How to Guides

How to Install a VPN on OpenELEC – OpenELEC Set up Guide

Most people who use Kodi, run it using OpenELEC, and some even install these two on the Raspberry Pi in order to have a portable Kodi player system. What is OpenELEC? OpenELEC is a Linux based Operating System which is specially developed and designed for media playback.

A lot of people prefer OpenELEC over other operating systems because it only requires minimal setup and can even be run from a memory card because of its small size. Aside from these two advantages, OpenELEC has just the basic features needed in order to have an effective media playback software.

OpenELEC does not have a file explorer and this makes it difficult for users to perform basic tasks such as transferring files, installing add-ons, setting up a VPN, and adding repositories. However, you only need to learn some Linux commands in order to perform these tasks.

This guide will teach you the steps and commands to use in setting up a VPN on OpenELEC.

Why Use a VPN on Kodi?

This question might have come up in your mind while reading about OpenELEC and Kodi. And indeed, why do you need a VPN for Kodi? First and foremost, a VPN or a Virtual Private Network encrypts all data that are being transmitted to and from a network. This means that your online activities are protected and secured.

Your privacy remains private and personal when you use a VPN. Therefore, Kodi users have the freedom to access any content they want. Aside from this, a VPN also works wonders in unblocking geo-restrictions, allowing Kodi users to watch foreign shows, movies, and sporting events.

How to Install a VPN on OpenELEC?

The VPN needs to be manually configured in order to be able to connect to it on the OpenELEC system. However, don’t be disheartened as this does not require too much technical expertise. As a matter of fact, it is easy to do if you just follow the steps below:

  1. Connect to another computer through SSH or Secure Shell protocol in order to successfully install the required software to the OpenELEC system. You need to first download PuTTY to the computer which will serve as the communication interface between the computer and the OpenELEC system.
  2. After installing PuTTY, open the program and configure it such that the Connection Type is set to SSH.
  3. Go to the Kodi main page and click on the gear icon. From there, click on the OpenELEC icon.
  4. On the left menu, click on the Services tab and Enable SSH by toggling the corresponding slider.
  5. Now click on the System Settings tab on the left menu, and go to Add-ons > Unknown sources tab. A warning message will pop up, telling you that it is risky to download software from third parties and asking for your confirmation. Confirm by clicking on Yes. After setting up the VPN, you can turn this feature off in order to avoid third party software in the future. In the meantime, turn the feature on as you will be using a secured VPN anyway.
  6. Take note of the IP address of your OpenELEC system by going to the Settings > System Information page.
  7. Open the PuTTY Configuration screen and enter the IP address of your OpenELEC in the Host Name field.
  8. Click on Open at the bottom of the PuTTY configuration screen.
  9. Log in using root as the username and openelec as the password, then hit the Enter key on your keyboard.
  10. Type the exact command below:

wget https://github.com/Zomboided/service.vpn.manager/archive/master.zip

  1. After downloading the file, go to the OpenELEC system and open Kodi’s home screen.
  2. Go to the Add-ons tab, and click on the box icon located at the top left of the screen.
  3. Click on Install from zip file. In the next screen, select Home folder, then master.zip to install the VPN manager.
  4. Wait for the notification that the VPN   OpenVPN addon is successfully installed.

Setting Up VPN Manager for OpenVPN

It is now possible to setup a VPN connection to your OpenELEC device since you already have the VPN Manager installed. To complete the process, follow the steps below:

  1. From the Kodi home page, go to the Add-ons tab. Right-click on the VPN Manager for OpenVPN option.
  2. Go to Settings and look for your VPN provider on the list that will be presented. This is assuming that you have already signed up with a VPN service provider. If not, then you can checkout LimeVPN.
  3. After selecting your VPN provider, login with your username and password for the VPN service.
  4. Go to the VPN Connections tab and select a server.
  5. A popup window will appear while the system tries to connect to your VPN service provider. A list of servers will appear, and you can select up to 10 servers from there. You can also set up one server as a primary VPN server.
  6. You are now connected to the VPN on OpenELEC system.       

How to Manually Setup the VPN Manager for OpenVPN on OpenELEC

Popular VPN service providers, including LimeVPN, are already on VPN Manager. However, if your chosen VPN provider is not on the list, you need to manually setup your VPN connection. Follow the steps below:

  1. Download the required files from your VPN provider’s website. Usually, these are the .crt file and .ovpn file. Contact your provider for instruction on where and how to download these files.
  2. Go to the Kodi main menu and click on the gear icon.
  3. Click on File Manager and then the Add source.
  4. Type into the field that will appear the URL provided by the VPN service where the VPN configuration can be found.  Give the source a name.
  5. Go to Kodi’s Add-ons page and right click on the VPN Manager for OpenVPN add-on.
  6. Click on Settings and locate the VPN Provider field. Select User Defined in this field.
  7. Go to the lower portion of the page and click on the User Defined import wizard option.
  8. Select the location of the downloaded files.
  9. A popup message will ask you if you prefer to have the server files updated by the VPN Manager. Click on Yes as this fixes broken and erroneous links automatically.
  10. Go back to the VPN Manager’s settings page and go to the VPN Connections tab where you can select the server.

Installing a VPN on OpenELEC : Conclusion

All these steps in installing a VPN on OpenELEC may seem daunting and intimidating at first, but once you are in front of the system and the device, following the steps will be easier. Besides, the advantages of using a VPN while watching your favorite shows on your Kodi media player far outweighs the struggle in setting it up.

Remember that a VPN enhances your privacy and keeps you secure and protected while using the internet. Even your ISP won’t know about your online activities, and the same is true with advertisers and other organizations that might be spying.

 

A Complete gamer and a Tech Geek. Brings out all her thoughts and Love in Writing Techie blogs.

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