With the number of people looking for alternatives to cable TV packages on the rise, the use of media center software like Kodi and Plex has become far more commonplace. However, while there is a wealth of tutorials for these packages, it can be difficult to find reliable information about less well-known software like Stremio.
Today, we’ll explain what Stremio is, how to install it, and how to configure it to find the type of content you want to watch. Unlike Kodi, Stremio tries to be as user-friendly as possible. Despite this, there are a few complex features that may cause confusion. We’ll explain what they are and how you can take advantage of them to maximize Stremio’s potential.
While Stremio has plenty of addons offering properly licensed content, there are a large number that don’t. We encourage our readers to use only official sources and to research their country’s copyright laws before attempting to use Stremio or similar software.
Warning: Stremio should only be used for content to which you have the legal right to access. Neither the Stremio developers nor Comparitech advocate the use of Stremio for piracy.
Before downloading Stremio
Before you install Stremio you might want to consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Some people use VPNs to hide unlicensed streaming from their internet service provider (ISP). However, they have many other uses and can benefit most people, including those that only stream officially licensed content.
VPNs encrypt your network traffic, making it unreadable to any outside observer. This prevents most kinds of Man-in-the-Middle attacks and also prevents your ISP from selling details of your browsing habits or throttling your internet speeds.
Every VPN will slow your connection down to some degree, however, some have more impact than others. Additionally, some VPNs have been found to include malware and others had their users contribute to a botnet, making it integral that VPN users choose the right service.
We recommend IPVanish. It’s one of the most portable VPNs available and can be installed on your PC, smartphone, and Amazon Firestick easily. Also, IPVanish offers consistent, high-speed connections to servers in more than 50 countries.
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What is Stremio?
At its heart, Stremio is a media center application for desktop PC, smartphones, and tablets. You can’t install Stremio on most TVs directly, but you can cast it using a Chromecast, Apple TV, or the DLNA protocol.
Stremio has a few key differences that set it apart from programs like Kodi. First, it suggests content that you might be interested in, and tells you which platforms you can watch it on (and if you’ll have to pay or not).
Secondly, none of Stremio’s addons are installed on the user’s computer. This means that there’s no chance of a rogue developer running malicious code on your system. It also means that these addons are easy to create as they’re essentially just lists of sources. Should the website hosting these addons go down, the addon will stop working completely instead of providing partial functionality. Because of this, users will quickly be aware of any issues that occur and can consult official channels for advice.
Stremio users can’t install customized builds or skins as with Kodi so there’s no chance of accidentally breaking your installation. That said, as simple as it seems, Stremio can be used for more than just watching movies. For instance, it can be tailored to suggest content relevant to your interests, sync your watch history to Trakt, and even keep track of when the next episode of your favorite show is released.
How to install Stremio
Installing Stremio is very simple. Start by going to the Stremio homepage, choosing your operating system, and clicking the Download Now button. Once the installer has finished downloading, run it.
You’ll be asked to login. You can either create a dedicated Stremio account or choose to login with Facebook. Stremio notes that it won’t post anything on your wall so it really doesn’t matter which option you choose. You can also login as a guest by clicking Log in, then Guest Login but your settings won’t be saved if you log out.
Once you log in, you’ll be asked to select at least three categories of content. Stremio uses this information to suggest relevant videos and you can choose as many as you like. Now that Stremio is installed and you’re logged in, let’s take a closer look at its basic features.
Using Stremio: Basic functionality
On the main screen (called a “board”), you’ll see a selection of recommended videos based on the categories you selected earlier. It’s important to note that not all of these are available – they’re simply titles you might be interested in. If you click on one, you can see all available sources on the right-hand side of the screen. You can also search for a specific title using the bar at the top of the screen, if you’d prefer.
So how do you find content that you can actually watch? Click the Discover tab on the left of the screen (the icon looks like a compass). You should now be able to scroll through the list and see movies and shows from your installed addons.
Installing new addons
In comparison to Kodi, Stremio has a very limited selection of addons. In fact, there are just six official addons, with a few dozen created by the community. It’s worth noting that some of the community addons pull content from unofficial sources and other rely on peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing sites, which while not inherently illegal, are known for hosting copyright-infringing material.
If you click the jigsaw piece icon on the left, you’ll be taken to the addons page. This shows all the addons available. All of the official addons come preinstalled and you can add community-created addons by hitting the big green Install button.
Using Stremio: Advanced features
Stremio has a good range of advanced functionality that let you take your media consumption to the next level. Below, we’ll walk you through these features.
Watching Stremio remotely
It’s actually possible to view any content you have access to on Stremio, regardless of where you are (provided the app is running). First, click on the gear icon in the bottom-left and open the settings menu. Next, click on Player.
Scroll down to the bottom and select one of the available IP addresses under Enable remote HTTPS connections. A new box will appear, labeled Streaming HTTPS endpoint. Simply visit this URL on your secondary device and you should be able to watch whatever you like.
Syncing your watch history with Trakt
Trakt is a web-based service that allows you to automatically keep track of the titles you’ve watched. As with the Kodi addon for Trakt, this is primarily used to sync your local library instead of the content you’ve streamed.
First you’ll need a Trakt account, so create one here. Next, click the gear icon in Stremio and click the Authenticate button beside the Trakt Scrobbling heading. You’ll be redirected to the Trakt website where you can confirm that Stremio is allowed to access your account. Now try playing something from your media library. If everything works as intended, you should see the movie or TV show appear in your Trakt watch history. This feature is fairly unreliable, however, and may not work with certain sources.
Using the Stremio calendar
Stremio has a built-in calendar that can be used to keep track of ongoing TV shows. Before you can use it, though, you’ll have to tell it what shows you’re interested in. There are a few ways to do this. You can import your existing Trakt library, import locally stored shows, select titles from the Discover tab, or allow Stremio to find TV shows that you’ve liked on Facebook.
For simplicity’s sake, we’ll be selecting content from the Discover tab. If we add Apple TV’s Foundation to our library then check the calendar, we can see all of the dates when it aired or will be airing. Of course, for unreleased titles, the final dates are subject to change and Stremio can only provide an estimated release date.
If you’d like to integrate this calendar into your daily routine, you can click the gear icon and select Subscribe to calendar. This will allow you to sync upcoming TV and movie release dates with your default email or calendar application.
Stremio: Frequently Asked Questions
Is Stremio safe to use?
Stremio is available directly from its own website, doesn’t appear to contain malware, and has an entirely legitimate purpose (telling you how to stream specific shows). In other words, it’s as safe as any other app. That said, it is possible to get into trouble if you use Stremio’s community addons to watch or torrent content that you don’t have the rights to.
Disclaimer: Although we’ve spent hours researching this topic, we are not legal experts. As such, nothing we’ve said above should be taken as legal advice. We encourage you to consult local laws or perhaps even seek a professional’s opinion before using Stremio if you’re unsure about its legality.
Which is better: Stremio or Kodi?
This is a tricky question, and the answer really depends on what you’re looking for. Stremio is a streamlined, easy to use service that effectively just links to content and lets you know when your favorite shows are next airing. If you just want to watch a movie and aren’t bothered about possibly having to pay, this is a solid option.
Kodi, on the other hand, is much more technical, but this offers a higher degree of freedom. Users can add custom themes, choose from hundreds of official addons, and run the service on just about anything from a Raspberry Pi to a laptop. As such, it’s a great choice for those who want a wider selection of content and who don’t mind a little tinkering in the settings.
Will Stremio work on an Amazon Firestick?
Absolutely! Although Stremio isn’t available in the Amazon app store, you can sideload it (or Kodi) onto your Firestick or Fire TV easily enough. Just follow these steps:
- Start by installing the Downloader app. This will allow us to download Stremio’s .APK file directly from the website
- On a second device, navigate to the Stremio website and click Other downloads
- Scroll down until you see Stremio for Android TV. Right-click one of the links on the right and hit Copy Link
- Open a new tab in your browser, go to the address bar, and paste in the address. You’ll want to write this down!
- Return to your Firestick. Enter the URL into the Downloader app and click the Go button. Once it’s installed, you should be able to use Stremio as normal.