Google Chrome users have plenty of options when it comes to installing extensions to download videos from Internet sites.
A quick search for video downloader on Google Chrome's official Web Store reveals more than a hundred different extensions that you can install. Not all are multi-site extensions, and many don't work that well.
One caveat is that Google does not permit extensions to support downloading videos from YouTube. You won't find a single Chrome video download extension listed on the Web Store that supports that.
What is a good strategy when it comes to selecting the right extension to download media from video portals and other sites?
The rating "the best" depends on your requirements to a large degree. Do you want to download videos from different sites or a specific one? This guide focuses on extensions that work on the majority of sites out there.
How I conducted the tests: I installed the most popular Chrome video downloaders first and worked my way down the list of available solutions. I skipped any that support specific sites only and tested the download capabilities of each extension on popular video sites such as Vimeo, DailyMotion, LifeLeak and some video sites for adults that shall remain unnamed.
The extensions should let you download videos from all of the test sites and support multiple video downloads.
Top 3 Chrome video downloaders
Flash Video Downloader adds its icon to Chrome's address bar when you install it. It indicates videos that can be downloaded with a change in its icon so that you know that directly without having to interact with the icon first.
It lists multiple versions of a video if available and indicates the quality of the video so that you can make a better decision. While you could infer that from the size of the video as well, it is a useful feature especially if you want to download a version suitable for a specific resolution.
The interface is a bit messy as it links to other extensions and asks you to rate the extension. The extension options are manageable; you may want to open them after installation as you can configure the following preferences:
Free Video Downloader adds an icon to Chrome's main toolbar during installation that you interact with. It changes the icon whenever videos are detected on the active page.
A click on the icon displays the list of videos found on it, and a click on any of the videos listed opens a save prompt.
The extension listed multiple videos sometimes even though these were more or less identical. This happened sometimes but not all the time.
Free Video Downloader comes without an options page.
Video Downloader Professional is the most popular video downloading extension for Chrome. It adds an icon to the Chrome toolbar that you interact with.
The icon indicates available video content on the active page, and the interface lists all available videos when you click on it.
Video Downloader Professional lists the video format, file name, and size in its interface. A click on the download button starts the download immediately. One interesting option is the built-in cast option which requires a Chromecast device.
All three video download extensions for Chrome work well but had occasional issues. It happened, for instance, that Video Downloader Professional would not detect the main video that played on the page, or that the extension would download "fake" videos instead of the real one.
While that does not happen often, you may want to run tests for each of the three extensions to find out which works best for you.
Now You: Do you download videos?
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.