Streaming Video From Wordpress Securely

by Jet
9 replies
I am setting up a WP website and I intend to make it a membership site from where my customers will have access to a load of training videos.

I want to avoid anyone downloading or sharing videos as much as possible (yes I know it's not 100% foolproof) and so I have done a bit of research and found out that using Amazon's S3 service with cloudfront will do the trick.

But I think it still doesn't prevent downloading of videos.

Does anyone know how I can prevent downloading of videos (probably with a download manager extension) while hosted on Amazon?

Appreciate the help,

JH
#securely #streaming #video #wordpress
  • Profile picture of the author Steve L
    Originally Posted by Jet View Post

    I am setting up a WP website and I intend to make it a membership site from where my customers will have access to a load of training videos.

    I want to avoid anyone downloading or sharing videos as much as possible (yes I know it's not 100% foolproof) and so I have done a bit of research and found out that using Amazon's S3 service with cloudfront will do the trick.

    But I think it still doesn't prevent downloading of videos.

    Does anyone know how I can prevent downloading of videos (probably with a download manager extension) while hosted on Amazon?

    Appreciate the help,

    JH
    You should check out Wistia, they specialize in this area.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeff Hope
    You could try Easy Video Suite - their player is a "front end" to your S3 storage, and it hides the actual S3 file URL, in much the same way as Wistia and Vimeo Pro. EVS is a one time purchase, and Vimeo Pro is about $200 / year.

    As you mentioned, nothing will protect 100%. It's not that difficult to get the video URL from any of the above, but they do create an extra hurdle beyond just looking at the HTML source. Worst case, someone can use Camtasia to record your videos as they play.

    One advantage of Wistia and Vimeo Pro is that they detect a viewer's device, browser, and connection speed, and serve the appropriate version of your videos on the fly for a better viewer experience.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jet
      By using S3 HLS Adaptive streaming, along with a WP plugin that hides the link, it's pretty much impossible for anyone to download the video (as I am led to believe). The only thing anyone can do is record the screen.

      With vimeo pro, I was able to download videos using a chrome extension. I suspect other solutions will have a similar problem.

      So currently, I'm focusing on S3 streaming service and a WP plugin.

      Was wondering what options would work best for Wordpress.

      JH
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  • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
    You've found (IMHO) the best solution already.

    Amazon S3 allows for expiring download links, so it doesn't matter if someone gets the "download link" if you have it set to expire within a couple of seconds after it is clicked.

    Any front-end tool/service to "hide" the actual link is an unnecessary expense when you set S3 to use expiring links.

    The only thing that may not be protected against is simultaneous recording by an authorized user (i.e. a member/customer) as mentioned by someone else... but I don't think there is any tool that can protect against that.
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    Sid Hale
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Sid Hale View Post

      You've found (IMHO) the best solution already.

      Amazon S3 allows for expiring download links, so it doesn't matter if someone gets the "download link" if you have it set to expire within a couple of seconds after it is clicked.

      Any front-end tool/service to "hide" the actual link is an unnecessary expense when you set S3 to use expiring links.

      The only thing that may not be protected against is simultaneous recording by an authorized user (i.e. a member/customer) as mentioned by someone else... but I don't think there is any tool that can protect against that.

      Once the video is downloaded it can be shared online (youtube, etc...).

      Really the IM niche is the worst niche to be trying to lock down content, there's entire forums dedicated to stealing IM content.

      BTW, there's browser plugins that can download pretty much any video loaded in a browser.
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  • Profile picture of the author aseltz
    I use custom video player connected to an Amazon S3 account. This does a decent job of hiding the direct links to the content and also allows me to feed different content to viewers using mobile devices.

    This is not 100% foolproof, but it works well, isn't hard to setup, and doesn't inconvenience honest customers.

    Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
    I can't recommend Amazon S3. It gets very, very expensive. Instead, purchase Vimeo Plus for $59/yr and use the domain-level privacy to stop anyone from seeing your videos anywhere outside your website.

    Works wonders, has incredible quality and compatibility (less support tickets) and it's the best price you'll find.

    You can never stop the screen recorders, but this setup kicks butt.
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  • Profile picture of the author Reed Floren
    If someone wants to download your content they will find a way to do it.

    Personally as a customer I don't like it if I can't download what I've purchased no matter what the price point.

    Since it's a membership site you could drip feed the content so they don't go and download 100 videos on the first day and cancel.
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