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Video Streaming

The primary threat when using a video streaming platform is that your streaming habits and subscription lists could be used to profile you. You should combine these tools with a VPN or Tor to make it harder to profile your usage.

Clients

FreeTube

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FreeTube logo

FreeTube is a free and open source desktop application for YouTube. When using FreeTube, your subscription list and playlists are saved locally on your device.

By default, FreeTube blocks all YouTube advertisements. In addition, FreeTube optionally integrates with SponsorBlock to help you skip sponsored video segments.

Homepage Privacy Policy

Downloads

Warning

When using FreeTube, your IP address may still be known to YouTube, Invidious, or SponsorBlock depending on your configuration. Consider using a VPN or Tor if your threat model requires hiding your IP address.

LBRY

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LBRY logo

The LBRY network is a decentralized video sharing network. It uses a BitTorrent-like network to store the video content, and a blockchain to store the indexes for those videos. The main benefit of this design is censorship resistance.

The LBRY desktop client helps you stream videos from the LBRY network and stores your subscription list in your own LBRY wallet.

Website Privacy Policy

Downloads

Note

Only the LBRY desktop client is recommended, as the Odysee website and the LBRY clients in F-Droid, Play Store, and the App Store have mandatory synchronization and telemetry.

Warning

While watching and hosting videos, your IP address is visible to the LBRY network. Consider using a VPN or Tor if your threat model requires hiding your IP address.

We recommend against synchronizing your wallet with LBRY Inc., as synchronizing encrypted wallets is not supported yet. If you synchronize your wallet with LBRY Inc., you have to trust them to not look at your subscription list, LBC funds, or take control of your channel.

You can disable Save hosting data to help the LBRY network option in ⚙ SettingsAdvanced Settings, to avoid exposing your IP address and watched videos when using LBRY for a prolonged period of time.

NewPipe

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Newpipe logo

NewPipe is a free and open source Android application for YouTube, SoundCloud, media.ccc.de, Bandcamp, and PeerTube (1).

Your subscription list and playlists are saved locally on your Android device.

Homepage Privacy Policy

Downloads
  1. The default instance is FramaTube, however more can be added via SettingsContentPeerTube instances

Note

NewPipe is available on the main F-Droid's repository. We recommend that you use NewPipe's own F-Droid repository instead to get faster updates.

Warning

When using NewPipe, your IP address will be visible to the video providers used. Consider using a VPN or Tor if your threat model requires hiding your IP address.

SponsorBlock

NewPipe x SponsorBlock is a fork of NewPipe with SponsorBlock integrated to help you skip sponsored video segments.

It also has integration with Return YouTube Dislike, and some experimental settings such as the ability to use the built-in player for local playback, an option to force fullscreen on landscape mode, and an option to disable error reporting prompts.

This fork is not endorsed by or affiliated with the upstream project. The NewPipe team has rejected integration with SponsorBlock and thus this fork is created to provide this functionality.

Web-based Frontends

Invidious

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Invidious logo Invidious logo

Invidious is a free and open source front end for YouTube that is also self-hostable. There are list of public instances. Some instances have Tor onion services support.

Website Privacy Policy

Downloads

Warning

Invidious does not proxy the video stream through its server by default. Videos watched through Invidious will still make direct connections to Google's servers (googlevideo.com); however, some instances support video proxying. This can be enabled by adding &local=true to the URL.

Tip

Invidious is useful if you want to disable JavaScript in your browser, such as Tor Browser on the Safest security setting. It does not provide privacy by itself and we don’t recommend logging into any accounts.

When self-hosting, it is important that you have other people using your instance as well in order for you to blend in. You should be careful with where and how you are hosting Invidious, as other peoples' usage will be linked to your hosting.

When you are using an Invidious instance, be sure to go read the Privacy Policy of that specific instance. Invidious instances can be modified by their owners and therefore may not reflect their associated privacy policy. Some instances have Tor .onion addresses which may grant some privacy as long as your search queries don't contain PII (Personally Identifiable Information).

Piped

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Piped logo

Piped is a free and open source front end for YouTube that is also self-hostable. Alternative instances can be selected from "Preferences".

Piped requires JavaScript in order to function.

Website

Downloads

Tip

Piped is useful if you want to use SponsorBlock without installing an extension or to access age-restricted content without an account. It does not provide privacy by itself and we don’t recommend logging into any accounts.

When self-hosting, it is important that you have other people using your instance as well in order for you to blend in. You should be careful with where and how you are hosting Piped, as other peoples' usage will be linked to your hosting.

When you are using a Piped instance, be sure to go read the Privacy Policy of that specific instance. Piped instances can be modified by their owners and therefore may not reflect their associated privacy policy.


Last update: May 23, 2022