The Best External Optical Drives for DVDs and Blu-rays

The Best External Optical Drives for DVDs and Blu-rays

Our pick

Asus ZenDrive U9M

Asus ZenDrive U9M

The best USB DVD drive

This drive ripped DVDs faster than the other DVD-only drives we tested, and it includes a USB Type-C cable for newer laptops.

Buying Options

$33 from Amazon

May be out of stock

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.

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Our pick

LG BP60NB10

LG BP60NB10

Best for Blu-rays

Quiet, fast, and relatively inexpensive, the BP60NB10 is one of the few Blu-ray drives we tested that can handle 4K UHD Blu-ray discs.

Buying Options

$113 from CDW
$112 from Amazon

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.

Runner-up

LG GP65NB60

LG GP65NB60

A cheap and capable DVD drive

This DVD-only drive is slow when ripping discs, but it’s quieter and less expensive than other options if you plan to watch, rip, or burn only DVDs, not Blu-rays.

Buying Options

$24* from Amazon
$31 from Staples

*At the time of publishing, the price was $27.

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.

Runner-up

Pioneer BDR-XD07B

Pioneer BDR-XD07B

Faster at DVDs, slower at Blu-ray

The BDR-XD07B is a more compact drive that’s best at ripping DVDs. It supports Blu-ray but not 4K UHD discs.

Buying Options

$105 from Amazon

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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Our pick

Asus ZenDrive U9M

Asus ZenDrive U9M

The best USB DVD drive

This drive ripped DVDs faster than the other DVD-only drives we tested, and it includes a USB Type-C cable for newer laptops.

Buying Options

$33 from Amazon

May be out of stock

Our pick

LG BP60NB10

LG BP60NB10

Best for Blu-rays

Quiet, fast, and relatively inexpensive, the BP60NB10 is one of the few Blu-ray drives we tested that can handle 4K UHD Blu-ray discs.

Buying Options

$113 from CDW
$112 from Amazon

Runner-up

LG GP65NB60

LG GP65NB60

A cheap and capable DVD drive

This DVD-only drive is slow when ripping discs, but it’s quieter and less expensive than other options if you plan to watch, rip, or burn only DVDs, not Blu-rays.

Buying Options

$24* from Amazon
$31 from Staples

*At the time of publishing, the price was $27.

Runner-up

Pioneer BDR-XD07B

Pioneer BDR-XD07B

Faster at DVDs, slower at Blu-ray

The BDR-XD07B is a more compact drive that’s best at ripping DVDs. It supports Blu-ray but not 4K UHD discs.

Buying Options

$105 from Amazon

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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