Third-party software is where you will get the best control over downloading online videos. Typically, you paste the URL for the YouTube video you want into the program, and it downloads the highest quality version it can find. For videos in 1080p High Definition (HD) format, that's usually an MP4 file. For anything higher in quality—4K and even 8K videos—the file format is typically MKV.
With the WinX YouTube Channel Downloader, you’ll need to download their software before you do anything else. Now, this system does have a paid version, or you can check out the free trial first. You get to choose the URL that you want to download and it can auto-detect all of the information about that video, including the format and size and even the resolution. But you still get to make the final determination. From there, you just click the button to download, and you’ll be ready to go.
When you copy a YouTube URL (even for a playlist), click in the WinX software to launch. You start with the "analyzer," which checks all the options. This tool also tried to default to the 1,920-by-1,080 version in MP4; I picked the 4K version (3,840 by 2,160 pixels) in WebM format, a subset of the MKV format—you can rename a .webm file to a .mkv and it'll work fine. In settings there are options to default to WebM at highest res. You can set up a number of videos to back up before you even click the download button. The 4K 575.4MB file took 1 minute and 39 seconds to download, more than double that of 4K Video Downloader.
No honorable mentions this week, as the nominations dropped off pretty sharply from these five. Some of you pointed to your own kind of franken-backup solution that made use of traditional cloud storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive in addition with desktop utilities and clients that can automatically copy whatever you want from your computer to specified files and folders in those services, which is a great option if you want the absolute ultimate in control.
NOTE: Beware of the ad traps on some helper sites—ads that look like they should be the download button to get your desired content, but they are not. Also, depending on the ad network employed by the site, your own virus detection software may throw up some warnings. The more the developers of sites rely on ads they don't control, or resort to trying to get you to place something on your system as "payment," the worse off we all are.

Backup services vary widely in how they set up and perform backups. For example, the totally hands-free Backblaze automatically encrypts and uploads all your important files without any input. On the other hand, services such as IDrive and Acronis True Image let you choose specific files you want from a file tree. Note that some services restrict you from backing up specific file types or using particular sources, such as from an external or network drive. Make sure the service you choose supports all your needs.


Online backup services scan your hard drive for files worthy of protecting, encrypt them for security, and send them up to the company's online servers. Once your files are uploaded, you can access and restore your data from anywhere. Though there's some overlap, online backup services shouldn't be confused with cloud storage and file syncing services like Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and SugarSync. Those services do store files in the cloud, but they aren't designed to automatically protect all important documents and media files, let alone system files. Their strategy is generally to sync just one folder with all its subfolders to the cloud, and in some cases, to offer online collaborative document editing. Many backup services offer folder-syncing capabilities, but few syncing services offer full-scale backup functionality.

The cheapest of these plans is $8.33 /month for 1 TB of backup space and support for 10 devices (and three sub accounts), if you pay for a whole year at once. You can add more for the same price and storage, like another 1 TB for another $10 /month. The maximum storage plan you can pay for is 15 TB, but if you want more you can contact their support team.
BackBlaze doesn't have an offline component, so you'll have to handle that yourself, but it's by far one of the most affordable options on the market. Accounts are $5/mo (you get a break if you pay up front for one or two years), and you can add more computers to the same account for another $5/mo. You can read more about Backblaze's pricing options here.

5K Player also features DLNA server playback so videos you grab can be watched on any devices on your home supporting DLNA network; it supports AirPlay for quick playback to supported devices. Pick a video in the library and you can do a quick conversion to MP4, MP3, or even ACC (an audio format preferred by iOS devices). The player didn't like playing back the overly large 4K file though and experienced buffering issues—VLC didn't have any problem with the same file. Ultimately, there's a lot to like about 5K Player, from the price to the features, especially if you look at them as extras on a downloader. But the interface and playback issues may have you looking elsewhere.
The Hive Five is based on reader nominations. As with most Hive Five posts, if your favorite was left out, it's not because we hate it—it's because it didn't get the nominations required in the call for contenders post to make the top five. We understand it's a bit of a popularity contest, but if you have a favorite, we want to hear about it. Have a suggestion for the Hive Five? Send us an email at [email protected]
Remember that problem of using Chrome extensions from the Google Web Store? You're going to have an even bigger issue when you want to download from YouTube using an Android app from the Google Play store, where Google has an even tighter grip. (Nor can you actually download anything with your officially sanctioned YouTube apps. Unless you live in India.)

5K Player also features DLNA server playback so videos you grab can be watched on any devices on your home supporting DLNA network; it supports AirPlay for quick playback to supported devices. Pick a video in the library and you can do a quick conversion to MP4, MP3, or even ACC (an audio format preferred by iOS devices). The player didn't like playing back the overly large 4K file though and experienced buffering issues—VLC didn't have any problem with the same file. Ultimately, there's a lot to like about 5K Player, from the price to the features, especially if you look at them as extras on a downloader. But the interface and playback issues may have you looking elsewhere.

Some services go above and beyond, including extra capabilities that improve the experience. For example, a few offer disk courier services for bulk uploads and restores via an external drive that the company ships and manages. A couple of these services throw in a local backup component, too. If you go that route, you should take a look at our roundup of best external hard drives. Some of these services can even track your device's location and let you remotely wipe it in case it's lost or stolen.

Carbonite is one of the web's most popular online backup services, and for good reason. The Carbonite client runs quietly in the background uploading your data to Carbonite's servers to make sure it's safe in case something happens to your computer. Carbonite can automatically back up documents, music, email, and other files (although it manually backs up video), and grants you access to those files and your archives on your smartphone. Carbonite supports Windows and OS X (although its Home Plus and Home Premier plans only support Windows), and make restoring your files as easy as backing them up. Your offsite files are encrypted to keep them safe from prying eyes, and all of their plans include unlimited storage for your backed up files. Carbonite's Home Plus plan extends its features and allows you to back up external hard drives and not just files on your computer, and allows you to back up full system images. The Home Premier plan includes both of those features and adds automatic backup of your video files, and a courier recovery service that delivers you backups on a hard drive to you ASAP if something terrible happens.
No honorable mentions this week, as the nominations dropped off pretty sharply from these five. Some of you pointed to your own kind of franken-backup solution that made use of traditional cloud storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive in addition with desktop utilities and clients that can automatically copy whatever you want from your computer to specified files and folders in those services, which is a great option if you want the absolute ultimate in control.
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