SpiderOak's beauty is that it's a combination cloud syncing and storage service as well as a backup client all in one. Unlike some of the other services though, you'll have to pay for the storage you use. You get 2GB for free just for signing up, and you can get up to 10GB by referring friends. SpiderOak Plus nets you 100GB for $10/mo to use for syncing and backups, and every 100GB after that is another $10/mo. Plus, you can connect as many computers to any SpiderOak account as you want, so you're not paying by the system. You can read more about SpiderOak's plans here.
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.
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.
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.
In tests, I had to make a switch from MP4 to MKV format to get my test video to download in 4K. 4KVD snagged the 579.4MB file in about 43 seconds. It defaults back to 1080p HD, so I made the same switch when downloading an Ultra High Definition (8K) playlist. If you enable the Smart Mode and its pre-sets, 4K Video Downloader can then do one-click downloads to your favorite format. If you want to download more than 25 videos at a time or subscribe to YouTube channels to instantly download the latest, that requires the $15 paid version. Playback of the MKV file via VLC Media Player was flawless.
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.
SpiderOak is well known as one of the most privacy-centric cloud storage services, but it's also a great backup service. The same power and features that you get for file syncing and access extend to its backup client, and SpiderOak's "Zero Knowledge" policy extends to your backups as well. Even they don't know what you're storing on their servers, and all of your data is encrypted on their servers and before it leaves your computer. The SpiderOak desktop client has a fully-featured backup tool in it that lets you back up your entire desktop, documents, email, music, or movies right to the cloud, or you can hit the "Advanced" tab and pick the files and folders you want to save, including external drives, network drives, or anything else on your computer. As you add files to your backup job, you'll get a live preview of how much space you'll use with what kinds of files, and whether you have space for it. SpiderOak supports Windows, OS X, and Linux, has mobile apps for iOS and Android, can do incrementals, and if you uncheck a file to stop backing it up, the files will still live in your SpiderOak account, just as an archive. Your backups happen in the background, or when you schedule them.
You actually get the option to save your downloaded YouTube videos in different formats, which means they can be accessible in different ways and from different devices. There’s even the option to download to an MP3 file with most of these, which means that you can skip the video and be able to listen to the audio through your MP3 player or your phone. Each of these makes it easy for you to get the information without having to go through an internet connection in order to do it and easy to know how to download YouTube channel.
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.
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.
The final option is a free YouTube channel downloader that can download from a range of different websites that include Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo, and Instagram, among others. Plus, TubeGet gives you options on the specific resolution that you want to use for the videos and even offers different video formats. All of these things mean that the video you end up with is going to be exactly what you’re looking for, without you having to settle for anything else along the way. It even gives you the option to download those videos as an MP3 so you can listen only to the audio if you prefer.
Do you prefer to avoid installing software? Video download helper sites do the download work for you, providing conversion and then a download link—you don't have to install anything on your PC. It can take a lot longer, depending on the size and quality of the video you want—a typical two-minute movie trailer in 1080p can be around 30MB—but you can't beat the convenience.
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.
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.