You may struggle to find a Kodi Box on Amazon in 2018 because they have been banned. Amazon took the decision in 2017 to ban anyone selling these devices.
Okay, strictly speaking that's not true. The actual devices were not banned, but if the seller was advertising them with Kodi pre-installed then it could land them in hot water with Amazon.
Even after they took the decision some suppliers were still selling devices with a customized version of Kodi but portaying it as a different system.
It's not uncommon to find an Android TV box being shipped with custom Kodi builds. But what irritates me is when the manufacturer tries to imply that it's their own media software. I've found several of these and one such example is the Stealth TV Box.
It's one thing implying that it's their own software but they are being a bit naughty trying to sell them at inflated prices when you can actually install your own Kodi build quite easily. More on that later...
Kodi under attack
Sounds a bit dramatical right? But, 2017 saw Kodi in the firing line with the large broadcasting corporations bringing lawsuits against several third-party developers.
They want Kodi to be totally scrapped of course and they are trying to say Kodi is illegal because it provides a vehicle to accessing illegal content online.
Well, so does a laptop. Kodi is open-source software that can easily be modified or added to. But, the UK government are trying to say that any Android box that installs software capable of watching copyright material is illegal.
Surely that applies to laptops too then? Can you see my logic here? They want to outlaw Android boxes (or Kodi boxes as they keep calling them) but a laptop can be used for the same thing.
Kodi can be installed on various platforms and a laptop running Mac or Windows can also be used to access any content from third-party addons.
What is “illicit streaming” and what devices are commonly used?Illicit streaming is the watching of content without the copyright owner’s permission by any means, not just via hardware devices. This could be using a smart TV, laptop or mobile phone. Illicit streaming devices are physical boxes that are connected to your TV or USB sticks that plug into the TV such as adapted Amazon Fire sticks and so called ‘Kodi’ boxes or Android TV boxes. These devices are legal when used to watch legitimate, free to air, content. They become illegal once they are adapted to stream illicit content, for example TV programmes, films and subscription sports channels without paying the appropriate subscriptions. Adapting a streaming device to view illicit content usually requires loading of software add-ons or extensions. Illicit streaming can also be facilitated by using certain apps on smartphones and tablets. - GOV.UK website
Look at some of these recent headlines:
"Almost 4 in 10 Singaporeans actively streaming content illegally: CASBAA study"
"Suspended prison sentence for selling Kodi boxes with illegal software"
"Blow for Kodi users as European court rules that streaming pirated films and TV shows IS illegal"
As you can see it's been a tough old year for the little man and they probably won't let up in 2018.
Buying an Android TV Box on Amazon
Without a doubt Amazon is one of the best place to buy any electrical device. Their record speaks for itself. 244 million customers Worldwide can't be wrong.
If you are wondering how to get your Kodi box (Android box) set up, it's very easy. Just purchase an Android TV box from Amazon and install Kodi yourself. Kodi can be downloaded from the Play Store. I will give some recommendations for Android Boxes later.
It's actually important to install it yourself anyway. This will ensure you have the latest version. You don't want to be using older versions which may be putting your system at risk.
in 2017 there was a minor scare with earlier versions of Kodi (pre 17.2) that contained a security loophole which allowed hackers to gain entry to your system. That has since been resolved so you can see why it's crucial to stay up-to-date.
Once you have installed Kodi there's 2 things you should do:
1. Add a custom Kodi Build.
2. Use it with a VPN
Adding a Custom Kodi Build
This is the easiest way to use Kodi and it will install several addons that are up-to-date and working. You will then be able to access content from all over the World and in any country (if you are in the UK some may be blocked - a VPN will unblock these).
I have tried several Kodi Builds but I have settled on Titanium as my latest favorite. It's really easy to install and once it's completed, you will have your very own custom Kodi Build.
Check out my video below for installation demo.
Using Kodi with a VPN
In recent years a VPN was frowned upon as a waste of money but this was before we had geo-blocking and blocked servers.
The World is changing and broadcasting companies are trying to protect/lockdown their content. BBC iPlayer can no longer be used outside of the UK unless you have a VPN.
Certain servers in the UK are now being blocked by the Internet Providers so a lot of Kodi becomes unusable. This is where a VPN becomes a necessity.
Nowadays they are not expensive and when connected to their servers you will be able to access anything you want.
I've teamed up with PureVPN who are widely recognized as one of the Top VPN providers Worldwide and they have over 1 million customers.
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PureVPN have servers in 141 countries and their App is compatible with all major platforms. In some cases it can also bypass bandwidth throttling. Some ISPs do practice this but they won't admit to it.
For 2018, you will struggle to find a better deal than this. Here's a quick comparison.
Private Internet Access
My Recommended Android Boxes
There's so many TV boxes to choose from and Amazon have their very own Fire TV and FireStick which are decent devices but a little restricted.
I prefer to purchase Android boxes that have good high-end specs and install my own Kodi and other TV apps like my IPTV service.
You should be looking at 2GB of RAM as minimum and go for the Amlogic S912 SoC. Usually with these 2 requirements on-board you can't go wrong, but I will recommend some boxes for you.
1. Beelink GT1 [2GB + 16GB]
This is one of my favorite TV boxes and it can be used for Kodi, VPN and IPTV service too. There is no limit to what this little box can't do and at only $63 it's a snip. It will even play games with no trouble.
2. TX8 Mini [2GB + 16GB]
This is another gem and it comes with 2GB of RAM. Also built on the S912 SoC and powered by Android 6 it's priced at only $64 on Amazon.
An alternative TV system
If you are trying to replace your cable TV subscription you may struggle to do it with Kodi but it can be done with an Android Box using IPTV.
We have just teamed up with a hosting company to launch a new TV platform. It can be used anywhere outside of the UK. Read more here.