If you want to know how to download videos from the internet, this guide will offer one popular method. The secret is fooling your web browser into believing that it's loading a video to play, but actually saving the contents to a file. The tools listed here are free and simple and they have withstood the test time.
Things you'll need:
- Mozilla Firefox
- DownloadHelper Firefox Extension
- Determine the type of video you want to download. Right click on the video. Does a menu mention Adobe Flash? If so, you have a flash video file. If it is on YouTube, it is flash video. Apple's Quicktime (.mov) and Windows Media video (.wmv) can be saved directly from your browser without additional steps. However, the following method of downloading videos will also work with those formats.
- Install Mozilla Firefox. If you already have Mozilla Firefox installed, move on to the next step. Otherwise go to Mozilla.org and download and install the latest and greatest version of Firefox.
- Install the DownloadHelper Extension. You can find it at DownloadHelper.net. Firefox extensions are easy to install. Just click on them and follow the prompts. You will need to restart your browser once the installation is done.
- Look for the DownloadHelper menus. DownloadHelper can be accessed either from the Firefox "Tools" menu or from the status bar. The Firefox status bar is in the bottom right corner of the window. DownloadHelper's icon is three overlapping circles. It lights up if a video is detected on the page you have loaded.
- Download a video. If DownloadHelper is colored on your status bar, it has detected a media file on the page. Once you get this far, go to a video on YouTube to see for yourself. Click on the icon in the status bar or from the "Tools" menu choose "DownloadHelper" and "Media." Both navigate you to the same place. From there you will have the option to download videos detected on the current page.
Keep in mind that DownloadHelper will not work with all videos on all sites. It has an extensive database of sites to work from, but not every flash video can be saved with DownloadHelper. Some sites, such as Hulu.com, are not open to this method. If you want to download videos from YouTube, this is just the right trick.