YouTube

Best Free Alternatives to YouTube

Google has a firm grip on the desktop. Their products and services are ubiquitous. Don’t get us wrong, we’re long-standing admirers of many of Google’s products and services. They are often high quality, easy to use, and ‘free’, but there can be downsides of over-reliance on a specific company. For example, there are concerns about their privacy policies, business practices, and an almost insatiable desire to control all of our data, all of the time.

What if you are looking to move away from Google and embark on a new world of online freedom, where you are not constantly tracked, monetised and attached to Google’s ecosystem.

In this series, we explore how you can migrate from Google without missing out on anything.

YouTubeYouTube is a video-sharing website, created in February 2005, and purchased by Google in November 2006. The web service lets billions of people find, watch, and share originally-created videos. It displays a wide variety of user-generated and corporate media video. It also offers a forum for people to communicate with others around the world, and acts as a distribution platform.

YouTube has over 2 billion monthly logged-in users with people watching over a billion hours of video a day. These are mind-boggling numbers.

With such popularity, it’s not surprising that YouTube runs into issues. Some are more worrying than others. In particular, YouTube has encountered a number of privacy issues. For example, Google is facing a legal battle for allegedly breaching the privacy and data rights of under-13s in the UK. It has also faced numerous challenges and criticisms in its attempts to deal with copyright issues.

What open source alternatives are available for YouTube?

Our recommended open source solution is PeerTube, This aims to be a decentralized and free/libre alternative to video broadcasting services. It’s powered by ActivityPub and WebTorrent. There’s no vendor lock-in. PeerTube allows you to upload your videos to a platform that you choose by yourself. And each community can help each other by caching one another’s videos. Each platform has its own terms of service, moderation and federation policies.

The service offers video streaming including live streaming. Users can follow their favorite channels from PeerTube without having to create an account. There’s no mining your data!

WebTorrent
Click image for full size
WebTorrent Desktop is a peer-to-peer (P2P) streaming torrent client for node.js and the web browser. The app never sends any personally identifying information, nor does it track which torrents you add.

It bridges the two networks of WebRTC-based WebTorrent and TCP/UDP-based BitTorrent simultaneously. While WebTorrent isn’t limited only to video it’s the software’s main focus. It’s fast, offers the ability to download multiple torrents simultaneously, and exposes files as streams.

This cross-platform streaming app is written in JavaScript.


All articles in this series:

Alternatives to Google's Products and Services
Google MailGmail is a hugely popular email service. You might not like the automated scanning of email content.
Google MapsMaps is a web mapping service offering satellite imagery, aerial photography, street maps, and interactive panoramic views.
Google PhotosPhotos stores your images in the cloud for convenient access from anywhere. Lots of useful tools, but it’s difficult to shake the sinking feeling that Google is analysing your pictures.
Google TranslateTranslate is a multilingual neural machine translation service that translates text and websites from one language into another.
Google CalendarCalendar helps manage your busy life with a digital calendar. It offers tons of features and makes it easy to keep track of life’s important events all in one place.
Google ChromeChrome is application software for accessing the World Wide Web. It's the most popular web browser but has a chequered track record from a privacy perspective.
Google SearchSearch looks at privacy-focused alternatives to Google Search. If you believe that Google invades your privacy, what alternatives do we recommend?
Google DriveDrive is a file storage and synchronization service. Want a solution that also includes the online office components available in Google Docs?
Google Earth ProEarth Pro maps Earth by superimposing satellite images, aerial photography, and GIS. Fly anywhere to see satellite imagery, 3D buildings, 3D trees, terrain, Street View, planets and much more.
Google DNSDNS resolves a particular domain name to its IP equivalent. There are many free DNS providers. A few stand out from the crowd.
Google YouTubeYouTube is an online video sharing and social media platform. It's a hugely popular service but has encountered a number of privacy issues.
Google DocsGoogle Docs is a web-based productivity office suite. The suite includes Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Drawings, Google Forms, Google Sites, and Google Keep.
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