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The 8 Best External DVD Drives With Burners

Today's notebook must above all be light and compact and have many possible uses. The integrated drive for DVD and CD poses a problem because it takes up a lot of storage space and makes the notebook heavier. Manufacturers like Apple are now going without optical drives at all to make their notebooks as light and efficient as possible. So the external DVD drive is still in mode. That's why we took a close look at the 8 best external DVD drives with burners from different manufacturers in our comparison.

external DVD drives

We will explain to you which services and functions each device has and what you may need to consider in terms of compatibility and connection. In our guide, you'll find everything you need to know about the best external DVD drives so you can make the right buying decision. Among other things, we will tell you which criteria you should pay particular attention to when choosing an external DVD drive, where you can get the device and at what cost you can expect.

Big comparison of the 8 best recommended external DVD drives

1. Salcar External DVD Drive
  • USB 2.0 hardware interface
  • Silver Color 3.0 DVD-RW
  • Dimensions of the item W x W x H 17.9 x 1.6 x 14.2 centimeters
  • Cache size 2 MB
With the Salcar burner, users will find a modern USB 3.0 connection to be able to connect it to a power supply and transfer their data quickly. It's an uncomplicated plug and play connection. According to the manufacturer, this burner is compatible with all common Windows operating systems and Mac systems. The device values ​​above all else with its low volume, compact dimensions and, according to the manufacturer, good workmanship with scratch-resistant materials. The cable has a length of 48 centimeters. If it is too short, this problem can be solved with a USB extension cable.

Important features at a glance:
  • Product Type: USB 3.0 External DVD Burner
  • Silver
  • Dimensions: 149 x 142 x 16 millimeters
  • Weight: 288 grams
  • Supports all Windows and Mac operating systems
  • Compatible with all laptops and PCs
  • Not compatible with iPad/tablet
How is it different from an internal drive? External CD/DVD drives tend to be a bit slower than the internal drives attached to a computer or laptop. But the external drive is compact and fits in any pocket. Moreover, they can be easily connected to a PC with a USB cable.

  • Bootable
  • Aluminum alloy case
  • USB cable length 48 centimeters
  • Not compatible with Linux
  • Shipping without software
external DVD drives

2. Pecosso USB 3.0 external DVD drive
  • Linux operating system
  • Hardware interface USB, DVD-RW, Compact Disc
  • Package type Standard packing
Install your software with Pecosso USB 3.0 and play movies and music or save your favorite videos and photos from friends and family. The external drive is compatible with Windows 2000/7/8/10 Linux and all versions of Mac OS, Apple MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and iMac, among others. This device can also read CDs and DVDs in various formats. The manufacturer promises low power consumption and the anti-shock technology used reduces noise.

Are Fast Write Speeds Always an Advantage on External DVD Drives? The best external DVD drive models that are extremely fast burn DVD-RW at eight times the speed. Please note: the faster you burn, the higher the potential error rate. We will go into more detail on this topic in our guide.

A USB 3.0 connection with plug and play functionality ensures fast data transfer, so you don't need external drivers or additional power supplies. Like all USB 3.0 ports, this Pecosso burner is USB 2.0 compatible. According to the manufacturer, the material is protected against scratches and has a stylish finish with a matt, ribbed and clear design. The burner operates quietly and is easy to transport thanks to its light weight and compact dimensions.

Some product data at a glance:
  • Product Type: USB 3.0 External DVD Burner
  • Black
  • Weight: 322 grams including packaging
  • DVD reading speed: 8x
  • CD reading speed: 24x
  • CD write speed: 8x
  • Supports all Windows and Mac operating systems
  • Compatible with all laptops and PCs
  • Not compatible with iPad/tablet
  • Linux compatible
  • Embedded cable
  • Error correction
  • Permanently attached cable
  • No connection options for longer cables
  • Shipping without software
3. Cocopa External DVD drive
  • Windows 10 operating system
  • USB 3.0 hardware interface
  • Package type Standard packing
The Cocopa external DVD drive turns a notebook into an extended storage station. Because in addition to the basic ability to read and write optical media such as CDs and DVDs, this device has two USB ports and an SD card reader. This means that up to two storage media such as sticks or hard drives can be connected and additional data can be read from the SD card. The DVD drive does not require an additional external power supply.

The Cocopa DVD drive can be connected via USB 3.0, which allows data transfer rates of up to 5 gigabits per second. This device is compatible with all major versions of Windows, Linux, and macOS. Separate driver installation is not required, the device is reliably recognized by the operating system.

Important features at a glance:
  • Product Type: USB 3.0 External DVD Burner
  • Black
  • Weight: 380 grams including packaging
  • Reading speed: 8x DVD and 24x CD
  • Burn speed: 16x DVD and 24x CD
  • Supports all Windows and Mac operating systems
  • Compatible with all laptops and PCs
  • Not compatible with iPad/tablet
  • SD card reader and 2 USB ports
What should I consider with the cable? With most external DVD burners, you'll find the included USB cable in the mount at the bottom of the housing. Cable length is usually between 25 and 60 centimeters. Before buying, make sure the cable is not too short for your needs. At the same time – especially with USB 3.0 – if the cable length is too long, data transfers can slow down. You should often ask about cable lengths, as this is not always stated explicitly by the manufacturer.

  • With USB hub
  • With SD card reader
  • DVD burning speed up to 16x
  • Linux compatible
  • USB-C interface
  • Not compatible with Chromebooks
  • Relatively heavy
4. Benewy SY879 DVD Drive
  • Windows 10 operating system
  • USB hardware interface, USB3.0, USB2.0
  • Optical storage write speed 24x, 8x, 4x
The Benewy SY879 DVD drive is a USB 3.0 external drive with data transfer rates of up to 5 gigabits per second with strong fault tolerance. According to the manufacturer, USB 3.0 also means that CD and DVD drives are compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.0. These are so-called plug-and-play drives, which should not require a DVD driver program or additional power supply unit. According to Benewy, the external drive can be used to watch movies, burn files, install software, or create backup CDs.

Wide Compatibility: The Benewy SY879 DVD drive is compatible with Windows 2000/2003/XP/7/8/10 and Vista operating systems and all macOS, Apple MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro systems. In addition, the model can read and record in the following formats:
  • CD-R and CD-RW
  • CD ROM
  • DVD-R and DVD-RW
According to the manufacturer, the DVD drive has a wavy design that should make it look more stylish. According to Benewy, the data cable is hidden in the buner of a USB DVD player for laptops. Thanks to the copper mesh technology used, stable data transmission should also be guaranteed. According to the manufacturer, DVD drives do not work with Chromebooks, smart TVs, cars, and smartphones. It also doesn't support Ubuntu systems.

  • USB and USB-C connection
  • Embedded cable
  • Compatible with Linux, except Ubuntu
  • Permanently attached cable
  • There is no possibility to connect a longer cable
  • Shipping without software
5. HP USB External DVDRW Drive
  • Windows XP operating system
  • USB hardware interface
  • Hardware Platform PC, Mac
HP F6V97AA#ABB is compatible with all Microsoft Windows and Mac OS operating systems. Weighing 200 grams, the external DVD drive is very light and its dimensions are also very compact. You can connect your HP device to any USB port, except for the technically latest version of USB 3.0. Burner reads and writes all types of CDs and DVDs. The dual-layer recording function is intended to ensure double the firing speed. Like all burners in our comparison, there is no Blu-Ray functionality. If you are looking for a device with Blu-Ray, make sure that this function is stated explicitly by the manufacturer.

Important features at a glance:
  • Product type: external DVD burner with USB interface
  • Black
  • Compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.0
  • Not compatible with USB 3.0
  • Weight: 200 grams
  • Dimensions: 144 x 137.5 x 14 millimeters
  • Supports all Windows and Mac operating systems
  • Compatible with all laptops and PCs
  • Not compatible with iPad/tablet
Why doesn't every DVD burner also have a Blu-Ray function? That's because Blu-Ray will make the device much more expensive. However, Blu-Ray was not always necessary and DVDs and CDs are still popular. Blu-ray discs are also much more expensive than blank DVDs and blank CDs. If you want to have Blu-Ray functionality, you have to look for this type of device explicitly. In this guide we will go into more detail about the differences between a Blu-ray device and an external DVD drive.

  • Compatible with Chromebooks
  • Very easy
  • Compatible with M Disk
  • Not compatible with Linux
external DVD drives

6. Tuznvuo Style-1 External DVD Drive
  • Linux operating system, Chrome os, Windows 10
  • USB 3.0 Type C . hardware interface
  • Optical storage write speed 24x
The Tuznvuo Style-1 external DVD and CD drive features dual USB 3.0 connections at a speed of 5 gigabits per second and a compatible USB-C cable and has two additional USB ports. There is also a standard microSD slot and SD slot. According to the manufacturer, the external drive does not require additional drivers, but is recognized by the laptop in seconds. External CD and DVD burners are compatible with several operating systems:
  • Windows XP/7/8/10
  • Linux
  • macOS 8.6 or higher
Which USB port should be present? Many external DVD drives provide two connections via a USB type A connector and a type C connector. This means that an external DVD drive can be connected to both modern and older computer models.

According to the manufacturer, this ultra-thin and light external DVD drive comes with integrated cables and has a non-slip rubber pad on the bottom, which on the one hand has a shock-absorbing effect and on the other should prevent slippage. The model supports the following formats:
  • CD-ROM, CD-R(W), CD+
  • VCD disc
  • Compatible with Windows, macOS and Linux
  • Anti-slip rubber pad
  • No drivers needed (plug and play)
  • USB-C 3.0 port and two more USB ports
  • microSD slot and regular SD slot available
  • Not compatible with tablets
  • No support for M-Disc
external DVD drives

7. BEVA External DVD Drive
  • Linux operating system
  • USB hardware interface
  • Laptop, PC Hardware Platforms
The BEVA external DVD drive is characterized by its compact dimensions and light weight. The length and width is only 14.5 x 14.5 centimeters and the thickness is only 2.1 centimeters. It's no thicker than a standard CD box and fits into any laptop bag. No complicated installation is required, as the device can be easily connected to any computer or laptop via USB 3.0.

Which laptops have a built-in DVD burner? If you are looking for a laptop with a built-in DVD burner, look to manufacturers like Asus, HP or Lenovo. For the specified laptop model, carefully read whether the DVD burner is integrated. We will cover the differences between internal and external DVD burners in our guide.

The DVD drive impresses with high speeds of up to a maximum of 5 gigabits per second when reading CDs or DVDs. The device burns DVDs and CDs. It is compatible with all versions of Windows from XP, as well as MacOS. It has strong error correction, anti-shock and noise reduction capabilities.

Some product features at a glance:
  • Product Type: USB 3.0 External DVD Burner
  • Black
  • Connector Type: USB A
  • Transmission speed: Up to 5 gigabits per second
  • Weight: 220 grams
  • Writing speed: 24x CD, 8x DVD
  • Dimensions: 14.5 x 14.5 x 2.1 centimeters
  • Supports all modern Windows and Mac operating systems
  • Compatible with all laptops and PCs
  • Not compatible with iPad/tablet
  • Not compatible with TVs, car players, Chromebooks and Surface Pro
  • Embedded cable
  • Additional mini USB port
  • Linux compatible
  • Not compatible with Chromebooks
  • Shipping without software
8. Amicol USB 3.0 External DVD drive
  • Linux operating system
  • USB hardware interface, USB 3.0
  • Hardware Platform Tablet, smartphone
Amicol USB 3.0 gives you fast data transfer speeds of up to 5 gigabytes. Apart from USB 3.0, USB 2.0 and USB 1.0 interfaces are also suitable here. Like all external DVD drives, this model also works with plug and play only. This means that there are no external drivers and no additional power connections are required. When it comes to connections, you get a type C connector in addition to a type A connector.

What should I consider when backing up data? One of the most common reasons to buy an external DVD burner is data backup. But for long-term storage, make sure the media used is of good quality. M-Disc, specially designed for long-term data storage, is recommended. However, these blanks are slightly more expensive than the classic writable DVDs. In addition, the burner model you choose must also be able to write this format.

The stove from Amicol has a corrugated design in black and a material that, according to the manufacturer, is protected against scratches. This device is also compatible with all versions of Windows and Mac OS. However, for Windows 10, the manufacturer recommends installing the VLC media player to play DVDs and CDs. Thanks to its lightweight and compact design, you can fit the stove into any travel bag.

Key product features at a glance:
  • Product Type: USB 3.0 External DVD Burner
  • Black
  • Weight: 299 grams including packaging
  • Dimensions: 14x14x1.7 cm
  • CD write speed: 24x
  • DVD write speed: 8x
  • Supports all Windows and Mac operating systems
  • Compatible with all laptops and PCs
  • Not compatible with iPad/tablet
  • Embedded cable
  • USB-C connection
  • Linux compatible
  • Not compatible with Chromebooks
  • The permanently installed cable is very short
  • There is no possibility to connect other cables
What is an external DVD burner?

An external DVD burner is a read and write device for optical data carriers that is not built into the computer. Unlike the simple CD burners, which are hardly available in the market today, DVD burners can write to both DVDs and CDs. The blank data medium on which you copy music or movies is called a blank. You can simply connect an external DVD burner to the computer of your choice using a USB cable, which is usually included in the shipping range, and therefore can burn your DVDs and CDs flexibly on any laptop or PC.

Why are external DVD burners useful?

Modern PCs and notebooks often no longer have a DVD drive to make it flat and compact. In addition, many notebooks have problems with large amounts of data. The solution is an external burner that can be easily connected to a PC via USB. Even if you have a notebook or PC with an integrated DVD drive and burner, buying an external burner makes sense for a number of reasons.

Newer devices are usually much faster and can process more formats. This way you can be sure that your DVD or CD was actually read or written. Plus, external burners come in handy when you need to make backups, collect vacation TV and movies, have little storage space or have issues with copy protection.

How do DVD burners work?

You'll need lots of storage space for backups, vacation movies, TV recordings, and a lot of other extensive data, which a blank CD in this extensive form can't provide. Blank DVDs that store between 5 and 8 gigabytes are better and cheaper. Dedicated blank DVDs even offer up to 17 gigabytes of storage space.

A DVD doesn't work much differently than a CD. The bundled light beam or laser reads changes in place that reflect light well or poorly in a spiral that runs from the inside out. This is also why circular streaks running along the reading direction are more of a problem than streaks perpendicular to the reading direction. Blu-rays also work like CDs and DVDs. However, the disc is significantly more expensive.

DVD burners are usually suitable for all common formats. Some devices even read and write the rarer proprietary DVD-RAM format.

What is the difference between a DVD burner and a Blu-ray burner?

The biggest difference between the two sets is the price - both for the device itself and for a blank DVD. You can store relatively large amounts of data on a blank DVD. In this regard, the price is very low. DVD burners are also much cheaper than Blu-Ray devices. You can get a high quality DVD burner for only $20. You pay around $1 for a blank DVD, while Blu-ray discs are much more expensive.

What types of DVD burners are there?

DVD burners differ fundamentally between internal and external devices. Each type of burner has its advantages and disadvantages, which we want to present to you below. To make you understand these advantages and disadvantages, we will first discuss how internal and external DVD burners work.

Built-in DVD burner

You don't have to spend extra money on internal burners, as they come pre-installed on your PC or laptop and therefore have lower material costs. This means you don't need an additional parking space. Usually, the built-in DVD burner also works a little faster than the external DVD burner and is almost less prone to stuttering. The downside of the built-in DVD burner, however, is that you're not very mobile with it. Also, you can't flexibly use the built-in burner on different computers. Another problem with internal burners is that fewer and fewer PCs and laptops have this functionality, as they take up a lot of storage space and laptops in particular are becoming thinner and more compact.

external DVD drives

External DVD burner

In terms of functionality, external burners are on par with internal burners. However, you will have to purchase the external device separately, even if it is moderately priced. However, depending on the model, external DVD drives are slightly prone to stuttering or may fall and break. You also need more space on your desk for external burners, while missing devices make your laptop slimmer, for example. Another advantage of an external DVD burner is that you are very mobile and flexible with the device, as you can connect it to any PC or laptop. Models often have multiple interfaces, which also increases flexibility.

external DVD drives

How much does an external DVD drive cost?

Depending on the quality, prices for external DVD burners start at around $20 and go up to around $100 for certain professional brands and devices. If you frequently want to burn DVDs or CDs, the price-performance ratio for external burners can be described as excellent.

Where can I buy an external DVD drive?

external DVD drives

You can buy external DVD drives from specialty stores, department stores, electronics stores, and sometimes supermarkets. In any case, use a consultation to find the right DVD burner for you. Buying an external burner over the Internet also has its advantages, as you have more options there and can often get the device for a slightly lower price. You can compare prices and read customer reviews from the comfort of your own home.

Which external DVD drive manufacturers are there?

The most famous manufacturers of external DVD burners are of course Sony, Samsung, HP and Dell. But there are many other manufacturers from which you can get excellent quality. They include: Lenovo, Apple, Asus, Teac, LG, Medion, Firstcom, Salcar, Pecosso, FLYLAND, Moskee, Amicol or SAWAKE.

Which criteria should you pay attention to when buying an external DVD burner?

Below we go into more detail about the most important criteria you should pay attention to when comparing external DVD burners. Key factors include:
  • Interface/connector
  • Suitability
  • Size
  • Data carrier type
  • Read and write speed

external DVD drives

You can connect most external DVD drives to a PC or laptop with a USB cable. Since November 2008, the USB 3.0 connection has become the standard for modern DVD burners. Older devices may still have a USB 2.0 interface. USB 3.0 gives you the benefit of ten times faster data transfer. However, this fast USB 3.0 data transfer does not mean that copying is always more error-free compared to USB 2.0.

Keep in mind that while older DVD burners with USB 2.0 connections are often USB 3.0 compatible, there may be problems with data transfer with some models, for example if your computer still has an IDE connection. Since external DVD burners only have a small price difference between USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 connections, it's worth considering getting a device with the most modern connection right away, especially since USB 3.0 devices are compatible with USB 2.0 and even USB 1.0.

What is the difference between USB 2.0 and 3.0? A brief comparison of the technical data and prices of USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 explains the differences between the two connections more precisely. An external DVD drive with USB 2.0 has a transfer speed of 480 megabytes per second. With a USB 3.0 connection, you can copy your data at 4.8 gigabytes per second. Prices for an external DVD drive with a USB 2.0 connection start at 30 euros. You can buy a device with USB 3.0 for only 35 euros. The cable length for external DVD burner with USB 2.0 is up to 5 meters. Devices with USB 3.0 have a maximum cable length of 3 meters.


On computers with the Windows operating system, there are usually no problems with data transfer and you can use almost any external burner without any restrictions. If you have both Mac and Linux operating systems, you should take a close look at the information provided by the manufacturer. However, many external DVD burners are already compatible with Mac and Linux.


The dimensions of an external DVD burner may not be one of the most important criteria. However, if you often want to use your device on the go or you have little space at home or at the office, it's a good idea to compare different devices based on size and weight.

Data carrier type

Before buying an external drive, be sure to read the manufacturer's information about the formats that the device is compatible with. Most external burners are suitable for all common formats. Compatibility with DVD-RAM is a bit sparse. DVD-RAM is one of three rewritable DVD formats, which is distinguished from other DVD formats by its rewrite capabilities and better data security.

Read and write speed

External DVD drives hardly differ at all in terms of reading speed. Most burners have 6x read speeds for DVD-ROMs as well as 6x read speeds for DVD-Rs. This allows you to copy a file containing 60 minutes of material to a DVD in about 10 minutes. The prerequisite is that your computer can keep up with the performance of the external burner. With older, less powerful computers, it may take longer to write to a DVD.

For fast work: If it is important to you that your external burner works very fast, then you should ensure a high reading speed. Most burners limit the reading speed to 16x. The writing speed of most external DVD burners is now 24x. If it is very important to you that your DVD is written as quickly as possible, you should pay special attention to the function of this external DVD drive.

Which blanks are suitable for burning?

You have a choice between different writable and rewritable DVD standards. As a rule, all DVD burners on the market are suitable for all common formats. The only exception is the very exclusive DVD-RAM, which only a few burners support. Especially with a blank DVD you have to make sure that it is compatible with the speed of the external burner. You can see this from information like 2x, 4x, 8x or 16x. You should not buy blanks where you will not find such information.

DVDs generally come in the following formats: DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, DVD-ROM and DVD-RAM. With the exception of DVD-ROMs, all of these discs are writable. In the following we will explain to you what exactly these formats are.

DVD-R and DVD+R have storage sizes of 4.7 gigabytes with single-sided burning and 9.4 gigabytes with double-sided burning and are suitable for personal use. DVD-R or DVD+R can be recorded once. DVD+R is a new development of DVD-R, because DVD-R has very high licensing fees and unusable copy protection.


DVD-RW or DVD+RW can be recorded on one side at 4.7 gigabytes. This rewritable DVD variant lets you transfer around 1,000. However, playback with old DVD drives can be difficult.


DVD-ROM is the oldest DVD format. This requires 4.7 gigabytes for single-sided writes and 8.74 to 15.9 gigabytes for double-sided writes. DVD-ROM is specially designed for playback and for industrial recording only. It is not intended for personal writing.


While DVD-ROMs can only read data, you can also write to or overwrite DVD-RAMs, in principle an unlimited number of times - provided your external DVD drive supports this format, which isn't often the case. DVD-RAM is still considered exotic in the market and therefore not supported by many DVD burners.

How did DVD burners develop?

Maybe you remember when you could only play audio CDs or read CD-ROMs with a CD player? It's a breakthrough when you can later create your own CDs with a CD burner on a computer with a CD burner. In 1993, the first affordable CD burner hit the market. Then in 1996 a new highlight: DVD was introduced. As a result, the CD burner became much cheaper and became the best seller of the year. DVD burners have been around for several years now and are increasingly replacing CD burners as DVD burners can store larger amounts of data.

DVD burners are standard on newer computers. They are also permanently installed in many notebooks, but much less frequently than on PCs. The reason is that notebooks should always be flatter and more compact, and even though they are light, they should have a lot of functionality. A DVD burner alone consumes a lot of data. Therefore, the current trend is towards external DVD burners that you can easily connect to PCs and notebooks. In recent years, DVD burners are increasingly being installed in entertainment electronics such as video recorders, PVRs, or hi-fi systems. As read and write speeds can hardly be increased nowadays, the industry is concentrating more on supporting as many formats as possible and improving burn quality.

How do you burn a DVD or CD?

Depending on the type of data you want to burn, there are a few things to consider. The following data carriers are available for burning: video DVD/CD, music DVD/CD, data DVD/CD or DVD/CD with ISO file.

You should pay attention to the following when burning in individual file formats:

As already mentioned, the disc on which you play music must also be formatted for music. Only then can you listen to your music on a DVD player or CD player, just like in a car. Once there are other types of files on the CD or DVD, they will not be recognized by the playback device. For photos and videos, most burning programs offer a "Photo & Video" option with which you can format the data carrier accordingly. ISO files are a prerequisite for burning games, programs or operating systems. Burned files are automatically installed when you insert them into the drive.

Format and function must match: In principle, you can play data of various types on a blank disc, but then the contents of the data carrier are not played automatically. So if you burn an audio CD for a car and also copy a text file to a CD, your CD player in the car will not recognize the data media as an audio CD and will not play songs.

How do you burn a DVD or CD with Windows?

The burning process for the Windows operating system is the same for an external or internal drive: First, insert a blank CD or DVD into your drive. Then mark the files you want to burn to disc. Now click the "Share" button in the menu at the top. A toolbar will open where you click the "Burn to Disk" option. A dialog for the burning process will open. All you have to do now is start the burning process. As soon as the process is complete, a system message appears.

How do you burn a DVD or CD on a Mac?

In general, Apple doesn't install optical drives in its devices, which is why MacBooks don't have DVD drives either. When burning with an external DVD drive, follow these steps: First, you need to open Disk Utility. To get there, click Open in the Finder menu, then click Utilities. Then click the "Burn" icon and then select the file to burn. Finally, click "Burn". After the burning process is complete, a system message will appear.

What terms are commonly used in relation to external DVD drives?

To give you a deeper technical insight into the topic of external DVD drives, we would like to explain to you some basic technical terms and abbreviations in our dictionary.

  1. ATIP: This abbreviation stands for "absolute time at pregroove" and provides information about the blank manufacturer. You'll find the usable capacity, the recommended laser power for writing and erasing, and the minimum and maximum write speeds of the disc.
  2. Backup: This term refers only to the copying of data to other media for permanent and secure storage. The backup media can be any media. This term is not tied to any specific device group.
  3. Writable: This term is used for media on which you can write but cannot erase and rewrite. They include CD-R, DVD-R and DVD+R.
  4. Coaster: This is a burnt blank. Please note that this is not included in the hazardous waste or in the trash. Breaking the void creates lots of tiny and very sharp shards. In addition, the dye substrate in the disc should not be released into the environment as it is highly toxic.
  5. CD-DA: This term stands for audio CDs that you can play on commercially available audio CD players.
  6. Firewire: This is an external computer connection with transfer speeds of up to 100 megabytes per second. It is slightly faster than USB 2.0 and allows you to connect multiple devices, which is not possible with USB.
  7. Hybrid CD: This CD format can be read by both Macintosh systems and PCs.
  8. Intelligent Speed ​​Control: This is a feature that modern burners are increasingly equipped with. The device scans the state of the DVD or CD before the burning process to adjust and optimize the burning speed and quality. Burner checks disc balance, track number, disc type, laser power and vibration at high spin speeds.
  9. Overburning: This process exceeds CD standards when burning. The limit is 74 minutes per 650 megabytes. Compatibility decreases in proportion to the degree of overburning.
  10. USB: This abbreviation is written as "Universal Serial Bus". This is the interface for connecting external devices to the computer. USB was originally designed for mice and keyboards and is now used as a connection for external burners.

Frequently asked questions about external DVD drives at a glance

external DVD drives

How do I install an external burner?

Most external burners are plug and play. This means you just need to connect your device to your computer using the supplied USB cable. The computer then recognizes the device itself. Otherwise, you must first install the drivers from the included CD or from an Internet download. It is recommended to restart the computer afterwards.

Can I also use an external DVD burner as a DVD player on my television?

The manufacturer must explicitly indicate that the external DVD burner supports media playback on the television. This does not automatically happen with all external DVD drives.

How long does it take to burn a DVD at 8x write speed?

An external DVD burner with eight times the writing speed of a DVD takes 7.4 minutes to record a blank.

What does the abbreviation RW mean for a blank DVD?

The term RW on DVD-RW means "rewritable", which means "rewritable". So, this type of DVD can be burned more than once.

What is Disk M?

These storage media are characterized by extremely long service life and durability, which are also resistant to temperature extremes. The abbreviation M stands for "Millennial". This is to show that the M-Disc can function perfectly for a thousand years. US Navy trials have confirmed that the M-Disc is indeed more powerful than any other storage medium.

Are DVD burner cleaning accessories available for purchase?

There are a wide variety of drive cleaners and DVD cleaning discs on the market. The disc cleans the DVD burner with a small brush.

Is there a technical term I can use to tell if a DVD burner is very quiet?

Manufacturers sometimes specify special noise insulation with a "silent" addition. In some cases, however, there is also precise information about noise levels provided that the DVD burner operates very quietly and with minimal vibration.

Is there a DVD burner for smartphones?

Yes, here. As several tests on DVD burners show, you can connect a drive like the Asus ZenDrive series directly to a smartphone. However, this function is not very practical because you don't have many choices of apps on your smartphone.

Can an external Blu-Ray burner also read and burn DVDs?

Yes, most external Blu-ray drives with burning capabilities are backwards compatible. That means they burn DVDs and CDs.

Which is better - USB or Firewire?

It depends on the ports on your PC and the other PCs you want to use. Firewire has only one advantage over USB: you can connect the recorder directly to other devices without the need for PC intervention. For example, you can send images from your digital camera directly to the burner. If your PC doesn't have a suitable interface, you can buy a controller card for a few dollar and use it to repair your PC. Controller cards are available as expansion cards for the PC Card slot and ExpressCard slot, as well as plug-in models for PCs and notebooks.

Is there also a network connection for external burners?

Yes, here. However, they tend to be the exception. The advantage is that it is compatible with notebooks, tablets and smartphones. However, to do this, you need to have a suitable application that ensures access to all data. In principle, you can also access the burner from the outside via the Internet. The prerequisite is that you have turned on the burner and the connection through the router has been enabled. To connect the burner to a local network, you can use an Ethernet cable or WiFi. If your DVD burner does not have it's own WiFi connection, one of them must be integrated in the router, otherwise smartphones and tablets will not connect properly to the burner.

This should be considered with network connections: A fast network connection is important, because large amounts of data are transferred when burned. With a wired connection, you definitely need a gigabyte connection. If you connect the burner via WiFi, it is very important to support the 801.11n WiFi standard. In addition, you must ensure a small distance to achieve optimal data transmission without interference. However, if you are burning over the network, disconnection is always possible. It is best to use a USB stick as temporary storage.


Have you found the external DVD drive you need for your laptop? Whether you want to enjoy entertainment or data transfer, the product is worth having. Knowing the compatibility will make it easier for you to make a decision when choosing a product.

In addition, specifications such as connection type and write/read speed are also important to note. If you want, you can choose a product that is already equipped with a variety of built-in software. Come on, immediately equip your laptop with the best external DVD drive with burners!

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