The hugely popular Kodi add-on “Phoenix” has been shut down following a legal challenge. Irony aside, this is a pretty big deal since it leaves many users without a way to access their streamed content. Many users turned to Phoenix for illegal streaming options, which included on-demand content and live TV.
There are other options outside of Phoenix, however, that offer much of the same type of content legally and free-of-charge.
Some Phoenix alternatives you see may range between official and unofficial add-ons. Here, we focus solely on the official alternatives that offer legal content. We’ve also provided a short explanation of some unofficial add-ons you may see listed elsewhere.
How to use Kodi add-ons safely
As ever, when using Kodi, we’d like to remind you to use a virtual private network (VPN). Using a VPN with Kodi provides several benefits, particularly related to your personal privacy and security.
A VPN will keep your streaming activity private and stops any overeager internet service provider from throttling your bandwidth. Additionally, when trying to access some content, you may get geographic content blocking that prevents you free streaming. A VPN will bypass these blocks by letting you connect to a server in the country of your choice.
Perhaps the most troublesome, all Kodi add-ons are susceptible to being hijacked and used to spy on Kodi users. By using a man-in-the-middle hijack, hackers can see what you’re streaming and may even be able to spy on your hard drive. Most Kodi add-ons are housed on websites without strong SSL protection, making them easily vulnerable.
We personally recommend IPVanish, which keeps no logs of your traffic and doesn’t have much of an impact on your internet speed. IPVanish some of the most servers of any VPN service, making access to your favorite streams easy. The service includes strong encryption to help prevent spying, both from your ISP and man-in-the-middle hijacks from Kodi add-ons.
Reader deal: Save 60% on an IPVanish annual plan here.
Comparitech does not condone or encourage any violation of copyright restrictions, including illegal streaming through Kodi. Kodi can be used for many excellent, legal online streaming purposes. Please consider the law, victims, and risks of piracy before downloading or streaming copyrighted material without permission.
Official Phoenix alternatives for movies and TV shows
British residents will be happy to hear that the BBC iPlayer is available through a high-quality Kodi add-on. As long as you have a TV License, you can freely access the on-demand TV and movie content available through the BBC. Anyone that’s enjoyed the iPlayer on the BBC’s website knows just how much content is available. The library is simply huge.
Your TV License should also be good when you’re overseas and traveling, although you’ll need to utilize a VPN to access the content due to the BBC’s geographic content locking.
For years, anime fans have been watching their favorite shows legally on two sites: Crunchyroll or Funimation. Both sites offer similar but also differing content with varying amounts of subs and dubs.
While both sites offer paid memberships, a large amount of their anime is available to watch for free and as such, there are Kodi add-ons to make this possible with your home theater setup. While the Kodi add-ons originally available for these sites were crafted by third parties, both sites now provide their own first-party created add-ons, which shows through in the quality of their add-ons.
The web players on both sites are known for being temperamental, often being laggy or just flat-out refusing to play video, but the Kodi add-ons resolve these problems beautifully and even allow you to use a remote control.
Free users are limited to standard definition and older episodes, but new episodes are added just a few days after airing in Japan for paid users, so these add-ons are some of the best around for keeping up-to-date with any anime from the current season.
You can install both Crunchyroll and Funimation from the Official Kodi Add-on Repository.
You see? The end of Phoenix isn’t the end of Kodi – there are still plenty of high-quality Phoenix alternatives available. We’ve touched upon some of the more popular ones here, but we’re always looking for the next big thing. What is your go-to video add-on? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll give it a shot.
The popular USTVNow service is one Kodi add-on that’s effectively a “must have.” USTVNow offers up about 7 American TV programming for free, with the option of expanding that to over 20 channels for $19 a month. Those paid channels include some popular options that many users were turning to Phoenix to obtain, such as AMC and ESPN.
We provide a longer guide on getting started with USTVNow, which you can download and install quite easily on Kodi. Click here to access our USTVNow installation guide.
Official Phoenix alternatives for movies and TV shows
The following add-ons may be listed in other locations as potential alternatives to Phoenix. However, these add-ons are unofficial and provide only pirated streams for different content. Below, we’ve explained that these add-ons are, a bit on how they work, and why you should avoid them.
What is it? Exodus is one of the most well-known add-ons, and for a good reason. It offers access to a huge range of TV shows and movies, many of which are available in HD. However, Exodus has a certain notoriety around it, given it provides access to a fair amount of pirated content. Indeed, the vast majority of what you’ll find in Exodus is pirated.
Why should you avoid it? While some legal streaming does exist in Exodus, this is primarily limited to uncopyrighted, public domain movies, such as the 1940 Cary Grant film, His Girl Friday. Most other content is pirated and streamed without legal rights. For that reason, we do not recommend Exodus as a legitimate Phoenix replacement and do not support streaming through this add-on.
What is it? Elysium (previously known as Zen) is another film and TV add-on. It works by scraping sources from various locations around the internet and categorizing them for easier access. Most of that content, however, is pirated and offered without legal rights. Elysium allows users to filter sources by priority, which can aid users in accessing pirated content easier.
Why should you avoid it? With the exception of a few public domain films, Elysium offers only pirated streams. Despite its growing popularity, we do not recommend Elysium for streaming any content. Even streaming public domain films through Elysium helps support a service that provides primarily pirated streams.
What is it? Rising Tides covers everything from horse racing to mixed martial arts. There are over two hundred live sports channels here, although all of these channels are pirated streams. Particularly concerning is that Rising Tides is sports focused. Sports streams, in particular, tend to be highly copyrighted, making free streams through Rising Tides for sports very questionable.
Why should you avoid it? When it comes to free streaming, in most cases, the streams are pirated. For Rising Tide, this is almost certainly the case. We do not recommend using Rising Tides, as this add-on focuses purely on providing free, yet completely pirated streams to Kodi users.
See also: The best Kodi Movie add-ons.