18 free ways to download any video off the internet

By: Dan Price February 22, 2017



Video is the future. Periscope has taken the world by storm, and YouTube has launched a subscription service. Even Spotify and Facebook are getting in on the act.

We’re not here to ask why you’d want to download any of that video content – the reasons are too numerous. We just want to show you how to do it.

So, without further ado, here are 18 free ways to download (almost) any video off the internet. Enjoy!

App-Specific Tools

Let’s begin with some service-specific web apps that specialize in a single website before moving onto generic video downloaders later in the article.

1. YouTubeInMP4

We’ll kick things off with YouTubeInMP4. Just paste in your link and click Download in MP4. On the next screen, you can choose whether to download in HD or standard resolution.

2. SaveFrom

SaveFrom is another YouTube downloader, but one with a difference. If you are watching something online and you want save it, just enter “ss” before “YouTube” in the URL.

For example:

Would become:

3. FastestTube

The final YouTube downloader on the list is arguably the simplest. FastestTube is a browser extension that’ll add a physical download button to the YouTube website. You can find it in the bottom right-hand corner of a video.5 Free YouTube Downloaders & Converters Compared: Which One Is Right For You? 5 Free YouTube Downloaders & Converters Compared: Which One Is Right For You?Two years ago, I told you about 5 easy ways to download and convert online videos. Recently, we also told you about ways to download YouTube videos to your Mac, and some ways you can…READ MORE

It works on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Internet Explorer.

4. DownloadTwitterVideo

Sticking with the premise of site-specific tools, DownloadTwitterVideo lets you pull any video off the world’s favorite transient social network.

Paste in the URL of the Tweet which contains the video you want, then select whether you want to save it as an MP3, MP4, or MP4 HD.

5. Vine Video Download

Yes, Vine is no longer accepting new entries. But the 39 million uploaded videos are still available to view on the Vine website.Vine Is Dead but You Can Still Watch Old Videos Vine Is Dead but You Can Still Watch Old VideosEven though Twitter announced the death of Vine, the best of Vine still lives on in the Vine Archive.READ MORE

There are countless hours of amazing videos, ranging from the thought-provoking to the hilarious. This web app lets you save it all onto your hard drive for posterity.

6. Instagram Downloader

Instagram forged its reputation as a photo-sharing service, but with the introduction of Instagram Stories, it’s quickly positioning itself as a Vine replacement.How to Use Instagram Stories Effectively: Basics, Tips, and Tricks How to Use Instagram Stories Effectively: Basics, Tips, and TricksInstagram Stories is the photo-sharing giant’s take on Snapchat. The purpose is to add a new layer of fun to your images and videos. Here’s everything you need to know.READ MORE

7. FB Down

FB Down is a tool for downloading video off Facebook. It also comes with a Chrome extension, meaning you don’t need to leave the social network’s homepage if you find something you want to save.

8. FB Down Private

FB Down Private is a subsection of FB Down, but we feel it deserves its own mention. The app lets you grab videos from accounts that users have set to private, even if you can’t see the video on Facebook natively.

To download a private video, go to the video’s page on Facebook, press CTRL + U to view the source code, then paste the code into the downloader.

Generic Video Downloaders [Web Apps]

As you progress through this portion of the list, you’ll notice a commonly recurring theme: most of the video downloaders work with the same set of sites.

9. KeepVid

KeepVid supports 28 sites. It covers educational resources like Lynda, news outlets like ABC and NBC, and popular amusement sites such as Ebaumsworld and Break.

Once you’ve pasted your link, you can choose to save your downloaded file in more than 150 different formats.

10. VideoGrabby

A simple-to-use web app that supports the majority of the most popular video sites. Type the link and hit Go.

11. YooDownload

YooDownload is another competitor to the likes of KeepVid and VideoGrabby. It works with YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vid.me, and SoundCloud.

12. ClipConverter

ClipConverter works with almost any website you can think of (subscription streaming services notably excluded). It’ll even grab videos off the world’s most thriving social network, MySpace!

The developers offer a browser add-on for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

13. OnlineVideoConverter

Because so many of these web apps are so similar, I’m only going to introduce you to one more.

OnlineVideoConverter works with YouTube, LiveLeak, TeacherTube, VK, College Humor, and more.

Generic Video Downloaders [Desktop Apps]

Sometimes it’s better to use a desktop app than a web app. They can offer features which web apps cannot replicate.

14. VLC Media Player

Clearly, VLC does a lot more than merely downloading videos. The beauty of using VLC is it’s a program a lot of users will already have installed on their machines, and it negates the need for third-party apps.

A step-by-step guide is beyond the scope of this article, but you can find more information in my piece about six amazing VLC features.6 Awesome VLC Features You May Not Know About 6 Awesome VLC Features You May Not Know AboutThere’s a reason VLC is called the Swiss Army Knife of media players. This article identifies six awesome VLC features and explains how to use them.READ MORE

15. Video Grabber

Video Grabber has three key features; downloading video, converting video, and recording your screen. Even though it initially looks like a web app, it is actually a desktop program.

The screen recording feature can be really useful in certain situations. More on that shortly.


FLTVO has a web app and desktop version. The desktop version lets you queue videos for download from multiple sources and automatically download new videos as they become available.

Screen Recorders

We’re closing out our list with a pair of screen recorders. These tools let you record whatever is playing on your computer, making them a good solution when you have exhausted all other possibilities.

17. Open Broadcaster Software

OBS studio is unquestionably the best free screen recorder app on the web. It’s available on Windows, Mac, and Linux and includes a powerful editing tool.

18. CamStudio

CamStudio doesn’t look as slick as OBS and it doesn’t have as many features, but it’s simpler to use. Thus, it’s perfect for someone who just wants to click Record and forget about it.

We covered these two tools in much more detail when we discussed the best three screencasting tools for Windows.Show, Don’t Tell! 3 Best Free Screencasting Tools for Windows Show, Don’t Tell! 3 Best Free Screencasting Tools for WindowsThey say a picture is worth a thousand words, so a video must be priceless – and there are times when a video is more convenient and effective than simple words. A screencast, also known…READ MORE

A Word of Warning

Remember, all the tools listed in this article are for creating recordings of free online videos for personal use. They should not be used to save and distribute copyrighted material; doing so could get you in serious trouble with the law. You have been warned!

Which sites and apps do you use when you want to save a video to your hard drive? Have you used any of the tools we’ve discussed here? Which would you recommend to your fellow MakeUseOf readers? Please leave your tips and suggestions in the comments below.

Image Credit: Den Rise via Shutterstock.com

Originally written by Aseem Kishore on October 2, 2007

About skicat56

Snow Sports Industry veteran – Husband – Father – Network IT Ninja & Former Powncer. Old enough to know better but young enough to start a new career.
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