Best External Optical Drives To Buy In 2021

An external optical drive is an imperative item for those goofballs who forgot to buy a computer, laptop, or Mac book without an internal DVD drive. Most of you already know what an external optical drive entails, it lets you use DVDs, CDs, and Blu-rays on your device. It can read and write data on your disk, install/boot Windows and burn CDs. It is an absolute necessity for disk-heads who are fond of keeping everything on their disks (movies, tracks, etc).

1. VersionTECH External Drive

Slim Design


  • Shockproof
  • No eject button
  • Very slim and lightweight
  • Great customer care service


  • Does not play Blue-ray

3,624 Reviews

Write speed: 8X speed +R 4.7GB; 8X speed +R(DL); 6X speed +RW 4.7GB; 24X speed CD-R; 16X speed CD-RW | Dimensions (L x W x H): 7.2 x 7.2 x 1.3 inches | Color: White | USB support: USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 | Hardware platform: PC and Mac

This slim, classy, and light-weighted white DVD drive keeps things neat and straightforward. Its sleek appearance defies shock and noise with a slim yet strong material constitution. You don’t need any drivers to run this from the get-go, neither it requires any eject button as you can eject from the computer, the simpler the better. Of import, make sure it gets enough power from the computer to function fully without having the disk trapped inside it.

Its writing speeds go as high as 8X speed for +R 4.7GB, 8X for +R(DL), 6X for +RW 4.7GB, 24X for CD-R. While the reading speeds measure up to 24X for CD-ROM reading, 480Mb/sec for USB 2.0.

It has an exquisite cable design consisting of premium wire drawing material which confers shockproof, anti-interference, low noise, and high durability to the cable. It supports USB 3.0 and has one USB external slot for MacBook. For users having a long USB extension with the drive, measuring around 6-14 ft, the cord may not have the power to run the drive effectively.

They are advised to simply plug the drive into the main USB or a powered USB port and the drive will work just fine. Moving on to its compatibility, it goes well with Windows 10 / 8 / 7 / 98 / SE / ME / 2000 / XP / Vista , all Version MAC OS system. Some users complained of the disk not getting recognized by the drive. To uproot this, reboot and charge your computer and then reconnect the drive to your computer, hopefully, it will be recognized by the computer.

All-in-all. this deal gets sweeter by the minute. Highly efficient, durable, and the scarcity of complaints from the users is an open telltale for the veracity of this product.

2. ROOFULL External DVD Drive

High Power Drive


  • Quick and simple installation
  • Good customer service
  • 1-year Hassle-free warranty


  • Mismatching of the region codes
  • Cannot work with ultra-slim laptops due to power shortage problems

8,179 Reviews

Write speed: 24x for CD-R, 8x for DVD+R, and 8x for DVD-R | Dimensions (L x W x H): 5.79 x 5.63 x 0.71 inches | Color: Black and silver | USB support: USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 | Hardware platform: PC and Mac

ROOFULL External DVD Drive is a jack of all trades, extending its set of features into many areas like writing, rewriting, burning, watching, and listening to music, creating a backup disk, installing software, and burning a music disk. It features USB 3.0 for better and faster transmission, of course, it is backward compatible. Its read and write speeds measure up to 24x for CD-R, 8x for DVD+R, and 8x for DVD-R. Its simple setup is comprised of plugging it into your laptop via USB 3.0/2/0 port, press the pop-up button, and put the disk in, it recognizes it immediately and runs it within few minutes, there is no arduous software installation and setups.

They’ve got the slim-and-compact department covered aptly, which is complemented by elegant black design which can go with any office and furniture. Furthermore, it has a vast compatibility list; Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP, Linux, and MAC 10. There is a definite caveat for ultra-slim laptop users, they will be faced with power shortage problems while using this device, hence, you are advised to look up your laptop/device’s power delivery before purchasing this product.

Lastly, you can even use this to install Windows OS on your computer and run computer games like any DVD drive would do Furthermore, you are required to confirm the region for which the drive is specified, the R1 region is for the USA, and R2 is specified for Europe and surrounding places. However, you can change the region from within the device manager to R1 or R2, which still is not a permanent solution for your regional incompatibility.

To conclude, it is a decent purchase for users seeking a multi-tasking external driver at a fairly digestible price tag.

3. LG Electronics DVD Drive

Good Acoustic Performance


  • Quiet performance
  • Pre-installed Cyberlink software
  • Lightweight and slim design


  • The tray carries the risk of getting unstable after the first year
  • All plastic body

10,431 Reviews

Write speed: CD-ROM 3.6 MB/s (24X) max, DVD-ROM 11.08 Mb/s (*X) max | Dimensions (L x W x H): 5.6 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches | Color: Black, Gold, Silver, White | USB support: USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 | Hardware platform: PC and Mac

This drive rightfully upholds LG’s name with a sleek compact body and a minimalistic neat look. It is a thin slice measuring up to only 14 mm of height with an all-plastic body to reduce weight and increase portability. Its read and write speeds enjoy decent figures with 8X DVDR write speed and 24X CD write speed. It comes with a USB 2.0 interface which is rated to tune up to 480 Mbps, however, it is USB 3.0 compatible as well. Furthermore, its video memory requirements measure 64MB or higher (128 MB recommended).

It is aptly provided free Cyberlink software, although it will run with any driver installation required on Mac, Surface Peo 4, and Windows 10. Moreover, it is compatible with Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Mac OS X(10.7.5). All-in-all it is a sound investment if you plan on burning DVDs for at least two years.

4. Rioddas External CD Drive

Multi-Function Drive


  • USB 3.0 compatibility
  • Embedded cables
  • Safety eject button
  • Multi-functional


  • Plastic build

22,406 Reviews

Write speed: 24x CD-R, 8x CD-RW, DVD: 8x max; DVD-R DL: 4x Max; DVD-R9: 2.4x Max | Dimensions (L x W x H): 1 x 6.3 x 6.4 inches | Color: Black | USB support: USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and USB 1.0 | Hardware platform: PC and Mac

This versatile product can go with many devices and run multiple tasks. This ranges from watching DVD movies, listening to music, and even burning DVDs on your own. Its strongest forte, the USB 3.0 interface is the only power source and connection you need to plug and play on your computer, notebook, desktop, etc. It is backward compatible with USB 2.0 and 1/0 as well. Its read speeds are rated at 24x for CD-ROM, 8x for DVD-ROM, 6x for DVD-ROM (DL). Write speeds go as 24x for CD-R, 8x for CD-RW, 8x for DVD, 4x for DVD-R DL. It has a simple plug-and-play set up, plug it in, open the drive insert the disk, and voila.

It is outfitted with a brushed texture shell to display a classy outlook and appeal. Cables have embedded design to ward off any risk of cable misplacement. It is compatible with Windows XP/2003/Vista/7/8.1/10, Linux, and all versions of macOS. Of note, desktop users are advised to connect the device to the USB port of the motherboard for normal use. Moreover, it comes with an eject button which will prevent any CD from getting stuck inside the drive.

So, overall, this thing is durable, inexpensive, and gets the job done. Apart from extra bells and whistles, you can’t ask for more than that.

5. Dell USB Drive DW316

High Performance


  • Fast write and read speeds
  • Pre-installed CyberLink software
  • Very sleek and light design


  • Does not play Blue-ray
  • Not the most durable drive out of the list

9,581 Reviews

Write speed: 24x (CD), 8x (DVD-R), 6x (DVD+R DL) | Dimensions (L x W x H): 5.41 x 5.67 x 0.55 inches | Color: Black | USB support: USB 2.0 | Hardware platform: PC and Mac

Dell’s optical drive boasts impressive read and write speeds along with crystal clear sound and visuals of your CD and DVDs run by it. Just plug it through its USB 2.0 interface and let it run wild. It is extremely portable with its low profile height of 14mm and a weight of 200g only. Its read speeds are 24x for CD, 8x for DVD while it writes 24x for CD, 8x for DVD-R, and 6x for DVD-R DL. It also draws power just from the USB port itself.

It has preloaded Cyberlink software and can run with Windows 10 as well. For Mac users, the drive will not mount until you insert a disc into the drive. It is streamlined and its at-home design blends in well with the surrounding decor. It works quietly and holds out for a fair share of time. The reason we had to place it at the last spot is some woes originating from Dell’s customer care centers and complaints by some users regarding warranty issues and durability. Aside from these problems, it is a great product that lives up to its rating and manufacturers’ title.

Bill Wilson
Bill is a certified Microsoft Professional providing assistance to over 500 remotely connected employees and managing Windows 2008 to 2016 servers.