Ben Moore is an Analyst for PCMag's software team covering video streaming services, security software, GNU/Linux, and the occasional PC game. He has previously written for Laptop Mag, Neowin.net, and Tom's Guide. Ben holds a degree in New Media and Digital Design from Fordham University at Lincoln Center, where he served as the Editor-in-Chief of The Observer, the student-run newspaper.
Have you ever thought about how to download YouTube channel? Maybe you have, but you didn’t think it was possible, or maybe you’ve tried it before, but you just weren’t successful. There are actually a number of different reasons that you might want to do it, and as we’ve already talked about, there are plenty of YouTube channel downloaders that you can go about it. But, if you’re still not totally convinced that you need to download YouTube videos or your favorite channel, here’s why you should think again.
Multi-lingual 4K Video Downloader (4KVD) is frequently updated and features clear download links on the program's website; no ad traps here. The software does what it advertises in a simple interface: grabs videos up to 8K in quality and downloads to plenty of formats. Just copy a YouTube URL and click the Paste Link button to get started. 4KVD will even grab subtitles, entire playlists, and all the videos in a channel to which you subscribe. The sites supported are limited to the big names like YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, and a few others, but covers most of what you need.
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).
If you deal with videos professionally and need to be in constant collaboration with clients and colleagues, Google Drive can’t be beaten to backup videos. Its integrated file sharing option is a breeze to use, and all you or anyone you share your files with requires is a Gmail account (and let’s be honest here, who doesn’t have a Gmail account these days?).
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.
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.
SaveFrom.net has made a name for itself over the last few years. It can do web-based downloads, but also provides software to install and a browser extension, which it pushes. It doesn't support 4K, but few helper sites do—going to a 1,440MB WebM file is an option, but it doesn't come with audio—the only format that does is 720p MP4s. Nor can you use SaveFrom.net to make an MP3. Of course, those options are in the downloadable software.
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.
Most services encrypt your files with strong systems such as AES 256 before sending them up to the servers over an encrypted connection. The majority of products we tested also offer a private encryption key option. If you choose to manage your own encryption keys (basically the "key" that decrypts your backup), know that it is your responsibility to remember it. The online backup service itself will not be able to help you reset the password if you forget it. On the flip side, this means that no one (including employees of the backup service and law enforcement officials) other than you can unlock your backups. This is ideal from a privacy and security standpoint. Use a password manager to keep track of your private encryption key if you think you will forget it.
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.
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.
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.
For this software, you just need to copy the YouTube link and paste it directly into the box that’s labeled for the link. Then you get to choose the format that you want to download it into. You’re going to need to download their specific software in order to be able to download, but then you just have to click to download, and you’re all set. It really is just that easy. You can even tell it to download multiple URLs at the same time, so you can fill in everything you want to download and tell it to start while you head off to do other things.