Downloading copyrighted videos from the Internet is hard work. Although the doctrine of fair use covers many purposes, copying and distributing copyrighted works may violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This article is for informational purposes only. The reader is responsible for the lawful use of the featured software.
What to look for in video download software
While downloading raw videos from the Internet is at the heart of all the software in this article, most of them have some things to consider. Here are some of what you can expect in the best online video downloaders.
- Compatible pages: YouTube is the most popular video hosting service, but it is not the only game in town. The best online video downloaders are compatible with hundreds or even thousands of video sites and services.
- Download options: The best video download software does more than copy raw videos. They also allow you to customize the download by choosing the resolution, format and quality you want for your video. You can even download only audio online.
- Screen capture: The best video download apps also allow you to capture what’s happening on your computer screen. Not only will you be able to get content that is not otherwise available, but also record things like live broadcasts and online meetings.
- Search engine extension: All video downloaders allow you to copy and paste video URLs into the app to begin the download process. Others come with a browser extension that allows you to get videos you find while surfing the internet.
- Integrated search engine: Most online video download apps have built-in search engines that allow you to explore sites to find what you’re looking for without running apps like Firefox, Edge, Chrome, and Safari.
- Format conversion: There will be times when you will need a video in a format different from the one in which you downloaded it. The best internet video downloaders will convert your files to a format that suits your needs.
- Device optimization: Where you watch your video is more important than you think. And each device has certain video settings that work best for it. The best video downloaders can customize files for optimal playback on any device you use.
Best for most users: 4K Video Downloader
- ✓ The free version will satisfy most users
- ✓ Easy to use
- ✓ Download ultra high definition videos
- ✗ Free version limited to 30 downloads per day
- ✗ No conversion tools
While features such as format converters, browser add-ons and device optimizers are great, most people don’t strictly need them. If all you are looking for is a way to get that YouTube video on your computer, 4K Video Downloader may be what you need. It’s safe, free, and offers most of the download tools you’ll probably use regularly.
The 4K Video Downloader interface is about as simple as it can get. It’s just a list of videos that are currently being downloaded and downloads that have been completed. To download the video online, copy its URL to the clipboard and click “Paste Link” in 4K Video Downloader. The program will immediately analyze the connection and present the download options. You can choose to download videos in the original resolution and quality (up to 8K) or an upgraded version for faster downloads and smaller files. You can also extract only the audio part of the video.
The file formats you can download are MP4, MKV and MP3. Although these options are limited in scope, they are universal enough to play videos on any device or player you own. You can also highlight subtitles in English, French, German, Italian, Chinese, Japanese and more.
The free version of the software allows you to download 30 videos a day. If you need more, upgrading to one of your paid plans gives you unlimited downloads, multiple simultaneous downloads, the ability to download private YouTube videos, and eliminate in-app ads.
Most download and conversion tools: AllMyTube
- ✓ Comprehensive site compatibility
- ✓ Lots of conversion choices
- ✓ Screen recorder on
- ✗ Device Optimizer is deprecated
- ✗ Windows 11 is not supported
AllMyTube contains every tool you need in an online video downloader. There are several ways to download videos with this app. The easiest way is to copy the URL of the video you want to download, open the application and click “Paste URL”. The app will download the video and give you the options to download it in different resolutions or even download just the audio of the video.
Other download options include a built-in web browser, which allows you to surf any site and use the one-click download button when you find the video you want to record. The software also offers a browser add-on for Chrome and Firefox, so you can download videos as you find them on the web. And since AllMyTube is compatible with more than 10,000 video sites and services, you’re unlikely to find a video you can’t download. If you encounter a video that cannot be downloaded, you can use the integrated screen recorder to record it while it is playing on your computer.
This video downloader also has a multitude of conversion and optimization tools. While AllMyTube downloads all videos in MP4 format, the converter can change it to MOV, WMV, AVI, MKV, 3GP or MPEG. Available audio formats include MP3, M4A, WAV and MKA. AllMyTube includes dozens of device optimization profiles for devices ranging from smartphones to game consoles and set-top box devices.
Unfortunately, this software is terribly outdated. For example, the latest iPhone optimization profile is for the iPhone X, which was released a few years ago and Apple doesn’t even sell it anymore. Additionally, the software is not compatible with Windows 11, which is a big problem even if you haven’t upgraded yet (because one day you will, and the software will be useless). Were it not for these shortcomings, AllMyTube would have taken first place in our analysis.
Why Wondershare allowed AllMyTube to lag behind can be guessed. My point is that they focused their efforts on video converter software: UniConverter, which includes a download tool and many other features listed above. So, if you want a standalone converter and you don’t mind a few years old program, AllMyTube is a good choice. If this is a problem for you, UniConverter could be the solution you are looking for.
Best built-in browser: CleverGet
- ✓ Top web browser in the application
- ✓ Download ultra high definition videos
- ✓ Works with more than 1,000 video sites
- ✗ Limited format options
- ✗ Missing browser add-on
CleverGet is a video download application that is an Internet browser with the ability to download videos from more than 1000 sites across the Internet. It’s fantastic for browsing the internet and looking for videos to download. When you find the video you want, click the download button in the lower right corner of the browser to begin the process. It’s about as easy as possible to get the online videos you want. You can even use the program for ultra high definition videos up to 8K.
But there are some drawbacks. Chief among them is that you only download videos in three file formats: MP4, MKV and WebM. Additionally, the program lacks a standalone format converter and device optimization tools. And while a browser-based program is handy, sometimes you’ll find videos in external browsers that you want to download. But since CleverGet doesn’t offer a browser plug-in, you’ll need to manually copy the address of the video you want and paste it into the URL bar in the app. Another annoying thing about the program is that you can’t resize the interface or put it in full screen mode.
Best search tools: AnyUTube
- ✓ Powerful video search tool
- ✓ It can download all channel content
- ✓ Android application available
- ✗ It only downloads videos in MP4 format
- ✗ No browser add-on
AnyUTube is a video downloader that does not have something that no other product presented in this article: video in-app search. All other video downloaders require you to find the video you want in the browser (built-in or external). When you click on the “search” tab, you can scan the web for any video you want and get results without opening a browser.
Another thing AnyUTube has that no one else does is a companion mobile app that lets you store and watch downloaded videos wherever you are. It is only available for Android, so iOS users will have to be content with watching downloaded videos in photo or TV apps.
Apart from its unique features, AnyUTube is somewhat limited in what it can do. Although it has a built-in browser, it does not have an extension for an external browser. In addition, you are limited to downloading videos in MP4, and the program lacks a format converter. In addition, audio downloads are limited to MP3, M4A and WebM. And there are no device optimization profiles to choose from.