Getting started when trying to setup Kodi can be challenging, especially when the popular media application works with so many different devices. Whether you’re using a Windows computer, Mac, iPhone, Android phone, or even a Raspberry Pi, you might be wondering to yourself, “how do I get started?”
We here at AddonhHQ we’ve made it our mission to help users install the Kodi Media Center on as many devices as possible, so you’ll find a large number of user guides on our website. Still, if you have multiple devices that could run Kodi, you may be wondering which one is the easiest to get the application installed on, perhaps most importantly, which devices offer the best Kodi streaming experience.
Before We Proceed
When you setup Kodi for the first time, it can be an exciting experience. However, many Kodi users who stream TV and movies have received copyright infringement notifications from their ISPs. These notifications are not common, but they do happen in several countries. To avoid this, Kodi users tend to choose virtual private networks, or VPNs, to help stay anonymous.
Of the many VPN services we’ve put to the test, we found IPVanish to offer the best experience for Kodi users. IPVanish utilizes a number of different features to help keep your identity secured. ISPs only see an anonymous IP address when you’re using IPVanish, while the service is designed to keep your real IP address hidden.
What is the Best Device for Kodi?
Although a good amount of this comes down to preference, we’ve compiled a number of installation guides that have helped us realize there are few key issues for Kodi setup:
- How easy it is to install the Kodi application
- How easy it is to install addons
- How user-friendly the device is when switching between addons and streaming
Best Device for Kodi Overall
There are actually several devices that might take the top spot, but in general, the issue is less about a specific device and more about the operating system. The single best operating system for Kodi is Android, with Windows being a close second. Let’s explain.
Android is more developer-friendly than most other operating systems and more ubiquitous
On that end, be best Android-based devices that we can recommend are:
Click here to read more how we rated these Android-based TV boxes.
For more on why Android is such a Kodi powerhouse, we provide a detailed explanation at the end of this article.
I’ve Heard Bad Things About Kodi TV Boxes. What Gives?
You may have noticed that the devices we mentioned above are all TV boxes. There’s a reason for that: TV boxes provide the best experience.
While we find TV boxes offer the best streaming experience, users should be wary of fully-loaded TV boxes. None of the boxes that we’ve mentioned above, or that we’ve reviewed on our site, are the fully-loaded TV boxes you may have been reading about. Fully-loaded boxes tend to get a lot of negative attention, and for good reason: They’re often illegal to sell and tend to contain a lot of broken and untrustworthy Kodi addons.
If you’re going for a TV box, your best option is an Android TV Box, as these offer the best of both worlds in terms of ease of use and overall user experience, but avoid the ones that claim to be fully-loaded. Instead, opt for something like an Nvidia Shield, WeTek Core, or even an Android Fire TV. You can have Kodi up and running on those devices in minutes, and you’ll be streaming TV, movies, or live TV in no time.
Click here to read more about the legal issues surrounding fully loaded TV boxes.
Kodi Remotes and Keyboards
When using a Kodi TV box, it’s typically advised to also pair the device with a remote or keyboard. Although TV boxes with invariably come with their own remotes, few come with keyboards or remotes/keyboard combinations. Anyone that’s attempted to use the internet browsing functions on a smart TV or game console will understand why this is painful. Typing is a hassle.
Some of the remotes that we recommend include:
- iPazzPort Wireless Mini Keyboard
- Rii i8+ 2.4GHz Mini Wireless Keyboard
- Aerb 2.4G Mini Wireless Keyboard Mouse
Click here to read about these, and other Kodi remotes in more detail.
For Kodi users, navigating the application and installing new apps on Kodi without a keyboard can be a challenge, if not simply time-consuming. This is tolerable for the occasional app installation, but if you intend to install dozens of addons, and intend to utilize multiple TV boxes, you’ll want to consider purchasing a more dedicated keyboard/remote combo. Furthermore, the remote that comes with many of the popular Android-based TV boxes are almost always of poor quality.
Kodi remotes and keyboards are usually Bluetooth or infrared based and work with most of the popular Android-based TV boxes. You may also find Kodi remote apps that can help you navigate the application more effectively. Additionally, having a remote will ensure you’ll find more use out of your TV box beyond just Kodi streaming.
How To Install Kodi Addons
Once you have Kodi installed on your favorite device, you’ll likely want to start getting popular addons. It’s important to remember that Kodi comes bare bones. There are no addons installed on the Kodi app when you first download it onto your device.
Kodi addons are usually installed one of three ways.
Method One: Directly Install the Plugin
One method that works particularly well is to find and directly install the plugin. When we write addon installation guides at AddonHQ, we make using this method a priority when possible. Often, you can find the plugin zip files from GitHub. However, these are not always readily available.
For example, our KissAnime installation guide directs Kodi users to download the plugin directly. Using that method, there are few other steps than just to unzip the file through the Kodi application.
Using this method, you only need to access the Install from zip option within Kodi to get your addon up and ready.
Method Two: Install From a Repository
The second method, which may be your only option if you cannot find the plugin, is to install the addon through a repository. Most addons are hosted in repositories. Those repositories are put out by the addon developers, and in many cases contain multiple addons.
There are also super repositories, which are large collections of individual addon repositories. Installing a super repository, such as SuperRepo or Indigo, will allow you to install multiple addons much faster and without having to install the repositories separately. Super repositories are a good option for anyone that wants to explore new addons or install multiple addons at a time.
Method Three: Add Source Through File Manager
Both Method One and Method Two often involve working through the Add source option in Kodi’s file manager. This will link your Kodi directly to the web address for the repository and allow you to download repositories and even zip files directly. At that point, you can download the addon directly, which includes installing the zip files.
You can see these installation processes in action by checking out some of our more popular installation guides:
No, You Can’t Setup Kodi on Gaming Consoles
There are currently no real Kodi applications available for any major gaming console. One of the popular search terms we’ve found is how to install Kodi on home consoles. Unfortunately, this is simply not an option. Although Kodi did get its start on the original Xbox, the application dropped support for the Xbox some years ago. Kodi never worked on other major consoles beyond the original Xbox.
The primary reason you won’t find a working application for Kodi is because the XBMC Foundation and the larger community of developers have not developed any applications you can install on any major console. Despite some notable rumors that there were PS3 and PS4 applications in development, nothing has been developed for either thus far. There are also no Kodi apps for Xbox One or any recent versions for Xbox 360.
Developers have ignored consoles because of just how closed console operating systems tend to be. Simply put, you’d have to do a lot of operating system hacking in order to develop the Kodi software. It’s somewhat similar to why installing Kodi is difficult on to on the many Apple devices like the Apple TV or iPhone.
Some point to Plex as a good alternative that you can find for a few consoles, like the PS4. However, Plex is noticeably different and does not have the same features or addon architecture that makes Kodi the more popular media center application.
Helpful Kodi Install Guides
Looking to get Kodi installed on one of your devices? We’ve covered a good number of popular devices with our Kodi installation guides. You may find what you’re looking for through the links below:
Why is Android The Best Kodi Operating System?
The fact that just about anyone can develop for Android makes it one of the most user-friendly operating systems out there. It’s also really simple to get a developer kit from Google, and put a version of Android on a device. This is why Android is effectively killing it with market share among mobile devices.
According to Gartner, Android’s mobile device market share is now over 81%. Other operating systems, such as iOS and Windows Phone, aren’t even close. iOS only sits at about 18% of the market, while Windows Phone at just 0.3%. Needless to say, if you want to find a good device to run Kodi, you should be going to an Android-based device.
That popularity for Android has something to do with both price and usability. Android devices are cheaper, and they’re much more user-friendly for anyone that wants to install both official and unofficial apps. It’s that second part — unofficial apps — which is the primary reason people in the developer community tend to favor Android as well. Android allows you to install apps not on the app store with some ease, while iOS does not.
Kodi can be found on the official Google Play Store for most Android devices, but you can also easily install it on first-party devices that use modified versions of Android, like Amazon’s Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. It’s that portability to first-party devices, and the ability to still install Android on them, that makes Android top-notch for Kodi users who want an easy installation experience.
That said, it should be noted that not all Android-based Kodi devices have easy installs. Some, such as the Google Chromecast, just don’t allow it. Those are few and far between, however. Most Android devices, even with modified versions of the OS, are easy installs for Kodi users.