Storing and Protecting Video, Audio and Other File Formats
Q1: What’s the difference between storing files on Amazon S3 (and serving it using the S3MediaVault.com plugin), compared to storing the files right on your own web site and having DAP serve them directly to your members?
If all files are stored right on your web site, and you have a large amount of video, audio and other files, then a lot of people viewing and downloading them from your site will use up a lot of resources on your server – like site loading time, server memory, server bandwidth, etc – and your site could slow down considerably. Plus, on top of that, there may be bandwidth charges that your host will charge you with for all of those downloads, which are usually not very cheap.
And don’t put too much faith in your web host’s “Unlimited Bandwidth” clause, because if you read the fine-print carefully, you’ll see that as per their TOS, if you consume large amounts of bandwidth and use too much of the server resources, this could cause other web sites (belonging to others) on the same server to slow down and have a degrade in performance, especially if you are on a shared hosting account. And they could consider this abuse of their TOS, and could either slap you with huge bandwidth or server utilization fees, or may even ask you to take your web site elsewhere because you’re causing issues for other site owners on the same server.
Instead, if the files are stored on Amazon S3, then you don’t have to worry about your site slowing down, or you using up too much bandwidth and getting slapped with huge bandwidth fees, because the files are being served from Amazon’s huge S3 servers which have tons more resources and speed compared to your web host.
Plus in the long run, bandwidth is cheaper on S3 compared to your web host.
Q2: Can DAP protect content stored on an external site, like Amazon S3?
A: Not directly, not by itself. By default, DAP can only protect files (and any other content) that is on the same web site where DAP is also installed. For large files, we do recommend that you store files on a fast, scalable file server like Amazon S3. Now, the page or post itself (in which you post that Amazon S3 link) can be protected by DAP, and no un-authorized user can even see the content of the page (or the link within that page).
However, once a user has authorized access to a page because they’re a member, now they can see the page where you have that Amazon S3 link.
It’s similar to posting a public YouTube video on a protected DAP page on your web site. Sure, DAP can protect the page from un-authorized users, but authorized users can actually see the page, and see that it’s a YouTube video, and clicking on that video will directly take them to a page on YouTube.com, which DAP has no control over, and cannot protect once they leave your web site.
Similarly, DAP cannot directly protect that external link to your file stored on Amazon S3. And that’s where our Amazon S3 plugin S3MediaVault.com (S3MV) comes into the picture.
S3MV can make sure that your files on Amazon S3 cannot be accessed directly by anyone, even if the link were shared with others via email or on a forum, and can ONLY be accessed through a page or post on your web site (web site where you have installed the S3MV WordPress plugin).
NOTE: The S3MV plugin is included for free with your purchase of any DAP license, starting with the Unlimited-site license and above.
Q3: Can S3MediaVault prevent members from downloading the protected videos or audios?
A: Yes. S3MediaVault offers “true streaming”, as well as standard “Progressive Downloads”. You can choose either option for your videos and audio.
If you want them to be able to download the files, S3MediaVault allows you to do that.
And if you do NOT want them to be able to download the files, S3MediaVault help you prevent downloads as well.
S3MediaVault is the first-ever WordPress plugin that lets you create encrypted Streaming Video and Streaming Audio.
“Impossible to Download” Streaming Videos: We highly recommend allowing paying members to download your content for offline use. And S3MediaVault very much allows you to create secure download links for all of your content – Video, Audio, PDF, etc.
However, for some reason, if you do *not* want anyone to download your videos/audio, then S3MediaVault can do that too.
S3MediaVault allows you to create HLS Videos with industrial-strength AES 128-Bit Encryption for both your videos and audio. This is “True Streaming” at its best, with the strongest security available for streaming videos and audio.
None of your website visitors, subscribers, or members will be able to download your videos from your website. Even software like Internet Download Manager (IDM) or browser extensions like Video Downloader or Video DownloadHelper will not be able to download your streaming video or audio. S3MediaVault is the only WordPress plugin that can create this level of security. Check out our encrypted streaming demo here.
Multi-Resolution Streaming with “Resolution Switcher” and “Video Stream Optimization”: S3MediaVault allows you to create streaming video in multiple resolutions. You can choose the resolutions in the Settings page – 1080p, 720p, 360p, 240p and 144p. And S3MediaVault automatically encodes your video in all of those resolutions with a single click. And when the viewer clicks play on the video, the S3MediaVault video player will automatically choose the lowest-but-best resolution for the viewer based on their internet speed. So, if they’re watching from a device which has slow internet speeds (like 3G, or 4G or maybe they’re using a service that doesn’t offer high-speed internet, or maybe throttles mobile access), the player will serve them the most optimized quality of video. That means, your streaming videos will load quickly for them regardless of their internet speed, saving them on their bandwidth bill, as well as saving you on your AWS bandwidth bill (win/win FTW!).
In addition, just like you can do on YouTube, your viewers will be able to change the resolution to a higher or lower number, and the switch will happen seamlessly without affecting their viewership experience.
S3MediaVault is the most secure plugin that can secure your content and make sure it’s only available on your website.
Combine that with the Page/Post protection of DigitalAccessPass (DAP), which can make sure only certain people (like paid members, or free but registered users) can access the post or page where the S3MediaVault embed code is published.
Combine DAP + S3MediaVault, and you would have now completely locked down your content from any and every kind of unauthorized and illegal access.