Online backup services scan your hard drive for files worthy of protecting, encrypt them for security, and send them up to the company's online servers. Once your files are uploaded, you can access and restore your data from anywhere. Though there's some overlap, online backup services shouldn't be confused with cloud storage and file syncing services like Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and SugarSync. Those services do store files in the cloud, but they aren't designed to automatically protect all important documents and media files, let alone system files. Their strategy is generally to sync just one folder with all its subfolders to the cloud, and in some cases, to offer online collaborative document editing. Many backup services offer folder-syncing capabilities, but few syncing services offer full-scale backup functionality.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 DVDVideoSoft system gives you free downloads in just about any style you might need. It’s an easier YouTube video downloader that consists of only three different steps. The system is older than some because it’s more than ten years old and it provides some of the best quality you could want. It’s available to be used on both PC and Mac computers, which gives you the level of versatility and flexibility that you’re looking for before you even get started. Plus, you can get a range of different options or different formatting features to the videos that you want to download.
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.