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VPN Manager for Kodi – The Best Way

A VPN is becoming ever more essential. Whether it be for unlocking the full potential of the internet, or just to get the privacy that we all have the right to. Connecting to a VPN has not always been easy using certain hardware/software with Kodi. This is where VPN Manager for Kodi comes in to play. This addon created by Zomboided is a adaption, and inspired by one of MetalKettle’s addons, VPN for OpenElec.

VPN Manager for Kodi has many benefits over it’s predecessor. Namely the ease of the auto connect feature at boot up, and the many different VPN providers that it supports. Two of our favourites here at KodiPiGuide is PIA and IP Vanish. Both of these are supported and you can find the links on down the page to get you setup ready to use VPN Manager.

using VPN Manager you can even setup multiple VPN accounts at the same time, and have different ones run depending on what addon’s you are using.

VPN Manager Requirements

Current platforms supported are:

  • OpenElec (v5 onwards)
  • LibreElec (v7 onwards)
  • Linux (OSMC, Raspbian etc)
  • Windows (v7 onwards)

Android based systems are not currently supported.

VPN Manager relies on OpenVPN. OpenElec v7 onwards and LibreElec v5 onwards already include OpenVPN. If you have previous versions then you will need to install OpenVPN. This can be found in the Unofficial OpenElec repository which sits in the repository category of the official OpenElec repository. It can also be found in lrusak OpenElec Repo and also MetalKettle’s.

I would recommend just installing the latest OpenElec or any LibreElec which already include it.

For Windows users head over to openvpn.net

Linux users google your specific setup to know which commands to run to install.

VPN Choice

First if you have not already, you will need to sign up with a VPN provider. There are many different VPN providers. Some are better than others. The two which we would recommend are PIA (Private Internet Access), and IP Vanish. They are both competitively priced with good speeds. PIA is slightly cheaper but has less gateways. If you sign up for a year on either of these, then it works out cheaper in the long run.


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VPN Manager – Repository

You will need to start of by downloading the Zomboided repository from his  Git hub page.

Once you have this you will need to put it on a shared network drive that your device can see, or put it on a USB drive and plug that into your device.

Once this is done install in the normal way by going to System > Add-ons > Install from ZIP file. Locate where the file is and select it. The repo will now be installed.

VPN Manager – Install and Configuration

1. Move over to System and click on Settings.

VPN Manager 1

2. Select Add-ons.

VPN Manager 2

3. Then Install from Repository.

VPN Manager 3

4. Next choose the Zomboided Add-on Repository.

VPN Manager 4

5. Then Services.

VPN Manager 5

6. Here you will find the VNP Manager for OpenVPN. Click this.

VPN Manager 6

7. And then Install.

VPN Manager 7

8. Once installed choose Configure.

VPN Manager 8

9. Under the tab VPN Configuration you will see Click here to update VPN settings. Click on this and then choose your VPN Provider in the next row.

You will then need to input your username and password.

If using PIA (Private Internet Access), then you will need to use the User/Password found in the members area under PPTP/L2TP/SOCKS Username and Password.

If using IP Vanish then you can log in with the User/password that you created when setting up your account.

VPN Manager 9

10. Now move over to VPN Connections on the tabs at the top.

VPN Manager 10

11. Here you will be presented with all the gateways from your chosen VPN provider. Choose the one that suits you. The closer they are the faster the connection will be in theory

VPN Manager 11

12. Next you should get confirmation that you are now connected with a new I.P address. Click on OK, and that should be all for a straight forward connection.

VPN Manager 12

The next time you boot up your device, it should remember the settings you have chosen and auto connect. You will not need to repeat any of the processes above.

You will find VPN Manager for OpenVPN a lot more reliable than VPN for OpenElec by MetalKettle. It is more in depth and connects at start up with no trouble at all. If you have any questions the leave a comment below.

 

35 thoughts on “VPN Manager for Kodi – The Best Way

    1. Not as far as I am aware. There is a app for Prirate Internet Access (PIA) on Andriod. I haven’t tested it yet to see if you can run it along side Kodi. I can’t see why it wouldn’t.

    1. That’s what I thought. Haven’t got round to trying it out yet, but guessed it would work. Thanks for the confirmation Marty.

  1. Please bear with me as I am brand new to Kodi and Pi…..

    I followed your guide above and everything seems to be running smoothly, until I get to the very last step. When trying to select my “First VPN connection” I am met by the following……

    “The OpenVPN executable isn’t working. Check the log, then from a command line prompt type ‘openvpn’ and fix any problems reported.”

    Would love any help you can provide.

    1. Hi Jason. What are you using on your Pi to run Kodi, and what version is it? It could be that the install has not got OpenVPN included. A fresh install would almost certainly correct this problem, but can be annoying if you have everything set up as you like.

    2. Jason –

      I was having the same issue but I followed the steps below and its working now.

      https://www.reddit.com/r/RetroPie/comments/5nfi15/guide_how_to_get_vpn_working_on_retropies_kodi/

      If there was an error saying: “The OpenVPN executable isn’t working. Check the log” then you are in the same place I was in.. but I HAVE THE SOLUTION!

      Exit out of kodi and let your Raspberry Pie load into EmulationStation. Once it is loaded, hit F4 on your keyboard and it will back you out to a command prompt style screen. Type these commands in EXACTLY:
      sudo apt-get update
      sudo apt-get install openvpn
      sudo apt-get install psmisc
      Load back into Kodi and it should work! You were missing the openVPN files so the kodi app couldn’t run.

      Now every time you open Kodi it should automatically reconnect you back into your VPN within the first 10-20 seconds. Enjoy watching your favorite shows and movies ‘anonymously’ and with more protection! 🙂

      This was for Raspberry Pi 3 with OSMC installed for Kodi

  2. Hi there, I installed VPN Manager with PIA. Movies are unwatchable, constantly stop and loose connection, crash .
    Changing PIA location dosen’t help . I have openELEC Kodi on a Raspberry pi3 .
    When I turn off VPN Manager everything works fine again.

    I have also Kodi on a Mac and PIA standalone app that works fine.

    1. The speed is normally slower through a VPN than your normal speed but you shouldn’t be having these problems. Try running a speed test to see what your actually getting. Are you using a wired connection of Wifi? The Pi 3 has a built in Wifi chip as you may well know, but wired will always be better especially if you are not in good range of your router.
      I once had a similar issue and it turned out to be the USB dongle for my wireless keyboard that was causing the problem. As yours works fine without the VPN then it may not be this unless you are getting a double dip in speed. One from your range and another from the VPN connection.
      Are you connecting to a VPN gateway that is far away from your location? This can make things slow also.
      I personally use a Pi3 with PIA and mine is generally fine. A few videos have buffered before but I have put that down to the source of the movie.
      It may be hassle but a clean reinstall may be you answer. Hope some of this helps. Keep us updated on how you get on.

  3. Hi Dan.. I installed this on a Firestick (using Hide My Ass VPN), but when I try to connect, it says that the “VPN Manager for OpenVPN is not currently supported on this hardware platform”. Can you advise? And if it’s really not, an alternative to load the VPN in Kodi?

    1. Firesticks run on Android which does not support OpenVPN. There is a method for PIA where there is an app for PIA on the Android market which can be set to run on boot up. I have not tested this on a Firestick, but have had a few users confirming that it works. I am not sure if Hide My Ass have a similar app?
      Another option would be to setup the VPN on your router if the router supports it.

  4. VPN manager says I’m connected to the Midwest server and shows a different external IP than what my IP is but my wifi connection in the openelec settings shows my real ip. I just want to make sure I am running through the VPN or is there something else I need to do. It’s installed on the pi 3 using private internet access.

    1. The one you are looking at in OpenElec is probably your internal IP address. By default these are normally like 192.168.0.x. These are not seen outside your network and many people use the same ones. Are you sure it’s your external I.P? Turn off your VPN on a computer and google “what is my IP address”, or do a speed test on http://www.speedtest.net. This will give you your external IP address which is the same for all your devices behind your router. Then you can compare with what you are seeing in OpenElec. If it does start with 192.168 as described above then it is your internal IP address and no further checks are needed.

      1. I installed VPN Manager on openelec so I think the only thing running through the VPN is Kodi on my pi and not all my other computers. Is that correct? I’m sorry I’m new to VPN.

        1. Yes that is correct. I mentioned turning it off on a computer in case you had one running on there to ensure it showed you your true external IP.

  5. I’ve been using VPN Manager+IPVanish with LibreElec for several months with no issues. Recently I noticed my VPN is not connecting. When I manual open VPN Manager and attempt to connect to any connection location I get a “Error connecting to VPN”. I can connect to IPVanish on windows machine no problem. Any ideas?

    1. First of all I would look through the settings to find the option to reset the .ovpn files. Do a restart on see if that helps. Another option which could help is the “force block outside dns” under the debug tab. Uncheck this to see if that gets it going. Let us know how you get on.

  6. Hello, thank you so much for all those useful information. From I have learned here is that – If I use fire stick for Kodi, the only way I can get vpn to run on Kodi is to load the vpn on fire stick. 1. Turn on fire stick, 2. logon to vpn app, 3. switch back to fire stick and lunch Kodi app. Is this right? Because I am using fire stick so Openvpn and Openelec won’t work with any vpn installation. Is this right? I sure followed your instruction to load openvpn and openelec, and they are loaded with no problem; however, I have “VPN for OpenELEC error” when I clicked the “setup Private internet access” —-because fire stick OS is not compatible with OpenELEC, right?
    I finally loaded the zip file(VPN manager) from Apps2Fire to my ES file explorer on fire stick, but I don’t know how to get it to Kodi, would you show me how?

    Or, I only have one option to use vpn for kodi—that is to load on fire stick and use it like I mentioned above because I have fire stick? I signed up PIA just for kodi and there is no way to install it within kodi….right?
    please help!!!!

    1. You are correct. The method on this site will not work on a Fire Stick. You can not get OpenElec or LibreElec for the Fire Stick. It runs Android. I have not personally added a VPN to a Fire Stick, but have seen and heard in several places that it can be done. I think it depends on which generation Fire Stick you have. Here is a link to a setup on YouTube which you might find helpful. Some reports say you need to use something other than the remote to input in the PIA Android app, but don’t think that is the case on the video. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QnZPQyqNonY . Let us know how you get on.

      1. Thank you very much for the link, I saw the video but didn’t pay attention to it before. BUT this time, I WATCHED it because you mentioned on your site. I was able to installed the PIA to fire stick this time successfully. Apps2Fire really work. I downloaded an app call “Web app tester” (free) from Amazon, to test the Ip address. So far it is working; however, I am not able to modify any setting in PIA because I haven’t received my bluetooth keyboard. So, it is working at this point, but I won’t use it until I can modify the setting in PIA. I will give you the feedback once I have updated the PIA setting. I have two vpns loaded on Fire stick and want to see which one deliver their promise. Again, thank you.

        1. Here is the review….
          Apps2Fire (free) from Amazon app works – loaded PIA, OPENVpn to Firestick and FireTV.
          app: Web AppTester (free) from Amazon app works – to check on IP address after logon to PIA on FireTV and Fire Stick.

          PIA VPN: It works on Fire Stick and masked the ISP’s real IP address in Kodi system, I check under system information and use addons to check IP, they all show masked IP. Works!!

          PIA VPN on Fire TV: As strange as it can be, it doesn’t work on Fire TV, not for Kodi. The internal IP 192.168.xx.x shows (assume it is assigned to Kodi) under system information and addons to check IP -with PIA VPN or without PIA VPN. The 192.168.xx.x doesn’t change or mask at all. It looks like Kodi doesn’t see PIA VPN or just doesn’t go thru PIA VPN at all.

          I have another VPN installed (has it for a long time) on Fire TV to try on it, again, 192.168.xx.x same result like PIA with or without VPN. However, “web app tester” shows masked IP when use but switch to Kodi it still doesn’t work.

          Use PIA because of the “kill switch” function and there are more option when comes to the app on android. I like my old VPN, but it doesn’t have “kill switch” function when installed on Fire stick or Fire TV.

          I wonder it is not which VPN I use, I think it could be the Fire TV system.
          So, could I pick on your smart brain on the 192.168.xx.x again? Also, what is your take on VPN router?
          thanks.

          1. Hi John, I have not set up a VPN on a fire stick yet. I have one so will try and do it and let you know how I get on. From what I have read some people are saying the Firestick needs to be rooted in order for the APK to work correctly. Other people dispute this. Apparently the Amazon Firestick Gen 2 work with the PIA APK. My understanding is that these are not available in the UK at present.

            As for a VPN router. These are a good idea. If you were to buy one you need to first check if the router is capable of setting up a VPN on it. Some have VPN functionality, but not the kind for tunnelling to VPN services.
            Some routers have the necessary function built straight into it such as a lot of the Asus ones. They are pricy, so my suggestion would be to get a different one (Unless you can afford it), and flash the firmware with DD WRT.

            DD WRT is a customised linux firmware that essentially unlocks your modem to do just about anything it can.

            If you go onto the DD WRT website https://www.dd-wrt.com/site/ you can check to see if the router you are getting is compatible. You might be in luck and your existing router is already compatible!
            Flashing the firmware is easier than it sounds. Most of the time this can be done through you routers standard firmware GUI, so do screwdrivers or cables needed.

            There are also a few other custom firmware sites you could look at such as Open WRT and Tomato.

            I will let you know what happens with the Firestick VPN setup once I have finished playing around with it. I will not try rooting it though.

          2. Thank you on the VPN router information. One of my VPN asking for extra $5 a month so I can have a dedicate IP on VPN router to surf “local internet” such as netflix, playstation vue or other local traffic. I will check on another VPN.

            By the way, VPN on Fire Stick works perfect! It is the “Fire TV Box” I am having the default IP under Kodi “system information”
            One thing though, on “Fire TV Box” the default IP shows with or without VPN, however, I did the speed test (kodi addons) the IP is MASKED when used VPN. So the speed test shows masked IP but not in system information when use VPN.

          3. Can you confirm which Firestick you own as mine was showing the same ip as my own under the PIA app. I do not own a Fire TV box so can’t help in that respect. Thanks for your input.

          4. Hello, the Fire stick I have is the Gen 2. On the PIA logon page (Fire stick) there are two IP showing – 1st is my real IP, the 2nd IP is the masked IP. The masked IP is showing in Kodi under “system information” once logon PIA.

            Although I just got the Fire TV Box (in December, 2016), but I believe all Fire TV boxes are 2015 version so far (don’t think there is a new version out) Maybe it is the fire tv box, how it processes the VPN app. Thank you very much for you help.

          5. Thank you. Mine is a Gen 1 as I live in the U.K. This backs up what others are saying about the fact it needs to be rooted. I have not heard of a refreshed Fire TV, but thought that a VPN would work on it. Maybe rooting it is the answer. Good luck. Hope you figure it out.

  7. Quick thing about PIA…I tried the method described here multiple times without success…kept telling me credentials were invalid when using the PIA PPTP/L2TP/SOCKS pw info found in the member area. I finally tried my main credentials (the same ones used inside of the main PIA apps) and it connected first try.

  8. Does anyone have an issues downloading VPN Manger from the repo? I doesn’t seem to want to download . It’s at 0 % then it fails .

    1. I have just tried it from scratch and all seems to be working now. The Haddon has recently been updated. Maybe it was temporarily unavailable.

  9. Dan,
    Is there a way to set up multiple networks thru the PIA VPN? I like to travel with my raspberry Pi3 and I run Kodi through Libreelec, when I try to use it at a friends house I cannot get any movies or shows to fully load. Any help you can provide is greatly appreciated.

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