You will no doubt have seen lots of references to ” remove ISP blocking” on social media sites in response to various problems people have with Kodi and its 3rd party addons.
The problems vary but typically will be along the lines of;
- no sources
- failed playback
- directory unavailable
- check internet connection
This happens as the ISP’s have added “soft blocking” on top of the “hard blocks” they are required by law to do. These are basically court orders banning known torrent and streaming sites, that have had banning orders passed by a UK or EU court.
The ISPs covered here are as follows;
- BT Smart Hub
- EE Content Lock/Orange Safeguard
- Sky Shield
- Virgin Websafe
- TalkTalk Homesafe
- Plusnet Safeguard
The “soft blocks” are added for the naive, this is their way of cutting your supply of free streams for apps like Kodi; they also want to cut down on traffic across their networks – tough! I will show how to disable their software and get full use from Kodi.
You can of course use a VPN to bypass any blocks and geolocked content too, but please use a reputable company – not a free vpn !
BT use “Smart Hub” and Parental controls to limit your access – so be aware if you have been using parental controls to limit access for your children.
This is BT’s guide to switching off Smart Hub & Parental Controls
BT Parental Controls – I’m not a BT customer so I have been unable to test the best setup to derestrict Kodi but still keep unwanted content away from your kids. If anyone has any feedback, I’d be happy to add this here.
EE Content Lock/ Orange Safeguard
This system is fairly straighforward in terms of its settings, again as I am unable to test directly, any feedback users have would be helpful to add to this article.
EE routers/systems are setup to “moderate” by default so may need adjusting from the outset.
How each setting works
Moderate – This is the default setting for new customers. With Moderate you have access to social networking sites but not 18-rated content in accordance with BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) guidelines.
Strict – This is the safe setting for the whole family. This setting filters the same 18-rated content in accordance with BBFC Guidelines, but also content that the BBFC would rate higher than ‘PG’ and other content that is not suitable for younger children including unmoderated social networking sites, chat and dating sites.
Off – With the “Off” setting you have access to the full internet, including 18-rated content.
Please note: We are gradually starting to block some secure sites (sites showing HTTPS in the URL). This means that some webpages you were previously able to access will now show as “Timed out” or “No Response”.
Sky Broadband Shield
You can check your settings in My Sky and change them at any time. On the Broadband Shield settings page, you’ll see if it’s switched on or off and also what your current setting is. When you set up Sky Broadband Shield or change any of its settings, we’ll send a confirmation to the account holder’s email address. These settings apply to every device connected to the router. I would add that its not easy to find – you will have to plough through your account to get it switched off!
In addition to this switching off Sky shield you will need to edit some settings on the router, login to your admin account and locate the IP Lan settings;
- IP Lan
- Untick both boxes with ipv6 next to them.
- Reboot your router
Virgin Web Safe
Just like sky, you have to login to your account online to access the features that are blocking your Kodi content;
If you’re the main account holder, Web safe is of course up to you, and there may be situations where it’s not necessary (in a house of only adults, for example).
Our customisable Child Safe filters also allow you to block additional content categories, to block or allow individual sites and set a timer to switch Child Safe off for a period of time. See ‘More About Child Safe’ for details on the filters.
If you haven’t already made a choice about Web Safe you may be asked to make the choice during general browsing.
It’s easy to change the settings – here’s how:
- Register or sign in to virginmedia.com/myvirginmedia with your primary My Virgin Media username and password.
- Click on My Apps
- Click on Web Safe
- Click Settings.
Here you’ll see the two filters – one for Virus Safe and one for Child Safe protection.
To enable or disable each level of protection, click Turn Off or Turn On, and then click Apply.
If you choose to turn Child Safe on, you can customise your Child Safe settings by clicking on the Categories, Sites or Timer filters and choosing the protection you need for you and your family. This may have adverse affects on some or all of your Kodi content.
When you choose to block a site with Web Safe, or when your Child Safe timer reactivates your block settings, you may have to restart your browser or device before the site or category is blocked.
TalkTalk Home Safe
You can manage your HomeSafe® settings in My Account, simply select Extras & offers from the menu at the top then click on Manage HomeSafe. You’ll see the screen below.
To turn HomeSafe ON
You’ll have the choice to activate Kids Safe, Homework Time and Virus Alerts. To do this you’ll need to click the ON switch (which will be highlighted blue). It’s important when switching on Kids Safe and Homework Time that you confirm this setting by clicking the blue save changes button. Please note: it will take a few minutes for your changes to take effect.
To turn HomeSafe OFF
We recommend turning HomeSafe® off, just click the OFF button next to any of the three options (Kids Safe, Homework Time, and Virus Alerts) which will turn it grey. For Kids Safe, you’ll see a prompt asking if you’re sure you want to switch it off. Simply click the pink button to confirm, and allow a few minutes for your changes to take effect.
Once your broadband service is ready, you can activate and manage Plusnet SafeGuard via the Member Centre, using your Plusnet SafeGuard control panel. The tool will let you block specific categories and websites.
How Do I Turn Off Safeguard?
Once your broadband service is ready, simply go to your Plusnet SafeGuard control panel and click the ON/OFF button at the top of the screen.
(NB: You will need to reboot your router after you’ve clicked this button, Plusnet SafeGuard may take up to 2 hours before it starts/stops filtering content).
Plusnet also have a basic firewall setup (that has advanced options), advanced options can be tweaked if you understand how these work, however to access the firewall settings;
Go to the Member Centre
Click on Connection settings.
This turns off your firewall completely. All Internet traffic will be able to reach your network and devices. We only recommend this one if you have to turn it off to test a connection problem.
On this setting your firewall will give you good protection. It’ll stop most malicious traffic while still letting more normal Internet traffic through. You’ll need to use this if you’re using VPN software because it won’t work if your firewall’s set to High.
This setting blocks all incoming traffic, so no external source will be able to connect to your network or your devices.
It will stop some things working, such as apps, VPN software or active FTP sessions. So if you need to use one of those, switch your firewall back to Low.
Click Broadband Firewall to update your settings.