Invidious, the free platform that allows us to continue accessing YouTube without Google tracking us (and download video and audio)



Being Youtube the main Internet video portal for 13 years now, it is quite common to discover that many videos of our interest are only viewable from its platform.



This what no problem for the average user (possibly visiting YouTube multiple times a day) yes quite contrary to those most interested in safeguarding their privacy.



This second user profile is well aware that YouTube tracks our visits, subscriptions and 'likes'... and then that information collected adds to everything Google already knows about our browsing habits.



I wish these users had some tool that, acting as an intermediary between YouTube and themselves, would allow you to anonymize your data in a way, right?



The good news is that it already exists.







How to improve your privacy on YouTube





What is Invidious?



Invidious is, above all, an alternative 'front-end' to access YouTube, in order to gain privacy (plus a few extra features); and of course, eliminating advertising. Integrate various applications such as FreeTube, CloudTube, HoloPlay, MusicPiped ... all in order to dispense with all official APIs from YouTube.



Invidious is also in itself an open source web application (access its repository on GitHub here) that, as if it were a Wordpress, It is designed so that we can install it on our favorite web hosting.



You may be thinking "But then ... do I have to find a VPS and install Invidious there to use it?". Not calm: Invidious follows an instance-based model similar to Mastodon, and there are already several in operation accessible to other users (here is a list of the ones you can use).




Of course, Invidious is also a good option for those who work or live in places where YouTube is blocked.




This decentralization has its positive side and its negative side: as each instance depends on its own configuration, not all of them will have activated all the options that we will review below. One of the most complete and with the best performance that we have tested has been Yewtu.be, so we encourage you to try it.



Unlike alternatives such as Hooktube (another alternative front-end, which we access by changing the 'you' of the URL of each video for a 'hook'), each Invidious instance that we visit will offer a home page with some of the most popular videos of the moment on YouTube, as well as the option to use a search engine to locate the video that interests us.



Although it will not be necessary to view or download the videos, the Invidious instances will also allow us to create user accounts. Its end? To be able to subscribe to YouTube channels without Google being aware of our subscription. In addition, our subscriptions can be imported and exported.





Screenshot 26

Most of YouTube's playback options are still available on Invidious.



But there are two very interesting things that we can do without the need for user accounts:



  • Embed videos: What is the use of denying YouTube if later on our blog, for example, we are obliged to insert videos from that platform? Well that's it: we can also insert videos directly from Invidious instances.


  • Download videos: Invidious makes it easy for us to download video in various formats and at various different resolutions. And if we want to download only the audio track or the subtitles, we can also.





Yewtube

Embed and download videos: two of the options available on Yewtu.be.



  • Hear music on mobile ... with the screen locked: Invidious lacks an app for Android or iOS, but its mobile web version is superfluous and enough for this.

Invidition, the extension for Firefox



If you're thinking it would be cool to do that all the YouTube links you access in your day to day could be redirected to your favorite instance of Invidious, I have good news: you can.



Invidition is a browser extension that allows exactly that. Once it is installed, we let you know which instance we want to use as an intermediary, and that's it.



In addition, as a gift, will also redirect Twitter to his own alternate front-end: Nitter. The downside is that this extension is only available for Mozilla Firefox for now.