April 6, 2022

How to Record Streaming Videos for Free

17 min

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  • Record your streams for watching later
  • Add highlights and callouts
  • Share videos in two clicks

Need to record your desktop? Try Movavi Screen Recorder!

Wondering how to record a streaming video of your own? There are several options that will allow you to record a streaming video for free: desktop screen recorders, online tools, browser extensions, iOS apps, and Android apps.


Best for



Movavi Screen RecorderMaking screencastsWindows 7/8/10/11, Mac OS Х 10.13 or higher
Screen­capture.comMaking fast recordings onlineAny (web-based)
LoomCreating video messagesGoogle Chrome
ScreenRecBoosting productivityWindows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10, Linux
CloudAppCreating GIFs and demo videosWindows, macOS, Linux
OBS StudioVideo recording and live streamingWindows 8.1/10/11, macOS 10.13 and above, Linux
VLCRecording the entire screen without audioWindows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10, Mac OS X 10.7.5, Linux
Screenapp.ioEasy and quick recordingsGoogle Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera
ScreencastifyEducational purposesGoogle Chrome
Record it!MP4 recording on iPhoneiOS 12.0 or later
Go RecordRecording videos for YouTubeiOS 11.0 or later
MobizenMaking recordings with intros and outrosAndroid 4.4 or later
AZ Screen RecorderCreating GIF animations on AndroidAndroid 5.0 or later

How to record streaming videos with desktop software

Desktop software offers you some of the best streaming video recorders. If you're looking for ways to save a streaming video of your own, desktop software can offer the features needed to take your content from the Internet directly to PC. Recording with desktop software offers a number of benefits. Often, you get better quality, better functionality, and more features through desktop recording.

Movavi Screen Recorder

OS: Windows 7/8/10/11, Mac OS Х 10.13 or higher

Best for: Making screencasts

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars, 47 reviews

Price: free trial version, $52.95 for a lifetime license, $37.95 for a 1-year subscription

Movavi Screen Recorder offers the ability to easily set up recording parameters, grab audio and video, and edit the recording and save the file. By setting up recording parameters, you can choose the specific capture error, which means you'll capture only the area you actually want to keep from your screen.

Movavi Screen Recorder does not require clunky hardware or cumbersome add-ons. Instead, it makes it simple to capture screen activity and save it to popular video formats.

Main features:

  • Audio-only recordings
  • Captures video and audio streams separately or simultaneously
  • The program can take screenshots and edit them
  • Shows keystrokes and mouse use
  • Easy sharing to YouTube or Google Drive


  • Create screencasts
  • Schedule recording
  • Capture webcam output


  • It takes up a lot of space


OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10, Linux

Best for: Boosting productivity

Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars, 40 reviews

Price: Free

ScreenRec is a free app for capturing any screen activity. Although it was mainly designed as a productivity app, capturing a video with it is also entirely possible. With its small size and simple interface, it’s a great choice even for those who have weak PCs or are not that savvy in screen-recording software. For a more demanding user, ScreenRec provides recording videos in 4K and analytics to see how your videos are watched. It also promises complete privacy, which is important for a cloud-based service. The app has over 90,000 active users.

Main features:

  • Taking informative screenshots by adding arrows, shapes, and bubbles
  • Recording your screen activity with system sound, microphone, and webcam
  • Sharing your screenshots and recordings via a cloud service
  • Hosting your materials in an online gallery


  • No watermarks or time limits
  • Lightweight screen recorder
  • Absolutely free


  • If you don’t create an account, cloud sharing and recording for more than 5 minutes are unavailable

Follow the link below to download ScreenRec:

Go to the program’s website


OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

Best for: Creating GIFs and demo videos

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars, 1,097 reviews

Price: Free plan, Pro plan starting at $9.95 per month, and Team plan starting at $8 monthly per user

CloudApp makes it easy to instantly capture and share material directly from your screen. This software makes it easy to record a live stream on your PC. CloudApp is screen recording software for Mac, Windows, Chrome, and iOS. It focuses on making meetings easier and more streamlined: instead of sitting through the whole video, you can use CloudApp's streaming video capture software to record the meeting for you, then go back later to check context and look for more information.

Main features:

  • Capture or record your stream
  • Share pictures, GIFs, and videos through a convenient link
  • Create GIFs based on your captured content


  • Convenient hotkeys
  • Some features are specifically designed to solve business issues
  • The app enables users to create call-to-action buttons


  • The free plan doesn’t include some of the advanced features

Follow the link below to download CloudApp:

Go to the program’s website

OBS Studio

OS: Windows 8.1/10/11, macOS 10.13 and above, Linux

Best for: Video recording and live streaming

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Price: Free

If you're looking for a platform that will allow you to rip a streaming video of your own, OBS Studio provides you with an easy solution. The platform provides high-performance, real-time video and audio capturing and mixing, which makes it easy to make scenes made up of information from multiple sources. You can seamlessly switch between an unlimited number of scenes.

OBS supports multiple streaming platforms, which makes it ideal for users who may want to integrate those platforms as they create professional-quality productions. This open-source program is free, convenient, and makes it easy to record your screen.

Main features:

  • The ability to use window captures, images, text, browser windows, webcams, and capture cards
  • An intuitive audio mixer with multiple options
  • Multiple, easy-to-use configuration options
  • Easy layout rearranging


  • OBS supports recording from multiple sources
  • The program supports streaming and recording in HD
  • Video-editing tools are included
  • Highly customizable


  • Can be a bit confusing for beginners

Follow the link below to download OBS Studio:

Go to the program’s website


OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10, Mac OS X 10.7.5, Linux

Best for: Recording the entire screen without audio

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars, 496 reviews

Price: Free

VLC offers a free, open-source platform that is billed as being simple, fast, and powerful. This platform runs on all platforms, from Windows and Linux to Mac OS X and Android: in short, a variety of options. It's completely free: it contains no spyware, no ads, and no user tracking. It also plays files, discs, webcams, devices, and streams and makes it easy to download and use the platform. Users do note that the VLC media player has a very basic interface and does not have the visual appeal of newer design apps.

Main features:

  • A video player with a lot of additional functions


  • Free-to-use
  • Supports many video formats


  • No microphone recording
  • No screenshotting function
  • No customization of the capture area size

Follow the link below to download VLC:

Go to the program’s website

How to capture streaming videos online

In many cases, you may find yourself wondering how to capture streaming video online. You may not want to record the meeting on your PC, or you might simply want to store it on the web. If you want to grab screen videos using an online tool, try some of these programs. Online live stream recorders recorders are ideal for people who want to quickly capture a screen, especially if you don't have time to download and install a program. They may, however, slow down your device, especially if you do not have sufficient system resources for the program you're trying to run.


OS: web-based, supported by Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Opera

Best for: Making fast recordings online

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars, 353 reviews

Price: free version, premium from $9.95/month or $39.95/year

Screencapture.com is a free online screen recorder that works on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Opera. It offers the advantage of easy recording direct to the Internet, where you can easily copy your files or share them with others. Screencapture.com makes it easy to capture your browser activity or your computer desktop, record sound, or include your face in a recording via webcam. This new, free tool does add a small watermark to the recording, which some users do not like.

Main features:

  • Doesn't require a download
  • Offers a high degree of privacy and security
  • Saves video fast, in HD


  • Simple interface
  • Multifunctionality
  • No lengthy or complex prerecording settings


  • A single output format – MP4
  • No video-editing tools
  • The free version watermarks the recordings

Follow the link below to access this online recorder:

Go to the recorder’s website


OS: web-based, supported by Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera

Best for: Easy and quick recordings

Rating: N/A

Price: free Basic plan, Standard plan for $1.99 per month, Premium plan for $4.99 per month

Screenapp.io is an online screen recorder with a large number of five-star reviews and an average of 60,000 successful recordings every month. It's 100% free, with no registration or payment required, and allows for instant recording: no software downloads, no extensions, and nothing to clutter up your PC or make your usual tasks more difficult than usual. This platform also makes it easy to quickly download your recordings to your computer. While this ripper does make it easy to record your stream online, it might not be the best way to handle longer recordings: its recording time is limited to about 15 minutes.

Main features:

  • Free and quick recordings
  • Allows its users to record multiple windows


  • Easy screen record
  • Simple trimming features


  • Overpriced compared to the features offered

Follow the link below to access this online recorder:

Go to the recorder’s website

Best streaming video recorders for a web browser

Do you use Google Chrome as your web browser? If so, you might find that the best video recorder for your needs is a Chrome extension. Chrome extensions are highly secure and less likely to use up unnecessary system resources. They're also ideal for Chromebook users, who may prefer that streamlined experience.


OS: web-based, supported by Google Chrome

Best for: Creating video messages

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars, 10,049 reviews

Price: free version, premium from $8/month

Loom provides extensive recording options that are compatible with your device and the platform you already use. It bills itself as being perfect for onboarding new employees, troubleshooting customer issues, or managing code reviews. It lets you record your screen, voice, and face, then instantly share your video in less time than it typically takes to put together an email: the ideal way to share content straight from your device to someone else's. Loom is a great solution for modern workers, many of whom are looking for new ways to communicate while working from home. It's free to use and easy to get started with.

Customer service for Loom is, according to reviewers, somewhat lacking compared to other platforms. However, Loom has a huge number of monthly users and downloads being one of the most popular streaming video recorders on Chrome.

Main features:

  • A free, easy-to-use platform trusted by millions of users
  • A free-to-use platform that includes up to 25 collaborators
  • Integration with various business services


  • Helps to organize and simplify work processes
  • Free-to-use


  • Lacks customer support or guidance
  • It might be choppy at times

Follow the link below to install this extension:

Go to the extension’s store page


OS: web-based, supported by Google Chrome

Best for: Educational purposes

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars, 11,693 reviews

Price: Limited free version; unlimited recording length and unlimited export cost $49 per year each

Screencastify bills itself as a user-friendly tool. It offers a simple, intuitive platform that functions as a Chrome extension. Millions of users engage with Screencastify to record, edit, and share videos – and it's easy to get started. In fact, the platform is so simple that it takes no time at all to get started using it.

Screencastify is a simple way to deliver a simple, more effective message. Rather than having to type up long emails, you can capture your screen and easily share that information with other users. It does not, however, work as well on recordings that aren't in web browsers, according to some reviewers.

Main features:

  • Basic editing allows trimming of videos
  • Export as MP4, GIF, or MP3
  • Share recordings via the Google Drive link


  • Simple and easy to use
  • Easy trimming
  • No registration for storing or downloading videos


  • Not great for high-resolution recording

Follow the link below to install this extension:

Go to the extension’s store page

Best streaming video capture software for iOS devices

Are you using iOS to record your screen, whether from a phone, desktop, or tablet? Using a phone or tablet is a little different from using a desktop device. You may not want as many features, or you might want to streamline use when you're tapping rather than clicking or using your keyboard. Fortunately, there are screen recorders that you can easily use directly from your iOS device. Keep in mind, however, that recording directly from an iOS device using an app may offer a clunkier experience that may use more system resources than you initially thought.

Record it!

OS: iOS 12.0 or later

Best for: MP4 recording on iPhone

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars, 264,4K reviews

Price: free version, Pro version costs $4.99

Record it! has the best rating in the App Store, and with good reason. Out of more than 1.7 million reviews, it holds a whopping 4.6 stars. Record it! is ideal for recording games and apps for tutorials, game walkthroughs, video demos, and training demonstrations. You can add commentary as you go or put it in later in your app to make a cohesive, easy-to-follow video.

Main features:

  • Face Cam reactions
  • Keep recordings organized in the app


  • Records entire screen
  • Includes a powerful video editor
  • Easy sharing


  • The file-saving process is slow on some devices
  • Some users report issues with audio quality

Follow the link below to install this app:

Go to the app’s store page

Go Record

OS: iOS 11.0 or later

Best for: Recording videos for YouTube

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars, 56,6K reviews

Price: free version, Pro version costs $4.99

While not as high as Record it!, Go Record does offer a high average rating, with 4.5 stars out of 39.6 K reviews.

This simple platform makes it easy to put together screen recordings and capture reactions all at the same time. As a result, you can streamline your digital video recordings and easily figure out how to capture a video. This program is simple, intuitive, and easy to put together on your iOS device.

Main features:

  • One tap screen recording, making it easy to start the process
  • Face Cam addition so you can put in your reactions


  • Easy-to-add audio commentary
  • Easy uploading to YouTube


  • Features of the free version are limited

Follow the link below to install this app:

Go to the app’s store page

How to record a live stream on Android devices

Don't worry, Android users: there are streaming video capture software options available for you, too. If you want to save your stream to an Android device, these platforms are simple, highly rated, and offer the high-quality recording you need. These apps are specifically designed for an Android device, so you will find that they offer a better experience on those devices than online downloaders. You may find, however, that Android apps still slow down your system, so make sure you choose the right apps for recording.


OS: Android 4.4 or later

Best for: Making recordings with intros and outros

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars, 3,235,446 reviews

Price: free version, pro version costs $2 per month billed annually

While Mobizen does offer an option that will allow you to record videos for free, the app does contain in-app purchases and ads, which can prove clunky and distracting for some users.

While Mobizen is a highly popular screen capture software, it does come with some clunky features. Sometimes, the in-app ads start along with the video recorder, which can disrupt the recording experience. Sometimes, that may mean losing some of the content, which can't always be retrieved. The screen recorder also takes up a number of assets on your Android device, which means that it may cause frustrating lags in videos and games. Nevertheless, it does remain an easy, fun way to quickly record videos, especially if you're looking into it for personal or leisure purposes.

Main features:

  • Allows you to put in intro or outro videos with a few short taps
  • Records your reactions freely, including both your face and the sound of your voice, thanks to Face Cam


  • Offers a highly effective screen recording profile
  • Allows you to edit, trim, and cut your images
  • Records a clean screen without a watermark


  • Ads appear from time to time

Follow the link below to install this app:

Go to the app’s store page

AZ Screen Recorder

OS: Android 5.0 or later

Best for: Creating GIF animations on Android

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars, 1,558,604 reviews

Price: free version, pro version costs $2.99

AZ Screen Recorder offers all the features that many users are looking for in their screen recording software. It makes it simple to start recording: just one tap makes it easy to get started. The app delivers high-quality videos with clear sound, so they're easy to follow, highly professional, and ideal for your needs.

AZ Screen Recorder also includes a powerful image editing tool, which makes it easy for you to customize the appearance of your videos and screenshots and ensure that you're capturing exactly what you need. Share your reactions, put together stunning tutorials, or offer more information about your daily tasks.

Users note that AZ Screen Recorder is an incredibly useful app, filled with great features. It offers high-quality video recording that's highly reliable. Users do, however, note that it doesn't offer the same high-quality audio recording that it does when it comes to video: it tends to record whatever sound is happening around the phone or device, and sounds tend to make it indiscriminately into the video. While that's an excellent testament to the power of your device's microphone, it might not fit your video recording needs. It's also important to note that AZ Screen Recorder does include ads and in-app purchases.

Main features:

  • Full HD game recording
  • Screen recording with Facecam
  • Internal sound recording
  • Gameplay recording with external sound


  • Advanced video-, audio-, and image-editing options
  • Video compression option


  • The free version has annoying ads

Follow the link below to install this app:

Go to the app’s store page


We hope this article has been useful in helping you choose the right screen recorder. The following list has the most important aspects to consider when choosing a recording tool:

Features: Choose a screen recorder according to the result you want to achieve with your screen recordings. If you simply want to record what happens on your screen, any screen capture software will probably meet your needs. If you’re going to do advanced editing or stream live on YouTube, take those features into account as you choose your program.

Ease of use: Some programs are user-friendly and simple. Others are more complicated and have a steeper learning curve. Consider the amount of experience you possess and choose a screen recorder accordingly.

OS: Make sure to choose a screen recorder that works on the system you will be using (Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android, etc.)

Support: Try to find a program that offers easily accessible user support if you run into problems during the screen recording process.

Reviews: Check out user reviews and articles of professional blogs or magazines to determine how well the program performs before buying it.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best streaming video recorder?

The best streaming video recorder for your use will depend on your specific needs. What type of platform are you trying to use for your video recorder? Do you want to record a streaming video online, or do you prefer to use a desktop app? Are you looking for an easy-to-use solution for iOS or Android? The best streaming video recorders depend on those specific needs.

If it's an Android app you need for your streaming video, AZ Screen Recorder comes in at the top of the list, with Mobizen coming in at a close second. For iOS, Record it! has the highest popular rating and the widest number of users. Go Record, however, does offer a number of features and incredible convenience when it comes to screen recording. If you're looking for a Google Chrome extension, both Loom and Screencastify have excellent reviews.

Do you prefer recording your streaming video online? Try out Screencapture.com or Screenapp.io to learn more about available online options. Take a look at their features to make sure that they fit your needs, including storage and usability.

Often, the best streaming video recorders are those that record directly to your device. Using desktop software often means a cleaner overall video capture and better-quality options. Consider Movavi Screen Recorder, one of the top-performing streaming video recorders available, or take a look at ScreenRec, CloudApp, OBS, or VLC, depending on your specific needs and the features you need most in order to record your streaming videos and share them with others.

Can I record streaming video on my computer?

Yes, you can record a streaming video with special screen-capture software. You can use a desktop app, for example, Movavi Screen Recorder. Alternatively, you can use an online tool – you can search for a screen recording extension in the Chrome Web Store.

Can I record streaming TV?

You can record live TV with the help of a digital video recorder (DVR). Today you can find DVR devices that work without a cable – they’re called over-the-air (OVT) DVRs.

How do I download a streaming video in Chrome?

There are special tools that let you save your own stream in Chrome. For example, you can use the Free Online Video Downloader from Acethinker. This is an online tool that lets you download your videos – you just need to copy the URL of the video you want to save, paste it into the address bar, and click Download.

Can I record a live stream on my laptop?

You can record a live stream using screen capture software. Try Movavi Screen Recorder – it’s a useful app that lets you record your laptop screen and save the video in any popular format.

Can I record a streaming video to watch it offline?

If you want to save your own video to watch it later, you can do it in a few ways. One way to record a streaming video is to use a desktop screen recorder. If you don’t want to install software on your computer, you can capture a streaming video with online tools.

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Disclaimer: Please be aware that Movavi Screen Recorder does not allow capture of copy-protected video and audio streams. Learn more