YouTube Review

Now that you know how YouTube works, and have learned about how safe YouTube is, you may be wondering if it’s a website you want to use. What can you expect when you dive into the wide world of Here’s a quick list of things that the website does well, and others that it doesn’t do so well.


  • No pay-per-view here – YouTube is free to use.  Whether you want to watch videos, share them, or post some of your own, it won’t cost you a dime.

  • What do you want to watch? – YouTube has many different categories of content, from music to sports to politics to comedy.  With a mix of professional content and user-made video journals, tributes, and parodies, there’s something for everyone.

  • You’re in charge of the remote – Most YouTube videos play as soon as a large enough portion of them is loaded, and you can pause, rewind, fast-forward, or skip to another part as you choose.  No more waiting around… you’re in control of what you watch and when you want to watch it.

  • Here’s another just like the other – YouTube has “playlists” of videos, some created by YouTube itself (based on what it thinks you like by how you use the website), and others created by its users.  This way, you can watch several related videos in a row without having to go searching for each individual one.

  • Tools to enhance your viewing pleasure – YouTube videos have plenty of accessibility options.  For example, there are tools that let you share a video on your website or social media account.  If you have an account on YouTube, you can write a comment telling people what you think about a certain video, or you can save the video to your account and watch it another time.  Some videos even have closed captioning options.

  • Be your own online TV star – Signing up for YouTube gets you your very own “channel”, where you can save your favourite videos, and even store the ones that you post on YouTube yourself.  Techboomers has one… come visit us at!

  • Available on most major devices – YouTube is pretty flexible in terms of where its videos can be played; they work on computers, mobile phones and other mobile devices, and even televisions and video game consoles!  You can watch a YouTube video almost anywhere you can get an Internet connection!


  • You can’t take it with you – Though you can share YouTube videos on your website or other social media account, you cannot save any videos that you want to keep on your computer without using another service (and even then, doing that isn’t entirely legal).

  • Hey, that’s mine! – YouTube is somewhat strict about copyright, and certain videos may be taken off the website or have their sound blocked if copyright holders file a complaint.  Also, certain videos may be blocked in certain countries for political or market-related reasons.

  • Beware of comment wars – Ratings and comments made about videos on YouTube are by-and-large not moderated, and rely on the feedback of other users to determine what is shown and what is not.  This can lead to some discussions getting out of control, which may prompt the person who posted the video to choose not to allow people to comment on the video at all.

  • YouTube still breaks for commercials – Because YouTube is a free service, you will occasionally encounter advertisements when you try to load videos, especially ones with a corporate sponsor behind them (such as the NHL or Vevo).  Some of these ads can be skipped or closed, but for others, you will have to wait until they’re finished before you can watch your video.

The Bottom Line: 8.5/10

As one of the first major video-sharing websites on the Internet, YouTube does some pretty novel stuff.  It allows you to pause, rewind, fast-forward, or skip to a certain point in any video that you want to watch, and will start playing it again as soon as enough information about the video is loaded.  You can also watch a string of related videos in a row with a “playlist”, easily share a video on your website or social media account, leave a comment on what you think of a video, or even save a video you find interesting to your account so that you can watch it later.  YouTube gives you greater control over what you want to watch and when you want to watch it when compared with traditional television. There’s so much to discover, and all of it costs you no money at all.

However, YouTube has changed quite a bit since its creation in 2005 and takeover by Google in 2006, and not all of those changes have been for the better.  Some videos aren’t always available due to political or copyright issues, and discussions about certain videos aren’t always civil (if they’re allowed at all), especially if they deal with controversial issues.  Having advertisements pop up all over the place, especially right in the middle of your video while you’re trying to watch it, can be annoying, too.

Overall, though, YouTube is still one of the most popular and functional video-sharing websites around, due to its large library of content and ease of use. 


If you think YouTube may be a great website to start using, be sure to check out our next tutorial on how to create a Youtube account, so you can get the most out of YouTube!

Is YouTube Free and How Does YouTube Make Money?

Now that you know how Youtube works, and you’ve learned about how to stay safe while using YouTube, you’re probably wondering if using YouTube is going to cost you anything. In this article, we’ll explain how YouTube makes money, and whether or not YouTube is free to use. To find everything you need to know, read on!

Is YouTube free?

YouTube is free to sign up for, and to use. There are no limits on how many videos can be watched, or how many times you can watch a video. The only exceptions to this are some full-length movies and television show seasons, which may cost money to view, but YouTube makes this very clear to its users beforehand.

Example of a YouTube video that you can pay to watch

So how does YouTube pay the bills?

We’ve mentioned one revenue stream for YouTube: paid-for on-demand viewing of certain full-length movies and television show seasons. However, this is a relatively new feature for YouTube, brought out to compete with other popular video-streaming services (such as Netflix and Hulu). Being purchased for over $1.65 billion in November of 2006 by Internet giant Google also certainly helped YouTube’s bank account. But there are a few other ways that YouTube generates revenue.

YouTube makes money primarily through advertising. Rather than the banner ads you see on many websites, it places advertisements on videos, either a short video ad before (similar to a commercial) or a pop-up image and text during the video. Occasionally, these ads can be skipped or closed after a length of time.

YouTube also has a program called “YouTube Partners” where, if a user’s videos are popular enough, they can split the advertising revenue with YouTube. The user typically takes 55% of the advertising revenue for their own videos, with the other 45% going to YouTube. Over 1 million users are part of this program; some are private individuals, while others are major corporations who have licensed YouTube to display their advertisements and other exclusive content.


And that’s a little bit about how the video platform giant makes money! 

Is YouTube Safe and Private?

Now that you’ve learned about what YouTube is and how it works, you’re probably wondering if it’s a safe website to use, and if there are any privacy concerns associated with it. In this article, we’ll break all of that down, and we’ll even give you some great tips on how to stay safe while using YouTube. Read on to learn more!

How safe is YouTube?

YouTube is safe to use, as long as you protect your account with a strong password and carefully select what videos you want to watch. YouTube’s user community usually locks or removes content that violates its terms of use.  However, be aware that the content of a video is not always clear from its description.

If you’re posting videos, you also have to consider that people all over the world can view your videos and comment on them. YouTube comment threads can often lead to confrontations and inappropriate content, so check out our tips below for some tricks on how to avoid this.

Is YouTube private?

For the most part, YouTube is not private. Almost anyone who visits YouTube can watch any video on it, regardless of whether or not they have an account. And anyone who has an account can upload a video, or rate or comment on almost any video uploaded to YouTube (including their own).

With that said, there are ways to make YouTube private. You are in control of what happens on your own account, so you can decide how much information about yourself you are comfortable with sharing on YouTube, as well as what happens on the videos that you upload. For example, you can make it so that one or more of your videos can only be viewed by users who have an account and are at least 18 years of age, or who have the exact U.R.L.(s) of those videos.  You can also disable the ability to comment on or rate one or more of your videos. 

You can also file a complaint with YouTube if you believe someone else’s video violates your privacy.  Some of the major related points in the privacy policy include the following:

  • If an individual that is identifiable is featured in a video without having given permission to film them, they can request to have the video removed from YouTube.
  • Videos that contain certain personal information, such as full names, social security numbers, bank account numbers, or street addresses, can be removed from YouTube.
  • Videos are not necessarily immediately removed from YouTube if they violate its privacy policy; the uploader is usually notified and given 48 hours to remove the content that violates the policy from their video(s).
  • Complaints about privacy violations are anonymous so your identity will never be revealed to the uploader of the video that you believe violates your privacy.
  • YouTube’s privacy guidelines take precedence over country-specific privacy laws; that is, one or more of your videos can be removed from YouTube if they violate its privacy policy, even if those videos otherwise abide by the privacy laws of your own country.

To view their privacy policy in full, click here.

4 safety tips for using YouTube

1. Change your privacy settings.

As soon as you sign up for an account, you should access your settings and set the privacy settings to a level you are comfortable with. Simply log into your account, click your profile picture, and then click the gear icon.

YouTube Privacy Settings menu

From there, click the Privacy heading in the menu on the left to adjust your privacy settings. Check or uncheck any check box to enable or disable a feature; if the box is checked, that means the feature is enabled. Be sure to click the blue Save button at the bottom when you’re finished.

2. Subscribe to  channels to find similar videos if you can’t find what you want by browsing.

When you start using YouTube, you may want to try subscribing to one or more “channels”.  A “channel” on YouTube is basically a part of a user’s account that contains videos based on a common theme, such as providing you with useful information (such as the TechBoomers YouTube channel) or giving you a good laugh. Subscribing to a channel is a great way to find more of the content that you want to see when you first start using YouTube.  Plus, it helps YouTube make better suggestions on what you might want to see when you’re browsing videos after having used it for a while.

Of course, we have instructions on how to subscribe to channels, which can be found here.

3. Beware of getting sucked into “comment wars” in threads.

Comment threads for YouTube videos can be one of the worst things about the platform, as they aren’t very heavily moderated.  As such, they often they end up filled with inappropriate messages, intentionally hurtful comments, and remarks meant to deliberately start arguments. Keep your cool, and avoid engaging with aggressive people in comment threads.  Also, be very wary of clicking hyperlinks included in comments, and never ever post a comment that contains your personal information on any video.

If you’re posting videos to your own channel, you may want to consider disabling the ability to comment on them altogether to avoid some of these very common issues.

4. Report any videos that contain inappropriate content or illegal activities, and report users who post these videos.

You should notify YouTube of any videos or users who aren’t following the YouTube community guidelines. For the safety of everyone, any videos (or anyone posting videos) with the following features should be reported:

  • Nudity or sexual content
  • Violent or graphic images
  • Hateful content
  • Depictions of harmful or dangerous activities
  • Content that violates copyright laws
  • Threat messages
  • Spam or scams

To report any video, simply click More underneath the video title, and then select Report from the drop-down menu. Follow the prompts YouTube gives you from there, and explain why the video should be reported.

Report YouTube videos

Is it okay for my child to start a channel?

If your child wants to start a channel, there are a few things you need to consider to protect their safety and privacy. It’s important to remember that using YouTube can be fun and rewarding for your child, but some of YouTube’s features or settings could make it easy for your child’s safety or privacy to be violated. The following are some precautions to keep in mind when your child wants to start a channel.

5 tips for helping your child run their channel

1. Adjust their privacy settings immediately.

As soon as your child creates their channel, be sure to help them adjust their privacy settings to a level you can both be comfortable with. It’s always important to evaluate the default settings and select something that meets your needs. This is especially important if your child is young, as YouTube can have a lot of mature content.

2. Monitor their posted videos for content that could violate YouTube privacy policy.

YouTube is pretty strict when it comes to protecting the privacy and intellectual property rights of both its users and outside parties.  Therefore, take some time to go over the appropriate guidelines with your child, and make sure that they understand them.  

If your child gets caught with a video on their channel that violates their privacy or copyright policies, they may not only have that video removed from YouTube, but they may also get a penalty strike on their channel.  If they get enough penalty strikes on their channel, their channel may be shut down, or their entire account may be suspended or disabled.

3. Remember that advertisements could factor in at some point.

If your child’s channel gets enough attention, they may be invited to participate in YouTube’s “Partner Program.” This allows them to place advertisements on their videos, and earn a share of YouTube’s advertising revenue in return. Be sure to review what types of content may be advertised, and decide if these types of products or services are something you or your child can support. If not, consider opting out of the “Partner Program” and just running the channel for fun.

4. Help explain the repercussions of running your own channel.

When any type of information is posted on the Internet, it often becomes very difficult to completely remove. This is especially true if it “goes viral”; that is, lots of other people start sharing it in a short amount of time.  Videos on YouTube are no exception. Some people around the world are remembered for things that they’ve done in YouTube videos, even for years after the video is originally posted.

Therefore, it’s important to explain to your child the potential social consequences of posting a video that depicts them or someone they know in an unflattering way.  These could include having their video fill up with hurtful comments, being bullied or teased at school over the video’s content, or even having a potential employer reject their job application due to seeing them behaving unprofessionally in the video.  (And yes, this last one has actually happened before.)

If it helps, try showing your child some popular “blooper” or “fail” videos as examples. Ask them how they would feel if they were a person featured in one of those videos. This may help them imagine the possible repercussions of posting that kind of content about themselves or their friends on their channel.

5. Don’t be overprotective – be safe!

Take an interest in your child’s channel and offer help where you can.  Remember, however, that trying to control too much of what your child does with their channel could lead to them trying to run it without your supervision. Watch the videos that they post, and view the comments being posted on their videos, offering suggestions where you can. If you offer insight and suggestions rather than simply telling your child what they can’t or shouldn’t do with their channel, you’re likely to get a lot further with them, and they are more likely to involve you in the operation of their channel.


That’s how you keep yourself safe while using YouTube! If you’re wondering how much YouTube costs to use, check out our next article on whether it is free and how it makes money. If you’re confident that you’ll be able to use YouTube safely and want to get started right now, check out our step-by-step tutorial on how to create an account.

What YouTube is and How to Watch Videos

Imagine you come home from work or doing errands around town one day, and you sit down in your favourite chair and turn on your television. Up and down the channels you go, and you can’t find anything that you want to watch! The shows on right now don’t interest you.  Or, the shows you want to watch are on at a later time, so you have to wait.  Or, your subscription to that premium channel set ran out this month, so you’re blocked out from watching your favourite shows!

Now, imagine a video website that has virtually no channel restrictions and lets you watch almost anything that it has available whenever it’s convenient for you.  Want to learn about a topic by watching a how-to video or a documentary?  Want to see clips of music videos and live performances from your favorite recording artists?  Want to get a laugh from kids doing funny things, or see an amazing parasailing stunt? You can do all of that with

So what exactly is YouTube?

YouTube is a video-streaming website; it lets you pick a video that you want to watch, and then it plays the video back to you while it loads from the Internet. YouTube is also a social network, where people can share videos with others, comment on what they see, and rate videos and the comments of others.

How does YouTube work?

YouTube has millions of users, all with the ability to upload their own videos of virtually anything they want. As a user, you can upload your own videos and watch as people all over the world view them.  Or, you can simply sit back and watch the work of other YouTube users, enjoying the content they post on YouTube.

If you want to be a viewer, simply visit and start watching videos today. Enter a search term into the search bar, and browse what comes up. Click on any video to start watching, and from there, check out other videos suggested for you.

Watch videos on YouTube

If you want to be an uploader, you can start your own YouTube channel and start posting videos. Watch as the number of views on your videos increase, and try to get as many subscribers to your channel as you can. Subscribers will be notified when you release new content, so they can always stay up to date on what you’re doing.

Start a YouTube channel

Remember that YouTube is a community, where users can “upvote” or “downvote” videos, and share how they feel about the video in the comments section. Feel free to engage with the YouTube community while you’re logged in as well!

5 ways to get started using YouTube

1. Watch all kinds of different videos, and find anything you can imagine.

YouTube has lots of different videos that you can watch.  Some are movie trailers and commercials, while others are clips of news broadcasts or other television programs. You can find home videos of family events, personal musings, or events captured as they happen.  Some videos even have features such as closed captioning, the ability to rotate the camera, or the ability to watch in 3D!

To begin watching a video, simply click on it or its name. You don’t even have to be logged in to watch most videos (though there are some exceptions)!

YouTube homepage

2. Share your opinion with comments and ratings.

Did you enjoy a video that you watched on YouTube, or did it rub you the wrong way? Do you feel like speaking your mind to others who have watched the video? You can leave a comment on a video that you’ve watched, or respond to a comment that someone else has made about the video.

Comment on YouTube videos

You can also “like” or “dislike” a video or any comments that have been made about it. Ratings for videos display the total number of “likes” and “dislikes”; ratings for comments are simply the difference between the number of “likes” and “dislikes” (for example, 40 “likes” and 15 “dislikes” results in a comment rating of 25). To learn more about how to work the commenting and rating system, visit our tutorial on how to comment on YouTube videos.

3. Create playlists of your favourite videos.

If you have a couple of different videos that you like, then you can put them together in a playlist. A playlist is a sequence of videos with some kind of theme between them. The theme of the playlist is completely up to you! Are they sports highlights? Do-it-yourself instructions? Cute animals or babies? You pick the videos, so you get to decide!

A YouTube playlist

See our tutorial on how to make a YouTube playlist to learn how to put one together today.

4. Subscribe to another YouTube user’s channel, or create your own to share your thoughts and talents.

A “channel” is like a specialized user profile for YouTube. It contains videos that you’ve uploaded, playlists that you’ve made, comments that have been made about your videos, general information about you, and more. Some people have more than one channel for posting different kinds of videos.

If you subscribe to a YouTube channel, then you’ll be able to follow that YouTube user’s activity. You’ll never miss when their next big video goes live! 

Subscribe to a YouTube channel

Or, you can create your own channel and express yourself with playlists, artwork, information, videos, and more! Head over to our tutorial on how to make a YouTube channel for further instructions.

5. Upload your own video masterpieces.

If you have a video or two that you’d like to show off on YouTube, you can post it on your channel. Give it a title and a description, and decide who can see it. Or, choose advanced options, such as what category that your video falls under, or if people are allowed to comment on or rate your video. You can even upload multiple videos at once, or create your own on the spot!

YouTube video upload page

Is YouTube worth it? Why should I use it?

YouTube is a way to watch videos on almost anything, whenever it’s convenient for you. It’s almost always free, and you only need the Internet!  You can rate or comment on what you watch, and you can even upload your own videos for other people to watch.  You can even get paid if your videos get popular enough!

YouTube is also a great way to pass the time and get a daily laugh. There is so much interesting and compelling content on YouTube, so you’re guaranteed to find something that fascinates you. And did you know that TechBoomers is on YouTube? We have videos for many of the tutorials we offer on our website, giving you another way to learn about popular websites and apps quickly. Check them all out at!

The history of YouTube, and why it’s so popular

Created in February of 2005 by former PayPal employees Steven Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim.  The most popular story claims that Chen and Hurley got the idea for it when they hosted a dinner party in early 2005 at Chen’s apartment, and then had difficulty sharing recorded videos of the events that took place at the party (Karim claims that this party never actually happened; Hurley and Chen insist that it did happen, but that Karim didn’t show up). Karim, meanwhile, claims that he came up with the idea for YouTube as a video-sharing website back in 2004 after being unable to find video clips of some of the year’s major news events online.

YouTube was originally intended to be a video-powered website for online auctions or online dating, but its core concept of sharing videos led it to become very popular, very quickly, all on its own.  Soon, amateur filmmakers were posting videos of anything and everything, kids were linking to videos from their social media accounts, and the world’s biggest investment firms and advertising corporations wanted in on the action.  Even Internet mega-corporation Google took notice, purchasing YouTube only about a year-and-a-half after its debut for a whopping $1.65 billion U.S.

Today, YouTube is one of the top five most popular websites on the Internet, with over one billion registered users worldwide. It has retained its popularity for a number of reasons. One is its variety of content; videos on almost any topic can be uploaded. Another is its continued addition of innovative features, such as live broadcasts, 3-D videos, and 360-degree videos where you can move the camera around.  And a third is its “Partner Program,” where users whose videos get popular enough can earn a share of YouTube’s advertising revenue. Some users earn so much money that making videos for YouTube is a full-time job for them!

Is YouTube safe?

YouTube is a fairly safe website to use, as it has extensive guidelines on what kinds of videos it allows; you can also report videos that you think break these guidelines.  Users must also log into password-protected accounts to upload videos or post comments, and can decide what comments appear on their videos.

Is YouTube free?

YouTube is free to sign up for and use, and puts no limitations on how many videos you can watch, how many minutes you can watch, or anything else you do. Some content on it is pay-per-view, but this is clearly outlined for users. YouTube’s money comes mainly from advertisements before or during videos.

YouTube pros and cons

YouTube is the most popular online video streaming website for many reasons.  One is that almost all of its content can be viewed for free! It’s also incredibly simple to use, even allowing you access on the go with YouTube’s mobile app. There are hundreds of categories of content on YouTube, and its comprehensive search system can help you find almost anything. You can create playlists to sort your favorite videos, create your own channel of videos, and control when videos play, pause, skip forward, and so on.

YouTube does have some negative attributes as well. You can’t save videos easily (or in most countries, legally), as the company is very strict about copyright laws. In some cases, a video that you upload could be removed for copyright infringement, even if you weren’t aware you were doing it. The website and videos are also full of ads, which are almost guaranteed to be on any popular video. The community can also be a tad rough sometimes, with users engaging in “comment wars” over their opinions on the topics or content of videos.

YouTube competitors

YouTube may be the most popular website on the Internet for sharing and streaming videos, but it does have quite a few comparable competitors, each with their own unique features to offer you. is a popular one, which allows you to watch full movies and TV show episodes – which you won’t often find on YouTube – when you want, as often as you want, all for a low monthly fee. is another big competitor; one of its big selling points is that it allows for longer videos than those on YouTube, which are usually capped at 15 minutes.

There’s also, which is very similar to YouTube, but contains mostly short videos from independent filmmakers (though it has some professional content, too). And if you live in the U.S.A., lets you watch professionally-produced TV shows and series, including some exclusive ones, as often as you want for a small monthly fee.

If you want to learn more about these competitors, along with 5 other websites and apps like YouTube, be sure to check out this article.


That’s our introduction to YouTube! In the rest of our course on YouTube, we’ve got everything you need to become a YouTube pro today. Check out our other step-by-step tutorials on how to create an account, how to make a channel, and how to upload videos. For now, if you think YouTube might be a great website to check out, read our next article on how to stay safe while using YouTube.