Top 5 Video Compressors: Offline and Online

Top 5 Video Compressors: Offline and OnlineWonderful innovations in smartphone and camera technology mean most of us now carry a high-powered HD camera in our pockets. However, filming that important moment can produce a massive file that is unwieldy for sending through social media services which require to compress video files for the uploading in most of the cases. To solve this problem, you need to have a reliable video compressor; luckily there are plenty of free video compression tools that can do the job.

As the name suggests, video compressor squashes the file to make it smaller, allowing for faster download and upload speeds. Basically, after you compress video you will be able to send and receive files easier.

There are countless tools to reduce video file size on the market, typically weaved into general video conversion and editing software. We have sifted through those programs to find the best, from high-powered desktop applications to quick and easy online video compressors.

Best Offline Video Compressors

1. HandBrake

HandBrake video compressor

Of all the free software that can compress video, both online and as a download, HandBrake is probably the best known. It is a firm favorite amongst video editors for a good reason. It is easy to use and even has preset video conversion and compression settings. For example, you can choose your device type (Android, iOS, etc.) and the video compressor and converter tools are automatically set to work for that hardware.

These presets are ideally located on the right sidebar, where you can also find web and general presets. When you open a new source to compress video, HandBrake lets you choose between a single file and a batch for queuing multiple encodes. Other important features of the video compressor include subtitles and support for CFR and VFR.

HandBrake also works as an excellent video converter, supporting multiple video formats with numerous parameters like FPS and codecs. This is an open source software to reduce video file size that is available on Windows, Mac, and Linux, but as a freeware it is hardly what we would call a modern design. Functional yes, but not really an aesthetically appealing program.

OS: Windows, Mac, Linux
Licensing: Open-source
Our Rating: 9 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Feature-rich video compression and conversion tools
  • Easy to access presets for devices
  • Fast
  • Batch queuing
  • Slightly archaic (albeit functional) design

2. Format Factory

Format Factory video compression tool

Format Factory is another open source video compressor with an in-built conversion suite that we highly recommend. It is among the most fully loaded video software on the market, so you should be able to find a format that suits you. Available file types include MPG, MP4, MP3, AVI, FLV, WAV, and many more.

It is very easy to use video compressor, while the feature set is solid and includes codec choice, FPS, resolution, and size. Even beginners who don’t want granular customization will be able to just pick up Format Factory and use it. While the number of presets is not as extensive as HandBrake, there are easy-to-understand output buttons in Format Factory that make the program easy to use.

One thing we really didn’t like is that the Format Factory download forced us to download the Opera web browser. We didn’t want it and although there was an option to deselect, we were unable to. Perhaps this was a one-off problem during the usage of the program to reduce video file size as the option is there not to download the browser.

OS: Windows, Mac, Linux
Licensing: Open-source
Our Rating: 9 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Nice user experience
  • Excellent format support
  • Easy to use for beginners
  • Granular options for pros
  • Some conversions failed
  • Unfortunate product placement installations

3. Avidemux

Avidemux free video compressor

Far more than a video compressor Avidemux is a fantastic all-round video editor that is great for quick cuts and converting. The free service is primarily designed for cutting and video encoding, so support for formats is extensive. One of the best features is the ability to automate tasks and queue projects.

The design of Avidemux is Spartan, which may put some users off. Despite its sparse design, the video file compressor is well-featured and actually very easy to use. Among the file editing tools are frame rate, bit rate, codec, and compression tools.

We would recommend Avidemux to users who want to get some robust video editing done alongside their video files compressed or converted.

OS: Windows, Mac, Linux
Licensing: Freeware
Our Rating: 8 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Strong video editing features
  • Excellent for quick cuts and edits
  • Good format support
  • Basic design

Best Online Video Compressors

1. Zamzar

Zamzar online video compressor

If you need to compress video file online really quickly and conversion would be a nice addition for that, Zamzar is an excellent alternative to a desktop program as it works directly in the web browser. Of course, this means you will need Internet connection to use the online video compressor. We like how simple and effective Zamzar is. When you first visit the site, you will be presented with a basic list of tools, starting with uploading a file.

Once the file is uploaded, the service to compress video online will give you the option to convert the file to a format, with thousands supported. Because it works online, you are using Zamzar’s own servers and not relying on your own processing power. That allows this free video compressor’s speeds to be impressive, which makes this a good choice if you have multiple videos to compress.

Of course, an online tool will come with some caveats. Aside from the already mentioned reliance on connectivity, Zamzar simply lacks many of the pro-level tools and features found on a desktop program. This is more suited to fast compress video online where you don’t need to be too nuanced with feature control.

OS: Web
Licensing: Free
Our Rating: 8 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Easy and convenient
  • Fast video compression and conversion speeds
  • Good for multiple compressions
  • No download needed
  • Needs an Internet connection
  • Missing some features compared to full desktop app

2. CloudConvert

CloudConvert

Another online video compressor, CloudConvert is probably the easiest path to compress video online on this list. The web tool uses a simple drag and drop interface to create an intuitive path for placing video for conversion or compression. Like Zamzar, the big benefit here is that you won’t need to download any program and can just jump straight into compressing your video files.

After you upload your file, let the CloudConvert software do all the heavy lifting in the cloud, saving you system resources in the process. We were impressed to see a batch conversion tool, which is not a common feature online.

Compared to some desktop programs, the 206 supported file formats is lacking. However, it should still be enough to serve most users for a quick conversion or video compression online. Like its online rival Zamzar, CloudConvert relies on an internet connection to function. This is also the only service on our list with a premium paywall.

The free CloudConvert service gives you 25 minutes maximum conversion time per file. Alternatively, customers can pay $8 for 500 minutes or $8 per month for a subscription with 1000 conversion minutes.

OS: Web
Licensing: Online freemium with premium paywall ($8 per month)
Our Rating: 7 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Batch conversion
  • Quick online video compression
  • Internet connection needed
  • Free version limited to 25 conversion minutes

Technology has advanced enough that sending files and information is now relatively easy. Internet connections are blazing fast and data can be sent rapidly, even on mobile devices. However, video files have remained too big, and are often hard to send because of their size. The video compressor tools we have listed represent the best way to cut down the file size and send more videos quickly and easily. If you’re looking for a way to reduce the length of your videos, check out our guide on how to trim video to find out how to cut out the extra parts of your videos.

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