11 Best External CD/DVD Drives in 2021 – For Windows and Mac

Grab on the best external CD/DVD drives and get yours now!

Each day, the laptop manufacturers are competing in order to make a beast laptop which leaves every other brand behind and is also light-weight. And for achieving a thinner and light-weight laptop, they have considered removing built-in DVD/CD drive.

Today rarely any laptop has a built-in DVD/CD drive. This leads to the ever-growing demand for cd ROM external drives in this era. The cd ROM external drives are usually portable and they connect to your laptop via USB port so sometimes called USB DVD drive. Like ordinary usual CD/DVD drives, they also do stuff like reading, writing or copying any optical disk.

We have compiled a list of the best laptops that come with a cd ROM external drives here.

Buying Guide – Choosing the Best External DVD Drive:

For your convenience, here we have listed some important features that you should consider before buying a DVD external drive. This will help you find a reliable product and you won’t regret later.

1. Speed

The first thing you should take into account is the read and write speed of any DVD driver. Today mostly external DVD drivers or external CD drivers come with the USB plug-in version. Make sure your CD ROM external drive supports USB 3.0 as this is faster than the old USB 2.0 and is also backward compatible.

2. Compatibility

Mostly all external DVD drives work fine with Windows and Mac OS. If you have a somewhat older version of either of the mentioned OS or any other, remember to check if this DVD drive is compatible with your version of OS. Besides, many of them do not support Blu-Ray.

3. Size

Although, today many external DVD drives are portable and offer high mobility. But still there exists some which you can only use at home and cannot carry around. It is better to have a small, compact, and portable one so that you can easily use it anywhere you want.

4. Noise

Since optical disks are rotated inside CD/DVD drives and its noise can easily be heard when you’re either writing or reading from a disk. So if you do not want to be annoyed by the sound it makes which reading/writing, make sure to go with the best external DVD/CD drives that use noise reduction technology.

5. Pricing

The price of an external DVD drive depends upon the features it provides you. Mostly it ranges from $20-$200. The cheaper the price, the less reliable the drive will be (most of the cases). If you want to ensure the solid tough design and high speed, you might want to spend some bucks.

6. Quality

The extensive caring of electronic gadgets applies to external DVD drivers as well. Mostly the external DVD drives are fragile and they must be handled with care. Many of them are made of plastic. If good quality plastic is used, it can be durable and reliable. Usage of proper and quality material and make the best external DVD drives.

7. Warranty

Most devices come with a 1 year or up to 2 years of the warranty period. Make sure to buy the DVD external drive with a warranty card, so that it can be replaced if it has any manufactured faults and errors.

cd drive for laptop

The external drive CD/DVD also comes in handy if you have a PC or laptop with a broken built-in DVD drive. If you’re intending to buy the best external CD or DVD drives in terms of speed, design, cost, and viability, you’ve come to the right place.

Here we have captured the best external CD or DVD drives for PCs and Mac and provided you with enough information on every gadget and as well as given you Buying Guide above so that you can get the best one for your device.

For readers, not interest in reading a lengthy article, here is the quick review:

11 Best External DVD Drives to Buy in 2021

ProductPriceShop at
1.LG Electronics 8X USB 2.0 Super Ultra Slim Portable DVD Writer Drive GP65NB60$24.99
2.Pioneer BDR-XD05B 6x Slim Portable USB 3.0 Blu-Ray Burner (Black)$129.99
3.Dell DW316 External USB Slim DVD R/W Optical Drive$22.99
4.Asus ZenDrive Ultra Slim USB 2.0 External 8X DVD Optical Drive$35.99
5.Cocopa USB 3.0 External CD/DVD-RW Drive, Superdrive For High-Speed Data Transfer$23.99
6.Pioneer Electronics USA Slim External Blu-Ray Writer (BDR-XU03)$229.95
7.Apple USB SuperDrive$79.00
8.Sea Tech Aluminum External USB DVD+RW,-RW Drive for MacBook$29.81
9.VersionTECH USB 3.0 Portable DVD External Drive Compatible with Apple Mac and Laptop$33.59
10.External CD Drive By Novapolt USB 3.0$22.99
11.Samsung USB 2.0 Ultra Portable External DVD Writer Model SE-218CB/RSBS$59.99

1. LG Electronics 8X USB 2.0 Super Ultra Slim Portable DVD Writer Drive GP65NB60

cd drive for laptop

LG is one of the finest and top manufacturers of great laptops and other electronic gadgets. Their external DVD drives are considered one of the best due to their slim design and portability. They are great to buy since they’re quite cheap and has many cool features.

Although it comes with a USB 2.0 which seems quite absurd they are still very reliable and fast (up to 480 Mbps). This USB DVD drive is 3.0 compatible and has M-Disc support. It is just 14 mm in height which makes it quite mobile and easy to carry.

The best part of this external DVD drive is that it lets you enjoy your videos on a TV via a USB connection. It also comes with a noise reduction technology which will reduce the noise depending upon the media you’re transferring from or to it.

It supports various types of Disc formats such as DVD + R, RW DVD-R, and RW DVD-RAM. Just for $24.99, this is one of the best CD ROM external drives you can buy. It works smoothly and eases the copying/transferring data.

Pros & Cons:

Slim Design (14 mm)Absence of USB 3.0
Solid Build Design
Supports M-Disc
USB Powered
TV connection
Great value for money

2. Pioneer BDR-XD05B 6x Slim Portable USB 3.0 Blu-Ray Burner (Black)

cd drive for laptop

If you are running a Linux OS, you might want to consider this external DVD drive. This drive is also compatible with many versions of Windows and Mac as well. It is one of the most smallest and lightest DVD drives that supports BDXL. Its height is about 14 mm and weighs about 230 gram only.

The ultra-slim Pioneer BDR-XD065B can read and write in various formats such as BD-R triple-layer, BD-R quad-layer, BD-RE triple-layer, and Blu-Ray discs, and that too up to media of hundreds of GB. Moreover, its interface is USB 3.0 which is a plus point.

It extracts enough power from the laptop via USB port and hence does not require an AC adaptor. Apart from being slim, this drive is super fast, with 6x2 writing on BD-R dual layers and 4x writing speed on triple and quad layers.

One of the key features of this external DVD drive is that it comes with two smart modes or functions called Auto Quiet mode and Power Read. With Auto Quiet mode, the drive adjusts the disc rotation speed to reduce noise whereas, in Power Read mode, it can effectively provide smooth movie playback even if the disc has some fingerprints or minor scratches on it.

Pros & Cons:

Slim and Lightweight (230 grams)Expensive
USB 3.0Can be loud at high speeds
Fast/SpeedyRequires some extra third-party software
Auto Quiet/Power Read Feature

3. Dell DW316 External USB Slim DVD R/W Optical Drive

cd drive for laptop

Dell is a leading tech company that produces quality and reliable products as well as DVD external drives. It is pretty slim and does not compromise on its speed. It can quickly burn all your discs. Now you can perform other various operations as it comes pre-loaded with Cyberlink Media Suite.

This external drive is one of the most portable ones and weighs about 250 grams. You can easily carry it around and it won’t be a burden at all.

It has a quite simple design yet elegant one. No external power is required for this, as it gets sufficient power from the USB connection. It has a 24x CD and 8x DVD read speed.

This is quite easy to handle as it does not require extra drivers. You simply have to plug it in and use it. It is best for computer amateurs.

Dell DW316 is an excellent value for money along with its slim, unique design and durability. This really can be proved worth and is highly recommended. It is compatible with both Windows and Mac.

Pros & Cons:

Slim, elegant designDoes not play Blu-ray
CyberLink Media Suite pre-installedSupports less formats
Affordable priceCollects fingerprints
Easy to use

4. Asus ZenDrive Ultra Slim USB 2.0 External 8X DVD Optical Drive

cd drive for laptop

If you own a slim and smart laptop without a built-in CD/DVD drive, Asus ZenDrive might be your choice. With only 13 mm thickness, it is a perfect partner for your slim laptop. It comes with worth mentioning reading and writing capabilities with up to 8x DVD write speed.

It comes with a variety of advanced features such as backup and other storing features and supports M-Disc format. The M-Disc technology helps users to protect their data and ensures maximum preservation of data and media.

This external drive has Cyberlink Power2go 8 Software which encrypts your data while you’re reading or writing from the disc and also simplifies the burning process. The nicest thing about this DVD player for laptop is that it has a very efficient and strong backup solution that is compatible with Windows and Mac and as well as for Android (Nero Backup).

Although USB 3.0 is absent this is one of the fine DVD external drives that have a sleek and appealing design with a concentric-circle hairline finish. Above all, it is ultra-slim and one of the thinnest amongst all mentioned here.

Pros & Cons:

Slim, Sophisticated designNo USB 3.0
Reasonable pricePretty fragile (needs proper handling)
Great Backup (Cyberlink Power2go 8 Software)Might need some extra connections
Supports M-Disc

5. Cocopa USB 3.0 External CD/DVD-RW Drive

External DVD drives

Cocopa is an excellent external CD drive with a smooth textured-type design. It incorporates USB 3.0 and is extremely easy to use.

With a USB 3.0 interface, this external DVD drive ensures that your data is transmitted to the optical disc securely and swiftly. USB 3.0 is also much prone to data corruption and is much better than USB 2.0. This device is backward compatible with USB 2.0 too.

Cocopa external CD drive works on plenty of platforms such as Windows, Linux, and almost all versions of Mac. It is simple to use. All you have to do is to plug it in and use it. No extra drivers are required. It does not require any extra power source, only a USB connection to a PC or laptop is sufficient.

If we talk about the speed of this drive then it is no less than others. It comes with a whopping speed of 8X read speed for DVDs, 24X for CDs and 8K burn speed for CDs.

It also supports noise reduction while reading and writing to disc. With its elegant design, it is a powerful and the best external CD drive that supports multiple media types and formats.

Pros & Cons:

Slim and lightweightNo M-Disc Support
USB 3.0 interfaceLess reliable
Works across different OS platformsCompatibility issues sometimes
Noise reduction

6. Pioneer Electronics USA Slim External Blu-Ray Writer (BDR-XU03)

External DVD drives

The BDR-XU03 is an amazing CD/DVD burner that supports Blu-Ray and has a USB 3.0 interface. One of the fascinating features of this external DVD driver is that its body is made up of Magnesium, unlike other drives that are made up of plastic.

This drive supports BDXL discs and is also backward compatible with CD and DVD media. It can transfer data up to 6x2 speed for BD-R and BD-R DL media and 4x writing speed on BD-R triple and quad layers.

Like Pioneer BDR-XD05B, this Pioneer device also comes with the fascinating feature of Auto Quiet Mode and Power Read. It means that while burning your optical disc, its noise won’t spoil the pleasure of listening to music.

Moreover, slight scratches on CD/DVD discs are no problem for this external DVD drive to read from. This drive lets you extract the data as accurately as possible.

This is an excellent choice if you’re looking for all in one external drive. It does not require any extra power source. You will be surprised if you come to know its height, which is only 11 mm, the lowest amongst all mentioned here.

Pros & Cons:

Smooth designExpensive
USB 3.0 interfaceCan be loud for large data files
Fast and reliable
Auto Quiet/Power Read Feature

7. Apple USB SuperDrive

External DVD drives

Apple has its own name in the tech industry. Nobody can deny the quality, flexibility, viability, and durability of Apple products. Although they are quite expensive, yet they are no match for others.

Exclusively for Mac and Apple Laptops, Apple has introduced its own Apple USB External DVD drive. It has a great design, like all other Apple products. You can easily burn CDs and DVDs on this and backup your data as well.

This external DVD drive is extremely portable and you can easily carry it around and take it on tours as well. If you own a Macbook, you might want to consider this external drive as it is highly compatible with every Apple laptop.

It does not require any extra power source as it extracts the power from your Mac’s battery.

Pros & Cons:

Compact designSome built-in issues
Decent performance

8. Sea Tech Aluminum External USB DVD+RW,-RW Drive

External DVD drives

If you think Apple USB SuperDrive is quite expensive and you want another way around, Sea Tech might be your choice then. Made up of an Aluminum casing, this external DVD drive is just as fast as other drives at a reasonable price. Its design is at par with Apple’s one and will look good with your Mac.

You can burn your data on CD or DVD disc quite easily with this one. It is simple to use. Moreover, if you need any technical support, Sea Tech got you at this too. If you are not really a computer guy, you can call upon them for help.

Sea Tech has come up with a sophisticated design and tried to match Apple’s product level so that you won’t hesitate to buy it for your Mac. This is also the best option for your Mac if you cannot afford Apple SuperDrive. Although it does not support USB 3.0 it is still worth it.

Apart from its cool design, it also works efficiently and swiftly. It is powerful and reads/writes disc quickly. For your Mac, this isn’t really a bad option. In short, it is worth buying. This can be regarded as the best external cd drive for Mac.

Pros & Cons:

Sleek DesignNo USB 3.0
Aluminum CasingNo Noise Reduction
Compatible with Mac and WindowsSpeed is just okay
Premium external DVD Super-Multi drive

9. VersionTECH USB 3.0 Portable DVD External Drive

External DVD drives

Most of the laptop manufacturing companies hardly consider built-in DVD drives for laptops in order to get portability and lesser weight. It really gets hectic to get a good external DVD drives as you have many options.

VersionTECH comes with a USB 3.0 interface which means faster transmission of data. Along with its slim design, it is also plug and play and does not require any extra source of power. It comes with a USB to DC cable in case there is insufficient supply by the laptop.

VersionTECH has an aluminum casing and looks quite nice with your laptop. It uses advanced burning techniques which makes reading and writing quick and easy.

Apart from this, it is also prone to errors and uses noise reduction technology. In addition, it protects from shocks quite well.

This might be your choice if you are looking for a simple tough DVD drive with powerful reading and writing speed. It has a lot to offer against its price.

Pros & Cons:

Aluminum CasingIssues with Windows 10
Ultra-Slim Design
USB 3.0 Interface
Advanced burning techniques

10. External CD Drive By Novapolt USB 3.0

External DVD drives

With Novapolt’s USB 3.0 interface, you can quickly transfer your data to and from the DVD/CD drive. It requires no external power source and is easy to use.

Novapolt’s external CD Drive is highly optimized and compatible with Windows (including Windows 10) and with Linux and Mac 10 OS. All you need is to connect this to PC’s USB port and use it.

It guarantees a stable and fast transmission of data due to its copper mesh technology. It is also backward compatible with USB 2.0. This drive has a ballistic speed of 24X for CD and 8X for DVD dual layers.

Along with the compact design, it is highly powerful and has a very high speed of transferring data. It is a very reasonable and reliable external DVD/CD drive which offers the plug-and-play ability, along with other awesome features.

Pros & Cons:

Compact designNo M-Disc Support
USB 3.0 InterfaceFragile

11. Samsung USB 2.0 Ultra Portable External DVD Writer

External DVD drives

Samsung has a name in smartphone and electronics industry. No doubt Samsung manufactures reliable long-lasting products.

Although this external DVD driver is on the expensive side, you cannot deny the flawless build quality of this product. It can be used for both Windows and Mac. Like other drives, it is also simple to use and is plug-and-play.

It also comes with a noise reduction technology and alters the speed of the rotation, depending upon various defined circumstances. It incorporates smart power technology and does not require any external power source.

Along with the cool and slim design, it supports various disc formats such as DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM, DVD-ROM, etc. and has 8X DVD read/write speed.

Overall this is value for money and is bug-free. You can get this one if you’re a Samsung fan.

Pros & Cons:

Nice looking designNo USB 3.0
Works on both Windows and MacExpensive
Noise reduction
Smart Power technology
External DVD drives
Data Arranged By reviewsgarage.com media team

Some people are still not comfortable in switching to USB flash or cloud service. This article will surely help those who still use an optical disc. Since today companies no longer consider DVD drive while manufacturing laptops, so there is surely an utter need for external DVD drives to serve the purpose.

We have done our job in providing you with the best information available to us so that you can buy the best external DVD drive without any regrets in the future. We have also added the pros and cons of each product along with its description which you might want to consider before buying. So wait no more and get your external drive now!

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