How To Download Any Video From Any Site—12 Free, Easy Tools

How To Download Any Video From Any Site—12 Free, Easy Tools

how to download videos from any site

Downloading a video from the internet can be a frustrating experience. Since each site that hosts videos has its own unique setup, figuring out how to download videos from all the different sites is a challenge.

There are several tools that enable users to download videos from websites. As a general rule, more than one tool will be required if you want to download from multiple sites. There’s currently no single video download tool that works with every site hosting videos.

In this guide, I hope to give you the resources to quickly grab just about any video you want from all the major sites for free. These methods work with any device — PC, Mac, Android, iPhone — and in Chrome and Firefox browsers.

In Part 1, I’ll cover general tools and scripts that work across many sites. In Part 2, I’ll cover site-specific methods for use when your general tools aren’t getting it done.

Best Tools To Download Any Video From Any Site For Free

Tool

Download Videos From

Learn More

Download Helper

Multiple sites (browser extension for Chrome and Firefox)


Download Them All

Multiple sites (browser extension for Chrome and Firefox)

Github-Stream Detector

Multiple sites (browser extension for Firefox)

Video Downloader for Vimeo

Multiple sites (browser extension for Firefox)

Youtube-dl

Multiple sites (especially YouTube, but also many others)

FFmpeg

Multiple sites

VLC

Multiple sites

FBDown

Facebook

TWDown

Twitter

Twitter Video Downloader

Twitter

Ingramer

Instagram

Clipr

Twitch

Part 1: Best Tools To Download Videos From Any Site (General Tools)

There are several great tools you can use to download videos from a number of different sites. When you first set out to grab a video, try these first.

Best Video Download Tools — General Use

Tool

Description

Learn More

Download Helper

Browser extension for Chrome and Firefox; easy to use with free and premium versions


Download Them All

Browser extension for Chrome and Firefox; simple and fast (but fewer options than Download helper)

Github-Stream Detector

Browser extension for Firefox; finds the stream URL

Video Downloader for Vimeo

Browser extension for Firefox; grab videos on Vimeo

Youtube-dl

My favorite video download tool; works great with YouTube as well as many other sites

FFmpeg

Decode and encode any video format to another format

VLC

Give VLC the URL of the video you want, and it will capture the stream and download it to your device

Download Videos With Your Browser

You can download some videos by simply using your web browser. Just right-click on the video you want to grab, then choose ‘save as.’ This works in several different browsers and on different devices when the video or website it’s on allows it.

The best browsers for downloading videos are Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. They have the most effective built-in tools ready to deploy.

In addition, Chrome and Firefox both have the best video download extensions. If the manual “right-click + save” method doesn’t work for the video you’re after, you can try an extension next.

How To Download Videos With Browser Extensions

Chrome and Firefox are the best browsers to use to download videos from websites. Both have some easy-to-use, free video download extensions.

These extensions often have overlapping functionality, so consider that before you install all of them. Also, I’ve found that most of these extensions work better on Firefox (except for the Vimeo downloader).

Using browser extensions for collecting videos is great because they are so convenient and easy to use. On the flip side, every browser extension comes with its own security risks. Additionally, each extension adds just a little bit more browser-bloat and slower internet navigation.

If you feel these negatives outweigh the benefits of ease and convenience, then go to the following sections focusing on video download scripts and/or video download software.

Best Browser Extensions To Download Videos

Name

Works With

Description

Learn More

Download Helper

Chrome, Firefox

Easy to install and use; free and premium versions

Download Them All

Chrome, Firefox

Simple to use; free

Github-Stream Detector

Firefox

Makes it easy to find the stream URL

Video Downloader for Vimeo

Chrome

Good extension to grab Vimeo videos

Download Videos From Any Site In Firefox — Best Extensions

To download videos from sites in Mozilla Firefox, there are several browser extensions available. For the most part, these extensions are free, and work well to download any video from any site. Here are the three best Firefox extensions to grab videos.

Download Helper — Download Helper reliably works on a ton of sites (see the full list here.) Download Helper is easy to install and use. It’s free, but comes with a premium option. It also works on Chrome, so it’s a good option for those who regularly use both browsers.

Download Them All  — This is a simple, free video download extension for Firefox. It has fewer frills than Download Helper, but it’s worth checking out.

Github-Stream Detector — It’s not as good as Youtube-DL (see below) for grabbing videos from popular sites like Youtube, etc. Nonetheless, the Stream Detector is an excellent tool to know about because it makes it easy to find the actual stream URL. If you’ve spent any time trying to download videos, you know how frustrating it is to have to use the Network Monitor (of your browser) to hunt down the actual stream URL. Stream Detector makes it easy to find the stream URL.

Video download tool Download Helper

Download Videos From Any Site In Chrome — Best Extensions

There are multiple extensions available in Google Chrome to easily download videos from websites. On average, these do a good job on most sites. Here are four video download extensions that are worth checking out.

Download Helper — Since Download Helper does work with Chrome, I’m including it again here. But it works much better with Firefox.

Download Them All — Like Download Helper, this works better with Firefox. Nonetheless, it is available for Chrome, so here it is.

Video Downloader for Vimeo — This is a good extension and does just what you’d expect: It makes it simple to download videos from Vimeo.

Best Scripts To Download Videos From Any Site Without Software

If you want to download videos from sites without using software, there are some excellent scripts available. For the most part, these scrips can grab any video from any site you want, and are free to use. Here are the best video download scripts to try.

Youtube-dl — Personally, I think it’s the best video download tool out there. It works on many sites besides Youtube. Youtube-dl is free, and it works on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Many may have issues with Youtube-dl because it’s not easy to install like a browser extension. There’s definitely a learning curve, as you’ll also need Python (if you’re not using Windows) or Microsoft Visual C++ if you are using Windows.

Youtube-dl is arguably the best video download tool out there.

But don’t let the installation issues deter you from this fantastic tool! Here are several great video tutorials to help you get Youtube-dl up and running on your computer.

General Introduction to Youtube-dl (the beginning is  pretty funny):

Youtube-dl for Windows:

Youtube-dl for Windows 10 (the comments on this video are also helpful):

Youtube-dl for Mac (this tutorial uses the Homebrew installer–but it makes it so much easier!):

A word about Linux: As any Linux user will tell you, Linux users already know everything that a human being could possibly know about computers. I won’t bore you with further instruction. Plus, all the different flavors of Linux demand more specificity than is practical for a simple guide like this.

FFmpeg — This script is a comprehensive open-source library/tool that can decode and encode any video format to one another. FFmpeg supports almost all the audio/video codecs and file formats. Furthermore, it supports all the major streaming protocols. You can use FFmpeg as a standalone executable on your computer, or you can use it as a library for your custom video/audio software. FFmpeg is easy to use and install.

Video Downloading Software

My favorite software for downloading videos is VLC. It’s a fantastic, free tool you’ll definitely want to install. It works on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS.

Give VLC the URL of the video you want, and it will work to capture the stream and download it to your device. VLC has a slew of other features, like creating storyboards, among many others. VLC plays all the video formats out there, and it’s also great for playing files, discs, and webcams.

Part 2: Site-Specific Video Download Tools

Video download tool FBDown

Of course, you can first try the general video downloading tools above. (I usually just use Youtube-dl, and I rarely encounter problems.) But if your available tools don’t work, these site-specific tools and methods have also served me well.

Best Video Download Tools — Site-Specific

Tool

Download Videos From

Learn More

Youtube-dl

YouTube (as well as many others)

FBDown

Facebook

TWDown

Twitter

Twitter Video Downloader

Twitter

Ingramer

Instagram

Clipr

Twitch

How To Download Any Video From Facebook

To download videos from Facebook, you can either use a specialized tool — or the simple manual download method (detailed below).

FBDown — This Facebook-specific video tool works quite well. Just visit their site and enter the video URL. Also, you can use it as a browser extension option–but only with Chrome.

The manual method — An often overlooked but effective option for downloading videos from Facebook is to do the following:

  • Replace the ‘www’ preceding ‘.facebook’ in the URL with ‘mbasic’. So instead of www.facebook.com/*******, you’ll have mbasic.facebook.com/******. Then, click on the video you want, and it will open in another tab. From there, simply right click in your browser and ‘Save Video As.’

How To Download Videos From Twitter

TWDown — This is a quick, simple option for downloading videos from Twitter. It’s from the same outfit as FBDown and works the same way. The instructions for TWDown are here, and very easy to follow.

Twitter Video Downloader — Another very easy-to-use web app for downloading Twitter videos.

The manual method — This requires VLC from above. Follow these steps:

  1. Right-click next to the video you want
  2. Hit “Inspect” -> “inspect”
  3. Hit “Network” and then type “.m3u8” into the filter
  4. Copy .m3u8 links
  5. Go to VLC, click File –> open network stream
  6. Paste your .m3u8 link and hit Play/Convert

How To Download Videos From Instagram

Ingramer — This is a marketing site for users on Instagram. But it also has a practical download tool for Instagram videos. Very simple to use, and you can find it here.

The manual method — follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the video you want
  2. Hit “Inspect” -> “inspect”
  3. Hit “Network” and go to “Media”
  4. Find the mp4 link, double-click, and the video opens up in a new tab
  5. Just right-click and save with your browser

How To Download Videos From Twitch.tv

Clipr has a good video download tool for Twitch. Like the other online web apps, it’s effortless.

How To Download Videos from TikTok

It’s easy to download videos from TikTok with the manual method:

  1. Right-click the video and hit “Inspect”
  2. Find a link with tiktokcdn.com, and right-click it
  3. Open in a new tab, right-click again to “Save Video As”

How To Download Videos from Snapchat

Downloading videos from Snapchat works just like the manual method for Instagram:

  1. Right-click on the video you want
  2. Hit “Inspect” -> “inspect”
  3. Hit “Network” and go to “Media”
  4. Find the mp4 link, double-click, and the video opens up in a new tab
  5. Just right-click and save with your browser

How To Download Videos from Reddit and Discord

Just use your browser to download videos from both Reddit and Dicord (right-click, then ‘save as’).

Conclusion

I covered a number of different tools and techniques to download videos from websites. The sheer number of different video sites out there can make getting clean downloads a bit tricky at times. But with the methods outlined above, you should now have an effective tool to use to download videos from any site you want.

If you want to check out some other great tools for video recording and analysis, be sure to visit my OSINT search engine and look in the videos category.