How to Choose A YouTube Video Downloader

Different YouTube Video Downloaders. When YouTube first arrived on the internet, it was lamented that you could not download videos directly from it.

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How to Choose A YouTube Video Downloader

Different YouTube Video Downloaders. When YouTube first arrived on the internet, it was lamented that you could not download videos directly from it. Even today, you cannot download directly from YouTube. However, there are many different third-party tools that let you do just that.

Some of these tools work as a downloadable file that runs on your PC. Other types are run directly through your browser and are an add-on. The last style is the online downloading service, which is a website that has the downloader encoded into it.


All three have specific uses and can all give you a solid output. We have compiled a list of the best YouTube downloaders, whether you want to run it from your desktop or online. This means that the next time you want to watch your favorite live videos again on the go, you can do it simply with one of these great downloaders.

Type 1: Browser Add-Ons

Browser add-ons are simple and basically add a function to your main bar, where your home page button and the URL tends to go. These services are simple to use and let you make quick and simple downloads of the YouTube video.

Video DownloadHelper

Video DownloadHelper
Video DownloadHelper is a plug-in or add-on for the popular web browser Mozilla Firefox. It adds a simple drop-down menu function that allows you to capture any video or image file from a website. Best of all, when you come across a file that it can convert and download, the little DownloadHelper button becomes animated.
It works with YouTube and a multitude of other popular media sites, but it is perfect for downloading YouTube files. You can download them in a series or one at a time, depending on your internet speed and bandwidth. This simple software allows for quick and easy transitions when you are surfing the web, saving any deviation from what you were currently doing. It does, however, only work with Mozilla Firefox.

Type 2: Online Downloading Service

Online services work purely by visiting a website provided. The websites will have a YouTube or media downloader encoded onto the site, and all you need to do is tell it where to download from. They are simple and quick, and tend to offer a lot of customizable features like size and quality of the final output.



Upon arrival at KeepVid, you will find it completely simple to navigate. The purely white website is simplicity purified, with nothing additional to confuse you or make things difficult. All you need to do is enter the URL of the video that you want to download, and click the ‘Download’ button at the end of the search function.

This simple to use online video converter does not offer too much past a simple video downloader, so if you are looking to do some additional editing to the file before it is downloaded, you might want to look elsewhere. However, KeepVid offers a quick a fast way to download your videos from YouTube without any extras to go through so if you just want a simple download, this is the place for you.



SaveVid is a more comprehensive than the previous YouTube downloader. You can simply download the video that you wish from the URL, the same as the previous website. Simply input the URL and hit the ‘Download’ button and await your download link.

However, SaveVid also has many of the most popular videos ready to download. It is worth checking out what they have to offer in case they already have what you want to download. You can go through various categories, an all-time top 50 list, or the latest downloads they have seen. This is a nifty marketplace for picking up great videos you are looking for, or getting quick and high-quality downloads of what you need.



Zamzar looks like an old school website, with none of your traditional Web 2.0 looks. However, it offers a simple and fast way to convert your YouTube videos. Zamzar lets you download videos by inputting the URL, choosing the format that it will convert into, and then the e-mail address you need it sent to.

This e-mail address will get sent the file in a short deadline, usually about ten or so minutes. This is a cool way to send files to friends quickly if they need a video downloaded, and it’s very easy to get to grips with. No accounts needed, no nothing extra – just a fast and easy to use YouTube downloader.

Type 3: Desktop Downloading Service

Desktop downloaders work from your actual computer, although they will require an internet connection to work – otherwise how is it going to download the file?

Desktop files make up for the fact you need to drag yourself away from your web browser to use the software by offering obscene functionality. They usually have much more in stock than your traditional downloader online, so you can get customized if you need to.

Wondershare Free YouTube Downloader


Wondershare are known for their quality media manipulation software, and they have released another brilliant edition with their free YouTube downloader. You can automatically detect any YouTube videos using your web browser, or you can input a series of URLs into the software to save yourself time. If you collect all of the files you want to download, you can just have Wondershare carry out the process automatically.

This is a completely free service. It offers a lot of great input options and is probably one of the best desktop based free YouTube downloaders, in terms of features and reputation. If you want to download videos from 100+ video sites and get the videos converted to many other formats, you can use its pro version—the Wondershare AllMyTube.

YTD Downloader

YTD Downloader

YTD Downloader is not specifically a YouTube only downloader, as it offers support for more than 50 different websites. Its wide reaching format of picking up data and putting it to use makes it one of the best downloaders for getting variety, and it even offers simple conversion features as well if you upgrade to the Premium equivalent.

The Basic feature lets you download YouTube videos for fee, though. You can choose the download quality, and again if you have the pro version you can choose the conversion quality and style. This is a great to use little YouTube downloader, but most of the time saving features are found in the Pro version.



VDownloader again offers a wide variety of websites that it can work with. If you want to watch all of your videos, no matter what they are, on the go then VDownloader is a solid solution for that. This lets you keep backups of your favorite videos in case they ever go down, or cut out the constant advertisements that are creeping onto YouTube. Best of all, you can totally remove the buffering process.

VDownloader gives you everything that you would be looking for – a simple to use download features that lets you convert to MP3, mobile or screen watching at a later date whenever you please. VDownloader has won a few awards for its brilliant service, especially for a free product, so make sure you give this one a look – it’s a quality piece of software.


Although all three styles offer the same result in the end – a simple download solution for YouTube videos, they do have different pros and cons to each other.

For example, the browser add-ons are the quickest to use in that they require no deviation from your actual usage of the YouTube video in question to download it. However, they are slightly limited in terms of their full feature packages and at the moment only support one browser totally.

The web based versions are the most balanced, offering both a fine saving of time and a larger variety of features than the browser add-on. They are usually very quick, but most of them require a little bit of additional time to actually send you the file.

Desktop versions are the most feature heavy and download the file straight to your desktop, which is the most efficient method. It depends what you want – do you want to download lots of videos? Then lots of the desktop versions offer the best speed for downloading at once.

The online versions, however, offer the best choice if you only download videos every now and then. If you are looking to create a library, though, then the desktop equivalents offer the most versatile solution and also the best overall list of features.


Now that you know exactly what each version of these YouTube downloaders are used for, the choice is up to you. Are you looking for speed, or are you looking for functionality and power? Whatever your choice, you can be sure that the overall output which each of these downloaders is outstanding.

We chose all of these products because they offer the best functionality of any free YouTube downloaders out there, and are great assets to anybody who is looking to improve their online media capabilities. 

About Author

Christine Smith has been a freelance writer for 6 years and a contributor for Wondershare, her writings are mainly focused on technology or similarly interesting software. She also likes to share some great tips on and off, purely based on her personal experience.