I have decided to evaulate vdocipher and write a review (updated 2 months later).
Like myself many video creators want to protect their videos from downloading as it is very easy to do with browswer add-ins. This is particularly true for membership videos like e-learning, movies and so on.
Main video hosting companies like YouTube, Vimeo or Wistia have some protection but none of it protect from downloads using browswer add-ins and they say it is impossible... really?
VdoCipher is the exception as so far I was unable to download the video in any way and they also show that on YouTube using many programs and add-ins.
Are Videos 100% secure? Well if you can see it than you could go for some kind of program to record the screen but the number of people who would actually do that is very small. It's like having something valuable in your garden. If you don't have a fence anyone can take it. You could build a fence or a wall and number of people who will try to steal from you will be greatly reduced.
Additionally VdoCipher provides dynamic Watermark which means that you can embed Member Information for instance name and email address that was used to make the purchase which should quite effectively discourage people from doing it.
I haven't tried this feature yet but it is next on my to do list.
It seems VdoCipher was established in 2013 (last year) in India so it appears to be very young start up business with a revolutionary approach to protecting videos from stealing. You can also check VdoCipher LinkedIn Profile.
I find the name a little bit too generic. If you type VdoCipher on Google it actually tries to correct you with VideoCipher but still you get their website on first spot.
How does it work?
I can get this wrong but I believe the video is encrypted so you need to use secret key to get "one time password" which is all done on the server side using API and used for authentication and preventing re-sharing. Additionally it will buffer it so the entire file is not present. I believe this makes it secure as the the browswer add-ins cannot find the video and cannot download directly.
How to implement it?
You need a programmer to do it or have some basic programming skills as you will use VdoCipher API to embed the video. You can ask them for PHP example and I have also done my own asp.net implemention code which you can use.
How much is it?
The pricing on VdoCipher website is based on Pay Per Use Model which is very flexible (you can buy Bandwitch and Storage separately) and is a particularly good fit for small businesses like mine.
Prices have changed (even more affordable for larger top ups) and several improvements have been made. I'll try to update this section later on.
Prices (as of 26th of September 2014)
- 50GB $20
- 100GB $40 (no discount?)
- 500GB $175 (12.5% discount)
Wistia is most expensive video hosting provider for moderate to high usage (reasonable for up to 200GB which is just $25/month or $0.125 per 1GB) and VdoCipher prices are great for low usage (up to 50GB) as it is Pay Per Use but for 1TB/month you need $350 comparing to Wistia $300 and extra bandwith is just $0.18 per GB comparing to VdoCipher $0.35 per GB. For 5TB you need $1750 (VdoCipher) comparing to $750 on Wistia and the gap increases with usage.
I think pricing is an area that can be improved for high usage (1TB+) although I don't think it will matter initially as VdoCipher videos cannot be downloaded and I am not aware of any other provider that would do that; so you will have to calculate how much the protection is worth to you.
Let's give some figures. My average video is about 20MB per play, if my members make on average 50 plays per month (some lower some much higher) than one member would cost me 1GB per month so turns out to be $0.4 per member which is actually very reasonable but I need to wait a few weeks before I can say if my calculation is correct or not.
Problem is with free popular videos where I will probably continue using YouTube with Ads enabled to reduce bandwith costs and actually get income from ads.
This combination may actually be a win-win situation for video creator, VdoCipher and YouTube (they have 45% revenue split from ads).
VdoCipher Player and Website Functionality
The Player is fairly basic but responsive (buffering) and I like it as it makes it very clean and I have Likes / Social Media on website anyway. Obviously you may want this in the player so I think you would have to wait for that if you need it. The only feature I would like to have is ability to upload 'preview image' like on YouTube.
The website allows basic functionality so I managed to upload early 200 videos without any problems. Processing of videos takes reasonable amount of time and I don't particularly remember having any issue in the wait time.
That is pretty much what you can do on the website so a few sections on the website are under constructions and things that I managed to find that are not there yet or are important for me are:
- I don't think there is option to overwrite a video with new one and retain Video ID. This will be useful if somone doesn't want to lose video stats (DailyMotion does that, YouTube does not which is a real pain in the neck!)
- The player does not show correctly time for videos above 1h.
- "Usage Report" is good with dates but on this screen I would like to summary Usage per Day and maybe with total for week/month so I can easily monitor it and I don't have to download a report and summarize it myself.
- There were several more minor points in here that I reported to VdoCipher team but they were dealt with in 24h :) so I removed them.
Very quick and helpful. You can feel you deal with people who truly care about their own creation, unlike my recent experience with PayPal where after spending a few hours on very unhelpful website I get automated replies with useless points to links I've already read.
p.s. I recommend PayPal wars book but I must admit trying to use "facts" to justify customer service was very poor and PayPal still has one of the worst website help and support I have ever come across.
I believe VdoCipher is a great service to protect your videos from downloading. I don't know if it is possible to hack it somehow but I presume we will find that out when it becomes more popular.
You get basics with VdoCipher but to me that is pretty much all I need and I find the prices reasonable for membership use.
I have been using VdoCipher for several days now and all my member videos (200) will go live today or tomorrow so I will update this post in about 2-3 weeks to let you know my experiene with VdoCipher.
Hope that helps