Best Free Web Site Ripper

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Introduction

Did you ever land on a website with many pages or lots of content that you were looking for but didn't have enough time to look through the site at the time? If so, then a website ripper is the software you needed to download the whole site to your computer.

Once downloaded you could then browse through the whole site whenever you wanted, even without an internet connection. The software products reviewed here are capable of downloading the whole website including the images, style sheets and everything else the site owners uploaded on the server. So, don’t worry about how the site looks when they get downloaded.

I hope that this review will help you to choose the right website ripper freeware that matches your requirements.

 
In a Hurry?

Go to details...  Go straight to the Quick Selection Guide

 
Discussion

HTTrack is an impressive product that does everything that you could want from a website ripper—download any website to your computer and then browse at your convenience. The entire website is there, the sub-directories, pictures, and internal links. Links to external websites are only active if you have an internet connection. HTTrack is compatible with all Windows versions, and is GPL licensed freeware. WinHTTrack is the Windows release of HTTrack, and WebHTTrack is the Linux release. HTTrack can also update an existing mirrored site, and resume interrupted downloads. HTTrack is fully configurable, and has an integrated help system.

After a quick install you may start the program and select your language preference. You are then presented with a box to tell the program if you use a proxy for FTP transfers. If you do not use a proxy, just cancel and click next where you can give your project(s) a name and category. The default download folder is C:\My Web Sites so just click next. Now you can paste in a URL for the website you wish to download. If you click on Options this will give a number of choices. These can also be accessed on the top menu through Preferences. Click on next to get to the last screen to make any last options before one last next. Now you can watch HTTrack download the entire website.

It might take a while for the program to download the whole site, and is not as easy to use as some other products mentioned in this review.

Alternatively there is the free edition of PageNest, which allows you to download and categorize websites, as well as browse them within the programs own viewer. PageNest can also show what new or updated content has been added to an archived website. The commercial Pro version of PageNest, among other things, adds the ability to schedule auto-updates to archived sites.

The third program in this category, Local Website Archive, has a free lite edition that only allows you to download web pages and other documents on the web. However, it has good integration with Opera, Firefox and Internet Explorer, allowing you to capture a web pages URL directly from the browser. Unlike HTTrack or PageNest, this program has a built-in search facility, which identifies the pages that a word or phrase appears in, and highlights the words in the document. It also has the useful ability to zip up a stored page, so it can be emailed.

Another contender in this category is GetLeft, an open-source freeware product that allows you to download entire web sites or single webpages. It can change all the links to ensure that the downloaded site is still functional, can resume downloads if the connection is poor or lost, and can also follow links to external sites i.e. download pages from external sites. However, it only processes the HTML, so it won't process files embedded with JavaScript.

QuadSucker/Web is another freeware that I tried to use, but unfortunately I found this software to be unsatisfactory. Most of the functionalities of the original website couldn't be restored by this freeware for offline viewing. But, this freeware provides an easy to use interface for downloading the websites. QSW also gives us four options to select from: Entire Site, Single Page + Images, Single File and Multi-Site Spider.

I call this software hardly freeware, as we need to wait a considerable time on each occasion we open this software before use. To avoid this waiting and being disturbed by a popup, which keeps on telling us to do register this software (nagware), we sure need to register this software for some dollars. Besides these popup distractions, QuadSucker is capable of downloading four files at a time, so we could expect a little faster download. Also QuadSucker can support both standard (http) and secure (https) websites.

 

Other software products to be reviewed:

  • WebRipper
  • WinWSD WebSite Downloader
  • WebFetch
  • wget + wget GUI
  • CyberArticle
 
Quick Selection Guide

HTTrack

3.5
 
Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Available for multiple operating systems, highly configurable.
Not as easy to use as some other products.
3.47.19
3.76 MB
32 and 64 bit versions available
Unrestricted freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
v3.47.19 available 02/06/13

PageNest

3.5
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Simple and easy to use interface.
The Home tabs did not have icons, just the red X placeholders.
3.30
1.8 MB
Feature limited freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.

Local Website Archive

2.5
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Simple and easy to use interface.
Only able to save single web pages.
12.2
4.1 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Feature limited freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
v12.2 released 04/07/12

GetLeft

2.5
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Supports for multi platforms.
Only able to save single web pages.
1.2
2.5 MB
Unrestricted freeware
Developer's homepage is currently not available. The portable version is available here. Change log is here.

QuadSucker/Web

2.5
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Simple and easy to use interface with multiple file downloads at a time.
inefficient to restore the whole site functionalities to offline.
3.5 (Last release - Mar 2, 2007)
1.22MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Time limited freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
 
Editor

This software review is copy-edited by Victor Laurie. Please help edit and improve this article by clicking here.

 
Tags

web ripper, website ripper, website backup, save web pages, read web pages offline

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Comments

I tried a lot of these. Including Darcy Ripper, SiteSucker, Free download manager. But for me nothing seems to beat HTTrack. Although I've had some problems with it on command line with Linux.. but the HTTrack GUI for Windows has been more successful in some cases.

Darcy Ripper is the new website ripper that I use after being a long time user of WinHTTrack. It's platform independent. It has a pretty neat and good UI. Moreover it can be configured just like HTTrack and is pretty fast with less errors. One problem that I faced HTTrack was while viewing downloaded files when you have an active internet connection, it takes longer time to load the pages, compared to when you are offline, and it shows a forever loading page on the tab too.
Requires java, so it's a no-no for me, and I think it will put other users off too.
I thought the Java plugin on your browser is what's to be afraid of (which you can disable). Java on your desktop is just like Visual C++ components. As a programmer myself working with Java language and Android recently, I need to have it on my system, and it's a prerequisite. Am sure anyone in the same stream would be having that too.
I guess you are right :). And I have no idea if java on desktop is as vulnerable as the plugin or not.
The web browser plugin is actually the security problem in question which execute Java applets from websites. Web browsers (like Chrome, Firefox) by default disabled java plugin from your browser when it started facing zero day vulnerabilities which went way over the limit. The plug-in was designed to run Java programs in a security sandbox (like Flash Player), but when the sandbox itself had leaks/holes and was later exploited by hackers, there started the real problem. Just like Adobe Flash Player and PDF Reader, it's recommended to update Java to the latest version. Although steps have been taken to make Java more secure. A normal user doesn't need to have it installed on the system, particularly web browser

Hi, I used to use WinHTTrack, and beyond basic usage, it's options lend themselves to expert use. For a long time and again now I also found its GUI wasn't updating as it did originally whilst downloading.

Suddenly I thought of FDM (Free download manager).
As well as handling normal downloads and torrents, it also features site ripping (HTML spider).

http://www.freedownloadmanager.org/

That it does this is not obvious. Look at the Downloads tab- to the right is a double angle arrow. Click on this and you see more tabs, including

HTML Spider.

Much simpler than WinHTTrack.

Finding the options is tricky.

Rt click on the URL of the page you are to download when added to FDM and look for "Web page downloading settings"

I spend a lot time with HTTrack and sometime its take a lot time andI think PageNest have an option better than HTTrack. thats auto-collect what should download. PageNest auto-collect pages are link prefer and do not download it. it save much time!

Excuse me, I am looking for something that can schedule automatic download of web page, and it can loop for certain duration, e.g. start copying a web at everyday morning10am and continue downloading every 10 minutes till 16pm, which of these software can meet this requirement?
Thanks

It looks like FDM Downloader could, for example. See the Scheduler tab.

New version of HTTrack: Version 3.48-13 (06/08/2014)

am having a really bad time with page nest, pc freezes, there are no step by step instructions [yes ive read the instructions] .

can anyone suggest a dedicated forum of some clear instructions ......getting desperate to copy my site before my subscription runs out, if u can help pls dont delay

thanks

There are other suggestions on this review. Why don't you try them?

pls explain what u mean by that

What I mean to say is that you have tried just one program, Page Nest. This review contains other software which you can use and backup the website. Why don't you try other software that are mentioned in this review?

thanks but i tryed first choice, even harder to use, ive invested so much time in this one im sticking to it and slowly learning