Whether it's at home, at work, on the bus, in the pub or on social media, everybody is raving about Kodi and what it can do.

Over 20 million people across the UK are reportedly using Kodi, but for those that think it's the latest craze in dodgy online piracy - you're wrong.

If you don't have a clue what's going on, don't fret.

By the time you finish reading this you should have a good idea of what Kodi is and what it can do for you.

What is Kodi?

Kodi is a piece of open source, cross-platform software designed to be used for home entertainment.

In simple terms, it's a free piece of media centre software that anyone can use, modify, or add to.

Will Kodi work on all my devices?

Pretty much.

Kodi's official downloads page lets you download software for most operating systems: Windows, OS X, Linux, Ubuntu, Android, iOS, Raspberry Pi, BSD, and Freescale IMX6.

As you can see, there are some notable exceptions to Kodi's near-universal compatibility. The most obvious are Chrome OS and iOS devices - Kodi can be put on iOS devices but it does involves some jiggery-pokery.

When it comes to iOS, Kodi is not available from the Apple App Store. Apparently, it's something to do with the option of adding third-party add-ons that aren't vetted by Apple.

You can get it on your device though and it doesn't involve jailbreaking or damaging your warranty.

There is also no official Kodi support for games consoles.

This is a little bit odd, given the software's origins on the original Xbox. There is still an Xbox version of XBMC - the original name for Kodi - that runs on the original Xbox and still gets periodic updates.

Unfortunately there isn't anything for the Xbox One or Xbox 360.

However, the Xbox One's HDMI input means you can always run a separate Kodi device through your Xbox.

If you're using a PS3, PS4, or Wii U, you don't have any options for running Kodi.

Kodi has Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) compatibility, which lets you set up your own 'master' server that communicates with the rest of your devices.

That means everything you own that runs Kodi will automatically keep up to date with the rest, so you don't have to worry about making sure libraries are individually updated.

What files work with Kodi?

When it comes down to filetype compatibility, you're going to be hard pressed to find something that Kodi can't play.

Having a look at the list of compatible filetypes will make you realise just how much stuff there is out there.

So it's just for streaming content?

Streaming is a big part of what Kodi can do, as is playing media files from local or networked storage.

There isn't much you can't get on the platform, regardless of which streaming services you actually subscribe to.

It even has Amazon Prime TV add-ons, and any streaming box owner will know that Amazon isn't fond of having the service available on anything but its own devices.

The more recent versions of Kodi aren't just restricted to online streams and downloaded media files.

These days it also has native support for live TV broadcasts, provided you connect to a TV server that supplies the content.

There's also an electronic programme guide, and DVR capabilities.

As ever you don't have to stick to the stock features, and can install multiple other TV and DVR add-ons. These features will also let you use your Kodi box as a video capture device, so really the possibilities are almost endless.

How do I customise Kodi?

This is probably Kodi's most attractive feature.

Kodi is open-source, which means people can add to it or customise it as they see fit.

While the average user won't go right into the code to start messing around, it does mean they can throw in a bunch of extra software to get more use out of their server.

On its own Kodi doesn't have any content built in.

So, if you leave it completely unchanged it's only really good for playing media from local and networked sources.

That's not a bad thing, but if you're only using Kodi to do that then you're missing out.

Different add-ons and plugins are created by the community, and can be downloaded on to your Kodi device using the 'Addon Manager', which is no different from the app stores you'll find on other systems.

Add-ons and plugins add more to Kodi's capabilities, including (but not restricted to) adding online content, changing the way Kodi behaves, and adding new features to the software's existing repertoire.

Good examples of this are add-ons that give you access to streaming and catch-up services, software that lets you browse the web via your Kodi device, P2P file-sharing clients, and even basic games.

If you want to take a look at what's available before getting Kodi for yourself, there is a list of add-ons on the official website.

As for the interface itself, Kodi advertises the fact that every aspect of the UI is customisable.

Do I need to buy a remote to control Kodi on my TV?

Some Kodi boxes will come with a remote, but there's an official remote app available for iOS and Android Smartphones.

Like the main Kodi app, both the iOS and Android apps are free and open source, so people can modify and customise them. That means there are a ridiculous number of different third-party Kodi remotes out there – even on Windows phones.

The official remotes are probably a good place to start, but if you find they're just not doing it for you then you do have plenty of options.

Kodi is also compatible with hundreds of different remote controls, you can find a list of compatible remote types on the official Wiki page.