How to use Kodi Web Interface and access files from any device

Published by on May 25, 2018 in Kodi

Kodi web interface2

The Kodi web interface allows you to control and access your Kodi installation and files from any device on your network.

If you use Kodi on a regular basis, there may be times when you need to control a copy of it on one device using a different device on your home network. For example, maybe you have Kodi on your Amazon Fire Stick but can’t find the remote for it. In this case, you’ll need to be able to control it from your mobile phone or laptop.

Or, maybe you have Kodi on a PC connected to your television, but you’re working on a separate PC and want to play some music through your TV speakers.

Whatever your reason for wanting to control Kodi from a separate device, the Kodi web interface will allow you to do it. This article will explain how to setup and use the Kodi web interface.

What is Kodi?

Kodi is a free software media player from the Kodi Foundation. It allows users to stream TV shows, music, movies, and other media from practically anywhere on the Internet. It can be installed on Apple TV, PC, Mac, Android smartphone, Nvidia Shield, iOS smartphone, Amazon Fire Stick, or Linux device.

Warning: Kodi should only be used for content to which you have the legal right to access. Neither the Kodi Foundation nor Comparitech advocates the use of Kodi for piracy.

Always use a VPN with Kodi

If you use Kodi or any other software to stream video, your ISP may throttle your Internet speed in order to prevent congestion on its network. This may cause your videos to buffer, ruining your enjoyment of shows and movies. Video streaming sites may also block you from viewing content based on your location.

For these reasons, you should always use a virtual private network (VPN) whenever you stream video. Using a VPN prevents your ISP from knowing that you are streaming video and streaming sites from knowing where you are located. As a result, it helps keep buffering to a minimum and allows you to have a greater selection of titles to choose from.

All VPNs will slow your Internet speed somewhat, so it’s important to choose one that is fast.

And not all VPNs are good for Kodi users. Some do not have servers in enough countries to properly disguise your location. Others may keep logs of your online activity, creating a privacy risk. Most do not have apps for popular TV devices that run Kodi.

Because of these issues, we at Comparitech recommend IPVanish for Kodi users. In our testing, we found that it streamed 1080p video without buffering. It has servers in over 60 countries, has an app for Nvidia Shield and Amazon Fire TV, and keeps no logs.

READER DEAL: Save 60% IPVanish plans

How to setup Kodi web interface

In order to control Kodi from a separate device, you’ll first need to set it up to receive commands from a web browser. Here is how to do that.

  • From Kodi’s main menu, select the gear icon in the upper-left corner of the screen
  • Kodi 17 settings
  • Select Services
  • Kodi service settings
  • Move your cursor over Control
  • Kodi settings services control
  • Move the slider for Allow remote control via HTTP to the “on” position
  • Kodi allow remote control
  • Take note of the port number listed. This is usually 8080 by default
  • Whether you’re on a public or private network, you should enter a username and password on this screen to prevent others from controlling your Kodi without your permission. You can, however, leave the username as “Kodi” and the password blank temporarily if you just want to test the connection
  • Find the IP address for the device that has Kodi on it. Do not use the IP address listed within Kodi, as our testing revealed it often differed from the IP address of the device. If you don’t know how to find your device’s IP address, read the section below titled how to find your device’s IP address
  • Open a browser on the device you want to use to control Kodi
  • For the url, type the IP address of the device that has Kodi on it, followed by a colon, followed by the port number. For example, if your device’s IP address is 10.0.0.110 and the port number you found under services → control is 8080, type in 10.0.0.110:8080 and hit enter
  • If you set up a username and password from within services → control, your browser will now ask you for it. After you provide this information, the Kodi web interface will load. Otherwise, the interface will load as soon as you hit enter from the previous step

See also: The best Kodi skins and how to change the skin on Kodi

How to find your device’s IP address

You’ll need your device’s IP address to complete the steps above. And unfortunately, the IP address listed under settings → system information in Kodi doesn’t seem to work. So here is how to find the IP address for several popular devices.

  • For Amazon Fire TV, select settings → device → about
  • For Apple TV, select settings → general → about
  • For Nvidia Shield, select settings → storage and reset → over local network
  • For Windows 10 PC, select Settings → Network & Internet. Choose either Wi-Fi or Ethernet. Select the Ethernet connected or Wi-Fi connected icon. Scroll down to Properties to see the IP address
  • For Mac OS X, click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner. Then click System preferences → Network → Airport or Ethernet

Related article: How to use Playto Kodi Browser addon

How to use the Kodi web interface

When you first open the Kodi web interface, you’ll see a list of icons on the left side of the screen.

Kodi web interface menu icons

These are similar to the Kodi main menu options. They allow you to browse through the shows, movies, and music stored on your device or access the device’s Kodi addons.

Clicking the addons icon will reveal a list of your device’s addons, sorted by the usual categories.

Kodi web interface addons

Click one of these addons to produce a list of titles.

Kodi web interface list of titles

When playing a video, the title will appear at the bottom, and you can pause, fast-forward or rewind using controls in the bottom-left. A background image that represents the video may also display.

Play video kodi web interface

Read more: The 112 best Kodi addons

How to use the Kodi web interface to stream music locally

If there is music stored on your Kodi device that you want to listen to on the controlling device, you can set up a “local” playlist. This is useful, for example, if you want to listen to music through your laptop headphones so as not to disturb others.

In order to do this, click Local in the top-right corner of the screen and select the + button for each track you want to add to the playlist. When you start playing the playlist, it will stream through your local device instead of the one Kodi is installed on.

Note: This feature does not work for videos or even music addons. Only music files stored on your Kodi device can be streamed over the wireless network through this feature.

See also: How to listen to Pandora anywhere in the world

Arch: An alternative Kodi web interface

The instructions given above are for the default “Chorus2” Kodi web interface, but Kodi also provides an alternative web interface for users that don’t like the default option. This alternative interface is called “Arch.”

To enable Arch, click on the gear icon from the main menu, then select Services → Control → Web interface → Arch.

Unlike Chorus2, Arch does not provide access to all of your addons remotely. However, it does provide remote access to all of the content stored on the device. So if you only use the web interface to play content you’ve downloaded or produced yourself, Arch may be just as good for you as Chorus2.

In addition, Arch provides a “discover” feature that scrapes content from one addon of your choice, using title information from Pulsar. By default, the addon selected to scrape is YouTube.

In my own testing, I found that this feature provided a list of the latest blockbuster films. 

Kodi Arch discover

When I clicked on a movie, Arch provided information about it.

Kodi Arch discover 2

However, clicking “play” only produced a trailer, not the actual movie.

Arch can be configured to use an addon other than YouTube. And if this addon provides access to streams of the latest Hollywood movies, the “discover” function will allow you to play these movies. However, this is unlikely to happen unless you are using a third-party addon that provides unlicensed streams of content. We do not recommend using addons that stream unlicensed content.

Security concerns with Kodi web interface

Regardless of whether you are using Chorus2 or Arch as your Kodi web interface, you should always protect this interface by creating your own username and password from within Kodi’s Services → Control menu. If you don’t password-protect this interface, your Kodi controls will be on the Internet for anyone in the world to access.

A private, password-protected Wi-Fi network will not protect you from this problem since the web interface publishes to the Internet in the same way that a website does. To protect your privacy, create your own Kodi web interface login information and always keep it private.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this guide to the Kodi web interface. If you’d like more information about how to get the most from your Kodi, check out some our other guides, including the five best sports Kodi addons, how to watch the news on Kodi, and the best Kodi addons for movies and TV.

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