content. To stay safe, and to keep your personal data hidden, Kodi users are advised to use VPN applications. Continue reading to learn more about there.
What Are VPNs?
Simply said, VPNs are applications that keep your Web browsing protected. As such, they create secure Internet connections that can’t be tracked by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). You can see how helpful these can be, especially since we’ve been hearing that some users started to receive copyright infringement notices from their ISPs. However, the role of VPNs goes beyond that;
- First and foremost, VPNs encrypt your connection. This means that all your Internet traffic is staying private and can’t be read by your ISPs. Here’s what you need to know about VPN encryption;
- In addition, VPNs bring a different set of protocols. Thanks to these, you can watch geo-restricted content and visit websites that might be censored in your country. Here’s additional info on VPN protocols;
- Finally, you should know that there are free and paid VPN applications. We strongly recommend using a premium VPN (which can be quite affordable) to make sure you’re protected.
When it comes to choosing a VPN, you first need to know about the very best Kodi VPN applications. This is where you will find five recommended options. Then, you can read our VPN Buyer’s Guide to make sure that a chosen VPN fits all your needs. Finally, you can check out how to install VPN on Kodi, the easy way.
Once you have a VPN application running alongside Kodi, there’s nothing to worry about. In fact, your new VPN won’t only protect your Kodi but your entire Internet connection as well.
Are Kodi Boxes Legal to Use?
Even though we can agree that Kodi exists in a legally grey area, that’s not the case with Kodi boxes. Just recently, there were two lawsuits against resellers of Kodi boxes. In addition, a product named Dragon Box has been sued by major Hollywood studios. However, you need to know that we haven’t heard of individual lawsuits aimed at Kodi users. In general, anti-piracy groups are targeting resellers of Kodi boxes, as of now.
What Are Kodi Boxes?
Let’s take a look at what are Kodi boxes, in the first place. We want you to know this because the majority of news surrounding the legality of Kodi have a lot to do with Kodi boxes.
In essence, Kodi boxes are nothing more than Android-powered set-top boxes. Since these devices run on Android, this means that you can install and run Kodi, natively. This is where numerous resellers come into play. They use Android set-top boxes, install Kodi and a bunch of addons – and they advertise this product as the ultimate way to watch TV, free of charge. This is a very clever marketing message since the majority of Kodi users find legal streaming to be overpriced. As you can imagine, those resellers are purposely advertising content piracy, which is what gets them into trouble.
In case you’d like to check out some of the best legal Kodi boxes, use the provided link. This is where you’ll see affordable ways to cut the cord. In case you pick a media streamer that doesn’t have a remote, don’t worry. Here’s how to setup Kodi remote on iOS and Android.
Is it Legal to Buy a Kodi Box?
Yes, it is completely legal to buy a Kodi box. That’s because it’s completely up to you how you decide to use it. For example, maybe you want a Kodi box so that you can store your own content. Or, you simply don’t want to install Kodi on your own, and you need an already prepared solution. Therefore, you are free to buy a Kodi box – but steer away from problematic addons.
Those who might get into trouble are those who sell Kodi boxes – especially if those devices come equipped with piracy-related addons and builds. For more information, read our article on if it’s legal to buy a Kodi box.
Dear Kodi fans, that’s would be it! We gave our best to explain what is Kodi, and how to take full advantage of this amazing applications. In case there’s anything you’d like to add, please use the comments section found below.