Android tablets are not only cheap and easy to use – they make excellent Kodi streaming devices. However, before you start streaming, it’s a good idea to install a VPN on your Android tablet and secure your online identity.
Below, we walk you through the simple steps to setup VPN on Android tablet. Although Android tablets vary by brand, the underlying operating system is essentially the same.
If you’re just getting started with Android tablets, you may want to install Kodi first. Click here to access our guide on how to install Kodi on Android tablets.
Before We Proceed
An Android tablet is a great device for streaming through apps like Kodi or just everyday web browsing. However, whether you’re streaming or browsing the web, your identity can easily get exposed, especially to your ISP. At times, your ISP may be recording your activity for various different reasons, including to sell the information to marketers.
To best secure your identity and protect your streaming, browsing, and shopping habits, we suggest a VPN. Our best recommendation for online privacy solutions is IPVanish – a complete privacy solution for all online streaming and browsing activities.
Additional IPVanish benefits
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How to Install VPN on Android Tablet
If you’re a fan of easy guides, you’re in luck! This guide to setup a VPN on Android tablets should only take you a few minutes!
There are a large number of VPN programs that work for Android tablets. The process involves four easy steps:
- Creating your VPN account
- Downloading and installing the VPN app from the Google Play Store
- Logging into your VPN account
- Choosing and connecting to your desired VPN location
For this guide, we’ll be walking through the setup process using IPVanish. Although most major VPN services have Android apps, IPVanish offers the most complete service for Kodi users, and is what we use at AddonHQ. That said, you should be able to follow the same or general steps using any VPN program.
Step 1: Create Your VPN Account
Your first step is to create your VPN account. If using IPVanish, click here.
- Choose your plan (you can get a refund within the first 7 days if you decide to go with another service)
- Enter an email address (username)
- Finally, choose a payment method and submit
Once you complete the purchase, you will receive your password in your email as well as a login link. Click the link in the email and enter your login information, including your newly issued password. You can peruse your account information and options, but you will need to switch over to your Android tablet in order to proceed with the setup process.
Step 2: Download and Install Your VPN App
This step requires you to download and install the VPN app onto your Android tablet.
- From your Android tablet, access your Google Play Store
- Type in “IPVanish”
- Access the IPVanish app page, and then install the app
- The app should be added to one of your primary Android tablet home screens
Step 3: Login to Your VPN App
This step requires you to have your VPN account already set up. If you already have your account information, simply open your app and enter your account information (username and password). If you are typing in your password, make sure to use the correct case and numbers, especially if using IPVanish.
Step 4: Choose a Server Location and Connect
Your last step is to choose the correct server location for you and connect.
- Choose your desired server. With IPVanish, you can choose server location by country, city, and by specific server. The specific servers will show you the Ping and the Load (we describe what this means below, skip down to “Choosing the Right VPN Server”)
Step 5: Verify That Your VPN Connection is Working
Your final step will be to verify that your VPN connection is working. You can use any of the following websites to do so:
You should see a different country or city/state in the test results. As long as it’s the same location as your VPN server, you should be good to go!
The Benefits of a VPN
A VPN service provides numerous benefits to Kodi users. The immediate, and perhaps most important benefit is the one we described earlier: identity protection.
When you connect to a VPN on your Android tablet, you route your connection through an encrypted channel to a secure, protected server. IPVanish provides a useful graphic to help illustrate what this looks like for your average VPN user:
The illustration represents the basic understanding of what a VPN service is doing to protect your identity. While you’re connected to the remote server, your internet connection is protected through military-grade encryption methods. Your ISP and government cannot see what activity is actually occurring within that private and secure channel.
Some VPN services, including IPVanish, also include what’s known as obfuscation. This method not only protects your identity, but also jumbles, or obfuscates, the information in the header and footer of the data packets being sent back and forth. This makes it more difficult for any ISPs or any governments watching to even detect the use of a VPN. For those connecting to VPN services in countries where VPNs are heavily monitored, or where VPN use may result in negative consequences from your ISP, a service that utilizes obfuscation may be an important feature.
On IPVanish, this service is known as Scramble. Other services utilize what is known as Obfsproxy. For IPVanish, you can setup this option by hitting options icon on the top left (the three lines), then tap on Settings.
Avoid Geographic Content Blocking
Geographic content blocking is extremely common and is used as a way for content owners to increase how their monetization schemes. With geographic content blocking, some content may not be available in your region, however. For example, it’s not uncommon for US residents to have no access to British TV content.
While this does not always impact Kodi users, there are some Kodi addons, such as the BBC iPlayer addon iPlayer WWW, which do require the correct geographic location to use.
By using a VPN, you can connect to a server in the country of your choice where the content geographically-blocked content is available. The websites hosting that content will identify your connection as coming from the remote server, and allow you to access that content.
Avoid ISP Data Collection
Recent federal actions in the US mean that it is now possible for ISPs to collect, and your data. That data can include your browsing habits, shopping habits, and physical location.
A VPN will help prevent this. The same process that is used to hide your identity from your ISP also hides your streaming and browsing habits. The only thing the ISP can see is that you are connected to the VPN server (assuming you do not have obfuscation in place), and how much data you’re using. They cannot, however, collect any information on the type of data you’re using.
Avoid ISP Bandwidth Throttling
A current concern for many Kodi users, especially those in the US, is Net Neutrality. Net Neutrality is the principle that assumes ISPs must treat all data the same, regardless of the source. However, that concept is currently under threat in the US and elsewhere, as ISPs look to be able to discriminate on types of data, and either charge more, or throttle speeds for users who access certain websites.
Streaming services and those who use them are at a particular threat, as ISPs throttle speeds for users who connect to streaming services often. However, ISPs will only do this when they know where the data is coming from. By masking your data sources with a VPN, you can prevent your ISP from identifying that you’re streaming, and help avoid bandwidth throttling.
Choosing The Right VPN Server
Choosing the right VPN server comes down to a few factors.
The first and most important thing to consider is geographic content blocking. If you’re trying to connect to content through Kodi that is blocked to those in your country, your first choice will be a VPN server that gives you such access.
The second most important thing to look for is server load. Server load has a big impact on bandwidth or speed, and simply measures how many other people are using that server. The more people on the server, the more limited the bandwidth will be. When bandwidth is limited, you’ll find download speeds slower, so it’ll be more difficult to stream through Kodi, causing undesirable results, such as slower buffering.
Ping is sometimes hard to understand, but at the most basic level, it’s how long data takes to travel between your computer and the server. The bigger the number, the longer it takes. You can’t always attribute a low ping to a better connection, however. For example, if you see a VPN server that has a higher ping than the others, but no load, it might be a better option for you than one with very low ping but a heavy load.
Make ping a consideration on which VPN server you choose, but not the only consideration. And remember, the further away a server location is geographically the higher than ping will be. This is just a natural consequence of data transmission and is unavoidable with today’s technology.
Are VPNs Legal?
One question many new Kodi users often have is whether it’s legal to use a VPN. The short answer to this is YES. VPNs are 100% legal to use, even in some of the most restrictive countries, like China.
The real issue that governments and ISPs have with VPNs is that some users turn to VPNs to mask illegal internet usage. For Kodi users, this is generally not a concern, as Kodi itself is not illegal, and most Kodi streaming is not illegal either (check the respective laws in your country to confirm – AddonHQ’s content should not be interpreted for legal advice).
There are some complications that may arise for some Kodi users and some Kodi uses, however.
Torrents, for example, are often looked upon negatively. Even if you’re torrenting legal content, ISPs tend to throttle torrenting pretty heavily when they see it. There are a few torrent, or P2P addons available for Kodi. Some are used to access live streams for popular sports games, while others are used to stream movies and TV shows.
If you’re looking into torrent addons, we highly recommend a VPN service. There’s a good chance your ISP will throttle your activity and your chances of receiving a notification from your ISP about your streaming habits is much higher when using torrent addons.
Outside of torrent addons, UK residents may have some concerns when it comes to streaming popular sports through Kodi. The UK recently passed legislation called the Digital Economy Act which seeks to make streaming protected content, such as popular sports games, more difficult for users. ISPs are slowly working to block such streaming as much as possible, and send notifications to users who try to stream such content.
There is a lot of misinformation regarding the Digital Economy Act, however. Some news organizations were reporting that Kodi streamers could face up to 10 years in prison, for example. Our research as well as research conducted by TorrentFreak indicates that this is not the case. The new law, as is common and expected, targets uploaders, not streamers. It remains legal to stream, although UK users may find some of their streaming sources starting to disappear in the near future.
In general, a VPN is best used to help avoid speed throttling from your ISP, get past geographic content blocking, avoid ISP spying, and to keep your ISP from recording and selling your data. All of these avoidances are perfectly legal. While your ISP may not like it, they can’t and won’t do anything about you actually using a VPN, and it’s unlikely that you will face any legal consequences for using one either.
Sam Cook is a full-time content strategist by day, a part-time freelance content writer since 2015. In another life, he was a high school English teacher for nearly a decade. Based in sunny New Orleans, he writes long-form educational content on technology, including Insurtech, Fintech, HRtech, and content streaming. He loves whittling down complex ideas within these areas that make decisions easier for buyers. When he’s not reading books with his son Miles and playing video games with the family, you can find him immersed in his growing collection of Euro-style board games.