10 Best Screen Recording Software for Windows – Free and Paid

10-best-screen-recording-software-for-windows-free-and-paidHave you decided to try screencasting for the first time? Or are you an adept user and want to upgrade your experience with a new tool? Here we have researched and compared the 10 best screen recording software for Windows (both free and paid) to help you find an ideal fit for your specific needs.

While versions of recording software differ in price and functionality, most share a number of features such as:

  • adjustable video frame
  • cut-and-paste editing options
  • unlimited recording time
  • direct link to social media

Which tool should you use for making an effective video tutorial, marketing your business to online customers, or even recording a new maneuver in your favorite game? This short list is all you need to make an informed decision and start creating.

Free Screen Recording Software That Saves Money

Have you tackled numerous trial versions and received nothing close to the bang for the buck you expected? Or are you simply looking to save some money? In either case, there are plenty of free screen recorders that can get your job done with the most satisfying results and without emptying your wallet. A word of caution, though; some may urge a paid upgrade after you have already downloaded a “free” tool.

Here, we have compiled five safe and, at the same time, outstanding free screen recorders that successfully compete with the best paid screen recorders.

1. iSpring Free Cam

iSpring Free Cam is a really simple free screen recorder with a built-in audio/video editor. The attractive and intuitive interface allows you to create screencasts with the ease of a professional. Even though this software is free, it doesn’t place any watermark and it’s ad-free.

iSpring Cam's recording processiSpring  Free Cam's video editor

Pros

  • no watermark, time limits and ads
  • records voice-overs and computer sounds
  • high-quality resolution
  • users can save videos as WMV or upload them directly to YouTube
  • easily deletes unwanted fragments of video
  • removes background noise
  • wide selection of audio effects

Cons

  • saves recordings to WMV only
  • no webcam recording

Download iSpring Free Cam now →

Watch this demo to see what you can do with iSpring Free Cam:

2. DVDVideoSoft’s Free Screen Video Recorder

Free Screen Video Recorder is a full-featured but lightweight free screen recorder from a developer known for its free conversion software. It is capable of recording Skype conversations without any limitations and, therefore, useful for Skype interviews and online conference calls. Similarly, different applications for Windows can be singled out and captured as discrete elements. Included is a basic and user-friendly image editor, surprisingly helpful for attaining a polished look.

DVDVideoSoft’s recording processDVDVideoSoft’s recording process

Pros

  • offers a convenient screenshot feature
  • different modes for recording screen and video
  • suitable for recording Skype conversations
  • step-by-step instructions provided on the website
  • available in 10 languages
  • output formats include BMP, TGA, JPEG, PNG, and GIF

Cons

  • microphone sound recording only
  • excessive ads may interrupt your work
  • saves recordings to AVI only
  • lacks coherent interface and built-in media player
  • may install unwanted software during download
  • does not notify users if disconnection occurs

3. ShareX

ShareX is an open-source ad-free tool that boasts almost as many custom features as some paid software screen recorders. ShareX is mostly targeted towards developers and power users, so an average customer might be lost in the cornucopia of advanced tools and editors.

ShareX’s recording processShareX’s recording options

Pros

  • records full screen, window, monitor, region, freehand, or scrolling
  • incorporates hotkeys for easier and quicker navigation
  • supports many URL sharing services
  • imports existing videos, music, or photos
  • custom watermarks and color effects

Cons

  • low quality of game recording
  • complicated for an average user
  • no webcam recording
  • reported to fail while uploading large files
  • no video editor

4. CamStudio

CamStudio is a good choice for one-time or occasional users with minimal editing needs. This lightweight, open-source screen recording software creates videos in AVI format that can later be converted to SWF. While its compactness appeals to some, others call for further development and increased technical support.

CamStudio's recording processCamStudio’s video editor

Pros

  • creates a screen-in-screen video
  • converts AVI format into Flash
  • allows you to create small size files
  • custom cursor
  • available quality options for output video

Cons

  • reported to spread harmful viruses and malware
  • output is incompatible with certain browsers
  • audio falls out of sync
  • SWF files may slow down your computer
  • lack of interactive and animation features
  • minimal tech support

5. Ezvid

Ezvid claims to be the world’s easiest screen recorder, and they may be not too far away from the truth. Ezvid’s clarity is enhanced by the product’s speed: specifically designed to save users’ time, it will help you to produce and upload videos directly to YouTube in a matter of minutes. That is why the tool enjoys notoriety among gamers and movie fans who are interested in frequently making video clips in the quickest manner possible.

Ezvid’s recording processEzvid’s video editor

Pros

  • offers computer speech for narrative purposes
  • automatic high-quality resolution (1280 x 720p HD)
  • speed control over output videos
  • sleek and modern interface
  • instantaneous upload to YouTube
  • selection of popular music tracks included

Cons

  • reviewers report extraneous noise
  • minor bugs and inconsistencies
  • fullscreen game is not available

Paid Screen Recording Software That We Love

The Internet’s bountiful supply of screen recording products means one is bound to find free and low-cost options. However when searching for high quality performance, elaborate presentation, and expert technical support, many users are ready to invest their money in paid software. Here are six paid screen recorders that have gained customers’ and reviewers’ trust and now continue to expand their eminent presence in the market.

6. Camtasia Studio

Camtasia Studio is a feature-packed tool for detail-oriented enthusiasts. It allows you to record audio and video one after the other, combining the results afterwards. While the price might turn some off at $299 per license, tech-savvy individuals are sure to appreciate the capabilities for customizing and refining their work. A 30-day free trial is available.

Camtasia Studio's video editorCamtasia Studio's video editor

Pros

  • audio, video, and cursor tracks can be edited separately
  • imports existing videos, music, or photos
  • adds captions, callouts, and quizzes to your videos
  • offers zooming and panning options
  • incorporates webcam
  • frame-by-frame editing

Cons

  • one of the most expensive screen recorders
  • slows down on large and heavy projects
  • requires periodic paid upgrades
  • busy multi-track interface
  • limited 30-day free trial

7. MadCap Mimic

MadCap Mimic is a versatile multimedia tool ideal for creating interactive videos and simulations. Here you can work in three recording modes – manual, automatic, or full-motion – and enjoy an array of single-sourcing features such as custom frames and condition tags. Pricing options include $144 per year or $428 for life. You can likewise select a 30-day free trial.

MadCap Mimic's recording processMadCap Mimic's video editor

Pros

  • allows you to create video with interactive content
  • saves design content that can be reused later
  • output formats include WebM, MP4, and Adobe PDF
  • a large range of available visuals and video effects
  • multi-language team of technical support engineers
  • free product upgrades with the paid version

Cons

  • watermarks appear on output
  • occasional bugs reported by users
  • hefty interface may be difficult to navigate
  • limited 30-day free trial

8. FlashBack

FlashBack by Blueberry Software is a full-motion-based screen recorder with a simple and handy interface. It is particularly popular among university professors and students. This may be explained by the agreeable pricing: you can choose from FlashBack Plus ($99), Pro ($199), both of which come with a free 30-day trial, or download a fully free version without editing features.

Flashback's playerFlashback's video editor

Pros

  • records multiple monitors
  • allows you to add distinctive and custom watermarks
  • incorporates webcam
  • offers zooming and panning options
  • provides a TechAssistant feature for reporting PC defects

Cons

  • difficult to modify existing demos
  • allows you to import files only in FBR format
  • does not track the movement of windows in use
  • limited 30-day free trial

9. TinyTake

TinyTake by MangoApps is a sophisticated screen recorder ideal for commercial presentations and employee training. To many, its primary appeal is an easy sharing feature that lets one attach an output file to any messenger or send it to an office device. A free version is available for personal use only. Commercial buyers will pay between $29.95 and $199.95 per year, depending on the included capabilities.

TinyTake's playerTinyTake's video editor

Pros

  • bulk file sharing
  • public URL available for sharing
  • allows you to create custom shortcut keys
  • built-in online file viewer for images, videos, and documents
  • video player is compatible with mobile devices
  • proxy server friendly

Cons

  • video recording is limited to 2 hours
  • video files are saved as MP4 only
  • versions under $99.95 are significantly limited in features
  • no free trial available

10. Screencast-O-Matic

With relatively low prices and a simplified free version, Screencast-O-Matic is marketed to compete with free screen recording software for educators and businesses. For multiple users, Screencast-O-Matic offers a site license with prices ranging from $9 per month for 10 computers to $250 per month for 1000 computers. Additional expenses come with Pro Hosting, available in three plans: $10, $29, and $99 per month. You can start with a 30-day free trial.

Screencast-O-Matics's recording processScreencast-O-Matics's player

Pros

  • publishes to Vimeo Pro, Google Drive, and Dropbox
  • offers computer speech for narrative purposes
  • incorporates a screenshot tool
  • provides site licenses to groups of 10-1000 computers
  • embeds recorder on a website ($99 per month)

Cons

  • multiple minor expenses add up to a high cost
  • ad-free hosting available only with purchase of Pro Hosting
  • 15-minute limit on uploads to Screencast-O-Matic.com
  • requires Java
  • reported to crash browsers

Conclusion

In comparison, both free and paid tools from the best screen recording software can be effective methods of capturing your work-related or entertainment activities on Windows.

Ultimately, whether you should spend some money on one of the products above depends on the nature of your tasks. Thorough professionals working on instructional video projects will most benefit from Camtasia. Experienced users with keen technical skills might opt for ShareX. Those looking for a simple and reliable recorder for tasks in hand will be pleased with iSpring Cam.

Posted in Comparisons