If you’ve got a DVD drive on your computer, it’s likely that sooner or later, one of them will stop working. But even if that doesn’t happen to the relatively low-end models like our top pick today, they’re still not going to last forever. So sooner or later, something will go wrong with them, and you’ll be left with an unusable external hard drive.

The majority of technological devices are rather sophisticated. There’s a reason we usually choose a variety of things, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

In comparison to laptops, displays, peripherals, and most other electronics, external DVD drives are much more basic. However, there are a few things to consider while purchasing one. Everything you need to know is right here.

Support for DVDs

The first thing to look for is what kind of DVDs/CDs a DVD player supports.

The majority of our options support most of the usual features. But unfortunately, Blu-Ray compatibility is only available on the higher-end models.

So, if you require Blu-Ray support, you’ll have to hunt for something that explicitly supports this technology.


The majority of external DVD drives are universal, so they should work with almost any current computer. Of course, specific older USB 1.1 PCs may be incompatible. But, to be honest, you’ll probably have more to worry about than DVD drive compatibility if you’re using something that ancient (Software, hardware, other peripherals, etc.).

However, bear in mind that specific drives may only operate with certain machines. The Apple USB SuperDrive, which is designed exclusively for Macs, is a prominent example of this.

Noise and Speed

Each DVD drive may have varied read and write speeds for DVD discs and CDs. For example, DVDs seem to be 8x, whereas CDs appear 24x.

DVD drives that accept USB 3.0 often enable more incredible speeds. However, this isn’t always a sign of a quicker movement. USB 3.0, on the other hand, is backward compatible with USB 2.0. So you don’t stand to lose anything by going with 3.0. (Unless, of course, that option is more expensive).

One of the critical reasons DVD drives are so noisy is because of their speed. If you’re concerned about noise and can’t test one for yourself, look at your vehicle’s or user reviews and YouTube fiddle.

Size and Construction Quality

If you’re going to be carrying your laptop about a lot, you’ll want to make sure the hard disk isn’t too large.

However, currently, most external DVD drives are relatively small. However, size is one thing, and construction quality is another.

Under heavy use or during transit, a well-made drive is less likely to break or malfunction. As a result, pay attention to what customers have to say about each product. If there are a lot of complaints about a unit breaking down often, you should generally avoid it.


Most external DVD drives may be connected to a computer through a single USB connection. That isn’t always the case, however. Some of them may need two cords for additional power, while others have USB Type-C connectors.

So, if your laptop only has one extra USB port and/or Type-C, double-check that it can operate with the DVD drive of your choice before you purchase it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do external DVD drives last?

A: The lifespan of an external DVD player is not known, but they usually last, on average between 5-8 years.

Is a DVD writer the same as an external CD drive?

A: A DVD writer is an external CD drive. They are the same thing, with a different name!

Who makes the best optical drives?

A: Western Digital is the best manufacturer of optical drives.

Related Tags

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  • best external cd/DVD drive for windows 10
  • external DVD drive – best buy
  • best external dvd drive reddit
  • best external DVD drive for mac
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