“Withholding information is the essence of tyranny. Control of the flow of information is the tool of the dictatorship.”
― Bruce Coville

“When truth is replaced by silence,the silence is a lie.”
― Yevgeny Yevtushenko


In this post I’m going to show you a few way to watch and download YouTube videos that may have been censored by your lovely government (and also avoid panopticon tracking and ads). The follow list contains not just apps (open-source only as usual) but also a website and technologies, therefor you’ll be able to avoid censorship on any device:

this is a URL:


this is a video ID:


on Arch linux you can install it by running:

# pacman -S mps-youtube

to watch a video open a terminal and simply run:

mpsyt playurl URL or ID

The software comes with a nice interface to easily browse other videos, read comments, listen only the audio track, create playlist, etc..
It is very easy to configure to suit different needs.

I made a video about it here.

on Arch install it by running:

# pacman -S youtube-dl

This software is mainly for video downloading (YouTube plus many other websites) but you can also use it to get a video address, to download a video (it automatically downloads best audio/video quality):

youtube-dl URL or ID

to check what formats are available

youtube-dl -F URL or ID

to download a specific format (i.e. just audio or just video):

youtube-dl -f 134 URL or ID

to print a video address:

youtube-dl -g URL or ID

by default it will print 2 long URLs: one for video and the other for audio (both best quality), but you can specify a format that has both a/v, for example:

720p mp4
youtube-dl -f 22 -g URL or ID
360 mp4
youtube-dl -f 18 -g URL or ID
360p webm
youtube-dl -f 43 -g URL or ID

at this point you can direct that output to a media player to stream it:

mplayer $(youtube-dl -f 22 -g URL or ID)

or stream it with your favorite Browser:

qutebrowser $(youtube-dl -f 22 -g URL or ID)

I also wrote a post and made a video about youtube-dl.

this is a website so you can use it on many different devices, it’s pretty straightforward and there is also the ability to download a video. To use it:

add a video ID to hooktube.com/ (or change the original URL)

to https://hooktube.com/S6bOkFLrsAc

I made a video here

By using the tor network you will be able to avoid your country’s censorship and watch whatever you want to, the easiest way to access tor is through Tor-browser

Here you find a post and a video installation tutorial I made, it works on any Linux distro (other OS please check the Tor website).

To avoid censorship be sure that the last node before the internet is not in your country, if so just click “New Tor Circuit for this Site” on the onion icon drop-menu (or press Ctrl+Shift+L)

You can set up a Virtual Private Network to be able to access the internet from other countries, here you find some free vpn (no account required):