5 Free YouTube Downloaders & Converters Compared: Which One Is Right For You?

Yaara Lancet 14-05-2013

youtube downloadersTwo years ago, I told you about 5 easy ways to download and convert online videos 5 Easy Ways To Download & Convert Online Videos Streaming video websites are such a big part of our lives, it’s hard to remember a time when they didn’t exist. These websites revolutionized our computer video experience - no longer do we have to... Read More . Recently, we also told you about ways to download YouTube videos to your Mac 4 Free Apps To Download YouTube Videos [Mac] If you want to download YouTube videos to your PC, the options are seemingly endless. There are a huge number of options available that are simple and effective, including not only standalone software but also... Read More , and some ways you can download all videos from a YouTube playlist The 5 Best YouTube Playlist Downloaders to Grab Videos in Bulk Want to watch YouTube videos offline? These YouTube playlist downloaders let you download entire YouTube playlists quickly. Read More . All the tools we recommend are good ones, and we usually give you more than one option, so how do you go about choosing one? Which one is really the best?

To answer this question, I decided to do more than just tell you about YouTube downloaders — I’m going to analyze them for you. By the time you finish reading this post, you’ll know all about the 5 options tested, and get a clear idea of which one you should be using.

ClipConverter [Web]

Interface & usability: ClipConverter is an easy-to-use Web service for downloading and converting YouTube videos by pasting a URL. ClipConverter’s interface is nice to look at, and offers only the options you need to use at any given moment, a fact which makes it pleasantly uncluttered. After pasting your YouTube URL, choose a download quality, name your file, and choose which format you want to have it in. ClipConverter makes it very clear what the final file size is going to be. After conversion is done, ClipConverter will provide a download link for the video or audio.

youtube downloaders

Features: For most formats, ClipConverter gives you full control over quality of both audio and video, as well as the volume of your output, its aspect ratio, and its length. It’s very easy to download and convert only a section of the video. If you don’t know much about bitrates, you can leave these at default, or let ClipConverter detect the best settings automatically.

Available formats: FLV, MP4, MP3, M4A, AAC, WMA, OGG, 3GP, AVI, MPG, WMV, MOV.

free youtube downloader

Speed: A high-definition (720p) MP4 video was ready to download after 1 minute 25 seconds. A 215 kbps AVI version of the same video was ready to download after an average of 4 minutes.

Annoyances: My AVI download kept downloading without sound, no matter what I did. This was not a problem with other formats. Clicking the “convert another video” after downloading one opens a pop-up ad in the background.

Extras: Also supports Dailymotion, Vimeo, Metacafe, Sevenload, SoundCloud, Veoh, MySpace, and MyVideo. Also available as an ad-free browser add-on for Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera. Can also convert video files uploaded from your computer.

Ease of use: A+

Overall rating: A

KeepVid [Web]

free youtube downloader

Interface & usability: KeepVid is a Web service that lets you easily download YouTube videos in a number of formats. There’s not much to KeepVid aside from pasting a URL and clicking on “Download”. KeepVid recognizes the video and presents a thumbnail, the video’s title, and the video’s length. You can’t change file name or adjust quality on KeepVid; all you can do is choose the format you want, right click the relevant link and choose “Save As..”. Note that KeepVid comes in two modes, Beta Off and Beta On. If Beta is off, you may need to enable Java in order to use the service. If you’d rather not, switch Beta to On, but be prepared for some slight bugs.

free youtube converter

Features: Not many to speak of. The bookmarklet is an easy way to start a video download/conversion straight from YouTube, but other than that, there are no special features worth mentioning. This might be a plus if you’re looking for something really simple.

Available formats: FLV, MP4, 3GP, WEBM.

Speed: Download links for all formats are available immediately.

Annoyances: Default file name is a random number. Background pop-up ads open up on several occasion, and the ads in general are of the kind meant to confuse you into clicking them.

Extras: Supports a multitude of other services other than YouTube, including Dailymotion, CollegeHumor, eHow, Facebook, Metacafe, TED, TwitVid, and Vimeo, to name only a few. See a full list of formats here. Also available as a bookmarklet.

Ease of use: B-

Overall rating: B


free youtube converter

Interface & usability: Xenra sports a simple interface that nonetheless gives you much control over your final video or audio output. Simply paste your video URL in the box, and click Download to reveal more options. You will not get the option to choose your format, quality, and other settings, before you hit the “Start Conversion” button. The process is very easy, and pretty much anyone can follow it. The interface is clean, and surprisingly, doesn’t even include ads.

Features: Xenra is geared at creating audio files from YouTube videos, and as such, provides fine control over ID3 tags such as title, artist and album. You also get full control over volume and bitrate for both audio and video.

Available formats: MP3, AVI, FLV, MOV, MP4, 3GP, MPG, MPEG, WAV, WMA, WMV.

Speed: A high definition (720p) MP4 video was available after a little over 4 minutes. An AVI with the same settings took 3:30 minutes.


  • You can download one video per day without logging in. If you want more, you’ll have to create an account and log in.
  • You need to beware of downloading your file using the Xenra Download Manager, which is the default setting. After you uncheck it once, the option disappears for future downloads.

free youtube converter

  • The first time you use Xenra you’re going to have to wait on a 20-seconds long nag screen, asking you to like Xenra on Facebook.
  • While preparing your video, Xenra sometimes gets stuck on “Cleaning up”, and never really gets to the part where you download a video.
  • My MP4 video never worked.
  • My AVI video wasn’t of very good quality, despite the settings I chose.

Despite these annoyances, Xenra’s interface is one of the best available for such Web apps, and would be a good choice if you want to convert YouTube videos into audio files.

Extras: Xenra is also available as a browser add-on for Firefox, Chrome and Safari.

Ease of use: A

Overall: C+

Any Video Converter [Windows, Mac]

5 Free YouTube Downloaders & Converters Compared: Which One Is Right For You? any video converter

Interface & usability: Moving on from Web apps, Any Video Converter (AVC) is a desktop app for Windows or Mac that can handle all your YouTube downloading and converting needs. To download a YouTube video, copy the URL to your clipboard, and click the Download button in AVC. The program automatically pulls the URL from your clipboard, presenting a thumbnail, title and length for the video. You can then choose between several formats for download, and start downloading immediately. The interface is much richer than your average Web app, but it still easy enough to use without getting into too much trouble.

Features: AVC features a huge list of mobile devices for conversion purposes, so you can get the maximum possible video quality for your specific device. After downloading a video, you can also use the clip tool to create video segments, crop the video to your exact needs, and control colors and add effects. For every conversion, you can fine tune your video and audio quality, or simply use one the dozens of preset output options. AVC comes with a built-in video player to watch your videos, and you can watch videos while downloading and/or converting others.

5 Free YouTube Downloaders & Converters Compared: Which One Is Right For You? avc 2

Available formats: WEBM, MP4, 3GB for download, but can convert it to pretty much any video and audio format on Earth after download. For some reason, initial download for MP4 is only available in low quality, despite the video being available in 720p.

Speed: Can start downloading video immediately, but any format other than WEBM, MP4 and 3GP requires extra conversion.

Annoyances: When installing Any Video Converter, it will try to get you to install TuneUp Utilities. This will install by default, so make sure you uncheck this option if you’re not interested. The program will also nag you about the full version — Any Video Converter Ultimate — quite often.

Extras: As this is a desktop program, conversions of any kind will also work offline. AVC can also convert pretty much any video format you have on your computer.

Ease of use: A-

Overall: A

Freemake [Windows]

free youtube downloader

Interface & usability: For some reason, YouTube downloaders and video converters have a tendency to be ugly and/or cluttered. Not so with Freemake. This slick piece of software is such a joy to use and look at, looks alone are a great reason to give it a try. To get started, copy a video URL to your clipboard and click the shiny blue “Paste URL” button. This will automatically detect the video, and open the format dialog. Once you choose your format and quality, videos will start downloading to the path of your choosing.

Features: When downloading or converting with Freemake, you can pause the process in the middle and resume it at a later time. You can also restrict the download speed, if you’re trying to save bandwidth. By logging into your social accounts via Freemake, it’s possible to download private videos people shared with you and that are not available publicly online. It’s also possible to enable “one-click download mode”, which saves you from having to set up quality and format every time.

Available formats: WEBM, MP4, FLV, 3GP, AVI, MKV, MP3, WMV. Devices: iPod/iPhone, iPad, Android, PSP.

youtube downloaders

Speed: After pasting a URL and choosing your settings, videos start downloading immediately. A high definition MP4 video took around 3 minutes to be available on my computer. An AVI took around 7 minutes to be available on my computer. Of course, this depends on your connection speed.

Annoyances: The free version adds a branded splash screen to your converted videos but, other than that, nothing major.

Extras: Freemake supports almost every video website out there, including Facebook, Flickr, Dailymotion, MyVideo, Vimeo, and LiveLeak. It also supports a large number of adult websites, and has special settings for videos from such sites, if that’s your thing.

East of use: A+

Overall: A+

Bottom Line

To sum things up, I’ll order the reviewed services from best to worst, and give you my final thoughts:

  1. Freemake (the best)
  2. ClipConvertr
  3. Any Video Converter
  4. KeepVid
  5. Xenra (the worst)

If you download online videos and convert them on a daily or even weekly basis, your choice is crystal clear: you can’t really do any better than Freemake. If you only need to download a video once in a blue moon, and you don’t feel like cluttering your computer with yet another program, go for ClipConverter, or if you need WEBM, for KeepVid.

What is your favorite YouTube downloader out there? Should it have been included on this list? Tell us about it in the comments!

Image credit: MeBaze [Broken Link Removed]

Related topics: Download Management, Video Editor, YouTube.

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  1. rashmika mandanna
    January 29, 2020 at 9:22 am

    Hey, I would love to grab your attention over here to tell you something about an online tool that is created by me recently and I am very excited to share that one with you and want you people to try and give me your reviews here.
    This is an online video downloading tool names (fbtube) which Convert youtube video into AVI
    and provide you video to download and save in your phone.

  2. Frank
    April 8, 2019 at 8:58 pm

    Thanks for your great article, this is the best article I've seen and so useful, many thanks! btw, I'm using VeryUtils YouTube Downloader to download lots of study videos for offline watch on my iPhone, it's a really good tool. You can search VeryUtils YouTube Downloader in Google to download it easily.

  3. John
    May 17, 2018 at 3:28 am

    Wow! These are a lot and Good to know information. I will definitely consider using some of these. So far, I used Acethinker's video Keeper. So far I don't have any problems yet. I find it helpful want to try this one too. You can also check this one out here

  4. Jit
    August 12, 2017 at 7:30 am

    Your blog post is probably not up-to-date. FreeMake Video Downloader is now asking users to go for its Pro version when the length of the video exceeds 3 minutes (it's no longer FREE). This is the biggest down side of it. :(

  5. mattsone
    December 7, 2016 at 8:48 am

    acethinker video downloader is my favorite app to download youtube videos.

  6. Evan
    October 31, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    ClipConvertr no longer works for YouTube

  7. 9WA
    October 24, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    This may be more than 3 years old, but with CC becoming useless now-- since anything categorized under music in youtube is a no go-- it's time to search for something else.

    And what do you know, freemake downloader still works. It's also still up-to-date. Last update was May this year. Only down side is if you decide to use it without the premium pack, you get 4mb/s max dl speed. So unless you're one of those people who go, "Ugh, why isn't this thingy downloading as fast as I transfer files to my flash drive?" Then go for something else, otherwise it's totally free.

    Definitely still recommend it.

  8. Jack
    October 5, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    Clip Converter always worked great for me. If you used the free version you had to put up with pop-up ads but they always opened in a separate window "behind" the conversion window and could be easily ignored.Converted scads of YouTubies to MP3 and MP4 quickly.

    I use the past tense because as of this week, Oct 5, 2016, CC no longer works with any YouTube videos that contain music. They redirect you to the iTunes store to buy whatever music it is. Obviously someone got wise to the fact that lots of people were making lots of free MP3s and MP4s for their phones.

    I will be checking out the comments here for more program suggestions since, as someone pointed out, this article is 3 years old.

  9. MikeDynamo
    October 3, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    Thanks for the analysis! Great work. Appreciate your time.

  10. June
    July 30, 2016 at 9:33 am

    C'mon, this article was written three years ago..
    Tools suggested here are all out of date now. I mean just compare it to Softorino YouTube Converter, it has so many benefits & features
    I mean, it can even save videos to iPad or iPhone ( )

    Don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against online services, but their performance is poor if compare to newer tools

  11. girish kamath
    May 17, 2016 at 6:29 am

    clipconverter page does not open

  12. Anonymous
    January 17, 2016 at 6:29 pm is what i use
    Just type in video url or video id and click convert button :)

  13. computer networks
    November 28, 2015 at 1:20 pm is the best tool for mass downloads

  14. Anonymous
    September 29, 2015 at 7:37 am

    Thank you for sharing this information! Is there a way to get Clip Converter to download with the subtitles?

  15. Anonymous
    August 24, 2015 at 3:57 am

    I always use . When I had a PC (before I realized Mac was better), I had FreeMake. I compared it to ClipConverter, and I couldn't believe I was convinced FreeMake wasn't trash. Always use ClipConverter. It's slow, but it's more reliable.

  16. Anonymous
    July 25, 2015 at 12:39 am

    got any software can download dailymotion?? because now dailymotion already change forma before i use download

    May 22, 2015 at 4:45 am

    i need youtube TO MP3 converter compatible with MY idm through my acount ONLINE.

  18. drew
    May 13, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Clip converter is horrible. It tried to get me to download some stupid other thing, and everytime I restart my computer the thing to download the video keeps coming up.

  19. Tati
    March 7, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    Thank you Yaara Lancet for the list. Just wanted to chip in my 2 cents as well :) I've been using for nearly a year now. A really powerful youtube downloader. They have everything in store - online service, mac and win apps as well as a bunch of add-ons. I hope this will be helpful for your next reviews.

  20. Cristian G
    February 16, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Thank you so much, the info you gave me is a blessing. ;-)

  21. John Bowman
    February 9, 2015 at 7:52 pm hosts malware. Just tried to infect my computer multiple times.

  22. AK
    January 24, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    want to tell something about ,,every time I downloaded,,my videos were corrupted at some point, don't know why?

  23. Prinfile M
    July 10, 2013 at 4:44 am

    Hi, what for to write about the worst downloader if there are so many good ones on the net?
    The matter is that you could have chosen 5 downloaders which will be same good and work well. And, on the contrary, you take just 5 different, maybe incomparable things, including bad ones and compare them. I do not see the point, sorry about that.

    • Yaara Lancet
      July 10, 2013 at 6:51 pm

      I understand that you don't agree with my choices. What would you recommend? What are some really good YouTube downloaders?

  24. lanete_08
    May 20, 2013 at 8:17 am

    i use keepvid :]

  25. NK
    May 18, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    what do think of it.......

    I think this best.....

  26. null
    May 18, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Hey thanks a lot for 5 free youtube downloaders and converters thank you....Come back again for more interesting stuffs like one you got earlier!

  27. KennyD
    May 17, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Freemake Video Converter also has the convert and burn to dvd option, which is great if you want to play it in your home entertainment system.

  28. Anup Agarwal
    May 17, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    I am using YTD You Tube Downloader. It is fantastic piece. It picks the video url automatically once copied and mouse hovered on the paste site. free version allows 3 download simultaneously.

    Freemake is good for all type of site.
    Thanks for a nice piece of advice

  29. Ron Moore
    May 17, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    The site below (FreeStudio) contains an excellent YouTube downloader, plus it has audio and video tools for just about anything you could think of. On top of that it is free. If you don't want the entire package you can simply install only the tool(s) you need.

  30. Vivien Lu
    May 16, 2013 at 6:07 am

    I have been using Any Video Converter free recommended by your for a long time. It is really powerful to download and converted YouTube videos. It is wise choice for you to recommend Any Video Converter to users who want to download online video and convert videos.

  31. Saiful Zaree Johar
    May 16, 2013 at 1:45 am

    I use Internet Download Manager to download videos. For Chromium-based browsers, a free alternative that I would recommend is Youtube Options ( This one can download videos, but the free one from Google web store can't; you can only use it to configure user interface at Youtube site

  32. Rodrigo Graça
    May 15, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    you could include Miro! it's an awesome video/sound player and it can download youtube videos!!!

  33. Shafiq
    May 15, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    I quite like 4k Video Downloader.

    It was reviewed a few weeks ago on MUO.

  34. Nairuz Abulhul
    May 15, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Thanks for sharing with us these useful Websites ^__^

  35. Elizabeth
    May 15, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Here's a site I use and have had good success with. It's completely online and doesn't require downloading, but the only hang-up I can see so far is that it will only convert up to 1800 seconds (30 minutes).

  36. macwitty
    May 15, 2013 at 11:46 am

    I use from TastyApps since i got it (promotion or bundle) a couple of years ago and it works well on YouTube and other video sites. Saying that I think download less now than I used to do - things are there and do not need to fill my hard disk

    • macwitty
      May 15, 2013 at 4:31 pm

      Sorry, forgot to say it was Videobox I use ;)

  37. Kuanysh
    May 15, 2013 at 10:34 am

    What about youtube downloader from One of my favorites. They also have a lot of great tools to work with audio and video.

  38. Gordon Hay
    May 15, 2013 at 8:48 am

    The whole Freemake suite is a great collection of apps. One point though, you do not have to copy the URL, just click on the download icon in the browser toolbar and it is done automatically.

    • Cutler Cox
      May 15, 2013 at 10:27 pm

      Most people use chrome or the like, so we don't have toolbars.

  39. Glen Brown
    May 15, 2013 at 6:06 am

    That is a good list I suppose but I have good results downloading YouTube videos through Firefox using Tube Enhancer Plus

    • Yaara Lancet
      May 15, 2013 at 3:52 pm


  40. Junil Maharjan
    May 15, 2013 at 5:23 am

    This is a great list. I have freemake but haven't been using much and didn't know it could do this. I mostly use idm which gives a button on every video. freemake is great but idm is easy.

    • Gregg Thorpe
      May 18, 2013 at 12:03 am

      IDM is the tool I use, I think it is a one-time fee of $14.95 after using it 30 days, well worth it as you can download just about any video online.

  41. Steven
    May 15, 2013 at 5:21 am

    BTW, Download helper is available cross platform on PC, Mac or Linux. It runs on Firefox and therefore it is cross platform.

  42. Steven
    May 15, 2013 at 5:18 am

    I'm quite surprise all the services you compared are web based service. Somebody has to convert it for you on their machine. If they go out of business you are out of luck. Also, if they got hacked, you will get a virus. I use something call DownloadHelper, which is a firefox plugin, it is all done on your computer and don't depend on somebody else.

    • MrViC1
      May 15, 2013 at 9:30 am

      I don't think that it would happen, at least that much. To download an ocasional video from Youtube, most services will do just fine...

    • Yaara Lancet
      May 15, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      Out of the 5 services reviewed, 3 are Web-based, two are desktop. Everyone can use what they prefer. :)

  43. Drew Bookout
    May 15, 2013 at 4:54 am

    I use MacX YouTube Downloader and it's great!!! easy to use and doesn't bug you with ads or anything else. Also allows you to download 1080p to 240p videos. The software allows you to also download the video files to flv, webm, 3gp, or MP4. its a great free program if you find that the programs listed above don't work the bet for you.

    • Yaara Lancet
      May 15, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      Sounds great!

  44. null
    May 15, 2013 at 4:46 am

    WOW! I have never ever heard of so many cool youtube video downloader and converter other than KeepVid

    Thanks Yaara!

  45. PratikJain4
    May 15, 2013 at 4:45 am

    Umm, You forgot Internet Download Manager. No other tool is as easy-to-use as this one..

    • Yaara Lancet
      May 15, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      Thanks. :)

  46. Jeevan Sukumaran
    May 15, 2013 at 4:35 am

    As I started reading, I thought to myself, Freemake better be on here. :) I agree, I have used a myriad of youtube downloaders over the years. And none have worked as well or as fast as Freemake. Fantastic piece of software.

    • Lim3Fru1t
      May 15, 2013 at 8:40 am

      I use several pieces of freemake software and they are all great :)

  47. Esaure
    May 15, 2013 at 1:40 am

    My best choice is not listed:

    jDownloader from is painless, addless & stuff alike.

    • Yaara Lancet
      May 15, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      Thank you!

  48. David Moreira
    May 14, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    Here's the one I've always used:

    • Yaara Lancet
      May 15, 2013 at 3:49 pm


      • Mike
        May 19, 2013 at 9:13 am

        What do you think about this one :

        I personally use it for a long time and works really nice with YouTube videos and playlists. Also has support for Vimeo, Dailymotion and other major video sites.

        • Yaara Lancet
          May 22, 2013 at 6:22 am

          I actually looked at this one while writing the review, but it ended up not getting in. Looks nice, though.

        • Mike
          May 28, 2013 at 8:44 pm

          They've just added some nice features as customizing the file name of downloaded videos and clipboard monitoring. So it might be worth checking it :)

        • Aaron
          July 10, 2013 at 12:47 pm

          HI Yaara Lancet,
          Can you take a look about this site?
          One is

          And another one is

          Both works like keepvid but support download video in mp3 format