Modern computers seem to keep improving both in what they are capable of and their physical design. These devices get faster, smaller, and more powerful each and every year.
With all of those advances, it’s easy for a new input or common accessory to phase out.
So, what do you do if the device you own no longer has a useful function? Well, you can purchase an external option that will still allow you to enjoy the machine in the modern world.
Below, you will find some of the best external DVD drive options for Windows laptops that all make sure you can still utilize DVD capabilities without having the drive built-in.
Who Should Get This
DVDs, due to the prevalence of today’s streaming services, may seem like a thing of the past.
However, there are still plenty of DVDs out there, and having a physical external drive is a surefire way to allow your modern computer to still have the ability to read and write those discs.
Whether you want to watch a movie or write a video you made yourself, an external DVD drive will give you more options.
Even though you can still easily get your hands on DVDs and they serve a variety of useful purposes from entertainment to education, they are not nearly as popular as they once were.
There’s a reason most computers don’t have a drive included in their design. If you don’t have a particular need for an external DVD drive, you don’t need to spend money on one.
Best External DVD Drive for Laptop: Our Picks
The Rioddas External CD Drive is one of the best external DVD drives for Windows laptop thanks to its affordable price and capable features.
It’s an easy-to-use device that will plug into your computer with an included USB 3.0 port and cable. That creates a quality connection with a fast and reliable speed of up to 5Gbps. It can also read and write DVDs at an 8X speed while providing 24X speed for CDs.
Other features include backward compatibility with USB 2.0 and 1.0 devices, a stable connection, and an ultra-slim design that’s easy to travel with or throw into your computer bag when you’re on the go. Affordable and efficient, this is a great option that has thousands of good reviews.
- Easy to setup and use
- Included USB 3.0 cable
- Transfer speeds of up to 5Gbps
- Can read and write both DVDs and CDs
- Ultra-slim design
- Backward compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.0
- Included cable is very short
Another good option for an external DVD drive is the Asus Zendrive. Its 13mm size makes it lightweight and portable without sacrificing any performance.
This drive can read and write both DVDs and CDs at an 8X speed. That makes it an efficient option for data transfer needs between the disc and your computer. It also features a Nero BackItUp function for Android devices and DISC Encryption II.
- 13mm size is portable and lightweight
- Can read/write DVDs and CDs at 8X speeds
- Nero BackItUp function for Android devices
- DISC Encryption II
- Only uses USB 2.0 cable connection
Rounding out the list is the ROOFUL USB 3.0 & USB-C External CD/DVD Drive.
This is a great option if you need to bring a drive along with you at all times. That is because it comes with a portable and protective carrying case.
It also features both USB 3.0 and USB C ports for versatile connection and fast speeds as well as a plug-and-play design that requires no additional drivers to operate.
- Comes with protective carrying case
- USB 3.0 and USB C ports
- Plug-and-play design
- 2-year warranty
- Reliable performance
- Requires additional software to work on non-Windows devices
Choosing an External DVD Drive for Laptop: Things to Consider
When looking for an external DVD drive, you always want to make sure it has the capabilities you need. I would recommend getting a drive that’s capable of both reading and writing CDs and DVDs.
That will allow you to easily use the drive for things like watching movies and playing CDs (if you still have any in your music collection) while also giving you the ability to write data onto discs as well.
You also want to be on the lookout for a drive that can play Blue-Ray technology if your main purpose of having the drive is to watch movies.
Most external DVD drives are capable of everything described above, and every option on this list has those features. However, be sure to double-check if you go with a different model not mentioned here.
Type of Cable Connection
An external DVD drive will connect to your computer, or any other device, through an included cable connection. The type of connection it has is worth considering because it has an effect on the speed at which data is transferred to and from the disc.
USB 3.0 connections are some of the fastest available, and they are common on most drives. If you plan on using the drive to write data onto blank discs, connection speed becomes even more important.
All of the external drives listed here are compatible with Windows 10 or Windows 11 as well as the devices that run the operating system. Most external DVD drives are compatible with a range of operating systems, both PC and Mac.
Just be sure to check the technical specs before you make a purchase. That will ensure the drive you’re interested in will actually work with the device you want to connect it to.
Writing information onto DVDs and CDs was once a popular way to get music and movies off of a computer and onto various other forms of media like your car stereo or home theater.
However, the rise of streaming music and movies changed that process. If you still need to get media onto a disk, this video will show you how to burn CDs and DVDs on Windows 10 if you’re not familiar with the process.
An external DVD drive is an affordable device that will give you the ability to read and write both DVDs and CDs.
You may not have a need for this technology, but if you do, the options on this list come highly recommended for their value and capabilities. It’s hard to get anything better for your laptop.
What is your main purpose for using an external DVD drive? Let us know in the comments below.