On occasion, there comes a piece of software, which is in a way ahead of its time, and it really delivers on its function.
In most cases, when this happens, the software is free, and for many it can change their world.
Kodi is one such piece of software. Being originally designed as an open source media center, developers saw the potential.
From something that was just meant to be a home media server that could stream content to different devices around the home.
Kodi has changed into something much different. With the use of third-party add-ons, the ability for users to change the skins and functionality, and the wide choice of devices that Kodi can run on. It has become the ultimate media streaming application.
With this success comes a significant downside. Piracy, and for this reason, Kodi has governments on its back.
Third-party add-ons deliver pirated content to a user’s device. This isn’t the fault of Kodi, but it can be a victim of its own success.
What’s better than Kodi?
As it stands, there is nothing much better than Kodi. However, if things go wrong and Kodi has no choice but to vanish, anything will be better.
With this in mind, and for users to make sure they have a replacement for Kodi if things go wrong. We will look at some different offerings.
By the end, you will find the best Kodi substitute that can hopefully fill some very big shoes.
What Features Do You Need in a Kodi Replacement?
Any users of Kodi will be well aware of all the features that they use. However, for new users who are looking to use Kodi or one of its alternatives may not know what features to look for.
Here are the key things to keep an eye open for when you are looking for programs similar to Kodi.
Platform Support: It is possible to install media center software on a PC, game consoles, smart phone and smart TVs. You need to identify software, which supports a platform you choose.
Multiple File Types: Since you want to play video and audio files without a hitch, you will want software, which supports all the different formats you can use, including: avi, mpeg, mp3, wav, flac, ogg vorbis, mp4, mkv, and many others besides.
Software Customisation: Kodi's advantage is it lets you personalise the software by adding new features and functionality.
Most other media hubs, on the other hand, are not as flexible and don't offer the option of adding any new features.
Streaming support: Streaming is taking over from cable subscriptions, and because of this, any Kodi replacement will need to be able to access these sources. On top of this are the third-party add-ons Kodi users are familiar with.
These allow watching TV shows and movies free, so any other software will need the capability of offering this.
Remotes: This can be one thing that any software that aims to replace Kodi needs to be able to do. There are plenty of Kodi remote controls, and this makes navigation more natural.
Using Kodi Alternatives with a VPN
Before looking at the top 4 alternatives, it should be noted that any user who uses Kodi or one of the following alternatives should use VPN software. This is for a couple of reasons.
Because of the attention Kodi and the add-ons receive, users need to retain their privacy and keep their identity unknown.
A VPN (virtual private network) can do this with ease. Users can stream copyright protected content with no worries of receiving a copyright infringement letter in the post.
Second to this, ISP’s throttle connections of users who stream lots of content, as a way of saving bandwidth.
This makes connections slower, and if streaming, it can lead to buffering. ISP's are also required to retain user data, so your online activities are recorded and a profile is built up.
Best Kodi Alternatives
Plex is one of the largest names when it comes to being an alternative to Kodi. It offers a free version and a paid for version.
This at least gives you a chance to fully test the features before deciding it is a worthwhile investment.
This supports a vast number of platforms such as Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android. There is also support for Windows Phone, PlayStation, Xbox, Roku and Android TV as well as Linux.
Channels are the Kodi equivalent of add-ons. These allow for accessing streaming content from various sources, be it official, or from third-party sources.
The software is very useful for playing your media library you have stored on your hard disk.
Accessing this is done though a well-designed user interface. To extend this, the server function is the biggest selling point.
Setting up the software as a Plex-media-server allows you to access the content from home, while you are out and using your mobile devices.
This is a newer name in the media portal world. This application is useful for playing video from a hard disk or to stream live TV.
It has support for Windows, Mac OS, Android and iOS and tablets. This means you can use Chromecast to watch on large screens.
Being new on the scene Stremio is still in its infancy, and does come with fewer areas where it accesses content.
It does offer a nice package and has taken many of its cues from Netflix in the way it displays its content.
You can find official add-ons such as WatchHub and YouTube along with some unofficial add-ons that enable access to a Twitch and Netflix streaming service.
One feature that stands out is it tells you when new shows are available from your preferences.
For this service, you do need to create an account. This then allows you to use the apps and stream media to any of your devices.
3. Terrarium TV
This one is slightly different because it is an Android only app. However, it is great for delivering movies and TV shows in HD.
The app is free and although it is Android only, it does give users the chance to use the app on Android TV’s, FireStick and Fire TV.
Although Android only, Windows users can use the app on a PC by means of an Android emulator such as Bluestacks.
The clean interface offers sections where you can filter by genre, have subtitle support among others.
The library is substantial you can choose from, and Terrarium TV has lots to offer in all genres.
While it is a great option for streaming content, it does nothing in the way of being a media player where you can stream across a network.
It is purely an app for each device you use it on.
4. Popcorn Time
Last on the list, but this doesn’t mean it is unknown. For many people, Popcorn Time could be better known than the above alternatives.
It may also be gaining as much popularity as Kodi add-ons, but in a negative way.
Popcorn allows you to stream masses of content. In fact, this service is a cross between a BitTorrent app and streaming service.
The files are downloaded as torrents, but the difference being you can begin watching the show or movie before the download completes.
It works well, and you can nearly always find something new to watch. The downside being that torrents are frowned upon, and Popcorn is looked at in the same way by ISP's and governing bodies.
While there is lots to choose from, this is a per device app rather than streaming around your home network.
Popcorn runs on Android, MacOS, Windows, iOS and Linux.
Like Terrarium, Popcorn doesn’t help when you want to watch media files around the home that are stored on a PC.
There is a very simple way to get around this; you can download Universal Media Server. This is simple to operate and streams too many DLNA devices.
You can use anything from a TV to games consoles, to cell phones and it works effortlessly.
It supports most video formats and can auto adjust the bitrate to match network speeds. It can even take movies from Blu Rays, no matter if they are on the disk or on your hard drive.
For streaming from home to devices, or farther afield, it is simple and although not a Kodi alternative, it does deserve a place.
The Best Kodi Replacement
So far, there is no media streaming application that has captured the hearts of Kodi users. It delivers and allows plenty of options to users. It is free, open source and has a massive community.
Kodi use is also easily hidden when you use a VPN, and for any of the above alternatives, this is the same advice. Use a good VPN or face the consequences.
The best VPN for Kodi is ExpressVPN because it delivers the best security and the best download speeds.
You can test out its functionality for 30-days with their money back guarantee.
If this VPN is good, enough for Kodi, then it has to be good enough for the best Kodi alternative as well.