Category Archives: Media

Encrypted Video Streaming: VdoCipher & Others

The main encrypted video streaming protocols in use by most streaming providers are Apple’s HLS Encryption (HTTP Live Streaming) , HTTPS (HTTP Secure), Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) and RTMP Encrypted (RTMPE). HLS encryption, with AES 128 bit encrypted streaming, in particular is widely used and marketed by companies as a completely secure streaming protocol. However, inspite of the existing security features, these streaming protocols are insufficient as complete encrypted streaming protocols themselves. This is because, from the perspective of protecting content from piracy, their security flaws lie in:

  • Partial encryption of streaming content
  • Open key exchange mechanism for decryption

The security vulnerabilities in these encrypted streaming protocols have led to design of tools that may be used to decrypt the encrypted video content, thereby allowing illegal and un-authorized downloads. These tools include IDM, Video Download Helpers, RTMPDump and many similar other tools used for pirating proprietary content.

Although widely used, these streaming protocols are not the only streaming protocols that can be used. VdoCipher uses a modified version of the existing streaming protocols to increase video security, and minimize bandwidth usage.

Here we explain how VdoCipher Encrypted Video Streaming works, and how our proprietary encrypted video streaming technology is hackproof. Complete workflow is mentioned below. Steps 5 and 6 of the video streaming workflow are the key differentiators.

Video Streaming Hosting VdoCipher

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  1. Upload

    The video content is uploaded by the registered customer through Desktop, FTP, Drop Box, directly from server and direct from URL. VdoCipher supports all typical video formats.

  2. Transcoding for Protected Streaming

    At VdoCipher we have designed our own proprietary format that we convert videos in. It is in this format that the encrypted streaming takes place in. After user uploads the video the VdoCipher player converts content into encrypted format. The video is transcoded for optimization at multiple bitrates, so that viewers on networks of any quality can conveniently view videos.

  3. Storage of Encrypted Content

    The videos are stored securely on Amazon’s AWS S3 servers using our own server-side encryption technology, creating a double layer of protection.

  4. Encrypted Video Transfer – Differentiator

    Now the encrypted content has to be streamed to the final viewer interface , be it app or browser. Unlike many other streaming protocols, there are two key differences:

    Firstly, the entire stream (not partial) is encrypted using a non-public key whose exchange mechanism is hidden and is proprietary. Others like RTMP does it partially and not fully secure.

    Secondly, the transfer of this encrypted content is not through direct access to the video file. There is a one time URL that is generated and the content is transferred in different chunks to optimize streaming.

  5. Licensing & Authentication – Differentiator

    If the video has a direct video URL that can be shared, then the encrypted video streaming has completely ineffective security. This is because there can be multiple browser playback of the same video, and therefore the video can be easily downloaded. Our key service differentiator is that we have One Time generated video URLS. These URLs are accessed only through custom video embed codes, allowing licensing duration for each single video stream. This prevents any URL based sharing.

  6. Decryption & Playback – Differentiator

    Finally, the encrypted stream content is decrypted inside the player with a dynamic key. Our proprietary key transfer protocol is fundamentally different from the public key transfer protocol in cases of HLS, HTTPS and RTMPE Encrypted Streaming Protocols.

    A private key transfer between the website and our API signifies that it is not possible for hackers to decrypt our streams. The One Time encryption that we use is theoretically and practically hack-proof . We regularly update our authentication mechanism to keep the security features up to date.

    Video licensing and playback are combined to generate customizable viewer specific watermarks. Within the watermark offering, IP address, Email ID  and User ID can be shown as light transparent watermark, to identify a playback session by the viewer.

    Result – Progressive High Secure Video Streaming

    Through this 6-step Video Hosting, Encryption and Streaming process, VdoCipher is able to provide a progressive high security video streaming with future buffer possible. This is also different from RTMP which does not maintain any buffer and can be quite erratic as a result.  Also, once a part of a video is buffered it remains conserved, even when the viewer seeks back or forth. This ensures fastest loading times and minimal bandwidth usage for secure video streaming.

encrypted video streaming                          To try the product trusted by customers across 30+ nations secure video streaming, Add more revenues by eliminating video piracy, have a full free 5 GB trial at


3 Offline Encoder For Video Conversion: MAC & Windows

There are a lot of instances where the raw video file after camera recording is quite large in size. If it is not on a server or url, it becomes quite difficult to upload it to online sites like VdoCipher.  To solve this problem there are offline encoder or converters or transcoders which convert the huge video files into decent size without any visible lose in quality. Some of these tools can also be used to convert files into different formats for video and audio. Here are the details of top 3 offline encoder

Offline Encoder & Converters For Reducing Video Size & Formats

  1.  WinFF for Windows

    Please visit this link to donwload the software

    1-  Add the videos using the tool button.
    2- Choose MPEG-4 in the Convert-to.
    3- Select MPEG-4 1080p as the preset.
    4- Click on options to show more tabs.
    5- Go to video tab.
    6- Enter 2500 as the video bitrate (units is 2500kbps).  This is the bitrate we have experienced high enough to be HD, Users can also try with 1500 or 2000 kbps. It shall also work fine for most of the cases , specially if the movement in the video is quite less.
    7- Tick the checkbox 2 pass below it.
    8- Click on convert tool button.
    9- Wait for the video to complete.
    10- This process might consume high CPU.

  2. VLC Media Player for MAC & Windows

    It is quite unknown fact that even VLC media player can be used as an offline encoder to convert and change videos. Here are the steps –

    • Go to Media > Convert/Save >  In file tab add your raw video or audio file.
    • Click on the  “down arrow” mark on the Convert/Save button and Select “Convert”.
    • Now, provide the format in the “Profile” drop down, also provide the destination source.
    • Click on “Start”,  the conversion will start and after the completion, the converted file will be available in the destination source.

3. Prism Video Converter for Windows & Mac

It is quite easy to use software to convert and resize videos. There is both a free and commercial version available. The UI is quite clean and it is almost drag and drop.

For online encoding , VdoCipher has also a customized detailed UI + API trans-coding setup for enterprises. All popular video formats (more then 15 ) are supported , video size, bitrates , type of encoding all can be specified. By default VdoCipher converts videos to its own proprietary encrypted format but for large enterprise cases it does custom transcoding as well.


Video Streaming Hosting VdoCipher

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Offline Encoder Online Transcoder

VdoCipher Transcoding

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10 popular video downloaders: VdoCipher stops all

Whole of internet is filled with people looking and asking for popular video downloaders , plugins &  tools  to grab and pirate videos from sites like youtube, vimeo, netflix, dailymotion, and many more education and media sites. Any normal video hosted is generally easily downloaded by these tools.  If you are a content owner looking to prevent piracy from these downloaders , try out VdoCipher. It is a sure shot way to save your self from all theses nuisances. We are giving below here a review of all the video downloaders and some of their key points.

List of 10 Common Video Downloaders

  1. Video Download Helper

    It is a plugin on firefox and technically the most advanced one. We have seen it to be able to download most of the content on web (HLS, HTML5, MP4 streaming) . A uniqueness about this downloader is the frequency with which it is updated to keep hacking into any slight changes in common video streaming systems. Seems, a large community is behind this plugin trying best possible means to grab streaming video content.

  2.  Internet Download Manager (IDM)

    Another popular software to be installed on computer. Uniqueness is its beautiful UI to manage , pause, continue & categorize downloads. Also, it seems to provide the highest speed for downloads.

  3.  RTMP Dump

    A downloader (installable version) to download videos streamed through RTMP protocol, other wise not an easy to download protocol.

  4.  KeepViD

    A site which asks for the video url and detects and downloads video file on its own.

  5. Savevid

    Similar to Keepvid

  6.  ssyoutube

    A site specially made to download youtube videos.

  7.  Audials

    A software with high end technology. Like download helper, the detection of any video streaming technology and is grabbing is quite easy and advanced here. It can crack through some moderate level hacks implemented.


    The last 3 are again a set of commonly found video downloaders & software, which can download videos from many common sites.

How to Prevent website videos from being downloaded ?

All the above mentioned tools are based on detecting the video url, and fetching it from server to download content. What if, there is no url to the video file, even more if the content being streamed is not a video but an encrypted file ? We do exactly the same at VdoCipher and help increase revenues for our e-learning and media customers by preventing video piracy.

VdoCipher restricts video downloaders

Common downloaders, VdoCipher stops them all

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Why not to self host videos for your business site?

We have shared experiences with thousands of video primary businesses while our journey with VdoCipher. We see that in many cases, the first idea that came in the mind of the video business owner is to self host videos , i.e have an inhouse team to handle the video streaming + hosting technology. But soon they realise that it is technically and economically not feasible for them to handle it whole from their side.  This has been realization of many big IT services companies as well. The realization might come with few hours of google searching or few months of trial on self hosting & streaming.

We are listing out the primary reasons with some examples to reason out why not to self host videos ,even if you have a large budget.

5 Reasons Not to Self host Videos ,Why ?

  1.  Server, CDN, Scaling, Automation for streaming

    It is a lot different doing these for static sites & video stuff. Handling multiple cores of servers, implementing CDN, ensuring it goes well during peaks and scales well, is a tough job. Here is an example to explain better.

    A webpage getting 100 users in a minute, a 5 min video being streamed by 100 users who came in a minute. Sounds similar ? ,Well see this – The 100 users who came in a minute at a web page were in real loading the page and requesting objects from server at different milliseconds, there were never 100 simultaneous users, they had loaded the page at different milliseconds. While for a 5 minute video still playing, all the 100 users will be simultaneously fetching the content at same millisecond level from servers, That is why the optimization of infrastructure is quite different.

  2. Preventing Piracy

    If you choose to self host videos , you will tend to provide a direct video video url from server to the site. This can be easily downloaded by lot of free downloaders or plugins like IDM, Download Helper available on web, which cause a lot of piracy.  Using some body like vdocipher  will surely put an end to online video piracy.

  3. Encoding for multiple devices & bitrates

    Encoding is again a server + CPU intensive process and transcoding each video for desktop, ios, android, different bitrates, ensuring browser incompatibilities is again a hefty job.

  4. Video Player – Controls, Adaptive , Customization

    you will surely like to have a player with desired colors, theme, bitrates, sizes, adpativeness according to aspect ratio. This too should happen across multiple device and browsers.

  5. Large development team & time to launch of video business

    Even if you are looking to do all these in house and spend on a development team, it is good to have a look at the expected salary costs involved. I bet the total costs involved of hiring & implementing the setup will be much more then what vdocipher will offer. The time for launch with us can be like ranging from 10 minutes to 3 days. While full in house development will take some months to launch. VdoCipher uses AWS & Akamai at backend to ensure great cloud availability.

For a full version free trial of most secure and reliable streaming solution, register at

Not Self Host videos , Video Streaming Hosting VdoCipher

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Setting desired bitrate for video playback for multiple devices

Different devices and internet speeds require different bitrate to be served. Based on device type and your viewer connection, some of you may opt to provide particular bitrates forcefully.  Often you like to provide playback at the certain quality or constrain the network data. Bitrate, Dimensions ,Quality thus can be configured. Below are the steps.

First, Send in an extra parameter while setting up the otp. Append a post parameter called “forcedBitrate”. This need to be an integer. During load time, the player obtains the list of available resolutions from the server. If the forcedBitrate is set, it starts playing the bitrate which is closest to that one.


If you have a video with bitrates created at [300, 900, 1500, 2100].  By default, the player will try to guess the correct bitrate based on a number of factors. If you believe that the default rate should be 900, set the value of forcedBitrate to 900. If the forcedBitrate is set to 1100, then player will calculate the bitrate closest to it and play it. This will ensure that the player will continue playing inspire of any error.

Here is a sample curl command for the otp call with forcedBitrate included:

curl '' -H 'Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded' --data 'clientSecretKey=CLIENT_SECRET_KEY&forcedBitrate=1100'

Check the Api page under /otp for more info and other APIs.

Faster video upload to VdoCipher: AWS acceleration + Aspera

Now you can enjoy speedy video upload even of large size from your dashboard & APIs to VdoCipher dashboard. The speedy functionality works with all kinds of video upload- from desktop, ftp, url, server, dropbox. The speeds of video upload to VdoCipher servers now show improvements typically in the range of 50% to 500% for cross-country transfer of larger objects, but can go ever higher under certain conditions.

Technology behind faster uploads:

  1. AWS S3 accelerations – Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration enables fast, easy, and secure transfers of files over long distances between your client and an S3 bucket. Transfer Acceleration takes advantage of Amazon CloudFront’s globally distributed edge locations. As the data arrives at an edge location, data is routed to Amazon S3 over an optimized network path. We are providing this feature at no extra costs to our customers. Automatically built in and integrated with VdoCipher workflow for free and paid accounts.
  2. Asperasoft – Aspera (an IBM company),  helps in receiving terabytes of file-based content per day, from providers at even global distances with simplicity, high speed and low cost – minimal  investment in hardware and Internet bandwidth and a single transfer stream per provider. It also eliminates costly re-sending of files when transfers failed with FTP, laborious monitoring, and network collapse caused by data blasters or parallel FTP streams. VdoCipher uses Aspera for some large enterprise media cases and the costs for it are quite affordable.

So, register for 5GB free trial at, upload, embed and enjoy most secure and smooth streaming solution for your online business.



Quickest way to start your video selling site

Low on startup budget, still looking for an elegant, secure , smooth , quick and a complete video selling portal for your business.

Here I provide a step by step guide to do so. VdoCipher helps e-learning and media businesses worldwide to sell courses and videos in most secure, smooth and affordable manner.

  1. Video streaming and site management are different aspects. Video streaming with security, analytics , customizations, multiple bitrates , scaling for large number of users over the internet is a daunting task and let it be managed by video experts like VdoCipher.
  2. For a nice looking and ready to go site solution , there are many wordpress templates which help you launch site in a day. Some of these have membership management included in them or in some case you can select a membership plugin.
  3. I am listing out some of the templates for video selling businesses focussed on media and e-learning.

Video Selling for E-learning

Check the following themes and templates

Video Selling for Media

Check the following themes and templates

  1. VdoCipher has a ready to use plugin for wordpress. It is compatible with all wordpress themes and plugins. Encryption, backend authentication and dynamic watermarking with viewer variable makes VdoCipher most secure solution in the market. It allows multiple bitrate streaming on player. On daily basis, you can see the analytics.
  2. For payments, you can use paypal to start with paypal , beanstream or something like these. Various options are mentioned in this link.

  1. With VdoCipher providing most secure and smooth streaming , wordpress theme aesthetically  choosen for your business, membership plugins in place , a transaction gateway  like paypal, you can go live within a week and start earning revenues.

For more details on most secure and complete video hosting solution in market, check out