Screen Recorder: How To Choose and 9 Best Tools You Can Try Now!

Screen Recorder is an useful program for making how-to videos, tutorials and product demonstrations. The problem is finding the best screen recorder can be tricky for beginners. There are so many screen recorders out there, and they are not created equally. How do you know which is the right option for you? In this article, I will help you choose the best screen recorder by covering pros and cons of the most powerful programs available on the market now.

Choosing the best screen recorder guide

In this article, I will be comparing top 9 best screen recorders for Windows/ Mac. If you are interested in any particular program, then you can click on the name to go ahead to our detail review of the program.

  1. ActivePresenter
  2. Camtasia Studio
  3. Movavi Screen Recorder
  4. Aiseesoft Screen Recorder
  5. Bandicam
  6. Apowersoft online screen recorder
  7. Snagit
  8. Mirillis Action
  9. OBS Studio

Choosing the Best Screen Recorder – What to look for?

Before jump into the detail comparison of the best screen recorders, I recommend that you list down what you want to do with this program? What are your needs and what features would you like to get in the program. It’s important to know all these things before making your final decision.

If you are unsure about what you need, then check out below key features of a good screen recorder.

1. Ease of use

In my opinion, a good screen recorder has to be easy to use whether the installation or starting the program. In other words, you should easily learn how to use the program within short period of time. Most screen recorders offer intuitive user interface to start recording promptly after you finish the installation. The default setup of the program is always good to go for a test drive before you make purchase decision.

2. Reasonable pricing plan

If you only need a free screen recorder, then off course, you don’t need to consider this point. What if you intend to buy a software for your long term career? You should always carefully look at the pricing plan from the publisher. It is common that the seller offers a yearly subscription plan or a perpetual license. The first option is often cheaper than the latter. It’s a little bit tricky to choose. I would prefer a perpetual license to avoid additional fees in the future. It’s up to you to decide which plan is suitable for your needs.

3. Powerful features of good screen recorders

Next, you need to consider carefully all the key features of the program you are going to download or buy. There’s no shortcut for this point. Here’s the check list you can go over when looking at a screen recording program:

  • Recording video in full screen or a fixed part with or without audio/ system sound.
  • Recording webcam or at least has Picture in picture feature.
  • Record mouse cursor with overlay.
  • Record locked Windows or applications.
  • Record full HD quality at least and 2K or 4K video quality is perfect.
  • Built-in drawing tools or a video editor to edit videos.
  • Various output format options.
  • Possible to take screenshot easily.

That’s all! Now, let’s take a look at the best screen recorders to make screencasts, how-to videos, product demonstrations, software simulations and online training courses now.

Top 9 Best Screen Recorders For Windows/ Mac

1. ActivePresenter

ActivePresenter 7 Interface
ActivePresenter 7 Interface

ActivePresenter is one of the most powerful all-in-one screen recorders in the world now. It is an ideal option for you to create videos from screencasting with a decent screen recorder plus professional, free video editor for Windows and Mac. The program lets you record anything from the screen in full screen or customized part with your webcam, audios from microphone and system sound seamlessly.

The best part of ActivePresenter has to be its feature rich video editor where you can cut, trim, crop, blur video easily. It also provides a bunch of annotation tools for making your video more instructional.

ActivePresenter is free for none commercial use without any limitation. For commercial use, it is set at $199 for Standard Edition per license perpetual and $399 per license for Professional Edition. You can use to to record streaming movies, webinars, web games, Skype call and so on. To understand more about ActivePresenter, please read our careful review of this software here!

Download ActivePresenter here

2. Camtasia Studio 9

Like ActivePresenter, Camtasia Studio 9 is also a powerful all-in-one screen recording software for Windows and Mac. This means you will get all necessary tools for making training videos, product demos in just one program. Camtasia Studio 9 offers a full HD screen recorder with a simple to use video editor which support 4K editing.

Camtasia lets you record full screen, customized resolution, record webcam, record audio and a locked application. You can also add and customize system stamp or caption in your recording. Camtasia’s real-time effects include: Pen, Arrow, Line, Eclipse, Frame, Highlight which you can chance color and width easily. Those tools are ideal for making how-to and training videos that many users want to have.

The price for Camtasia Studio is $249 per license and you will have 30 days free trial to evaluate the program before making your final decision.

Camtasia Studio 9 Recording tools
Camtasia Studio 9 Screen Recorder

Download Camtasia Studio 9 here

3. Movavi Screen Recorder – $39.95/ PC

Movavi screen recorder is a powerful and professional screen recorder which you can use to record your screen, webinar, Skype call or any thing that is happening on your computer screen. It is simple to use and has all necessary features of a good screen recorder. Movavi screen recorder has Windows and Mac version which you can try them in 30 days before purchasing it.

Comparing to ActivePresenter and Camtasia Studio, Movavi Screen Recorder has less features than above mentioned tools. This program does not has a built-in video editor or annotation tools. However, its price is extremely cheap compared to the features it offers.

Movavi screen capture software

Try Movavi Screen Recorder for Windows here

Try Movavi screen recorder for Mac here

4. Aiseesoft Screen Recorder – $27.30

Like Movavi, Aiseesoft Screen Recorder is an easy-to-use screen capture tool to record any video or audio on your computer and save them in high quality. This powerful video screen recording app can help you grab online movies and radio, capture games, make video tutorials, record webcam videos, take screenshot, etc. on Windows 10/8/7.

It is free to use with 2 minutes recording limitation, no watermark. If you want to remove the limitation, you’ll need to purchase a license at $27.30 for lifetime. It’s quite reasonable for those who don’t need all-in-one programs like ActivePresenter or Camtasia.

Aiseesoft capturing tool
Aiseesoft capturing tool

Try Aiseesoft here

5. Bandicam – $39

Bandicam is a lightweight screen recorder for windows that can capture anything on your PC screen as high-quality video. Also, it makes it possible to record a certain area on a PC screen, or capture a game that uses the DirectX/OpenGL/Vulkan graphic technologies. Bandicam will help you carry out a game capture with high compression ratio, while keeping the video quality closer to the original work, and provides performance far superior to other recording softwares that provide similar functions.

Bandicam interface

Get Bandicam FREE

6. Apowersoft free online screen recorder

This free screen recorder is web-based, meaning you don’t have to download screencast software to your computer to do the recording. Instead, you just open this free online screen recorder in your web. When you click start recording on Apowersoft’s home page, it will ask you to download a small launcher package. Then you are ready to start.

This program can record on screen activities without watermark or time limit. It also lets you make real-time drawing, edit recorded video and share it directly to YouTube or Google Drive. Read our detail review of Apowersoft free online screen recorder here!

apowersoft free screen recorder interface
Apowersoft free screen recorder interface

Try Apowersoft free now here

7. Snagit 2018 – $49.95

Snagit 2018 is absolutely the best screen capture and video recording software you should by if you are a professional tutorial creator. It provides you many things more than just a simple recording software. For example: the most up-to-date screen capture technology and a beautiful video editor which you can use for making how-to videos, software manual professionally. In a few words, it is not easy for me to describe all the amazing things about Snagit. My full review about Snagit is here.

Snagit-13-Capturing Window
Snagit 13 Capturing options

Try Snagit 14 days Now

8. Mirillis Action

Mirillis Action is a special screen recorder, designed for recording games, taking screenshot and performing as a live streaming platform for all Windows version. The major drawbacks of Mirillis Action are the lack of either real-time drawing tools and it does not have a built-in video editor for polishing recorded videos. In addition, Mirillis only allows 30-day trial. There is always a watermark on exported videos. If you want to buy this software, its price is $29.95 per license/lifetime. Read my detail review of Mirillis here!

Action Capture Screen
Action Capture Screen

Try Action 30 days Now

9. OBS Studio

When it comes to open source and free programs, OBS Studio is the first option you want to try in recording games and live streaming. The program was released few years ago and becomes very popular nowadays. It has everything you need from taking screenshot, recording video, adding low-third video or text/ picture watermark to your video. It’s great more making YouTube videos on common platforms i.e Windows, Mac and Linux.

Compared to above mentioned screen recorders, OBS Studio is a little bit more complicated to use for the first time. But, you will easily overcome the difficulties after discover the work flow it offers. Read our detail review of OBS Studio here!

OBS Studio Mode

Try OBS Studio Now

Bottom line

I hope you get all necessary information in this post. If you need a professional screen recorder, don’t hesitate to download and try one of the above recommendations. Remember to follow us to receive more valuable post notifications in the future.

Good luck!


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