- Best External Dvd/cd Drive For Mac
- Best External Cd Dvd Drive For Macbook
- External Dvd For Macbook Pro
- Best External Dvd Cd Drive Should I Buy
It's a Great Time to Go for a Drive
From the top best External DVD Drive for Mac & Windows 2018 system, Which you like most share with us. If you are already using other third party or external drive, then share your speech and guide others who want to buy in the best deals. If you think you'll need an external drive mostly for Blu-Ray discs, most of them will also play DVDs and CDs but are not readable/writable drives for CDs or DVDs. Best Blu-ray drives for Mac If you're looking for a DVD/CD readable/writable drive, these are the best optical drives for Mac. Shop for external cd dvd drive for mac at Best Buy. Find low everyday prices and buy online for delivery or in-store pick-up. The Apple USB Super drive is a sleek and compact optical drive capable of reading and burning CDs and DVDs.Only slightly bigger than a CD case, this external DVD burner for Mac is easy to carry and use.
In an era when Apple charges 99 cents per month for 50GB of iCloud storage and Google offers 100GB of free storage for two years with the purchase of a new Chromebook, mainstream external hard drives might appear less essential than they once were.
But modern external drives are faster, more stylish, and often more durable than their counterparts from a few years ago. They're ever cheaper and more capacious, too. For about $50, you can add a terabyte of extra storage to your laptop or desktop by just plugging in a USB cable.
Choosing an external drive isn't as simple as buying the most expensive one you can afford, however. The capacity and type of storage mechanism are the two most important factors to consider, and each one will increase or decrease the cost dramatically depending on your needs. Other factors include the physical size of the drive (is it designed to be carted around or to sit on your desk?), how rugged it is, the interface it uses to connect to your PC, and even what colors it comes in. This guide will help you make sense of all the options. Here are the key questions to ask as you shop.
The Need for Speed: Hard Drive or SSD?
Solid-state drives (SSDs) have fewer moving parts than traditional hard drives, and they offer the speediest access to your data. Unlike a conventional disk-based hard drive, which stores data on a spinning platter or platters accessed by a moving magnetic head, an SSD uses a collection of flash cells—similar to the ones that make up a computer's RAM—to save data.
Just how much faster is it to access data stored in flash cells than those stored on a spinning platter? Typical read and write speeds for consumer drives with a single spinning platter are in the 100MBps to 200MBps range, depending on their USB interface and whether they spin at 5,400rpm (more common) or 7,200rpm (more expensive and less common). External SSDs offer twice that speed and sometimes much more, with typical results on our benchmark tests in excess of 400MBps. Practically speaking, this means you can move gigabytes of data (say, a 4GB feature-length film, or a year's worth of family photos) to your external SSD in seconds rather than the minutes it would take with an external spinning drive.
Not only is it faster to read and write data stored in flash cells than those stored on a spinning platter, but it's also safer. Because there is no spinning platter or moving magnetic head, if you bump the SSD while you're accessing its data, there is no risk that your files will become corrupted and unreadable.
While external SSDs are now readily available and cheaper than they were a few years ago, they're not a complete replacement for spinning drives. Larger external drives designed to stay on your desk or in a server closet still mostly use spinning drives, taking advantage of their higher capacities and lower prices compared with SSDs.
Physical Size Matters: Desktop or Portable Drive?
If you have a large photo or video collection—perhaps you are a photo or video editor, or maybe a movie buff—you'll likely need several terabytes of space in which to store it. So your best option is a desktop-class drive. We define these as having one or more spinning-platter drives inside and requiring its own dedicated power cable. Of course, in this scenario, your files are going to have to stay at your desk.
A desktop drive with a single platter mechanism inside will typically use a 3.5-inch drive inside and will be found in capacities up to 12TB, and most are roughly 5 inches tall and 2 inches wide. In addition to storing large media collections, these drives can also serve as inexpensive repositories for backups of your computer's hard drive that you schedule using either the software that came with the drive or a third-party backup utility.
The next size up for consumer desktop drives is about the same height but twice as wide to accommodate additional drive mechanisms in the chassis, such as with the Western Digital My Book Duo. These larger drives are more expensive but also much more capacious; the highest-capacity current models employ two drives for up to 20TB of storage. Note: In the case of these and single-platter-drive products, you're not meant to swap out the drive or drives inside.
The largest desktop drives are often much, much larger than the first two categories, so large that you'll want to stick them under your desk or in a dedicated server closet. They're mostly intended for professional use in editing studios, surveillance control rooms, and the like. Their defining characteristic is the ability to swap drives in and out easily, so they provide quick access to the drive bays at the front of the device. Most are sold without drives included, so you can install any drive you want (usually, 3.5-inch drives, but some support 2.5-inchers). Their total storage capacities are usually limited only by their number of available bays and the capacities of the drives you put in them.
At the other end of the physical-size spectrum are portable drives, some of which now use an SSD inside instead of a spinning platter to save space, as well as to increase throughput and durability. These drives can be truly tiny, weighing just a few ounces and with their largest sides measuring less than 3 inches long, like with the Samsung Portable SSD T5. Others use spinning platters and are a bit larger, like the LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive, but they still fit easily in a purse or even a coat pocket. Portable drives get their power from the computer to which you connect them, through the interface cable, so there's no need for a spare wall outlet.
Need Redundancy or Extreme Speed? Consider a RAID
If you buy a larger desktop drive with two or more spinning platters, you'll almost certainly have the ability to configure the drive as a RAID array using included software. Depending on which RAID level you choose, you can prioritize capacity, speed, or data redundancy, or some combination thereof.
A collection of spinning drives configured with a RAID level designed for faster access can approximate the speeds of an SSD, while you should consider a drive with support for RAID levels 1, 5, or 10 if you're storing really important data that you can't afford to lose. Hit the link above for explanation of the strengths of each RAID level.
What Interface Should You Look For?
How an external drive connects to your PC or Mac is second only to the type of storage mechanism it uses in determining how fast you'll be able to access data. Unfortunately, these connection types are constantly changing, and the internet is littered with outdated references to legacy interface types such as eSATA and FireWire.
Right now, the fastest mainstream connection type is Thunderbolt 3, which is handy assuming you have a newer laptop or desktop with a Thunderbolt 3 port. All late-model Apple laptops have them, but they're much scarcer on Windows machines. This interface uses a USB Type-C connector and offers blazing throughput of 40GBps. As an added bonus, a desktop drive that supports Thunderbolt 3 might also come with additional DisplayPort and USB connections that allow you to use the drive box as a hub for your keyboard, mouse, monitor, and other peripherals.
You'll really only see the speed benefits of Thunderbolt 3, however, if you have a drive that's SSD-based, or a RAID array. If you'd rather save money than time transferring your data, if you're buying a desktop drive with a single platter-based mechanism inside, or if you have a PC that lacks Thunderbolt 3, you'll want to make sure your drive has a USB connection. Nearly every recent drive we reviewed supports USB, and the same goes for laptops and desktops.
Not all USB ports are created equal, though. The most prevalent is the standard rectangle shape (called Type-A) that's been present on devices for decades. The oval-shaped Type-C connector is quickly gaining traction, though. It's capable of supporting the USB 3.1 standard in addition to Thunderbolt 3, though most Type-C ports include only the former. If you buy a drive with a Type-C cable, make sure it also includes a cable with a rectangular Type-A plug if your PC lacks a Type-C port. Otherwise, you'll need to buy a separate cable or adapter.
Do You Need to Go Rugged?
If you carry your drive around frequently, you'll want to pay attention to how rugged the drive is. Some models include plastic bumpers, and some even meet military standards for shock and dust protection. (Look for support for specifications such as IP67 or IP68.)
And of course, if you're carrying your drive around with you, you want it to look nice. Some, like the Samsung T5, come in multiple colors, while others, like the ADATA SD700, are super-slim and ready to be tossed in a pocket.
Perhaps the only thing you don't need to pay much attention to is the warranty. If your drive breaks because you damaged it, the warranty likely won't cover it. Even if the drive fails because of a manufacturing defect, most warranties simply replace the drive and don't cover the cost of recovery services that attempt to rescue your data from the broken drive.
Let's Look at the Top Models We've Tested...
Also know that you can find external drives that do way more than just store your data. Some include SD card readers to offload footage from a camera or drone in the field, while others have built-in Wi-Fi and can double as an all-in-one home media server. Some of that kind even come with extra-large batteries that can charge your smartphone while you're on the go.
To get you started in the right direction toward the right add-on backup/storage solution, below are 10 of the best drives we've tested of late, at a variety of prices and capacities. Some are SSD-based, while others are platter.
Best External Hard Drives Featured in This Roundup:
Best External Dvd/cd Drive For Mac
CalDigit Tuff Review
Pros: Rated to survive 4-foot drops. Certified waterproof and dustproof. Comes with USB 3.0 and USB-C cables.
Cons: Warranty limited to two years. SSD option is still unreleased.
Bottom Line: Not only is the CalDigit Tuff a rugged hard drive designed to survive extreme conditions, it's also a terrific value.Read Review
Western Digital My Book Review
Pros: Comes in a variety of large capacities. Three-year warranty.
Cons: Requires external power adapter.
Bottom Line: With a full 8TB for less than $250, the 8TB version of the Western Digital My Book is a deep well of affordable storage for your photos, music, videos, and more.Read Review
ADATA HD830 External Hard Drive Review
Pros: IP68 resistance to water and dust. Highly crush-resistant chassis. Aggressive price for capacity, build. Two colors to choose between.
Cons: On the heavy, bulky side for some. Only waterproof and dustproof when the USB cover is closed. Could use a Type-C cable.
Bottom Line: It's brawny, but the ADATA HD830 offers superior protection and value for the money in a rugged external platter-based drive.Read Review
LaCie Mobile Drive Review
Pros: Slick, faceted design. Solid-feeling aluminum enclosure. Useful LaCie Toolkit software handles backup and restore, as well as mirroring. On-the-mark performance.
Cons: A little hefty. Toolkit utility requires a download.
Bottom Line: A metal-skinned gem of a platter hard drive, the LaCie Mobile Drive looks great and performs on point. It's geared to macOS users, but it will please anyone with an eye for style in their gadgets.Read Review
Samsung Portable SSD T5 Review
Pros: Excellent performance. Includes USB 3.0 and USB-C cables. Compact. Android-, Mac-, and Windows-compatible.
Cons: While a comparable good per-gigabyte value, the drive itself is expensive.
Bottom Line: Samsung's Portable SSD T5 drive has a speedy USB-C interface, plenty of reliable storage, and it takes up about as much room in your pocket as a short stack of credit cards.Read Review
Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch Review
Pros: Fabric-covered enclosure. Small and light. Seagate Toolkit provides handy backup/recover functions, as well as mirroring. Data protected by password and AES-256 hardware encryption.
Cons: Fabric cover a bit slippery to grip. Seagate Toolkit a separate download.
Bottom Line: Combining on-point performance and strong encryption, Seagate's Backup Plus Ultra Touch portable drive is a great choice for everyday backups and security-first use alike. Plus, a fabric coat adds appeal.Read Review
Akitio Thunder3 RAID Station Review
Pros: Excellent connectivity options and transfer speeds. Solid build quality and attractive aluminum finish. Easy disassembly. Cooling fan can be disabled. No software required for Macs. Hardware RAID controller.
Cons: Expensive. SATA interface limits read/write speeds. Only 27W of power delivery.
Bottom Line: With its wealth of ports, the Akitio Thunder3 RAID Station is both a connectivity hub and a capacious external hard drive for multimedia content creators.Read Review
Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC Review
Pros: Built-in USB cable. Ruggedized. Dust and water resistant. Hardware encryption. Mac and PC format utility.
Cons: NFC card is easy to lose. Doesn't unlock via smartphones.
Bottom Line: The 1-terabyte Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC has a built-in cable you can't lose, a rugged chassis that will survive a rough daily commute, and an NFC card and reader add some security to this portable hard drive.Read Review
Samsung Portable SSD X5 Review
Pros: Extremely fast data transfer speeds, thanks to Thunderbolt 3 and PCIe NVMe interfaces. Multiple capacity options. Sleek design.
Cons: Expensive. Heavy. No USB support. Difficult to connect to Windows PCs.
Bottom Line: The sleek, expensive Samsung Portable SSD X5 offers the fastest single-drive external storage money can buy, but it's suited mainly to well-heeled content-creation pros using late-model Macs.Read Review
Western Digital My Passport Wireless SSD Review
Pros: Durable. Built-in SD card reader and USB port. Plex support. Doubles as a power bank.
Cons: Expensive. No Thunderbolt support.
Bottom Line: The Western Digital My Passport Wireless SSD is pricey, but this feature-packed drive can do much more than just wirelessly transfer files.Read Review
Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
- Best Overall: LG GH24NSC0B Super Multi Drive at Amazon, “A burner that offers speed, power, and reliable performance.”
- Runner-Up, Best Overall:Asus DRW-24B1ST at Amazon, “It’s quick, works with all formats and burns quietly.”
- Best Budget: LG GH24NSC0B at Amazon, “Runs super softly with its Silent Play technology…you’ll be surprised it’s even running.”
- Best Splurge:LG WH16NS40 at Amazon, “Capable of Blu-ray disc rewriting, which mandates the more expensive price tag.”
- Best Write Speed:Samsung SH-224FB/BSBE at Amazon, “A superb combination of blazing write speeds, excellent reviews, and a wallet-friendly price.”
- Best for Silence:Plextor PX-891SAF at Amazon, “An improved chassis design helps regulate the amount of air flow to reduce the noise level.”
- Best Blu-Ray:Asus Black BC-12B1ST at Amazon, “Fast, quiet and energy-friendly performance makes for a stellar burner that offers more than meets the eye.”
- Best Included Software:Dell DW316 External USB Slim DVD R/W at Amazon, “A plug-and-play solution that you can use with a USB port.”
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: LG GH24NSC0B Super Multi Drive
If you want a burner that offers speed, power and reliable performance, the LG GH24NSC0B Super Multi Drive should be at the top of your list. The budget-friendly price paired with a 24x DVD-R write speed makes the LG the first burner you should consider. The 0.5MB buffer isn’t as high as 2MB options that cost a little bit more, but the inclusion of M-Disc supports the burning of DVDs that are rated for heavy use.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Asus DRW-24B1ST
The Asus DRW-24B1ST is an exceptionally good SATA DVD burner that offers wide compatibility at a low price. The full spread of read and write options is here, including DVD-Rs, DVD-RWs, CD-Rs and CD-RWs. With 16x DVD ROM burning and 24x for all other formats, the Asus performs very well, completing even the most sizeable project at 4.7GB in a timely fashion.
As an extra bonus, it offers E-Green Engine technology, which aids in automatically closing drive applications when not in use to conserve energy. Overall, the Asus makes for a fantastic choice as a DVD burner, it’s quick, works with all formats and burns quickly and quietly.
Best Budget: LG GH24NSC0B
At under $20, this SATA-connected disc drive barely makes the lowest price on the list, but it’s value is in the details. It writes and plays a variety of formats, including DVD+R, RW DVD-R and RW DVD-RAM. It employs an M-DISC technology that etches data with a rock-like surface, rather than dye to ensure a more stable imprint of whatever information you’re copying. It writes at speeds up to 24x and is compatible with Windows 10. It also runs super softly with its Silent Play technology, so even with all those speeds and capabilities, you’ll be surprised it’s even running.
Best Splurge: LG WH16NS40
The LG WH16NS40 separates itself from the pack with pricing that almost doubles the average cost of DVD burners, but does so with plenty of reasoning. The inclusion of 4MB of buffer memory handily allows the LG to store additional amounts of data before writing it to the disc, which helps support a quicker write speed. As a bonus, the LG is capable of Blu-ray disc rewriting, which is what mandates the more expensive price tag. The burner has 16x Blu-Ray disc rewrite speed and 16x for DVD ROM.
Best Write Speed: Samsung SH-224FB/BSBE
Samsung’s SH-224FB/BSBE is a superb combination of blazing write speeds, excellent reviews and a wallet-friendly price. The drive reads all the usual suspects, including dual-layer DVD-ROMs and DVD-Rs, making it highly flexible for every burning scenario. Additionally, Samsung included M-disc capability which offers burned DVDs a super long shelf life.
Best External Cd Dvd Drive For Macbook
The 0.75MB buffer pairs nicely with the 24x DVD DVD+R write speed and 8x DVD+RW write speeds, which makes the Samsung one of the fastest burning SATA drives. With admirable performance and a wallet-friendly price tag, you can’t go wrong with this burner.
Best for Silence: Plextor PX-891SAF
If silence is a virtue, then the Plextor PX-891SAF internal SATA DVD burner is a top choice for every computer owner. With fast write speeds for both DVD and CDs, the capability to write to a dual-layer DVD is included. The overall silent burning might be a slight tradeoff for slower buffer memory at just 0.5MB and 160ms DVD access time, but it gets the job done at 24x DVD recording.
The full range of formats is included with DVD+/-R, DVD+/-RW, DVD-RAM, CD-RW and CD-R. The silent DVD burning is aided by an improved chassis design, which helps regulate the amount of air flow to reduce the noise level. The Plextor also supports M-disc branding, which offers a long shelf life for whatever you're burning.
Best Blu-Ray: Asus Black BC-12B1ST
External Dvd For Macbook Pro
Burning Blu-rays never quite captured the public attention that the global rise of included internal SATA DVD burners did, but there’s still an audience looking for the very best in picture quality. The Asus Black BC-12B1ST internal Blu-Ray drive is a moderately priced option that offers a 12x Blu-ray reading speed, plus support for multiple Blu-ray platforms. The integrated e-green technology saves over 50 percent of power consumption against a standard DVD burner.
As a bonus, buyers just looking for a high-quality 24x DVD burner can take advantage of 1080p HD upscaling on their traditional DVD burns if possible. Unfortunately, software is not included and must be purchased separately, but the fast, quiet and energy-friendly performance makes for a stellar Blu-ray/DVD burner that offers more than meets the eye.
Best Included Software: Dell DW316 External USB Slim DVD R/W
While most burners need a separate software to burn or play CDs and DVDs, this Dell device is a plug and play solution that you can use with a USB port. It comes preloaded with CyberLink Media Suite, making it a perfect accessory for both Mac and PC laptops that don’t have an internal optical drive.
Best External Dvd Cd Drive Should I Buy
The DW316 has read and write speeds of 24x (CD) / 8x (DVD) and 24x (CD) / 8x (DVD±R) / 6x (DVD±R DL), respectively, and a buffer size of .75MB. At just 5.41 x 5.67 x .55 inches and weighing .55 pounds, it’s easy to toss in your bag, so you can play and burn discs on-the-go.