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.

Client

 logo

FreeTube

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.

FreeTube also features SponsorBlock to help you skip sponsored advertisements. All YouTube advertisements are also blocked by default.

Notes

When using Freetube, your IP address is still known to YouTube, Invidious and the SponsorBlock instances that you use. Consider using a VPN or Tor if your threat model requires hiding your IP address.

 logo

LBRY

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.

Notes

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.

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

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.

You can also disable Save hosting data to help the LBRY network option (⚙️ Settings → Advanced Settings) to avoid exposing your IP address and watched videos when using LBRY for a prolonged period of time.

 logo

NewPipe

NewPipe is a free and open source Android application for YouTube, SoundCloud, media.ccc.de, FramaTube and Bandcamp. Your subscription list and playlists are saved locally on your Android device.

Notes

NewPipe is available on the main F-Droid’s repository. We recommend that you use the NewPipe’s own F-Droid repository instead to get faster updates. Sometimes YouTube changes their website and the official repository has new updates sooner.

Web based front ends

The recommended frontend below is useful if you want to disable JavaScript in your browser. It does not provide privacy by itself and we don't recommend logging into any accounts. It can be used with a VPN or Tor.

 logo

Invidious

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.

Notes

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.

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 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).


Privacy Guides is a socially motivated website that provides information for protecting your data security and privacy.

Unless otherwise noted, the original content on this website is made available under a CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

This content was made available by the Privacy Guides team and contributors. Get involved! | Open an Issue | Privacy Policy | Website Terms & Notices