Don’t have a stable connection? You can still enjoy your favorite YouTube videos in high quality and at any times. All you have to do is choose one of the tools below, choose your format and quality, and start downloading your favorite videos to your computer. The result is an ordinary video file you can play on any device, whenever you feel like it.
Today’s technology allows these downloaders to work without Java, and yet many of these services still require Java in order to work. After my last clean Windows install, I decided to refrain from installing Java for as long as I can, and as it’s really not a requirement, I recommend the same to you.
The services below don’t require Java in order to work, and if you’re wondering why your favorite one was excluded, that might be the reason.
ClipConverter is a fast and easy-to-use Web app that’s not only a video downloader, it’s also a video converter. With support for video sites such as Dailymotion, Vimeo, Metacafe, and MySpace, ClipConverter is not a YouTube-only service, and can grab and convert any video using only a link. Copy and paste the video’s link into the box, and choose one of the available options below.
ClipConverter can download YouTube videos in many different video and audio formats, and gives you exact control over the result’s quality.
It’s also sophisticated enough to let you download and convert only a part of the video, so if, for example, you’re looking to create an MP3 out of the last minute of a video, it’s a breeze with ClipConverter.
Available formats: FLV, MP4, MP3, M4A, AAC, WMA, OGG, 3GP, AVI, MPG, WMV, MOV.
Video DownloadHelper [Firefox]
Video DownloadHelper’s only significant con is that it’s available only for Firefox. This simple and well-known add-on is still one of the best and easiest ways to download videos off the net, and not only from YouTube. After installation, the add-on will automatically detect when you’re on a page containing a video or an image gallery, and the icon’s animation will turn on, showing you there’s something to download. From there, all you have to do is click the little arrow next to the icon and choose one of the available download qualities, and you’re ready to go.
With an additional installation, DownloadHelper can also convert your videos into various formats, either by a manual process, or by adding conversion rules that will convert certain videos automatically as you download them.
You can easily control such things as file naming, shortcut keys, social sharing, etc., through the add-on’s preferences.
Available formats (with additional installation): MPG, WMV, iPod, iPhone, Galaxy Tab, 3GP, Zune, MOV, AVI, MP4, MPEG-2 DVD (PAL & NTSC), MP3.
Freemake is one of my favorite ways to download YouTube videos, and offers a beautiful and simple interface you won’t find in any similar program. After navigating through the third-party programs it tries to install for you, you’re pretty much done with annoyances, and can start enjoying offline YouTube videos on the double. To start downloading, simply copy the video URL to your clipboard and click the “Paste URL” button in the app. This will detect the video automatically, and open up the format/quality dialog.
Freemake offers several very useful features such as pausing a download, download-speed restrictions, and social logins that let you download private content that’s been shared with you on your social networks.
Available formats: WEBM, MP4, FLV, 3GP, AVI, MKV, MP3, WMV. Devices: iPod/iPhone, iPad, Android, PSP.
SaveFrom.net [Web, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari]
SaveFrom.net is a service I only recently discovered which makes it super easy to download YouTube videos as well as those from Vimeo, Facebook, and others. You can use it on the Web by pasting your video’s URL and choosing one of the available formats and qualities, or by installing its browser extension.
The browser add-on adds a Download button next to any video, and just like the Web app, lets you choose your desired format and and quality before starting the download.
SaveFrom.net is very easy to use both on Web and as a browser add-on, and its only downside is that it doesn’t offer many conversion options. If, however, you’re looking no further than a simple video download, SaveFrom.net is an excellent solution.
Available formats: FLV, MP4, WebM, 3GP.
If you’re looking for yet more tools for downloading and converting videos, there are plenty! Use these tools to download whole YouTube playlists, check out these YouTube downloaders if you’re on a Mac, and take a look at a full comparison of 5 YouTube downloaders and converters to make sure you’re choosing the best one for the job.