There are a lot of video downloaders out there, but few are as slick and easy on the eye as standalone utility Freemake Video Downloader v3.5. The program will download video from any site that you can snag a URL from--and if you're using YouTube and Firefox, you can even download using a button that the program embeds below the video being viewed. Not bad for a free program. See all Software reviews.
The Freemake Video Downloader interface couldn't be simpler. A large "paste" button in the upper left corner of the main window pastes any copied URL into the program. You'll need to grab the URL from the address bar of your browser, or by some other manual means. This method makes the program usable with any browser, but it's also not as convenient as an add-on such as Video DownloadHelper, which I use with Firefox.
Freemake leverages its existing video conversion technology (found in the company's very capable Freemake Video Converter) to convert download videos, if you choose. You can either pre-set the conversion settings (the program will convert any video to MP4, FLV, WebM, or 3GP) for one-click downloading and conversion, or choose a format for each download.
After you've pasted in a URL and selected the conversion format (if any), it's just a matter of waiting till the video downloads. There's a handy play button next to each completed download that will launch your default video player.
Other Freemake Video Downloader options include interfacing with social media sites such as Facebook, Nicovideo, VKontakte, Yandex, YouTube, and Mail. RU (yes, Freemake serves an international audience.); proxy connections; and filtering of adult icons and content.
Freemake Video Downloader is free, but if you'd like to show your appreciation, you can use the donation button. When not downloading, the main window advertises the company's other software, all of which is equally free and effective. Note that the program installs two services, but you're asked at installation and given a chance to not share anonymous statistics.
If you're looking for a simple and effective way to download Web video, as well as convert it to the popular format of your choice, it doesn't get much better than Freemake Video Downloader. And you can't argue with the price. See all software downloads.