Blue ray read write

Blue ray read write DEFAULT

Blu-Ray Drives

Multifunctional Blu-ray™ drives come with different read/write capabilities, so consider your needs regarding cost, speed and reliability. You may only require a drive to enable you to read Blu-ray discs, or one that can also record on blank Blu-ray media. Blu-ray writer drives are easy to install, whether internal or external, as they are compatible with both older and newer computer systems. Whether you need the drive to use on your current computer or a versatile one to use while on the move, check out Newegg for the latest CD DVD Drives.

External Blu-ray Disc Drives Offer Reliable and Extensive Storage

External Blu-ray disc drives are compact constructs that store large files. Their compactness makes them portable, allowing you to carry and transfer large files between computers in different locations. The drive features MakeMKV software that plays Blu-ray discs in VLC. This Blu-ray combo-drives design features backward compatibility with DVD and CD formats that ensures you only need one Blu-ray drive for all optical media. The External CD DVD Blu-ray drive features CyberLink® software that provides an intuitive interface for file management, enabling file storage of up to GB of pictures and HD video. BDXL™ support for a large-space capacity of GB facilitates periodic archive creation and data back-ups. Featuring a USB interface, the drive ensures rapid data transfer and extensive compatibility with different computer systems.

Slim-Internal Blu-Ray Drives Provide Fast Write, Rewrite and Read Speeds

Blu-ray CD DVD drives have fast read/write speeds that facilitate access to large amounts of data. The drive's maximum DVD±R DL 12x read and write speed combined with the maximum DVD±R 16x read and write speed facilitate rapid disc creation. This Blu-ray writer drive features maximum DVD+RW and DVD-RW 12x read and write speeds that enable you to archive media quickly, and the maximum DVD-ROM SL16x read speeds ensure that the disk drive operates seamlessly. Blu-ray burners operate at different speeds, facilitating the fast burning of BD-R media, and the maximum DVD-RAM 5x read and write speed promotes fast disc burning. It features a CD-RW 40x write speed, enabling disk burning through quick writing and rewriting. The 48x maximum CD-ROM read speed functionality ensures that the Blu-ray disc drive operates fast.

Internal Blu-Ray Drives Are Effective for Content Creation and External Solutions

Blu-Ray drives require minimal installation, making them a viable option for technologies that require several drives. Each drive features back-up functionality that facilitates the storage of back-up office software. Its burn feature enables you to make high-quality videos, and the high definition quality ensures the creation of clear video files. These Blu-ray burners feature 36 Mbps data streams that give the speed for high-quality video recording. It features standard disk options that ensure you develop disks that are compatible with different disk players. Serial ATA (SATA) technology is necessary to work on a PC. SATA allows you to upgrade and enhance your computer when scaling up productivity.


Blu-Ray Burners

Blu-ray™ burners can write up to GB per disc, and there is the potential for the capacities to increase in the future. Blu-ray discs provide convenient storage of high-definition videos, PS3™ games, and can archive significant amounts of data. You need to choose whether you want an external or internal drive, connectivity to your system, or file formats you will work on the most. Different Blu-ray DVD burners boast various features for ease of use.

Two Form Factors to Get the Most Out of Your System

Blu-ray rewriters can be internal or external components. Internal burners fit inside the computer and connect to the motherboard via an internal port. An internal burner provides fast read and write speeds, which is critical if you intend to use duplicators to reproduce multiple copies of a single Blu-ray disc. External Blu-ray DVD burners connect to your computer or ultra-slim profile laptop with a FireWire® or USB port, and the compact and lightweight form factor makes them easy to carry in a laptop bag.

Multiple Interface Options for Improved Connectivity

The interface type is the physical connection used to connect Blu-ray burners to computer systems. For internal models, the most common interface is SATA®, but a few utilize USB ports for internal connectivity to the motherboard. A Blu-ray SATA burner offers increased data transfer speeds that allow programs to load faster, and enable smoother game-play and fast read/write speeds. SATA connectivity is also available for systems with an eSATA port. The most common type of connectivity for external drives is USB, with USB architecture providing optimal performance and speed.

Multiformat Support for Flexible Data Recording

Modern Blu-ray burners and CD/DVD burners work with multiple formats, but be sure that the model you purchase is compatible with the media types you use most. Most Blu-ray burner models support BD-RE (rewritable) and BD-R (write-only) discs, as well as older DVD and CD discs. Newer burners support the BDXL™ format that offers up to GB of write-once capacity on each Blu-ray disc for those who need to store a large amount of data. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc format provides frame rates of up to 60fps for an enhanced display experience. If you are unsure of the type of media you will be working with, internal or external drives that support multiple media types are your best option.

Additional Features Protect Your Media

Different Blu-ray burners have extra options and features provided that enhance their use. Software options include burning programs and applications for reading data. Consider models that offer M-DISC support, which is a media that can withstand weathering, erosion and heat for increased durability of your recordings. Look at the cache memory, a physical memory in the burner for the temporary storage of data, before writing to disc or transferring to the computer. A Blu-ray burner with at least 4MB of memory or more helps ensure smooth, fast recording, while reducing the chances of data corruption.

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Home / Accessories / Disc Drives & Burners / External Slimline Blu-ray Writer

CD’s, DVD’s and Blu-ray discs remain among the most commonly used media types, however, more and more, laptop manufacturers are choosing to leave optical drives out of their newer models. The Verbatim External Slimline Blu-ray Writer offers laptop users a solution. Weighing a mere 8 ounces in a genuine metal housing, this slim, lightweight external CD/DVD/BD burner fits easily in a laptop bag, and allows users to read/write CD’s, DVD’s and Blu-ray discs any time, any place.** And the USB Gen 1 interface offers data transfer speeds up to 10X faster than USB

For added convenience, the drive draws power from a USB port on your laptop or computer, though an AC adapter is included in case additional power is needed. In addition to supporting all common CD, DVD, and Blu-ray formats, for both read and write functionality, the Verbatim External Slimline Blu-ray Writer is M DISC ready – providing an archival solution with industry-leading disc lifetime expectancies – ideal for backing up sensitive data, as well as music and video libraries. The Verbatim Slimline Blu-ray Writer features Nero Burn & Archive software for seamless archiving, and reliable secure disc burns. *


Blu-ray Disc recordable

A blank rewritable Blu-ray Disc (BD-RE)

Blu-ray Disc Recordable (BD-R) refers to two direct to discoptical disc recording technologies that can be recorded on to a Blu-ray-based optical disc with an optical disc recorder. BD-R discs can be written to once, whereas Blu-ray Disc Recordable Erasable (BD-RE) can be erased and re-recorded multiple times. Disc capacities are 25 GB for single-layer discs, 50 GB for double-layer discs,[1] GB ("XL") for triple-layer, and GB for quadruple-layer (in BD-R only).[2][3]

The minimum speed at which a Blu-ray Disc can be written is 36 megabits ( megabytes) per second.[4]


As of April&#;[update], there are five versions of Blu-ray Disc Recordable Erasable (BD-RE) and four versions of Blu-ray Disc Recordable (BD-R). Each version includes three Parts (a.k.a. Books): Basic Format Specifications, File System Specifications, Audio Visual Basic Specifications. Each part has sub-versions (e.g. R2 Format Specification includes Part 3: Audio Visual Basic Specifications Ver, Part 2: File System Specifications Ver. , Part 1: Basic Format Specifications Ver. ).[5][6][7]

DateRE VersionR VersionBy Parts[7][a]Changes
Part 1Part 2Part 3
  • BD File System (BDFS), computer-incompatible
  • BD Audio/Visual (BDAV) format
  • BD content protection (BDCP) [9][10]
[11]RE V
September [15][5]RE V
RE V +
  • New camcorder sized (8&#;cm) discs
  • "Camcorder" added to product categories
  • BDMV (Blu-ray Disc Movie) application format
June [16][17]RE V
RE V +
New BDXL definition:
  • Multi-layered BDAV rewritable/recordable disc with 2× and 4× speeds
  • &#;GB capacity
  • "Professional Device" added to BD product categories[18]
December [19][20]RE V
RE V BDXL expansions:
  • New &#;GB BD-R capacity
  • Ultra HD broadcast recording support


Main article: Blu-ray §&#;Drive speeds

As of December&#;[update], the following speeds are seen in Blu-Ray specifications for R/RE discs:[7]

Drive speed Data rate 25GB BD-R(E) write time 50GB BD-R(E) DL (25GB/layer) write time GB BR-R(E) XL TL (~33GB/layer) write time
[1]36 Mbit/s MB/s MiB/s~95 min.~ min.~ min.
72 Mbit/s9 MB/s MiB/s~47 min.~94 min.~ min.
Mbit/s18 MB/s MiB/s~24 min.~48 min.~96 min.
Mbit/s27 MB/s MiB/s~16 min.~32 min.~64 min.
Mbit/s36 MB/s~ MiB/s~ min.~ min.~45 min.
10× Mbit/s45 MB/s MiB/s~9 min.~18 min.~36 min.
12× Mbit/s54 MB/s~ MiB/s~ min.~15 min.~30 min.
14× Mbit/s63 MB/s~60 MiB/s~ min.~13 min.~26 min.
16× Mbit/s72 MB/s~ MiB/s~ min.~ min.~23 min.

2× speeds are mandatory for all formats, with 4× and 6× being optional for non-XL BD-R media. Since BD-RE /BD-R , a read speed of 4× is mandatory for UHD support.[7]

Note: Add extra time for disc verification phase and time for erasing the disc in the case of BD-RE.


As of April&#;[update] (approximate pricing):

Recording mechanisms[edit]

Instead of the pits and lands found on prepressed/prerecorded/replicated discs, BD-R and RE discs contain grooves which contain a wobble frequency that is used to locate the position of the reading or writing laser on the disc.[29] BD-R has an Optimum Power Calibrations (OPC) / Test Zone, which is used to calibrate (finely adjust) the power of the writing laser before and during writing, and it also has a Drive Calibration Zone (DCZ) at the outer edge of the disc, for optional high speed calibration. The calibration is necessary to allow for slight manufacturing defects, greatly reducing or completely eliminating rejected discs and drives, reducing costs and eliminating potential waste. The information below describes the different types of recording layers that may be used on BD-R and BD-RE discs.

HTL (high to low)[edit]

"Normal" BD-R discs use a composite (or, in the case of BD-RE, a phase-changing alloy) that decreases its reflectivity on recording, i.e. "High To Low".[30]Sony, for example, uses an inorganic[31] composite that splits into two laminar components with low reflectivity.[32] Composites used may include BiN, Ge3N4, and Pd-doped tellurium suboxide.[33] A pair of layers with copper alloy and silicon that combines on recording may alternatively be used.[34] Similar to CD-RW and DVD-RW, a phase transition alloy (often GeSbTe or InAgTeSb, Copper silicate (CuSi) or other alloys can also be used, like Verbatim's proprietary MABL)[35][34][36] is used for BD-RE discs. Melting the material with a very high power beam turns it into an amorphous state with low reflectivity, while heating at a lower power erases it back to a crystalline state with high reflectivity.[37]

In BD-RE discs, the data layers are surrounded by a pair of dielectric Zinc Sulfur-Silicon Dioxide layers.[3][38] An adhesive spacer layer and a semi-reflective layer are used for multi-layer discs.[34][39] The recording and dielectric layers are all deposited using Sputtering.[38] On multi-layer BD-RE discs, each GeSbTe recording layer is progressively thinner. So the first layer (L0) is 10&#;nm thick, L1 is &#;nm thick, L2 is 6&#;nm thick, and so on. The silver alloy reflective layers that are behind each recording layer also become progressively thinner, so the L0 silver layer is 10&#;nm thick, the L1 layer is 9&#;nm thick, the L2 layer is 7&#;nm thick, and so on. The separation layers that separate the recording layers from one another also progressively become thinner.[40][41][42]

BD-R LTH (low to high)[edit]

BD-R LTH is a write-once Blu-ray Disc format that features an organic dye recording layer. "Low To High" refers to the reflectivity changing from low to high during the burning process, which is the opposite of normal Blu-rays, whose reflectivity changes from high to low during writing. The advantage of BD-R LTH is it can protect a manufacturer's investment in DVD-R/CD-R manufacturing equipment because it does not require investing in new production lines and manufacturing equipment. Instead, the manufacturer only needs to modify current equipment. This is expected to lower the cost of disc manufacturing.[43]

Old Blu-ray players and recorders cannot utilize BD-R LTH; however, a firmware upgrade can enable devices to access BD-R LTH. Panasonic released such a firmware update in November for its DMR-BW, DMR-BR and MR-BW/BW/BW models.[44] Pioneer was expected to ship the first LTH BD drives in Spring [45] Sony upgraded the PlayStation 3 firmware enabling BD-R LTH reading in March, [46]

In , France's Ministry of Culture and Communication conducted a study on the suitability of data archival of LTH (low to high) discs compared to HTL (high to low) discs. The data they collected indicated that the overall quality of LTH discs is worse than HTL discs.[47][48]

See also[edit]


  1. ^RE and R definitions from the same date have different Part 1 and Part 2 specifications, but share the same Part 3 specifications.


  1. ^ ab"Blu-ray FAQ: How much data can you fit on a Blu-ray disc?". (not affiliated with the Blu-ray Disc Association). Archived from the original on Retrieved
  2. ^ "BDA approves BDXL quad-layer Blu-ray standard". AfterDawn. Archived from the original on Retrieved
  3. ^ ab
  4. ^"Blu-ray FAQ: How fast can you read/write data on a Blu-ray disc?". (not affiliated with the Blu-ray Disc Association). Archived from the original on Retrieved
  5. ^ ab"Format Specification - R2". Archived from the original on Retrieved
  6. ^White paper – Blu-ray Disc Format, 3. File System Specifications for BD-RE, R, ROM, August (PDF), archived(PDF) from the original on , retrieved
  7. ^ abcdBlu-ray Disc Association. "Blu-ray – All Books, As of December "(PDF).
  8. ^Blu-ray Disc Association. "Blu-ray – All Books, As of June "(PDF). Archived(PDF) from the original on Retrieved
  9. ^Blu-ray Disc Association. "RE1 Content Protection". Archived from the original on Retrieved
  10. ^Blu-ray Disc Association. "RE (Key) 1 Content Protection". Archived from the original on Retrieved
  11. ^"Format Specification - RE2". Archived from the original on Retrieved
  12. ^Blu-ray Disc Association. "RE 2 Content Protection". Archived from the original on Retrieved
  13. ^Blu-ray Disc Association. "Hybrid Format Specification". Archived from the original on Retrieved
  14. ^LTH was included in the "Blu-ray Disc Recordable Format Ver" specifications.Archived at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^"Format Specification - RE3". Archived from the original on Retrieved
  16. ^Blu-ray Disc Association. "RE4 Format Specification (BDXL)". Archived from the original on Retrieved
  17. ^Blu-ray Disc Association. "R3 Format Specification (BDXL)". Archived from the original on Retrieved
  18. ^Staff Reporter (). "Portable Blu-Ray Players features". NotASingleDrop. Archived from the original on Retrieved
  19. ^Blu-ray Disc Association. "RE5 Format Specification". Archived from the original on Retrieved
  20. ^Blu-ray Disc Association. "R4 Format Specification". Archived from the original on Retrieved
  21. ^Electronics, Computers & Accessories, Blu-ray Burners. Amazon. Retrieved on
  22. ^PlexDisc 25 GB 6x Blu-ray Logo Top Single Layer Recordable Disc BD-R, Disc Spindle . Amazon. Retrieved on
  23. ^"【铼德刻录盘】铼德(RITEK)BD-R蓝光光盘/刻录盘 10速25G 可打印 桶装50片" [RITEK BD-R, 10x 25G printable, disc spindle]. Jingdong (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 22 April Retrieved 21 April
  24. ^Smart Buy 50 Pack Bd-r Dl 50gb 6x Blu-ray Double Layer Recordable Disc Blank Logo Data Video Media discs Spindle Amazon. Retrieved on
  25. ^Verbatim Blu-ray Disc 50 pcs Spindle - 25GB 2X BD-RE Rewritable Bluray - Inkjet Printable. Amazon. Retrieved on
  26. ^10 Verbatim Bluray Bd-re Dl 50 Gb Rewritable Blueray Original Spindle (Japan). Amazon. Retrieved on
  27. ^"10 Verbatim Bluray gb BD-R XL Triple Layer 4x Speed Blu-ray Inkjet Printable Discs". Amazon. Retrieved
  28. ^"3 Sony Blu Ray GB BD-RE BDXL 3D Bluray Triple Layer Bluray Printable Disc". Amazon. Retrieved 21 April
  29. ^
  30. ^"Not all Blu-ray discs are created equal, but does BD-R quality matter?". Digistor Blog. Archived from the original on 12 April Retrieved 16 April
  31. ^"Recording/Playback Mechanism and Recording Materials". Sony Global. Archived from the original on 17 April Retrieved 16 April
  32. ^"Recording/Playback Mechanism(-R) "Laminar Phase Separation"". Sony Global. Archived from the original on 17 April Retrieved 16 April
  33. ^Miyagawa, Naoyasu (). "Overview of Blu-Ray Disc™ recordable/Rewritable media technology". Frontiers of Optoelectronics. 7 (4): – doi/s S2CID&#;
  34. ^ abc" Disc Construction and Manufacturing". Hugh's News BD FAQ. Archived from the original on 17 April Retrieved 16 April
  35. ^"Enterprise Grade BD-R for Archive &#; MITSUBISHI KAGAKU MEDIA". October 26, Archived from the original on
  36. ^Lai, Feng-Min; Yang, Yao-Tsung; Ou, Sin-Liang (April 21, ). "Thermal, Optical, and Microstructural Properties of Magnetron Sputter-Deposited CuSi Films for Application in Write-Once Blu-Ray Discs". Coatings. 9 (4): doi/coatings
  37. ^"Recording Mechanism (-RE) "Phase-change material"". Sony Global. Archived from the original on 17 April Retrieved 16 April
  38. ^ ab"Archived copy". Archived from the original on Retrieved CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  39. ^[permanent dead link]
  40. ^Fuxi, Gan; Yang, Wang (February 9, ). Data Storage at the Nanoscale: Advances and Applications. CRC Press. ISBN&#; &#; via Google Books.
  41. ^"E\PCOS ". epcos.
  42. ^
  43. ^Pioneer and Mitsubishi Develop Low cost BD-R Discs Using Organic Recording Layers, CDR info, archived from the original on , retrieved .
  44. ^Firmware Adds Support for LTH BD-R Discs to Panasonic Recorders, CDR info, archived from the original on , retrieved .
  45. ^Taiyo Yuden, Mitsubishi and Maxell Release First LTH BD-R Discs, CDR info, archived from the original on , retrieved .
  46. ^PS3 firmware update v available – added support for LTH BD-R, After Dawn, archived from the original on , retrieved .
  47. ^French research: Avoid Blu-ray LTH discs for data archivalArchived at the Wayback Machine. myce. Retrieved on
  48. ^Qualite des Disques Blu-Ray Enregistrables pour L’Archivage des Donnees NumeriquesArchived at the Wayback Machine. Ministère de la Culture et de la Communica. Retrieved on

External links[edit]


Write read blue ray

  • We’ve reviewed this guide and continue to recommend our picks.

November 16,

Modern laptops rarely include optical drives for CDs, DVDs, or Blu-rays, and music and video streaming services make it so you never need to play a disc if you don’t want to. But if you have decades’ worth of CDs, DVDs, or Blu-rays to watch, or home movies to archive, the Asus ZenDrive U9M is the best USB DVD burner, and LG’s BP60NB10 is the best Blu-ray burner. Both drives are quick to rip data from discs to your computer or to burn new discs with your own data, and both work with PCs and Macs and are reasonably priced.

The Asus ZenDrive U9M ripped DVDs faster than any of the other drives we tested, with only slightly slower burn speeds than other drives offered. Asus includes both a Mini-USB–to–Type-A cable and a Mini-USB–to–Type-C cable, so you can plug it into almost any computer without buying extra cables. And it feels more solidly built than the other DVD drives we tested, though it was slightly louder than competitors when we were burning or ripping a disc.

If you need an external optical drive that works with Blu-rays as well as DVDs, LG’s BP60NB10 can handle just about any disc in your library, including newer Ultra HD discs with 4K video. It’s considerably slower at ripping DVDs than either the Asus ZenDrive U9M or the Pioneer BDR-XD07B, but it rips Blu-ray discs more quickly than the Pioneer drive. And it costs the same amount as other Blu-ray drives that don’t support UHD.

If the ZenDrive U9M isn’t available or you just need the cheapest good DVD drive you can buy, the LG GP65NB60 is the best option. It usually costs about $10 less than the ZenDrive, it’s quieter when burning or ripping discs, and it comes in multiple colors that (unlike the ZenDrive) are all readily available from retail sites. The GP65NB60 was slower at ripping DVDs in our testing, though, and it includes only a Mini-USB–to–Type-A cable in the box. If your computer has only USB Type-C ports, you’ll need either an adapter or a separate cable.

The Pioneer BDR-XD07B is a top-loading Blu-ray drive with a footprint smaller than that of our other picks. Aside from that, its main draw is that it’s faster at ripping DVDs than the LG BP60NB10, which makes it a logical choice if you sometimes need a Blu-ray drive but will be working primarily with DVDs. But unlike the LG drive, it doesn’t support UHD Blu-ray discs; it was slower to rip Blu-ray discs in our tests, too, and it was louder than the LG drive while ripping and burning.

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Why you should trust us

Andrew Cunningham has been testing, reviewing, and otherwise writing about PCs, Macs, and other gadgets for AnandTech, Ars Technica, and Wirecutter since He has been building, upgrading, and fixing PCs for more than 15 years, and he spent five of those years in IT departments buying and repairing laptops and desktops as well as helping people buy the best tech for their needs.

Who this is for

The ubiquity of streaming services, cloud storage, and increasing broadband speeds have reduced the need for optical discs, and optical drives are absent from nearly all new laptops. But plenty of people occasionally need such a drive, whether to play a movie on DVD or Blu-ray, to install software that isn’t downloadable from the Internet, or to back up data or an old CD collection. If you still need an optical drive, whether you’ll use it every day or only once in a while, you’re likely to want one that connects via USB.

Over years of testing, we’ve found that external optical drives have few big differences between them—they tend to look alike and perform similarly. If you already have an optical drive that serves you well and works with the discs you have, you won’t gain much, if anything, from upgrading to one of our picks.

Any drive that can rip and burn Blu-rays can also handle DVDs, and either type of drive can play, rip, and burn CDs just fine. Don’t buy a Blu-ray drive unless you actually need one, though; DVD burners are about one-third the price of a good Blu-ray burner, and prices for Blu-ray drives haven’t fallen much over the years. “Combo” drives, which can burn CDs and DVDs but will only read Blu-ray discs, do exist but are rare, and they’re no cheaper than good Blu-ray burners.

You also shouldn’t buy a portable drive for a desktop computer that has room for an internal drive, because drives with a dedicated power source tend to be faster and cheaper than portable USB-powered options. Nor should you buy one to use with an iPad, since iPadOS doesn’t support them.

How we picked

a stack of four external optical drives

The following attributes are what you should look for in a portable optical drive, whether you need it only every once in a while or use it almost every day:

  • Read and write capability: DVD drives must read and write DVDs and CDs, and Blu-ray drives must read and write Blu-rays, DVDs, and CDs. We didn’t require Blu-ray drives to support reading and writing to Ultra HD (or UHD, or 4K) Blu-ray discs, but we considered it a nice bonus if you didn’t have to pay much more for that feature.
  • Speed: If all you’ll use your drive for is playing discs, just about any drive you buy will perform similarly. But if you’re burning or ripping discs, the rate at which a drive can move data from your computer’s hard drive to the disc or vice versa becomes more important.
  • Price: A good DVD drive shouldn’t cost more than $40, and a good Blu-ray drive should cost around $
  • Noise: All optical drives make noise, but the drive shouldn’t drown out the movie or show you’re trying to watch.
  • Connector and cable: Drives should use standard detachable USB cables so that a frayed or broken cable doesn’t ruin the entire drive. On the drive’s end, we prefer the still-common Micro-USB port, though the larger Mini-USB is fine too (optical drives with USB-C ports are rare to nonexistent). Almost all of the cables included with drives we tested had USB Type-A connectors on the computer’s end, but the inclusion of a USB-C cable or a USB-A–to–C adapter in the box is a nice bonus.
  • Operating system support: All drives we tested were detected by Windows 10 and macOS Catalina without our installing any additional software, and the operating systems’ built-in disc reading and burning features worked without requiring any extra drivers or configuration.
  • Sturdiness: Few external disc drives are pretty, but the case shouldn’t fall apart under light pressure, the connections shouldn’t be wobbly, and the buttons should work when you press them.
  • Usable software: Both Windows 10 and macOS offer tools for burning data to DVDs and Blu-ray discs, and macOS still includes a DVD player app for playing video discs. But macOS can’t play Blu-rays without extra software, Windows 10 can’t play Blu-rays or DVDs, and neither operating system includes software for burning video discs that you can play in DVD or Blu-ray players. Free (but potentially illegal) solutions are available for all of those problems, which we cover in the Playing DVDs and Blu-rays section. But if a drive comes with decent playback and burning software, that’s a plus.
  • Other extras: All the drives we tested came with one-year warranties and claimed to support the archival M-DISC format, though we didn’t test those claims.

With those criteria in mind, we scoured retailers for the best-selling and top-rated optical drives, and we checked manufacturer websites for models released since our previous update. We ended up with four new models to test: the Asus ZenDrive U9M, the LG BP60NB10, and the Pioneer BDR-XD07B and BDR-XD07UHD. We also retested four picks from the previous version of this guide, since they were all still available for purchase.

How we tested

a stack of four external optical drives, looking at the ends with inputs.

We tested each DVD drive by burning an ISO file from a test DVD of video files. We used blank single-layer DVDs from Staples for this test. We then ripped video files from three different test DVDs to compare speeds. When testing Blu-ray drives, we performed the same DVD ripping and burning tests to test their speeds with DVDs. Then, we burned and ripped test video files using blank Verbatim BD-R discs and ripped video files from three additional test Blu-rays.

As we tested, we took note of how easy it was to insert and retrieve discs from each drive, and we paid attention to the noise each drive produced. We also noted the cables that each drive shipped with and what disc-burning software they included.

Our pick for DVDs: Asus ZenDrive U9M

The ASUS ZenDrive U9M

If you don’t need a drive that can read and write Blu-rays, get the Asus ZenDrive U9M. It was able to rip DVDs more quickly than any drive we tested, and Asus includes both a USB Type-A cable and a USB Type-C cable so you can connect it to almost any computer without buying another cable. It’s generally a few dollars more expensive than our budget pick, and it’s a little louder when ripping and burning, but those are small trade-offs. The ZenDrive costs only a third of what you’d usually pay for a good Blu-ray burner, but if you think you’ll need a Blu-ray drive at some point, the better option is to spend the money on a Blu-ray model now than to have to buy a second optical drive later.

Side view of the The ASUS ZenDrive U9M

The ZenDrive U9M burned a test DVD at roughly the same speed as everything else we tested—some drives took a little less time and some took a little more, but they all finished burning a disc in the same second range. But when ripping files from our test DVDs, the ZenDrive was nearly twice as fast as the LG DVD drives we tested, a result you’ll definitely notice if you’re ripping discs often. That extra speed comes at the cost of some noise—the U9M was a bit buzzier when ripping or burning than the other DVD drives we tested, though not dramatically so.

A bar chart of DVD speed test results

None of the slim optical drives we tested felt like they would survive being run over by a car, but the ZenDrive’s sturdy silver plastic is less flimsy and flexible than the plastic of the LG DVD drives we tested. The drives are almost exactly the same size, but the ZenDrive is a bit heavier—not hefty enough that you’d notice it in a laptop bag, but substantial enough that it won’t slide around as much on a table or desk when you go to pop the tray open.

The ZenDrive U9M uses detachable Mini-USB cables rather than the more common Micro-USB (which we prefer) or USB Type-C (which would be ideal but isn’t really used in external optical drives). That means that if either of the cables in the box frays or breaks or disappears, you’re less likely to have a spare one just sitting around somewhere. But it’s easy to find extra or replacement cables for a few dollars, and the included cables feel sturdy enough that you shouldn’t need to worry about breaking them.

The ZenDrive’s included software leaves a lot to be desired, though this would be a bigger drawback if all external DVD drives didn’t come with software that was pretty bad. It includes basic disc-burning software called CyberLink Power2Go, a bare handful of utilities, and a drive-backup tool that you probably shouldn’t use. Backing up an even halfway-full GB hard drive to DVDs would take forever, and the result would be pointlessly outdated within a couple of months—use an external hard drive or a cloud backup service instead. It has no included software for creating video DVDs or playing DVDs on Windows 10, and no Mac software included at all. Luckily, there are free and paid alternatives you can use to do all of that, and those options are usually better than the software that comes with these kinds of drives.

Our pick for Blu-rays: LG BP60NB10

The LG BP60NB10

If you need an external optical drive that can handle Blu-rays and you don’t mind slower performance with DVDs, we recommend the LG BP60NB It ripped Blu-ray discs significantly faster than the Pioneer Blu-ray drives we tested, and it made less noise while burning and ripping discs. It supports Ultra HD (or UHD) Blu-ray discs and doesn’t cost more than non-UHD Blu-ray drives from other manufacturers. Since it’s usually slower to rip DVDs than the Pioneer Blu-ray drives we tested, it isn’t the best choice if you’re working with DVDs often.

A 4K Blu-ray’s extra resolution won’t register on the majority of computer screens.

Like all the drives we tested, the BP60NB10 didn’t burn discs much more quickly or slowly than any other drive. However, it was nearly twice as fast to rip our test Blu-rays, and only half as fast at ripping two of our three test DVDs. If you’re only playing discs, the BP60NB10’s UHD Blu-ray support is a nice extra—not really worth paying more for, since a 4K Blu-ray’s extra resolution won’t register on the majority of computer screens, but worth having if it doesn’t add much to the cost of the drive.

A bar chart of blue-ray speed test results
LG BP60NB10 with its slot extended.

Photo: Michael Murtaugh

Side view of the LG BP60NB10

Photo: Michael Murtaugh

The BP60NB10 comes with passable video-playback and video-editing software for Windows that can handle both Blu-rays and DVDs. PowerDirector isn’t professional-quality disc-authoring software, but it will get the job done for home movies, and it’s not a day demo like the version that comes with LG’s DVD-only drives. If you’re a Mac owner, you’ll be able to play DVDs just fine, but you’ll need to look up third-party options for playing Blu-rays or for creating video discs in either format.

Runner-up for DVDs: LG GP65NB60

The LG GP65NB60

If you’re looking for the cheapest good DVD drive you can get, or if the Asus ZenDrive U9M isn’t available, get the LG GP65NB60 instead. It didn’t rip our test DVDs as quickly as the ZenDrive, its glossy plastic feels flimsier, and it doesn’t include a USB-C cable in the box. But the GP65NB60 usually costs around $10 less than the ZenDrive and doesn’t make as much noise, and it’s from an established company you’ll be able to get support from if something breaks.

Side view of the LG GP65NB60

The GP65NB60’s software is marginally better than the ZenDrive’s since it lets you play video DVDs on Windows without additional software; the included version of the PowerDirector video-editing software is only a day demo, though. Mac owners don’t need extra software to play DVDs, but burning video DVDs still requires separate software.

Runner-up for Blu-rays: Pioneer BDR-XD07B

The Pioneer BDR-XD07B, which has a hinge-style opening.

If you want to rip Blu-rays occasionally but you’ll be primarily working with DVDs, the top-loading Pioneer BDR-XD07B is a good choice. It took nearly twice as long to rip Blu-ray discs as the LG drive, but only around half as long to rip two of our three test DVDs. It’s a little louder when burning or ripping than the LG drive, but it’s tolerably quiet during playback, and it also has a smaller footprint than any other drive we tested.

Unlike the LG Blu-ray drive we recommend, this Pioneer drive doesn’t support Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. The Pioneer BDR-XD07UHD looks and performs exactly the same as the XD07B and can read UHD discs, but it typically costs around $30 more than either of our Blu-ray picks.

Side view of the Pioneer BDR-XD07B

Pioneer bundles in the same CyberLink-provided suite that comes with the LG BP60NB10, including PowerDirector for creating video discs and PowerDVD for playing DVDs and Blu-rays in Windows. However, this version is more difficult to install—instead of installing the software from a disc, you need to enter a product key on Pioneer’s website, create an account on CyberLink’s website, and then download the software before you can install it. Mac owners, as usual, are on their own for Blu-ray playback and video disc creation.

Playing DVDs and Blu-rays

Microsoft doesn’t include native support for DVD or Blu-ray playback in Windows 8 or 10, likely because the required codecs are expensive to license and that cost would be passed on to everyone who buys the operating system. The DVD Player software included with macOS allows Mac owners to play DVDs, but that operating system has never supported Blu-ray playback.

To play Blu-ray discs legally on a Mac or a Windows PC, you need to purchase software that licenses those codecs. The people who make Blu-ray movies would prefer that you watch them on your television, so nobody has an incentive to make Blu-ray playback software that isn’t a dumpster fire, which could explain why nobody does. The CyberLink software included with our favorite DVD and Blu-ray drives is a decent option—more of a small trash-can fire—for Windows users.

A few options exist for Mac owners, all from small companies with questionably translated websites. The Leawo Blu-ray Player is free to download but locks some features behind a paywall and requires the Java Runtime Environment to be installed before disc menus will work properly. The Macgo Blu-ray Player works fine with disc menus but overlays a watermark on your video until you pay for the software. Another paid option, the Aiseesoft Mac Blu-ray Player, didn’t work properly with Blu-ray disc menus in our testing. Both the Leawo and Macgo players worked fine when we tested them with macOS Catalina, and both promise compatibility with several older versions of macOS as well.

Even if you find programs that bypass the DRM (digital-rights management) on commercial DVD and Blu-ray discs—encryption designed to prevent you from copying the content from the discs, or even playing them on certain screens—they aren’t legal to use in the US. As Whitson Gordon of Lifehacker explains, the moment you bypass the DRM of a disc—even if you’re only making a personal backup of media that you purchased or watching a Blu-ray without licensing the codec—you could find yourself in violation of US copyright law. Macworld also addresses some common questions about the legality (and morality) of DVD ripping in this helpful explainer.

In October , the Library of Congress issued several exemptions to the DMCA (the mechanism by which publishers get material in violation of copyright taken down) related to DVD and Blu-ray footage, but as Gizmodo reports, those exemptions apply only to “documentary filmmakers, ‘noncommercial’ videos, multimedia e-books containing film analysis, college professors and students with educational purposes, and kindergarten through twelfth grade teachers with educational purposes,” and only if their usage meets certain conditions.

The competition

We eliminated any DVD drives that cost more than $40 and any Blu-ray drives that cost more than $, as well as any models that didn’t both read and write discs and any that had poor or few reviews on Amazon. We also eliminated older versions of currently available drives, and we didn’t retest anything we’ve ruled out since we first published this guide in June

The LG SP80NB80 was a runner-up DVD drive pick in the previous version of this guide, and it performs about the same as other LG DVD drives like the GP65NB It’s a fine drive if you can find it for less than $30, but it’s usually more expensive than that, and it isn’t always available on retail sites.

Our previous Blu-ray drive pick, the Pioneer BDR-XD05B, looks and performs identically to the newer BDR-XD07B but is older and usually costs more. It’s still a fine drive if you don’t need to work with UHD Blu-ray discs and you can find it for less than $, though.

The Pioneer BDR-XD07UHD is the same drive as the BDR-XD07B, but it supports UHD Blu-ray discs. It performs just as well as the non-UHD version of the drive, but it’s also around $30 more expensive than the BDR-XD07B and the LG BP60NB10 (which does support UHD discs).

The LG WP50NB40 was a runner-up Blu-ray drive pick in the previous version of this guide. It performs about the same as (and looks basically the same as) the BP60NB10, but it doesn’t support UHD discs and is usually the same price as the BP60NB

Previously dismissed models

The LG GP70NS50 burned and ripped DVDs at about the same speeds as other drives we tested in , but it currently costs more than our picks, and its silver paint scratched a few times in our travels.

The Buffalo DVSM-PT58U2VB (aka the Buffalo MediaStation) ripped and burned DVDs at roughly the same speeds as the LG drives we tested.

In a previous round of testing, the Dell DW was notably slower at burning DVDs on Windows. If you were buying a Dell laptop and needed an external drive mostly for reading discs, this model would not be a bad add-on purchase, but you can do better otherwise.

The Pioneer BDR-XD05 was a former Blu-ray drive pick, but the company has replaced it with the BDR-XD05B.

The Sea Tech (formerly Archgon) MDS is large, heavy, and expensive, and it doesn’t come with Windows software. We also encountered several errors when trying to play DVDs that worked without issue on the other drives.

Although the Pioneer BDR-XU03 has positive owner ratings and is thin and light, it’s too expensive right now.


  1. Whitson Gordon, Is It Legal to Rip a DVD That I Own?, Lifehacker, January 23,

  2. Corynne McSherry, Kit Walsh, Mitch Stoltz, and Parker Higgins, Victory for Users: Librarian of Congress Renews and Expands Protections for Fair Uses, Electronic Frontier Foundation, October 27,

  3. Katharine Trendacosta, The New DMCA Rules Don’t Go Far Enough, Gizmodo, October 28,

  4. Nathan Alderman, Best apps for playing Blu-rays on your Mac in , iMore, January 10,

About your guide

Andrew Cunningham

Andrew Cunningham is a senior staff writer on Wirecutter's tech team. He has been writing about laptops, phones, routers, and other tech since Before that he spent five years in IT fixing computers and helping people buy the best tech for their needs. He also co-hosts the book podcast Overdue and the TV podcast Appointment Television.

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