Much of today’s Internet traffic is spent on online video streaming, with YouTube taking a large part. More than 400 hours of video content is uploaded to YouTube every minute, and the platform has a greater reach in the 18-49 demographic than cable TV.
And then, you have to consider other video streaming sites like Vimeo, Dailymotion, Twitch etc. That’s a lot of data flowing through – and all that video streaming can get expensive if your ISP limits your monthly data allowance.
The solution is to capture or download online videos for offline viewing, so you can watch videos as many times as you want without wasting data.
Here are some of the best tools for capturing and downloading videos for offline viewing.
1. Video Download Helper
YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Lynda, Twitter, Udemy, and hundreds of other sites.
Video DownloadHelper is easily one of the most useful browser extensions for downloading streaming videos that you’ll ever install. The downside is that you have to have it installed on your browser; If you already run several extensions, the last thing you need is to make Chrome even slower. But if you download a lot of videos on a daily basis, Video DownloadHelper is definitely worth it.
The extension adds a button next to your browser’s address bar. Whenever you watch an online video, just click on the button to download any video on the current page. Use the pop-up box to decide where to save it on your computer. Just note that the Chrome version of the extension cannot download YouTube videos. If that’s what you want, use the Firefox version.
2. 4K Video Downloader
YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, Flickr, Dailymotion, and many other sites.
4K Video Downloader is the simplest tool to capture video from any website. We recommend it if you want a no-hassle option that requires almost zero effort on your part. It works fast and doesn’t slow down your downloads, plus it’s easy to get hold of.
Simply copy the URL of an online video and paste it into 4K Video Downloader. You can paste links to YouTube playlists or YouTube channels to download each available video. In fact, you can even subscribe to YouTube channels and automatically download new videos as they become available. You can also download annotations and subtitles in YouTube videos.
Video downloads are available in 8K, 4K, 1080p, or 720p (as long as the source video was uploaded at that resolution). In addition, you can also download videos in MP4, MKV, and FLV formats. Or, you can download only the audio part in MP3 or M4A formats.
3. Freemake Video Downloader
YouTube, Facebook, Liveleak, Veoh, Vimeo, Dailymotion, and dozens of other sites.
Freemake Video Downloader is one of the most popular video downloading tools for any site. It’s easy to use and relatively flexible as far as quality and format options are concerned. However, the one major drawback is that you can only download up to 4K videos. Additionally, you won’t be downloading anything above 720p unless you subscribe to one of the app’s paid plans.
Despite these drawbacks, videos can be downloaded in just a few formats, including AVI, FLV, MKV, MP4, and WMV. Videos can also be downloaded in mp3 format if you only want the audio part. The actual process only requires the URL of the video—just copy and paste it.
Almost any site with streaming video.
JDownloader is a stream downloader but with a twist. You take the URL of any page that has video on it, paste it into the app, and it will scan the page for all the videos it can find. You have to choose which of the searched videos you want to download.
The cool thing about JDownloader is that you don’t need a direct URL to a specific video. For example, take a MakeUseOf article with five embedded videos, and they’ll all be available to download. No need to search around to find the direct URL of the video. This makes it easy to capture multiple videos at once.
Keep in mind, however, that the installer comes with bundleware, which is where other programs are pushed that you may not need. When you run the installer, you’ll come to a page that offers to install “Bing Search” or something. On this page, the buttons will change to Reject and Accept. Make sure you click on Decline as this will prevent the bundleware from being installed on your system.
YouTube, Facebook, Crunchyroll, Metacafe, Vimeo, Dailymotion, and thousands of other sites.
youtube-dl is a tool for advanced users who are comfortable using the command line. If you prefer graphical interfaces, save yourself the headache and use one of the ones listed above.