When it’s time to get started, you have to decide whether you want the free version or the pro version that offers a few extra features. From there, you put the URL for the YouTube video or channel that you want to download directly into the link box and select the resolution that you want. You get to pick the outputs, the place to save the information, the subtitle languages and all of the other important features and then you click the button to download. From there, you’re going to be ready to start listening and watching your favorite shows.
This is a Chrome extension that actually works from the Web Store—because it doesn't let you download YouTube videos. It time marks snippets you can share (only from YouTube). First create an account and log in. The extensions icon turns green on a YouTube page—click it to create the times you want, and they are then saved and easily shared; the viewer goes back to YouTube and sees what you specify. It's not really close to saving a video for your offline use, but could be useful in certain circumstances.
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.
An online backup service isn't much use if it doesn't make the process of restoring or recovering your data quick and simple. For example, a service should offer search tools for finding particular files in your backup. It's also desirable for a service to be able to replicate an entire folder-tree structure so that it can help you recover from bigger data losses. Keep in mind that if you buy a plan that covers just one computer, you may have to transfer the account to a new PC if you ever switch your main device or if you need to restore data from a damaged computer to a replacement.
The DVDVideoSoft system gives you free downloads in just about any style you might need. It’s an easier YouTube video downloader that consists of only three different steps. The system is older than some because it’s more than ten years old and it provides some of the best quality you could want. It’s available to be used on both PC and Mac computers, which gives you the level of versatility and flexibility that you’re looking for before you even get started. Plus, you can get a range of different options or different formatting features to the videos that you want to download.
Digiarty's multi-lingual WinX claims to allow downloads from 300+ sites—including adult sites. Perhaps the biggest selling point of all is the claim that "There is no malware, adware, spyware or virus. 100% clean." The latest version has a much improved interface as well. There are ads, though—on install, I was asked to upgrade to its $29.90 product for Windows and macOS called VideoProc, which does everything that WinX does, but for 1,000+ sites, plus offers some editing for high-end 4K/UHD video.
Many services also offer a feature called versioning. This saves incremental changes you make to files as recoverable snapshots of the file. It's useful in case you need to get back information from an earlier version or if your latest file save becomes corrupted. Services vary widely in how many versions they keep and how long they're saved. Best-in-class services, such as SOS Online Backup and SpiderOak ONE keep an unlimited number of file versions forever.
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.
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.
You never know what’s going to be pulled down from your favorite social media sites. That means, if the show is removed, you wouldn’t have any way to access it. If you’ve already downloaded that information, however, you’ll be able to pull it back up and watch it over and over again, however frequently you want. You don’t have to worry about whether it’s going to still be available on the social media site you use when you go back to it.
The Chrome Web Store—where you get Chrome browser extensions—is controlled by YouTube's owner Alphabet/Google. Even an extension ostensibly for this purpose—like the obviously named Video Downloader professional above—states right up front in its description, "The download of YouTube videos to hard drive is locked because of restrictions of the Chrome Store." In general with Chrome extensions, the download of any RTMP protocol video (protected videos) or streaming video isn't possible.
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.
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.
Have something to say about one of the contenders? Want to make the case for your personal favorite, even if it wasn't included in the list? Remember, the top five are based on your most popular nominations from the call for contenders thread from earlier in the week. Don't just complain about the top five, let us know what your preferred alternative is—and make your case for it—in the discussions below.
Bitcasa Infinite Drive is relatively new, but it's one of your favorite cloud storage providers in general, mostly because they offer virtually unlimited stroage for syncing and backups. When we say unlimited, we mean it—some of you are using terabytes of storage with Bitcasa. It's not primarily a backup service though, and while it was built for file syncing and storage, the Bitcasa desktop client does support regular file backups. Bitcasa supports Windows and OS X, and encrypts all of your files before uploading so they stay safe from prying eyes. Bitcasa even keeps revision history, so if you've backed up a file multiple times and need an older version, you can pick it out and restore it. Plus, you can use the Bitcasa mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone to access your data on the go.