April 3, 2021

How to Record Streaming Video for Free on Any Platform

7 min

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Need to record streaming video but don’t know how? Read the article below to learn the ten best ways to capture video.

How can you save streaming video? The first thing that comes to mind is to copy the stream via a dedicated website for downloading media from the internet. But it’s not the best way - the majority of these services charge for services and the output quality can be quite poor. You might even get a virus on your laptop while downloading the video.

It’s much safer and easier to use streaming video capture software. There are many worthwhile programs that record streaming videos for free at high quality. Let’s take a look at them.

We’ve divided them into multiple categories – online grabbers, desktop software, browser extensions, and recorders for mobile devices.

The Best Tools to Capture Streaming Video Online

We’ll start by explaining how to capture streaming video online because it’s one of the quickest ways. You don’t need to install anything – just open the web page, set up recording parameters and grab the live stream. No wasting time on pre-recording procedures.

On the other hand, online recording isn’t always reliable, especially if your Internet connection is not the most stable. One more potential disadvantage is that some online services will scan your browser for data that may impact your privacy.

Here are some services that are more reliable. They offer good quality screen and sound recording and guarantee secure use.

Best for: editing videos during online recording

Techradar rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder is one of the best tools for recording screencasts in real time. The best feature is the option to edit videos during the recording. You can highlight the most interesting parts of the stream and add annotations.

Apowersoft supports many formats for exporting files that even desktop programs don’t always have. After you’re done with recording, you can upload the video to Vimeo, YouTube, Dropbox or Google Drive. Considering all these options, we’d say it’s one of the best online solutions you can find.

The only potential downside is that you have to install a special launcher to activate the recorder. But you only need to do this once - when you use the recorder for the first time.

Advantages of Apowersoft Recorder:

  • Wide choice of online video editing tools
  • Many output formats
  • Simple interface

Disadvantages:

  • Requires installation of a special launcher
  • No audio editing tools

Best for: recording in Incognito mode

Trustpilot rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars, 75 reviews

Screen Capture is an online tool with a simple interface and clear settings. No need to spend time learning how to use it.

The service doesn’t limit recording time. You can record non-stop streams and save them at high quality. The best part is that you can do this even in Incognito mode, if you don’t trust your browser’s privacy.

But there are some disadvantages. First, if you use the free app, a watermark will be embedded on all videos. The second disadvantage is the lack of choice in output formats. You can’t choose the format for your output file, so you have to convert it with a third-party app.

Advantages of Screen Capture:

  • Clear settings
  • Can be used in Incognito mode

Disadvantages of the service:

  • No choice of export options
  • Watermark in the free version

The Best Streaming Video Recorders for Your Desktop

The next category is desktop programs that help record live streams on PC.

Why would you install a recording program on your computer? First, desktop software is much more reliable than online tools. There are generally fewer bugs and system crashes. And even if you encounter technical problems, you can usually get decent customer support.

Second, these programs have many additional features that can expand your recording options. For example, you can schedule recordings or personalize shortcuts. Before saving the recording, you can rip streaming video or use a special audio ripper to save a podcast.

The cons for the desktop tool are the long launch process and fees for full versions. In general, companies offer you a free trial version that has many limitations. To remove these restrictions, you need to purchase the program.

Here are our two best streaming video recorders for your PC.

Best for: recording separate streams

G2 rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars, 44 reviews

Movavi Screen Recorder is convenient to use if you’re recording separate streams. It captures screen and audio simultaneously or separately and offers a wide choice of exporting formats.

In addition to the basic recording features, you can also schedule recording sessions, highlight the cursor, add effects to mouse clicks, and much more. Though there are plenty of settings, they are designed in a user-friendly way so you can understand the program at first sight.

Movavi Screen Recorder has two versions – free and paid. There are almost no limitations in the free version except for a watermark on the recording. To remove the watermark, you can purchase the program, and it’s not expensive.

Advantages of Movavi Screen Recorder:

  • User-friendly interface
  • Advanced recording settings
  • High quality output video and audio

Disadvantages of the program:

  • Watermark in the free version

2. OBS

Best for: recording for video clip creation

Techradar rating: 4 out of 5 stars

OBS is a well-known program among professional video makers. It offers many video editing tools so that you can create films from your recordings. You can compose scenes from different media formats, edit sound with advanced audio mixing, add transitions, and much more.

The program is free to use, but it has a challenging interface. Get ready to spend some time searching for the appropriate settings. If you’re not an experienced user, you may get lost in all the functions.

Advantages of OBS:

  • Advanced editing tools for creating professional video
  • Customizable settings

Disadvantages:

  • Complicated interface
  • Overloaded with settings

The Best Browser Extensions to Record Live Streams on PC

One more approach you can try is to record streams using browser extensions. The main advantage of extensions is that you can launch them in one click. You don’t need to open a web page or launch software on the desktop. The extension icon is always in your browser wherever you go on the internet.

On the other hand, they are even less reliable than online tools. Users complain that browser extensions have many more crashes during recording than other types of recording software.

Note, too, that each browser has specific requirements for using extensions. If you have a favorite extension in one browser, it may not work in another.

We can recommend two extensions that have high ratings and good reviews.

Best for: drawing on videos

Google Web Store rating: 4 out of 5 stars, 11,529 reviews

Users: 10,000,000+

Screencastify has all basic recording features you might need to capture live streams. You can record any tab in your browser, add voice comments with the microphone, and embed webcam images into the recording.

It also enables you to draw on videos with a pen tool – something you might need to highlight a particular element on the screen.

After you’re done recording, you can upload the video to Google Drive, publish to a YouTube channel, or share to Google Classroom. Of course, you can also download the file to your computer in MP4, MP3, or GIF format.

Though it looks like the perfect recording extension, users have complained that it’s laggy and glitchy. Some of the editing tools have also been poorly reviewed for not working correctly.

Advantages of Screencastify:

  • Online tools for drawing and editing
  • Free for downloading recordings

Disadvantages of the extension:

  • No customization of capture area size
  • Sometimes can be laggy and glitchy

2. Loom

Best for: team collaboration

Google Web Store rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars, 10,072 reviews

Users: 4,000,000+

Loom is widely used among companies and work teams because it can be integrated with workspaces. There are also special offers for businesses, but they are still chargeable, of course.

Loom has integration with Slack, Gmail, Notion, Coda, Intercom, and Headway – some of the most popular services for team collaboration.

The extension has all the tools you might need for screen and audio recording. We would recommend this extension if you record streams for work projects and need to share them with teammates.

Advantages of Loom:

  • Integration for team work
  • Wide range of sharing options

Disadvantages:

  • Many limitations in the free version
  • No screen or webcam recording
  • Many crashes during internal audio recording

The Best Streaming Video Capture Software for iOS

More than half of all internet users watch streaming videos on their phones. Are you one of them? If so, do you know how to record streaming videos on your device?

Many of us get stuck answering this question. That’s why we’re going to tell you about the best recorders for mobile operating systems. Let’s start with iOS.

We should warn you that iOS apps are often laggy and glitchy. So even if the app works perfectly at first, it doesn’t mean it will always be like this. That’s why we recommend you install several apps and switch between them in case one stops working correctly.

Best for: adding facecam reactions to a recording

App Store rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars, 205,700 reviews

This app records any chosen tab on your iPhone. But be aware that it grabs the entire screen with all the icons and backgrounds.

You can add voice commentary to the recording or edit the video before saving. But the coolest feature is adding facecam reactions. You can customize the reaction shape, size, and position and embed it into videos. It’s a great way to share your reactions to the stream.

It’s also possible to share the recording, but only if the video is under three minutes. To share longer videos, you have to buy the Pro version.

Advantages of the app:

  • Editing tools and facecam reactions
  • Intuitive interface

Disadvantages of the app:

  • Slow export
  • Limitations in the free version
  • Crashes during external audio recording

Best for: short video recordings

App Store rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars, 46,400 reviews

This app is pretty similar to the last one. It records your device screen with sound and offers simple editing tools. You can also add facecam reactions.

You should try this app if Record it! doesn’t work on your device. It’s a good alternative, especially if you don’t need to record long streams.

Advantages of Go Record:

  • Simple interface
  • Perfect for making short recordings

Disadvantages:

  • Glitchy recording button
  • Video saving errors

The Best Tool to Save Streaming Video on Android

The last thing we’d like to talk about is video streams recording on Android. You’ll be pleased to learn that Android recording apps have far fewer crashes and bugs than iOS programs. That’s why you don’t need to download multiple apps – just choose one and enjoy!

Here are the two apps with the best reviews and most installations.

Best for: making high-quality mobile recordings

Google Play Store rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars, 1,400,000+ reviews

AZ Screen Recorder lets you grab your phone screen and save the video in Full HD. It also has advanced recording options such as microphone grabber, frame rate settings, countdown timer, clicks display, and much more. All these features are free. But the app also has a chargeable Pro version with functions that are really unique for mobile recorders.

The only problem that users might encounter is some bugs in the audio recording capabilities, but this is usually only a problem with older versions of Android.

Advantages of AZ Screen Recorder:

  • High quality output
  • Wide range of recording features
  • No ads

Disadvantages:

  • Sound recording crashes on old Android versions

Best for: making short recordings on Andorid

Google Play Store rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars, 3,000,000+ reviews

Mobizen is an alternative to AZ Screen Recorder. It has video editing capabilities and facecam display, and the output quality is also satisfactory.

But there are ads inside the app that users may find annoying. There’s also a watermark on recordings which, if you cut it out, damages the video resolution.

Advantages of Mobizen:

  • Simple app with all the necessary recording features

Disadvantages of the app:

  • Advertisements in the app
  • Doesn’t always launch correctly the first time

Comparing the Best Streaming Video Recorders

Here’s a comparison table that will help you make the best choice.

Program

Best for

Pros

Cons

Apowersoft Free Online Screen RecorderEditing videos during online recordingWide choice of online video editing tools. Many output formats. Simple interface.Requires installation of a special launcher. No audio editing tools.
Screen CaptureMaking recordings in Incognito modeClear settings. Can be used in Incognito mode.No choice in export options. Watermark in the free version.
Movavi Screen RecorderRecording independent streamsUser-friendly interface. Advanced recording settings. High quality output video and audio.Watermark in the free version.
OBSUsing recording for creating video clipsAdvanced editing tools for creating professional video. Customizable settings.Complicated interface. Overloaded with settings.
ScreencastifyDrawing on videosOnline drawing and editing tools. Free for downloading recordings.No customization of capture area size. Sometimes it’s laggy and glitchy.
LoomTeam collaborationIntegrations for team work. Wide range of sharing options.Many limitations in the free version. Constant crashes during internal audio recording.
Record it! (for iOS)Adding facecam reactions to recordingsEditing tools and facecam reactions. Intuitive interface.Slow export. Limitations in the free version. Crashes during external audio recording.
Go Record (for iOS)Short video recordingsSimple interface. Perfect for making short recordings.Glitchy recording button. Video saving errors.
AZ Screen Recorder (for Android)Making high quality mobile recordingsHigh quality output. Cool range of recording features. No annoying ads.Sound recording crashes on old Android versions.
Mobizen (for Android)Making short recordingsSimple app with all the necessary recording features.Ads inside the app. Sometimes doesn’t launch the first time.

Step-by-Step Guide to How to Record Streaming Video for Free

If you want to record streaming video for free, we recommend you start with an online screen recorder. It’s one of the best ways to capture streaming video online because you don’t need to install any software to grab a live stream on your PC.

Follow this guide to make a streaming video capture from any type of media, including movies and online events.

Step 1. Run the Online Recording App

Open the Screen Capture site.

Step 2. Activate the Appropriate Settings

To capture the video stream, enable the Sound and Screen icons. To exclude your face and voice from the recording, don’t forget to disable the Microphone and Webcam icons.

To start recording, click on the Start Recording button. Allow access to your microphone and webcam.

Step 3. Record the Video and Save the File

Open the tab you need to capture and record the video.

When the stream is finished, stop recording and save the streaming video to your computer. You can rip streaming videos after saving.

Using the online recorder is much more secure and faster than if you copy video from the internet. Your recordings are for your private use – no-one else can access your files.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I record streaming video for free?

To record streaming video for free, you can choose any of the following tools:

  • Online services that don’t require installation
  • Desktop programs with high reliability
  • Browser extensions tat launch quickly
  • Apps for iOS
  • Apps for Android

Here’s a short guide to how to record streaming video using online capture.

Step 1. Run Screen Capture. It’s a free online screen recorder. You don’t need to install any software on your computer.

Step 2. Choose the recording parameters: screen and internal sound recording.

Step 3. Hit the REC button to start recording.

Step 4. Save the video to your computer at high resolution.

What is the best streaming video recorder?

Here’s our list of the 10 best streaming video recorders:

  • Screen Capture
  • Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder
  • Movavi Screen Recorder
  • OBS
  • Screencastify
  • Loom
  • Record it!
  • Go Record
  • AZ Screen Recorder
  • Mobizen

Can I record streaming video?

Yes, you can record streaming video via an online recorder or desktop program. Both are free to use. But the desktop version has more advanced recording features.