You'll pay for this freeware

Download videos from YouTube for free with this IE add-on, but be prepared for a lack of flexibility and some persistent marketing pushes.

While we liked this free IE add-on's unobtrusive approach to downloading YouTube videos, we didn't appreciate the pop-up Web site that accompanied each download or the extras it added without asking.

Free YouTube Video Downloader adds a tiny shortcut button to your IE toolbar. When you visit YouTube, simply click the button and the video immediately starts to download. A pop-up window appears, showing the status of the video being downloaded. The window floats on top of whatever page you're browsing, but it can be quickly minimized. Each video downloaded fairly quickly; however, we were annoyed by the pop-up Web page that appeared after each video download promoting another product. A folder is added to My Documents and videos are automatically downloaded to it. The status window offers a button that is supposed to open the directory containing the downloaded videos, but some Vista testers received an error message when clicking it. When it works, another window opens pointing to the new folder created by the program. Aside from two other buttons to cancel or reload a download, there are no user options or settings. As the name indicates, the program only works with YouTube videos, and it downloads only in flv file format.

Despite its effectiveness at downloading videos, we can't wholeheartedly recommend Free YouTube Video Downloader. Based on the issues some testers had trying to locate downloaded videos and the persistent push to upgrade to a paid program that downloads videos from any Web site, this freeware program has a price. In addition, we found that the program installed a second program without asking. If you're the forgiving sort, and you're also unwilling to pay to download videos, this IE add-on might be worth a try. For users who want options and less marketing, you're better off looking elsewhere.

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