If you’re looking for a way to watch YouTube videos without being tracked by Google, bombarded by ads, or distracted by recommendations, then you’ll love Invidious.
Invidious is an open source alternative front-end to YouTube that lets you enjoy your favorite videos in a privacy-focused and user-friendly way.
In this post, I’ll show you what Invidious is, how it works, and why you should use it instead of YouTube.
What is Invidious?
This means that you can watch YouTube videos without being tracked by Google or exposed to their ads and algorithms.
Invidious also offers some features that YouTube doesn’t, such as:
- Downloading videos and audio in various formats and quality
- Playing videos in the background or with the screen off on mobile devices
- Viewing comments from Reddit instead of YouTube
- Customizing the interface with themes and settings
- Subscribing to channels and creating playlists without an account
- Importing and exporting subscriptions from YouTube
- Using keyboard shortcuts and URL parameters for easy navigation
How to Use Invidious
Using Invidious is very simple. You can either visit one of the many public instances of Invidious hosted by volunteers around the world, or host your own instance on your own server.
You can find a list of public instances on invidious.io, or use invidious.fdn.fr, which is one of the most popular and reliable ones.
Once you’re on Invidious, you can search for videos, browse channels, watch playlists, and more. You can also use the same URL structure as YouTube, just replace youtube.com with invidious.fdn.fr (or any other instance).
For example, if you want to watch this video on Invidious:
You can simply change it to:
And you’ll get this:
As you can see, the interface is very similar to YouTube, but with some differences. For example, you can see the video quality and format options below the player, and the Reddit comments below the description.
You can also access the settings menu by clicking on the gear icon in the top right corner. Here you can change various preferences, such as:
- The default video quality and format
- The preferred language and region
- The autoplay and loop options
- The theme and layout
- The proxy mode (whether to use Invidious or YouTube servers for streaming)
- The comments source (YouTube or Reddit)
You can also sign in with an email and password to create an account on Invidious. This will allow you to subscribe to channels, create playlists, and manage your subscriptions.
You can also import your subscriptions from YouTube by uploading a file that you can download from here.
Why Use Invidious Instead of YouTube
There are many reasons why you might want to use Invidious instead of YouTube. Here are some of the main ones:
One of the biggest advantages of Invidious is that it protects your privacy from Google. Google tracks your activity on YouTube and uses it to show you personalized ads, recommendations, and notifications.
This not only invades your privacy, but also influences your behavior and opinions. Google decides what videos you see, what channels you subscribe to, and what notifications you get.
With Invidious, you can watch YouTube videos without being tracked by Google or exposed to their ads and algorithms. You can also use a VPN or Tor browser for extra anonymity.
This means that you can watch
YouTube videos without any lag or buffering, even on low-end devices or slow networks.
A third advantage of Invidious is that it gives you more freedom and control over your viewing experience. YouTube imposes a lot of restrictions and limitations on what you can watch, how you can watch it, and what you can do with it.
For example, YouTube:
- Blocks or removes some videos and channels based on their content, policies, or copyright claims
- Censors or disables some comments and ratings based on their content or sentiment
- Shows you ads and recommendations that you can’t skip or disable
- Requires you to sign in to access some features or content
- Limits your download options and formats
With Invidious, you can bypass these restrictions and limitations and enjoy YouTube videos the way you want. You can:
- Watch any video or channel that is available on YouTube, regardless of their status or location
- View and post comments from Reddit, which are usually more diverse and uncensored than YouTube
- Skip or disable any ads and recommendations that you don’t want to see
- Use any feature or content without signing in or creating an account
- Download any video or audio in any format or quality that you prefer
Invidious is a great alternative to YouTube that offers you more privacy, performance, and freedom. It lets you watch YouTube videos without being tracked by Google, bombarded by ads, or distracted by recommendations.
You can use Invidious by visiting one of the public instances or hosting your own. You can also use the same URL structure as YouTube to access any video or channel.
If you’re looking for a way to enjoy YouTube videos without compromising your privacy or performance, then you should definitely give Invidious a try.