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SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

Do VPN Hurt YouTubers?

VPNs—virtual private networks—are a crucial tool for anyone looking to maintain their privacy online, as well as a range of other cases, including getting around geographical restrictions on content. It would be an exaggeration to call VPNs a “popular” tool, as they are still employed by a small minority of YouTube users, but that minority still represents a lot of users. So, for the more conscientious YouTube viewer, it makes sense to wonder if your VPN-based viewing habits might be negatively affecting your favourite YouTubers.

Do VPNs hurt YouTubers? – While it can affect the YouTubers you are watching if you view using a VPN, the chances are that the effect will be relatively small.

There are two ways to look at the subject of VPNs hurting YouTubers, and that is either from the perspective of the YouTuber themselves using a VPN and then from the perspective of their viewers using a VPN, but before we get into that, let’s get a little grounding in what a VPN is.

What is a VPN?

For regular readers of this blog, don’t worry; we’re not going to spend much time explaining this precisely because we’ve explained it at length in other posts, but a little primer is necessary before jumping into how VPNs may or may not hurt YouTubers.

A virtual private network is essentially a way of hiding a network inside of the larger network that is the Internet. Any system connected to a VPN will have the ability to encrypt and decrypt data in a way that is unique to that network. This means that any information sent from one computer to another on that VPN will be unreadable to anything else that may intercept it.

This is useful for remaining anonymous while using the web because your connection will appear to be coming from the remote “node” that your request was routed through, rather than the device you are actually using, making it considerably harder to track your activity online. This is also how VPNs can help get around regional content restrictions since a VPN can make it appear as though you are requesting the content from within the region where the content is allowed.

Best VPNs For YouTube

Using A VPN As A YouTuber

There is no explicit rule that states you cannot use a VPN as a YouTuber, though there are rules against certain actions you may be using your VPN for. The main reason we’re thinking of here is using a VPN to “fool” YouTube into thinking your view is coming from somewhere else in order to artificially inflate your view count.

This is bad for two reasons. The first of those reasons is that it is explicitly against YouTube’s terms of service to artificially inflate your view count. It doesn’t matter how you achieve it, it is against the rules. You can pay for as much advertising as you want, but you can’t pay strangers or bots to watch your content. Viewing your videos yourself from an anonymous VPN address would certainly fall under artificial view count inflation, and would certainly “hurt” the YouTuber if they were caught.

The second reason it is bad is that it is an objectively terrible way to inflate your view count since the amount of effort required to make any meaningful impact on your view count would far outweigh the benefits gained.

Using A VPN As A Viewer

A more realistic concern is whether using a VPN to view YouTube might be hurting the YouTubers you are watching since there are understandable question marks over what YouTube does with views from VPN users.

For the most part, you can rest relatively easily. As long as you are using YouTube in a normal manner, YouTube shouldn’t treat your view any differently to a non-VPN user. The exception to this rule is if the VPN you are using has gotten itself a bad reputation and is automatically blocked to prevent malicious attacks. Assuming that’s not the case, however, YouTube will treat you like just another viewer. Indeed, YouTube might not even be able to tell that you are using a VPN at all.

A less direct way that using a VPN can hurt YouTubers is if you are succeeding at being truly anonymous. YouTube relies on being able to collect a good deal of information about you based on your viewing preferences so that they can serve you relevant ads. Relevant ads mean a higher likelihood of being clicked, which means a higher likelihood of generating revenue for YouTube and the YouTuber whose content you are watching.

Of course, if you are never going to click an ad on principle—or if you use an ad blocker anyway—this point doesn’t apply to you. For users who may be tempted to click an ad if it appeals to them, using a VPN to browse anonymously can harm the YouTuber in that you are considerably less likely to see an ad you like, which means you’re less likely to click. You can get around this by being logged in to your YouTube account so that YouTube knows who you are regardless of where your connection appears to be coming from. Of course, that rather defies the point if you are using a VPN to remain anonymous. Sometimes there is no solution that fixes everything.

Final Thoughts

Do VPNs hurt YouTubers? – While it can affect the YouTubers you are watching if you view using a VPN, the chances are that the effect will be relatively small.

That being said, if you are concerned but are not prepared to give up the anonymity that VPNs provide, you can always look for other ways to support your favourite YouTubers.

Liking and sharing the videos is an obvious and free way to support them, but there are usually ways to support them more directly, such as signing up to a Patreon or other crowd-funding app, or sending them a donation if they have something set up for that. Perhaps they have merch you can buy.

It’s certainly admirable to want to support your favourite creators. After all, if they can’t afford to keep making the content you love, they will have to stop doing it!

Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube

Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.

1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search

I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.

Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!

2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos

I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.

When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.

Big mistake!

I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.

That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.

Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.

3. Rev.com helps people read my videos

You can’t always listen to a video.

Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.

This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.

Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.

A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.

4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube

I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.

I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.

That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.

Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).

5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways

I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.

And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.

I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.

I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.

They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.

Categories
SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

Best VPNs For YouTube

Whether you have a pressing reason to use a VPN for YouTube or you just like to maintain your privacy, you’ll want to make sure you have the best VPN for the job… or at least a VPN that’s up to the job.

This isn’t as straightforward as you might think (for reasons we’ll get into below), so it can help to know what you’re looking for. We’ll explain a little about why it matters which VPN you choose before getting into our top picks.

Why Your Choice of VPN Matters

We won’t spend valuable characters explaining how a VPN (virtual private network) works as you can easily find that information (including on this very site!), but you do need to know that a natural and unavoidable consequence of the way VPNs work is a certain degradation of things like latency and speed.

When your connection is being routed through several other locations before reaching its destination, it’s going to cause a bit of a slow down. Video is a bandwidth-hungry medium, and the slower your connection, the poorer your video-watching experience is going to be.

Latency can also be an issue if you are trying to watch live streams, as you can quickly find yourself out of sync with the video feed, meaning you are essentially not watching the stream live any more.

Now, if you are using a free or cheap VPN, you can be almost guaranteed to not get the kind of service you need to have an enjoyable YouTube watching experience. Of course, if you are going to be paying for your VPN service, you want it to be sure it’s going to deliver on what you need.

With that in mind, let’s get into our best VPN YouTube picks!

Best VPNs For YouTube

Before get into, it’s worth noting that any prices we mention are the best-case prices, which are typically the effective monthly cost when you pay for a full year up front. For example, our first suggestion, SurfShark, is $2.50 a month but only if you pay for 24 months at once. If you want to pay monthly, you’re going to be looking at $12.95 per month. Something to bear in mind. Now, in no particular order, here are our picks;

Surfshark

SurfShark is the first suggestion we’re going to offer, largely because it is the most affordable. At $2.50 per month, SurfShark is almost free, yet still offers the speeds necessary to stream video. Of course, you can’t expect something for nothing, and there are certainly areas where SurfShark is going to fall flat compared to the other VPNs on this list, but purely for use with YouTube, this is as good as you need.

It allows for unlimited connections, meaning you only need the one account for all your devices, even if you have a lot of devices. You get full AES-256 encryption, however there are question marks over the security, as SurfShark has not performed an external audit of its servers and clients, only the browser extensions running on the VPN. It should be fine for getting around content restrictions on YouTube, but we would probably use a different VPN for anything involving sensitive information.

NordVPN

If you’ve been on YouTube at all over the last few years—and we’re pretty sure that includes anyone reading this blog—you’ve probably seen or heard an ad for NordVPN. This VPN has been the subject of a mammoth advertising campaign.

Still, they have a lot to talk about. Their network consists of over 5,000 servers, making it possible to get a quick connection in your desired location when you need it. For your money, you’ll get full high-level encryption and an instant kill-switch, instantly making NordVPN a more secure option than SurfShark.

Of course, you get a connection quality that is more than capable of handling video streaming.

Best VPNs For YouTube 1

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is seen by many as the top option when it comes to the quality of service. You don’t have quite as many servers to choose from as NordVPN, but you do get strong encryption, a wide variety of protocols to choose from, and amazing reliability and speeds.

Probably the biggest con for ExpressVPN to your average YouTuber is their device limit. You can only get five simultaneous devices running on a single ExpressVPN account, so if you have a lot of devices, one of the other VPNs may be a better option.

Hotspot Shield

HotSpot Shield is the very definition of a single-purpose VPN. You don’t get much in the way of features, but you do get lightning fast (in VPN terms) speeds. If all you want to do is stream video, Hotspot Shield is likely the best choice for performance, with over 400mbps speeds. In reality, most users will be bottlenecked by their own connection rather than the VPN.

It is a very straightforward VPN to use, largely owed to the fact that there aren’t many options to mess around with. There are also some concerns about how secure it is, so you might want to keep your sensitive information off for now.

CyberGhost

While not as fast as Hotspot Shield, CyberGhost is still a very fast VPN, and with over 6,000 servers, you can be sure of a satisfying experience using this VPN for YouTube.

CyberGhost even includes a data compression tool to reduce the amount of bandwidth being used, making VPN’ing on the go a feasible option. It’s also P2P-optimised, so if you do a lot of torrenting, this could be a good option for you.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the the speed of your chosen VPN will be the primary concern if you want to use it with YouTube. This does not mean you should disregard other concerns, however. For example, if you are going to be using the VPN for sensitive tasks, you should make sure the security is up to scratch, even if that means sacrificing some of the speed that a less secure VPN offers.

Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube

Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.

1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search

I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.

Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!

2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos

I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.

When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.

Big mistake!

I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.

That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.

Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.

3. Rev.com helps people read my videos

You can’t always listen to a video.

Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.

This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.

Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.

A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.

4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube

I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.

I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.

That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.

Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).

5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways

I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.

And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.

I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.

I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.

They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.

Categories
SOCIAL MEDIA YOUTUBE

Does YouTube Track You?

It seems we can’t go anywhere on the Internet without worrying about being tracked by someone. Online security is a more pressing matter than ever, with so much of our lives being online, it makes sense that we’d all be more concerned about keeping our privacy private.

Being a Google company, there won’t be many people out there who are naive enough to think that YouTube doesn’t engage in a little tracking of its own, but there are levels to that tracking. So, if you’re looking for a short answer to the question posed in this post’s title, yes, YouTube can and does track you, but if you’d like to know a bit more about what that tracking entails, keep reading.

Logged In Vs Anonymous

The first distinction to make here is the difference between a YouTube user who is logged in and one who is not. Obviously, when you are logged in, YouTube knows a great deal about you and is able to explicitly keep a detailed log of your activities. Indeed, their tracking in this respect is a feature of the platform. YouTube can’t make recommendations based on your interests and viewing history if they do not keep track of what that viewing history is! This, unfortunately, is an unavoidable aspect of using the platform. There is no way to opt out of being tracked in this regard, even if you pay for YouTube Premium to get rid of ads. Ads are, ultimately, the reason for tracking you in the first place, since advertisers want to serve you the most relevant ads possible.

But YouTube can’t be sure that you won’t cancel your Premium subscription in the future, and if and when that happens, they want to have all their data on you for the ads they’re going to start serving you again.

Of course, anonymous users are not exempt from being tracked on YouTube, but they have a little more privacy than their logged in counterparts. For one thing, YouTube does not have the user data that you enter when you sign up for an account, such as your date of birth, gender, and other information of that nature.

Still, YouTube (and any other platform for that matter) can keep personalised records for anonymous users thanks to their “digital fingerprint”. This is a swath of data that they can read about you, such as the device you are using to view YouTube, your IP address, what operating system you have… even what fonts you have installed! All of this information makes combines to paint a picture almost as unique as a fingerprint, and certainly unique enough for YouTube to keep tabs on you.

Again, this is all for the purpose of advertising. YouTube will try to build as accurate a picture of you as possible so that they can serve the most relevant ads. The more relevant the ads, the higher the chance that you’ll click them, and the more you click those ads, the better the perceived performance of YouTube as an advertising platform resulting in more advertisers being willing to put their money into YouTube.

Does YouTube Track You? 2

Is Being Tracked by YouTube Bad?

People have varying opinions about the ethics of companies like YouTube tracking your online activities but it’s worth remembering that YouTube is a service that—if you’re not paying for YouTube Premium—is free, but being free to you does not mean YouTube do not still have monumental bills to pay from all the bandwidth and employees and more.

Tracking the people who use their service is part of the mechanism by which YouTube makes money, which is an integral part of them being able to provide the service at all. At the end of the day, you are choosing to use YouTube, and in doing so, you agree to the way they run the platform, which includes tracking you. If you are not comfortable with the tracking, you don’t have to use YouTube.

This may seem like an impractical alternative since YouTube is pretty much the only game in town for a certain kind of content creator, but it is, ethically speaking, the only alternative to accepting the tracking you will face if you use their platform.

Can I Avoid Being Tracked by YouTube?

With that being said, what if you still want to circumvent YouTube’s tracking? Well, the first thing to note is that it is impossible if you are logged in. Logged in users will always have their viewing history and viewing habits logged.

If you are prepared to use YouTube without being logged in, you can get around YouTube’s anonymous tracking to a degree by doing things like using different devices and proxy servers. Of course, most of us only have access to a limited number of devices, which makes this a rather limited solution, but there are also virtual machines as an option.

Deleting YouTube History

You can’t control everything YouTube stores about you, but if you are a logged-in user, you can choose to erase your viewing history, which constitutes a significant part of the data YouTube keeps on its users.

To do this, head over to the Watch History on YouTube and click “See All”, where you will find a variety of controls at your disposal These include the ability to clear all of your watch history, pause your watch history (so views won’t be recorded to your watch history), as well as controls relating to search history and comments. You can also remove individual videos from your watch history from within the video page itself.

Final Thoughts

Tracking is, unfortunately, an unavoidable reality of the modern Internet. Privacy is an understandable hot-button issue, but the fact is many web services and online platforms we rely on would not be able to deliver the services they do if they couldn’t track their users in this manner.

That being said, you are not completely powerless. If this is an important thing for you, you can try using YouTube logged out and through a proxy.

Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube

Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.

1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search

I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.

Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!

2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos

I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.

When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.

Big mistake!

I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.

That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.

Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.

3. Rev.com helps people read my videos

You can’t always listen to a video.

Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.

This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.

Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.

A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.

4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube

I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.

I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.

That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.

Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).

5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways

I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.

And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.

I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.

I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.

They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.