Since you're probably going to be paying for a backup service for years, cost is an important factor to consider. All the services rounded up here are subscription-based, but they partition their features and fees differently, so it's worth comparing plans closely before committing to one. Most construct pricing tiers based on the amount of cloud storage included, however, or by the number of devices you can use with an account. A few services offer permanent free accounts, but those plans impose paltry storage limits or restrict key features to the paid versions. Watch out for file-size upload limits as well.
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.

If you're backing up your data but you're not saving it offsite, you're putting it at risk. If something happens to your home or electronics, all that data could be lost. That's why there are tons of affordable, easy-to-use online backup services that you can send your data to seamlessly for safe keeping. This week we're going to look at five of the best, based on your nominations.


It's been a long time since we last looked at online backup tools, so we figured it was time to take another look. Earlier this week we asked you which online backup services were the best: The ones that offered the most seamless and simple backups, fast and complete restores, easy-to-use backup clients, and of course, storage for your money. You responded with a number of options, but we only have room for your top five. Here they are, in no particular order:
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.)
The number one reason to download the entire YouTube channel is that you’re going to have offline access to them. If you want to catch up on your favorite shows but you’re going to be without internet for a while you may want to have a way to do it without the internet. Being able to get access wherever you happen to be, directly on your device, is going to be an important step. It’s going to make sure that you have something to do during that time that you’re away from internet access or not wanting to use your internet access (which is another great reason).
Not to be confused with the unrelated "pro" above, Video DownloadHelper supports a huge number of sites—even those for adults. You'll know a video is downloadable when the icon for the extension animates when you're on the webpage. Video DownloadHelper for Chrome has stopped working with YouTube—so it could get placement in the Chrome Web Store. You can get around that by using the Video DownloadHelper extension for Firefox. The developer has a Kiva initiative page, where it prefers you donate funds to those in need, which has raised over $137,700.

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.
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.

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.

If you're backing up your data but you're not saving it offsite, you're putting it at risk. If something happens to your home or electronics, all that data could be lost. That's why there are tons of affordable, easy-to-use online backup services that you can send your data to seamlessly for safe keeping. This week we're going to look at five of the best, based on your nominations.

Michael Muchmore is PC Magazine's lead analyst for software and web applications. A native New Yorker, he has at various times headed up PC Magazine's coverage of Web development, enterprise software, and display technologies. Michael cowrote one of the first overviews of web services for a general audience. Before that he worked on PC Magazine's Solutions section, which covered programming techniques as well as tips on using popular office software. He previously covered services and software for ExtremeTech.com.


YouTubeByClick captures video from over 40 sites. Before you even do the first download, you can use the "dials" on the interface to set up a preferred download format (MP4 video or MP3 audio) and a default download quality as high as 8K, even on the free version. Downloading a 580MB MKV file in 4K only took 55 seconds—not bad at all, but that was with the premium version's unlimited speed. The free edition took a lot longer with the 2MB speed limit. You also need the premium version to download playlists and channels, do conversions, avoid ads, and get closed captions.
VidPaw offers up the usual features but on a relatively spartan interface. Though it shows how YouTube might someday crack down on these things—VidPaw's own tutorial video, hosted on YouTube, was "no longer available because the YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated." For now, however, the site works with 1,000+ other sites. It doesn't offer video/audio combo downloads larger than 720p MP4s; you can get the video alone as a 2160p WebM format if you desire.
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.

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.
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.

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.
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