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.

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.
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.
You can either tear out your hair when a disaster strikes your hard drive or you can prepare for it ahead of time, but data loss is as inevitable as death and taxes. An online backup service is one of the best ways to protect yourself against such threats as a crashed hard drive or accidental deletion. Natural disasters such as fires, floods, and earthquakes can also spell the end of your digital media and documents. Even if you're among the very few who diligently perform local backups at regular intervals, you could still lose data if you don't store backups offsite.
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.

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.


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.
Jihosoft 4K Video Downloader is available as a completely free system that actually works for both PC and Mac users, but there’s a paid version as well. What’s really great about this YouTube video downloader is that it actually works for just about any kind of video you want to download, whether that video comes from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, SoundCloud, or YouTube, so you’re not stuck with just one platform. You’re also going to have the option to download in just about any resolution and still get all the audio and subtitles that usually come with the video. On top of all that, you can convert to any video format or even MP3 audio, so you’re always able to watch (or listen).
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.
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.

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.
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?).
Backblaze earned praise from many of you for being easy to set up, even for non-technical people. It's built for people who want to get their data backed up, without being forced to search for error codes and cryptic status messages whenever something goes wrong. To that point, Backblaze backs up just about everything on your system. You get some control over what's backed up and what isn't, but the point is to be fast, easy, and hands-off, so everything on your system—documents, music, video, external drives you have plugged in, just about anything. Instead of telling what they do back up, Backblaze actually has a special page dedicated to what they don't back up instead. Backblaze offers unlimited storage for your backed up data, and while by default it only backs up files smaller than 4GB, you can bump that up if you need to. Like other online backup services, it runs in the background, backing up your data all the time (or when you schedule it to, if you prefer), and your data is encrypted so only you have access to it. It supports Windows and OS X, and is smart enough to de-dupe data, do incremental backups, and keep backup processes low on system resources. You can read more about Backblaze's features here.

Bitcasa starts you off with 10GB for free, but $100/yr throws the floodgates open and gets you unlimited storage for anything you want to sync, share, or back up. Plus, you can connect as many computers or devices to your account as you choose, so you don't pay by the PC. It's client isn't quite as robust as some of the other tools here, but if you're more interested in a flat fee for unlimited space and you can handle the details of which files go where and when, it's a solid option. You can read more about Bitcasa's pricing here.
There are a few common practices for configuring when backups occur. The most common option is on a fixed schedule, such as once a day, week, or month. The second, which we prefer, is to upload file changes whenever they're changed and saved, otherwise known as a continuous backup setting. Services only transfer the modified part of the file in this scenario, so as not to overburden your internet connection or take up unnecessary storage. A third way is simply to upload files manually. Some may appreciate this degree of control, but this method is only effective if you remember to regularly run the backup.
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.

Ororsoft Youtube TV is unique software which turns your PC to customizable internet TV, bringing the best of Youtube videos to your desktop. With the channel filter feature and other useful search options you can easily find the videos you look for and play them live or download to your hard drive. The intuitive interface makes this a perfect tool for both new and experienced users - you can initiate a batch download of selected videos or watch these in live mode without having to download. Features: Youtube TV - play youtube videos from your playlist with high quality. Get the playlist searching for best ranked videos matching typed keyword or compose it by manually choosing the films. All items can be played in full screen mode with auto advance feature. Flexible search - with options to search by categories or sort by view counts, ratings and publish date. You won't need to open your browser any more to find the videos you are interested in. Filter results by channel - Search only in your favorite channels, this feature will greatly increase the effectiveness of your searches. Download or play all the videos from your favorite channels. Use this feature to backup your content of your own channel on youtube. Favorite Channel Manager - maintain the collection of your favorite channels using the predefined list of best channels in youtube category. Easy view and Quick Select modes - two modes optimized for better comfort. In "Quick select" mode you can quickly add videos to the playlist. Switch to "Easy view" mode if you prefer to see the detailed information. Download Manager - Save all your preferred videos to your hard drive by a single click. Video conversion - automatically convert videos to MPG, AVI, MP3, MOV and many other video formats. Video Player - play your downloaded videos by a simple double click, without a need for special programs or codecs.

An online backup service's speed depends on how quickly it can encrypt, compress, and upload files to its servers. This should be of particular concern if you need to back up (or restore) a large amount of data. A high-performance backup service also minimizes its effect on network and system resources. Make sure to check out our speed test results in the review of any service you're contemplating using. Backup speed should not be the sole determinant of which online backup service you use, but fast upload speeds can certainly make initial and subsequent backups less disruptive.
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.
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]
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.
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