External Optical Drives

External Optical DrivesJanuary 2018(Last Updated 12 January 2018)

The best optical disc drives designed to be plugged into computers via USB
Compare top brands including LG, Asus and HP
Every week we rank the best optical disc drives based on features, reviews and price
We compare: 182 Optical Disc Drive Models 1,280 Optical Disc Drive Reviews 932 Optical Disc Drive Prices
We compare:
182 Optical Disc Drive Models
1,280 Optical Disc Drive Reviews
932 Optical Disc Drive Prices
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View Today's Best Deals on Optical Disc Drives
Rank
Overall Score
Reviews
Price
Disc Loading Type
Internal
Optical Drive Type
Release Date
#1

90

iHAS124

Lite‑On iHAS124

596 Reviews
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£10.49

Amazon UK
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Slot
Edit
Internal
Edit
DVD
Edit
Sep 2017
The highest scoring external optical drive available, with good features and brilliant user reviews
#4

86

DRW-24F1MT

Asus DRW‑24F1MT

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£13.13

Save £2.00
ABS IT Services
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Tray
Edit
Internal
Edit
DVD-RW
Edit
Aug 2015
A staggeringly fast CD read speed and impressive value for money tray loading DVD Optical drive type cd writer, with brilliant features
#3

86

GH24NSD1

LG GH24NSD1

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£12.99

Save £6.00
Amazon UK
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Tray
Edit
Internal
Edit
DVD
Edit
Aug 2015
A great value for money and very popular tray loading DVD Optical drive type dvd rewriter, with brilliant features
#2

86

GH24NSD1

LG GH24NSD1

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£13.99

Digitalpromo
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Tray
Edit
Internal
Edit
DVD
Edit
Sep 2015
A high-quality and extremely cheap tray loading DVD Optical drive type cd writer
#5

85

GH24NSD1

LG GH24NSD1

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£19.30

Save £7.00
Amazon UK
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Tray
Edit
(Unknown)
Edit
DVD
Edit
Sep 2015
A low cost and powerful tray loading DVD Optical drive type dvd burner
#6

84

ZenDrive U7M

Asus ZenDrive U7M

93 Reviews
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£21.77

Idealo UK
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Tray
Edit
(Unknown)
Edit
DVD
Edit
Dec 2016
A positively reviewed and bargain price tray loading DVD Optical drive type cd rewriter, with good features
#7

83

SH-224

Samsung SH‑224

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£11.07

Save £8.00
Idealo UK
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Tray
Edit
Internal
Edit
DVD-RW
Edit
Feb 2016
A fully featured and affordable tray loading DVD Optical drive type cd burner
#10

83

SDRW-08U1MT

Asus SDRW‑08U1MT

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£13.81

Save £3.00
Primo IT
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Tray
Edit
Internal
Edit
DVD-RW
Edit
Nov 2016
A top-value and fairly new tray loading DVD Optical drive type dvd burner, with good features
#8

83

SDRW-08U7M-U

Asus SDRW‑08U7M‑U

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£19.89

Save £7.00
Ebuyer
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Tray
Edit
(Unknown)
Edit
DVD-RW
Edit
Jan 2016
An affordable and very popular tray loading DVD Optical drive type dvd writer, with very good features
#9

82

DRW-24D5MT

Asus DRW‑24D5MT

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£10.45

BT Business Direct
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Tray
Edit
Internal
Edit
DVD
Edit
Apr 2016
A very popular and low cost tray loading DVD Optical drive type cd (re)writer, with good features
#12

81

BE16NU50

LG BE16NU50

20 Reviews
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£91.99

Amazon UK
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Slot
Edit
(Unknown)
Edit
Blu-Ray
Edit
Feb 2016
A top-rated and high-quality slot loading Blu-Ray Optical drive type dvd burner, with one of the fastest CD read speeds available but representing only moderate value for money
#13

80

SDRW-08U5S-U

Asus SDRW‑08U5S‑U

2 Reviews + 1 Award
techno-labs.com - Good Design
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£28.67

Primo IT
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Slot
Edit
(Unknown)
Edit
DVD
Edit
Mar 2015
An award winning and cheap slot loading DVD Optical drive type cd (re)writer, with good features
#15

80

GH24NSC0

LG GH24NSC0

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£10.99

Save £4.00
Idealo UK
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Tray
Edit
Internal
Edit
DVD
Edit
Aug 2015
An amazingly cheap but 2 year old tray loading DVD Optical drive type dvd writer, with good features and a fast 48x CD read speed
#14

80

SH-224DB

Samsung SH‑224DB

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£24.99

Save £12.00
Epsilon Computers
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Slot
Edit
Internal
Edit
DVD-RW
Edit
Apr 2016
A top-value but 2 year old slot loading DVD Optical drive type cd burner, with good features
#16

80

GTC0N

LG GTC0N

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£16.91

Save £3.00
Amazon UK
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Tray
Edit
Internal
Edit
DVD
Edit
Sep 2015
A very cheap and good spec tray loading DVD Optical drive type cd rewriter
#17

80

SDRW-08D2S-U LITE

Asus SDRW‑08D2S‑U LITE

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£19.98

Novatech
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Tray
Edit
(Unknown)
Edit
DVD-RW
Edit
Jan 2015
A bargain price and best selling tray loading DVD Optical drive type optical disc drive, with good features
#11

79

BH16NS55

LG BH16NS55

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£62.99

Idealo UK
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Tray
Edit
Internal
Edit
Blu-Ray
Edit
Feb 2016
A high-quality but 2 year old tray loading Blu-Ray Optical drive type cd writer, with a reasonable price
#19

79

BW-16D1HT

Asus BW‑16D1HT

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£30.24

Save £29
Idealo UK
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Tray
Edit
Internal
Edit
Blu-Ray
Edit
Nov 2015
A very good value for money and stunningly fast CD read speed tray loading Blu-Ray Optical drive type cd burner, with good features

78

GP95EW70

LG GP95EW70

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£29.29

Save £19.00
Idealo UK
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Slot
Edit
(Unknown)
Edit
DVD-RW
Edit
Jun 2017
A newly released and excellent value for money slot loading DVD Optical drive type optical disc drive, with good features

78

SE-208GB

Samsung SE‑208GB

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£16.78

Save £13.00
BT Shop
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Tray
Edit
(Unknown)
Edit
DVD-RW
Edit
Aug 2015
A low cost but moderately out of date tray loading DVD Optical drive type dvd burner, with good features

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Today's Best Optical Disc Drive Deals

21% Price Drop
{LG GH24NSC0
£10.99
Was £14 (6 days ago)
Disc Loading Type
Tray
Internal
1
Optical Drive Type
DVD Super Multi
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

QWhat are the difference between the different disc loading types?
AThere are 3 main types of disc drive. Tray is the most common - a tray pops out, the disc is placed in and the tray recedes into the machine again. Slot disc drives just have a slot in the side to take the disc, whereas on top-loading disc drives the whole top of the device is hinged, allowing you to place the disc directly into the device.
QWhy does read-write speed matter?
AThe larger the read-write speed of the disc drive, the faster it will write data to the discs, and the quicker data can be read, meaning data access will be faster and smoother (less waiting for buffering video, for instance)
QWhat does 'internal' mean?
AInternal means the disc drive is meant to be mounted inside a computer, whereas external means it can be plugged in via USB and used there.

class="c2-anchor p2-h2" id="guide"

External Optical Disc Drive Buying Guide

Optical disk drives cover a wide range of internal and external devices meant to both read and write a variety of removable media. This means they can be used to both read data from discs (i.e - playing a movie DVD or Blu Ray) and also writing or ‘burning’ data (i.e - creating a music CD from individual mp3s, or permanently writing files to a disk for distribution).

While most computers used to house CD and DVD drives as standard, drastically smaller devices and a move towards cloud-based streaming mean that disc drives are being used less and less. Indeed many modern laptops and desktops no longer contain a disc drive at all.

This means that even though it is legacy tech, it’s still worth keeping a drive handy for those times you want to read the data from an old DVD, burn a disc for a friend, or watch a movie when you don’t have access to Netflix. There are two main types of optical disc drive - internal and external. This guide will explain the major points of consideration when choosing an external optical disk drive.

Resource ID 177

External Drives

This type of drive is meant to be plugged into a computer (usually via USB) to serve as a temporary drive when one is needed. These drives tend to be more expensive than internal drives, but can be used with any computer. They are especially useful for laptops, since the current trend in ultra-thin laptops mean that most modern models don’t have a drive built in. Because external drives are removable, they can be easily stowed away until needed, making them helpful if you only need to read a CD/DVD occasionally. They are also very portable, making them good for watching movies or accessing data on journeys where you may not have access to a stable net connection.

Media Support

There are 3 main types of optical media supported by the disc drives on our site - CD, DVD and Blu Ray:

CD: Traditionally used for music, and while rather a legacy format, there are so many CDs in circulation that you are bound to need to access one at some point. All disc drives will read and write CDs, but the downside is they hold the least information of the 3 types.

DVD: DVDs are generally used for movies, since they are higher density, so can hold far more data than CDs. DVDs are still widely used for movies and video games, and can also hold a large amount of information, making them useful for backing up lots of files. Nearly all of our drives support both CD and DVD read writing.

Blu-Ray: The newest and highest density of optical media on the market, Blu-Ray discs can hold an enormous amount of data in a single disc. They are primarily used for very high-quality movies. However because they are a new format, Blu-Ray writers are far more expensive than CD or DVD-compatible models. Moreover, not all drives support Blu-Ray reading or writing, meaning that you may find other users are not able to read the data on the disc.

Resource ID 176

Read/Write Speedas

Finally, read & write speeds measure how quickly data can be written from & to the disc. This is measures in bytes per second - the higher the speed, the faster large files (such as movies) will be burnt to the disc, or read from the drive. The read-write speeds are also affected by the USB version supported - USB 3.0 supported drives allow far higher transfer rates than USB 2 drives, so it is worth seeking out the newest drive you can for the fastest data transfer speeds.