External DVD Burners Review

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What Can External DVD Burners Do?

External DVD Burners are portable burners that can read, write or rewrite CDs and DVDs for storage or sharing. Unlike internal drives, they can be moved from computer to computer and use an external power source.

Depending on the software used, a burner will:

  • Make Photo Discs
  • Make Read-Only Music or Audio CDs
  • Burn Home Movies
  • Create Back-up Copies of Media Library
  • Utilize Re-Writable Discs
  • Play DVD Movies or CDs
  • Convert Formats
  • Back-up Data Files
  • Create Karaoke Discs
  • Share Slideshows
  • Print Unique Disc Labels
  • Play DVD-ROM or RAM discs

In this site, you'll find articles related to DVD burners, as well as comprehensive reviews and a side-by-side comparison to help you make an informed decision on which External DVD Burner is right for you.

At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don’t Have To.™

External DVD Burners: What to Look For

When choosing a DVD burner, ports are important aspects to consider. Look to see whether your computer has a USB 2.0 or 1.1 or FireWire port then choose a DVD player that will work with that port. Keep in mind that a USB 1.1 is extremely slow and that ports can be added at a reasonable price. If you use a unique disc type, such as DVD-RAM, CD-Text or CD+G look to see that these formats are supported.

Below are the criteria TopTenREVIEWS used to evaluate external DVD Drives:

Feature Set
We evaluated all of the features available with the DVD burner such as whether they have the ability to copy to dual layer discs and if they are compatible with popular DVD copying software. We also looked at what kind of software package comes with the hardware and noted the types of ports they require.

Burner Speed
Burning speed is especially significant when choosing a DVD burner. However, the type of blank media used to read/write/rewrite also impact speed.

Help & Support
This ranking depends on how quick the product manufacturer responded to our email inquiries about their product. We sent an email to the technical support team of every product we reviewed. This criterion also considers some of the other help/support contact methods available such as live chat, telephone, FAQs, a searchable knowledge base, troubleshooting guides, easy driver downloads, etc.

 Be sure to check out our top ranked external DVD burnersPlextor PX-880U, HP dvd556s and LG GP08NU20.

 
 
Electronics » Computers » External DVD Burners
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Rank #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10
10-9  Excellent
8-6    Good
5-4    Average
3-2    Poor
1-0    Bad
LG Electronics Plextor LG GE20LU11 LG GP08NU20 Samsung SE-S048B Lite-On eSAU208 HP dvd556s iomega SuperSlim DVD Buslink DBW-1647-U2 LaCie d2 DVD
LG Electronics Plextor LG GE20LU11 LG GP08NU20 Samsung SE-S048B Lite-On eSAU208 HP dvd556s iomega SuperSlim DVD Buslink DBW-1647-U2 LaCie d2 DVD
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Lowest Purchase Price (*After Rebate)
Visit LG Electronics GSA-2166D
Visit Plextor PX-740UF
Visit LG GE20LU11
Visit LG GP08NU20
Visit Samsung SE-S048B
Visit Lite-On eSAU208
Visit HP dvd556s
Visit iomega SuperSlim DVD
Visit Buslink DBW-1647-U2
Visit LaCie d2 DVD
Ratings
9.50
9.50
9.20
9.20
9.00
8.92
8.85
8.85
8.75
8.60
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
8.75
10.00
10.00
8.75
10.00
10.00
9.38
9.38
8.50
9.63
9.00
8.75
8.75
8.75
10.00
9.30
8.75
8.50
9.00
8.75
8.75
8.75
8.75
9.25
8.50
9.00
8.75
8.75
9.00
7.50
 
Features
Buffer Size 2MB 2MB 2 MB 2 MB 2 MB 2 MB 2 MB 2 MB 2 MB 2MB
Prevents Buffer Underrun
Burns to Dual Layer Media
Included Software
Media Suite Software
DVD Playing
 
Disc Labeling
 
 
Hardware Connection
Firewire (IEEE 1394)  
  
USB 2.0
USB 1.1
Read/Write/ReWrite Speeds
DVD-RAM 5x NA 12x 5x 5x 5x 5x 5x NA NA
DVD-ROM 16x 16x 16x 8x 8x 8x 8x 8x 16x 16x
DVD+RW 8x 8x 8x 8x 8x 8x 8x 8x 4x 8x
DVD-RW 6x 6x 6x 6x 6x 6x 6x 6x 4x 6x
DVD+R DL 8x 8x 16x 6x 6x 6x 8x 6x 4x 8x
DVD-R DL 4x 4x 12x 6x 6x 6x 6x 6x 4x 4x
DVD+R 16x 16x 20x 8x 8x 8x 8x 8x 16x 16x
DVD-R 16x 16x 20x 8x 8x 8x 8x 8x 16x 16x
CD-ROM 48x 48x 48x 24x 24x 24x 24x 24x 48x 48x
CD-RW 32x 32x 32x 24x 24x 24x 24x 24x 32x 32x
CD-R 48x 48x 48x 24x 24x 24x 24x 24x 48x 48x
Compatible Formats
DVD-RAM
 
  
DVD-ROM
DVD+RW
DVD-RW
DVD+R DL
DVD-R DL
DVD+R
DVD-R
CD-ROM XA
 
CD-ROM
CD-RW
CD-R
CD-TEXT
 
 
CD+G
  
   
CD-I
 
 
 
CD-DA
CD-Extra
 
Photo-CD
 
Video-CD
 
 
 
Dimensions
Height (Inches) 1.9 2.1 2 in 0.8 in 0.7 in 0.8 in 0.5 in 0.7 in 2.3 in 1.7
Width (Inches) 6.3 6.6 6.3 in 6.1 in 5.6 in 5.7 in 5.2 in 5.3 in 7.3 in 6.3
Length (Inches) 9 10 9.1 in 6.5 in 6.2 in 6.1 in 5.4 in 6.0 in 10.3 in 10.6
Weight (Pounds) 4.8 3.5 3.3 lbs 0.8 lbs 0.9 lbs 0.8 lbs 5.0 lbs 0.6 lbs 5.75 lbs 3.31
Technical Support
Instructions/User Manual
 
FAQs
 
 
 
Downloads (Drivers, etc.)
Troubleshooting Guide  
  
 
 
Support Email/Form
Support Phone Number
 
Live Chat   
 
  
Manufacturer Warranty 1 YR 1 YR 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year
Supported Configurations
Windows 7   
 
 
  
XP
Vista   
  
2000
 
98         
ME
      
Macintosh