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5 Best Kodi Alternatives to Stream Content for Free in October 2021

Updated on: September 23, 2021

Best Kodi Alternatives

In the world of digital media streaming, Kodi has certainly made a name for itself.

Kodi is an open-source media player (not a media server) that lets you view your photos, watch videos, and access your podcasts, music, and favorite digital media files from the web or from your local network — all in one place.

Kodi supports third-party plug-ins, offering more than 985 official add-ons that can give users even more great features and content to enjoy.

The Kodi media center software is compatible with a range of platforms and operating systems, such as Android, Windows, Mac OS X, tvOS (Apple TV), iOS, Linux, and even the tiny Raspberry Pi devices.

Kodi TV homepage

While Kodi is a completely legal, free streaming service, it has still had its fair share of legal issues over the years.

Although the Kodi software is kosher, if any of the content used or shared on this site is in violation of copyright laws, its legality can very quickly come into question. Given this reality, content copyright holders are not always thrilled with Kodi and sites like Kodi, and there have actually been some serious legal cases brought against the Kodi platform.

As these legal battles become more routine, certain add-ons have been removed, and fans have begun looking for Kodi alternatives in case using Kodi is no longer an option.

Keep on reading for some of the best alternatives to Kodi for anxious Kodi users everywhere.

In a Hurry? Here are the 5 Best Kodi Alternatives

If you are looking for the best Kodi alternatives out there, we have come up with a list of five of our favorite media player options that, like Kodi, can offer you great free video streaming services and organizing capability:

1️⃣ Emby
2️⃣ Plex
3️⃣ Stremio
4️⃣ Popcorn Time
5️⃣ Media Portal

5 Best Alternatives to Kodi

1. Emby

Emby main screen

If you are looking for a great Kodi alternative, Emby is one of the best.

Emby is another open-source media player that is really easy to use. It’s built on a client-server model that makes it really simple to stream media that is stored locally to devices that are connected to your network.

Emby Server is the basic Emby plan that lets you access its media player on MacOS, Linux, and Windows. Phone access is available if you go with the Emby Mobile app, where you can stream on iOS and Android. Emby’s apps for TV are compatible with Apple TV, Android TV, Samsung TV, Chromecast, and more platforms.

Emby has some really cool extra features, such as its editing tools for your meta-data, a live-TV option, the ability to record your video content, and parental controls.

2. Plex

Plex main screen

Plex is among the best Kodi alternative media players because it is actually quite similar to Kodi.

Plex allows you to navigate your personal media library through an engaging user interface and lots of great features.

Using Plex, all of the pictures, videos, TV, music, and media that are stored locally can be streamed on your media devices. All you have to do is download the Plex software to your device and all of your files will be sorted perfectly and intuitively in the Plex library.

When this is done, you will be able to stream your media — such as movies and TV shows — on your streaming device quickly and easily.

One of the biggest differences between Plex and Kodi is that Kodi is a media center app that is mostly intended for organizing digital content, while Plex works on the client/server model, turning the host into a media server that can stream media to an array of media devices.

Plex is available across multiple platforms, including MacOS, Windows, phone (iOS and Android), PlayStation 4, Roku, Chromecast, and more.

3. Stremio

Stremio main screen

If you want to stream media, Stremio is another great alternative to Kodi that resembles big-time names, like Netflix.

Like Kodi, Stremio also has a lot of add-ons that let you stream a ton of shows and media.

Stremio has a user-friendly interface that displays recommended media and suggests personalized options for you based on your viewing history. This streamlines the process of finding binge-worthy shows and videos — with tons of media that can be watched only in HD.

When you find the stuff you like, you can save it on Stremio in your favorites section for easy access in the future; and you can also opt to be alerted when new media is added to the platform.

While some of the media centers are missing subtitle support, Stremio has incorporated this feature into its media center.

Stremio is actually better than Kodi when it comes to stability of its add-on options, since Stremio gets its media from torrent sites — not public streams.

Stremio is available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, and Linux.

Popcorn Time main screen

Popcorn Time is a great alternative to Kodi that features one of the largest selections of media around.

This open-source BitTorrent client will help you stream endless videos from popular torrenting sites, so it is unlikely that you will ever think of any TV shows or movies out there that are not on this platform.

Popcorn Time is compatible with MacOS, Windows, Linux, Android, and Android TV.

Media Portal main screen

MediaPortal is another great free open-source alternative to Kodi that has some pretty unique features compared to its competitors.

MediaPortal supports a variety of add-ons and is a user-friendly alternative to Kodi with an intuitive user interface.

This Kodi alternative lets you not only stream content, but record live TV with its DVR feature. This way, if you find something you absolutely love, you can watch it again later.

With Media Portal, you can play your media files right from your DVDs, Blu-Ray, or from your hard drive, as well as stream your music with your home theater software, or another device connected to your network.

Unfortunately, Media Portal is only available for use with Windows, so you cannot use it if you are using a MacOS or iOS device. In order to keep up with its competitors as a Kodi alternative, we hope MediaPortal begins offering more platform compatibility in the future.

How to Stream Safely with a VPN

Whether you are streaming with Kodi, or using one of the best Kodi alternatives, you should always be using a VPN.

If you are caught sharing certain copyrighted media files without a VPN, you could easily wind up in trouble. Using third-party add-ons for free access to TV or media content can be tracked by your ISP, the authorities, third parties, or the owners of the copyrighted content. If they see that your activity online was potentially illegal, you could be reported to authorities.

Using a VPN, your device traffic is all sent through an encrypted tunnel, ensuring that your activity is always secure, private, and anonymous, so no illegal activity can be traced back to you.

A VPN can also help you avoid ISP throttling. When ISPs see that you are streaming or downloading large files, they have been known to slow your connection. Using a VPN, they cannot see you, so they cannot slow you.

Last, a VPN can help you break through any geo-blocks to access geo-restricted TV or videos. By disguising your actual IP address and connecting to a remote VPN server, you will get a permitted IP address that will allow you to watch the TV or movie content you want from anywhere.

3 Best VPN for Streaming

These top three VPNs for streaming with Kodi, or Kodi alternatives, will all ensure that you are always streaming safely. Connection to their remote servers will give you access to any geo-blocked live TV and media options, and will keep your activity and footprint private and secure.

All three of these VPNs deliver AES 256-bit encryption, a Kill Switch, a no-logs policy, a 30-day money-back guarantee, and 24/7 live-chat for any troubleshooting needs that may arise.

Devices compatible with ExpressVPN
Company Location: British Virgin Islands
Servers: 3000+
Countries: 94
Connections: Up to 5
Speed: Great
Torrenting: Yes
Logs: No
Free Trial: 7 Days for Mobile
Live Chat Support: Yes
Money Back: 30 Days
Netflix: Yes
Price: From $6.67/month

ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs on the market with more than 3,000 servers in over 94 countries around the world, all of which can be used for P2P sharing.

Pros:

  • P2P sharing on all servers
  • Top security and privacy features
  • 30-day refund policy
  • 24/7 live chat

Cons:

  • More expensive than competitors

2. NordVPN

Devices compatible with NordVPN
Company Location: Panama
Servers: 5200+
Countries: 60
Connections: Up to 6
Speed: Great
Torrenting: Yes
Logs: No
Free Trial: No
Live Chat Support: Yes
Money Back: 30 Days
Netflix: Yes
Price: From $3.71/month

NordVPN is one of the best options to secure your online connection and help you access geo-blocked content. It has more than 5,200 servers in 60 countries around the world, including hundreds of servers that are specialized for P2P sharing.

Pros:

  • Specialized servers for P2P sharing
  • Top privacy and security
  • Large server network
  • 30-day refund policy

Cons:

  • Slower speeds with advanced features

Devices compatible with Surfshark
Company Location: British Virgin Islands
Servers: 3200+
Countries: 65
Connections: Unlimited
Speed: Good
Torrenting: Yes
Logs: No
Free Trial: 7 Days (Mobile Only)
Live Chat Support: Yes
Money Back: 30 Days
Netflix: Yes
Price: From $2.49/month

If you are looking for a more affordable VPN service, Surfshark’s price is definitely a huge selling point. The cheapest of the bunch, Surfshark has more than 3 200 servers in 65 countries around the world, all of which support P2P sharing.

Pros:

  • P2P Supported on all servers
  • 30-day refund policy
  • Most affordable
  • Unlimited device connections

Cons:

  • Not as fast as other top VPNs

Conclusion

So, here’s the story — If you are worried about making sure you always have great Kodi media player alternatives available to watch your favorite movies and TV shows, there is no need to look too far.

There are plenty of Kodi alternatives online — like Plex, and the other alternatives listed above — some of which may be even better than Kodi in certain ways.

Even if Kodi sticks around for years to come, it is still wise to use more than one media center, which will give you even more versatility and variety for your streaming needs.

*If you are looking for even more Kodi alternatives, Serviio, SPMC, and Universal Media Server are other options for a future article. Serviio, Universal Media Server, and SPMC all have their own unique features, but, for now, I would recommend sticking to the 3 highlighted options.

VPN service
Features
Best price
Score
Best Overall
  • Super fast.
  • Reliable & ultra-secure.
  • Great for HD/4K streaming.
  • Chrome, Firefox & Edge extensions.
  • 24/7 live chat support.
  • Outstanding!
$12.95
$6.67 /mo
Save 49%
Best Value
  • Fast speeds.
  • Strong privacy & security.
  • Uninterrupted streaming.
  • Ad-blocker included.
  • Chrome & Firefox extensions.
  • 24/7 live chat support.
$11.95
$3.71 /mo
Save 68%
Best Budget
  • Fast VPN streamlined for beginners.
  • Strong encryption & privacy features.
  • Chrome & Firefox extensions.
  • 24/7 live chat support.
$12.95
$2.21 /mo
Save 83%
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