Kodi is one of the most versatile media players freely available. It’s easy to configure and is almost endlessly customizable. Users can add a large number of different streaming plugins to the player and stream content through the software.
However, there’s currently a battle raging between legitimate, legal add-ons and third-party add-ons such as the SALTS Kodi add-on. SALTS, or Stream All The Sources, draws in a large number of Kodi users looking to access movies and TV shows. Unfortunately, the vast majority movies and TV shows you’ll find streaming through SALTS are pirated.
In this article, we’ll walk you through what SALTS is and explain in detail how this add-on really works. We also give an overview of the privacy concerns related to SALTS and other Kodi add-ons. Most importantly, we emphasize some useful alternatives to SALTS.
In the UK and much of Europe, in particular, streaming pirated content is illegal. In other parts of the world, such as the US and Canada, the law is simply confusing, making streaming pirated content a huge risk. With that in mind, it’s important to understand the risks associated with using Kodi add-ons like SALTS by understanding how they work.
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.
How to keep Kodi add-ons secure
Because third-party add-ons like SALTS often do not go through the more rigorous vetting process that official add-ons do, the chances of running into a bad and potentially dangerous version of SALTS are high. And if you’ve installed your add-on through a repository, that add-on can be updated without your consent or your knowledge.
Even legitimate, first-party add-ons can be hijacked in these ways, meaning all Kodi users, in general, need to play it safe. One of the best ways to do this is to download and install a VPN, or virtual private network, that will help mask your identity, anonymize your data, and prevent a fair number of risks associated with both all types of Kodi add-ons.
Additionally, whether you’re using Kodi add-ons for legitimate purposes or not, ISPs are increasingly trying to throttle speeds for online video. A VPN will help prevent your ISP from knowing where your data is coming from or going to, eliminating the threat of having the speeds you’ve paid for cut off due to even legitimate streaming activities.
Recommended VPN: IPVanish is the most popular VPN with Kodi users and for good reason. It keeps no logs of user activity, easily prevents your ISP from seeing where you stream, and can help prevent man-in-the-middle and other types of internet hijacking and spying. IPVanish is one of the few VPNs to maintain its own servers and infrastructure meaning it can offer the sort of speeds and security needed for uninterrupted viewing. IPVanish works seamlessly with all Kodi add-ons we have tested and we found it to be the easiest VPN to install on a Fire Stick or Fire TV.
Reader deal: You can save 60% on an IPVanish annual plan here.
If you want to widen your VPN search see our round up of the best VPNs for Kodi.
What is the SALTS Kodi addon?
SALTS is one of many TV and movie streaming add-ons. SALTS works by scraping a large number of different websites, looking for different TV and film titles. If it finds those films and TV shows listed in its menus, it then serves up that content to the Kodi user, streaming it directly from whichever site the user chooses.
Importantly, the SALTS addon itself does not host any of that content. Instead, it seeks that content out from a large number of pirate streaming sites. SALTS works the same way as other Kodi add-ons do, using code to attempt to locate working streams. Because SALTS primarily lists pirate sites in its code, almost every TV show or film you find through SALTS are going to come from such sites. Unless you know the full history of every site listed, your chances of streaming pirated content are high, even if you’re not trying to do so. SALTS uses few, if any, legal streaming sites for its content.
Best SALTS Alternatives
Given its popularity, millions of Kodi users are already turning to SALTS for pirated content streaming. Should you use the SALTS Kodi add-on to stream content? Our answer to that is no. Instead of turning to SALTS, there are some great alternatives that not only provide legal content streaming but in general, provide higher quality streams.
The USTVNow Kodi add-on provides a mixture of live streams and on-demand content. USTVNow is a legitimate add-on available through the Official Kodi Add-on Repository. The XBMC Foundation, the key development group behind Kodi, maintains a list of unofficial Kodi add-ons. You’ll find SALTS on it, but not USTVNow.
USTVNow is actually a streaming service designed for US military members and American expatriates living overseas. However, just about anyone can actually sign up for this service, as USTVNow has no real verification method for your location.
For free, you’ll get access to a few regular OTA channels, such as NBC, CBS, and FOX. For $19 a month, you’ll get over 25 channels, with a DVR option included. You can also rent movies through USTVNow, making a good substitute for streaming through SALTS.
Is USTVNow legal? As of this time of writing, there have been no legal complaints raised against this service. This means you can use it to access the content provided there.
To learn more, click here to access our longer guide on USTVNow.
The BBC iPlayer offers up a large amount of on-demand content, from popular movies to TV shows. As long as you’re a UK resident with a valid TV License, you can access the BBC iPlayer directly through Kodi, and can download the add-on using the Official Kodi Repository.
The best part with accessing the BBC iPlayer through Kodi is that you get some of the best quality streaming possible. Additionally, if you’re currently a UK resident traveling or living overseas and you have a TV License, you can still access the BBC iPlayer by using a VPN. As with the regular website, the iPlayer Kodi addon will simply ask if you have a License. If you have one and you have your account information, you can log in, otherwise, you can just go in without having to enter your official credentials (possibly a good idea considering the associated risks with Kodi add-ons).
SALTS Kodi addon: Overview and privacy concerns
Given its popularity, it’s important to understand what is entailed with the SALTS Kodi add-on. SALTS is a movie and TV streaming add-on that focuses primarily on providing pirated streams.
When you use SALTS, you take on the risk that you may inadvertently stream pirated content. While some legal, public domain films and TV shows can be accessed through SALTS (such as the 1964 version of The Last Man on Earth), these types of films are not only difficult to find but easily available through more legitimate sources. Of the thousands of movies and TV shows available through SALTS, most are pirated and in some countries, illegal to stream.
You can certainly turn off different providers in SALTS if you don’t want to stream from certain pirate sites, but we’ve found few sites providing content to SALTS that aren’t pirated.
However, there are concerns related to SALTS that stretch beyond just trying to protect one’s identity when streaming pirated movies and TV shows. SALTS, like all Kodi addons, is delivered up through plugins that can gain access to your streaming habits and your hard drive. Kodi add-ons are typically downloaded from unsecure HTTP servers. Much of the content streamed through SALTS is also unsecured.
In the past, some add-ons, such as Exodus, have been hijacked by their own creators and used as malware. Kodi add-ons like SALTS are also susceptible to hijacked from other parties outside of the creators, who can easily upload a modified version of the add-on to a new location, market that add-on to Kodi users, and then use the modified version of the addon to spy on user activity. This type of man-in-the-middle hijack has happened with Kodi add-ons in the past and is particularly easy for hackers to do.