Want to be able to watch your favorite videos from YouTube or Hulu when you don't have internet? There are several ways to download streaming videos from the Internet, but the method depends on where you want to download the video from. Websites such as YouTube and Vimeo are relatively easy, so an extension on your browser will suffice. Hulu requires a somewhat more technical solution, and even then it doesn't always work. With websites like Netflix it is almost impossible to download streams, if you really want to you need a more creative solution. Quickly skip to step 1 to learn how to download videos from any site.
Method 1 of 4: Download extensions
Step 1. Install Mozilla Firefox
You can install download utilities on different browsers, but a download extension on Firefox is the easiest to set up and gives you the most options.
Step 2. Install the "DownloadHelper" extension
Open Firefox and click the menu button (☰) in the top right corner. Click on the "Add-ons" option with a puzzle piece icon. Click "Get add-ons" in the left column and type download helper in the search bar at the top right. Click the Install button next to "Video DownloadHelper", it should be the first search result.
You need to restart Firefox after the extension is installed
Step 3. Go to a streaming website
DownloadHelper allows you to download videos from all kinds of streaming websites, such as YouTube, Vimeo and others. It doesn't work with websites like Netflix, Hulu, or Justin.tv. Read the following sections for help with downloading from more difficult sites.
Step 4. Find the video you want to download
Go to the video you want to download, as if you were going to watch the video in your browser. You don't actually have to start the video.
Step 5. Click the arrow next to the DownloadHelper icon
At the top of the Firefox window, to the right of the address bar, you'll see the Downloadhelper icon spinning. Click the arrow next to this spinning icon to open the download options.
Step 6. Choose the desired format and quality
The menu shows different sizes and qualities. The quality of the video is indicated before the name, for example [Medium], [Mobile] or [720p]. The format is shown at the end of the file name, for example ".mp4", ".flv" or ".3gp". Choose the quality and size that best meet your needs.
- MP4 is the most universal format and it is best to choose if you want to transfer the video to your mobile device. MP4 is the best choice anyway if you are not sure what to choose.
- You need a special program to play FLV or 3GP files.
Step 7. Download and convert the file
If you move your mouse over the desired option you will see another menu appear. Selecting "Download" or "Quick Download" will download the file in the format you choose and place it in your download folder. If you need to convert the file to another format first, you can select "Download and Convert".
If you select "Download and Convert" you can choose the format you want to convert the file to from the drop-down menu that appears. Choose the device you want to play the video on
Method 2 of 4: RTMPDump
Step 1. Download RTMPDumpHelper and RTMPDump toolkit
These programs are available online for free. RTMPDumpHelper can be downloaded from NirSoft website, RTMPDump toolkit is available at mplayerhq.hu. RTMPDump toolkit is released as an open source program.
Step 2. Extract the files from RTMPDumpHelper
Create a new folder on your computer and extract into that folder the ZIP file that contains the RTMPDumpHelper files. The folder will later be the location of streams you save.
Step 3. Extract the RTMPDump toolkit files
Extract these files to the same folder where you placed the RTMPDumpHelper files.
Step 4. Launch RTMPDumpHelper
Double-click the RTMPDumpHelper.exe file. This will open the RTMPDumpHelper program and open the "rtmpsuck" program in a command prompt window.
Step 5. Open your web browser
If you haven't already done so, you can now open a web browser. RTMPDump works with most browsers, but it may be easier with Firefox. Chrome sometimes throws an error.
When you start the browser, you will see the message "Attached To Web Browser" appear in the RTMPDumpHelper window. If you see the message "Failed to attach to Web browser", press F8 and manually select your browser from the list
Step 6. Launch the video
Once RTMPDumpHelper is running you can start the video you want to download. You should see in the command prompt window that a connection is being made. When the connection is established, the video will be downloaded. You can see the download progress in the RTMPDumpHelper window.
Method 3 of 4: Capturing your screen
Step 1. Download and install a "Screen Capture" program, which is a program that allows you to capture everything on your screen
Some websites make it almost impossible to download videos, so your only option is to capture the screen while the video is playing. To do this you need special software.
Camtasia and CamStudio are the most popular options. Make sure that the program you install can capture both the audio and the video
Step #2. Start recording your screen
Run the program, be aware that capturing your screen is an intensive process, not all computers are powerful enough to perform it. Recording the screen results in very large files, especially when it comes to a long video. You can possibly lower the quality of the captured video, look for the right balance between quality and size of the file.
Step 3. Play the video
Press "Record" in the recording software and start the video. Make sure to play the video in full screen. This way you can be sure that only the video is captured and that you don't have to edit the video later. Also check whether the audio volume is correct, because that is difficult to adjust afterwards.
Step 4. Edit the video after recording
You can resize the video afterwards. This makes it easier to convert it for use on a mobile device.
- For example, use the program Avidemux to shrink the video.
- Another popular option is Handbrake, a free program that allows you to convert videos.
Method 4 of 4: Google Chrome
Step 1. Open the link containing the embedded video in Chrome browser
Step 2. Press Ctrl+Shift+i (hot keys for the developer tools)
Step #3. At the bottom of the page, the developer section will appear
Step 4. Click on the "Network" tab
Step 5. Find the longest (and growing) bar in the "Timeline" tab
This is the link to the video. If no bar appears then click on the video to start playing, you will see the bar appear and grow under Timeline.
Step 6. Check the type of the content (in the column "Type"), it should be "video/mp4" or something similar
Step 7. Right click on the corresponding link in the "Path" column and select "Copy link address" from the menu
Step 8. Open a new tab and paste the link in the address bar
Press Enter. The browser's video player will now appear.
Step 9. Right click on the window and select "Save Video As" from the menu
Save the video to the desired location, play the video whenever you want and enjoy!