7 Secure Video Streaming Methods and Platforms for Professionals [2021 Update]

secure video streaming

Video is increasingly important for modern businesses. As with any digital tool, however, online video can be vulnerable to security issues, piracy, and hacking. 

Digital TV Research estimates that by 2022, piracy will cost businesses $52 billion a year. Additionally, security firms are measuring an increase in piracy, hacking, and other digital attacks every year. In total, the costs of cybercrime could reach $6 trillion within a year. 

That’s why using a secure video platform is so important for professionals.

In this post, we’ll focus on secure video hosting and delivery. Specifically, we’ll examine seven important business video hosting methods, tools, and features. As a professional broadcaster, you should look for video hosting services that include all of the features we list here and more.

Table of Contents

  • Top 7 Secure Video Streaming Methods
    • AES Encryption
    • HTTPS Delivery
    • SSL/TLS Encrypted Paywall
    • Password-Protected Video
    • Geographic (IP) Restrictions
    • Referrer Restrictions
    • Secure Video Data Center and CDN
  • Comparing the Top 7 Secure Video Streaming Platforms in 2021
  • Additional Secure Streaming Tips
  • Conclusion

Top 7 Secure Video Streaming Methods

secure streaming
Security is a priority when it comes to professional broadcasting.

Not every secure video delivery method is created equal. The measures you use will depend on the purpose of your content, your target audience, and your goal with broadcasting.

For example, you wouldn’t put a password on video content that you’re trying to spread to the masses, but you would likely use another security method to make sure that the video player and sensitive information are not compromised in any way.

Let’s dive into seven of the top secure streaming and private video sharing methods for professional broadcasting. 

1. AES Encryption

The first secure video streaming method we’ll cover here is AES encryption. AES stands for “Advanced Encryption Standard.” Encryption is a process of encoding information so that only authorized users can view it.

TechTarget defines AES as “a symmetric block cipher chosen by the U.S. government to protect classified information [and] implemented in software and hardware throughout the world to encrypt sensitive data.”

For streaming video, AES encryption secures each stream using a special key. Unless the viewer has this special key, they cannot watch the video. In other words, AES makes it much harder for hackers to access your video content. Ultimately, even hackers who intercept AES encrypted secure video streams will be unable to watch the video.

This process is transparent to the users and easy to implement. There’s no learning curve and, with most online video platforms, turning on AES encryption is as simple as checking a box. 

AES encryption adds a strong layer of security to any professional video hosting solution. However, this method can be used in combination with several other secure streaming measures.

2. HTTPS Delivery

HTTPS protects you from so-called “man-in-the-middle” attacks. These attacks are relatively common with video streaming, especially when people use open networks at schools, coffee shops, and libraries. 

Hackers can use vulnerabilities in these public networks to steal data as it’s being transmitted to the viewer.

Through the use of digital certificates and encryption keys, HTTPS delivery uses HLS encryption to mask a users’ connection with the website and prevents this sort of attack.

HTTPS wraps all communication between the server sending your videos and the viewer in a layer of secure encryption. This provides additional protection to your content.

3. SSL/TLS Encrypted Paywall

encrypted video paywall
An encrypted video paywall and password protection are simple yet effective secure streaming security measures.

Whenever customers enter payment information into your website, you need to ensure their data security. Otherwise, you could be liable for their damages and face major issues. 

The best way to do this is via SSL/TLS. In fact, this is the same type of encryption that banks use to protect your financial data.

A secure video paywall ensures that you are protecting your customers’ data at all times. Therefore, it’s essential to use a secure paywall protected by SSL/TLS if you choose to monetize your video content. 

Ideally, any paywall should also allow you to monetize video content and accept payment via multiple currencies and accept cards, PayPal, etc.

4. Password-Protected Video

Although it seems simple, password-protected live streaming is a great way to protect your content from unqualified viewers.

Password-protected video works in just the way you would imagine. First, you set a password on the videos of your choice. Then, viewers have to enter the correct password to watch. If they don’t know the password, they can’t access the video.

Password protection is a simple, effective security method, one that’s perfect for preview videos, internal company use, client reviews, etc.

It’s also important to keep in mind that this is not an end-all-be-all line of defense. Depending on the scale of your brand, passwords may be leaked in online forums. For this reason, many broadcasters change passwords from time to time to keep forbidden access under wraps.

5. Geographic (IP) Restrictions

If your viewers are located within specific regions or countries, geographic or IP restrictions may be an option for you. 

This tool aims to combat piracy by blocking certain geographic regions from accessing your videos. Most piracy comes from certain regions. In fact, the United States Office of the Trade Representative lists 36 countries that have the highest rate of piracy. Geo-restrictions make it easy to “blacklist” these countries.

Many businesses only want to target their videos to viewers in one or two countries. In that case, geographic restrictions make it easy to “whitelist” these countries, automatically blacklisting everything else. 

The whitelist works using IP addresses, which correspond to geographic location. Like most security measures, it’s not 100% bulletproof, but it can provide a valuable additional layer of security.

6. Referrer Restrictions

Geo-restrictions work well, but as we’ve covered, the best way to ensure secure video streaming is through layers of security.

Another method you can implement to keep your content protected is referrer restrictions.

Referrer restrictions function by whitelisting certain domains that your video content is allowed to play on. Typically, these domains include your website and any partner websites you may have. 

When enabled, this feature checks with the server regularly through a system of digital security tokens

When it’s detected that your video is embedded on an unauthorized site, it will be immediately blocked from playback. Anyone who tries to embed your video on a different website will be unable to stream it.

7. Secure Video Data Centers and CDN

When you upload an online video to an online video platform, those files are stored in a data center, often run by a content delivery network (CDN ). 

A CDN is a network of servers that uses complex load-balancing software to deliver video and other media globally, as fast as possible. Using a live streaming CDN ensures your content loads quickly with minimal lagging and buffering.

Using an online video platform integrated with a CDN helps protect you against various types of attacks. This includes “DDoS” attacks, which flood a website with traffic to attempt to crash it. Using a CDN makes this type of cybersecurity attack largely ineffective.

Plus, CDNs help to protect you against hardware failure. They offer built-in redundancy, making your content safe, as well as fast to load.

Additional Secure Streaming Tips

These seven security measures are quite effective. We’d like to reiterate that using multiple lines of defense is the way to go. 

A general tip for secure streaming is to regularly monitor your systems. Stay on the watch for suspicious activity. 

As we briefly mentioned before, a quick Google search of “your brand name + video title + password” should bring up any forums or websites that have leaked the credentials of password-protected content. This will let you know if you need to change any passwords.

Secure streaming is important, but so is the sensitive information that comes with professional broadcasting. If you monetize your content, your video CMS dashboard is associated with your financial information. 

When you use video content for sales and marketing, you likely collect email addresses and contact information. You owe it to your leads to keep their information safe.

If possible, enable multi-factor authentication on any accounts that you use for professional broadcasting. This goes for your online video platform, your software encoder, the email address associated with your account, and any other tools you use.

Comparing the Top 7 Secure Video Streaming Platforms in 2021

With those secure streaming features in mind, let’s review the five top 7 secure streaming platforms.

Take a moment to review the features that each of these platforms offers. Identify which features are most important for your streaming goals. 

Which features are non-negotiable? Are ones you could afford to do without?

Let’s dive in.

1. Dacast

secure video platform
Dacast—equipped to host both live streaming and on-demand content—is one of the top B2B video streaming platforms on the market.

Dacast is a unified streaming solution that offers a wide variety of professional features. We offer both live streaming and video on demand platforms

This platform is designed for broadcasters from enterprises, schools, and other professional organizations 

Basic Functionality:

Dacast provides comprehensive live streaming and online video hosting services. Users can embed videos on their own websites while maintaining 100% control of their content. Among other features, Dacast offers an integrated paywall, password-protected video hosting, referrer restriction, and an analytics dashboard.

Key Features:

Pros:

Cons:

  • Takes a little bit of time to learn all of the features

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: None (but 240p is the recommended minimum)
  • Maximum dimension: 1080p or 4K (depends on the user’s hardware and internet)
  • Aspect ratio: No restrictions (but 16:9 is the default)
  • Max file size: None
  • Max video length: None
  • Total file storage: 10-1000GB (depends on plan)
  • Compatible video formats: MP4 (preferred), MOV, M4V, M2V, AVI, MPG, FLV, WMV, MKV, WEBM, OGV, MXF, ASF, VOB, MTS

Pricing:

Streaming solution plans with Dacast come at three levels. The video streaming pricing plans include:

  • Starter plan: ideal for newcomers with 1,000 TB of bandwidth and 50 GB of storage per month, at just $39 per month billed annually.
  • Scale plan: includes 24 TB of bandwidth per year, with 1 TB of storage for $188 per month billed annually. These Scale pricing plans add phone support, monetization paywall, an M3U8 online player for live channels, ad insertion, white-label Cnames, and video API access. 
  • Event plan: for organizations who’d rather not sign a contract, and want to purchase bandwidth separately to live stream an event. It offers 6 TB of bandwidth upfront, 50 GB of storage, and costs just $63 per month (or $750/year). Additional data and storage can be added as needed.
  • Custom plan: if your enterprise business has high volume streaming needs, you can contact Dacast for a custom plan tailored to your needs.

Read more here about live streaming pricing plans in more detail.

2. Brightcove

brightcove secure streaming platform
Brightcove’s Video Streaming Platform uses an innovative HTML5 video player with the latest ingest and transcoding technology. Source: Brightcove Video Cloud

Brightcove is a video hosting platform with a special emphasis on monetization and marketing. This platform has been around since 2004, and it has grown with the video streaming industry.

Brightcove is known as a luxury B2B video platform that is best suited for larger enterprises.

Basic Functionality:

Brightcove is a video hosting platform specifically designed to help with marketing and monetization.

Key Features:

  • Video monetization 
  • Marketing and advertising tools
  • Live streaming
  • Powerful app integrations for maximum customization
  • Insightful video analytics

Pros:

  • Privacy and security tools
  • Built-in editing features
  • Many apps and integrations
  • Reliable technical support

Cons:

  • Additional purchase required for 24/7 support
  • Difficult for beginner broadcasters to use

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: Determined by user
  • Maximum dimension: Determined by user 
  • Aspect ratio: No restrictions (since Brightcove uses a responsive player)
  • Max file size: No limits on files size
  • Max video length: No published limits
  • Total file storage: Varies by plan
  • Compatible video formats: MP4, MOV, FLV, AVI, WMV, MKV, 3GPP

Pricing:

Brightcove packages are all custom priced and are no longer posted.

The three pricing tiers include:

  • Starter: includes 50 to 200 videos, up to 100,000 plays, and 2-5 users
  • Professional: unlimited videos, 100,000+ plays, and no overages plays, with +10 users
  • Enterprise: unlimited videos, 100,000+ plays, and no overages plays, with 10+ users, unlimited upload, and analytics-only users

For more information on Brightcove’s pricing, please contact them for a quote.

3. Wowza

Wowza video hosting platform
Wowza’s Video Streaming Platform features a live streaming engine for business-critical applications. Source: Wowza

Wowza is one of the oldest online video hosting platforms in the game. Although some of Wowza’s plans are more expensive, it is known for its budget-friendly options. This platform hosts both live streams and video on demand.

The top feature from Wowza is its amazing security features.

Basic Functionality:

Wowza is a video hosting platform for broadcasters with a wide range of budgets.

Detailed Features:

  • Video content management
  • Supports high-definition streaming
  • Robust security features
  • Video API
  • Simulcasting capabilities 

Pros

  • Powerful security
  • Supports streaming on most devices
  • Live streaming and video on demand 
  • Connects with Google Analytics
  • China video delivery

Cons:

  • Monetization through integrations only

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: 240p (320 x 240)
  • Maximum dimension: 4K (3840 x 2160) 
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
  • Max file size: Not available
  • Max video length: Not available
  • Total file storage: 250 GB (depends on the plan)
  • Compatible video formats: MP4, FLV, MP3, SMIL, AMLST, ID3, NGRP

Pricing:

Wowza Streaming Cloud offers 3 distinct pricing plans and services. Within Live Event Pricing, monthly plans include:

  • Basic: $99/month and includes 20 hours of live streaming and 1,000 viewing hours based on a video resolution of 720p
  • One Month Event: $149 one-time purchase and includes 20 hours of live streaming and 1,000 viewing hours also at 720p
  • Plus: $499/month and includes 150 hours of live streaming and 7,000 viewing hours based on a video resolution of 720p

All of these Live Event plans include full brand control, multi-bitrate streaming, and HD and UHD streaming.

The Wowza Streaming Engine has its own pricing plan packages. These professional-grade streaming plans are billed annually and include:

  • Basic: $125/month + $145/month for each additional instance and $125/month for each additional prepaid instance
  • One Month Event: $245/month + $155/month for each additional instance and $95/month for each additional prepaid instance
  • Enterprise: Please contact Wowza directly for access to their custom-tailored high volume enterprise solutions

Check out Wowza’s pricing page for alternative plans and packages.

4. Kaltura

Kaltura secure video delivery platform
Kaltura provides a wide range of live streaming video solutions. Source: Kaltura

Overview and Company History

With a video management foundation in its open-source software, Kaltura offers a unique focus in the OVP market. Historically, this company has worked most extensively with educational institutions. Kaltura offers cloud-based video platform distribution services and hosting solutions for both VOD and live streams.

Kaltura shines when it comes to customization. The open-source nature of their software means that a community of users can create and share countless add-ons and integrations. The downside of Kaltura’s extensibility, however, is that the platform can be confusing to use. With so many different features, it can be overwhelming for beginner users.

Key Features

  • Live streaming and VOD hosting
  • Secure content delivery via Akamai, Limelight, and eCDNs
  • Live transcoding, live production software, and video marketing tools
  • Video APIs, SDKs, developer tools, and code recipes
  • Highly customizable
  • Multi-bitrate and adaptive streaming
  • Security features including a range of authentication and encryption options
  • Monetization including SVOD, AVOD, and TVOD (PPV streaming)

Pros

  • Variety of monetization options
  • Global content delivery 
  • Ability to bring your own CDN

Cons

  • No China video delivery
  • A highly complex streaming platform

Upload Guidelines and Specs

  • Minimum dimension: 180p (320 x 180)
  • Maximum dimension: 1080p (1920x 1080)
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
  • Max file size: 2GB
  • Max video length: Not available
  • Total file storage: 10GB to Unlimited (depends on the plan)
  • Compatible video formats: MOV, MP4

Pricing

Kaltura does not publish its pricing on its website since each plan is flexible. Please contact them directly for a custom quote.

5. JW Player

JWplayer video streaming platform
JWPlayer started life as a streaming open-source code project that would one day become Youtube. Source: JWplayer

Overview and Company History

JW Player was originally founded as a video player. However, the platform has since expanded to include video hosting and delivery services. 

Recently, the company added live streaming to its offerings as well. JW Player is a highly capable player that is based on open-source coding. The live streaming platform includes the player itself, among other useful features.

Key Features

  • Live streaming and video-on-demand (VOD) hosting
  • Cloud-based content management platform
  • Custom video galleries
  • Up to 1080p HD streaming
  • Support for monetization via advertising
  • Multi-bitrate and adaptive streaming
  • Email support through the $100/month plan level
  • Video API access on all plans
  • Only custom-priced Enterprise plans offer DRM
  • Monetization via advertising

Pros

  • HD streaming
  • Video recommendations engine to generate custom “watch next” recommendations for increased viewership
  • Global content delivery

Cons

  • No China video delivery
  • Only basic security features
  • Only ad-based monetization

Upload Guidelines and Specs

  • Minimum dimension: 360p (640 x 360)
  • Maximum dimension: 1080p (1920 x 1080)
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3, 2.39:1
  • Max file size: 25GB
  • Max video length: Not available
  • Total file storage: 25GB to 500GB (depends on the plan)
  • Compatible video formats: MP4, WMV, AVI, MOV, 3GP, FLV

Pricing

With JW Player, live streaming support begins at a free trial level. There are 3 pricing plan tiers:

  • 30-day free trial subscription which includes full API and SDK access, and a non-commercial license, with 25 GB hosting bandwidth and 75 GB streaming.
  • Starter pricing plan for $10 per month, which includes an HTML5 Video Player and video gallery, with 150 GB hosting bandwidth and 500 GB streaming (50,000 plays) per month billed annually.
  • Enterprise plans are available with custom pricing for high-volume storage and streaming. Enterprise plans support live streaming, while lower-tier plans only support VOD.  

Publishers and broadcasters should contact JW Player directly for pricing and features.

6. IBM Cloud Video

ibm video cloud live streaming platform
Among the oldest streaming platforms, IBM Cloud Video is great for monetizing and marketing. Source: IBM

Overview and Company History

Next up in our platform comparison is IBM Cloud Video. This platform is primarily geared towards the enterprise streaming market with a variety of cloud video hosting and streaming services (such as storage and GPU computing). Within the IBM Cloud video umbrella, Streaming Manager is its core product.

Like Dacast, IBM Cloud video includes file upload, management, and delivery for live and on-demand content.

Key Features

  • 4K streaming
  • Support for mobile streaming 
  • Uses IBM internal CDN to distribute content
  • Reliable video distribution and workflow
  • OTT video management
  • Enterprise video streaming

Pros

  • Hong Kong (China) video hosting
  • Monetization capabilities
  • Access to an enterprise-grade content delivery network

Cons

  • API only available with high-end plans
  • White-label video player customization only available with high-end plans

Upload Guidelines and Specs

  • Minimum dimension: 480p (480 x 270)
  • Maximum dimension:  4K (3840 x 2160)
  • Aspect ratio: No published aspect ratio
  • Max file size: 4 GB
  • Max video length: No published limits
  • Total file storage: 1TB – 5TB (depends on plan)
  • Compatible video formats: MKV, MP4, MOV, FLV, AVI, WMV, MPEG2, H264, H263, MPEG4, VP6, VP8, THEORA, WMV, MP3, AAC-LC, NELLYMOSER, PCM, SPEEX, VORBIS, WMA

Pricing

IBM pricing plans range from $99 to $999 per month and include the following:

  • Silver: $99/month
  • Gold: $499/month
  • Platinum: $999/month
  • Custom: Please contact IBM Cloud video for custom plan pricing.

7. Vidyard

Vidyard secure video hosting
Vidyard is a great option for enterprise video hosting. Source: Vidyard

Overview and Company History

Vidyard is an online video platform that provides features for marketing and lead generation. That’s why its packages are built for marketing, sales, and corporate communications.

The Vidyard platform includes tools to improve audience reach and viewer engagement so that its users can generate qualified leads. This is a comprehensive video hosting platform that is geared toward turning viewers into customers.

Key Features

  • Specialized marketing tools 
  • Advanced video analytics
  • Interactive viewing and lead capture tools
  • Video organization and content management 
  • Gold-standard security

Pros

  • Comprehensive professional broadcasting capabilities
  • Insightful analytics
  • Reliable technical support
  • Access to a large user community for additional help

Cons

  • Inconsistent user reviews 
  • Complicated editing tools
  • No China video delivery

Upload Guidelines and Specs

  • Minimum dimension:  360p (480 x 360)
  • Maximum dimension:  4k (3840 x 2160)
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
  • Max file size: 5GB to 16GB (depends on the plan)
  • Max video length: 1 hour (live stream)
  • Total file storage: Not available
  • Compatible video formats: WEBM, MP4, MKV, MOV

Pricing

Vidyard pricing plans come in four tiers, split amongst two categories: Individual and Teams. All plans are billed annually:

  • Individual – $300/month
    • Free – $0/month
    • Pro – $15/month
  • Teams
    • Teams – $300/month
    • Business – $1250/month

Conclusion

We’ve covered seven of the top tools and methods and secure video streaming platforms.  Of course, there are other ways to keep your online video content safe. 

For example, many professionals create custom apps, video portals, and solutions for their business. Others integrate SSO and plug video functionality into an existing backend system.

No matter which security measures you’ll use, businesses aspiring to this sort of video success will need a professional video platform with API access such as Dacast. 

The Dacast online video platform offers all the security features we’ve discussed in this article. Our content is delivered by industry-leading CDNs. Also, we offer a range of professional services for businesses that need more assistance in getting started.

Looking for a feature-rich streaming solution with secure video delivery tools? Try our 30-day free trial to test all the Dacast features, including our security tools, today. No credit card required.

GET STARTED FOR FREE  

For exclusive offers and regular live streaming tips, you can also join our LinkedIn group. This group offers a professional environment to network with industry insiders and connect with streaming professionals.

As always—thanks for reading, good luck with your online video. And don’t forget, please contact us if we can assist you in any way!

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