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What is a DVD Writer? How to Choose the Best DVD Writer for Video

DVD Writer Explained

Last updated on May 2nd, 2024 at 02:18 pm

What is a DVD Writer?

A DVD writer is an optical drive meant to record on a blank DVD or CD.

A DVD writer is also called a DVD burner or optical drive burner or simply DVD drive burner.

What a DVD Writer is Used for?

With a DVD writer, you can copy digital data to a DVD or CD or create an audio CD or a movie disc in the form of DVD, VCD, and SVCD.

You can also duplicate discs with a DVD writer. Say you have created a music CD you can create another copy of it as a backup.

How to Identify a DVD Writer

Many newer computers don’t come with DVD writers. So, if you have an older desktop computer there may be a DVD writer attached to it.

If your computer has a DVD writer installed, then it would be marked RW as shown below.

A DVD writer should be differentiated from a DVD reader or a DVD ROM drive as shown below.

ROM means Read-Only Memory.

A DVD ROM can read a DVD or CD but can record on a disc. In other words, it can only ‘play back’ a DVD or CD.

A DVD writer can also read DVDs and CDs. However, that’s not its main function. Furthermore, a DVD writer has a slower reading speed compared to a DVD-ROM drive,

Most desktop computers have DVD-RW and DVD-ROM attached to the CPU casing. They would be useful if you want to copy a disc. You’ll insert the master disc in the DVD ROM and the blank disc in the DVD RW to start the copying process.

What is a DVD Writer on a Laptop?

A DVD writer on a laptop performs the same function as on a desktop computer. A laptop DVD writer is much slimmer than the desktop version.

Except for certain older models, laptops don’t come with DVD writers. But then you can always get an external DVD writer and connect it to your laptop computer through a USB connection.

There are many affordable, lightweight, and slim external DVD writers out there in the market for you to choose from should you need one.

Why Do You Need a DVD Writer?

A DVD writer used to be a necessity for those who needed to back up data. Each standard blank DVD could hold up to 4.7GB of data. But these days backing up your data with a pen drive or through cloud storage is a convenient option.

You get bigger and cheaper storage space with these options. What’s more, you can easily erase or delete data unlike that in a DVD.

Folks also don’t fancy carrying a 12-cm disc which can only be accessed with a DVD drive on a computer. Compare this to a pen drive or an external hard disk which can be plugged into any computer with a USB port.

Still, a DVD writer has its uses.

DVD Writer for Video

From the video standpoint, you would need a DVD writer to burn a DVD, VCD or SVCD, or an audio CD.

DVDs are still popular because you can create chapters and menus to easily navigate through a long video. This feature isn’t available over video stored in a pen drive or external hard drive.

How to Use a DVD Writer

If you’re going to burn or create a DVD or audio CD with a DVD writer, you need a DVD burning software program installed on your computer.

If you’re using Windows 7 or Vista, you can use the Windows DVD Maker program that comes with your operating system.

Windows 10 doesn’t have such a facility. You would have to install a third-party DVD burner program.

You don’t have to purchase one. Check out these free DVD burner programs.

A DVD burner program like DVD Flick will detect your DVD writer and you’ll have to add the necessary video files to burn a DVD.

Just insert a blank disc either DVD-R or DVD+ R and follow the instructions in the DVD burner program to proceed.

Can You Play DVDs on a DVD Writer?

Yes, a DVD writer doubles as a DVD player. A DVD writer is the same as a DVD player with the help of a media player program installed on your computer. It must be capable of opening a DVD. Examples of such programs include the VLC Media Player or PotPlayer.

Can a DVD Writer Burn CDs?

Yes, a DVD writer can burn CDs including audio CDs and VCDs. You would have to use a DVD burner program to do it.

You now have a basic understanding of what a DVD writer is and how it works. Let’s look at some DVD writers buying ideas you could use.

DVD Writer Buying Ideas

When you are in the market for a DVD writer, you have two options.

Internal DVD Writer

First, you can get an internal DVD writer if you have a desktop computer. This would be an ideal solution if the computer is the only place where you’ll use it.

It would require you to open up your computer casing to install the DVD writer. This wouldn’t be difficult for those used to opening up their computing casings to install accessories.

In case you need guidance on this, watch the video below.

External DVD Writer

If you’ll be using the DVD writer on the go, then you’ll have to settle for an external DVD writer.

With this option, you save the trouble of opening up your computer casing. Just plug into your computer USB port and you’ll be good to go.

No Power Supply Needed

Also, external DVD writers would not need a separate power source to get them working. They draw power from your computer through the USB port.

ASUS 24x Serial-ATA DVD Writer

The Amazon’s Choice DVD writer will allow you to burn standard DVD and dual-layer DVDs.

DVD+/-R and DVD+/-RW are supported. The former can be burned at 24x speed and dual-layer at 12x speed.

This DVD writer even works with older versions of Windows like Windows XP, Vista, and 7.

Check out the ASUS 24x Serial-ATA DVD Writer.

Also, check out other internal DVD writers.

Verbatim External Slimline DVD Writer

If you’re looking for a portable external DVD writer, this Verbatim Slimline unit would fit your requirements.

It’s an ideal DVD writer add-on for laptops and netbooks.

It even supports USB 3.2 Gen 1. It comes with a USB-C to USB-A cable and is easily detected by your Windows computer.

The popular Nero burning software is included in the package. With its body made of black-anodized brushed aluminum, you don’t have to worry about its durability. It also comes with rubber ‘legs’ for it to sit stably on your desk.

Quiet operation is also a plus factor.

Check out the Verbatim External Slimline DVD Writer.

LG Ultra Slim Portable DVD Writer Drive

This DVD writer doesn’t only support the writing of DVD+/-R. It also handles DVD-RAM and M-Disc.

It is only 14 millimeters in height and writes DVDs at the maximum speed of 8x and CDs at 24x.

It works with Windows and Mac.

The package also comes with Cyberlink Media Suite 10 which works with Windows 10 and 7. Among the programs included in the DVD are Power2Go, LabelPrint, PowerBackup, and PowerMediaPlayer.

This DVD writer will suit you fine if you work with different DVD formats.

Check out the video below to look at this external DVD writer.

Check out the LG Ultra Slim Portable DVD Writer Drive.

Also, check out other external DVD writers.

You’ve now learned what a DVD writer is. Try using it to make DVD videos.

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