This guide was designed to help you quickly and easily install Kodi onto an Amazon fire stick using your smart TV. It explains a little about what Kodi is, what its features are and why you would want to use it. The guide also provides some background information on the new Amazon Fire Stick with Alexa remote voice commands.
So, What the Heck is Kodi exactly?!
Kodi is open-source home theater and entertainment software. It was once called XBMC. It’s an award-winning, full-featured application that runs on any device.
Phones, tablets, TVs, and computers can all run Kodi. Open source means anyone can use it and anyone can improve it. Open source also means, in this case, that— IT’s FREE! This is a very robust application, and it was designed to run just about everywhere you would want and need it to.
It can run on Linux, Windows, IOS, Android, and Raspberry Pi. In addition to being free, flexible, and open-source, Kodi has a beautiful user interface. This app is intuitive and straightforward to use. It’s an organizational dream for your media.
Once installed, Kodi can do beautiful things with your music, movies, TV shows, and photos. You can use it to watch and record live TV. You can change the look and feel with skins to suit your mood and personal tastes.
It supports hundreds of remote controls. It’s quite a fantastic app, but that’s another guide for another day. For right now, let’s focus on what it does when matched with the fire stick. What can this dynamic duo do for your life of entertainment? Let’s find out!
Does Kodi Supply Content?
No. Kodi doesn’t provide any content. Kodi uses content supplied from other sources. It is a user interface and a media manipulation tool.
Kodi is a media organizer and an impressive organizational entry point to a flood of third-party media. While Kodi doesn’t provide content, you do have a few options when supplying Kodi with media.
You can provide your content on Kodi by uploading your pics. You can add your downloaded or recorded music too. You can also add your downloaded or saved TV shows and movies.
Add your home movies to Kodi, and add any other media you can think of.
Can I watch TV on Kodi, if so How?
You can and should manually point Kodi to third-party content providers like Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Showtime, and YouTube. With Kodi, you can access hundreds of content providers.
While there are tons of illegal sites out there, Kodi does not provide support for bootleg videos or illicit media. If you plan on getting in over your head with illegal content, then you should use common sense when deciding what to stream or not to stream.
Kodi provides you with a tool for streaming. Kodi does not condone or encourage the unethical or illegal use of its product.
What About Kodi Add-Ons?
One of the significant benefits of using Kodi is that is that it already has a vast selection of add-ons. Add-ons can be used for web services such as YouTube, Crackle, PS Vue, SoundCloud, ScreenRant, Pluto.tv, Tuff.tv Cheddar, and so many more.
In total, there are over 900 add-ons as of this writing. If Kodi doesn’t already have an add-on for something you want, you can create it using Python, (yes, this is the very definition of “open source!”).
You can develop an add-on and share it with the Kodi community, which is pretty great. Maybe you want an add-in that dims your lights when a movie starts; you can use Python to do that and others might use it too.
If you have zero interest in developing your add-on, then you could jump on a hiring website and pay someone else to create it for you! Then you can use it and share it too.
That being said, Kodi will open a whole new world to a plethora of media when it’s downloaded to your firestick. You have to remember that you are jailbreaking your fire stick, which is legal but can be risky. Just like jailbreaking your phone or tablet is permitted, but does carry some security risks.
Jailbreaking the fire stick will give you loads of options for media and access, and a fantastic user interface, so you have to weigh the costs. It will be mentioned in the upcoming section on prerequisites that you can reduce this security risk.
By adding ExpressVPN to your fire stick before adding Kodi, you will minimize security problems. This will give you an added layer of protection and also increase the speed and safety of your device. But more about that later.
What is the Amazon Fire Stick?
Now that we know what Kodi is, let’s get to the details. Amazon’s Fire TV Stick is a small, plug-in device, much like Roku, that is added to your smart TV’s HDMI port. It doesn’t have to be a specific brand of smart TV; it can be any manufacturer.
Your device does have to be a smart TV enabled, however. The fire stick allows you to stream a fantastic amount of media, including TV shows, movies, music, and Internet web services and channels.
Some of the channels and services are free; others are not. If you have Amazon Prime, many channels are included in that subscription, including the new Amazon original TV shows.
If they are not included, you will have to pay for some channels.
Do I have to Pay for Channels?
If your current service provider package does not include channels like HBO, Showtime or Starz, for instance, you will have to pay. A monthly subscription cost applies to watch these channels.
If you don’t have a full ISP package, you can still stream all of these channels using the stick, your Wifi, and your smart TV.
Is There a Subscription Charge?
For the stick itself, there is no subscription; you pay one time as you do for any device like your phone, TV, or laptop. The fire stick can be purchased at BestBuy, Target, Walmart, or, of course, directly from Amazon.com.
The cost for the fire stick is anywhere between $25 to 40 dollars. You can buy pre-owned fire sticks for less money. You can also purchase previously jailbroken fire sticks, but why would you pay all that extra money when you can do it yourself in under ten minutes!!!??
You wouldn’t! And you shouldn’t! So don’t! We’ll show you how to do it below, so stick around!
Prerequisites To Installing Kodi on FireStick
If you don’t have them already, you are going to need a few things before you get started with the installation of Kodi. For starters, you’re going to need to have a Smart TV, one that has an HDMI port on the back or side.
Additionally, you need to have a fire stick, of course! If you don’t have one, you need to go out and purchase one at a retail store or order one online. The newest version of the device comes with an Alexa voice remote.
What does that mean for you? It means that you can kick back and let Alexa do all your TV surfing, channel changing, recording, and playing for you, at your command. You can relax and let your voice do the work after a long day at work or school or where ever you’ve been.
Amazon’s Voice Command Remote will let you lounge on your sofa and tell Alexa what to do. You can ask her to “launch Netflix,” or “play Game of Thrones” or “pause the show” you’re watching.
It’s like having your own maid, only one that doesn’t clean anything. Having the Alexa remote adds a great deal of functionality to the fire stick that it didn’t have before. With Kodi installed, the possibilities become even more expanded and far-reaching.
Adding a VPN to Secure Your Stick
One last and important prerequisite you might want to invest in is adding a secure VPN. The best VPN currently on the market is ExpressVPN.
Why would you want to do this? Well, there are several excellent reasons. Most of them have to do with lightning-fast speed, privacy, and ultimate security. Using ExpressVPN will keep your device secure from hackers and safe from prying eyes.
It’s effortless to install and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. It’s compatible with Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. It supports Apple TV, Fire TV, Smart TV, PlayStation, Android TV box, and many others.
It’s one of the top-rated VPNs in the world. They have a great reputation and a clean track record. You want to amp up security. You can learn more about this technology at www.expressvpn.com.
Why Should I Use a VPN?
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, protects your data from third-party snoops, hackers, spies, aggressive marketers, and casual observers. A VPN creates a secure connection that shields all data transfers.
Your computer also uses the VPN’s IP address, so you have some privacy online. Your identity remains anonymous and secure. What this means for you is that private data and transfers cannot be intercepted or stolen.
This is particularly important when you’re using open networks such as those in coffee shops, restaurants, and airports. These connections are often not secured, and anyone can pry into your data. While you don’t need to install a VPN on your stick to use it, you should strongly consider doing so.
With the fire stick, you might have credit card numbers, bank account numbers, your images, music, home movies and other personal data that is vulnerable to hacking and data corruption. Having a VPN on your device will protect your data.
Install Kodi on firestick – Let’s Go!
Here comes the fun part, installing Kodi on your firestick.
Now, let’s say you have your stick. You installed ExpressVPN. You plugged it into your smart TV—this means you’re ready to install Kodi!
Let’s do this.
Before starting the Kodi installation, make sure that you’ve plugged your fire stick into your smart TV’s HDMI port. Turn the Alexa remote on and press the home button.
This will bring you to your TV’s home screen where you will access your TVs Settings Menu to start the install.
Navigate to your smart TV’s settings menu.
In the settings menu, click Device.
In the Device menu, click Developer options.
You will see an option to Enable Apps from Unknown Sources, if the setting is turned off, click On to toggle it on.
IMPORTANT SECURITY NOTE: Right about now you may be wondering, could turning on “Apps from Unknown Sources” be a security risk to my system? It sure sounds like a security risk.
If this is precisely what you were thinking, then you get the tech brownie point award. It sure is a security risk. You’re telling your TV that any third-party app from an unknown source can access your TV.
That means it can access your Wifi, and potentially all of your data. So, keep this in mind as you proceed. If you’re jailbreaking then we assume that you know that in doing so you are willing to take a certain amount of risk.
Just like jailbreaking your phone to access apps and other features puts your phone at higher risk for hacking, so does jailbreaking any device.
Usually, the benefit outweighs any calamity, but if you’re not comfortable, abort the install now. This is another good reason to install that VPN.
Return to your smart TV’s home screen/home menu.
Type Downloader into the search box.
When the Downloader app comes up, select it and install it by clicking Get.
Once the install is complete, click Open.
If an “Allow Downloader to Access Photos?” box opens, click Allow.
If a notification opens, click OK.
Click on the http:// address box.
Type http://kodi.tv/download precisely as it appears here.
Scroll to the bottom of the Download page, click Android.
In the Release section, find the choice that has 32 BIT, it might have numbers in front or letters, but as long as it says “32 BIT,” that’s the one you want. Click 32 BIT.
After the 32 BIT file downloads, click Install.
When the install is complete, click Open.
From this point, you can customize the Kodi app the way you want. Select the kodi addons that you will use most often, such as video, music, program, and pictures. Explanations of each add-in are included in the menu.
You can scroll through the various options available to download and install whichever Kodi addons you want.
That’s it. You have now installed Kodi on your fire stick, enjoy!