Freemake Video Downloader review

Grab videos from all the most popular video sites and save them in the format of your choice

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Our Verdict

Our favourite tool for downloading and converting YouTube videos to watch offline. Freemake Video Downloader's feature set is unbeatable. Just watch out for potentially unwanted extra software.

For

  • Supports all the big video hosting sites – not just YouTube
  • Full HD support

Against

  • Additional software bundled in installer
  • Freemake branding added to beginning and ending of videos

Freemake Video Downloader is much more than a simple YouTube downloader. It supports more than 500 audio and video formats, which helps explain why it has so many users: 93 million and counting. The formats are organised in profiles for specific devices, so for example you can tell the app that you're making a clip for your Xbox 360 or for a PSP and it'll pick the appropriate format.

Freemake Video Downloader

Download here: http://www.freemake.com/free_video_downloader

Type: Video downloader

Developer: Freemake

Operating system: Windows

Version: 3.8.0

Freemake Video Downloader burns to DVD and Blu-ray too if you've got the appropriate hardware. If you're looking for a do-everything video app, this should definitely be on your shortlist.

Note that you should only download videos when you have the copyright owner's permission to do so. YouTube's terms of service explicitly prohibit unauthorized downloading.

User experience

When you install Freemake Video Downloader, you'll be asked wither you want to install the Chromium browser and Search Manager Extension as well. Select the Custom install option, then uncheck both boxes when they appear if you'd rather opt out.

Once the software is running, simply find the video you want in your web browser, copy the address, then press Alt+Tab to Freemake Video Downloader and click the Paste URL button.

You'll then be presented with an attractive screen showing different export options, including quality and format. You can also choose to rip just the audio if you prefer – a particularly useful option for music videos. It's a great setup for saving the odd video here and there, but if you're a more prolific downloader the One-Click Download option enables you to set a standard format and location for saved files so you don't have to go through this process each time.

For basic downloading and converting that's all you need, but hit Freemake Video Downloader's Options button and you'll find a host of handy extra options, including the ability to customize the download speed, download via a proxy, and disable adult sites and videos.

Freemake Video Downloader will add a branded splash to the beginning and end of your video, which you can remove a fee of US$9 (about £7, AU$12) for one year, or US$19 (about £15, AU$25) for a lifetime. This and the bundled extras in the installer are the only drawbacks of this otherwise excellent video downloader, which is attractively designed and very easy to use.

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