How to watch videos over Meshnet using Kodi
Learn how to configure your personal video library on a desktop device and access it remotely using Kodi — a free and open-source media player application developed by the Kodi Foundation.
Media content lovers will perhaps agree that an excellent media player includes three things:
- An option to conveniently arrange files
- Having remote access to shared media folders
- A secure connection is set up among multiple user devices
However, such digital solutions can be costly, have gaps in data security, or not be supported by all operating systems. But imagine you are often on business trips or take long rides on public transport. You surely deserve a convenient way to watch your favorite videos (like a cherished wedding video) lawfully stored on your home device, without exposing your personal data and using whatever device you have at hand. Luckily, this is achievable with Kodi and NordVPN’s Meshnet feature.
Kodi is a widely used open-source media player that supports various kinds of media — from movies and TV shows to pictures and games. It not only allows you to navigate through your locally stored media but also lets you add network locations. You can use this feature to access media files from other devices remotely.
You might wonder how Meshnet can help with that. Without Meshnet, to access devices in a remote location, you may need to go around network configuration and have port forwarding rules set up, which is not always easy or secure.
With Meshnet, your devices are linked together and exchange data via encrypted tunnels.
To remotely access media files, you need to have a host device acting as a server, which would have a shared folder set up with the media that you wish to access. After that, all other devices will be connected to the host device as clients using the Kodi media player.
Figure 1. Setup for remote media access using Kodi
For this guide, we will be using a device with a Windows OS to set up a shared folder. However, the folder can be shared from devices with Windows, macOS, or Linux operating systems. You can follow the steps in the How to set up and access shared folders article to do that.
Once you have finished setting up the shared folder, it is time to configure the Kodi media player. For this configuration, an Android device will be used as an example. Nevertheless, the same process can be carried out on all available operating systems.
Download and how-to guides can be found on the official Kodi website:
- 1.Launch the Kodi application and tap Settings.
- 2.Select File manager and tap Add source.
- 3.In the new window, tap Browse and select Add network location from the list of available sources.
- 4.Fill in the network location configuration window with the information about your shared folder. Protocol: Windows network (SMB) Server name: Nord name or Meshnet IP of the desktop device Shared folder: Name of the network shareYou can find the Meshnet IP address or Nord name of your computer in the NordVPN application.
- 5.With the network share added, tap OK.
- 6.Now you can enter a different name for the share for easier navigation inside the Kodi application (for example,
MeshnetVideos). Select OK.
Note Kodi 19 and newer does not allow access to SMB shares with empty Username and Password fields. You must enter authentication details in the Username and Password fields.
- 1.From Kodi’s main page, select the media content category of your choice and click Add videos.
- 2.Tap tBrowse, select the newly added network share from the list, and tap OK.
- 3.You may enter a custom name for the network share once again and select OK.
- 4.Select the category of content that is available in the shared folder.You can find more detailed information about the set content settings menu on the Kodi website under the "Set content" section.
- 5.Once you finish all of the necessary adjustments, select OK.
You can then enter the folder, view files, and start watching by clicking the desired file.
You've set up your machine with a Windows OS as a secure media host, accessible globally via the Kodi media player.
To add more media folders, like TV shows or music, share them from your desktop device and map them to Kodi following the earlier instructions.
In order to reach the shared media content using the Kodi media player, Meshnet must stay enabled on the server and client devices all the time.