Downloading videos through torrents is becoming more and more risky with the passage of everyday. I suppose you live in a country which has strict Internet censorship. If you use torrents, you afraid of being caught and you may have to pay fine or have to go to court. I will not go in details how torrents work but I have an alternative if you use torrents to download videos.
You already know Firefox Add-ons Video DownloadHelper which is being used by hundreds of thousands people to download videos from over several hundreds websites. Mozilla shows 89,984,606 downloads of VDH at the time of writing this article. I will not say that it is 100% secure to download videos but more secure than using torrents. It has a few advantages and disadvantages.
Let’s make this article short. All the sub-headings are describing VDH in relative matters.
No Swarm – More Secure Identity: The biggest danger in torrent downloading is your IP is exposed. Any person in the swarm (all peers (including seeders) sharing a torrent are called a swarm) can see the connected IPs. This is how different so-called antipiracy organizations collect info about you and force ISPs to handout your identity to those organizations. No swarm when downloading videos through VDH.
Exposure: You are only exposed to the video hosting server and not the world unlike in torrents.
Slow Download Speed: It may happen that video download speed is slow compared to download speed through torrents.
Server Problem: In torrents, most probably you are connected to many seeders which makes it very easy to download anything. You do not have to rely on one connection. But with VDH you get one connect to server to download video. If server is down for some reason, you can not download video.
No Secure Connection: Most probably, you will not have https or sftp connection while download videos through VDH. But this does not mean you are exposed to the whole world. Very specialized software are required to sniff your Internet traffic. Sniffing such traffic without court orders or law is strictly falls under hacking.
You Are Exposed if: This is the possibility if server is hacked or somebody has court orders to know who has used such server to download videos.
VDH only helps you to secure your ID. I will not write about pirated video streaming sites. Google.com can show you hundreds of links to such streaming video websites.
You can install Video DownloadHelper here:
DownloadHelper’s primary job is to retrieve to your disk the videos that are playing in Web pages, in their original format. Unfortunately, the native format (generally FLV) is often not very convenient when it comes to playing back the videos, on either your home computer or a hand held device, burning them to a DVD or reworking the movie. With the new DownloadHelper’s Video Conversion feature, you can very easily select one or more videos that lie on your disk and choose a pre-defined output format. The program will process the movies in background. Even better: you can setup the extension to automatically convert the videos as soon as they are saved by DownloadHelper. You can even specify conversion rules (which site, which original media format) to be processed with a given set of parameters. Complete manual is here: