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Best Blu-ray burner

Which Blu-ray burner is best?

As almost any older member of the millennial generation can recall, having the ability to burn DVDs and CDs using your computer’s optical drive was one of the only methods of sharing and transporting media. However, with fewer modern PCs having optical drive installed to save space, purchasing an external unit for burning Blu-ray discs may be your best alternative. Whether you are a professional archivist or a dedicated film buff, the OWC Mercury Pro 16X Blu-ray, 16X DVD, 48X CD Read/Write Solution will produce quality Blu-ray discs on demand.

What to know before you buy a Blu-ray burner

Do you feel the need for speed?

The process of burning your favorite movie or music to a compact disc or CD used to be a long and tedious process with no guarantee of success. Thankfully, modern Blu-ray burners help to greatly reduce the length of the process by boosting the disc writing speed by up to 16 times.

Even on the most complex versions of proprietary, multi-layered Blu-ray discs, you can expect anywhere from four to six times the typical writing speed. You can write terabytes of data to your Blu-ray discs in a fraction of the typical time.

A Blu-ray burner usually doesn't also play back discs

While anyone who owns a laptop or desktop computer with a CDR/W or a Compact Disc Read/Write drive knows, you can generally both view Blu-ray content or write information to a compact disc with the same equipment. However, if you are interested in purchasing a separate, purpose-built item like a Blu-ray burner, you should be aware that many models are incapable of doing anything but writing information.

Any models capable of playing back content typically do so at a substantially lower quality than a standard Blu-ray player. That isn’t to say that you can’t view footage on your own PC, but you may find the image quality isn’t replicated if you connect a TV for a larger viewing experience.

There are different levels of discs and formatting

As one of the best physical storage mediums for digital data, you have likely enjoyed a film, TV show or other entertainment recorded on a Blu-ray disc. The primary reason that you are able to install so much data on a single disc is a process known as multi-layering, with each layer being able to hold approximately 25GB of data. 

There are also proprietary formats for Blu-ray discs, including M-Disc and BDXL discs, which are respectively an archival media format for long-term storage and discs capable of holding much more data than conventional Blu-rays. Depending on the personal or professional needs for your disc writing, investing in a Blu-ray burner capable of creating specialized discs may be worth the investment.

What to look for in a quality Blu-ray burner

Solid construction combined with portability

If you are taking the time to invest in a dedicated unit for burning Blu-ray discs, the last thing you want is a cheaply-made unit that shakes itself apart. In addition, depending on where and how you plan to use the burner, it is worth thinking about how easy it is to move or relocate.

Compatibility with different operating systems

Whether you are an avid lover of cinema or a professional librarian or archivist, you understand the importance of having a dedicated means of creating physical data storage. However, if you end up purchasing such a unit without bothering to check if it is compatible with your operating system of choice, you will end up wasting both time and money.

Small footprint and number of USB connections required

As is the case with any peripheral device to improve your technological setup, you are likely limited by the amount of workspace available. While many of us would love to stuff our office full of high-tech gadgetry, we only have so much deskspace before it starts to become an untenable situation.

While Blu-ray burners are incredibly useful pieces of equipment, they can be quite sizeable both in terms of physical footprint, as well as taking up multiple USB ports to successfully connect. With the small footprint of the selected units along with easy connection methods, you can pick the perfect unit for your needs.

How much you can expect to spend on a Blu-ray burner

Depending on your budget and desired features, a quality Blu-ray burner can cost between $110-$190.

Best Blu-ray burner FAQ

Is purchasing a Blu-ray burner worth the expense?

A. Absolutely — having the ability to create forms of data backup that do not require access to the internet can be a real lifesaver if you suffer a loss of online data or access.

How long can information stored on a Blu-ray disc last for?

A. Assuming that the disc is kept under ideal conditions, you can reasonably expect the data to last for anywhere from 20 to 50 years before becoming unreadable.

What are the best Blu-ray burners to buy?

Top Blu-ray burner 

OWC Mercury Pro 16X Blu-ray, 16X DVD, 48X CD Read/Write Solution

What you need to know: This is an impressively fast and capable Blu-ray burner.

What you’ll love: In addition to being compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems, it features a desktop optical drive in aluminium housing with USB 3.0 and M-DISC support for creating methods of reliable long-term storage.

What you should consider: This unit is relatively heavy and some report it failing within a year or two.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Blu-ray burner for money

LG 6X WP50NB40 Ultra Slim Portable Blu-ray Writer Bundle with 1 Pack M-DISC BD

What you need to know: An affordable Blu-ray burner with archival-level formatting capabilities.

What you’ll love: This unit is capable of writing typical Blu-ray discs, but it can also format both M-DISC and BDXL discs, creating either discs of archival quality or discs with far more data storage available than is typical

What you should consider: There are reports of unreliable performance, burning odors and loose disc drawer doors.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

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

What you need to know: This is a robust and professional Blu-ray burner.

What you’ll love: Along with a vertical orientation, this model comes with the ability to format BDXL discs as well as intelligent playback features, a magnesium body and 6x writing speed. It can even play back music and movies.

What you should consider: There are reports of unstable performance when writing discs and no compatibility with Windows software.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Daniel Martin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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