8 Best External USB CD/DVD Drives for PC in 2020

It’s no secret that optical media are on their way to obsolescence. Many modern computer cases don’t come with a tray for an internal CD/DVD drive, and mid-range and high-end laptops often don’t even include an SD card reader—let alone a CD/DVD drive. So, if you have a sizable collection of movies and albums that you would like to transfer and convert for posterity’s sake, a reliable external USB CD/DVD Drives for PC that plugs via USB, and supports all common and not-so-common CD and DVD formats are so important.

ProductBrandNamePrice
LGLG Electronics 8X USB 2.0 Super Multi Ultra Slim Portable DVD Writer DriveCheck Price on Amazon
RioddasRioddas External CD Drive, USB 3.0 PortableCheck Price on Amazon
DellDell USB DVD Drive-DW316Check Price on Amazon
PioneerPioneer BDR-XD05B 6x Slim Portable USB 3.0 Blu-Ray BurnerCheck Price on Amazon
SEA TECHSEA TECH Aluminum External USB Blu-Ray WriterCheck Price on Amazon

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Not sure what best external USB CD/DVD drives are on the market? Follow along below, and we’ll show you some of the best available today. Let’s dive right in.

Best External USB CD/DVD Drives for PC

 

External USB CD/DVD Drives for PC

 

1. LG Electronics GP65NB60 8X 

LG is a very well known brand for all sorts of hardware and electronics. In the same vein, they’re well known for many of their external USB drives as well — so the 8X is well worth taking for a spin. When transferring data from a CD, the drive can sustain a transfer speed of 3.6 MB/s (24x). The LG GP65NB60 is one of the most popular CD/DVD drives on the market because it offers excellent value at an attractive price.

It has a slim design, so it’s reasonably easy to travel with; however, it does have that unattractive and sterile appearance. It uses a USB 2.0 interface but is compatible with USB 3.0. It does come with Cyberlink software for smooth playback.

We appreciate the support for the M-Disc optical disc technology, which uses a single inorganic recording layer to prolong the lifespan of M-Disc media up to 1,000 years. M-Disc media are slightly difficult to come by these days, but they are fantastic for archiving vital data.

Thanks to LG’s Silent Play feature, the LG GP65NB60 doesn’t get unreasonably loud even when reading or writing data at a very high speed. The presence of a 0.75 MB buffer helps the drives cope with any temporary reading or writing difficulties, ensuring smooth playback and error-free burning

It should work with most devices out there — Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Buy it now: here

 

External USB CD/DVD Drives for PC

2. Rioddas External CD Drive

Rioddas’ external USB drive is actually a really competitive option, because it actually has a really sleek design, whereas a lot of drives are fairly sterile-looking. That said, this one has some nice texture to it that makes it stand out from the crowd.

We’re also a big fan of how easy it is to set up — just plug the USB side into your computer, and then you’re ready to play movies and CDs.

It has intelligent technology built-in, which ensures that CDs and DVDs do not get stuck in the tray. The other cool thing is that it works on Windows, Mac, and Linux alike.

Buy it now: here

 

External USB CD/DVD Drives for PC

3. Dell USB Drive

Coming up on our number one countdown, we’re looking at Dell’s own USB drive. This one can play DVDs and CDs alike, giving you both fast read and write speeds. This one is a plug and play solution — so, just plug it into your computer or laptop, and you can start using the drive instantly — no drivers required to install.

Since the Dell USB Drive is so low-profile, you can easily take it with you on the go. You can fit in a backpack or suitcase without it taking up too much room. It has some exceptional performance, easily playing your CDs and DVDs. Not only that, but you can quickly burn your favorite DVDs or CDs with the drive as well. Your laptop actually powers this optical drive, so there aren’t any power cords necessary here.

Buy it now: here

 

External USB CD/DVD Drives for PC

 

4. Pioneer BDR-XD05B

If you also need to transfer data from Blu-ray discs, the Pioneer BDR-XD05B is an excellent choice. It comes with CyberLink PowerProducer, which is the world’s first BDXL-certified authoring software. CyberLink PowerProducer makes it possible to create videos and slideshows of up to 4 layers of data totaling 128 GB on a single Blu-ray Disc.

The Pioneer BDR-XD05B connects to a computer with a USB 3.0 cable, and included with the drive is a long USB 3.0 Y-cable. With this cable, you can connect the Pioneer BDR-XD05B even to older computers without a USB port capable of supplying enough current to power the drive.

Unlike other drives on this list, the Pioneer BDR-XD05B has a clamshell design, reminding us of the Discman from Sony. The support for Blu-ray discs makes this versatile external optical drive a lot more expensive than drives that support only CDs and DVDs, but Pioneer did everything right to make the product worth the price.

Buy it now: here

 

External USB CD/DVD Drives for PC

 

5. Sea Tech Aluminum External CD/DVD Drive

We’ve picked the last drive on this list specifically to please all the lovers of Apple’s aesthetics among you. But don’t worry: the Sea Tech Aluminum External CD/DVD Drive offers a lot more besides pretty looks. It features USB 3.0 connectivity and USB 2.0 compatibility, and ships with a USB cable.

The drive is compatible with all modern Windows and Mac computers, and it works right out of the box without any configuration. All the internal components of the Sea Tech Aluminum External CD/DVD Drive are protected by a thick, unibody casing made from a single block of aluminum.

Keep in mind that Mac computers don’t support Blu-ray playback unless you install some third-party software solution that can decode Blu-ray movies. The good news is that there’s a lot of such software solutions to choose from, and some of them are even completely free.

Buy it now: here

 

External USB CD/DVD Drives for PC

 

6. ASUS ZenDrive

Just like ZenBooks and ZenFones, the ASUS ZenDrive is elegantly slim and beautiful to look at. With its 13 mm thin form-factor, the ASUS ZenDrive fits inside any bag or briefcase, provided a convenient backup and playback solution with support for all kinds of CDs and DVDs, including M-Disc, an archival-quality storage format with a lifespan of up to 1,000 years.

Included with the ASUS ZenDrive is the CyberLink Power2Go 8 software, which is a feature-packed burning suite with a classy user interface and the ability to do everything from mounting ripped disc images to burning new media to taking care of system backup and recovery. As long as you don’t need to author Blu-ray movies, CyberLink Power2Go 8 does everything you could ever want it to do and more.

The only downside of the ASUS ZenDrive is its limited durability. No, the drive won’t suddenly break on you in the middle of a vital burn job, but its thin aluminum case isn’t designed to withstand rough handling.

Buy it now: here

 

External USB CD/DVD Drives for PC

 

7. LG WP50NB40

Compared to the Pioneer Blu-ray drive, the LG WP50NB40 is faster when it comes to transferring data from Blu-ray disks, but it falls short of the Pioneer’s CD/DVD reading and writing capabilities. It also doesn’t have a clamshell design, which is mostly inconsequential unless you have minimal free space on your desk.

Like most modern external USB drives, the LG WP50NB40 has a large buffer for underrun prevention. Buffer underruns happen when a buffer used to communicate between two devices or processes is fed with data at a lower speed than the data is being read from it. Unless you have a very old computer, the LG WP50NB40 ensures that this won’t happen to you when watching Blu-ray movies or archiving them onto a hard drive.

Earlier versions of the LG WP50NB40 have shipped with a buggy firmware that prevented the drive from writing data onto M-Disc media. Fortunately, LG fixed this issue with a firmware update, which is available from the official support page of the LG WP50NB40.

Buy it now: here

8. Valoin External USB Drive

Valoin might not be one of the most well-known brands, but this external USB drive is actually an excellent choice. One of the beautiful things about the Valoin is that you don’t need to install software or make sure the drivers are updated — your machine automatically recognizes it, making it ready for use almost instantly.

There’s no longer any need for power cords either — the USB port powers this external DVD drive. Whether you’re looking to listen to music, watch a DVD, or burn a DVD, the Valoin will allow you to do that with excellent performance.

Best External USB CD/DVD Drives for PC Verdict

As you can see, there are a ton of excellent external USB drives out on the market. These are more important than ever, with most manufacturers getting rid of DVD drives as streaming becomes more and more popular. That said, we’re only scratching the surface on the many great USB drives that are available, but we do think that these are some of the best.

What’s your favorite external USB drive? Sound off in the comments section below!

ProductBrandNamePrice
LGLG Electronics 8X USB 2.0 Super Multi Ultra Slim Portable DVD Writer DriveCheck Price on Amazon
RioddasRioddas External CD Drive, USB 3.0 PortableCheck Price on Amazon
DellDell USB DVD Drive-DW316Check Price on Amazon
PioneerPioneer BDR-XD05B 6x Slim Portable USB 3.0 Blu-Ray BurnerCheck Price on Amazon
SEA TECHSEA TECH Aluminum External USB Blu-Ray WriterCheck Price on Amazon

* If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.