Most of the videos that you watch online will undoubtedly be streamed – meaning that they are gradually downloaded as they play. Streaming has revolutionized online videos by allowing them to be watched immediately as opposed to having to wait for the entire video file to download.
However because you don’t actually download a video file when you stream a video, you cannot ‘save’ it and watch it online or transfer it to other devices. In fact you need to be online every time you want to stream and watch a video.
That being said there are ways to get around that limitation, and knowing what they are will allow you to save online streaming videos if you want to:
#1 Web-based services to download online videos
Over the years there have been numerous web-based services that allow you to download online videos. In most cases, all you need to do is enter the video URL and after it is processed a download link will be provided.
While straightforward, these options are often inundated with ads and pop-ups which can be off-putting. More importantly, however they tend to have limitations in terms of the maximum file size or video duration, and the quality of the video.
#2 Browser extensions
Another popular method that can be used to save online streaming videos is by using browser extensions. Some browser extensions nowadays are really just versions of the web-based services described above, but others will attempt to identify the video source and let you download directly from it.
Finding a reliable browser extension to save online streaming videos can be tricky. However, if you do find one that detects and lets you download from the source then you won’t have to worry about limitations on the file size or quality.
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#3 Screen recorders
Arguably the most versatile way to save online streaming videos is by using a screen recorder. Technically it won’t ‘download’ the video itself, but instead can be used to capture it as it plays on your screen. Because of that it has no limitations, and can even save videos from within apps – which none of the other options can do.
The only caveat is that the time it takes to save a video using a screen recorder will be based on the video duration. In other words, a 1-hour video will take at least 1 hour to record before you can save it.
Although it may sound complicated, using a screen recorder to save online streaming videos is actually easy. For example, if you were to use Movavi Screen Recorder you could just follow the steps at http://www.movavi.com/support/how-to/how-to-capture-streaming-video.html.
It should be noted that you could trawl the source code manually to try to find a link to download online streaming videos by yourself – but that is time-consuming. Instead, the three ways listed above are far more convenient and will let you quickly save any video that you want to between them.