While you can get access to all sorts of videos via streaming services such as YouTube on the Internet, but is it possible to watch YouTube videos without an Internet connection? The only way is to download the videos from the web and store them on your hard disk to watch using one of your video players. We have picked out a selection of the top free YouTube video downloader tools available to help you download streaming videos to watch offline.
Firefox Video Download Helper
One of Firefox’s more popular add-ons, Video Download Helper allows you to download videos to your hard disk from YouTube and a host of other sites including MySpace, Google videos, DailyMotion, Porkolt, iFilm, and DreamHost. The first thing to note is that you have to be using the Mozilla Firefox browser to be able to utilise this plugin. Once the add-on is installed and you are on a page containing the link to the video you wish to download, then you simply have to click on the Video Download Helper icon on the Firefox toolbar. There is an additional extension to the plug-in that can convert your videos to popular formats such as AVI, MP4, WMV, MPEG, MP3, MOV, 3PG and others, ensuring that you can view the downloaded video on your system.
iFunia Free YouTube Downloader
Free YouTube Downloader from iFunia is a downloadable desktop application, which allows you to batch download videos of various formats including HD and HTML5 from online video streaming sites YouTube, Metacafe, Blip, and Break and Bing. You can save the completed downloads as a number of different web video formats including WebM, FLV, F4V, MP4, M4V, WMV, AVI, 3GP, and MOV, as well as set the video quality to “High Definition” or other settings. Optional upgrades include a video converter to convert your videos for mobile devices such as iPhones and iPads, and iFunia Free YouTube Downloader is available as an application for both Windows and Mac systems.
Free YouTube Downloader for Mac
As you can tell by the title Free YouTube Downloader for Mac is designed to work on OSX systems and allows batch downloading of YouTube videos to your hard drive to watch offline. The application is immensely simple to use: all you have to do is drag and drop the video URL into the interface or copy-and-paste it into a list window. The selected YouTube videos will then be downloaded automatically. If you wish to convert your videos using the same program then you will need to upgrade the service, however there is always the option of using the download application in conjunction with another free video converter.
Keepvid.com saves you the trouble of having to download a desktop application, and allows you to download YouTube videos for free from a web application. All you have to do is navigate to Keepvid.com, enter the URL of your desired YouTube video and hit the download button. The video file will then be added to your downloads folder. It should be noted that the web application only supports YouTube videos at this time and has no option for converting the downloaded video files.
Zamzar.com is a similar web application to KeepVid.com, requiring no downloading of a desktop client, but providing a couple more features than Keepvid. For a start once you have entered the URL of the desired YouTube video, you can designate the desired format for the downloaded video and there is also a video converter included as a tool. Once completed the download link is sent your your email address for you to download the converted YouTube video. One drawback to Zamzar.com is that the free version has a limit of only 100MB for source files, meaning that an upgrade to a pro package will be necessary if you are looking to download larger files.