There are dozens of different video formats, and sometimes you'll need to switch between them. That's when you need a video converter, and while free video conversion software is a great choice if you have a large batch of files to convert, an online tool is more convenient for occasional use.
Choosing the right online video converter isn't easy, though. Some of the most popular sites are packed with ads and popups, while others have file size limits that make them impractical for videos longer than a couple of minutes.
Many online video converters we used to recommend have changed over recent months, enforcing stricter limits on the number of files you can convert within a certain timeframe, adding watermarks, or featuring so many ads it's hard to find where to download your converted video.
We'll keep this article updated frequently so you always know where to find the best sites for converting your videos without these limitations.
A brilliant online video converter with impressive editing options
Apowersoft Free Online Video Converter is a little unusual. Although it's a browser-based tool, when you click 'Select files to start', you’ll be prompted to download and install a launcher plugin before you can get started.
Once that's done, you'll find that Apowersoft Free Online Video Converter accepts pretty much any video file as input, and offers more output formats than any other dedicated online video converter.
It can handle multiple videos at once (just upload them in a queue), and puts various options at your disposal. You can add your own watermark from an image file, trim the clip, apply filters (including vintage and monochrome effects), crop it, and even adjust the frame rate.
Files are processed quickly, and once they’re converted you can download or share them on social media with just a couple of clicks. It's everything you could ask for in an online video converter, and it's all wonderfully easy to use.
Note that selecting 'Download desktop version' will download a trial of Apowersoft's premium video conversion software. This is a demo of a paid-for program, and is different to the online converter.
A remarkable online file converter that can handle over 200 file types
CloudConvert proudly declares that it can convert anything to anything, and that's not far off the mark. Itcan handle files up to 1GB in size and supports video formats including MP4, AVI, WebM and WMV – plus many more.
That's not all – CloudConvert can also convert spreadsheets, vector images, audio files and presentations to name just a few.
You can select files from your desktop, a URL, Dropbox, Box, Google Drive or OneDrive, and the conversion options are very impressive. Not only can you choose a file format and quality, you can also cut the clip, add subtitles, and choose the FPS and resolution.
The free version of CloudConvert limits you to 25 'conversion minutes' per day. This is a measure of time spent processing your files, but if it's likely to be a problem you're better off using a desktop video converter instead.
An impressive list of supported file types, plus presets for mobile devices
123apps Video Converter features a few ads, but they don't interfere with the converter's main interface. There's no need to submit an email address or log in with a social media profile – just choose a file and start converting.
There are 10 popular formats to choose from once you've uploaded your file, as well as presets optimized for various playback devices. Clicking the 'Settings' button reveals drop-down lists of audio and video codecs, plus a handy slider that lets you adjust the video quality and gives an approximate output file size.
In our tests 123apps Video Converter wasn't the fastest, but the the device profiles are an unusual and welcome touch – something you'd more commonly find in a premium video converter.
Not the fastest around, but this free converter compensates with flexibility
If you just want to convert video files without editing them, take a look at Convert to Video Files Online.
This free online video converter offers an excellent selection of conversion formats, including MP4, MOV, MPG, WMV and many more. There are four quality options (most converters only provide three), and although there are no advanced editing tools, you can resize the video if necessary.
Processing is quite slow (you can see how many other people are ahead of you in the queue to have their files processed), but if you need a very specific format for a particular application then this streamlined converter is a good choice.
A video converter and recorder, but with some limitations to bear in mind
ClipChamp has changed significantly over recent months, and sadly not for the better. It still lets you convert an unlimited number of videos, but with one major drawback: all your converted clips will be watermarked unless you pay for a subscription plan.
You'll be prompted to sign in using Facebook, Google or an email address (which you might not fancy), but once
One thing in ClipChamp's favor its its ability to make brief recordings from your webcam, but we'd rather use Ashampoo Free Online Screen Recorder – it performs the same task and has no time limits.
ClipChamp can convert videos between MP4, WebM, WMV and FLV formats, with a choice of quality settings (always a welcome addition). There are also some basic tools for cropping and trimming your video before it's converted, which might give ClipChamp the edge if you don't want to use separate video editing software.