Best External Blu-Ray Drives

Review & Comparison, Last Update February 9, 2024
External Blu-ray drives are portable tools for writing and reading data on such modern high-capacity media as Blu-ray discs and DVD/CD discs. With a simple USB connection to your PC/laptop, these compact devices offer great mobility. Be sure to check the best 5 models in our review. ...Read more ...Read less
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BEST 2024
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Supported Disc Formats
Reading/ Writing Speed
Interfaces and OS Compatibility
Mounting
Size
Warranty
 
PROS

BDXL and M-Disc formats are supported. The modern software packages Cyberlink and PowerDirector 10 LE allow you to export files to social networks.

CONS

Included software requires payment for some features.

OUR VERDICT

An excellent drive that allows you to use up to 156% more data than other Blu-ray players. Easy integration with other devices and compact size. Full plug-and-play compatibility with all major operating systems, and compact size is barely larger than an actual Blu-ray disc.

detailed parameters
Supported Disc Formats

Blu-ray, CD, DVD

Reading/ Writing Speed

Blu-ray - 6x / DVD - 8x / CD - 24x

Interfaces and OS Compatibility

USB 3.0

Windows, MacOS, Linux

Mounting

Horizontal

Size

1 x 6 x 6 inches

Warranty

1 year

PROS

Support for M Disc technology will keep your data safe for life. Modern design in brushed aluminum goes well with any computer desk setup.

CONS

No UHD support for macOS.

OUR VERDICT

Integrated USB Micro B to Type-C and Micro B to Type-A cables open up compatibility with almost all PCs. Free CD protection box and compatible with all modern OSes. A great gift for those who work with video editors and want to preserve their work for posterity.

detailed parameters
Supported Disc Formats

Blu-ray, CD, DVD

Reading/ Writing Speed

Blu-ray - 6x / DVD - 8x / CD - 24x

Interfaces and OS Compatibility

USB 3.0

Windows, MacOS, Linux

Mounting

Horizontal

Size

~0.54 x 6 x 6 inches

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The player is 3D compatible and capable of delivering crisp images in near 4K quality. Your movies will have never looked so good.

CONS

USB cable is too short.

OUR VERDICT

The MthsTec external drive features a stylish blue backlit design and operates in accordance with the latest HD burning technology. With this device alone, you can watch HD movies, play games, listen to music and, of course, burn files to CD / DVD / BD discs. The model is compatible with all popular operating systems.

detailed parameters
Supported Disc Formats

Blu-ray, CD, DVD

Reading/ Writing Speed

Blu-ray - 6x / DVD - 8x / CD - 24x

Interfaces and OS Compatibility

USB 3.0

Windows, MacOS, Linux

Mounting

Horizontal

Size

5.74 x 1 x 6.18 inches

Warranty

1 year

PROS

Compatible with all modern PCs and includes Silent Play technology. The drive can read and write discs of various formats. Special technology for enhanced 3D signal.

CONS

Not compatible with macOS.

OUR VERDICT

Excellent built-in tools, useful options, a user-friendly interface and good support all make this Blu-ray player a solid choice. When installing, you do not need to look for additional drivers (Windows only). The compact form factor means you take it anywhere.

detailed parameters
Supported Disc Formats

Blu-ray, CD, DVD

Reading/ Writing Speed

Blu-ray - 6x / DVD - 8x / CD - 24x

Interfaces and OS Compatibility

USB 2.0

Windows, Linux

Mounting

Horizontal

Size

0.6 x 5.7 x 6.1 inches

Warranty

1 year

PROS

Includes modern software such as Cyberlink Media Suite and Adobe Reader. Fast read/write speed for large amounts of data. 

CONS

Uses only legacy USB data speeds.

OUR VERDICT

Ideal for users who need high-quality playback and recording of Blu-ray discs. Great for periodic data backups and creating archives. There is enough space on the disc for more than 17,000 photos or 1,000 minutes of UHD video.

detailed parameters
Supported Disc Formats

Blu-ray, CD, DVD

Reading/ Writing Speed

Blu-ray - 6x / DVD - 8x / CD - 24x

Interfaces and OS Compatibility

USB 2.0

Windows, Linux, MacOS

Mounting

Horizontal

Size

0.56 x 5.4 x 5.9 inches

Warranty

2 years

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Pioneer BDR-XD07B

Extended Data Capabilities

What use is there for a Blu-ray player for a laptop or desktop computer nowadays? Even though streaming media is king now, many people still find themselves in need of physical media for a variety of purposes, and Blu-ray discs are still the best large-capacity permanent storage options out there. And for those who really need Blu-ray discs for permanent file or video storage, the Pioneer BDR-XD07B Portable BD/DVD/CD Burner is simply one of the best models out there. You get a variety of advantages with this player that you simply won't get with others, which of course deserves a deeper look.

First of all, this is an excellent drive that allows you to use up to 156% more data than other Blu-ray players thanks to its compatibility with BDXL discs. Along with this extended data capacity, you also get easy integration with other devices and a compact size that lets you either fit it comfortably in its own little space on your computer desk or fit neatly in your laptop bag. Another great advantage here is that the drive has full plug-and-play compatibility with all major operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux. In short, you can use this drive and take full advantage of its capabilities with almost any computer.

Review of Pioneer BDR-XD07B 6X Slim Portable USB 3.0 BD/DVD/CD Burner

Powerful Tools Included

We already mentioned this drive's support for BDXL discs, which allows for data storage capacity of up to 128 GB with the appropriate media. However, compatibility isn't limited there. You also get support for most other Blu-ray standards, including BD-R triple and quad layer, BD-RE triple layer, M-Disc, as well as full support for both DVDs and CDs, letting you use this drive as a great all-around optical media burner and player.

With all of the extended data formats supported, one would need acceptable read and write speeds in order to take full advantage of them, and you certainly get them here. The 6x speeds for Blu-ray discs let you burn even the largest data format discs in only a short amount of time, and you even get blazing fast read and write speeds for DVDs and CDs as well.

To take full advantage of this drive's capabilities, several powerful software packages are included, such as Cyberlink and PowerDirector 10 LE. With this software, you are able to easily compile and burn any number of different BD, DVD, and CD formats, authoring both data and video discs. The only downside is that both of these software packages require payment to unlock some of their best features. However, even without having to spend an additional dime, you get an extremely powerful data storage and disc authoring tool.

Pioneer BDR-XD07B 6X Slim Portable USB 3.0 BD/DVD/CD Burner in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price $0.00
Stock In stock
ASIN B07ZTY8QRM

What customers say about this product

Key Specs

It burns quite well seems like a solid deal to me and I've been using it for a while now.

Features

Nothing disliked. Easily used. Never needed tech support. Very light weight.

Reading/writing

Easy to use. Burns great Blu-rays, DVDs, CDs.
 

Archgon 8541608851

Universal Compatibility

For a long time, when it came to computers, Windows-based PCs were really the only game in town, with Macs being off in their own little corner of the computer world. Nowadays, however, things have changed greatly. While Windows can still be found on the majority of computers out there, Macs are much more prevalent than they were before, and on top of that, you now can choose computers with either Linux or Chrome OS on them. That's why it is important to have peripherals that have universal compatibility. With the Archgon Blu-ray Writer Super Drive, you get exactly that.

The universal compatibility of this device really can't be understated. Along with being fully compatible with almost all modern computer operating systems, you also get compatibility between computers of different generations as well. Integrated USB Micro B to Type-C and Micro B to Type-A cables open up compatibility with almost all PCs, so those who have either USB Type-A or Type-C ports won't be left out. This is especially important for those with older PCs who are unlikely to have any USB Type-C ports. Needless to say, this Blu-ray drive will be a real boon for those who use various computers as tools for their work.

Review of Archgon 8541608851 Blu-Ray Writer Super Drive

Multiple Disc Formats

The universal compatibility of this device isn't limited to the types of computers you can connect it to. You also get full compatibility with a variety of different Blu-ray, DVD, and CD disc formats, including full compatibility with M-Disc for those with long-term data archival needs. This also includes full support for HD and UHD video formats. It should be noted, however, that those who are using this drive on a Mac will not get full UHD support, so please keep that in mind if this support is required.

Unlike some other drives, this particular device does not come with any bundled software for authoring discs of any type of format. Instead, it is recommended by the manufacturer to use the free-to-download Cyberlink PowerDVD software package, which unfortunately is not free of charge. Furthermore, the drive manufacturer can't guarantee full compatibility with other software packages, so you may be limited when it comes to the software you can use for authoring video discs of any format.

On the physical side of things, this device has an extremely small footprint that is barely larger than an actual Blu-ray disc, making it great for portability. The brushed aluminum exterior goes well with any computer desk setup, and the included protective carrying case lets you safely take it with you wherever you go. If you need an excellent Blu-ray drive for reading or writing to discs of almost any format, then this model should be a top choice.

Archgon 8541608851 Blu-Ray Writer Super Drive in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price $0.00
Stock In stock
ASIN B07BC9F98J

 

MthsTec USB 3.0

Looks and Plays Good

There is something to be said not only about how well a Blu-Ray drives performs its job, but also how good it looks. Yes, looks are not the most important thing in such a device, but think about it: Do you really want any device that you are plugging into your laptop to really look out of place? If you are using a stylish-looking laptop or desktop system, you might as well have a stylish-looking Blu-ray drive connected to it. With the MthsTec USB 3.0 External Blu-ray/DVD Drive, you get a drive that both looks and works good, giving you the ability to playback your optical media in style.

The MthsTec external drive features a stylish blue backlit design that helps give the drive a certain flair that you won't find with most other models. It also operates in accordance with the latest HD burning technology, letting you take advantage of it to burn and play a large array of different BD, DVD, and CD media. With this device alone, you can watch HD movies, play games, listen to music and, of course, burn files to CD / DVD / BD discs. What's more, the model is compatible with all popular operating systems, so the drive will be fully compatible with your computer, whether you are running Windows, macOS, or even Linux.
Review of MthsTec USB 3.0 External Blu-Ray/DVD Drive

Full 3D and 4K Support

Remember the big buzz about 3D TVs a number of years ago? You probably would if you were one of those who jumped on the bandwagon. In fact, a large number of TVs included 3D support, so it wouldn't be surprising if you managed to grab a 3D set even if you didn't utilize the 3D playback feature. If you did and managed to stockpile a number of 3D Blu-ray discs, not to worry—this drive includes full 3D playback support, so you can watch all of those movies in all of their 3D glory. What has continued on, though, is 4K support, which most TVs that you can purchase nowadays do have (as well as many computer monitors), and this drive includes full 4K support as well.

What is really nice about this particular model is its connectivity options. With the rise of the relatively new USB Type-C ports, many users are feeling left out if they have a Type-C connector, but their computer only has Type-A ports. With this Blu-ray drive, though, you no longer have to feel left out, as it supports both USB Type-A and Type-C, giving it near-universal compatibility. The drive is also quite easy to use, featuring full plug and play compatibility, and an easy to press eject button on the front of the drive tray. All told, anyone looking for a BD drive that is fully compatible with 3D or 4K media will find this drive to be the best choice.

MthsTec USB 3.0 External Blu-Ray/DVD Drive in the use
Last updated price $96.95
Stock In stock
ASIN B07SZKNRF2

 

LG WP50NB40

True Plug-and-Play

External devices that connect to computers are generally supposed to follow the "plug-and-play" protocol, but this isn't always the case. In fact, there can often be hangups when it comes to ensuring that a connected device is fully working after it has been plugged in. Many devices, especially Blu-ray players, require special drivers and software in order to work at all. If you want to try avoiding this issue by purchasing a true plug-and-play Blu-ray player, then you should take a look at the LG WP50NB40 Portable Blu-ray Writer. This device includes full plug-and-play support that lets you simply plug in the unit, and you can then start using it immediately without the need of special drivers.

Having plug-and-play capabilities is fine, but that is far from all this Blu-ray writer has to offer. Excellent built-in tools, useful options, a user-friendly interface and good support all make this particular device a solid choice for those who are looking to get the best use out of optical media, whether it be for simple playback or for archival purposes. In addition, the ultra-compact form factor means you take it anywhere, being small enough to fit in the pocket of one's handbag and weighing almost nothing.

Review of LG WP50NB40 Super Multi Ultra Slim Portable Blu Ray Writer

Silent Play

One of the issues that many people come across with external optical media drives is that they tend to be a bit noisy. This shouldn't come as a surprise, as many of these drives are spinning physical media at very high speeds. This is especially true of many external Blu-ray players, but it is not true of the LG WP50NB40. The device includes the special Silent Play technology that ensures almost completely silent playback even when the optical media is being spun at the fastest speeds possible. Speaking of these speeds, this drive is able to read and write at up to 6x speeds for Blu-ray discs and even faster for DVDs and CDs, so those who need fast access to the media for either reading or writing will be pleased with its performance.

There aren't a whole lot of downsides to this particular Blu-ray drive, but there are a few that do deserve special attention. First of all, this drive does not include support for macOS, so if you use a Mac then you will need to look at a different model. Also, this drive only supports USB 2.0, so read and write speeds may be limited on some systems, and many recent systems that only use USB Type-C ports will need a special adapter in order to use this drive. Outside of these two issues, though, this is a solid Blu-ray drive that should work perfectly for anyone.

LG WP50NB40 Super Multi Ultra Slim Portable Blu Ray Writer in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price $0.00
Stock In stock
ASIN B011327QXC

What customers say about this product

Features

It did exactly what I needed it to do. Just plug it in to a USB port and it's ready to go!

Key Specs

Very good drive. Software was good also. Would recommend it.

Reading/writing

Works well with multiple types of disks. Have it for my laptop and tablet since neither have an optical drive.
 

Buffalo BRXL-PT6U2VB

High Quality, Low Price

Computer components can often fall into the same trap as many consumer electronics, with the efforts of manufacturers to produce cheaper items making them a race to the bottom. The same has been true of Blu-ray writers, with the cheapest models often being of inferior quality. This simply isn't the case with the Buffalo BRXL-PT6U2VB Portable Blu-ray Drive. This device is proof positive that it is indeed possible to get a high-quality item for a very affordable price.

We can say first and foremost that this portable Blu-ray drive is an ideal choice for users who need high-quality playback and recording of Blu-ray discs. The drive is true plug-and-play, requiring no special drivers in order to get it up and running, and also has full compatibility with both Windows and macOS.

In addition to the above, this device is great for periodic data backups and creating archives. There is enough space on the disc for more than 17,000 photos or 1,000 minutes of UHD video, depending on the types of discs used for archival purposes. And fear not, as this drive has full support for all manner of Blu-ray, DVD, and CD formats, including BRXL and M-Disc. No matter what type of optical media you need to burn, this drive should support it.

Review of Buffalo BRXL-PT6U2VB

Legacy Support

Those who are using an older computer should find this particular drive to be the perfect choice, as it uses USB 2.0 as its standard connector. This means that those who wish to use a Type-C port will need to use a special adapter. Also, since this drive only uses USB 2.0, the data transfer speeds will be limited to what is supported through the USB interface rather than through the drive's controller, which may result in somewhat slower performance in certain cases. Having said that, this drive does make full use of the USB 2.0 throughput, so in most cases, you shouldn't notice any issues at all with read or write speeds.

The drive comes bundled with several utilities that help you get the most out of the drive, including the powerful Cyberlink Media Suite software package (Windows only) that uses a number of different programs for creating and editing video discs as well as software backups. You also get many of the great benefits that a Blu-ray player can lend to DVD playback, including full upscaling that will make the video from your old DVDs look as sharp as ever. The small footprint of this drive also deserves special mention, as it is physically the smallest player on our list and works perfectly as a portable drive. If you are in the market for a Blu-ray writer that can work on many older systems, this drive is definitely one of the best models for that purpose.

Buffalo BRXL-PT6U2VB in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price $93.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B00UQSCY00

 

What Is a Blu Ray Disc Drive?

One of the main tendencies of computer equipment development is the miniaturization of the elements and units as a whole: desktop PCs are extensively substituted by nettops, and notebooks are making room for ultrabooks. With that, the PC internals either get smaller or get transformed into the new format or get discarded. The same holds for the optical drives. Blu-ray technology being the latest widely adopted implementation of optical disc recording offers higher capacities (from 25 GB to 128 GB) compared to the CD and DVD iterations. The higher capacities are achieved due to higher data recording density, thus the discs and the drives themselves retain the same size. In terms of mounting, the Blu-ray drives, in general, are divided into internal and external drives just like CD and DVD drives.

Nevertheless, it is too early to scrap the optical drives including the external Blu-ray drives as a class. The Blu-ray drives, in particular, owe this vitality to the widespread usage of Blu-ray discs for commercial purposes. Movies, music, software and video games are released frequently on physical media along with their digital copies. On the other hand, the adoption of high-definition media formats such as 4K drives the media capacity increase as conventional DVD discs do not have enough capacity for accommodating a full-length movie in this format.

If you have a big collection of movies or music, which you’d like to share with your friends or take with you on a trip, we suggest you check out the external hard drives and solid state drives, which can accommodate plenty of multimedia data and offer great portability.

What Features to Compare

Performance

The first factor we should consider is performance. The Performance of an external Blu-ray drive is determined preeminently by disc reading and writing speeds, which differ from one disc format to another. Talking about disc writing and reading speeds we should focus on Blu-ray disc writing/reading speeds in the first place. A writing speed determines, for example, the period of time required for an external Blu-ray drive for laptop or desktop PCs to burn an HD movie to a disc (this opportunity is one of the main driving factors of buying a Blu-ray drive). The same applies to Blu-ray disc reading, but you should keep in mind that playing a movie released on a Blu-ray disc can be done on any external Blu-ray drive. Higher Blu-ray disc reading speeds are needed mostly to process non-multimedia data on Blu-ray discs such as games, software, etc. Please note that the Blu-ray optical disc data storage technology as the latest widely adopted optical disc technology provides a backward compatibility with the previous optical disc technology iterations, such as CD and DVD. This backward compatibility means that external Blu-ray drives can both read and write CD and DVD discs, though the speeds depend on a Blu-ray drive model.

The maximum Blu-ray disc reading speed offered by external Blu-ray drives lies in the range between 2х and 12х, maximum writing (burning) speed for BD-R often called write-once discs or non-erasable discs (single-layer) and BD-R DL (double-layer format that contains almost twice as much data as a single-layer disc) discs – up to 12х. As for the BD-RE (single-layer rewritable discs), the maximum supported writing speed is 3x for the most devices and 2x for burning the BD-RE DL (double-layer rewritable discs) format. The important thing is, despite all the inherent Blu-ray disc data integrity protection and error correction technologies, the higher the burning speed is, the higher the probability of data loss or incorrect burning is. Thus, if you have an opportunity and enough time, we recommend not to burn your discs at the maximum speed supported by your external Blu-ray drive for Mac-based or Windows-based devices. In this case, the writing of a disc will take more time but you are less likely to have data integrity issues; while the shorter writing time provided by the maximum supported writing speed may be a critical factor for those users who burn several discs a day. From this point of view, an external Blu-ray drive model that provides high burning speeds is excessive for non-commercial home or portable use. Indeed, with the capacity of a single-layer Blu-ray disc of 25 GB and 50 GB for double-layer discs (we mean single-sided discs, you need to double the mentioned figures for double-sided discs) you manipulate a storage media capacity 5 times as large as one of DVD and 70 times as large as one of CD discs. That means that a single-sided Blu-ray disc can carry up to 135 minutes of HD video or up to 9 hours of SD video.

Connection Interface and Power Supply

The connection interface and power supply are also important for an external Blu-ray drive as a portable device. This portability comes at a price of additional requirements, such as external power supply. Some external Blu-гау drive models require an external power adapter as the power supplied via a USB port used for a data exchange with a master device is not enough for the drive operation. Though some models can be easily connected to any PC, laptop or a netbook via a USB 2.0 or 3.0 slot and operated without additional power supply. The use of USB as both data exchange interface and a power supply is a big plus for an external Blu-ray burner because you can use the drive for reading or writing discs even if there is no power socket available and the laptop used operates on its battery.

Regarding the data exchange speed, the USB 3.0 is preferable to USB 2.0 as a connection interface of an external Blu-ray drive. The theoretical or peak data transfer speed supported by USB 3.0 interface is up to 5 Gbps, which is much bigger than the 480 Mbps, at which the USB 2.0 is capped. Bear in mind though that these theoretical data transfer maximum values greatly exceed the actual data rates, which are determined by an external Blu-ray drive itself.

Ergonomics

The third important point, which needs to be clarified when choosing a portable Blu-ray burner is its ergonomics. The ergonomics is important as it greatly affects the convenience of use and portability of a drive. Considering the fact that you may want to opt for a stationary use of an external Blu-ray drive (as an external device installed, for instance, near a laptop) you should pay attention to the drive’s mounting type – vertical or horizontal. The mounting type may be critical for an extended stationary drive usage that implies, for example, connecting multiple PCs or laptops to the drive or moving it around an office. As cloud data storage is not available without an Internet connection and is not supported by some equipment for presentations, external Blu-ray drives are still relevant, providing mobility, wide compatibility, and large capacities.

Sources:

1. Optical disc drive, Wikipedia. January 4, 2017

2. Blu-ray Disc recordable, Wikipedia. February 6, 2017

3. Optical disc drive, archlinux.

4. Dennis Hartman What Is a Blu-Ray DVD Writer? Techwalla.com. March 31, 2015.

5. What is BD-R, BD-RE, BD-XL and Ultra HD Blu-ray? Online Tech Tips.

6. Robert Silva Blu-ray and HD-DVD Basics, Livewire. October 19, 2016.

7. Blu-ray, Wikipedia. February 11, 2017.

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