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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The cheapest of these plans is $8.33 /month for 1 TB of backup space and support for 10 devices (and three sub accounts), if you pay for a whole year at once. You can add more for the same price and storage, like another 1 TB for another $10 /month. The maximum storage plan you can pay for is 15 TB, but if you want more you can contact their support team.
However, even free, you can grab 4K video from YouTube with no problem. A 575.4MB file took over 10.5 minutes—no surprise with the speed restriction, but still agonizingly painful. There's an option to convert the file to MKV, AVI, or WMV as you download it. If you want a playlist, you can do them in a batch, but in my test TubeGet would only allow a max of 1080p HD even on the 8K video playlist.
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.
Carbonite's lowest tier plan, Safe Basic, runs $6.00 /month ($71.99 /year). There are two higher tiers available as well, called Safe Plus and Safe Prime, and run $9.34 /month ($111.99 /year) and $12.50 /month ($149.99 /year), respectively. Each tier is a bit cheaper if two or three years is paid upfront. Plus, they each have a few extras over the base service like external hard drive and mirror image support.
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.